Book Reports Anyone?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by rockgor, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    We haven't had a new thread on what we're reading for a while.

    So now we do.

    Just got back from the kitty korner thrift shops: Good will on one corner and St. Vincent de Paul on the other.

    At Goodwill I found the funniest book I've seen in a month of Sundays (as my mother used to say).

    It's Called "A Martian Wouldn't Say That!!" It is a tiny book, only 80 pages. Has two copyright dates: 1994 and 2001. Price: a whopping NINE Bucks!

    Are these people crazy? Even yuppies who will pay almost anything for Starbucks coffee or jeans w/ holes in them aren't likely to pay NINE BUCKS for a book no thicker than a pot holder.

    I suspect it didn't sell well, despite the hilarious contents, as there were dozens of new copies for sale at 25 cents apiece.

    Anyway, it is made of (allegedly) real memos written by TV executives to the makers of tv shows.

    For example:

    1) Re: the Fred Astaire program; Too much dancing!

    2) Although Connie is a sociopath, make sure she's not w/o warmth.

    3) This is the best script for the Adams Family we've read in a year. Attached are the notes for the rewrite.

    4) On page 7 Ed Norton says "Va-va-va-voom?" Before we can give clearance we need to know what that means in English.

    5) In response to your list of suggested writers, who is Truman Capote?

    I hear those TV executives make big money.


  2. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Good job, Rock.

    I'm slogging through a book called The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich. She wrote a national bestseller so I thought I'd take a chance. It's proving to be one of those books that aren't quite uninteresting enough to stop reading but not all that fascinating either. Zzzzzzzzzz.

    I want to mention a book here that I haven't read but it seems like it might be a good one for dog lovers. It's called, cleverly..., The Dogs Who Found Me: What I've Learned from Pets Who Where Left Behind by Ken Foster. I suspect from the title it wasn't a bestseller but now it's out in paperback. It talks about the dogs Foster adopted over the years, in some instances, almost like a Marley book. One of the dogs was so steeped in separation anxiety that while he was gone it ate the heads off all his disposable razors. (He shaved before he went out thus the dog's reasoning, I suppose.)

    Anyway, here's a book not to read and maybe one to check out. If the former takes a turn for the better, I'll let you know.

  3. sisland

    sisland New Member

    I wish i Had a book to Report on,,, But mostly i've wrapped up in puppy Training via the Net! It's fun to Go to the Thrift shops and look through the Books and also who knows what other treasures you might come across!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Sounds Like you Found a Great Book!,,,,,,,,,,,Have Fun Reading! Was Wondering if you Have ever thought of writing a book Yourself?,,,,,,,,,S
  4. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    going to see if I can pick that up over here. Nope, but I'll see if my library will buy it.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/03/2007]
  5. Callum

    Callum New Member

    ... all that time sitting back stage:

    "Confessions of An Actor" by Laurence Olivier - Not as interesting as I had hoped...

    "Stiff" by Mary Roach - a fascinating book on the culture of death. Surprisingly funny.

    "The Eight" by Katherine Neville - kind of a "Da Vinci Code" revolving around Charlemagne's Chess Board, and a woman as the protagonist.

    "Cold Sassy Tree" by Olive Ann Burns. I know, but I'd never read it.

    "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Interesting only when speaking from personal experience.

    "Charming Billy" by Alice McDermott - Depressing, but good.

    "Vinegar Hill" by A. Manette Ansay - Depressing, but good.

    "The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx - Depressing, but very good.

    "Evensong" by Gail Godwin. I really liked this book - found it very touching.

    Now I'm reading "The Historian". I'm having a hard time putting it down.

  6. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Just finished:

    Andy Rooney, Out of my Mind

    Riding With Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books, by Ted Bishop.

    Currently reading:

    Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, by Donald Miller

    Trader to the Navajos: The Story of the Wetherills of Kayenta, by Lousia Wade Wetherill

    Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome, by Bob Madgic

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins

    Enjoying all of them.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/03/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/03/2007]
  7. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I'm reading The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez.
    It's a wonderful book!

    A small vent, if I may...Last eve. I watched Nanny 911 (such a fun show!) and I was appalled by a mother who punished her nine year old son by making him read. If the child misbehaved, he was 'forced' to read five pages and if he still misbehaved he was threatened with having to write a book report. The look on the child's face as he was forced to read was one of pure agony. So sad.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Glad to see we are all reading. Next best thing to going somewhere. Often, better in fact. You skip all the boring delays, inconviences, and downright dangers.

    Just finished Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen, the sequel to Hatchet. I read Hatchet several years ago. Turned out my teenage nephew was reading it at the same time.

    Got it yesterday at the thrift shop. Only about 130 pages. Turns out the author has written lots of books for young adults.

    Am in the middle of Legs Benedict. A mystery by a woman author which means a lot of talking and not too much action. On the other hand it means it is more believable.

    Mary Daheim goes in for punny titles: Auntie Mahem, Snow Place to Die, etc.

    You certainly read a variety of stuff, Ken. Let me know if you want any recommendations for books on playing bridge.

    Cullum, I read a biography on Olivier many years ago. Don't know if it's the same one. Anyway I thought it was pretty bland.

    Somewhere I read a comment that he was totally different on stage than in movies. On stage he was electrifying, bursting w/ energy, almost manical. Sounds a bit exaggerated to me.

    Cold Sassy Tree has been made into an opera. If it's like most modern operas, it will quietly sink w/o making a splash.

    Oh, here comes Gordon from the library. Three thrillers, a book on Hollywood, and a country music book. But I still need the paperbacks to read in the bathtub.

    Marta, I agree. Some books aren't too fascinating, but they'll do till you get something else.

    Yes, I love thrift shops, Sis. Used to buy old records there, but now I've switched to CDs. Still the best place to buy used books.

    Punishing a child by making him read sounds incredibly stupid to me, Anne Theresa. They should teach parenting in high school.

    Well, time to go. Gordon is cleaning out the frij. I am doing my part by eating up stuff starting w/a carton of yogurt.

  9. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Who took the Dramamine, you or the dog? LOL!
  10. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I recently read "Running With Scissors", by Augusten Burroughs. It's a true story which chronicles the author's teenage years spent in a highly unusual and dysfunctional atmosphere during the 1960s. Burroughs touches on this part of his life with humor, so it really reads like a novel. Warning: some people might be put off or even shocked by what he went through. Yet he turned out just fine and now is a popular writer. The book has been made into a movie, but I haven't seen it. Everyone I've run into who has read it has nothing but good things to say about it.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/04/2007]
  11. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    "Running w/ Scissors", or at least started it. Can't remember much anymore.

    Just finished a book about the circus. The author was a clown in his youth. When he got much older he was the head of Ringling's Clown Circus.

    "Clown Alley" by Bill Ballantine.

    Oh-oh. "Network cable unplugged". So I suppose this won't post properly.


    Well, it took a little extra time, but finally got here.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2007]
  12. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I know you've all been holding your breath so I hurried back to tell you that I quit reading The Painted Drum the same night I wrote about it here.

    Now I'm straining my eyes through Standing In The Rainbow in paperback. The print is tinier than this is by far and I hate to think where the book has been; it stinks! Next in the book basket is ...... When Madeline Was Young, by Jane Hamilton. I've enjoyed her other books so I'm looking forward to this one.

    Ken, you and Callum read as much as I do. Good thing we have so much time, right?

    Mezombie, I've been meaning to reserve Running With Scissors but keep forgetting. Your review makes me want to tie a sting around my finger.

  13. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Lets see.. of my running list of books just finished we have:

    Crime & Punishment, Dostoevsky (so incredibly interesting, and MUCH less daunting then I originally thought. Dostoevsky is an intelligent but not alienating writer. There are many levels to the book, but even so, its not written in a way that makes it a chore to go through. I am excited to start another Dostoevsky right away)

    Reading Like a Writer, Francine Prose (ironically enough, the writer's real name. But, yes, this is a book I saw written up in a magazine, and just the title interested me, so I picked it up, and really it is a GREAT book! It's wonderful for anyone who loves to read or write. She's an author as well as a teacher, and gives advice on HOW to read a book to its best advantages.)

    On Being Ill, Virginia Woolf (a little book she wrote, that I think was originally published just as a pamphelet, but, of course, the title interested me, plus the fact that she is one of the most articulate women writer's ever. She'll give you some good new imagery to put into your mind. A new way to look at illness.)

    Forty-Five, Freida Hughes (book of poetry, published by the daughter of the late poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Amazing poet in her own right, AND, you will be interested to know, ALSO has fibromyalgia, described in her poems)

    One Writer's Beginnings, Eudora Welty (she's a very engaging author, just from this faily short little window into her early life. I'll be very interested to read more of her now.)

    and currently I'm about 3/4 of the way through The Ambassadors by Henry James. I have a big stack of books still in my 'to read' pile, so I'm focusing on finishing The Ambassadors before I start picking out my next set of books to read.

    I'm shooting for this '100 books in 365 days' challenge that's going around the book communities. I'm not sure if I'll get there (i've finished 14 books so far this year), but I'm going to try to get there just the same.

  14. mindbender

    mindbender New Member

    I got Booked one time.
    Well, afew times,
    but it's not something I like to share.
    Can I just sit this one out?

    Thanks guys
  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Has anyone else read that book? It's by Jane Hamilton. I'm finding it very slow going like many of the books I've read lately and I want to know if it's just me.

    Mindbender, you just sit right there and relax.

  16. victoria

    victoria New Member

    The Fandom of the Operator by Robert Rankin. a British author... actually I listened to it on tape, that's how I lull myself to sleep, having someone tell me bedtime stories, LOL. He has a very wild dry sense of humor imho... (well I also like Carl Hiassen stories too, if that tells you anything.)

    I think I am glad I got to listen to Rankin read his own book tho before actually reading one on my own. He has a way of reading that gets across the 'pacing' and dry British humor that I'm not sure I'd have picked up by just reading... I'm waiting to get the one other audio book my library has by him. Apparently he hasn't recorded more than a couple or 3, altho he's written quite a few.

    One of my favorite books was a very small book written in the 1960s called 'Twink' that was a collection of very short funny/weird "observations". Unfortunately my daughter lost it while moving... a replacement copy costs about $16 the last time I looked on Amazon ... heck it only cost 50 cents when I bought it originally. Maybe I'll ask her to get me a replacement copy for a b'day present. Anyone else ever read it?

    I also like reading alternative history/archeology, enjoyed Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock... especially interesting now that scientifically they are beginning to date human presence on the N. & S. American continents further and further back.

    So that's my book report(s) for now...

    enjoyed reading everybody's posts!

    [This Message was Edited on 03/19/2007]
  17. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Well.......... I'm not sure what to say about When Madeline Was Young. How about this: it got better but I wouldn't read it again. Of course, I don't often read books twice unless I've forgotten I read them the first time.

    The books is about a family that includes the husband's first wife, Madeline, who became brain-injured in an accident. She has the IQ of a seven-year old after the accident, the woman who nurses her marries the husband who had had his marriage to Madeline annulled. The new duo keep Madeline in the family in addition to their own two children. It's quite a story but I think I'm giving up Jane Hamilton.

    Now I need something to make me laugh.

  18. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Dan, with your marvelous talent you should be illustrating books.

    Marta, Never read When Madeline Was Young. I'm too old. Haha. If you want something funny to read try P. G. Wodehouse or Carl Hiaasen. (The double "A" suggest his ancestors were Norwegian.) I think he helped, or at least inspired his coworker Dave Barry w/ his novels.

    Molly, never read Climbing Jacob's Ladder, but we used to sing a song by that title in Bible Camp.

    Haven't read anything by Robert Rankin, Victoria, but am reading a thriller by British author Ian Rankin.

    The 50 cent Twink book illustrates the difference between price and value.

    Just finished Paula Poundstone's book. She talks about her career, her adopted kids, her troubles w/ alcohol and the law, etc. She also talks about other people

    Every chapter deals w/ somebody famous: Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, the Wright Brothers, Sitting Bull, etc. It's like she never got those book reports done in jr. high, and now she's making up for it.

    Ha det bra
    (That's Norskie for have it good.)

  19. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Hi Calum,
    Did you know that A. Manette Ansay wrote a book called: LIMBO, about having a mysterious, crippling and undiagnosable illness. It's a nicely written little book.
    Peace out,
  20. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    New books anyone?

    I just started 'The Brothers Karamazov' by Dostoevsky.