Winter Reading List

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Callum, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Callum

    Callum New Member

    I've done this before: Compiled a seasonal reading list by asking others to supply the names of the three books that they would take with them if they were going on "a three hour tour, a three hour tour..."

    I never would have read "Confederacy of Dunces", "Far from the Madding Crowd" or "The Alienist" except I did something similar about ten years ago.

    For me:

    "Naked" by David Sedaris

    "Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years" by Carl Sandburg

    "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving

  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Good to see you. Blithe Spirit all done?

    This reminds me of a radio program they had in England. Singers were asked to pick desert island phonograph records.

    Opera Diva Elizabeth Schwarzkoph set some sort of record. All but one of her picks were by Elizabeth Schwarzkoph.

    Well, here are 3 books I've read more than once and wouldn't mind reading again.

    The Lucia-Mapp novels by E.F. Benson. Some of these were done as a miniseries on PBS a decade or so ago. Geraldine McEwan and Prunella Scales (from Fawlty Towers) starred.

    This counts as one selection since all 5 or 6 novels are available in one fat volume.

    Biography of Noel Coward by Cole Lesley. There are several bios of Noel (including a new one I haven't read yet), but this is my favorite thus far.

    Connections by James Burke. A novel and entertaining look at the history of science and technology.

    Being stuck on a desert island would be terrible, but it would be even worse w/o something to read.
  3. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Rock - "Blithe Spirit" just opened last week. We run through mid-March. We were recommended by the Joseph Jefferson committee (the Chicago version of the Obies), so that should bring in some crowds. But now I'm stuck with a period, 1937 haircut (not flattering on a balding man) and a pencil- thin mustache which makes me look like I'm trying to affect some kind of "Dreamgirls" retro look...
  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    B. S. is doing well. Congratulations on your success.

    I'm sure you look great in a 1937 model. Just as long as it doesn't have rumble seat.

    Post a picture of Blitheness if you get the chance.
  5. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    "Watership down" by Richard Adams

    "Little Britches" by Ralph Moody

    "Bambi" and "Bambi Children" by Fellix Salten, although hard to find, because of out of print. I have two copies, forget walt disney these are fun sweet books.

    I guess i have different taste than everyone else.

    A favorite of mine, but a bit longer, is,
    "The Hawk and the Dove" by Penelope Wilcock

    I've read it several times, and it get better each time. Wether you agree or disagree, it's a thought prokoking book on one man's life, and God. A very unlikely type of man who decides to become a monk, and how that, and a tragic incident shape him and influence others around him.

    Story is told second hand by his great, great, great, granddaughter or niece?

    Well that's enough out of me and books, i love books!! :0)

    Of course, i always highly recommend the bible, i love the Psalms. OOOpss! That was one more peep out of me!!

    You know what happens when you tell kids, you don't want to hear another peep out of them!!! "peep"

    You know what happened once when i told my youngest, who wouldn't stay in bed one night, that if he took his head off his pillow one more time there was going to be big trouble!!! Well guess what!!, that kid, he comes walking out of his room, holding his pillow up behind his head!! LOL I had to just crack up at that one!!!!

    Peep! Peep!
    [This Message was Edited on 01/29/2007]
  6. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    Hi Callum, I'm so glad you're back!

    These are my three favourite books (one is a trilogy, is that cheating?)

    <b>Memoirs of a Survivor</b>
    by Doris Lessing

    <b>The VALIS Trilogy</b>
    by Phillip K. Dick

    <b>A House at the End of the World</b>
    by Michael Cunningham

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  7. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Mss - Your son sounds like a comic in the making - or a politician. Your *peeps* had me laughing. As for different tastes in reading - that's what makes this great. I get to read stuff I might never have picked up on my own.

    Anne Teresa - I LOVE Michael Cunningham - have read all of his. I think my favorite is "The Hours", mainly because I love "Mrs. Dalloway", and I couldn't believe what he pulled off with that book. But I love "...End of the World." I think Colin Farrell made the movie of this book. Not sure.

    And Trilogies are not cheating, lol

  8. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    If the three hour tour ended up like Robinson Crusoe, Gilligan's Island or Castaway, and if you're not counting books like The Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in any Climate, on Land, or at Sea, I would take:

    1. The King James Bible

    2. The Collected Works of William Shakespeare

    3. The Life and Times of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Lawrence Stern. One of the weirdest novels ever written, but I've come to love it.

    For a shorter sojourn, here are a few recent favorites that I'd love to read again:

    1. The Greatest Game Ever Played (the best sports book I've ever read, about Francis Ouimet's victory in the 1913 US Open golf championship over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray)

    2. The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruis Zafon.

    3. Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman (Adventures of a Curious Character), by Richard Feynman.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/29/2007]
  9. Callum

    Callum New Member

    We both read "Stones from the River" - it's on our bookshelf, which means we will keep it because we know we want to read it again. Moving story!

  10. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    Have you read Michael Cunningham's latest? It's called Specimen Days. I thought it was brilliant.
  11. Callum

    Callum New Member

    I did! And although I was worried that he was trying to recreate "The Hours", I found it wonderfully woven (and I love the poetry of Whitman)

  12. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Hmm.. my three hour tour books would be..

    1. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

    2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    3. Collected Works of Sylvia Plath

    .. but I would probably smuggle a few more books with me if I was actually being stranded. ;)
  13. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    I liked "A Town Like Alice". A bitter sweet love history novel set in WW II and Malaysia-Australia. Was an excellent BBS series. Anyway, it is perfect length for the plane trip to Australia, if you need to go there for the three hour tour.
    The Feynman book pretty funny and a good choice.
    I suppose the unabridged Oxford dictionary would take care of any extra time.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/14/2007]
  14. naturebaby

    naturebaby New Member

    Great post. Hmmm, how to narrow it down to only three, though?

    Here are my choices.

    1) "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. If possible, I would bring the trilogy "House of Earth". If they're in one volume, does that count as one book? ;-)

    2) "Katherine" by Anya Seton.

    3) "Forever Amber" by Kathleen Winsor. My guilty pleasure; have read this book at least once a year since discovering it at age 15.

    Am currently reading "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley and can't put it down!

    cheers, nature

    PS: I saw "Blithe Spirit" years ago in London; it is a terrific must be having loads of fun!
  15. Callum

    Callum New Member

    I read "Mists of Avalon" about ten years ago - don't remember a lot about it, but I do remember I enjoyed it greatly, and recommended it to a bunch of friends. I hope you continue to enjoy it.

    What is "Forever Amber" about?

    "Blithe" has been a lot of fun. Humor doesn't always age well, but Noel Coward was a genius. And we've been getting great response and press, which always makes the experience even better.

    You saw it in London? I wonder how good their standard British dialects were...;)
  16. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Forever Amber is a bodice ripper that came out during WWII and was made into a movie w/ Linda Darnell. The book was banned in Boston which helped it sell millions.

    Author Kathleen Winsor was one of Artie Shaw's many wives. Evenly Keyes (Scarlett's little sister) was another. She said in her bio he was a compulsive nut. You had to pour his coffee so the cup was filled to 1/4 inch from the brim.

    I think both Kathleen and Artie died in the last decade.

    Kathleen wrote some later books, but none did well.
  17. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Naturebaby - I really need to read Mists of Avalon this year! I picked up such a nice copy at a used book sale (signed by the author!), but I haven't gotten the chance to start it yet. Glad to hear it's as good as i've heard.
  18. bct

    bct Active Member

    Notorious Doctor August by Chris Bram. It's long enough that I don't have to list anything else!

    Actually, I read this last year, but my SO, Richard, just finished and loved it, so I thought I'd throw it out there.

    I kinda got hooked on Bram after reading Father of Frankenstein.

  19. Callum

    Callum New Member

    ... a year or two ago. I remember I really enjoyed it; is Father of Frankenstein worth a look-see, Barry?

  20. naturebaby

    naturebaby New Member

    Hiya callum,
    Yes, Noel Coward's humour really does stand the test of time. What role are you playing in Blithe? I would love to see another production of it someday!

    Butterfly, "Mists" is really good! I picked up my copy at the thrift store the other day, it's worn but I love used books (not so much into the big booksellers like Chapters or Barnes & Noble) me, a great way to spend a day is sifting through a used book store, I even love the smell! Lucky you, to find an autographed copy! Anyway, "Mists" was a bestseller when it was published and I can see why. I'll be interested to read Bradley's other books in the future.

    "Forever Amber" is the rags to riches story of a girl, adopted by a Puritan yeoman's family, who meets a baron coming through her village on his way to London for the Restoration of King Charles II. She becomes obsessed with this baron, but he abandons her in the big city and she is left to fend for herself, which she does in very creative (and, at the time the book was published, risque!) ways. She is a unscrupulous schemer and social climber. Eventually she becomes mistress to the King, but all she really wants is her baron - at all costs. A classic "bodice-ripper" but not pulp fiction; to me, it's the standard to which I try to write (I'm a novice writer of historical fiction and a corporate communications writer by trade).

    "Amber" is very, very tame by today's standards. What I love about it is the rich portrait of Restoration London that Winsor portrays, and her weaving of historical figures and events into the fictional story. Evidently she did a tremendous amount of research although I don't believe she ever actually visited London (she was American).

    The movie was awful; nothing like the book. It would be a great remake if someone did it justice.

    Off to dive back into the "Mists"! Great thread and so nice to meet you all! cheers, nature
    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2007]