Marathon Maniac #957
Skip and Mariposai got me thinking - we have a favorite movie thread - we should start a favorite book thread.
Name your favorites or just a good book you have read lately, maybe with a short description.
Me, I'm not particularly into anything deep - I tend to read strictly for light entertainment, not much for educational value, mostly mysteries, thrillers, or science fiction. Much of my "reading" lately is with audio-books, but that still counts, doesn't it?
Right now I'm working my way through Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, working on Book Two - The Drawing of the Three - sort of a strange combination of sci-fi and western.
Also I've been working my way through John Sandford's books, last one being Bad Blood. He writes thrillers that take place in MN, with one of my favorite protagonists, Lucas Davonport.
What good books can you recommend?
Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."
Thanks Holly, this will be fun.
I quit reading years ago since I never felt like I had the time. I recently purchased a Nook Simple and I've been reading like crazy.
Some of my favorites recently:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This was a summer reading assignment to incoming HS freshman. It was only 90 pages so I decided to read it to see what the freshman were expected to read. It took a surprisingly long time to read those 90 pages - each word, each passage took a lot of thought . It's basically about a young shepard seeking his fortune.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Recommended to me by the lovely Mrs. Labduck (a book critic). Very rich with visual imagery - like candy for the mind. It was about a turn of the century contest between magicians.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Intense true story of an Olympic runner and his experience during WWII. I can't put this one down.
"it's just like having fun, but different"
I had to rack, wrack? my brain because I haven't read anything but Bill Bryson books lately - thanks Skip for mentioning those! (Thunderbolt Kid, A Walk in the Woods, A Short History of Nearly Everything). His writing is funny, light but there are dry spells.
But I have to say The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls was probably the one I read this year that really stands out.
I lean towards the more serious stuff, if it can stir my emotions it is a keeper.
And I still read the old-fashioned way, with a real book, real weighty paper in my hands!
I am currently reading Oliver Twist - I just like the short chapters I can knock off before bed.
"During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."
The Vince Flynn books. I really don't do a whole lot of reading but when Vince Flynn's new book, Kill Shot, comes out on February 7th, I will not be seen or heard from for a couple of days. I started reading his books about four years ago and have read every one and can never wait until his next one comes out. This issue was delayed because Vince was dealing with prostrate cancer last year. I believe, he has beaten it, though, so that's good news.
But, anyway--the main character is Mitch Rapp. Mitch is a spy/assassin--and a good one. Mitch would kick Chuck Norris' butt--and nobody is tougher tham Chuck Norris. Luckily, Mitch is on our side and he goes out and gets the bad guys. Oh--but Mitch hates politicians and all the government crap that gets in his way of doing his job--which makes things even more interesting.
The knowledge that Vince Flynn has of the CIA and other organizations within the government is amazing.
Oh, Vince is also from Minnesota. He likes to use the names of people who are known within the state for some of his characters. I even went to a book signing once to get his autograph for my oldest son, who likes him, too.
Okay--that's it. Gotta get back to work. (My part time writing gig)
I'm not an avid reader like many of you. But I find since I have the Nook I read more often than I ever have.
Choovie turned me on to The Unbroken (which Dove mentioned above. +1 for that one!) After reading it, I suggested it to my Father (a WWII vet) and he loved it.
The Help was outstanding. The movie was good also, but the book is much better.
A couple of running related books:
Duel In The Sun by John Brandt about the classic 1982 Boston Marathon battle between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley.
I'm currently reading a similar book The Iron War about the 1989 Kona Ironman between Dave Scott and Mark Allen.
"Some are the strong, silent type. You can't put your finger on exactly what it is they bring to the table until you run without them and then you realize that their steadiness fills a hole that leaks energy in their absence." - Kristin Armstrong
+1 on Vince Flynn. Also the Clive Cussler - Dirk Pitt books are good IMO. Easy reads with some entertaining characters.
"He conquers who endures" - Persius "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel
I loved The Help, too. Hated to finish it!
I used to be a voracious reader, but when I had kids, full time job, and all that goes with all that I just sort of stopped reading books. Started with a lot of magazines and such. But lately I've been trying to make time for it, especially when I travel (helps time on the plane go by). When I was in high school and college, I read everything that Steven King wrote. Loved that stuff, and Holly I read that series and couldn't wait for the next book to come out.
I also used to read a lot of Dick Francis, mysteries revolving around horse racing in some manner or another. Holly, I bet you'd like those. Easy reads, too.
I've gotten into some of the Dan Brown books, I think they're better than the movies (as is typically the case) even though I love Tom Hanks.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire were great (same girl, btw), and my next book is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I've already seen the movie, but I'm sure the book will be much better.
I'm going to look into some of those others, especially The Unbroken. I bet DH would like that, too.
...yep, Vince Flynn is good
..........also Lee Child's ''One Shot''.........is one of the best I've read
..nothing takes the place of persistence.....
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
I'm also a real fan of Tom Clancy. He researches like no one's business and his books are filled with facts, places, and circumstances. But his books are long, big, and wordy (in a good way!) and I need to allocate a bunch time to get through one of them.
I'm not usually a fan of collaborations with other co-authors - I get the sense they write most of the text and he lends (sells?) his Famous name for guaranteed Best Seller status. But a few of them have been quite good also. I'll try to do a bit of research and come back and note a few later ...
Back on Stride
Unbroken: one more to add to my list, which seems to be getting longer in retirement instead of shorter. It must really be hot right now because our local library has 10 copies and they're all checked out with a waiting list.
So how do most of you get your books? It would be interesting to take a poll among:
I'm afraid I'm guilty of using our local Barnes & Noble as a "book showroom", browsing there for interesting books and then looking for them at the library when I get home. Our library is also a member of MelCat -- Michigan Electronic Catalog -- that lets me locate a book if it's at almost any public library or university in the state. I have yet to come up with a book that wasn't somewhere in the catalog, and I can easily request it and it will be delivered to my library usually within a couple of weeks.
But I'm going to feel bad if B&N eventually follows Border's and ends up going out of business.
Currently reading The Last Crusaders, a history of the last major battles between the Christian and Muslim civilizations in the late 1400s to early 1500s, and also reading Columbus, a very interesting biography that made me realize how little I knew of the details of Columbus's voyages and his interactions with the Caribbean natives.
Doug, Runnin' in Rochester, MI
I like the same style of books that Holly likes I think.
I just finished "The Litigator" by John Grisham and thought it was quite good. It is back to his basic lawyer story telling, which I think he does best.
Now I am reading "Down the Darkest Road" by Tammi Hoag which is a mystery. When running I am currently listening to "American Assasin" by Vince Flynn ..... MikeE, I was thinking that Mitch character sounded familiar!
I loved "The Help", and like Erika, hated to finish it. Also read all 3 of the Dragon series and loved the movie!!
"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen is a great book and the movie does not really do it justice in my opinion.
One that I would highly recommend and is pretty deep for my liking normally is "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay ... you should be able to find it in paperback and won't be able to put it down. It takes place in modern day as well as the Holocaust.
(Enke - I never dreamt that one day I'd own an electronic reader either - but I do love it)
"My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,It comes from the love in my dog's eyes."
Thanks for starting the thread Holly!
I am a huge fan of Cussler and have read most of his books. They are light and quick reads. I have particularly enjoyed the new Fargo series and read all three of them in the last month or so. While Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin are fun to follow, I found Sam & Remy Fargo to be a delightful breath of fresh air. They are swash buckling high-tech treasure hunters who race the bad guys to discover amazing historical treasures and preserve them for mankind. A great mix of adventure and history. So I recommend Lost Empire, Spartan Gold and The Kingdom by Clive Cussler & Grant Blackwood.
I am also a big Tom Clancy fan and agree with Byll. Against All Enemies was enjoyable and hard to put down. The plot line revolves around what could happen if the Islamic terrorists and drug cartels team up.
Like Dove, I read The Alchemist this summer and loved it. This allegorical novel by Paul Coelho is far more than a story about a simple shepherd boy seeking his fortune. It is a truly magical book that has the power to transform you into a better person. There is so much wisdom on how to live your life well in this short novel. I highly recommend it. If you read it in high school, read it again.
I am currently reading Walter Isaacson's biography Steve Jobs. I hadn't realized what a jerk Jobs was - a brilliant innovator but his people skills were really lacking. The book is well written and I plan to read Isaacson's other biographies (on Franklin & Einstein - anybody read either of those?)
I also read Unbroken based on Choovie's recommendation. It is a good book and I recommend it although I must admit I had nightmares about it.
Since this is a running forum, I won't miss a chance to put in a strong vote for Once A Runner by John Parker. The best running fiction novel ever written.
Answering Doug's question - I get most of my books from the public library. Unless it's a book my large library system doesn't have/won't get (like some non-fiction reference books) or a book I know I will re-read many times, I don't see the sense in buying the book. Better to check it out from the library for free and make an annual charitable donation to my library.
Holly I love these book threads!!!
The Dark Tower series was a pretty good series but like most Stephen King novels each was about 500 pages to long with a lot of unecessary information.I also think that he lost his train of thought and had no idea where he would end the series until the last book. It did take him 30 some years to complete it though so I guess he has an excuse. "Under the Dome" was another of his that I recently read. Again a lot of build up and then the story just ends all at once kinda thing.
The Dragon Tattoo series was great fun and I enjoyed them all.
Right now I am reading George R.R. Martins "A Feast for Crows" It is book 4 of the "A song of Ice and Fire" series. I think HBO has a series based on it called "Game of Thrones" (the title of the first book). I don't have cable so I am not that sure. This is not normaly my genre but my son loved these books and I read the first one to have something to discuss with him. They are kind of addictive and I am hooked. Lots of dragons and castles and knights and the gore that goes with it. Complex and deep plots.
I normally have 3 books going, currently a non -fiction "Eat to Live" (vegetarianism), a novel " Feast for Crows" and what I like to call a candy book. (something that is a easy read not requiring much thought) Like maybe a Patterson or a Parker. Right now my candy is Lawrence Block. A old school detective novel that I can't remember the title of.
Unbroken has been added to my list.
Chumbawamba: I get knocked down But I get up again You're never going to keep me down
(Enke - I never dreamt that one day I'd own an electronic reader either - but I do love it)
The thing is, I do have an electronic reader, got it two years ago. I only read about 5 or 6 books on it, then switched back to the library for free. My DH found a list of free e-copies I could download, but they were older books. New ones I'd have to pay $10 for. I see that that is slowly changing. I guess I'd like to wait until the technology becomes the standard of the day.
One book I read on it (pirated) was The Time Traveller's Wife. Interesting little twists here and there and a basic love story too.
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