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Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

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Old 01-03-07, 05:31 AM   #1
Lateralus
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Rank them as you read them 2007

Going to try something different this year a "Rank you as you read them" thread. I want to keep this different than the monthly "What are you reading" threads:

1.) Please no book images, keep the images confined to the "What are you reading threads."
2.) Keep your list in one post (edit!) and keep them in some sort of order. Use the below star ranking system if you like.
3.) When listing a book please use the full title of the book and name of the author.
4.) Write a brief review of the book and tell us why (or why not) you liked the book.
5.) If you like put a link to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to a book using the DVDtalk link.

I know there are a wide range of books that are read by people here and I believe that we can introduce some new books to everybody.

Have fun!










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Old 01-03-07, 05:32 AM   #2
Lateralus
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Zodiac by Robert Graysmith -- Had me scared to go outside, I must now see the movie!

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler -- Top notch biography, if you like your bios thick and in-depth than this is for you!

The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik -- What a joy to read! I thought I was crazy chasing tornadoes, these "birders" are much worse!

The Jungle By Upton Sinclair -- Socialist propaganda but it is the most intense book I have ever read, it is a classic.

Into Thin air By Jon Krakauer -- Top notch book an really exciting read!

The Journey of Crazy Horse By Joseph M. Marshall III -- Wow! What a good book, Intrigued me so much that I'm seeking other books by the author. I recommend the audio book as some of Indian words are hard to pronounce and the author is the reader as well.



The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright -- Makes you want to do "Doh!" about how many times we screwed up in the fight against terror.

Lone Star Nation: How a Ragged Army of Volunteers Won the Battle for Texas Independence By H.W. Brands -- Good book on the history of Texas but even with 500+ pages I thought some information was just skimmed over.

Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America By Evan Carton --- Great book about a very interesting American historical figure, was he a hero or just a old crazy coot?

The Professor and the Madman By Simon Winchester -- Great book The story of two main people that helped create the Oxford English Dictionary, should be read with The Meaning of Everything

The Meaning of Everything By Simon Winchester -- Focuses on the making of the entire dictionary instead of the two main characters that was in the book The Professor and the madman.



The Fourth Horseman: One Man's Secret Campaign to Fight the Great War in America by Robert Koenig --Ok book but gets off track towards later chapers, seems like we had to deal with anthrax before.

Lone Star Rising By William Davis -- Pretty good book on the history of Texas however I like bios or stories on individual events.

The Histories By Herodotus -- Interesting but with any old book like this not only do you need to read it you should study it as well

Atlas Shrugged By Any Rand -- Would have been a great book but way to preachy, Ayn could have taken out 300-400 pages and still would have been able to make her point.

Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine By Jochen Hemmleb, Larry A. Johnson, Eric R. Simonson, William E. Nothdurft -- Very interesting book lots of pictures, a bit outdated as they wrote another book in 2001.



Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank -- I guess everybody should read this once, but how exciting can a 13 year old girl's diary be?

The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science and the Human Brain By David Shenk -- Meh, I like books that are in depth, I can tell this book just skims the surface on the history of chess.

Last edited by Lateralus; 05-13-07 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 01-08-07, 11:52 PM   #3
snowboardchick9
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ERAGON 5 star!
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Old 01-14-07, 05:30 PM   #4
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Old 01-14-07, 05:36 PM   #5
Stacey
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Great Books

Not a 2007 publication but "The Every Boy" Dana Adam Shapiro is one of the best books I've read.
Other books I think are great are "Invisible Monsters" Chuck Pahlaniuk and "Microserfs" Douglas Coupland.
They're all fiction novels.
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Old 01-14-07, 06:18 PM   #6
PalmerJoss
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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer: This is one of my all-time favorite books. It's an amazing read, one that affects me every time I read the book. I think this was maybe the 6'th or 7'th time I've read it and it is no less powerful now than the first time I read it.

The Road by Cormac Mccarthy: A truly frightening look at a postapocalyptic world with some of the greatest prose I have ever read in a novel.



No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy: A very enjoyable book that is a pretty quick read. I loved the ending, it was truly unexpected.



The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: This is a very sad book. It covers a period in the authors life when her daughter was in a coma with complete septic shock. About a week after her daughter landed in the ICU, her husband died of a massive coronary. This book was the authors way of coping: writing out her thoughts and seeing her go through the grieving process. It was a good read, but I felt a strange disconnect from it all. It is a short read, but it probably would have been better pared down even more to a novella.





The Coma by Alex Garland: The book had a great setup and was good up until the last 10 pages or so. After that the book just sort of ends without any real resolution. Not the author's best work IMO.



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Last edited by PalmerJoss; 02-06-07 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02-11-07, 02:22 PM   #7
R.E. Freak
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Currently reading:
The Conqueror Worms - Brian Keene







Cell - Stephen King, A fairly good zombie-ish thriller that was brought down in the end by a lack of any real end in general. Despite having two or three perfectly good conclusions, he kept going on and on and on until it became nothing more than the main character wandering around talking to himself. There's no satisfying conclusion at all.





State of Fear - Michael Crichton, One of the worst from Crichton, just a string of endless technobabble that jumps around far too often to maintain any sense of direction. One minute it feels like a modern spy thriller, the next cannibals are eating a movie star on a mission to stop terrorists from causing a giant tsunami. The end seems like Crichton attempted a blockbuster finish, but couldn't pull it off.




Last edited by R.E. Freak; 02-11-07 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 02-11-07, 02:37 PM   #8
DrRingDing
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currently: Barrack Obama's The Audacity of Hope; Jane Austen's Persuasion

----------------------



Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice - Now my favorite book ever. I'm a romantic and this book fueled that fire tremendously.

Isaac Asimov's Foundation - an excellent sci-fi book; it's widely considered the granddaddy of modern sci-fi and I can see why as I could feel the stylistic similarities to many other sci-fi books I've read, especially O.S.Card's Ender's Game. (FWIW, Card has admitted its deep influence on him.)

J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Second time through. This book really gave the series its legs, IMO. It was dark and the tone took a significant turn towards the dark, with the introduction of the Dementors and the brutal (but deathless) finale.

J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Also second time through. This one kinda reminds me of Empire because it ends on such a downbeat; the others have ended on downbeats, but with at least some semblance of hope. This one just ends sadly with an introduction of the hero's final quest.

Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Soccer War - A great compilation of news reports written by the late Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski. It mostly follows his experiences in Africa, where he witnessed quite a few revolutions. It also tells of his experience in Honduras and El Salvador during the eponymous war, which resulted from some hard fought and restless World Cup qualification rounds.



J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - A lengthier installment than any previous, but despite its length, the action keeps rolling at a reasonable pace. This was my second time through.

J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - The final chapter is a fitting conclusion with some really tender and touching moments. The only HP book I've read once. But I might be tempted to read it again immediately.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Death in the Time of Cholera - Romantic and lyrical, Marquez's Death proved to be an acutely detailed and deep journey in the lives of two intertwining destinies. (Geez, I sound like a book reviewer.)



The Economist's The World in 2007 - not technically a book, but I read it straight through, word for word, just like a book. It's interesting to read their predictions and it will be even more interesting to revisit these magazines in 20 years time.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 8 - The Hostile Hospital - This book is a big step for the series and helps renew my interest as the kids have finally started deciding their own fate, rather than getting put into uncomfortable and redundant situations. The mysteries deepen.

Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd - Too much time is spent developing every relationship except for the principle one. The ending comes about so quickly, it's like Hardy just had no concept of what was important to the outcome. Great book, nevertheless.

William Goldman's The Princess Bride - Funny. Good stuff. Easy read. Only the slightest differences between this and the film. Nevertheless, it's good stuff.

E.M.Forster's Howard's End - A good book about class differences at the turn of the 20th century in England. Not a hard read either.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone - It all started here. My second time reading this one, in prep for the final book.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Also second time through. Probably the weakest of the series, IMO.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - The longest book of the series is not bad, but it moves at a leisurely pace - some judicious editing would help. The book does set the series up for its one-two finale as most of the elements are in place, minus the main objects of book 6. Second time through.



Alexandr Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter and Other Short Stories - It was a good collection. My first Russian author too. The stories were much more humorous than I thought they would be - a lot of black humor.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 9 - The Carnivorous Carnival - Not bad. Not overwhelming good either. The story is almost as redundant as always. The author always teases the readers with revelations, but there's never a pay-off.



Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 7 - The Vile Village - His style doesn't change book to book and doesn't accommodate an aging reader, like the Harry Potter books have done. Plus, the plot was one of the worst so far.

Terle Englund's The Czechs in a Nutshell - A pretty good assessment of Czech culture from the eyes of a foreigner.

Jared Diamond's Why Is Sex Fun? - A scientific look at the origins of some of the aspects of human sexuality; for example, why do we have casual sex when most other species of animals don't?

Petr Cornej's Great Stories in Czech History - Quick synopses of the important stories in Czech history. Not terribly well written (or translated, I should say), but informative nevertheless and a quick read.







----------------------

In the cue:
Stephen King's It
Jane Austen's Emma

Last edited by DrRingDing; 10-11-07 at 04:50 AM. Reason: update
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Old 02-12-07, 09:09 AM   #9
Chicodemoda
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy -- Haunting tale of a father and son's journey in post-apocalyptic world. Truly gripping and engaging, the ending absolutely floored me. Some subtle biblical references as well.

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.



Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

The Plague by Camus

A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh



Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow -- Amusing philosophical novel about man's ability to change from the inside out, even at middle age. Henderson and the king of the fictional African tribe are very enjoyable, intelligent characters.

Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

Factotum by Charles Bukowski

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford

The Blind Side
by Michael Lewis

Candide by Voltaire



The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
by Robert A. Heinlein -- A very detailed look at a revolution that takes place on the moon, which has become a colony of the Earth. It's a kind of manifesto for libertarianism and offers a lot of thought-provoking issues; from the role of computers in society, to free trade, to international politics, to war. In terms of establishing a new government and the difficulties involved, look no further than Iraq for a modern parallel. Very interesting story, although the ending was rather abrupt.

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Last edited by Chicodemoda; 09-10-07 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 03-17-07, 03:51 PM   #10
OwlAtHome
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Killing Floor By Lee Child

Very suspenseful. A friend of mine thought it was slow and boring but I found the plot pretty interesting. My second Reacher novel so far

Brother Odd By Dean Koontz

I love the charachter of Odd Thomas and so far the first book is my favorite. This story is good but it feels like what it was, a transitional book. (IMO) With that I'm more looking forward to what's next for Odd.

Lisey's Story By Stephen King

Loved this one from start to finish. It's not Stephen King at his best but the old dog's still got it!

The Taking By Dean Koontz

I can't say too much without giving it away but I very much liked this story. It starts off slow like many Koontz novels but quickly becomes a page-turner. As usaul Koontz manages to make the unbelievable believable.

Nobody's Fool By Richard Russo

Great story filled with lots of likable charachters. The story isn't plot driven. It's more about the people in the town and the main charachter Sully who at age 60 is trying get his life straight. I really liked it.

Fragile Things By Neil Gaiman

This is a book of Short (some sick and twisted!) Stories and poems. I've got several favorites and really enjoyed the book. Recommended to fans of Neil Gaiman.

Fletch by Gregory McDonald

I loved this book. It's fast, smart and funny. It differs in a lot of ways from the movie and as much as I like Fletch the movie I'd like to see a more faithful adaptation. For those not familiar with Fletch he's a journalist for a newspaer in California called the News Tribune. In this story he's gone undercover as a drug addict for a story on who is running the drug trade on the beach. At the same time he's investigating the a man who has hired Fletch to murder him.

Fletch Won by Gregory McDonald

This Fletch story is a prequel and it's about Fletch trying to break his first big story instead of being shuffled around various departments at the News Tribune. I really liked this one.

Fletch,Too by Gregory McDonald

Fletch, Too continues right where Fletch Won leaves off. Fletch gets married and takes an impromptu honeymoon trip ito Africa to meet his once thought deceased father.

Fletch and the Widow Bradley by Gregory McDonald

Fletch gets fired for quoting a dead man in his article so now he must find out why or he may never work again. I love these Fletch books!

Carioca Fletch by Gregory McDonald

After "inheriting" $3million from Alan Stanwyk Fletch heads to Brazil and has to solve his murder which happened 47 years ago.

Confess, Fletch by Gregory McDonald

Living in Italy and engaged (once again) Fletch flies to Boston to find some stolen art. He's arranged temporary residence through an apartment exchange and when he arrives he finds a dead body in the apartment. Now Fletch must solve the murder to prove his innocence.

Fletch's Fortune by Gregory Mcdonald

Fletch is blackmailed into "eavesdropping" on his fellow journalists at the A.J.A. Convention in VA. Upon his arrival he learns that his main query has been murdered, because Fletch likes a good story he tries to solve the murder and get out of his predicament as quick as possible.

Fletch's Moxie by Gregory Mcdonald

Fletch hides out in Key West with a bunch of murder suspects who also happen to be movie actors and directors including his sometimes lover Moxie Mooney. Fletch manages to solve the mystery but he may not have taken into account how talented some actors can be. It's hard to have a favorite Fletch book when they all great.

Fletch and the Man Who by Gregory Mcdonald

Fletch is the press secretary for his old army buddy's father's presidential campaign and along the trail murdered women are being left behind.

Son of Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald

This probably my favorite since the very first Fletch. In this sory Fletch meets the son he didn't know he had though remembers accidentally conceiving. Jack grown up is just like dad and together the try to bust a white supremist faction in Alabama.

Fletch Reflected by Gregory Mcdonald

The final Fletch book. I liked it very much but I am sad to see the series end with this this one. This one continues where Son of Fletch left off. Jack Fletcher Faoni (Fletch's son) goes undercover in a gated village estate to investigate the many murder attempts of the estate's owner, the father and the billionaire inventor of the "perfect mirror". Of course he gets a little help from dad who is always mildly curious.

I, The Jury By Mickey Spillane

My first Mike Hammer Book and I loved it. In this book someone shoots and kills PI Mike Hammer's best friend. Mike pledges to find the killer before the cops and do him the same way with a bullet in the gut. I love the way the charachters talk in these old crime novels. Looking forward to reading more Mike Hammer.

My Gun is Quick By Mickey Spillane

In this second book Mike Hammer makes a friend who he helps out only to find out the next day she's been in an "accident". Soon Mike has the vice element in the city running scared. I highly recommend reading Mickey Spillane to fans of detective stories.

Vengeance is Mine by Mickey Spillane

So Mike Hammer was left for dead only he wasn't dead but his friend is and it looks like Mike's the culpit. Mike beats the rap but loses his P.I. liscense becasue his gun was the murder weapon. Now Mike must solve the murder. Loved it!

Sideways by Rex Pickett

I loved the movie and the book has more of what was great in in the movie. Highly recommended.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I give this 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. A great ghost story and quite scary at times. I also liked and cared about most of the charchters which for me makes me enjoy the story more.

McTeague By Frank Norris
I enjoyed this novel of early twentieth-century life in San Fransico. I originally picked this book up 5 years ago after reading The Dark Half by Stephen King, he recommended McTeague in his post script. The story revolves around a dentist named McTeague and the people of his apartment building. The story is generally about greed or about how the need for wealth changes people. The charachters, once content with their meager lifestyles soon reveal their dark side when money becomes an obsession.

Blaze By Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
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Last edited by OwlAtHome; 06-27-07 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 04-19-07, 09:36 AM   #11
Kitt
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The Chemistry Of Death By Simon Beckett
Excellent debut novel for this author, would highly recommend it to fans of authors such as Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell.

The forensics side to this story is incredibly accurate and the attention to detail is second to none. Also, the author does a good job of throwing you off the scent with red herrings.
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Old 08-02-07, 12:03 PM   #12
mlemmond
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Anasi Boys by Neil Gaiman *****

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett *****

The Taking by Dean Koontz ***

The Color Of Magic by Terry Pratchett *****

Stardust by Neil Gaiman *****

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick ****

The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein ****

Circus Of The Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton ***

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson ****

Harbingers by F. Paul Wilson ***

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ****

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett *****

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett ****

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman ****

The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child ***

Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West by Gregory Maguire ****

To Your Scattered Bodies Go ****
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Old 11-13-07, 11:40 PM   #13
The_Cube
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Replay
Kite Runner

Tyrannosaur Canyon
Swan Song
Da Vinci Code
I am Legend
Time Travelor's Wife

Harry Potter 1

Harry Potter 2

Harry Potter 3

none

none

none

none

The Road
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Old 01-13-08, 12:21 PM   #14
benedict
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This is disgraceful! I'll try harder to keep a running tally in 2008.
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Old 01-13-08, 01:33 PM   #15
djmont
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I read 144 books last year... but I didn't rate each one. (Although I did review at least half of them.)
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Old 01-15-08, 07:05 PM   #16
HE Pennypacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmont
I read 144 books last year... but I didn't rate each one. (Although I did review at least half of them.)
144??!?!?!
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Old 01-16-08, 08:41 AM   #17
djmont
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Originally Posted by HE Pennypacker
144??!?!?!
What can I say... It was a slow year.
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Old 01-16-08, 10:28 AM   #18
Lateralus
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Sure, now that it is 2008 this thread comes to life!
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Old 01-16-08, 10:47 AM   #19
WillieTheShakes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmont
What can I say... It was a slow year.
Heh. I DID have a slow year, so I was down to 132...

But I did get a large whack of the new novel written - I guess that's a pretty good trade.
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