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WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion! 
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Post WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
Please suggest fiction books here for our next fiction discussion. And please READ THESE SIMPLE RULES:

- Only suggest books if you have 25+ posts on our forums. We have learned that brand new members will probably never actually participate in the discussion even if the book they voted for wins the poll. So don't make book suggestions here if you have less than 25 posts or they will be deleted.

- This thread is NOT for authors to plug their own books unless they admit they are the author AND plan to participate in the discussion

- Include the book title, author and a link to a review or description

- Only suggest books if you plan to participate in the forum discussion. It would help if you actually mention that you will participate.

We get so many suggestions from people that have absolutely no intention of participating that these fiction suggestion threads become useless. Please respect the active members that do plan on participating and don't add suggestions here and skew the book selection process if you're not really going to participate.

Sorry for the not-so-soft approach, but we have had a real issue with nonsense posts in our fiction section the past year. BookTalk.org is a book discussion community and not simply a book suggestion community. We're trying to pick a book to read and discuss as a group and any posts in this thread should be designed to help us achieve that goal.



Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:38 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
The lay of the Land by Richard Ford. This is the third book in the trilogy about Frank Bascombe, an Everyman-type. The book garnered a lot of praise and I'd like to read it. It's contemporary and has been compared to John Updike's "Rabbit' series. It's about a 55-year-old guy who has lots of questions and confusions. Gee, I wonder why this book attracts me.

"This novel showcases many of Mr. Ford's gifts: his ability to capture the nubby, variegated texture of ordinary life; his unerring ear for how ordinary people talk; his talent for conjuring up subsidiary characters with a handful of brilliant brushstrokes.
MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times

Publishers Weekly
Ford summons a remarkable voice for his protagonist -- ruminant, jaunty, merciless, generous and painfully observant -- building a dense narrative from Frank's improvisations, epiphanies and revisions. [11 Sept 2006, p.34]

New York Observer Andre Bernard
An experience that transcends ordinary reading. A candidate for the great American novel, the trilogy of Frank Bascombe books is a heartbreaking masterpiece. [6 Nov 2006, p.20]

Kirkus Reviews
Reaffirms that Frank Bascombe is for Ford what Rabbit Angstrom is for Updike. [15 Sept 2006, p.922]

The Independent Douglas Kennedy
The Lay of the Land is a superb achievement. Reading it, I felt the best sort of professional envy. It's that damn good.

Here's just a sample of Ford's writing:
“My personal view,” Frank says, “is that Sally got caught unawares in the great, deep and confusing eddy of contingency, which has other contingency streams running into it, some visible, some too deep-coursing below the surface to know about. One stream was: That just as I was enjoying the rich benefits of the Permanent Period — no fear of future, life not ruinable, the past generalized to a pleasant pinkish blur — she began, in spite of what she might’ve said, to fear permanence, to fear no longer becoming, to dread a life that couldn’t be trashed and squandered.”



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Chris OConnor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:57 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
I would like to suggest

Percival Everett's Erasure

From Publishers Weekly
Everett's (Glyph; Frenzy; etc.) latest is an over-the-top masterpiece about an African-American writer who "overcomes" his intellectual tendency to "write white" and ends up penning a parody of ghetto fiction that becomes a huge commercial and literary success. Thelonius "Monk" Ellison is an erudite, accomplished but seldom-read author who insists on writing obscure literary papers rather than the so-called "ghetto prose" that would make him a commercial success. He finally succumbs to temptation after seeing the Oberlin-educated author of We's Lives in da Ghetto during her appearance on a talk show, firing back with a parody called My Pafology, which he submits to his startled agent under the gangsta pseudonym of Stagg R. Leigh. Ellison quickly finds himself with a six-figure advance from a major house, a multimillion-dollar offer for the movie rights and a monster bestseller on his hands. The money helps with a family crisis, allowing Ellison to care for his widowed mother as she drifts into the fog of Alzheimer's, but it doesn't ease the pain after his sister, a physician, is shot by right-wing fanatics for performing abortions. The dark side of wealth surfaces when both the movie mogul and talk-show host demand to meet the nonexistent Leigh, forcing Ellison to don a disguise and invent a sullen, enigmatic character to meet the demands of the market. The final indignity occurs when Ellison becomes a judge for a major book award and My Pafology (title changed to Fuck) gets nominated, forcing the author to come to terms with his perverse literary joke. Percival's talent is multifaceted, sparked by a satiric brilliance that could place him alongside Wright and Ellison as he skewers the conventions of racial and political correctness. (Sept. 21)Forecast: Everett has been well-reviewed before, but his latest far surpasses his previous efforts. Passionate word of mouth (of which there should be plenty), rave reviews (ditto) and the startling cover (a young, smiling black boy holding a toy gun to his head) could help turn this into a genuine publishing event.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.



From Booklist
Thelonius "Monk" Ellison, author of experimental novels, is somewhat estranged from his family because he was favored by an emotionally distant, recently deceased father. When his sister is killed, Monk returns to Washington, D.C., to care for his mother, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. At the same time that he deals with family crises, Monk is also in the midst of a professional crisis after the seventh rejection of his most recent novel. In a fury over the success of We's Lives in Da Ghetto, a debut novel by a black woman exploiting racial stereotypes, Monk writes his own ultra ghetto novel. It is a parody, reminiscent of Native Son but with none of the pathos and perspective. Monk's main character is an Ebonics-spouting brute with no regard for his four children or their respective mothers. To his chagrin, the novel is a success, and Monk is left to struggle with artistic ethics versus the comforts of wealth. A scathingly funny look at racism and the book business: editors, publishers, readers, and writers alike.
Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... 110531707/
For a review, easy to read and informative.

I adore Percival Everett. He is an incredibily, almost intimidatingly intelligent person with an extremely witty sense of humor. And his topic of art and intelligence vs. vulgar spectacle fits in nicely with Chris Hedges' non-fiction book as its fictional parallel. I would definitely join a discussion on this novel and would even enjoy leading it.


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Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:34 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
To DWill's suggestion we read The lay of the Land by Richard Ford.

Do you think we can just jump in at book 3? Years ago I tried to read The Sportswriter (first in the series, I think). A friend recommended it and it takes place in a NJ town just a few miles from where I grew up. It gave me a hard time and I put it down. I guess I had difficulty relating to the male perspective in the book -- I think I may have been too young and lacking in experience. I'd give Ford another go.



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Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:42 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
Saffron wrote:
To DWill's suggestion we read The lay of the Land by Richard Ford.

Do you think we can just jump in at book 3? Years ago I tried to read The Sportswriter (first in the series, I think). A friend recommended it and it takes place in a NJ town just a few miles from where I grew up. It gave me a hard time and I put it down. I guess I had difficulty relating to the male perspective in the book -- I think I may have been too young and lacking in experience. I'd give Ford another go.

No, since the plot wouldn't hinge on things that happened in previous books, I think there'd be no problem in reading #3. The male perspective gave you trouble, eh? How could a male have a troublesome perspective? :wink:



Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:39 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
I nominate Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. She is one of my favorite fiction authors and this is her latest work. I like her because she plays with language. Her writing is very poetic.

http://www.amazon.com/Lacuna-Novel-Barb ... 0060852577

Quote:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Kingsolver's ambitious new novel, her first in nine years (after the The Poisonwood Bible), focuses on Harrison William Shepherd, the product of a divorced American father and a Mexican mother. After getting kicked out of his American military academy, Harrison spends his formative years in Mexico in the 1930s in the household of Diego Rivera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky, who is hiding from Soviet assassins. After Trotsky is assassinated, Harrison returns to the U.S., settling down in Asheville, N.C., where he becomes an author of historical potboilers (e.g., Vassals of Majesty) and is later investigated as a possible subversive. Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). Employed by the American imagination, is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist. (Nov.)



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Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:36 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
If you want to indulge in a page-turner :shock: we might consider Next by Michael Crichton. It warns about the dangers of genetic research and exposes the ugly side of modern science - the sort of thing brought to light by the climate science emails. The reviews aren't great, I agree it's choppy, but it is interesting and may open eyes about how science works these days...

http://www.amazon.com/Next-Michael-Cric ... ition=used



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Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:16 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin.

http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/reviews/books/0-441-47812-3.html

I plan on participating?


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Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:23 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
Jlane5516 wrote:
Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin.

http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/reviews/books/0-441-47812-3.html

I plan on participating?



This is one of my favorite authors and favorite books!



Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:35 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
Left Hand of Darkness looks good. I have not read anything by this author, I will admit, I do not read much science fiction. This one has caught my eye, thanks Jlane5516 for making the suggestion. And, yes, I will participate!



Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:25 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
That's 3 members saying they'd like to read and discuss Left Hand of Darkness. Anyone else like this book idea? We could bypass the voting and simply pick the next fiction book through this discussion right now. We don't have enough people participating in the fiction discussions right now to warrant a poll.



Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:17 am
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Likes the book better than the movie

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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
That would be fine with me. I've always wanted to read it anyway.


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Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:04 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
Well, that makes it 4 people. I will announce it soon as the January & February fiction book. :)



Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:05 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
The male perspective gave you trouble, eh? How could a male have a troublesome perspective?


I've had a bit of this problem in reverse with Margarete Atwood. Her books always give me the creepy sense that my grandma is writing the story.

A late entry: "Replay", by Ken Grimwood. A straight forward sci-fi plot, but the book actually says something about the meaning of life.


http://www.amazon.com/Replay-Ken-Grimwo ... 957&sr=1-1


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Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:02 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Fiction book suggestions for our next fiction discussion!
As you all I can see I have created the forum for "The Left Hand of Darkness" and added the cover image to our Current Book Discussions block on our home page. Try to get a few posts in that forum as soon as possible as that always seems to pull new participants into the discussion early. If you wait till a few weeks into the discussion period it is a sure thing that the entire discussion period will be slow. Just make any sort of post at all. Simply mentioning that you are reading and planning on participating in the discussion is enough to get people to order the book and participate.



Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:45 pm
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