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Suggestions Wanted: Feb. & Mar. 2009 Fiction Book 
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Post Suggestions Wanted: Feb. & Mar. 2009 Fiction Book
Suggestions Wanted: Feb. & Mar. 2009 Fiction Book

Please make some quality suggestions for our February & March 2009 fiction book discussion in this thread. Post a link to where your fiction suggestion can be researched on Amazon.com. And most importantly please read about the book suggestions other members make and leave comments about these suggestions.



Last edited by Chris OConnor on Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:28 pm
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The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins.

This is from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Plot introduction

A poor art master, Walter Hartright, is employed to teach two young women in Cumberland, and falls in love with one of them, Laura. His feelings are returned, but she is already engaged to another. They are parted and she marries, but she and Marian, her resourceful half-sister, are then caught up in her new husband's plot to steal her fortune and identity. Laura is stripped of her name and money, and almost of her sanity, but is rescued by Marian and protected by the faithful Hartright. He and Marian battle to expose the fraud and reclaim Laura's identity, fortune and position in society. Throughout the story they encounter a mysterious woman in white, whose own sad story seems entangled with those of Laura and her husband, and who plays a crucial role in the novel's main events.

[edit] Explanation of the novel's title

The "woman in white" is Anne Catherick, an important character whose history bears greatly on the lives of the novel's protagonists. She has always worn white because of advice received in childhood from Laura's late mother, whom she loved for her kindness.

[edit] Plot summary

Poor art teacher Walter Hartright encounters a mysterious woman dressed all in white on a moonlit road in Hampstead. She is in a state of confusion and distress, and Hartright helps her to find her way back to London. In return, she warns him against a certain (unnamed) baronet, "a man of rank and title". Immediately after they part, Hartright learns that she may have escaped from an asylum.

He goes to Cumberland to take up a position as art tutor at Limmeridge House to two young women: Marian Halcombe and her wealthy half-sister, Laura Fairlie. He finds to his amazement that the story of the woman in white, Anne Catherick, may be entangled with the lives of the two sisters. Walter and Laura fall rapidly in love but she is soon to be married, by her late father's wish, to Sir Percival Glyde, a baronet. Hartright resigns and travels abroad to forget.

Marian moves in with Laura and her husband. The marriage is unhappy, and Marian soon realises that Sir Percival is attempting to gain control of Laura's fortune with the help of his Italian friend Count Fosco, a menacing yet charming and intelligent villain with an enigmatic past. She also meets the mysterious Anne Catherick, who hates and fears Sir Percival, blaming him for sending her to the asylum to keep her from revealing his "secret". Marian tries to untangle the mystery and protect her sister from Sir Percival and Fosco, but falls ill. When she recovers she is told first that Laura has gone to London, and then that she has died there. Anne Catherick, it appears, has been recaptured and is back at the asylum.

Walter returns to England and visits Limmeridge to mourn at Laura's grave, only to encounter Marian and a living Laura at the graveside. Laura's death has been faked: Anne Catherick, who greatly resembles Laura, died in London, and was buried as Laura. Laura's property has all passed to Sir Percival. Laura herself was sent to the asylum as Anne, where her protestations were dismissed as proof of insanity, and the ordeal almost destroyed her before Marian discovered the substitution and bribed a member of staff to help her escape.

The rest of the novel traces the attempts of Marian and Walter to safeguard Laura from capture and return to the asylum, to nurse her back to health, to expose the plot and to force Laura's family and friends to acknowledge her identity. In the process Walter meets Anne's strange mother and uncovers Sir Percival's dark secret: his parents were not legally married, so he is not the rightful owner of his property or title. Walter tries to obtain church registers as evidence, in order to blackmail Sir Percival into confessing, but the baronet starts a fire to destroy them and burns to death in the ensuing blaze. With his death there is some hope of proving the plot and regaining Laura's fortune, but Walter does fulfil his vow that Laura


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Last edited by Ophelia on Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:41 pm
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Ophelia, where is the book title? How about some links?



Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:30 am
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Problem solved! :smile:


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Post Infinite Jest...
Hello-

I would like to suggest Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace:


Wikipedia: Infinite Jest

It's one of the most stunning achievements in late twentieth century letters, and since his recent and untimely death, it's probably about time to read it for those who haven't.

-PR



Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:31 pm
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Hello Shrewdape,

Welcome to Booktalk! :smile:

Thanks for the reading suggestion.

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself by posting in the Introductions thread?


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:clap: I just read Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and I would love to talk about it. It is so interesting!



Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:02 am
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We need more suggestions to create a poll. And now that we're at the end of December it might make more sense to have our next fiction discussion in February and March instead of January and February.

In fact I am going to change the title of this thread to reflect this new discussion period. But please add some suggestions soon. We should put a poll up very soon.



Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:55 am
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Post 
Drood: A Novel
by Dan Simmons

http://www.amazon.com/Drood-Novel-Dan-S ... 290&sr=1-1

Product Description
On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever.

Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?

Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens's life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens's friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), DROOD explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, DROOD is Dan Simmons at his powerful best.

Review
"A dazzling journey through a crooked, gaslit labyrinth and a tenebrous portraiture of the tortured minotaurs that dwell within. Genius is the true mystery, and at its edge--the abyss." (Guillermo del Toro, writer and director of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth )

[hr]

Geo mentioned this book to me and I have to say it looks really good. Please look it over and let me know what you think. :smile:



Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:08 am
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What type of book do you usual or prefer to read? I'd hate to suggest a title that doesn't fit your guidelines.

Leeann Burke
www.leeannburke.com



Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:47 am
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The only guideline I know of is length: not more than 350-400 pages, but Chris is the one that would tell you for sure.
Perhaps having a look at the fiction Archives would help.
You can't do wrong by making a suggestion anyway, if people don't like it the worst that can happen is they won't vote for it! :smile:


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Post The Secret Agent
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Agent
"The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale is a novel by Joseph Conrad published in 1907. The story is set in London in 1886 and deals largely with the life of Mr. Verloc and his job as a spy. The Secret Agent is also notable as it is one of Conrad's later political novels, which move away from his typical tales of seafaring. The novel deals broadly with the notions of anarchism, espionage, and terrorism. It portrays anarchist or revolutionary groups before many of the social uprisings of the twentieth century. However, it also deals with exploitation, particularly with regards to Verloc's relationship with his brother-in-law Stevie. Due to its terrorist theme, The Secret Agent has been noted as "one of the three works of literature most cited in the American media" since September 11, 2001.

The role of Politics is paramount in the novel, as the main character, Verloc, works for a quasi-political organisation. The role of politics is seen in several places in the novel: in the revolutionary ideas of the F.P.; in the characters' personal beliefs; and in Verloc's own private life. Conrad's depiction of anarchism has an "enduring political relevance", although the focus is now largely concerned with the terrorist aspects that this entails. The discussions of the F.P. are expositions on the role of anarchism and its relation to contemporary life. The threat of these thoughts is evident, as Chief Inspector Heat knows F.P. members because of their anarchist views. Moreover, Michaelis' actions are monitored by the police to such an extent that he must notify the police station that he is moving to the country.

The plot to destroy Greenwich is in itself anarchistic. Vladimir asserts that the bombing "must be purely destructive" and that the anarchists who will be implicated at the architects of the explosion "should make it clear that [they] are perfectly determined to make a clean sweep of the whole social creation." However, the political form of anarchism is ultimately controlled in the novel: the only supposed politically motivated act is orchestrated by a secret government agency.

In modern times, The Secret Agent is considered to be one of Conrad's finest novels. The Independent calls it "[o]ne of Conrad's great city novels" whilst The New York Times insists that it is "the most brilliant novelistic study of terrorism". It is considered to be a "prescient" view of the 20th century, foretelling the rise of terrorism, anarchism, and the augmentation of secret societies, such as MI5. The novel is on reading lists for both secondary school pupils and university undergraduates."

Further links
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agent-Sign ... 0451524160
http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/15/27/
http://www.ductape.net/~steveh/secretagent/



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Post Suggestions Wanted: Feb. & Mar. 2009 Fiction Book
Hello! I'm new so not sure if this book has been covered already. I've just finished "The Road" by Cromac McCarthy and would like to suggest it.

[i]A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-



Fri Dec 26, 2008 12:31 pm
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Hello Paula, welcome to Booktalk! :smile:

We've discussed No Country For Old Men, but not The Road.


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Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:09 pm
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i would like to suggest Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Froer.

this book is haunting, and illuminating and besides Invisible Man,which i see by the archives has already been read here, is one of my all time books that everyone in the world should be made to read--by choice of course! i would personally look forward to reading it again, just so i could talk about it.

Here is the synopsis:

A young American Jew, who shares a name with the author, journeys to Ukraine in search of Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather's life during the Nazi liquidation of Trachimbrod, his family shtetl. Armed with many copies of an old photograph of Augustine and his grandfather, maps, cigarettes, and a fanny pack filled with Ziploc bags, Jonathan begins his adventure with Ukrainian native and soon-to-be good friend, Alexander "Alex" Perchov, who is his own age and very fond of American pop culture, albeit culture that is already out of date in the U.S. Alex has studied English at his university and is "premium" in his knowledge of the English language and therefore becomes the translator. Alex's "blind" grandfather and his "deranged seeing-eye bitch," Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr., accompany them on their journey.
The writing and structure received critical acclaim for the manner in which it switches between two story arcs: (1) fragments of Foer-the-character's novel-in-progress, where he tells in highly literary English a quasi-magical story about the citizens of Trachimbrod; and (2) a straightforward narrative of searching for Trachimbrod (which is an invented name for the real village Trochenbrod), as told by Alex in broken English. They are tied together by letters sent from Alex to Foer and attached to Alex's version. Alex's narrative is most notable for its broken English, which sounds as if he learned English via thesaurus without ever hearing it spoken. Throughout his narrative, he makes frequent use of improper synonyms, such as using the word rigid to mean "difficult".

Wikipedia, (sorry i never like to use Wiki as a cite source, but i am lazy this morning)

i hope we choose this book! ;-)



Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:38 pm
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