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Old 07-28-2011, 05:15 AM   #16
fbrII
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I would like to second "The Man Who Was Thursday"
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:43 AM   #17
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I will second The Great War and Modern Memory.

I would like to point out that both links currently posted for this book are to the Inkmesh search. I believe this is the link to the Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/154472.The_Great_War_and_Modern_Memory

I will use my allotment up by seconding Birds Without Wings.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:03 AM   #18
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I will use my second nomination to nominate:

The Woman Who Walked into Doors, Roddy Doyle

"This is the heart-rending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after a violent, abusive marriage and a worsening drink problem. Paula Spencer recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo and the marriage to him that left her powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength" -from GoodReads
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
I will second The Great War and Modern Memory.

I would like to point out that both links currently posted for this book are to the Inkmesh search. I believe this is the link to the Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/154472.The_Great_War_and_Modern_Memory
[/I].
My error; thank you for the correction.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:02 AM   #20
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I would like to nominate Ask the Dusk (1939) by John Fante.
It can be obtained for as low as $4.99. This is the Inkmesh link
This is the article on the book by the Guardian (2009)
Spoiler:

How Ask the Dust nearly missed greatness

Rob Woodard
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 January 2009 08.00 GMT
Article history

John Fante
Almost forgotten ... John Fante

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the publication of Ask the Dust, by John Fante. Today it's widely regarded as a classic of American literature; many have declared it the finest novel ever to emerge from Los Angeles. In addition to critical praise, the book has also found popular success, appearing on bestseller lists in both the US and Europe. In 2006 it was even made into a Hollywood film, starring Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell. But Fante's masterpiece has not always enjoyed such prominence. In fact, its journey to its current status has been long and highly unusual.

The novel tells the story of Arturo Bandini, a young Italian-American from Boulder, Colorado who moves to LA to try and make it as a writer. Penniless but hopeful, Bandini soon finds himself locked in an intense battle with his insanely demanding muse as well as the City of Angels itself, which he sees as a maddening mix of smug wealth and heartbreaking poverty. Mirroring these themes and driving much of the novel's action is Bandini's wildly destructive relationship with Camilla Lopez, an unstable young Mexican waitress, whose beauty represents much of what Arturo craves, but whose ethnicity (in the context of 1930s America) forces him to confront his own ancestry and the pain that drives so much of his life.

At the time of Ask the Dust's release in 1939, Fante appeared to be a writer on the rise. His first novel, Wait Until Spring, was well received; his short stories were appearing in prominent publications such as the American Mercury, and he had a long-distance mentor in HL Mencken, at that time one of America's most influential men of letters. With all these things going for him, Fante was poised to take his place alongside Steinbeck as one of the era's most important Californian writers when his incendiary sophomore novel hit the stands. However, Ask the Dust received mixed reviews, sold very poorly, and quickly fell out of print. And that's how things stayed for the next four decades.

This failure drove Fante into a chequered career as a Hollywood screenwriter, and largely spelled the end of his career as a novelist. By the late 1970s, when Fante was nearing the end of life, he had been almost completely forgotten by the general public and most of the literary establishment as well. However, he had his admirers - and so did Ask the Dust. While writing the screenplay for Chinatown in the early 1970s, Robert Towne (who later directed and wrote the film of Ask the Dust) turned to Fante's by then very obscure novel in search of a template for authentic 1930s-era dialogue. By the late 1970s LA poet-playwright-journalist Ben Pleasants had begun a series of interviews with a declining Fante and published an important overview of his life and work in the LA Times Book Review in 1979. However, it was Pleasants's friend, the now famous poet and novelist Charles Bukowski, who played the most important role in bringing Fante and his great novel back into public view.

As a struggling young writer haunting the streets of Los Angeles, al la Arturo Bandini, Bukowski had stumbled upon a copy of Ask the Dust in the public library. Fante immediately became a huge influence on the younger man's writing, to the point where Bukowski would later declare that "Fante was my god." Much later Bukowski introduced Ask the Dust to his publisher, John Martin. Martin recognised the novel as a classic and Fante as a major writer, and soon republished it from his Black Sparrow Press where, over the next three-plus decades it would slowly gather a large, adoring audience, while reaping seemingly endless critical praise.

Several years ago, Martin sold Black Sparrow Press. At this point Ask the Dust (along with most of Fante's oeuvre, which Black Sparrow also now published) found its way to Echo Press, an imprint of HarperCollins, where it has garnered an even larger audience. It's amazing to think, though, that if a young Charles Bukowski had missed Ask the Dust during his time in the LA library, the book's later success might never have come about: it likely would have stayed out of print and Fante would probably be remembered, if he was remembered at all, as another burned-out old screenwriter and failed novelist. Instead, he's seen today as a powerful pre-Beat writer who wrote one of the most influential and important novels of the last, well, 70 years.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #21
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I'll third "The man who was Thursday"
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:16 AM   #22
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I'll second "Birds without wings" and "Ask the dust"
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:45 AM   #23
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I'll third "Birds without wings"
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:51 AM   #24
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I'll third "Birds without wings"
Well, we ain't gonna' let ya'!

Actually, Ea's vote made it three, so you have another vote coming.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #25
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I nominate The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton.

Amazon quotes a critic who wrote about it: "Chesterton's tour de force is a thriller that is best read slowly, so as to savor his highly anarchic take on anarchy."

The Man Who Was Thursday is availalble from MobileRead's Patricia Clark Memorial Library.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15837
I also nominate this book. Love Chesterton!
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:05 AM   #26
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I also nominate this book. Love Chesterton!
Ea's already thirded that one, so you, also, have another vote coming.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #27
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Ea's already thirded that one, so you, also, have another vote coming.
i need a vacation.

I think you, I, and poohbear all need a vacation—someplace cool. Very, very cool. I'm thinking about the Arctic Circle myself.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 07-28-2011 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:42 AM   #28
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Post #13 updated to this point with nominations.

We now have 4 fully nominated books - also listed in Post #1.

**Tom, I think we were both doing counts at the same time this AM. Thanks. **

Last edited by dreams; 07-28-2011 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:21 PM   #29
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I would like to nominate: "A Fortune-Teller Told Me" by Tiziano Terzani.

Some years ago I read another one of his books and I loved it. I am sure this one will prove to be equally interesting.

Spoiler:
Description: It was 1976 when Tiziano Terzani was warned by the fortuneteller in Hong Kong: "Beware! You run a grave risk of dying in 1993. You mustn't fly that year. Don't fly, not even once." Sixteen years later, Terzani had not forgotten. Despite living the life of a jet-hopping journalist, he decided that, after a lifetime of sensible decisions, he would confront the prophecy the Asian way, not by fighting it, but by submitting. He also resolved that on the way he would seek out the most eminent local oracle, fortuneteller, or sorcerer and look again into his future. So after a feast of red-ant egg omelet and a glass of fresh water, he brought the new year in on the back of an elephant. He even made it to his appointments: Cambodia, to cover the first democratic elections; Burma, for the opening of the first road to connect Thailand and China; and even Florence, to visit his mother, a trip that would take him 13,000 miles across Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, and Siberia. In this way, that jet-hopping journalist rediscovered the art of travel, the intricate chains of chance which lead to discovery, and the mass of humanity he'd overlooked in his rush for newsworthy quotes. And he also saved his life. Terzani's odyssey across Asia is full of revelations and reflections on the dramatic changes underway in Asia. Having spent two decades on the continent, he brings a deep love for the place to his journeys, but also the eyes of someone troubled by the changes he sees. Burma and Laos, finally open to outside contact, are now funnels for AIDS and drugs; Thailand has been traumatized by its rapid development; China is an anarchy fueled by money rather than ideology, where Mao has been transformed into the god of traffic. Surrounded by the loss of diversity wrought by modernism, Terzani asks if the "missionaries of materialism and economic progress" aren't destroying the continent in order to save it. Fortunately, there is a flip side to his occasionally dispiriting commentary, one that Terzani discovers in his hunt for fortunetellers. Through his side trips to seers who read the soles of his feet, the ashes of incense, and even the burned scapula of sheep, it becomes clear that the Orient of legends, myths, and magic still determines people's lives as much as the quest for money. By staying earthbound, Terzani lived to tell of an extraordinary journey through the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of Asia. --Lesley Reed "I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn," declares Italian-born journalist Terzani (Saigon 1975; Goodnight, Mr. Lenin; etc.) and readers of this vivid memoir will believe it. In 1976, early on in his career as a Der Spiegel correspondent in Asia, Terzani was warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to fly in 1993 or he would die. When the fateful year came, Terzani submitted to the warning (no easy decision given all the voyages his work requires), and that year traveled, sometimes with wife Angela in tow, by ship, car, bus and train through 11 countries, including Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Mongolia. Dividing his lucid, graceful and unsentimental prose into 27 anecdotal chapters, Terzani takes readers to the International Thai Association of Astrology, investigates the use of raw garlic and red peppers as a bulwark against the AIDS virus and decries the domestic dog butcherings in Hanoi and constant creeping Westernization throughout the continent, which he encounters and laments in myriad forms. Talking with shamans and soothsayers, Terzani finds the Westernized mind "more limited... a great part of its capacity has been lost. The mind is perhaps the most sophisticated instrument we have, yet we do not give it the attention we give our leg muscles." Terzani's ease and candor and his care for local politics, religion and everyday life make for a full journey of mind, body and spirit.


Also I would like to second: The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:50 PM   #30
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I would like to nominate Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

Spoiler:
Amazon.com Review
Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion."

An award winner in Canada (and winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize), Life of Pi, Yann Martel's second novel, should prove to be a breakout book in the U.S. At one point in his journey, Pi recounts, "My greatest wish--other than salvation--was to have a book. A long book with a never-ending story. One that I could read again and again, with new eyes and fresh understanding each time." It's safe to say that the fabulous, fablelike Life of Pi is such a book. --Brad Thomas Parsons
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