What are You Reading?

While in New Jersey, I finished a book John recommended to me: THE VOYAGE by Philip Caputo. This is definitely not my usual fare, but I was engrossed by the coming of age story of three teenaged boys in the early twentieth century. At the beginning of summer, their father shocks them when he puts them aboard the family schooner, telling them he doesn’t want to see them again until September. I was immediately hooked. Why would a man throw his sons to the wolves–or rather, the seas–like that? The adventures the boys have during that summer are captivating. That part of the book would get four and a half lighthouses from me. But Caputo frames their story with the historical research of the modern day granddaughter of one of the boys, which created distance from the heart of the story. The granddaughter’s involvement in the novel earns a meager two lighthouses, leaving my final review at three and a half. That said, I couldn’t wait to get back to the book in the evenings, and I think older adolescent boys–those who enjoy reading, at any rate–would love it.
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Now I’m about two thirds of the way through MARCH by Geraldine Brooks. A yummy historical (what is it with me and history all of a sudden?) that I’m reading for my neighborhood book group. MARCH is the story of the LITTLE WOMEN’s (remember Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy?) father, as imagined by Brooks. So far I’m loving it. It makes me want to reread LITTLE WOMEN
What are you reading?


  1. Ann on April 3, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    I just finished reading “Blind Submission” by Debra Ginsberg. It is a first novel by this author. The main character works for a publishing company and receives a manuscript to review. It seems to be the story of her life! Good suspense and quite a bit about how publishing companies operate.

  2. Brenda on April 3, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Tell John that A RUMOR of War (if he hasn’t read it) is one of his best…
    Also-if he likes Caputo, he’ll like (probably) Tim O’Brien.
    March-I love it. Of course, LITTLE WOMEN is my all time favorite book and I have special copies-I read it each year.
    I am reading mysteries, historical fiction, biographies…mix match. Just read two by Susan Wiggs-a series-and I like that…about CAMP…neat stories…(I bought them last winter and still had them…)
    The library keeps me in mysteries–I’m reading as many as I can in hopes of writing one someday.
    Am waiting on latest by Jodi Picoult at the library
    Was not enchanged with Mary Alice Monroe’s latest-but that could be because I LOVED THE BOOK CLUB, BEACH HOUSE, etc…and this one had a little too much turtle for me…but that’s okay…
    Just reread CEE CEE…great again…always something new…
    Am open to suggestions.
    ONE MORE MONTH until graduation and then one year from college until I go back to do Master’s Plus.
    Am reading everything I can get on Jane Austen…that is one of my projects…I did papers on her and a journal (that I made up)…fun

  3. Brenda on April 3, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Two questions?
    What is with the popularity of Reality Shows on TV? (I am not including the temporary GREASE—to get the Broadway stars-by the way Derrick who was taken off in the semi-finals went to the high school where I will be teaching this fall-he is from our County–
    Second question–what is with this speaking with the dead, visions, etc. in books and in movies and television-all of a sudden…it seems almost every book I pick up…that’s why I loved the two “light” but interesting books by Susan Wiggs about something as simple as Summer Camp…although there was love, romance, deceit, etc…

  4. Brenda on April 3, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Have you guys read THE LONG ROAD HOME: A story of War and Family by Martha
    Radditz? Spelling???? I am interested in your comments…
    Also-Diane-you guys might like THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by O’Brien-awesome (that one I read long ago along with the Phillip Caputo)

  5. Ashley on April 3, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I’m currently re-reading Chase the Moon by Dinah McCall (author Sharon Sala). Previous to this, while everyone else seems to be reading novels with more historical substance, I finished re-reading Mercy and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Novels aside, right now, i’m reading Patient Assessment notes for my clinical placement… but they are not nearly as much fun as fiction.

  6. Margo on April 4, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Haven’t heard of MARCH but I certainly loved LITTLE WOMEN. I’m halfway thru THE BEACH HOUSE (rereading for the 2nd time) so I can refresh before reading Mary Alice Monroe’s sequal SWIMMING LESSONS. I love how she weaves a story around the loggerhead turtles and respect Mary Alice’s conservation efforts. She has actually inspired me to paint a canvas with the loggerhead turtle! I’m fascinated with nature so her writing is an inspiration to me. My husband and I are in the midst of remodeling so it’s slowed down my reading time some…only get a chance to unwind and read when I’m in bed but our carpeting and painting of all the walls in the house should be done by this Fri and we should be able to finally relax and enjoy what we’ve worked so hard on for the past 2 wks….then, it will be back to reading for me!

  7. Brenda on April 4, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    AShley, Is Nineteen Minutes good? I am trying to get used to waiting on books at library versus buying them. My daughter told me she counted the ones I donated-I thought about 200 (over 500).
    Ashley-did you read THE LOVELY BONES…? that author is similiar (I think to Picoult)

  8. Diane Chamberlain on April 4, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Ashley, do let us know how you like NINETEEN MINUTES. I like Picoult a lot–some of her books more than others, so I’m curious about this one.
    Brenda, that’s interesting about having “too much turtles” info in SWIMMING LESSONS. I think a lot of Mary Alice’s readers love the turtle stuff, but clearly it’s not for everyone. I ran into that problem with my second novel, LOVERS AND STRANGERS. I was fascinated with marmosets (little primates). I learned EVERYTHING about them, and i mean everything, and put it all in the book. Thank goodness my editor asked me to take much of it out. It was still too much for some of my readers, though.
    Brenda, I just searched my shelves for THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, but I fear I got rid of it when I moved, and I never did read it. I’ll get it from the library (then if I like it, I’ll buy it again.) I can’t recall if I read THE LONG ROAD HOME. It sounds familiar. Is it about ten years old? Was she a nurse? trying to remember. . .

  9. Ashley on April 4, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    I have read the Lovely Bones (by Alice Sebold), it was an awesome read, although a little strange in the way the story was told by a dead girl.
    Nineteen Minutes, I found, was really good. The timeline frame may be a little confusing to follow the further into the novel you get, but it all seems to make sense by the end. The ending though, not what you would expect at all.
    Brenda- I know I should really look into donating some of my books (at present count i have over 600+) but I can’t stand waiting. Sometimes even the wait for books I’ve ordered is too long that I end up buying the books as soon as they hit the shelves (upto 2 days earlier than some special orders are shipped)
    Overall, I find Jodi Picoult books very good.. the only one I didn’t really like was one of her first ones “Songs of the Humpback Whale”. Her books always have some time of timeline tying together “then and now” so to speak, but in this one, the timeline of the past went backwards. Like, if something from the first chapter went back 10 years on Tuesday, the next ‘past’ would be 10 years ago on the Monday. But like I said in a post from February (i think), if you’re looking for a good read, try Plain Truth (when a murder suspect is an 18 year old Amish girl and the victim, her newborn baby boy who she denies ever being pregnant with) or Salem Falls (a look into Wiccan religion and a “mistaken truth”… once you read it, you’ll figure out how it is both a mistake and the truth)

  10. Brenda on April 5, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    The Long Road Home is brand new…
    As to the turtles–I think your editor was right on—a little goes a long way…but some like that…remember I love this writer and I looked forward to this book. Many reviews I have read say the same as I have…

  11. Brenda on April 5, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I read Plain Truth…as to Picoult, I agree with you about that book. I don’t usually read anything about the WICCANS because there is a group here…long story…
    Ashley, I was just like you-went to bookstore the day the books were released-I just am on a budget and had way way too many-my daughter is the one who really donated them…in her state. Now, I am glad to use the library…plus I will buy a few authors-not just so many…Dianne’s of course…and Barbara Delinsky.
    I firmly believe that books are a good investment and if you have your own, you can reread them at any time. I still have a couple of hundred left…
    Ashley-I agree about the LOVELY BONES-very unique story.

  12. Brenda on April 5, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Diane-I do not think (unless the book is a nature book) that anything should overshadow the main characters. That is something this is especially difficult for my students. When they are writing a ghost story instead of concentrating on the ghost and characters, they go off on tangets about the dogs who live in the house…or if they write about a favorite trip to the beach, they write too much about their pets at home…

  13. Brenda on April 14, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Ashley, did you have a problem reading the beginnings of the chapters in l9 minutes? The type was horrible-guess it is my OLD AGE… 🙂
    Margo-after reading Monroe’s THE BOOK CLUB–I started an online bookclub with some of my favorite friends from different Shakespeare’s workshops–we live across the country… That was the first book-awesome…

  14. Ashley on April 14, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Brenda- I didn’t have too much of a problem reading the beginnings of the chapters, probably just because I’m more used to it. Whether its reading Doctor’s orders/prescriptions or ‘chapter starts’ of some of Picoult’s other books, I’ve been subjected to some pretty horrible types 😛 As for my shopping habits, I’m on a budget too.. I’ve been off of work on medical leave for the last 7 months and I’m a full time student.. but I can’t help it. Books are my addiction and my weakness :p (in all fairness, there are worse things to be addicted to 😉 )

  15. Diane Chamberlain on April 15, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Ashley and Brenda, now I’m curious about the type in 19 MINUTES! I was hoping to get it today, but I need to work instead — once I’m in the bookstore, I’m doomed. Like Ashley says, there are worse addictions.
    Ashley, sorry to hear you’re on medical leave, but it’s great you can go to school. Good for you!

  16. brenda on April 22, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Ashley-I think buying books–the best investment–and then eventually (took me many years) to give them to others to share-that was difficult for me to do…
    Hope you get to go back to work really soon…
    Isn’t it ironic that we read the Picoult book-and then the VT tragedy???
    Good luck in school-Ashley-if I can help-let me know–questions, etc.

  17. brenda on April 22, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Ashley-about waiting to buy the books-when Diane’s come out-I am at the store that day!!!!!

  18. Diane Chamberlain on April 22, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    >>about waiting to buy the books-when Diane’s come out-I am at the store that day!!!!!

  19. Ashley on April 22, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I wish it were that easy (being at the store the day the book comes out)… as soon as the chapters website updates show that Diane’s book is available for pre-order, I pre-order it right then and there and its usually in my mailbox the day of release 😛
    Reading “Nineteen Minutes” reminded me a lot of the Columbine and Taber school shootings… even, to a lesser extent, my friends murder last year. All the feelings that Picoult’s characters felt seemed to fit. It’s sad that things like the Virginia Tech massacre couldn’t have been stopped before they happen. But as we all know “hindsight is 20/20”, so maybe they can’t be stopped before they happen because no one really knows what to look for or the fear of finding something is just too much to handle.
    Thank you for the thoughts for school.. one more year left- even though there were days I didn’t know if I’d ever go back- and then I’m an RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) 😛

  20. Diane Chamberlain on April 22, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    ashely, i’m glad you’re going into the health field. from your posts, i can tell you’ll be great working with people.
    you’re right about hindsight being 20/20. there’s a fine line between judging someone a threat to others and stepping on personal liberties.
    and thanks for ordering my books right when they come out! i appreciate it.

  21. brenda on April 22, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    My bookstore is about 30 miles away, and I do agree that ordering is much easier-and almost as fast-esp. Amazon.com…
    My local Kroger’s gets the books almost as quickly.
    Good luck as an RRT…In my past life, I was a medical assistant and loved it…before my other careers.

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