Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video


Posted by pala on 3/08/04 at 07:55 (146420)

am currently reading bio of marie antoinette, who never said 'let them eat cake'. i guess martha stewart is the antoinette of this decade. i surmise she said 'let them eat baba kanoush'

if anyone here reads books, this could be a place for a book discussion. if there are ohter book or poetry lovers here let's chat around the trolls and minions. just ignore them. Yeats: 'turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot see the falconer: things fall apart, the center cannot hold.' yeats, great poet, flawed horrid person. go figure.

Re: books

wendyn on 3/08/04 at 08:02 (146421)

Pala - do you like historical fiction?

Re: books

pala on 3/08/04 at 08:09 (146422)

i did when i was younger. what do you suggest? i'll check it out.

Re: books

pala on 3/08/04 at 08:14 (146423)

i loved 'confesstion of oldest living confederate widow' by guganis. hope i got title and author right, it's been a while. learned a lot about civil war from that book. good writer. i recommend.

Re: books

Kathy G on 3/08/04 at 09:28 (146425)


I read all the time but mostly fiction. I'm a real mystery buff and that's pretty much what I concentrate on but I read novels and nonfiction, too. If I'm reading a nonfiction book, I have to a have a fiction one going, too. I guess you'd say I read for total escapism.

I always have a book I'm reading. I think it goes back to my childhood. My father read to me every night until I was about eight or nine and our family went to the library every two weeks, on a Friday night. I seldom buy books; I always go to the library. I take out ten or twelve books. They're for my husband, too, but my theory is that if I take out that many, I'm going to find at least one that I like.

I have some books that I own that I keep by my bed that I can always fall back on in that rare case that I haven't taken out a single book I like from the library. Those are the ones that I can re-read. One of them is a young adults novel entitled 'Dicey's Song.' It's by Cynthia Voigt and it takes place on an island off the coast of Maryland. It's the story of a family who ends up living with their grandmother. I persuaded the library where I worked to put a copy of it in the adult section and the book goes out quite often. There's a whole series and I think she's an excellent writer.

I just read 'The Secret Life of Bees' by Sue Monk Kidd. I thought it was a bit slow at first but then it really picked up and I loved it. It takes place in North Carolina in the early '60's.

My last foray into non-fiction was a book, the title of which escapes me, about the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918. I read the book that came out a few years ago about it and I thought this would be similar. Instead it was a 495 page book that delved into the science of viruses and it was way too much for me. Well, maybe not too much but more than I wanted to learn.

I read strictly for pleasure and escape. I truly believe that you seldom read a book from which you don't learn something. Unless it's total trash, I suppose, and those I don't read.

Did you read 'The DaVinci Code' by Dale Brown? I'm on the reserve list for 'Angels and Demons' by him. Utterly fascinating. I need to read it again. I tend to rush through a book that's exciting to see what happens next and then I miss some of the story. That book was so fact-filled that it really needs to be read a second time so you can absorb all the information in it.

I'm sure Scott doesn't want this to become a Readers' forum but do you know of any good ones on the internet? I've done a few searches but it's hard to find one. AOL offers Readers' Boards but they are huge and the format isn't nearly as nice as the format of this Board.

Thanks for bringing up a subject so near and dear to my heart! And it wasn't even controversial!:)

Re: books

pala on 3/08/04 at 09:38 (146428)

secret life of bees. i think i'll get that , heard other good reviews also. my partner read davinci code. liked it a lot. it's on my to do list. i am pretty sure scott would not at all mind us discussing books, poetry and the liike here at any length we choose. this is the social board and as far as i know only politics and trollness is against the rules. i do not know of book discussion sites on the internet but would love to hear from others if they know of any.

Re: books

Kathy G on 3/08/04 at 09:50 (146431)

Okay, I was just going to sign off but I had to come back here one last time. Did you read 'Girl with a Pearl Earring?' I can't remember the author. I really liked that one. It's recently been made into a movie but I'm not sure they can do the book justice. I liked it so much that I'm going to read it again just for pure enjoyment.

Re: books

pala on 3/08/04 at 09:52 (146432)

ok, will put on my list too. heard other good reviews. thanks

Re: Another biography

Carole C in NOLA on 3/08/04 at 12:25 (146445)

I am just beginning to read a book that Frank bought me, while he was here. It's called 'Huey Long', by T. Harry Williams. It's a biography of the famous and contraversial Louisiana demagogue/politician of the early 20th century, Huey Long.

Since I have only lived in Louisiana for eight years, I'm interested in learning about Louisiana's history. Hopefully by understanding where we've been, I will be a more informed and responsible voter.

So far I've just barely started but the writing style seems interesting and easy to read. I'll let you know how it goes!

Carole C

Re: Another biography

john h on 3/08/04 at 13:28 (146457)

A few years back I was invited to sit in what is known as Hog Heaven at an Arkansas football game. All the people who sit in this exclusive place have paid $100,000 or more a year in donations.One of the men sitting next to me was former Governor Faubus of Little Rock Central High School fame. He was nothing like I had imagined. Very well spoken and out going. Nothing like I imagined after seeing him block the doors at Little Rock Central to the National Guard. There were also some African Americans in Hog Heaven at that time. We do not seem to really have many racial problems around here that I am aware of. I remember the 50's and 60's well and things have changed 100% in this state.

Re: books

john h on 3/08/04 at 13:36 (146459)

Kathy: Try The DiVinci Code----

Re: Another biography

Carole C in NOLA on 3/08/04 at 15:59 (146468)

John, you and I are fossils! It is fascinating on the rare occasion when one can meet a person right out of a history book. Huey Long is long dead, but many people here remember him and it's interesting to read his biography.

I definitely felt my age yesterday, after cutting back the overgrown bushes and trees in my front yard! That was hard work, and I was sure sore.

Carole C

Re: books

marie on 3/08/04 at 21:14 (146487)

I was thinking of making The DaVinci Code my next read. I don't have the chance to sit and read to often but I have heard that's a good book. Of course the title may have influenced me just a little as daVinci is my favorite all time artists.

Re: books

wendyn on 3/08/04 at 22:09 (146491)

Pala - try Outland by Diana Gabaldon. I also enjoyed one about Josephine B. I think it was called The Secret Diaries of Josephine B.

Re: books

pala on 3/08/04 at 22:23 (146496)

i will check them out too, wendyn. thanks. what a plethora of books to look at. do you have some alltime favourite authors?

Re: books

pala on 3/08/04 at 22:41 (146497)

my fave poets are whitman, ginsberg, yeats, lorca: 'not for one moment, beautiful , aged, walt whitman, have i failed to remember your beard full of butterflies nor your courderoy shoulders frayed by the moon'

Re: books

wendyn on 3/09/04 at 07:56 (146509)

All time favourites? I think I've read everything by Edgar Allen Poe, and I've always been a big fan of Shakespeare (but not for reading).

I don't know that I have a favourite author who is actually alive. I like a pretty wide variety of books.

I'll think about that one today!

Re: books

pala on 3/09/04 at 08:40 (146516)

i love poe. read his bio. very sad. a genius, ruined by alcahol. 'it was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea, that a maiden did live who you may know, by the name of annabel lee' hey hope everyone forgives my extemporaneous peons to poets her, i probably get a word or two wrong, with my aging brain

Re: books

john h on 3/09/04 at 09:44 (146519)

Wendy: Edgar Allen Poe? You come from the Dark Side it seems. Maybe you will enjoy the Witches of Salem? You know there is an Edgar Allen Poe Society. When dealing with you I shall wear a wreath of garlic around my neck.

Re: books

Carole C in NOLA on 3/09/04 at 11:25 (146538)

I think there is a little bit of Edgar Allen Poe in each of us. Who can forget The Black Cat, or The Pit and the Pendulum? My brothers used to scare me when I was too young to read, with tales they created based on the latter. I guess that's one way to keep a little sister in line! :)

Carole C

Re: books

wendyn on 3/09/04 at 20:20 (146569)

Carole, The I can't remember The Black Cat specifically - maybe I will have to re-read some of stories. The Pit and Pendulum scared the crap of out me. I may not re-read that one.

Do you remember The Tell-Tale Heart? Also scared the crap out of me.

Re: Ooops

wendyn on 3/09/04 at 20:24 (146571)

According to the book on my shelf - it's Allan Poe. Not Allen. I guess I could have made the effort to look over there the first time I posted the name.

I agree that his work is pretty dark John - Poe was really afraid of death. Perhaps that was his way of facing his fear. Maybe I should write about flying with you on a concorde.

Re: books

wendyn on 3/09/04 at 20:25 (146572)

Pala - I read a biography of him too. His life was quite sad -I seem to remember they found him face down in the gutter (and I don't think he had a penny to his name)

Re: books

pala on 3/09/04 at 20:33 (146574)

poe was one of the first poets i stumbled upon whien i first discovered there was such a thing as poetry. i was in jr high. shelley was the other one. Poetry blew me away back then. such beauty and truth. i committed all i could to memory when i had a good memory. Shelley's ode to the west wind:'oh lift me as a wave, a leaf , a cloud. i fall upon the thorns of life, i bleed. a heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed one too like thee, tameless and swift and proud.'

Re: books

pala on 3/09/04 at 21:15 (146579)

wendyn, i love reading bios of poets. what a mad, wonderful bunch. i read a book 'touched by fire' that positied the idea that an inordinate amount of poets have bi polar and other mental aberrations. i believe it.

Re: books

Carole C in NOLA on 3/09/04 at 21:33 (146580)

YES!!! That was one of the scariest of all, for me!!! The black cat was the one where the man hid the body behind a brick wall he built in the basement, and the horrid black cat got stuck in there with it and YOWLED, alerting all of his misdeeds... Well, you will just have to read it!! I like that one. :)

As for the pit and the pendulum, it is definitely scary!!!

Carole C

Re: Carole

wendyn on 3/09/04 at 22:41 (146586)

Carole, I remember someone being behind the brick wall. I thought that was The Cask of something or other. Hmmm. Obviously time for me to re-read Poe. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to have too many books on the go at one time. I counted tonight, and I have set a personal record. Seven:

Return of the King (for the 3rd time)
The Hobbit (I am reading with my son)
Some book about dealing with Cancer (I don't like reading this one)
A biography of Shakespeare (saw it at the library today)
Outlander (for the 6th or 7th time)
Some nutritioun book
Lord Grey and the Private Matter (a Diana Gabaldon book that I haven't gotten around to finishing yet. Evidently it's not as good as her others)

I read a lot in the bathtub - but half of those books are hardcover so I won't take them in the tub. So, the book I pick to read depends on what mood I'm in and where I'm reading.

No matter HOW much I'd like to add Mr. Poe to my list, I will not let myself take down another book until I finish some of these others!!!!!!

Ooops. I am also reading another one on phobias (since I have to fly again in May)

So, that would be 8.

Mr. Poe will have to wait.

Re: Carole

Carole C in NOLA on 3/10/04 at 06:36 (146593)

The Cask of Amantillado also has a wall in it, as I recall.

I don't see anything wrong with having a lot of books going, though I think I only have about four or so going right now. I have three that I sleep with. I am not reading them sequentially, since I have read them all and I now enjoy just opening one and reading a page or two at bedtime. One is about the history of gambling in Louisiana and its ties to Edwin Edwards in the past few decades, one is about personal finance, and one is about the assassination of JFK. The Huey Long biography is in the living room with my reading glasses as a bookmark. All are paperback, and the Huey Long biography was a $24 paperback (ugh!).

When my PF was bad, I felt so aggravated and frustrated that I could not get the amount of physical activity that I wanted. I wish that I had read more at that time. Amazon.com would have mailed any book that I wanted directly to me, so that I would not have had to go out to buy one.

Carole C

Re: Carole

wendyn on 3/10/04 at 08:11 (146595)

Carole - it sounds like you and I are a lot alike!

Re: Carole

pala on 3/11/04 at 09:29 (146680)

wendyn, i also read a lot of books at one time. and i read everywehere, in the bathtub, wherever i go really. right now i am reading:

a beautiful mind - about nobel prize winning author john nash. very well writen and i am even learning about abstract mathematics a little (a very little)

the history of courtly love- interesting to see how the western world developed ideas of romantic love.

the poisonwood bible - the best book kingsolver, a wonderful writer, ever wrote, i think.

yet another bio of jack kerouac - writing bios of him seems to be a minor industry in and of itself. maybe i should give it a try since i love his early books, before the alcahol ruined his mind and his prose lost it's muscle

the joy luck club - i read it years ago but am enjoying it even more this time. it is a book to read slowly and savor

hanta yo - remarkable historical novel of the dakotah (siouan) indians. the author put 25 years of researcjh and a study of their language to write the novel. as you read it, you really feel like you are a meber of the litte band of american indians in this book, joing in the ceremonies and their lives

a fire in the mind - a bio of joseph campbell - the myth guy. probably single handedly exposed americans to myths of all cultures.

it is probably a form of attention deficit disorder that i like to go from book to book on any given day. it also draws out the reading experience so i cant think about each book . when i come to the end of a good book, i am a little sad to say so long.

Re: Carole

pala on 3/11/04 at 09:57 (146687)

that last line should have been 'it aslo draws out the reading experience so i can think about each book' duh. duh. duh.

a poet i wanted to tell you guys about is a little known one by the name of christopher smart. he lived a few hundred years ago.

he had a very interesing and tragic life. he developed a mental disorder that compelled him to talk about his religious beliefs constantly. so he was locked in an insane asylum for many many years.

as far as i can find out, he never harmed anyone and was not dangerous. why they locked him away i really do not know. who was he hurting for talking about religion a lot?

one can see by my favourite poem of his that he was a very sensitive person. this poem is about his cat geofrey (it must be the old fashoined spelling of jeffry). in those days insane asylums were very bad places and chris smart lived in isolation in a dungeon with his cat as his only companion.

you can google him and his poem to his cat, i can't remember the title. google is how i've learned about many of the poets i like.

oh, an interesting tidbit: alan ginsberg based the cadence and other parts of his famous poem 'howl' on this poem by smart. ginsberg admits that it was a big influence. read them both on google to see.

Re: Carole

pala on 3/11/04 at 10:10 (146690)

maybe i should say here that 'howl' is a very very raw poem. controversial and it even went to trial and was one of the pieces of literature that defined freedom of speech issues. ( i'm pretty sure it went to trial).

so if you are one of the posters who prefers a good disney movie to difficult or hard to look at literature, maybe you want to skip this one. i think truth is beautiful in all forms, but didn't want to upset folks here as we have been upset enough on this board and lord knows if we have a seratonin recepter neuron to spare.

i think chris smart's poem about his cat will be enjoyed by the disney aiccionados and by all others as well

Re: Carole

pala on 3/11/04 at 10:19 (146692)

good grief, that word was afficionados. and i've probably spelled it wrong twice. ah, the under educated poetry lovers like myself are probably pitifully pretentious. and way too alliterative.

Re: Carole

wendyn on 3/11/04 at 19:37 (146747)

Pala - I don't know if it's attention deficit or not. I am happiest when I have too many things to do. Maybe it's just a fundamental personaility type.

Sounds like you and I like similar books. Let me know if you get around to reading Outlander.

Re: Carole

pala on 3/11/04 at 20:12 (146748)

wendyn- what is outlander about or why do you like it so much? tell us without giving any important stuff away.?

Re: Pala

wendyn on 3/11/04 at 21:24 (146759)

Pala, I like particularly like historical fiction and this book is based around the uprising in 18th century Scotland (a rather interesting time). Diana Gabaldon is a fantastic writer, and the main characters are enchanting. I'm not into romance novels, but there are just enough graphic steamy episodes in the book to make it an especially good read.

The book is about a woman living in the 1940's who suddenly finds herself transported back through time to Scotland in the mid-1700's. The book is actually the first in a series that I think now stands at 5 books. Each book continues to follow the two main characters through later chapters in their lives. I've read all five of the books, but the first one is still my favourite. The later books are really heavy into the historical detail; so much so that it bogs down the story. But, they're still good books.

Re: Pala

pala on 3/12/04 at 09:07 (146774)

wendyn, you are a real book lover, lilke me. outlander sounds like a good read.

my partner and i met over a book. i had moved to georgia and did not know anyone who read a lot and talked about ideas. altho i knew folks, i was lonely for that.

then i walked into a store and the clerk was reading the very book i was carrying under my arm. we practically fell into each other's arms , so thrilled to find a like minded person.

we think it was truly the gods of book lovers who brought us together. i mean what were the chances.....the book was 'the origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind' by julian jaynes. a more fun read than the title might suggest.

another literature lover's coincidence. over thirty years ago i lived in the northeast and on my way to work, a scruffy poet stood on the same corner and sold his poems for fifty cents. i bought some from time to time just to give a poet support.

then thirty years later after we'd moved to california, my partner comes home with some poetry he bought from a street poet just to give a poet some support. guess what. same poet!!