The Horse Whisperer – Nicholas Evans, much better than the film.
Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brien – 18th century naval historical novel.
Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row – John Steinbeck, all classics that I enjoyed.
Judas Rose and Evensong by Suzette Haden Elgin
Alias Grace – Margeret Atwood
Jurassic Park – Sam Neill
2001 A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke, and the other in the series particularly 2010.
I Robot – Isaac Asimov as well as many of his other robot and sci-fi books.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories – Salman Rushdie, great story meant for children but very intelligent and readable.
Covenant – James Michener, strong historical story about the Boers in South Africa.
Postcards by E Annie Proulx, rather a long and winding story of a man running away from a murder, I liked the book but it didn’t force me to keep picking it up like The Shipping News. On the other hand The Accordion Crimes was awful, a rambling pointless series of stories using many of the same “tricks” and methods as her other books but cheaply and repetitively. Accordion Crimes was so bad that I will think hard before buying her next book despite liking the first two.
Holidays On Ice, by David Sedaris, a hilarious and cynical collection of short stories related to Christmas time.
Disclosure by Michael Crichton, as I started to read I thought I recognized the characters and plot and of course this was made into a movie starring Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas. The book moves along without really convincing the reader that any of the events could actually happen and then seeming to be too easily resolved. At the end it turns out that this book is based on a true story which is pretty frightening.
Neanderthal by John Darnton, an interesting if far-fetched story of a relic tribe of Neanderthals living high in a volcanically heated crater in the Himalayas. Rather simplistic and certainly unbelievable in it’s outcome but not a bad read especially at poolside in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where I bought it used in a book store/cafe.
HMS Surprise by Patrick O’Brien, despite struggling with the first novel in this series I decided to read another and this one was much better. This is actually the 3rd in the series since I couldn’t find the 2nd. It is the continuing story of the English Naval captain as he moves through the ranks and scandals of the Royal Navy. Who knew there were so many kinds of sail on a ship?
The First Immortal by James Halperin, the story of the invention, use and perfection of cryonic freezing of people as they die and the consequences of the their eventual reintroduction to society. I really like the practical approach taken by the author who places most of the story from the turn of the century to about 2100 and builds the news events of the period into the story. At the end there is an appendix with some information on today’s cryonics possibilities and a number of web links for information. I had no idea that people were already doing this, the book is obviously in favour of the practice but is not preachy about it at all. You should read The Truth Machine first as the two novels are interconnected.
The Bridges of Madison County – Robert Waller – as far as I can remember this is the only book that I have read in one sitting. When it came out I thought it was just another gusher for the daytime soaps crowd but a friend recognized something in it and gave it to me. She was very persuasive and I started to read it one night as I went to bed, couldn’t put it down and missed the next day at work. It is certainly not a literature classic and it plainly sets out to get hold of your heart and not let go but unlike so many attempts this book really works. I have watched the film and thought it just OK, certainly nothing like the effect of the book though.
Last of the Breed – Louis L’Amour – I would be the first to admit that Louis L’Amour was not a good writer, he obviously churned out the cowboy books at and accelerated pace for mass consumption and often cheated in his writing by repeating ideas and pieces of text several times in a book. Last of the Breed is a totally different book, still not a literary classic, but a superb story told in a gripping and exciting fashion, if you like adventure books try this one out.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, I had a hard time getting into this book but about half way through I was hooked.
About a Boy by Nick Hornby, a fabulous story about a boy growing up in London and his life experiences, I recognize quite a lot of my own characteristics in the character who is also somewhat auto-biographical of the author. I have also read High Fidelity by the same author which is a fantastic book though perhaps you have to be male and English and my age to truly understand it. If you have any interest in English soccer or want to try to understand it’s more passionate and dark sides read Fever Pitch by Nick and Among The Thugs by Bill Buford, again compulsive reading for me.
Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler, the story of a middle aged woman who just runs away one day and has a little adventure.
there are so many more to come…