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Topic for discussion: Reading over break

Are any of you planning to read for pleasure over winter break? If so, what?

As usual, the stack of books I have by my bed is much too ambitious for the limited amount of time I have. Here are a couple of books that have been recommended to me this past semester; I'm hoping to get to them when not researching for my thesis.

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. An Irish burglar breaks into a mansion on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and finds a young girl who is dying of consumption.

The Brief History of the Dead
by Kevin Brockmeier. I've been meaning to read this one for quite a while. The premise is that after you die, you live in a City populated by other souls. You only exist there as long as someone still alive on Earth remembers you. And now people are disappearing from the City at an alarming rate...

I'm also hoping to finish Confederates in the Attic, a nonfiction book by Tony Horwitz. The author goes on a personal journey through the South to try and determine why the Civil War is still so important to people today.

Another book I'm hoping to finish is A Moveable Feast by Hemingway.

Apart from that, it's going to be All Beatles All The Time as I research for my thesis.

Anyone else? If you're looking for recommendations, maybe we can help each other out.


I haven't had any recommendations from my friends recently, but i have been very eager to read Eric Clapton's new autobiography; so hopefully i will have some time over break. Some people have said it is extremely interesting (especially if you're a fan, like i am) but I've heard others claim it is a really shallow and self-centered book. I'm hoping for the former and not the latter, but we will see. The book you mentioned, A Brief History of the Dead, sounded really interesting too. I will have to look for it.

I really like Clapton too. Aren't autobiographies supposed to be self-centered?

I thought of a few more recs for the class. If anyone's looking for an entertaining, humorous mystery novel with a literary theme, I can recommend Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair." The premise is really original and the characters have punny names like "Page Turner" and "Jack Schitt." If you like Monty Python or "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (or Brit Lit) you may enjoy it. Go to Amazon and read the description; it's too complicated to go into here.

If you want pure escapist historical fiction (and a great romance), "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon is my go-to book. I know the author; she's very smart and has created some really engaging characters. I'm not as fond of the later books in the series, but the first two are really good reads. Again, go to Amazon and read the description.

I want to finish Tom Wolfe's "I am Charlotte Simmons" over break and read "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell"...but they are two massive texts and I fear the idle days of winter may find me doing other things than reading.

I think I might read "the Myth of Sisyphus", by Alfred Camus, over break. Also, maybe "Lolita", by Vladimir Nabokov, since I saw Kubrick's movie of it, I have always wanted to read it. If I was going to suggest anything it would be "The Trial", by Franz Kafka, which I read this semester for another class and was amazed by. If you have any suggestions I would be interested to here them.

I agree with the book "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon - Its one of my favorites. Also other favorites:
-"Black" first in a trilogy by Ted Dekker if you are looking for thriller/science fiction a great book and very fast moving.
-"The life of Pi" A lot of symbolism and is very interesting
-"The Memory Keeper's Daughter" A sad read but makes you think of what if senarios.
-If you like murder mystery and comic banter in one start with Stuart Woods "New York Dead"

Did you ever listen to the "Love" album by the Beatles. It's a mash-up that was done b/c it is now a cirque du soleil show. It's kinda interesting to hear.

Yes, I think the "Love" album is very exciting. There's a great interview with Giles Martin (son of George Martin, their original producer), who did most of the mixes, here:

The story's only about 9 minutes long, but a little way down the page there's the option to listen to more. The full interview is about an hour, if I recall.

I'm planning to read "Free Fall" by William Golding because Maria had mentioned it in lecture. It sounded quite interesting, so I am hoping to look into that for sure during my cozy winterrr break :P