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« Rebecca Flowers, "Nice To Come Home To" | Main | "Matrimony" by Joshua Henkin »

May 20, 2008


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How 'bout I tell you which one to leave home? I personally wouldn't take Memory Keepers Daughter. I hated that book- but I realize I may be in the minority on that.

I'll stop by tomorrow for the Matrimony discussion.

David Cook is "my" idol, but tonight I thought little David blew him away. I'll be shocked if David A. doesn't win.

Julie P.

I'm so with Lisa on Memory Keepers' Daughter -- not worth all the hype to me -- just okay. The Confessions of Max Tivoli was pretty good, but I enjoyed Family History even more (she has a new book being released in trade paperback soon -- Black and White.) Good luck and enjoy your vacation. I'll be by tomorrow for Matrimony!


I concur wholeheartedly with the posts about Memory Keepers. I did not like it AT ALL. Great premise, but became too much of a made for TV movie for me. I enjoyed the Chaon alot, but read it a few years ago, so can't remember much of it and I have had Max Tivoli on my bedstand for 1 1/2 years now... if it is good, I will take it out for a test run!

Looking forward to talking about Matrimony tomorrow. What did you think of the O'Nan book?


I have to agree with everyone else about Memory Keeper's. Leave it at home. That should narrow it down for you.

As you know, I really enjoyed Beginner's Greek. I also highly recommend Middlesex.


I agree about Memory Keeper's Daughter. I remember I was excited to read this, I thought the premise sounded interesting, and then ugh. Just not that great.

Now Beginner's Greek is the perfect beach read, a total page turner, smart, romantic and funny.


As for the AI comments...I think I am definitely more likely to buy a David Cook record or song, but little Archie was very close to perfect last night. I loved Cook's Collective Soul song, and I really think he doesn't in his heart want to win the mantle of American Idol, but feels a sincere thanks and gratitude for the opportunities it has and will afford him. Simon understands, he gave him that wink at the end of his comments after saying he sang the wrong song....the wrong song to win w/ the AI voters.


Keep "Memory" at home. I think it is a good discussion book because there is a lot going on within it, but it fell short of my expectations and is definitely NOT a vacation read. A good editor should have shaved at least 70 pages off of it.

I have not read the other books yet so I am unable to help you there.



I've only read one of the books, so I can't make a recommendation.

I'll be by on Thursday for Matrimony.


I agree with Lisamm, The Memory Keeper's Daughter was not a favorite, so I'd say leave it at home.


I'd also say Beginner's Greek is great, but you'll read it in 2 days. You won't put it down and you'll wish you had 2 more books. So I'd save that for another time, or you'll finish it on the airplane.


just to add to the confusion..i didnt think memory keepers daughter lived up to the hype... book club just read
the brief wondrous life of oscar junot diaz... and we all agreed (how often does THAT happen?!!) it was probably the best book we have taken on... and weve been meeting for YEARS!
have fun

heather (errantdreams)

Sadly my recommendation would end up being 'memory keeper's daughter---because I've heard of that one'. :)

Nancy West

As I mentioned when you referenced it a while ago, I didn't think "Family History" was all that memorable. In fact, that's when I suggested "Breaking Her Fall" as an incomparably better book about family implosion or the potential thereof (or, in the case of "Breaking Her Fall," the struggle against). Knowing how much you liked "Breaking Her Fall," it might possibly be interesting for you to read the Dani Shapiro novel as a point of comparison, but other than for that reason, I wouldn't bother. However, if you DO read it, be sure to tell me, because there are a couple of details that I consider factual inaccuracies and would like to discuss!

As for "Memory Keeper's Daughter," I liked it! Yes, it's mainstream fiction, but I thought it was an interesting and well-told story. It's also an era in American suburbia that I particularly enjoy reading about, and some of the minor historical details about treatment of disabled people and how it has evolved over the past 40 years are enlightening (which is not to say there aren't better books that cover the same ground -- I just haven't read them). Look forward to hearing what you decide to read!


I only read one book on your list: The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I'm in the minority here, because I thought it was very well written and I enjoyed it a great deal.


Thanks for the comments everyone!

Sounds like Memory Keeper's Daughter has its fans and its critics. I was definitely curious, given the hype.

Beginner's Greek has been so positively reviewed, by friends and critics, that it's at the top of the list. (I will bring more than one book!)

Sheila - I liked "Last Night at the Lobster". Here's my review:

Nancy - thanks for the comment re Family History. How can anything compare to Breaking Her Fall? :)

As for American Idol - I agree with Kari. David Cook doesn't really want to be the next American Idol, but as my husband said, that's who brought him to the dance, so he's being gracious. David A did a great job; he's just not my type. I like the rockers. I thought David C's U2 and Collective Soul were amazing last night. So I guess I want him to come in second and then pursue his career - I'd buy anything he sold.

Nancy West

Not to hijack the thread, but I have to add that although I am not an AI watcher, my children are. After last night's episode, my 5-year-old daughter said very seriously to me, "I think David A. is going to win the singing part, but I think David C. is going to win the boxing match." Proving once and for all that 5-year-olds have apparently not yet developed a grasp of metaphor. Or at least MY 5-year-old hasn't.


nancy, maybe what she was saying was - archuletta wins american idol, but cook is going to be the mega-star. maybe she's more sophisticated than you know.


I know I liked the Confessions of Max Tivoli, but can't remember anything about it...Just picked up James Frey's new book. Can't put it down.
Have fun!


I have read both The Confessions of Max Tivoli and You Remind Me of Me. Both are very very good, but not really my idea of vacation reading (both are quite "heavy").


i concur about mkd - leave it at home, not worth being disappointed on vacation...

i highly recommend special topics in calamity physics, i know it's not on your list & maybe you've already read it, but if not that would make an excellent beach read

Jennifer Jeffrey

+1 for ditching Memory Keepers. Bleh.

+1 for Max Tivoli and You Remind... as being good, but too heavy for the beach.

I haven't read any of the others - but second Anthea's praise of Special Topics... it's FABULOUS and would make a great beach read.

Nike Shox Experience

Friend is a friend is. Friends can indomitable spirit is the friend's friend. Rain, Had a friend can stir. Wealth does not necessarily is a friend, But a friend is wealth. So I agree with you, We must friendly to our friends.

short term apartment rental (New York City)

It's a great idea for a vacation! Who wouldn't want to read a good book? It's one of the best ways to pamper yourself while on vacation. I also had a blast staying in a short term apartment rental. New York City is flooded with beautiful places to stay in for a vacation. My favorite is in Manhattan where you can find the relaxing Park District. I took a trip there with my wife and we enjoyed tons of activities.

- Larry Hoggard

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