Contemporary Fiction Books

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
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While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
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Love Woes

Post by Kn7481 » 11 Aug 2011, 00:10

Please read Love Woes by Nathan Moore Jr. Let me be the first to say it is Superb! Loves Woes is fabulous everyone can relate to it. So if your an avid reader or just starting out, do yourself a favor. Love Woes is the story of sacrifice and surrender because love requires sacrifice and surrender. Donovan suffers love affliction after meaningless relationships until true love recognizes Donovan. But, will Donovan finally recognize true love? Enjoy!!!

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Post by Russellc » 26 Aug 2011, 00:27

A book is considered realistic fiction if events in the story did not really happen but could have. Fantastic elements such as magic, aliens, talking animals, or ridiculous exaggerations move a book out of this category and into other genres. Biographies or true stories, even if written in novelized form, are considered non-fiction.

Realistic fiction is usually divided into historical and contemporary fiction. Contemporary fiction takes place today or in the recent past; historical fiction takes place further in the past. This distinction seems simple enough, but the line between the two categories is somewhat blurred. Should a story such as Beverly Cleary's classic Henry Huggins be considered contemporary fiction even though the setting is America in 1950, the year it was written? Most sources put in into the contemporary category, yet the recent award-winning novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 is considered historical fiction even though it takes place over a decade later. Because of this issue, some authorities suggest that a book should expressly try to convey the everyday life and/or important events of a period in the past to be considered historical fiction. By this definition, both Henry and the Watsons can be put into their proper places with little debate.

Most children don't really care how the experts label a book as long as it is a good read. Quality historical and contemporary realistic fiction books are populated with characters as real as people we meet every day. Main characters are usually children, so they should think, behave, and express themselves as children. Both historical and contemporary fiction deal with feelings and issues that children can relate to, such as friendships, family life, school, and growing up. Many books in these genres also deal with serious issues such as death, divorce, war, and other disruptions. If well written, these powerful books can help a child (or even an adult) deal with problems and feelings they are experiencing in their own lives.

Historical fiction has the added burden of being historically accurate. If the author did not experience the time period themselves, they must carefully research their subject and try to correctly portray both historical events and everyday life. For example, no matter how poignant the tale of a boy and his dog, the mention of canned dog food in a book set in colonial America would seriously distract and detract from the story.

Because kids feel a strong connection to characters dealing with familiar issues and feelings in a true to life world, realistic fiction accounts for far more books sold than any other kind of children's literature. Below are just a tiny sampling of the thousands of excellent titles in these genres.

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Post by Mel Carriere » 01 Oct 2011, 14:01

I must be out of the loop. All of the contemporary books that I see on the shelves look like they are produced by novel writing machines that conform to the same basic recycled formula. Are there any books out there that really rise above the norm, and could achieve "classic" status in the future?

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Post by Ben_Robson » 26 Oct 2011, 13:22

This book is the story of a young Indian (liberal) Muslim who travels to the US to study and then work.

The whole book is written as a monologue by the protagonist himself who addresses the reader directly. You and the protagonist are sitting in a café in Lahore while he tells you his story about how he got to be where he is now (not in the US anymore...) In the beginning I thought this might become annoying and tedious, but it is very well written and really pulls you in (and only is about 190 pages long).
The book was published in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007 (just to give you an idea)

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Post by Fran » 26 Oct 2011, 16:11

Ben_Robson wrote:This book is the story of a young Indian (liberal) Muslim who travels to the US to study and then work.

The whole book is written as a monologue by the protagonist himself who addresses the reader directly. You and the protagonist are sitting in a café in Lahore while he tells you his story about how he got to be where he is now (not in the US anymore...) In the beginning I thought this might become annoying and tedious, but it is very well written and really pulls you in (and only is about 190 pages long).
The book was published in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007 (just to give you an idea)
Excellent book but I have to admit I found the ending frustrating
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Post by Patricia rose » 08 Nov 2011, 13:49

This author specializes in turning our preconceptions upside down. He writes beautifully. He writes daringly. He writes very amusingly!! He juxtaposes literature and real life and shows how they are mixed together for people who read very seriously. Or at least read an awful lot and who panic if they don't have lots of books on the go to feed their addiction.

In this book, his latest, his protagonist is writing her thesis on the marriage plot in primarily Victorian novels but also Austen and other Regency ?? writers. She is also involved in two romances of her own - her own marriage plot so to speak. The story is funny, true, heart breaking, surprising and insightful with lots of allusions to books I haven't read, so it works as a reading list in some ways as well. It also deals with mental illness with a great deal of empathy and knowledge.

It's more serious than I've suggested. At least one of the characters is on a serious spiritual journey that involves travel as well as reading. Eugenides explores the nature of goodness and love through this person.

A wonderful read. I learned things about myself as a reader and as a person.

-- Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:00 pm --

There is a difference between you're and your. Your a reader is wrong because what you mean to say is, " you are a reader" and the contracted spelling of you are is "you're". Your is a possessive meaning that you own your book that you're reading.

Don't muddle up there, their and they're either.

there: over there, there is
their: their belongings, plural of his and her belongings
they're: contraction meaning they are

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Post by Jssherr » 14 Nov 2011, 18:57

I am currently reading The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. Although it sounds like a baseball reference it explores much more...realtionships, rejection, joy...and beautifully written.
I also recommend Rules of Civility by Amor Towles...I found this novel to be unforgettable on so many levels...great characters and tragic adventures all in one. I can't believe this is a first novel for Towles! It's written with great sophistication and wit...Loved it..
If anyone out there has read these I would love to now your opinions...

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Post by Mel Carriere » 21 Nov 2011, 00:56

Has anybody read Cryptonomicon? I find it fascinating and wonderfully well written, but after 300 pages it still lacks a discernible plot.

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Post by DaoJones » 27 Feb 2012, 16:27

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Beautiful book, though it took me over 120 pages to really get into it. Glad I didn't give up. Would agree with all who mentioned the Millenium Trilogy books even though The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo is the best of the three.
Best regards, Rick
My worst day reading a book is better than my best day doing anything else.

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Post by Thetk1953 » 06 May 2012, 19:02

fast funky and FUNNY!
Compared to Evanovich as one of April's HOT reads on Manic Readers!
MR Review
Reviewer: Alberta
Holy Stephanie Plum and Lulu! Honey and Belle are surely patterned after their more famous predecessors, although they are funny and quirky in their own rights as well. Instead of a bail bond company, Honey is a taxicab driver, and she manages to get into just as many crazy fixes as Stephanie and Lulu. There’s no gun toting grandmother, but there is a gun-toting next door neighbor who is retired from the FBI. Of course, there’s a sexy cop Honey lusts after, named Jon, who keeps having to come to her rescue, too.

There are dead bodies, kidnappings, crazy fares that Honey keeps picking up in her cab, and other assorted disasters along the way. The Taxi Chronicles is entertaining, funny, and might even give Stephanie a run for her money.

-- Sun May 06, 2012 7:07 pm --

anyone see this? In honor of the Supreme court's review of the AZ immigration law. I put my collection of short fiction, IN THE COUNTRY OF NO COMPASSION for 99 cents on SMASHWORDS. check it out.

Compassion is Revolution

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Post by JayLachelleFAN » 30 May 2012, 12:07

The latest book I read, True Love, is hands down the best book ever. I always look at new authors so when I went on a webpage called lulu I picked True Love by Jay Lachelle and I've been a fan ever since. It has this twisted humor, but at the same time it's a serious book. Definitely a great read.

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Post by anneboyko » 03 Jul 2012, 22:05

I just finished reading a newly released novel called Possessions it is by M.K. Wilke and I loved it. I always take a chance on new writers on amazon especially if their books are cheap, and it is really nice when it turns out good and I find a gem. Its like a surprise party your hoping its coming but when it does you are still astonished by it. Here is the description if any one is interested it can be found on amazon.

On her first day of school in a new town, Scarlett Williams accidently observes a handsome stranger standing over what could be a dead body. School becomes an ordeal for her as she struggles with keeping the dark secret of a group of strangers. A stolen kiss sends her into an agonizing black-out alone in the parking lot; when she awakes, she discovers her Daemon heritage and nothing will ever be the same again. It is a challenge to cope with her new life as unknown beings hunt her down for the threat she poses. On top of that, she must choose between two attractive strangers who are vying for her love and attention. She finds herself wrapped up in a in a story filled with monsters, obsessive desires, beautiful creatures, stolen souls, and ancient memories that refuse to surface, and soon discovers that humanity’s only hope for survival requires Daemons to save them from a fate almost too horrible to consider. The worst part, however, is that it all has to do with her. Can she come to terms with what she is before The Fallen find and destroy her?

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Post by librarylover » 26 Oct 2012, 21:53

I just finished reading Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro. I received an advance reading copy from the publisher. It is set to be released on November 13th, 2012. I rated it 4 stars.

It's a wonderful collection of short stories. Poignant tales of love, loss, change. The stories are unsettling, messy, like life. The characters are not perfect but very human in all their flaws, their dreams, their realities.

It was not an easy read. The stories themselves are well written but the characters are complex and messy and left me many times searching for answers that simply are not there. It is like life.

The piece de resistance is the last section of this book called "FINALE". Munro's introduction to this section:

"The final four works in this book are not quite stories. They form a separate unit, one that is autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact. I believe they are the first and last - and the closest - things I have to say about my own life."

It is in this section you get a glimpse into Munro's upbringing, the roots of her personality. The very last piece of work entitled "Dear Life" brings together the whole book nicely and reveals the true underlying theme - forgiveness - of one's deeds, one's life, one's memories.

I can't help but wonder, if because of Munro's age, she has penned this work with the idea that it may be her last; it is definitely her most revealing.

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Post by Showiebowie » 05 Dec 2012, 05:27

I believe that my favorite new book series would have to be the "Bloody Jack" books by L.A. Meyer. They are positively riveting! The books follow the adventures of a young english girl who was orphaned and has to make her way in the world. She has so many adventures and meets so many people in her travels and she is always in some kind of trouble which she somehow manages to wiggle out of. Packed with pirates, notable historical figures (Napoleon for one), battles, American pioneers, and yes even a little sprinkling of romance.

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Post by MeTime » 20 Feb 2013, 09:10

I really liked In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. I saw the movie also and they did a great job and I don't always feel like that about movies made from books that I've liked. The relationships and how the characters changed their lives productively were realistic; it just seemed so down to earth but kept me interested the entire time. I am more picky about contemporary authors so I was glad to find one I enjoyed. I just started "Then Came You" and may try her other books.

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