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New User
lbweaver
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-21-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I am a mother of 3 and live in Birmingham, AL. I read a wide variety of literature, but I would have to place this book among one of my favorites. To illustrate exactly how much I loved this book, my home was recently destroyed by a fire and with it my many books. Water for Elephants was one of the first books a friend gave me to help rebuild my library. I am looking forward to more discussion on this wonderful story.
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself



Sappho wrote:
Hi from a reader in California:

Because Water for Elephants' author had been suggested in another of my readings, I noticed it on the "must sell now" shelf at my local bookstore. The title itself leaps at you, doesn't it? I loved finding the illustrative line inside. For me, that is always like getting to the soft chocolate center in a Tootsy Pop. (Remember finding out what the heck..the color purple...was referring to in Alice Walker's great novel?)

Anyway, by way of introduction, I like to read widely, to find books that spring off the shelf into my hands. These days, we get books from the sellers, in the good "old days," libraries were the hang out!

I think I would like to know more of what we all (you all) think about, and that is aging. Aging of course, is the topic in Water for Elephants, how one leaps aboard the train at the "beginning" of one's life, making that acute, perhaps irreversible decision as to what course shall become the future. It is definitely choice, seems to be Sara Gruen's descriptive point, but the rocking curves, sudden jolting stops, the seeming breakaways, and the ever pulling resistance to change, the imposition of other's will upon our own, and our own fears, and the ravage and beauty of suffering- this is life on a circus train, this is aging toward death, death which is simply an inevitable outcome of living!

I loved Water for Elephants: it is a wise study of the human spirit' journey, hurtling,yes, seemingly swept up in events, circumstances beyond control, yet shown to be truly, in the end , a matter of heartfelt, deeply thought out, intensely lived, choice.

A great Love story, eh?

Well, I hope I didn't bore you. What do you think, of age and dying, or age and Living, to be more precise?
Sincerely, "sappho" (they wouldn't let me use a regular name, for some reason)


Hi, "sappho" from Calif., (which part? I'm from the Inland Empire)....You can tell us what your name is, there is no secret to that....if you want to.

Thank you for your astute comparative analogies, I love them! You didn't bore me one bit. You made me think....It's obvious you have thought long and hard on these, you've added food for thought. Once the discussion gets underway, maybe Jessica will use it as a topic header, and put your post in it to start us off along these lines. I'm sure she will be outlining the discussion soon.

Kathy S.
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello Ibweaver, I'm sorry to hear about your loss of your home. I can only imagine what you've been through. I live in So. Calif., and I've seen the nightmares of these fires that take their toll on people. I wish you well, and hope your library grows by leaps and bounds! Glad you're here!

Kathy S.

lbweaver wrote:
I am a mother of 3 and live in Birmingham, AL. I read a wide variety of literature, but I would have to place this book among one of my favorites. To illustrate exactly how much I loved this book, my home was recently destroyed by a fire and with it my many books. Water for Elephants was one of the first books a friend gave me to help rebuild my library. I am looking forward to more discussion on this wonderful story.


Contributor
Frank_W
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-21-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello. My name is Frank. I live in upstate NY. I received this book as a gift, and enjoyed it very much. It's so well written I felt like I was right there with the characters experiencing the good, the bad, and the ugly side of life. Seeing I finished the book, like some of you, I surely don't want to give anything away. I appreciate being able to discuss this book.
Reader
Well_Read_Woman
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-21-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Sorry Litgent but I beg to differ! I thought every part of this book was wonderful. It held my interest from start to finish. I was "blown away" by the prologue and circular ending. Prehaps I am a bit naive but I never guessed the ending! After I read the end I went back and spent some time comparing the prologue to the final parts of the book. I thought it was brilliant!
Well_Read
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello, I go by IBIS. I live in the greater Boston area; I'm a violinist with the BSO. I've participated on various book clubs here on the B&N site, and visit whenever I can.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS has me intrigued, starting with the murder in the prologue. I'm half-way through the book, and am gripped by the dual points-of-view of young Jacob and old, desicated Jacob in the nursing home.

The murder has me hooked because every character that we meet in the book becomes a possible victim. So I'm paying extra special attention to everyone in the story.

I'm looking forward to sharing insights with everyone else.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi.I am Vivian from Oklahoma. I have been in the clubs here for some times. I see a lot of names in here I don't know and thats really cool. Good to see so many wanting to discuss this book. Also, I have never read the book before and am only on page 120, so I appreciate those of you who have said they don't want to say too much and spoil it. Some of these already had some discussion topics that made me a bit nervous to read too much of them :smileywink:. I am sure we will have some topic heading soon, for those of you who have finished it already and thank all of you who are being careful. Spoilers really stink don't they. But good to see all the intros! Thats what this part is for huh, so we get to say hi to each other, so hello all and looking forward to the club. :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
New User
Bookworm62
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-22-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I don't know if I'm doing this right. I couldn't see how to post a new comment. I'm Pamela and I havn't started the book yet. Just found this book club tonight. I have the book so I guess I'll be busy reading tonight and tomorrow to catch up. I live in Texas. I work part-time as a bookseller. I'm a full-time pre-school teacher, and in all my spare time I'm finishing my degree. I was happy to see another writer in the group.
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway
New User
bsktnstamp
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-04-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello, I am Danita, 44 yr old mother of 2 teenage daughters. I am an accountant by trade to pay the bills and an artist and avid reader for the fun stuff. I live outside Chicago, IL.

I am reading this book now and have not yet finished it. I have stayed up late 2 nites now reading and Im almost done. From the minute I started reading it, I was absorbed into this story like I am watching a GREAT movie. As a child, I had seen a John Wayne movie about him and his daughter working at the circus and since then, I have dreamed about working in a circus lol. I've seen a real circus only twice, once as a child and was enthralled from the moment I got there.

I love how the story splits between the old and the young Jacob. He cracks me up when he is in the old man portion. Hes a real spit fire lol. At this point, I can only imagine the entire outcome.

I cant wait for the discussion to begin. Thanks Sara for such a great read!!!
New User
TinaT
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi! I'm Tina from Austin. I read this book three months ago. I must agree with Stormy. I couldn't believe that it was the end. I wanted to know so much more. Attended a book club here in Austin and was disappointed as the attendees said it was a good book but there was no "meat" to discuss. I am looking for a much more fulfilling experience here.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello there, I am Linda Huff a avid reader and a old timer of barnesand noble University.I live in Central Va. and simply was entirely engrossed in this book through out. I read it a couple months back and it is on the top of my lists of favorite books.
Can't wait for the discussion.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi! My name is Laura and I live on the south coast of Maine. You can read more about me in my profile.

On Friday, I was not sure if I wanted to take the time right now to discuss this book, but after hearing the enthusiasm so many of you have about the book, I decided to read a bit and see if it would grab me. Well, I am now almost halfway through the book and looking forward to the beginning of the discussion tomorrow!

It's good to see so many new faces, along with lots of people I recognize too. :smileyhappy: Until tomorrow...
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
New User
BarbaraInman
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-25-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Like "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, the book starts out with quite a hook...a murder. I love writing that employes some type of interesting vehicle to tell the story...such as these two books, or some of my other favorites, "The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins or "Presumed Innocent" by Scott Turow.

The great thing about this book for me is that I had no real interest in reading a "circus book" - but the book kept being recommended to me. I now know something about circuses! Now I want to visit the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, which is only an hour away from my home, but I've never been.

My world is bigger.
Contributor
TheShirl
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I bought this book when it first came out because it was highly recommended by area booksellers and critics. It sat on my "to be read" shelf for a long time because the subject matter really did not appeal to me - a vet student who joined the curcus! I could not figure out what all the hype was about. then in late Aug last year, I decided to read it in preparation for our book club selection and I was wowed!

This book was so real. I work in a lot of nursing homes - rehab centers as they preferred to be called - and while I hear what the residents are saying, Jacob certainly verbalized their desires in a plain way. I can understand when a res says that they just want an apple - not applesauce- and I also see the disappointment when a family member doesn't show up. The residents look forward to being out of the building and being with family or friends and as health care workers and family members, we rarely recognize how much they depend on our being there.

This book went to the top of my list of favorites for 2006 and I have recommended it to many people. I think that Sara really got into the heart of the circus people as well as the elderly. Right now I'm working at a facility near Grayslake and when I looked up her website, I saw that she has moved...what a shame as a few of my book clubs have had lunch with our local authors and it would have been really special to have lunch with her. I have not met anyone who did not like the book.

The Shirl
New User
deetaichi
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-21-2007
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introduce myself

Hello, my name is Dee and I live in South Carolina.
I was initially drawn to the book by the title and cover.
I also absolutely loved it! I found myself putting aside things I should have done in order to read "just one more chapter!".
There was a show on HBO called Carnival a couple of years ago, set in this same time period and revolved around more of a carnival than circus, but having watched it, I was able to imagine so much more vividly the scenes.
The characters are so well written, I felt emotions for them all as I read. What a gifted writer! I especially enjoyed the fact that he was so old....and that part of the story was as touching as the flashbacks.
Frequent Contributor
cindersue
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎04-02-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi ... I usually introduce myself as "the Yankee from the north," but I see there are other Chicago area readers in here too. :smileywink: I could relate to many of the places mentioned by the author as they are places up here. Made the story seem real to me. My grandfather always wanted to join the circus, as my mother told me. He use to hop trains all the time. One day, one of his buddies fell under the train while trying to hop on. That was the last time my grandfather did it too. Hobo's were also well known in the town my mother was raised. They hopped trains too. Sara made the the characters, the places, the events seem so close. Hello to the old readers I've been in the clubs with before ... and I look forward to meeting the new readers. :smileyhappy:
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself


cindersue wrote:
Hi ... I usually introduce myself as "the Yankee from the north," but I see there are other Chicago area readers in here too. :smileywink: I could relate to many of the places mentioned by the author as they are places up here. Made the story seem real to me. My grandfather always wanted to join the circus, as my mother told me. He use to hop trains all the time. One day, one of his buddies fell under the train while trying to hop on. That was the last time my grandfather did it too. Hobo's were also well known in the town my mother was raised. They hopped trains too. Sara made the the characters, the places, the events seem so close. Hello to the old readers I've been in the clubs with before ... and I look forward to meeting the new readers. :smileyhappy:


Hi there my Yankee friend, good to see you. You know until you just mentioned about the story talking about places up your way and I was thinking , wonder why there were no real southern places mentioned much, it just occurred to me, this is about "train" circuses and they have to go where the train routes are lol. How funny I didnt think about that till now. Glad your granpa gave up the chase! :smileywink: Yes I see a lot of old friends in here and want to say hello also to all of you, and to new friends too I hope!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Sappho -- really enjoyed your posting! You aided me with a broader view of WFE's themes -- especially your comments about the metaphors for life's journey beginning with leaping on a train and then making a series of sometimes irreversible decisions or finding one's self in unexpected places or situations. I might add choices in reacting to the impacts of unwanted losses.

I look forward to the postings here by this enthusiastic group of readers! These B&N on-line book clubs have become special places to me. Although I am concentrating on a couple of other boards right now, I will certainly follow the discussions here. I am an eclectic reader who relishes viewpoints that differ from or expand my own.

Sappho wrote:
Hi from a reader in California:

Because Water for Elephants' author had been suggested in another of my readings, I noticed it on the "must sell now" shelf at my local bookstore. The title itself leaps at you, doesn't it? I loved finding the illustrative line inside. For me, that is always like getting to the soft chocolate center in a Tootsy Pop. (Remember finding out what the heck..the color purple...was referring to in Alice Walker's great novel?)

Anyway, by way of introduction, I like to read widely, to find books that spring off the shelf into my hands. These days, we get books from the sellers, in the good "old days," libraries were the hang out!

I think I would like to know more of what we all (you all) think about, and that is aging. Aging of course, is the topic in Water for Elephants, how one leaps aboard the train at the "beginning" of one's life, making that acute, perhaps irreversible decision as to what course shall become the future. It is definitely choice, seems to be Sara Gruen's descriptive point, but the rocking curves, sudden jolting stops, the seeming breakaways, and the ever pulling resistance to change, the imposition of other's will upon our own, and our own fears, and the ravage and beauty of suffering- this is life on a circus train, this is aging toward death, death which is simply an inevitable outcome of living!

I loved Water for Elephants: it is a wise study of the human spirit' journey, hurtling,yes, seemingly swept up in events, circumstances beyond control, yet shown to be truly, in the end , a matter of heartfelt, deeply thought out, intensely lived, choice.

A great Love story, eh?

Well, I hope I didn't bore you. What do you think, of age and dying, or age and Living, to be more precise?
Sincerely, "sappho" (they wouldn't let me use a regular name, for some reason)

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
cindersue
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎04-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself



Hi there my Yankee friend, good to see you. You know until you just mentioned about the story talking about places up your way and I was thinking , wonder why there were no real southern places mentioned much, it just occurred to me, this is about "train" circuses and they have to go where the train routes are lol. How funny I didnt think about that till now. Glad your granpa gave up the chase! :smileywink: Yes I see a lot of old friends in here and want to say hello also to all of you, and to new friends too I hope!



Good to see you, too, Viv. Joliet, Skokie, the stockyards, all those places lead to Chicago. The freight trains still ramble down the tracks. And, it seems, usually I'm stopped at the worst time trying to get across the tracks! ROFL My grandfather ended up being a dentist, far cry from the circus. But he was always good to the hobo's. They would take the trains in from Joliet and stop in Wilmington. Their house must have been marked, because they would knock on my grandparents door and ask if they could do something around the yard. My gma always gave them a chore and rewarded them with a meal. Don't hear much about that anymore. :smileywink:
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself


cindersue wrote:


Hi there my Yankee friend, good to see you. You know until you just mentioned about the story talking about places up your way and I was thinking , wonder why there were no real southern places mentioned much, it just occurred to me, this is about "train" circuses and they have to go where the train routes are lol. How funny I didnt think about that till now. Glad your granpa gave up the chase! :smileywink: Yes I see a lot of old friends in here and want to say hello also to all of you, and to new friends too I hope!



Good to see you, too, Viv. Joliet, Skokie, the stockyards, all those places lead to Chicago. The freight trains still ramble down the tracks. And, it seems, usually I'm stopped at the worst time trying to get across the tracks! ROFL My grandfather ended up being a dentist, far cry from the circus. But he was always good to the hobo's. They would take the trains in from Joliet and stop in Wilmington. Their house must have been marked, because they would knock on my grandparents door and ask if they could do something around the yard. My gma always gave them a chore and rewarded them with a meal. Don't hear much about that anymore. :smileywink:


I remember my mom saying that for awhile as a kid, they lived in a town with a railroad track and my grandmother used to give them a little food at the back door sometimes. Mom said she was never scared of them but they had to stop feeding them because others heard and too many started coming and then people got scared of them around the kids.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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