For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Randy Mogul, Restless Assistant

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Dear Kay,
Our book group is currently in the process of choosing books for next year. The theme is “Water.” It was selected four days after the flood. It’s an impressionable group.
The thing is, I have no brilliant idea for this theme.
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They totally made fun of me when I suggested Churlish Sea Captain, Temporary Wife. So I’d welcome any ideas you might have.
I’m also curious what everybody’s reading this summer–what are you enjoying?
Love,
Ann

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213 Comments

213 Comments

  1. I suggest Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson. A lake has a prominent role in the book. It is really a great read. I read it years ago, and then again a few months ago as it was Kansas City Mo’s Big Read pick. Robinson was in town last week to talk about Housekeeping and her other books (Gilead and Home, also highly recommended, but not featuring water). If you ever have a chance to hear her talk, go!

  2. I get to be the first comment? Wow, cool.
    Um, water books…. first Like Water for Chocolate came to mind, but that’s way old.
    But wait!! IF you haven’t read Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, you MUST! Regardless of what your group decides, you, Ann, MUST read this book. It’s going to be Real Literature Taught in Schools, I guarantee. And it’s a seafaring novel, even!

  3. One of my fave books of all time… Beach Music by Pat Conroy. Takes place in South Carolina (near the water). Enjoy!

  4. One of my fave books of all time… Beach Music by Pat Conroy. Takes place in South Carolina (near the water). Enjoy!

  5. Hey, I wasn’t first, but Barbara in my hometown KC is recommending one of my favorite books EVER. Just had to say.
    And I forgot to tell you, I’m currently reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence, because of where I live. For military history, it’s pretty gripping and lyrical.

  6. Anything from the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian would be good. I would also recommend Ahab’s Wife, but only if everyone has read Moby Dick. If not, well, I think Moby Dick is mandatory. If Moby Dick is too hard (wusses), then you could read Huck Finn instead. Endurance by Shackleton is really more about ice than water, but still a good read. If you want a water disaster book, you could read The Perfect Storm (Junger) or Isaac’s Storm. Everybody does not die in these two, but close enough.

  7. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver has involves water, especially during a plot twist at the end.

  8. I am reading Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. Historical novels are my thing:) I read Devil in the White City and I enjoyed his writing style and content.

  9. Even though it is the 3rd book in the Outlander series, the first thing that came to mind for ‘water’ was Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. BTW, the Outlander series is an excellent series of books, and Voyager is my favorite of them all.

  10. Even though it is the 3rd book in the Outlander series, the first thing that came to mind for ‘water’ was Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. BTW, the Outlander series is an excellent series of books, and Voyager is my favorite of them all.

  11. Have you read THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry? It’s fabulous. And fiber-related.
    My favorite book of the last few years is THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. Not much water in it that I remember, though.

  12. Have you read THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry? It’s fabulous. And fiber-related.
    My favorite book of the last few years is THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. Not much water in it that I remember, though.

  13. How about The Shipping News by Annie Proulx?

  14. Anne,
    Suggest to the group “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. It’s a good read, not a daunting book and it will make you laugh and cry. What more could one ask for?
    Pat

  15. The color of water.

  16. One of my favorite books ever is “In the Lake of the Woods” by Tim O’Brien. I’ll be watching the comments here, because I’m looking for some summer reads.

  17. If Moby Dick is too wussy for you hard-core reader, how about Billy Budd by Melville? You have probably all read The Life of Pi, but it IS a novel largely set on water. Water for Elephants is a dear, dear story; my book group read it. The protagonist of Solar by Ian McEwan is a physicist who is involved with a new technology project that involved using sunlight to separate water into its components (hydrogen and oxygen).

  18. The color of water.

  19. How about Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters?
    Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a gorgeous book by Michael Dorris (Water plays a part, but not the central theme)
    The English Patient is peripherally about water. Also a beautiful book. It moves like water. Or a dream. (and it is also a LOT better than the movie)
    The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx.
    Fluke by Christopher Moore
    I’ll come back and post some more choices after they filter through my brain. Wouldn’t want to inundate you with suggestions. Heh.

  20. Life of Pi, Yann Martel. Shipwreck.
    Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne. Steamer boats.
    If I think of more I’ll post again.

  21. Stern Men, Elizabeth Gilbert. Maine islands.

  22. I realize you’re probably looking for serious stuff, but what about Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters? If it’s anything like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, it might be just what’s needed. Lighthearted and “out there” enough to cause giggles instead of anxiety…
    Right now I’m reading: Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza (about NOLA after Katrina), Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (he co-authored Pride & Prejudice & Zombies), Cabinet of Curisoities by Preston & Child and The Eliminationists by David Neiwert (it’s a political book).

  23. How about a classic–Life On The Mississippi by Mark Twain?
    Mary G. in Texas (who isn’t reading anything right now except knitting patterns, but I just bought a Nook, so I see some reading days ahead!)

  24. “Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America” by James Webb (much crossing of the Irish Sea by my ancestors). [And I don't even *like* history, but it is beautifully written.] Next up, “Devils Brood” by Sharon Kay Penman (much crossing of the English Channel by the brats of Henry II and Eleanor). And after that, quite possibly more history books about the Irish, the Scots, and the Scots-Irish. “Life of Pi” is on my list to get to. [I read while on the recumbent bike at the health club; otherwise, I knit.]

  25. I second “Housekeeping” (the lake) and “Water for Elephants” (the water). Add to that “last night on Twisted River” by John Irving and “Little Bee” (beach, river). I like the theme concept for book club selections. We’re reading “Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich. I also really like “And the Great World Spins” by Colum McCann.

  26. Here is a must-read that has nothing to do with water whatsoever, except for its title: “The Color of Water: a Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother”, by James McBride. Truly a beautiful book if your club will read non-fiction.

  27. I recommend my absolute favourite book, “Left hand of darkness” by Ursula Leguin, set on a world dominated by snow. Snow counts as water, right. ;)

  28. Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor – it’s about a sea voyage, in fact an emigration ship crossing the Atlantic. Beautifully written, it was ‘the best book we read all year’ at our book group a few years ago.

  29. the weight of water is very good.

  30. What about the Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? It’s about Rochester’s marriage before he met Jane Eyre. It’s very sensuous and a good thing to read during the hot summer. Also a great movie.

  31. Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How One Man’s Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science
    Fun and informative

  32. Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How One Man’s Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science
    Fun and informative

  33. The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
    Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
    That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
    Just finished Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which I highly recommend, and am about to tumble into a summer of mystery reading.

  34. I am so enjoying the writing in The Postmistress (by Sarah Blake) that I’m rationing my reading so it won’t end too soon. It might be a stretch for the water theme, but there *is* an ocean between the two settings in the story.

  35. I second the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Not for the “water” theme, but just because it’s absolutely mesmerizing, the perfect summer read(s). I’m only on the second book of the series (Dragonfly in Amber), but I can hardly make myself put the book down to sleep, way past midnight, and it’s been this way since about 50 pages into the first volume!

  36. I just read The Way the Crow Flies by Ann Marie MacDonald, who lives down the street from me. It is very good and quite disturbing in parts, and there’s very little water in it… Now I’m reading the Children’s Book by AS Byatt. It is delightful and Victorian and over the top, but not really much water in that either. Ceramics and theatre and anarchists, but not much water.
    Also I read the Eyre Affair, which is super-fantastico and crazy, in a time-travel, literature-crazy way. It’s wonderful and just put it on your bedside table pile.
    Something set in Venice? A Ian Fleming real good old James Bond novel — many involve the Caribbean, where he wrote them. Do let us know what you settle on!

  37. The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh is really watery…and a good book, too.

  38. Since you are a fan of those folks at Google, I asked them…. even has book club questions
    http://bestsellers.about.com/od/bookclubquestions/a/waterElephantsq.htm
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a must read story about a 90 year old man remembering his days with a circus during The Great Depression. Use these book club discussion questions on Water for Elephants to lead your book club’s conversation on the story.

  39. I second the recommendation for Racing in the Rain and Water for Elephants – fabulous! Water themes: I loved Ahab’s Wife. I just started Little Bee by Chris Cleave -so far so good.

  40. Well, if the theme is water, you surely will want to read something with a pirate on the cover, yes??? (sorry. no constructive advice here. obviously.)

  41. I hope you don’t mind shameless promotion by a long-time reader (but non-knitter) of your blog.
    My debut novel, THE TAKER, comes out next year from Simon & Schuster. If your gang liked “The Historian” or early Anne Rice, comparisons editors have made, then they may like my book.
    It’s about a woman who is so love in with a man she cannot have that she makes a deal with the devil (metaphorically speaking) to have him. Then she realizes what a terrible bargain she has made both for herself and the man she loves.
    It’s historical, has a supernatural element (no vampires!) And if I can brag a little, went to auction and rights have been selling really well in Europe. But it doesn’t come out until May 2011. So please please please sign the mailing list at http://www.almakatsu.com and be among the first to know when it hits the stores.
    I will even consider having someone on the cover wearing KNITWEAR.

  42. I think Ahab’s Wife would be a fantastic choice, as would The Lacuna. Isaac’s Storm is also good if you are in the mood for non-fiction and natural disaster. And if you’re looking for gruesome try In the Heart of the Sea, the story of the whale ship Essex. My last suggestion is for a book I just recently started reading, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. I’m not that far into it yet but the kid is the son of a god, not saying who….

  43. I think Ahab’s Wife would be a fantastic choice, as would The Lacuna. Isaac’s Storm is also good if you are in the mood for non-fiction and natural disaster. And if you’re looking for gruesome try In the Heart of the Sea, the story of the whale ship Essex. My last suggestion is for a book I just recently started reading, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. I’m not that far into it yet but the kid is the son of a god, not saying who….

  44. No new ideas but since I’m procrastinating on some book keeping work, I’ll chime in with seconding (or thirding) Ahab’s Wife and Shipping News. Our book group just compelled me to read Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood. ugh. Not a speculative fiction fan here.
    To make matters worse, I showed up on the wrong night.

  45. Peter Ackroyd’s biography of the Thames? http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article2778471.ece. Peter Ackroyd is one one of my fave authors EVER. Love him.
    Otherwise ‘Boating for Beginners’ by Jeanette Winterson. http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=19
    Different, perhaps. x x x

  46. I read all of the comments and can’t believe no one mentioned “The Weight of Water” by Anita Shreve. A great water read.
    I am reading “The Girl who played with fire” and trying to finish before the third book arrives from Amazon.

  47. Book having to do with water – To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis. Water isn’t a main focus, but the book takes some themes from Three Men in a Boat, which is set on the Thames. It’s an absolutely hilarious time-travel/comedy of manners/love story (and kind of hard to describe!).
    What I’m reading – for next book club, The Giver. For me, finishing up Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

  48. I’m piling up for a long summer indoors here in already hot and muggy Florida:
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Poole
    Ten Days That Shook The World by John Reed
    This House of Sky by Ivan Doig
    My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme
    Appetite For Life by Noel Riley Fitch
    Farming the Cutover by Robert Gough
    Jackson Pollock by Naifeh Smith
    John Wayne’s America by Garry Wills
    Mickey Mantle; America’s Prodigal Son by Tony Castro
    Oprah by Kitty Kelley
    When Everything Changed by Gail Collins
    halfway through:
    The American Future by Simon Schama (brilliant, witty, interdisciplinary, like President Obama, actually)
    need to finish:
    Jane’s Fame by Claire Harmon (love Jane Austen, but this is way too academic, even for me)

  49. 2excellent canadian fiction novels that focus around the atlantic ocean. Both amazing are written by AMAZING authors and are rediculously well written. You won’t want them to end.
    the Navigator of New York by Wayne Johnston
    and
    February by Lisa Moore

  50. also- another plug for the shipping news- excellent book and a pretty decent movie too.

  51. I have just finished reading the third Steig Larsson book (starting with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, etc. A little graphic, but excellent crime/murder mysteries. Could not put them down, and definitely worth the extortionist prices of English books in France (and that is saying something)! Looking forward to hearing the report on whatever your group decides – I’m in the market for new reading as well :)

  52. I am on book 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire series! and loving it!

  53. I love the Alexander McCall Smith books about Mma Rmotswe, and when water or rain is described in those books, it is heartbreakingly beautiful. Really touches my heart. Might be a bit healing for people who have recently experienced flooding.
    The audiobooks are fantastic. I don’t know if I would have reacted so much to these stories – either the humor or the poignancy – if I hadn’t heard them read aloud. The narrator is an artist.
    Or maybe your group will come around on your suggestion. Sounded good to me! ;)

  54. Life of Pi might be good for the water theme, but I’m sure everyone has read it already!

  55. although it’s non-fiction, Washed Up is all about flotsam/jetsam and an educational but not too heavy read. somewhat topically current with the BP oil spill.
    or try Mutiny on the Bounty and/or Men Against the Sea.

  56. I would suggest Life of Pi
    Wide Sargasso Sea
    A River Runs Through It
    Lanterns on the Levee
    Trustee from the Tool Room
    Life of Pi takes place exclusively on the water. Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of the wife from Jane Eyre. It’s a contemporary book and it’s fantastic. A River Runs Through It is always a good choice. And Lanterns on the Levee is a wonderful book about the Mississippi Delta. Trustee from the Tool Room involves the ocean and is a remarkable book that has just come back into print.

  57. Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson (non-fiction)

  58. Our book group just finished reading The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay, which revolves around a search for a lost Melville manuscript, a lot of Moby Dick references, some to the Tempest…a more subtle water theme. It was a good read with some unusual characters.
    There’s always those Master and Commander books also (but I haven’t read them so can’t comment).

  59. The Sea Hawk, by Rafael Sabatini!!! It’s my favorite book EVER- a Cornish gentleman is kidnapped by his schemeing half-brother and sold into Muslim slavery. He meets up with his old love, and the plot thickens. A PG rated book, it’s a bit old and might not be in print.

  60. The Sea Hawk, by Rafael Sabatini!!! It’s my favorite book EVER- a Cornish gentleman is kidnapped by his schemeing half-brother and sold into Muslim slavery. He meets up with his old love, and the plot thickens. A PG rated book, it’s a bit old and might not be in print.

  61. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. A good writer and a good book.

  62. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. A good writer and a good book.

  63. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. A good writer and a good book.

  64. I’d recommend The Handbook For Lightening Strike Survivors by Michele Young Stone. Of course lightening happens a lot with rain, and it is beautifully written.

  65. Currently reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein for book group.
    Floodgates by Mary Anna Evans is NOLA based mystery, with archaeology, too.
    Water for Elephants?
    Read on!

  66. Life of Pi by yann martel. (Sorry, my computer doesn’t do a capital “y”.)
    Water, a tiger, religious discourse (multiple religions, not just one), and India. Fascinating!

  67. noah’s ark

  68. Moby Dick? Island of the Blue Dolphins. (so it’s more of a YA read, who cares?) Like water for Chocolate? I haven’t read it but Margaret Atwood has a book called The Year of the Flood. It’s futuristic disaster sort of thing, I think.

  69. I’m enjoying The Lacuna very much, my first by Barbara Kingsolver. For the most part, she makes the Kahlo/Rivera household come to life.

  70. I just finished Brunonia Barry’s “The Map of True Places,” which is TO.DIE.FOR. (She wrote “The Lace Reader.”) The book has lots of water in it (it’s set in Salem, on the water, as was the Lace one), and I think it would be a great “book club” kind of book.
    Actually, just read it anyway; it’s a winner.
    Mary

  71. I also recommend the Shipping News. It’s a great book, and very good for book groups. You might also consider P. O’brian’s The Golden Ocean, for something a little more, um, accessible, than the Aubrey-Maturin series. And lastly, Stephen Baxter’s The Flood. It’s science fiction, and suffers a bit in the writing, but the story and ideas are excellent.
    Ooh,and Margaret Atwood’s latest is called The Year of The Flood. I don’t know anything about it, but what an appropriate title.

  72. I have to chime in with,
    A Yellow Raft on Blue water, just a lovely book.
    Ahab’s Wife is a favorite
    And, Fluke, because Christopher Moore is the funniest guy ever!

  73. Another vote for ‘The Weight of Water’ by Anita Shreve, ‘The Last Summer of You and Me’ by Ann Brashares, and ‘Message in a Bottle’ by Nicholas Sparks if the choices don’t have to be current.

  74. Jitterbug Perfume: Tom Robbins maybe? The water involvement is bathing and of course, the perfume. Oldie, but oh so goody.

  75. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. An oldie but a goody.

  76. I recently got a bag of books, on the occasion of my 40th birthday, from a pair of bookseller friends. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten! One is ’84 Charing Cross Road,’ which I had never read before… and finished in one reading. I am halfway into ‘Chaque Jour est un Adieu’ which is a lovely portrait of a large family in Brittany (10 kids! and poor…) nothing notably about water. I echo the recommendations of ‘The Shipping News’ and the ‘Life of Pi.’ Haven’t read Yann Martel’s latest yet, but meaning to….

  77. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo
    and The Girl who Played with Fire….
    and 3rd and final “Girl” book coming soon!!!!

  78. I would also recommend LIFE OF PI,THE SHIPPING NEWS,and THE WEIGHT OF WATER. But…..I am reading CAKEWALK: A MEMOIR by Kate Moses. It is a wonderful book, both funny and touching, and a recipe at the end of every chapter. A wonderful summer read!

  79. I would suggest:
    Ahab’s Wife, set on Nantucket
    Water for Elephants
    Molokai’

  80. I would suggest =The Color of Water= by James McBride, or =Last Night on Twisted River= by John Irving.

  81. How about The Spaniard’s Defiant Virgin by Jennie Lucas?

  82. The Living Great Lakes , by Jerry Dennis (about a voyage through four of them, with a long digression about Lake Superior (which is out of the way, being so far north). I couldn’t put it down.)
    The Right Attitude to Rain, by Alexander McCall Smith (part of a really charming series set in Edinburgh, Scotland – the Isabel Dalhousie series).
    To Dream of the Dead, by Phil Rickman (again part of a series, but well able to stand alone – set in a village near the Welsh border in Herefordshire, England, and featuring a female Anglican priest who is also the Diocesan exorcist – her village floods during the novel).
    I am reading anything I can get my hands on.
    Meredith

  83. I highly recommend ‘Green Grass, Running Water’ by Thomas King – it’s a Canadian book, it is very funny and has a healthy dash of magic realism.

  84. Ahab’s Wife was terrific.
    Also, The Widow’s War by Sally Gunning and her follow-up book, Bound, are both set on Cape Cod in the 1700’s and involve life near the water.
    Water for Elephants was one our favorite book club books. We also enjoyed Molokai by Alan Brennert, set in Hawaii. While water was not the primary theme, island life, by default, includes many references to water.
    Enjoy!

  85. 9 millionth recommendation for Patrick O’Brien or Water for Elephants. The Grapes of Wrath would be good (lack of water). The Tao of Pooh would be great if you’re into discussing philosophy, lots of water there. I hope you let us know what you pick!

  86. I love it when the whole wide world chimes in with book recommendations! This list could keep a girl busy for quite some time!

  87. HIGH TIDE IN TUCSON, by Barbara Kingsolver has been around for a while and is still a good read. Not related to water, but I enjoyed very much reading THE EDUCATION OF MRS BEMIS, by John Sedgwick . . . as in, from the first sentence I could NOT put it down. I’m now listening to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I like books that have depth to the characters, and all three of these satisfied my preference for person-prone reading material.

  88. In Harms Way, The sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the extraordinary story of its survivors, by Doug Stanton

  89. My 11 year old son is loving the Percy Jackson series so I joined in and have read the first two. Percy is the demigod son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and gets his strength from water! The books are very entertaining and have me dusting off my dim memories of studying these complicated Greek myths 25 years ago.

  90. Frida suggested “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula Leguin. . I’m reading it right now.
    You could also take the 3rd book of LeGuin’s Earthsea series, I believe it is The Farthest Shore, although it might be the 6th book, Tehanu. In any case, almost the whole book takes place in a small boat on a strange sea. Beautiful writing, has a quietness about it. Worth reading the whole series.
    http://www.ursulakleguin.com/

  91. Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin is a must-read.

  92. I love T.C. Boyle so I just finished Watermusic (from the 1980s) and The inner circle (more recent).
    I brought home Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace from the library today.

  93. currently on my Kindle is Elizabeth Street – there’s a lot about water in the book, but more importantly, it’s a pretty good summer read …

  94. Oldie – “The Poseidon Adventure”,

  95. Oldie – “The Poseidon Adventure”,

  96. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
    Breathe – Tim Winton
    Songs of the Humpback Whale – Jodi Picoult
    Right now I’m reading We Must Talk About Kevin.

  97. Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach.

  98. The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy.

  99. Elegy for April or any of the three Sebastian Black mysteries set in Dublin in the late 1950’s. They are smokey and filled with allure and the cold wet fog of Ireland. All three are good. The writer is really the Booker Award Winner John Banville, who won for The Sea. Which, low brow that I am I never read…but his mysteries…ohh la la. Wonderful. And there is a lot of water in the second one, I think it is called The Swan. But its like masterpiece theater in the privacy of your own brain.

  100. Elegy for April or any of the three Sebastian Black mysteries set in Dublin in the late 1950’s. They are smokey and filled with allure and the cold wet fog of Ireland. All three are good. The writer is really the Booker Award Winner John Banville, who won for The Sea. Which, low brow that I am I never read…but his mysteries…ohh la la. Wonderful. And there is a lot of water in the second one, I think it is called The Swan. But its like masterpiece theater in the privacy of your own brain.

  101. _Stones from the River_ by Ursula Hegi is very good. On the serious side, but very fascinating look at Nazi Germany in a small town from the viewpoint of the villagers, one of them a dwarf. Very moving.

  102. How about Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by CS Lewis? Those books are great.
    Right now I am ‘between’ books. I think Children of the Hurin will be my next read.

  103. How about Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by CS Lewis? Those books are great.
    Right now I am ‘between’ books. I think Children of the Hurin will be my next read.

  104. I’m in the middle of The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold and just finished her other novel, which everyone has surely read by now, The Lovely Bones (which has snow, so maybe that qualifies as water). Sebold’s a fabulous writer and I recommend both books.
    As for books more closely linked to water, there’s Forty Signs of Rain, the first in a trilogy of hard-science fiction (very near future/contemporary) about the effects of global warming. The author is Kim Stanley Robinson and his writing style is a bit pedantic and tech-heavy sometimes, but the ideas are intriguing and the characters believable (if almost unbelievably smart).

  105. Seconding Trishia’s suggestion of THE STAR OF THE SEA by Joseph O’Connor (history, crime AND love interest, you’ll not want to put this book down) and Sharon’s T.C. Boyle, WATERMUSIC (but then, I love stories that jump back-and-forth in time).
    How about SURFACING by Margaret Atwood? It’s one of her earlier novels and provides all manner of discussion for a book group, both in terms of structure/technique and thematically. Oh, and a there’s a lake involved!
    I’ve just finished reading Alan Bennett’s AN UNCOMMON READER – quite a short book (about the power of reading!) and possibly the most charming book I’ve ever read.

  106. It’s an old one, but Ahab’s Wife is so good. Have you read it?

  107. For light, summer reading I suggest Adriana Trigiani’s Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine. (or any of her other books, they’re terrific)

  108. The theme isn’t water, but I just read “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It’s one of those books that should be read. Lots to discuss.

  109. This is a great list to get ideas from! I love to read knitting fiction best, but romance and life stories are important too!
    Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen is a great read & especially on audiobook.
    Saving CeeCee Honeycutt – Beth Hoffman – set in Savannah – this is read by Jenna Lamia as a 12 year old – deals with mental health & the power of healing love – I just finished this & it is wonderful!!!
    Let us know what you choose – I am going to try some of these suggestions too!
    Have fun!!

  110. Ahab’s Wife; The Postmistress (takes place in Cape Cod and England); The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (takes place in Salem Mass which is very close to water)

  111. Mary Kay Andrews- pretty much all of her books are near the water (Savannah and surrounds) but one (Savannah Breeze) is based on Tybee Island. Jennifer Cruisie and Bob Mayer- Don’t Look Down, Agnes and the Hitman, Wild Ride (steamy South, wacky adventure, dangerous situations, and a one-eyed gator). The Mermaid chair by Sue Monk Kidd (kinda old but on an island). The Monk Downstairs and The Monk Upstairs: A Novel both by Tim Farrington (funeral by the beach, ashes carried out to the waves by surfboard- real tear-jerker scene, philosophy interspersed with real life and a precocious kid). Casting Off by Nicole R Dickson (American in Ireland to research a book and rethink her life- bonus knitting content. Excellent- I loved it). Gil MacNeil’s Beach Street Knitting Society series (young Brit wife takes over her gran’s knit shop by the sea when her husband is killed and she has to reinvent her life). Barbara Bretton- Casting Spells, Laced with Magic (murder, magic and knitting). I also second Thunderstruck by Eric Larson.

  112. If you want a knitting mystery set at the beach there is the seaside series by Sally Goldenbaum. Murder by Cashmere is one of the titles. It is pretty good. What every you choose, Enjoy!

  113. “The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean (P.S.) ”
    by Trevor Corson (Non Ficton) riviting read and really cool title. Imagine telling your friends what you are reading!
    And of course “Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome”.

  114. “The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean (P.S.) ”
    by Trevor Corson (Non Ficton) riviting read and really cool title. Imagine telling your friends what you are reading!
    And of course “Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome”.

  115. A good non-fiction choice is “Close to Shore” by Michael Capuzzo. It follows the public panic of the 1916 New Jersey shark attacks. I’ve read it at least 4 times.

  116. WHALE RIDER –by Witi Ihimaiera
    LoveDiane

  117. There’s always the classics…The Old Man and the Sea, Moby Dick, Billy Budd all worthy and it’s amazing how you sea things differently in these books as you get older.

  118. Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and also his new one – The String that Knots the Hangman’s Bag. Not near or about water, but really fun reads. Mysteries, with the heroine being an 11 year old girl who likes chemistry and poisons in particular.
    These are really easy and fun reads. Perfect beach or travel reading.

  119. What I’m reading:
    The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris is SO much fun!
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, absolutely loved it…can’t wait to read the next two!
    As for water themed books, what about something by Elizabeth Ogilvie, maybe High Tide at Noon?

  120. Chiming in on Margaret Atwood’s old “Surfacing,” one of her best, though the new one, “Year of the Flood,” which someone mentioned, doesn’t have any water in it. (The disaster in question is a “waterless flood,” a world-wrecking disease.) I loved it, though, and also “Oryx and Crake,” its prequel, though someone upstream disagrees.
    I’m reading Orhan Pamuk’s “My Name is Red.” No water so far, but another by him, “Snow,” is very wet and weathery.

  121. Ooops, just after I sent this, I thought of my favorite recent book for constant rereading: “Good Harbor” by Anita Diamant. Set in Gloucester, Mass., with lots of walks on a beach. Two women becoming friends and changing their lives. Perfect book group book (and I mean that in a nice way).

  122. Truth and Bright Water by Thomas King, a wonderful piece of Native American fiction. It contains love, life, sadness, and laughter. A beautiful story of a boy, his family, and his dog. Definitely a great read and provides lots to talk about.

  123. “The Maytrees” by Annie Dillard; takes place in Provincetown, MA.

  124. Here’s another vote for “The Color Of Water”. Would really make for a good discussion.

  125. Aubrey-Maturin novels, come on! you know they’ll love it once they get into them (I found it best to start people off on “Desolation Island” and work back).
    Seconded, the Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin, has a lot to say about youth, sex, ageing and death (quite often from the female perspective)amongst lots of sea and islands.
    “The Child that Books Build” Francis Spufford, non-fiction, about reading rather than water.
    “Coastliners” by Joanne Harris is good literary pulp set on a french island.
    Or have you tried anything by George Mackay Brown (Orkney writer/poet) writes about island life and the sea…”Greenvoe”,”Vinland”, “Beside the Ocean of time”

  126. Agree with Tracy from Qater….read Sea of Poppies!! Also a terrific biography….Cheever A Life. He drank everything BUT water.

  127. Someone earlier in the comments mentioned “A Confederacy Dunces,” an absolutely fantastic book that reminded me of my other favorite read from 11th grade English – “Mrs. Dalloway.” So lovely and heartbreaking and sometimes set by the seaside.

  128. I’m reading “The Help” “Sweater Quest”, and “Women, Food, and God”. None have a water theme…sorry. :)

  129. How about the following, some water involved:
    Casting Off by Nicole Dickson
    The Secret of Everything by Barbara O’Neal
    The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook

  130. _Mistress Masham’s Repose_, by T. H. White, the author of _The Once and Future King_. Supposedly written for children, but they must be Anglophile children with classical educations, or at least a passing acquaintance with what a classical education entails. Most of the critical action takes place on an island or a river; Lilliputians are involved.
    I tried reading it aloud to my ailing third-grader last week, but we had to stop so often for explanations (What IS a vicar?) and giggling (on my part only) that I gave up, gave him back his Nintendo DS and snuck off to read it alone. One of my favorite all-time books.

  131. What’s the matter with Churlish Sea Captain, Temporary Wife?

  132. Hey, does “Three Coins in the Fountain” count? Or “The Poseidan Adventure”? How about “Gidget Goes Hawaiian”?……. :)
    LoveDiane

  133. Peace Like a River – this book took my breath away and was the NY Times book of the year in 1992. Absolutely, hands down, in my top 5 books ever. And don’t give up when you read the first chapter – totally overwhelming and beautiful.

  134. Peace Like a River – this book took my breath away and was the NY Times book of the year in 1992. Absolutely, hands down, in my top 5 books ever. And don’t give up when you read the first chapter – totally overwhelming and beautiful.

  135. “Flood Summer” by Trenton Lee Stewart. It’s his adult book he wrote before “The Mysterious Benedict Society.”

  136. Personally I can never get enough about pirates. Here’s a link that list a few.
    http://www.noquartergiven.net/bibl8.htm

  137. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift From the Sea” is short but sweet.

  138. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift From the Sea” is short but sweet, and plenty thought-provoking.

  139. Thought of a few more to recommend:
    Dreaming Water-Gail Tsukiyama
    Saving Fish from Drowning-Amy Tan
    River, Cross My Heart-Breena Clarke

  140. I would agree with many of the above comments; I just finished Little Bee, there is an ocean and a river, but they really don’t play a part, but a marvelous book and made for discussion. I just started reading Life of Pi, because I missed it when it first came out and after a recent visit to the zoo, my cousin mentioned that while I told him to read Water for Elephants (which made me understand my current relationship with my father and that was only a peripheral part of the actual story) – I am really enjoying Pi, and while at least a quarter through we’re not on water, but there is foreshadowing to terrific event on the water, but at the same time a sense of survival as the survivor is now an adult retelling his tale – Enjoy – look forward to your choice and I’m always open to romance… :)

  141. “Walden Pond,” by Thoreau.
    Or a coupla books by our latter-day Thoreau of the American West: Edward Abbey. “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” his classic eco-terrorism novel inspired by the building of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to create Lake Powell. Or, “Desert Solitaire,” his beautiful nonfiction account of working at Arches National Monument. Nothing like a desert to make you appreciate water. Do mirages count?
    “Undaunted Courage,” the fascinating Stephen Ambrose book about the water-borne Lewis & Clark exposition. A tree grows in Philadelphia to this day from a seed collected by the gifted but troubled Meriwether Lewis. Just one indelible tidbit from this great book.
    “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” by Annie Dillard. Beautiful and evocative memoir that reads like poetry. About a year exploring Tinker Creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love to re-read this book.
    “Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon,” by Edward Dolnick. A gem of a nonfiction book about the extraordinary first expedition to the Grand Canyon. Powell was a one-armed Civil War vet and you just can’t believe everything that happens to him and his band of brothers. Cinematic moments galore. Really great book that received little notice. They don’t make ‘em like Powell anymore.
    “The Water is Wide,” Pat Conroy’s lovely disguised memoirs of teaching on an isolated island off the coast of South Carolina. “Conrack,” the teacher, is learning as much as his students.
    “Goodbye to a River” by John Graves. A farewell canoe tour down a sacred Texas river in the 1950s by one of the southwest’s best writers, a book that lets us not forget the frontier history of our country.
    Any number of John McPhee’s books about water: “Looking for a Ship,” “The Control of Nature,” “Coming into the Country,” “The Survival of the Bark Canoe”
    “Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay,” by William W. Warner, the Pulitzer-winning nonfiction of the Chesapeake Bay and its blue crabs and the watermen who catch them. Lovely.
    “Sand County Almanac,” by Aldo Leopold. A classic among nature literature, reflections on a year spent in a shack along the Wisconsin River. Leopold was a giant among conservationists. A must-read if you care about nature.
    “Kon Tiki” by Thor Heyerdahl, the classic tale of crossing the Pacific on a balsa raft. Long before the invention of the GPS!
    “Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole” by Jerri Nielson, who discovered she had breast cancer while serving as the team doc at the South Pole. She must treat herself, including a self-surgery. A testament to the strength of women.
    Can you tell I’m an outdoors person? But always have my knitting in my pocket!

  142. I knew I’d forget some:
    John Cheever wrote a coupla haunting short stories you will never forget:
    “The Swimmer,” his exceptional tale about the guy who traverses Westchester County by swimming the lengths of its backyard swimming pools by crashing private parties and private lives. Things get even weirder. A quirky, haunting tale that will stay with you the rest of your life. Burt Lancaster starred in the movie.
    “The Angel of the Bridge” about the guy with a phobia of crossing the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson. This one will stay with ya.

  143. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
    It’s a winner!

  144. The Help is a good, interesting read. Water – The perceived need for additional bathrooms is a key turning point

  145. And another thing: Artic Dreams by Barry Lopez. Not a novel, but anyone who is at all open to natural history writing, who wants a psychic antidote to the steamy heat of summer, this is a great read. Now that I’ve remembered this one, I will be rereading it in the steamy part of July. Read this!

  146. A River Runs Through It
    Best book ever.

  147. I have just recently gotten back into reading for fun after probably ten years. (8 years of college can do that to a girl). I am reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I really like it so far, am only 50 or so pages in. I don’t really see where the Water in the title plays in, so I’m not sure if it would fit your group’s theme.
    Also half way through the Harry Potter series and really really enjoying them.

  148. Has anyone mentioned “Peace Like a River”???? I LOVED this book—beautiful/lyrical writing, great plot, and some hint of Lutheran-esque/northern Midwest charm.
    And an oldie, but still good–(Barbara Streisand would appreciate this entry): “The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy.
    Nonfiction: “The Great Deluge” by Douglas Brinkley–a big, heavy tome about Hurricane Katrina–talk about WATER!
    Not a water book, but I just had to mention my most favorite book read this year: “The Book Thief” by Markus Zuzak. He is a genius!

  149. The Dive from Clausen’s Pier – Ann Packer

  150. Defintely Water for Elephants!!!!!! Good luck!

  151. I agree about The Color of Water. That’s an excellent book.
    My Bolivian boarder and I are reading Kenneth Davis’ “Don’t Know Much about History” out loud together to help her with her English and to help her prepare for citizenship. I have several books on my list, with “The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons, from Nixon to Obama” by Colodny and Shachtman as the front runner. However, I confess to reading a lot of ephemera lately – Science News, Martha Stewart’s Living, the Financial Times Weekend…

  152. Just finished The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt and highly recommend it. There is some water in it, though I wouldn’t call it a water book.

  153. “water for elephants” is good, and there’s “guernsey literary and potato peel pie society” (or something like that), which takes place on an island, so that’s sort of watery and i thought it was terrific….
    my book group read “to the lighthouse” and “ahab’s wife” as well. the former is a little tough, the latter is a little…..?

  154. I suggest Life of Pi by Yann Martel about an Indian boy set adrift on a lifeboat with a tiger, A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (technically young adult, I think, but it involves a girl who drowns), and A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz, about pre-Pilgrim North American exploration.

  155. I suggest Life of Pi by Yann Martel about an Indian boy set adrift on a lifeboat with a tiger, A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (technically young adult, I think, but it involves a girl who drowns), and A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz, about pre-Pilgrim North American exploration.

  156. If you’re not the one who recommended it first “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”
    Or a slightly older piece C. S. Forester’s The Good Shepherd – it’s about the commander of a convoy during WWII, but it’s more inner voice than war story. Any of the Hornblower novels by the same author are also wonderful.

  157. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.

  158. Outermost House: a year on the great beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston

  159. Like others, I vote for “Weight of Water” or “Beach Music” (particularly “Beach Music”). Just saying.

  160. Like others, I’ve just finished The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, the second Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley. Just before that, I read the latest in the Laurie R. King Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, The God of the Hive. It was almost (almost!) too much of a feast to read new stories about Flavia and Mary Russell in the same week. I think they are the two best female characters in current literature.

  161. No water but a great read is “Iron River” by T Jefferson Parker. Story of cartels and weapons-buys along our border. Not a pleasant read, but a very current problem.

  162. “Pompeii” by Robert Harris is about water (in aqueducts) and a volcano–how topical can you get? As for me, I’m reading “Wolf Hall” because one just can’t get enough of those Tudors.

  163. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It’s a very thick book and I mistakenly thought it would be a long, difficult read that would take most of my summer reading time. Wrong! It is so quick and engrossing. It is the woes of the Tudors through the eyes of scrappy Thomas Cromwell. Love it.

  164. Right now I’m reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It’s really good so far (a kind of twisted Alice in Wonderland) and got a different feel from his other novels that I’ve read.
    If you want something serious, I was spotted The Zookeeper’s Wife at B&N this weekend and almost couldn’t resist buying it. Bound to be very sad (but possibly also uplifting–humanity at its best during evil times), informative, and a good reminder of the past and how we shouldn’t repeat it. I think I’m going to check it out of the library very soon.

  165. The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw is fabulous….would reccomend to anyone for anytime.

  166. The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw is fabulous….would reccomend to anyone for anytime.

  167. The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw is fabulous….would reccomend to anyone for anytime.

  168. For the water theme.
    Life of Pi – is fabulous.
    Ten Degrees of Reckoning: The True Story of a Family’s Love and the Will to Survive – amazing and gripping story
    I’m reading “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. No water in this one to speak of but excellent.

  169. It’s not about water, but I’m in the middle of “How to Knit a Love Song” by Rachael Herron and it’s a fun read.

  170. How about Martel’ “Life of Pi”?

  171. How about Martel’ “Life of Pi”?

  172. How about “The Life of Pi”?

  173. Bucking the Sun (historical fiction about building the Missouri River dam at Fort Peck, MT in 1930s) or English Creek by Ivan Doig.
    Sometimes a Great Notion (timber floated downstream) by Ken Kesey
    Ahab’s Wife by Sena Naslund (excellent read but it’s 900+ pages! Give yourself an extra month!)
    The Endurance (under European history) by Catherine Alexander (incredible true story about Shackleton’s exploration of the South Pole – would never have made it to print if it had been fiction – miraculous story and photos!)

  174. The African Queen, by C.S. Forester. I loved it.
    I am reading Persuasion, by Jane Austen.

  175. “THE MERMAID CHAIR” Sue Monk Kidd (Also wrote “The Secret Life of Bees”)

  176. Try the Mad Ship trilogy by Robin Hobb. Wonderful read.

  177. Just had to post again, and tell you “thanks” for the fabulous question. I have noted a lot of books to download on my Kindle. Let’s do this again, please. Thanks also to everyone for their great suggestions. But….who will pay my Amazon bill?? Will I be able to afford yarn now??

  178. I secondly+++ The Shipping News. Beautiful story of loyalty. One book on my list focuses on the lack of H2O…The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

  179. Shipping News Certainly is a fine book, but how about choosing to be different? It is about water, as in lack thereof: the Grapes of Wrath.

  180. And then to stay on topic, how about Old Man and the Sea?
    Where is all this Steinbeck coming from? I’m not sure I even like Steinbeck. Maybe it is because I am cleaning my study.

  181. I highly recommend The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough. What an appropriate book for this period of time.
    Here’s a quote on the description of the story.
    “At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation’s burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.”

  182. Dune- Frank Herbert

  183. Oh! Someone recommeded Tony Horowitz “A Voyage Long and Strange”, but also check out his “Blue Latitudes” about Captain Kidd. And, if you get hooked by Horowitz, there is always “Confederates in the Attic” about Civil War re-enactors, which has no water in it, but is facinating and funny none the less.

  184. I am in the middle of The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver – so far loving it. Before that I read The Man from Saigon by Marti Leimbach.

  185. I am in the middle of The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver – so far loving it. Before that I read The Man from Saigon by Marti Leimbach.

  186. I stumbled across “March”, which is the story of Mr. March, the father of the characters in “Little Women” told from his point of view of his sojourn with the Union Army during the Civil War (the same time period covered by “Little Women”. I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s a bit of a relief to see that he’s a flawed human aspiring to greatness. As for water, there’s a river connecting one of the main locales in the novel with civilization, and one of the opening scenes describes the aftermath of the battle crossing the river.

  187. The Shipping News would be a great choice. A wonderful story and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Plus lots of knitting references, like this one:
    “This driver used to barrel right across Nova Scotia…knitting away like a machine…buddy was ripping along down the Trans-Canada knitting…when this Mountie spies him. Starts to chase after him…finally gets alongside, signs the transport feller to stop, but he’s so deep in his knitting he never notices….Mountie flashes his light, finally has to shout out the window, ‘Pull over! Pull over!” So the great transport knitter looks at the Mountie, shakes his head a bit and says, ‘Why no sir, ’tis a cardigan.'”
    Had to share that one… You can’t go wrong with this book.

  188. I have just finished reading Homer the blind cat. Hardly about water! Unless you count the way Homer plays with his food and water dish. Also currently reading Mary Hettsmanspergers new book on jewellery.
    On the Ipod I am listening to Flatland from craftlit. But none are water based.
    I suppose there is always “Three Men in a Boat”!
    Cheers
    Beverley >^..^I have just finished reading Homer the blind cat. Hardly about water! Unless you count the way Homer plays with his food and water dish. Also currently reading Mary Hettsmanspergers new book on jewellery.
    On the Ipod I am listening to Flatland from craftlit. But none are water based.
    I suppose there is always “Three Men in a Boat”!
    Cheers
    Beverley >^..^<

  189. I have just finished reading Homer the blind cat. Hardly about water! Unless you count the way Homer plays with his food and water dish. Also currently reading Mary Hettsmanspergers new book on jewellery.
    On the Ipod I am listening to Flatland from craftlit. But none are water based.
    I suppose there is always “Three Men in a Boat”!
    Cheers
    Beverley >^..^I have just finished reading Homer the blind cat. Hardly about water! Unless you count the way Homer plays with his food and water dish. Also currently reading Mary Hettsmanspergers new book on jewellery.
    On the Ipod I am listening to Flatland from craftlit. But none are water based.
    I suppose there is always “Three Men in a Boat”!
    Cheers
    Beverley >^..^<

  190. I, too, first thought of Moby Dick. But why not try Ahab’s Wife by Sena Naslund? My book club loved it and I had to buy a second book to loan because the first one wore out.
    This summer I’m reading the new Laurie R. King, two more Penny Louise, and the Aeneid.

  191. Survival by Julie Czerneda is about a marine bioligist (it is science fiction). I also enjoyed Fluke.

  192. The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates, takes place (or at least starts) at Niagara Falls. Lots of water.

  193. The Color of Water by James McBride. Not technically about water but a great book.

  194. How about Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle? It’s not new, but it’s good.

  195. I’m reading Cutting for Stone. At knitting night we were talking about books, and everyone agreed A.J. Cronin’s novels were great reads, also more contemporary ones like The Forgotten Garden, Pillars of the Earth, and The Help.

  196. Water theme? “Watership Down” Wonderful read!

  197. Life of Pi is awesome. There is water, a whole ocean, plus survival, wild animals, and involuntary solitary confinement, plus mystery.
    I’m reading The Time Travelers Wife right now.

  198. I am getting ready to start Oliver Twist by Dickens. Normally, I would consider Dickens a fall thing but hey….
    I also just read Jane Smiley’s article in the BAM circular about knitting and reading, i.e. listening to books on tape (or those new fangled CDs lol) and I am inspired to try it.

  199. Oh, another vote for The Shipping News. Or The World According to Garp….the Under Toe!

  200. I really liked Shadow Divers. It is a very exciting book about New Jersey wreck divers who discover a WW2 U-boat. I actually listened to it on audiobook and it was so good. Boys really like this book too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Divers

  201. What about the Secret River by Kate Grenville – very prominent Australian author – all about the early days of the first Australian settlement in Sydney. A gripping read.
    Or Moby Dick?

  202. These are slightly more obscure recommendations as I find most folks know about the modern bookclub stalwarts. I do agree that a bit of natural history about the sea would not go amiss (Sand County Almanac, Water Swimmers, et al)–
    So here are mine:
    Haweswater, by Sarah Hall, is a novel about a town purposely flooded (a la TVA) but in Yorkshire. She’s a very up and coming writer.
    The Winter Vault by Ann Michaels is a wonderful novel about a series of dams, including one on the Nile. You might have read “Fugitive Pieces” this is really a fascinating look at the politics of big project dams in the developing world as well as being a love story.
    Acqua Alta by Donna Leon, is crime, but a novel also about Venice when it’s under water. It has a fantastic chase through flooded alleyways. You need not have read the others in the series.
    Waterland by Graham Swift is a novel about the Fens of Cambridgeshire, a rather bleak (but beautifully written novel) about being English.
    And one of my favorite novels out of Spain is Year of the Flood by Eduardo Mendosa, set during the period after the Spanish Civil War. It’s a love story and also exciting depiction of yes, a flood.
    But my number one recommendation would be JG Ballard’s incredibly prescient “The Drowned World” from 1952. It’s a great read and you will also find much to talk about as it addresses a world in which the polar ice caps have melted.

  203. I second earlier suggestions for “The Shipping News;” “The Color of Water;” “A River Runs Through It” (a good movie, as well); “Peace Like a River;” “Many Waters;” “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”
    Joe Coomer’s “Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God” features three women living on a houseboat…
    I read a great book about two women and their children who maintain a lighthouse, and the two men who come to inspect it. But for the life of me, I can’t remember the title; maybe it will ring a bell with someone else…
    I just finished David Baldacci’s “Wish You Well,” which alas is not about water (although there is a wishing well in it), but is a wonderful book. And I’ve just started “Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously,” which is looking good.

  204. I read a lot of the comments, and got great suggestions for myself!, so I don’t know if it’s been mentioned before – The Weight of Water.

  205. “Churlish Sea Captain, Temporary Wife”
    Ha ha, this sounds like a news headline.

  206. I can recommend “Casting Off” by Nicole R. Dickson. It involves knitting, family and lots of water.

  207. I am reading Anna Karenina, and am actually going to read War and Peace afterwards. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, either.
    As far as water related novels, how about The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf? Then there’s always the Shipping News…one of my most favorite books ever.

  208. With Grand Isle, La. besmirched by oil, let us not forget the landmark world of fiction by Kate Chopin that was set there–“The Awakening,” in which water has the final word, so to speak. How appropriate in these troubled times.

  209. The Weight of Water – I’ll bet there’s even some knitting in there, although, it is about a murder! good movie too!

  210. Water-related literature may include but is not limited to: The Old Man and the Sea, Pi, Robinson Crusoe, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Benito Cereno, and a great work by Poe “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.”
    What am I reading? I just finished Christopher Hitchens’s memoir “Hitch-22″ which was great, and am now looking around for something else to read.

  211. I absolutely love, and read twice, ‘Peace Like A River’ by Leif Enger. I was taken by the title, and smitten by the book!
    I wait for Mr. Enger’s next novel.
    What a lovely book list in all these comments!

  212. I know I’m a little late to this post, but I have to give my recommendation. In the Heart of The Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick. It is one of the most amazing nonfiction books I have ever read. I chose it for my own book club 2 years ago, and I’m still getting praise for picking it. It’s the true story that Moby Dick is based on. I don’t know if your bookclub does any nonfiction, but this book is sure to astound!