New Jersey GoodReads discussion

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message 1: by Richie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:23AM) (new)

Richie | 1 comments My favorite New Jersey book is called Homeland, by Sam Lipsyte. It's brutally funny, and not for the faint-of-heart. The entire book is in the form of entries to a high school alumni newsletter, as written by an extremely flawed protagonist who takes us through the Jersey landscape so perfectly.

The other New Jersey books I love are by Harlan Coben, who writes mysteries about a former basketball star-turned-sports agent/private detective named Myron Bolitar. A lot of the action takes place in Myron's parents' house in Livingston. The first book in the series is called Deal Breaker, and even though I live far from Jersey, I always feel like I'm back on South Orange Ave. the second I pick it up.


message 2: by Penny (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Penny | 3 comments I'm a Jersey Girl at heart - Even though I'm stuck in CO for now:) I love reading all of the Harlan Coben books - It's just like being back home:)


message 3: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

John I'm going to suggest a non-fiction: "The Meadowlands" by Robert Sullivan. Having gone through there many, many times via Erie-Lackawanna to Hoboken (later NJ Transit to NYC) from Morris County, I found the trips he made fascinating.
I recently read a memoir called "Luncheonette" (set "down the shore") wherein the author served taylor ham sandwiches to guys in JCP&L helmets - talk about homesickness-inducing!
I lived 40 years in New Jersey. Those right-handed, left-turn jughandles really freak out out-of-staters LOL!


message 4: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Robert (RobtA) | 2 comments Thanks for the suggestions. I'm putting some of these on my to-be-read list. I recently read 4th of July Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land by Daniel Wolff. Good stories about Asbury Park on various years between 1870 and 2001.

Robt


message 5: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:54PM) (new)

John Earlier today I finished the novella Vintage by Steve Berman. Aliented gay teen gets mixed up with a ghost in South Jersey - seemed like Burlington Co. to me (between Camden and Trenton going by the description). I'd forgotten their local mental hospital down there was Ancora; I still use the shorthand "Greystone" myself 2500 miles away. The book is well-written; although I wasn't so sure the plot fit the novella format; I'd like to see a series about the protagonist.


message 6: by Ellenjsmellen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Ellenjsmellen | 1 comments Hey everyone,
I grew up in Margate in South Jersey and lived in North Jersey for many years, but now I live in St. Louis. I also like Harlan Coben. Have any of you read F. Paul Wilson from the Wall Township area? He's the writer of the Repairman Jack series and one of my fav's. You'll recognize a lot of NJ cities in his novels.
Check him out! Ellen


message 7: by John (new)

John Another NJ book (YA/teen genre officially) would be Absolute Brightness set in Neptune.


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert (RobtA) | 2 comments Over in the group Constant Reader there is a discussion beginning today about Philip Roth's American Pastoral which is set in Newark and Morris County, NJ.

Robt


message 9: by Mrs E (new)

Mrs E | 1 comments Anyone else read Rattled by Debra Galant? I enjoyed it and recognized a lot of NJ in it.


message 10: by Alex (last edited Jul 06, 2009 08:50AM) (new)

Alex | 4 comments Hi, I've written two books set on the Jersey Shore: The Perfume Factory and The Red Album of Asbury Park. Both books have gotten good reviews and a fair amount of press in NJ, but few readers have heard of them. In both novels, the setting is integral to the story. These are really "Jersey novels." The Perfume Factory is a gritty coming-of-age novel set in a small town on the Raritan Bay. The Red Album is the sequel and takes place in Asbury in the late 60s, early 70s.




message 11: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 2 comments Janet Evanovich goes without saying for Jersey books. I love that in her novels the 'Burg, the area is what I knew 20 years ago - not what it is now.

Admission is worth the read for locale. Still trying to figure out if I actually liked the protagonist.

I think what bothers me most - what gets stuck in my craw - is the stereotype that all Jerseyans are Carmela or Tony Soprano or guests on Springer. The only classy, intelligent residents of the state are transplants. I'm proud to be a born and bred Jersey girl, but there are times when I'm not taken seriously at the non- New Jersey Ivy League institution where I attended grad school.
On the other hand, I am glad that the rest of the world thinks we're just a vast chemical-dump wasteland. It keeps the beautiful parts of New Jersey safe for the residents.

What exit? Growing up? Just a ways off 139B of the Parkway. Now? I prefer the seldom used country roads nestled around the state.


message 12: by John (new)

John Try being from one of the wealthiest, most educated counties in the nation (Morris). I found the books formulaic after a half-dozen or so; she opted for ratcheting up the love triangle to nudge the series from the "cozy" genre into chicklit/romance - ugh!


message 13: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 2 comments John wrote: "Try being from one of the wealthiest, most educated counties in the nation (Morris). I found the books formulaic after a half-dozen or so; she opted for ratcheting up the love triangle to nudge the..."
I work in Hunterdon so I know I what you mean...

I do agree Evanovich has gotten formulaic. I feel compelled to stay with the series to the end. I guess I'm a completist.




message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanddune) Robert wrote: "Over in the group Constant Reader there is a discussion beginning today about Philip Roth's American Pastoral which is set in Newark and Morris County, NJ.

Robt "
I am from Gloucester County (ever hear of it. lol) and went to Bucknell U ( in Pa) with Philip Roth.




message 15: by Penny (new)

Penny | 3 comments I just finished "The Red Album of Asbury Park". It was a great story - Complex and Dark - and the characters really leap off the page and get in your face. I really enjoyed revisiting the grittier side of the Jersey Shore - And the characters stick with you - even after the last page has been turned! Hope you enjoy!!!



message 16: by J. (new)

J. Rubino (jrubino) If you're a Jane Austen fan, "Lady Vernon and Her Daughter" check out my daughter and me (we're from Ocean City, formerly Voorhees, I lived in both Belleville and Millville as a kid!) It's a reconstruction of an early Jane Austen work, "Lady Susan" - you can check it out on Amazon, and see our book trailer on youtube, just plug "Lady Vernon Book" into their engine. We're also interviewed in the latest online issue of New Jersey Life - "The Austen Resurrection".
If you're in Ocean City on Dec 12, stop by Sun Rose Books, where we'll be having a signing.


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