Book Recommendations?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I have a couple of book reviews I need to catch up on here, but I'm currently not reading anything. I usually have a "queue" of some sort--a list of books I've been wanting to read. Or sometimes I'll just stumble upon something that sounds good and read that. But right now? Nada. Zilch. Zip. Nothing.

I need some new recommendations! I'm not too into chick lit (at least not the "extreme" chick lit stuff--no Nicholas Sparks, for instance). If you want to see some of the things I've read and enjoyed to get an idea of my taste, see my books label.

What have you all read lately that you've loved?

I need to get myself to the library!


Michelle March 16, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

Just finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (AMAZING)... it's one of those classics that you just have to read. For a quick and interesting (and heart-wrenching) read, try Still Alice by Lisa Genova. It's about a Harvard professor who gets Alzheimer's... the author actually has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard, so the book does make mention of the scientific and neurological aspects of the disease, but overall it focuses on the main character and her struggles as she is forced to give up the life she has worked so hard for. It's definitely not a sappy love story a la Nicholas Sparks by any means.

~Jaime~ March 16, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

I just finished Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. I really loved this book and I am looking forward to reading more by her.

Chelsey March 16, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

Have you read Sarah's Key? I loved it!

Julia March 16, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (a little dark and bad language)

In Death series by JD Robb (love these... about a female homicide detective set in 2060)

The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy (historical fiction about Anne Boleyn)

Michelle March 16, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

Ohhh!! I agree with Jaime... I read Firefly Lane over the summer and LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!

Chicago Girl March 16, 2010 at 11:14 PM  

OK, I know this is a children literature series, but the middle schooler that I nanny just got me into the Percy Jackson book series by Rick Riordan. There are five books and I'm currently on the second one. It's all based on Greek mythology and it's really interesting to read. I would normally hate this stuff, but the books are so intriguing. The first one was just made into a movie that, though significantly different than the books, was still really cool to watch too.

Vanessa March 17, 2010 at 3:16 AM  

Have you read or heard of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? I read it and it's a good read. Not a huge classic but uplifting and witty. It's a letter novel set after World War II in which Guernsey residents exchange correspondence with a London writer and recount their lives after the Germans left Guernsey (which was the only UK territory that they invaded). I think you'd enjoy it.

Megan March 17, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

Have you read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold or My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult? Both were recently turned into movies, though the books are MUCH better.

Lindsay March 17, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

I love reading and here are some of my newest favorites:

1. The women in His Life- Barbra Taylor Bradford
2. Emma- Jane Austen
3. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons- Lorna Landvik
4. A Complicated Kindness- Miriam Toews
5. The Twilight Series ( I know sounds childish but give them a try!!!)
6. Twenties Girl- Sophie Kinsella

Renee March 17, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

I was actually going to recommend Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. If you ignore the title it's a pretty cool story about a book club. The book spans over 30-40 years so you get a lot of history thrown in there too.

Angie March 17, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

Someone else mentioned the Twilight series - and yes, they're intended for young adults but honestly, I could not put them down!

However, if you like detective-mysteries I suggest anything by Dennis Lehane. He wrote the novels that were turned in to movies for Shutter Island, Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone. All of his books are great though, if you're in to that.

Laura March 17, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

Some of my personal favorites:

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Til We Have Faces by CS Lewis

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore

Becky March 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

I just finished reading Andre Agassi's autobiography, "Open". It was really, really good!!! I read John Grisham's "The Broker" while we were on vacation and it was good too (review on my blog). Next up is "The Help" which I have heard is amazing and "The Blind Side". I have a huge list so let me know if you want it!

Katie March 17, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

Some non-chick lit recommendations...

John Berendt - Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

John Grisham - The Last Juror

Michael Crichton - The Lost World

Peter Benchley - White Shark

Some good chick lit recs...

Nora Roberts - she writes some smart murder mystery/romance books that are just enough chick lit to entertain, but no cheesy bodice ripping. My favorites are Montana Sky, Birthright, Angels Fall and Blue Smoke.

Jane Green - Jemima J

Rebecca Wells - Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (ten times better than the movie!)

Stephanie,  March 17, 2010 at 12:51 PM  

As a librarian, I second the Percy Jackson series.

Also, hands down the best series of last year is The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. The concept is sort of a play on the American reality TV obsession with a futuristic twist. Everyone I recommend it to loves it.

My last recommendation is the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter. It's about teen girls who go to spy school! I love fun, quick reads.

Life of a Doctor's Wife March 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

I'm in the middle of reading "The Wrong Mother" which is really really good and engaging. It's a thriller of sorts and I have no idea what's going on or what's going to happen.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2010 at 3:14 PM  

I'd recommend any of the Philippa Gregory books. (I've read The Other Boleyn Girl, Constant Princess, and The Other Queen.) Enjoyed all 3, although TOBG has been my favorite.

Happy reading!

~Kristen M.

Rachel,  March 17, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

The Forgotten Garden By Kate Morton

Kim,  March 17, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

Ooo I love that you threw this out there because now I get to see everyone else's recommendations too, and I'm always up for a good new book! :o) Here's my recently-read list and I've enjoyed them all!

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown ... very similar to Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons so if you liked those you'll be hooked on this one

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold ... didn't think I would like it but read it for book club and really enjoyed it

Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger ... the second novel by the author of The Time Traveler's Wife which I remember that you said you liked. They're very very different but I loved this one as well (although TTTW is my favorite book ever so nothing quite compares).

Also, someone else recommended The Constant Princess and The Other Boleyn Girl, which are both amazing. And The Help was a good one too!

Mollie March 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

Ok, I HAVE to thrown in my 2 cents...

Don't waste your time with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - it was unremarkable.

My most recent faves:

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Suite Francaise

I looked through your book posts and noticed that you haven't read anything by Anne Pachett. She is my FAVORITE author ever. Read Bel Canto, Run, The Magician's Assistant...really anything by her is great!

Oh, and I saw that you liked Kite Runner. Maybe look into The Poet of Baghdad

Happy reading!!!

Anonymous,  March 17, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

I just finished reading The Help and couldn't put it down. Absolutely fantastic read! Also, Those Who Save Us is another newer favorite of mine.

Vanessa March 17, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

I agree that it isn't remarkable, and the ending is a tad disappointing, but I think it's enjoyable. It's not ground breaking, no, but whilst I'm not a fan of chick lit, sometimes I enjoy a 'nice' read, not something that changes my viewpoint or my world. I just read a Thousand Splendid Suns, which is amazing and remarkable in so many ways, but it's a different sort of book. I personally like to feel challenged more or less at different times, and for me books aren't just about what I learn or what's remarkable to me but simply what I enjoy.

Dana March 17, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

I have read "Precious". It is a good read.

Hometown Queen March 17, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

This is my first comment on your blog. I've been a long time lurker but couldn't resist chipping in with book suggestions, combined with your latest news:
So firstly, congrats from London!
Secondly: I read American Wife around the same time I read two other books which make up my best of all time:
The New Yorkers (Cathleen Schine): Don't be put off by the cheesy looking front cover. If you love dogs and stories that weave together seamlessly, then you'll adore this.
Under an English Heaven (Robert Radcliffe): My favourite book of all time. It's about American pilots in England during WW2. It's not at all overdone or Danielle Steele-esque, just fantastically written and incredibly gripping.
Wow, could I fit another hyperbole into this comment??

Gia March 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

Hunger Games is HUGE amongst the tweens these days, and my oldest stepdaughter just gave it to me to read. It is EVERYWHERE (like Twilight, but LESS insane).

Also, I love Phillipa Gregory's historical fiction.

You can't go wrong with the classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Great Gatsby. And I can't say enough about Their Eyes Were Watching God.

And for chick lit that isn't TOO chick lit-y, Jane Green always rocks.

Sarah March 18, 2010 at 12:01 PM  

Great idea!! Some of my favorite books have already been listed. This is what I loved:

1. Firefly Lane (or anything by Kristin Hannah)
2. 1,000 Splendid Suns
3. Kite Runner (I think you read this - same auther as #2).
4. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
5. Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson
6. Time Travelers Wife (or anything by Audrey Niffenegger)
7. Memoirs of a Geisha
8. Moloka'i - Art Brennert
9. The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer
11. Water for Elephants - but I think you read this already, also?

Still Alice was so, so sad, but amazing.

I get a lot of my book recs from, you should check it out!

Anonymous,  March 18, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

I thought Sarah's Key was a quick read, but something was missing. Several people enjoyed it. State of Fear-Michael Crichton was a book I would recommend not only for a good read but because I believe that America is living in a "State of Fear"! Authors: Greg Iles, Nora Roberts (not JD Robb), Diana Gaboldon (Outlander series), Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen. Story of Edgar Sawtelle - I will ship it to you and don't want it back! CS says Percy Jackson series & recommends reading the first 2 books before seeing the movie. Looks like quite the list-happy reading.

Natalie March 22, 2010 at 2:50 PM  

Saw what a few others wrote and I whole-heartedly second Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Still Alice...also recommend The Kids Are All Right and The Glass Castle. The Book Thief is technically Young Adult but SO good. I just finished The Well and the Mine and loved that too! Happy Reading!

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