Book Recommendations, Part II

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I've been terrible about reading books since Nora was born. Well, I do read them, but they are of the board book variety. :) But a few weeks ago, we got an iPad (yay!), and now I have access to Kindle, eBooks, and Nook apps. Somehow, being able to read on this device has renewed my excitement for reading. I've already sped through my first book (more on that soon), and now I'm ready for more.

In March of last year, I asked all of you for book recommendations, and came away with many titles to add to the "to read" list. Admittedly, I still have many more of those original titles to read, but since it's been a year, I wanted to put this request out there again and ask what y'all have read recently that you've loved.

Last time, someone recommended Firefly Lane, which I absolutely LOVED, so I'm hoping to uncover more gems like that. 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.

I know all of you bookworms really enjoyed the discussion and recommendations that the last post garnered, so I'm hoping the same for this year. Oh, and you get bonus points if your recommendations are cheap in Kindle/eBook/Nook format. ;)

26 comments:

Meghan,  May 31, 2011 at 8:36 PM  

I recently read Something Borrowed & the sequel Something Blue. I really liked those books. The writing was funny and real. Hope that helps.

Erin,  May 31, 2011 at 8:40 PM  

If you liked Firefly Lane/Kristin Hannah, you might like Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, or Diane Chamberland.

I work in a library and people have been raving about A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (I recently heard her speak and it was great!), The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and anything by Kate Morton.

Some of my favorites are Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, Chelsea Cain's Archie Sheridan series, Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt, and and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (young adult but so good!)

Leanne May 31, 2011 at 8:45 PM  

Some books I've enjoyed recently...
- Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah- if you liked Firefly Lane, you should check this one out! I also like Distant Shores by the same author.

-Little Bee by Chris Cleave- a pretty deep and heavy story about a Nigerian refugee girl that is told in a surprisingly light way.

-The Millennium Trio by Steig Larson (The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, etc.) Didn't think I'd like these but I definitely got hooked!

I also just re-read Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and the sequel Something Blue like the previous commenter. Love them both- very entertaining "chick lit" books, but also thought-provoking and real as well.

Hope that helps!! :)

amybyrd May 31, 2011 at 9:01 PM  

I just read The Forgotten Garden--loved it and am reading her other book The House at Riverton. Have you read Sarah's Key?

bluewhitelife May 31, 2011 at 9:04 PM  

Yay! Firefly Lane is one of my favorites...so I might have recommended it, haha. I also second Sarah's Key and I really want to read The Help...Prep (recommended by Erin) is also interesting.
As for more Kristin Hannah, Winter Garden was good once you finally got to the end. It didn't move as quickly as Firefly Lane for me, though :)

Hunger Games is also a must-read.

Just sayin.

Jill May 31, 2011 at 9:32 PM  

My latest read is Room, tough subject but it's very well written.

If you're looking for a quick read, I recommend Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. Her books are always entertaining, plus it's the 10 year anniversary of the publication.

Thanks for posting and asking for suggestions - I have added some books to my reading list!

Rachel,  May 31, 2011 at 9:41 PM  

I just read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells. Amazing biography that reads like fiction.

Heather May 31, 2011 at 9:53 PM  

I have read Something Borrowed and Something Blue, and enjoyed them both. Also enjoyed The Help!

I checked out The Hunger Games after many recommendations but I read the descriptions and I could not see myself liking it. Maybe I will give it another look.

Christy May 31, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

A Couple of my favorites I have read recently:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
- Gorgeously written story that reads like a memoir of two young friends in Afghanistan and the aftermath of their life choices.

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin.
- He is a "christian fiction" writer along the lines of Nicholas Sparks, but he has a real knack for beautiful prose. I love all his books but this one is by far my favorite.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.
- Despite the whole "Oprah thing" this is still one of the most riveting and INTENSE books I have ever read. It is haunting, tragic, and gruesome but all the better for it.

I have to second The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells I believe. It is not light fluffy reading, but it is poignant and achingly, painfully beautiful.

And I also encourage you to really look into The Hunger Games. While it IS young adult literature, it is nowhere in the vein of the whole Twilight phenomenon. It is well written, startling in its starkness and it is one (along with its sequels) that I will read over and over til the day I die because of the unwavering messages of hope, bravery and courage throughout.

Sorry I am very wordy. I majored in English in college and I just cant shake the bookworm inside. :) PS. The nook ap is AWESOME, and I always end up reading so much faster on it.

Gretchen June 1, 2011 at 12:10 AM  

Definitely check out The Hunger Games trilogy, sounds a little strange but the books are great. Once you start reading them you can't put them down!

FLOREEN June 1, 2011 at 6:44 AM  

bought this book a long long time ago, but find I can constantly keep reading it! plus it's got the benefit of keeping my tumtum happy too!

http://www.microwavecookingforone.com/

god bless,

- FLOREEN

XX

Kelsey June 1, 2011 at 8:17 AM  

I'm a big fan of the classics - Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Jane Eyre, etc. Plus, you can get them pretty cheap on most apps because they're public domain.

I also really enjoyed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which is a wonderful (but sad) historical novel set in Seattle during WWII.

Water for Elephants is another fast read, and don't listen to everything you hear about the movie. The book was very entertaining with its love story and description of circus life.

My last recommendation is the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Not classic literature, but it's really funny and makes for a great beach read. It helps that there are (currently) 17 in the series so it can keep you occupied for a long period of time as well.

Ashley,  June 1, 2011 at 10:15 AM  

Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin. I find that while the story is very sad (I know you know what happened because you've mentioned him before) his story can still be funny and very touching.

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah.

Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah.

A Rip in Heaven by Jeanine Cummins.

I like anything by Elin Hilderbrand.

thetwentiesroar June 1, 2011 at 11:06 AM  

Something funny and light and given your Catholic upbringing I think you'll enjoy - Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff Christ's Childhood pal. Hilarious. Even funnier if you have some knowledge of Christianity but don't take to a fundamentalist extreme - ie. can take a joke. Which I believe you can.
Something worldly and eye-opening, Mornings in Jenin or A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both criers. Both awesome.
Something quick - I know it's been said already - The Hunger Games. I know the descriptions seems sketchy but just start reading. The chapters are short which might help with a little one around. Really great. And now that the whole series is out you won't have to wait for the ending - and you'll be all in the know for when the movies come out next year!

Everlasting Images June 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM  

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Winter Garden & Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Prep - Curtis Sittenfeld

Kristin June 1, 2011 at 5:40 PM  

I haven't read anything fantastically great lately, but I do have to say that as a Kristin Hannah fan, her books totally strike me in a different way now that I'm a mom. I just read Night Road last month and the whole time I kept thinking about my daughter and I being in the same situations as the characters in the book. I've read a lot of Jodi Picoult, and the stories hit me differently while pregnant, too. Maybe I just get too involved in the plots, but I'm not sure I can read many more of those.

I listen to a bunch of audio books and really, really liked "The Year of Fog." That being said, I listened to it before I was pregnant, and being a mom might make that one harder, too.

I'm picking up some books to add to *my* list from this post, too - thanks for putting it out there!

Margot,  June 1, 2011 at 6:28 PM  

Floreen, microwave cooking for one is a saviour if ever there was one! It got me through my college days with nutrience! Thank the Lord!

-Margot

Erin O. June 1, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

I always download the free books on amazon for the Kindle app. Some books are cheesy, but some are actually decent. Plus, they offer "name brand" books for free(not always though)

Anonymous,  June 2, 2011 at 1:26 AM  

The Hunger Games are so good!!! After I read all three I lent them to my grandpa and he really liked them as well. If you have extra time I would read them you would be surprised how good the three are.
-Rachel

Anonymous,  June 2, 2011 at 7:14 AM  

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. True story about two kids growing up in poverty and drug ridden areas with the same name. One becomes successful and the other goes to jail for life after a robbery ends in murder. Its an amazing story.

~Caren

Helen June 2, 2011 at 7:42 AM  

The Hunger Games are a must read. I was VERY skeptical about them, but my girlfriend wanted me to read them so she would have someone to drag to the movie when it comes out. I ended up flying through them, could not put them down. My husband was very relieved when I finished them ;)

A Thousand Splendid Suns was fantastic. Its by the same author as the Kite Runner, and I actually liked this one better.

The Help was a great fun read, but it also makes you think.

Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin. If you liked Something Borrowed you will like this.

Sarah's Key was really good, although I felt like the end wrapped up a little too easily & quickly.

I second Little Bee, The Forgotten Garden, and The Glass Castle. Especially The Glass Castle. Fabulous book.

I'm reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter Sweet at the moment. The writing is not fabulous, but the story is interesting enough that I am ignoring that.

Catherine June 2, 2011 at 11:51 AM  

I don't have a whole lot to recommend because I think we've read pretty much the same exact books!

Only one I can think of that I haven't seen you mention is City of Light by Lauren Belfar. It's set in the early 1900s in Buffalo, New York. I live in Buffalo and know you live pretty close and learning the history was fascinating to me. I will say that I wasn't too sure about the book when I started as the description didn't quite grab me, but it's one of my top ten favorite books of all time.

Regarding Hunger Games - I hear ya! I have had so many people recommend it and just can't bring myself to do it. But, I am sure it's one of those books that if I just dove into I'd walk away raving about it like everyone else.

Total random side note - I am the one who asked you vacation questions and about the Ergo - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Ergo. So happy I bought it. It's truly been a lifesaver for us on this vacation. I also have to personally thank you for recommending Abbey's Lane awhile back. We also CD and I have been buying everything from them. We got 20 bucks off our Ergo by using our Abbey's Lanes dollars. You can't beat that! Thanks so much for all your tips :)

Catherine June 2, 2011 at 7:30 PM  

Just remembered another author you might want to check out - Elizabeth Berg.

kitchenbelle June 5, 2011 at 8:04 PM  

I love The Help, American Wife, Dive from Clausen's Pier, and The Memory Keeper's Daughter!

Brooke,  June 9, 2011 at 8:41 PM  

Check out the Kindle Freebies. There are also short stories that may be better for you to fit in as mom of a little one.

I got 13 Blue Envelopes and the sequel for free on amazon kindle site.

Brasil February 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM  

Secret Garden is still my favorite book by Hannah, but Night Road could be a very close second. You'll cry!

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