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Tell Me What to Read
Friends of the Blogosphere, I need your help. I'm running precariously low on reading material right now. Shocking, I know. Normally, I have piles and piles of books waiting to be read. This year I just haven't been replenishing my stores the way I normally do.

I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love right now and I'm enjoying it. Which is saying a lot for me, who normally thinks that books like that are a bunch of transcendent crap. I must be mellowing in my old age.

The last book I finished was The Thirteenth Tale and I'm writing a review about it, so I'll leave my detailed opinions off here, but I would probably read it again if I had life to live twice.

I'll read pretty much anything: fiction, non-fiction, biographies, it's all good. I'm not a big fan of popular trite like James Patterson, Danielle Steel, or Tom Clancy. (I loved Tom Clancy's first three books. They were great thrillers. It's gone steadily down hill from there.) I like books that make me: (1) think; (2) laugh; or (3) feel. If I can get all three together, even better.

What do you recommend?

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Blogger Kelly O said...

The last two books that I *loved* were Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.

Blogger Sunshine said...

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, or The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, or Cane River by Lalita Tademy. Those are some I really liked.

I have a book club, I could email you our reading lists for the past couple years.

Blogger Nancy said...

Try www dot shelfari dot com for good reading ideas, an good friends. =)

Blogger Nancy said...

oops *and

(I hate when I do that)

Blogger PunditMom said...

Ah, you've come to the right place! Interesting, I also, just finished, Eat, Pray, Love -- liked it, even tho' I didn't think I would!

Here are a few:

Now I'm ready A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini.

Others I've liked:

Intuition, Allegra Goodman

The Book of Salt, Monique Truong (not to be confused with The History of Salt!)

Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder

Happy reading!

Blogger M&Co. said...

Recently I've read, and enjoyed:

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

It reads like a novel, though it is a true story about Roosevelt's trip through the Amazon. I knew the outcome but it kept me on the edge of my seat.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

One of the women in my book club said this one made her want to lay on her couch and die. It was a tad depressing but it was interesting how this all occurred and why people left and why people stayed.

The Janissary Tree

A mystery set in Turkey in the 1836. It had a historical bend you don't get in most mystery novels. The narrator, and hero, is a eunuch which was another interesting perspective you don't get every day.

Eye Contact

Another mystery which involves an autistic child who is a witness to a murder. Well written though a little disturbing because of the way children bully one another.

The Spellman Files

Another mystery. An aside, I wouldn't have said I read many mysteries if you'd asked. An easy read, interesting story but it is more fluffy than either The Janissary Tree or Eye Contact.

Anonymous Heather said...

I would suggest The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls. She writes about coming from a poor family with parents who did not have their children's best interests in mind. It's a fascinating read because the author writes without any bitterness or contempt towards her parents.

Blogger jen said...

i loved eat, pray, love. so much.

i just finished Paint It Black by Janet Fitch. Dug it alot.

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

This is where I screech, "WHAT!?!?! YOU DON'T READ MY BOOK REVIEW BLOG?!?!?!?!"

I even just posted a new review and have three more queued up.

If you haven't read the Hosseini book, YOU MUST.

Ask Mayberry to back me here, but also Purple Hibiscus.

If I hold my nose I can swallow a Baldacci.

If you have not read Ann Patchett's Bel Canto...GO DO THAT NOW! I am reading her new one and will review it shortly.

If you have not read Richard Russo or Nick Hornby...go read ALL of them, NOW.

That shoudl keep you busy until I can generate the rest of my GO READ THIS NOW! list. LOL


I thought 13th Tale was ummm hmm okay. So take my recs with that in mind.

Using My Words

Blogger Lady Liberal said...

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Childhood Pal (Friend?) of Christ
By Christopher Moore
HILARIOUS and yet somehow never irreverent when it comes to the Christ character. Very humanizing and endearing. (Biff is another story- he's the friend of your husband's you love, but still dread seeing sleeping on your couch! :))
Moore's grasp of world religious history is amazing- he weaves all sorts of tradition and events into the text.
This book made me laugh out loud and uses the word fuck liberally, but still made me cry when it came time for the crucifixion. I am not by any means particularly religious or even sure I'm entirely "Christian", but this book was amazing.

Blogger Jen M. said...

I just finished Eat, Pray Love and liked it.

Currently reading The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham and loving it.

Also liked Nineteen Minutes and Prep, two recent reads. Hope this helps your nightstand!

Blogger Mayberry said...

Yes, I'll back up Julie on Purple Hibiscus!

There is a new book about obituaries that I'm interested in -- can't think of the title just now.

I also came across this list of 80 favorite books today (I'm planning a post about it sometime too): http://www.strandbooks.com/app/www/p/booklist/?listid=strand80

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Ooh, thanks, ladies!

Let's see, I've read a lot of these already. I've read Lamb (LOVED it. Funny as hell.) I've read everything by Russo and Nick Hornby. I've read Glass Castle, Cane River & The Other Boleyn Girl. Read The Painted Veil, Nineteen Minutes & Prep.

Haven't read ANY of the others so they're now on my List!

Julie - You're going to smack me but, You have a book review blog?

Blogger Gwen said...

God, I am such a book bitch, because I know I'm the only living woman who was left yawning by A Thousand Splendid Suns. Well, worse than yawning actually.

Okay, it's not that I don't love books, because I do, so very very much. I just don't seem to love the books that every other woman does. Sometimes it makes me feel .... damaged.

The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver is near the top of my list of favorite recent reads.

Have you read any David Mitchell? I am smitten with him. Loved Cloud Atlas, adored Black Swan Green. I really would have his children.

I also heart Ewan McGregor: Atonement, Saturday to start.

The Fall of the Sparrow by Robert Hellenga which I read a million years ago has stayed with me long enough to still make my list.

For a good dose of Catholic guilt, you can always pick up Graham Greene. And what do we need near the holidays more than guilt, really?

I'm sure you've read The Lovely Bones, but have you read her husband Glen David Gold's book, Carter Beats the Devil? I really really enjoyed that for whatever reason.

I have so many books on my night stand and so many on my wish list and so many more that I crave with something akin to sickness that I kind of envy your position.

I'm starting Mark Haddon's Spot of Bother today. I'll let you know how it goes.

Blogger blooming desertpea said...

the last one i read was "the persuit of happiness" by Douglas Kennedy. Made me think a lot.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANYTHING by Jennifer Weiner!!!

Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I stand behind all the books in my Library Thing (link on my blog under "Read These Books")


Blogger Gunfighter said...

"The Religion" by Tom Willocks

Can the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers) withstand the siege of Suleiman The Magnificient, and his huge Trukish army? Or will Malta fall, and open Europe to the Ottoman Empire? Not just military fiction... there is lots of intigue, love, murder, sex, and heroism for everyone.

"George Washington - A Military Biography"

Just trust me. you'll view Washington in a completely different way.

Blogger Jenn said...

David Sedaris, any of his books. Funny, funny stuff.

Blogger slouching mom said...

Second the Ian McEwen (Saturday, Atonement);

And the Ann Patchett;

Philip Roth's The Plot Against America;

Chang-Rae Lee's Aloft.

Blogger slouching mom said...

Oh, and Anne Tyler's The Amateur Marriage.

Blogger Taste Like Crazy said...

Check out my "crazy reviews" for some of the books I've read and loved.

Also, I have some jacket images in my sidebar. All books that I lurve.

I'm reading Dangerous Admissions right now. Total "chick lit." but I'm enjoying it and it's nice to take a break from "serious" books.

OH! You have to read ALL of the Outlander books. You will fall in love with Jamie. Trust me on this one.

The first book in the series is the fifth row on the right hand sidebar. [It's a blue book]

Blogger flutter said...

Alice Sebold "The Lovely Bones" and "Lucky". Also all three of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers, even though they are totally meant for teenage girls :)

Anonymous Emily said...

OCTAVIA BUTLER! Don't be put off by the fact that it is science fiction. Start with *Kindred* or *Parable of the Sower.* Don't go through life without having read Butler.

Just re-read *This Boy's Life* by Wolf. Excellent.

And, a classic -- *What Maisie Knew* by Henry James.

Have you read *Giovanni's Room* by Baldwin?

Sorry, no recommendations here. Just a question - How the heck do you have time to read books with all the blogging, two little kids AND a job? You are a wonder, woman!

*bowing down to you*

Blogger ExPatSW said...

On the nightstand right now:
Prelude to Dune: House Atreides by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson; Memoirs of A Gnostic Dwarf by David Madsen; Tolstoy's War and Peace (reread) and Exodus by Leon Uris (reread). Haven't made up my mind about the first two yet but the last two are old friends.

Anonymous Selfmademom said...

I'm reading "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky. The story is amazing, and the back story of the writer (the manuscript was found 60 years after her death at Auschwitz) is even more amazing. I highly recommend!

Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I read "Suite Francaise" also, was great!

Septembers of Shiraz, about a Jewish Iranian being taken prisoner after the fall of the Shah. Fascinating stuff, and fiction.

Blogger Sarcasta-Mom said...

Right now I'm Reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, and it's fabulous. I love historical fiction, and this one, about two women and their friendship growing up in feudal Japan, is spectacular. I'd definetely recommend it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good read from this summer: The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein

And my favorite book of ALL time:
"To See You Again: A true story of love in a time of war" by Betty Schimmel and Joyce Gabriel

Blogger melissa said...

The Preservationist by David Maine is an interesting re-telling of the Flood Story.

But after reading these comments, I have some good suggestions as to what to add to my nightstand! Thanks for this topic!

Blogger ALM said...

Have you read any of the His Dark Materials Trilogy? By Philip Pullman? They are great, thought provoking books - and should be read before the diluted movie comes out!

Anonymous Julie said...

This might be so last year meaning you may have already read it but I really loved The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst.

And if you've never read Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, you really should.

Blogger Julie said...

I second The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - or any other book by her. They are my new obsession. I've heard The Twentith Wife is also excellent (I forget the author) but have yet to read it.

Good to hear you like Live, Eat & Pray - it's currently on my nightstand waiting to be read.

Blogger Genie said...

I just read The Time Traveler's Wife and it was fantastic! I'm re-reading it out loud to my husband in the car. :)

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