Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whatcha readin'?

The clock is ticking and the creative juices aren't flowing, so my thanks go out tonight to Island Mom, who suggested that I solicit book suggestions, as I did with tv series last week. I think it's a terrific idea. I've done it a couple of times before, actually, and I read some fantastic books as a result.

I don't have a lot of "must reads" to pass on to you right now, but I do have a sizable stack of books in my "to be read" pile. I'm currently reading Lev Grossman's The Magicians, but on deck, in no particular order, are:

Dave Eggers' Zeitoun

Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked

Katherine Neville's The Fire

Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections

Paul Collins' The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World, and

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book

I've also got a couple of special needs parenting books on the stack:

Dawn Heubner's What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming OCD, and

Linda Woodcock and Andrea Page's Managing Family Meltdown: The Low Arousal Approach and Autism

So, how about you? Read any good books lately?


Ali said...

I'm currently working through the appropriately titled "The Migraine Book," which is proving helpful for medical advice. I have "Sick" for after that, about the current US healthcare system (it's about 2 years out of date but strongly predicted what was to come). For fiction, I'm about to start "Fly By Night," a juvenile lit book.

girlonwheels said...

the outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

Robin said...

If you like supernatural I highly recommend the "Undead and ..." series by MaryJanice Davidson. Betsy makes me laugh. I also like "Eat, Pray,Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert, "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson, and anything by Laurie Colwin. I'll have to check around by my bed to see if there is anything else worth recommending (I read a lot of trash- guilty pleasure!)

Ms. TK said...

I have been SO stressed out. I needed some good trash. "A Reliable Wife" has shades of "East of Eden" with some GREAT erotica and really good plot.

A really good snack. Guilty pleasure.

Chris said...

"True Confections" by Katharine Weber - just came out this month. Story of a woman who is separated from her husband, whose family has owned a candy business for generations. Hilarious, and the narrator just might not be all that reliable :)

jess said...

have you read vicki foreman's wondrous book - this lovely life.

incredible. truly.

*m* said...

I am reading THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett; BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott; and GROWING UP ON THE SPECTRUM by Lynn Kern Koegel. Very much enjoying all of them.

CANDACE said...

Some of my all-time favorites (in no particular order) are:

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenedis

and if you like mysteries, Sharp Objects & Dark Places, both by Gillian Flynn, were creepy and fantastic. I listened to them both on audio on separate 13 hour solo car trips. Kept me WIDE AWAKE.

Niksmom said...

Have just started on The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. It sounded interesting; I'll let you know!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's been slow-going for me (not because of the book, because of me) but it has made quite an impact on me. Life-changing.

Cari said...

Im reading Vanished by Jodi Picoult and on the occasion when I need a change Johnny Cash: CASH (Autobiograhy)

But I highly recommend any Jodi Picoult books

Ness said...

Anything by Janet Evanovich. Mostly the Stephanie Plum series. :) Very funny, easy read.

Anonymous said...

I just finished The Help (my book club's pick for the month) and was surprised as all hell that I really really enjoyed it. Not a book I would have chosen on my own, but a good read.

I am also reading Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork. It's a YA novel about a 17 year old boy with autism. Very good so far.

Kaethe said...

Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Talk about possibly unreliable narrators. Zippy to read and puzzling.

datri said...

I'm trying to read 100 books by the end of the year. Here's what I've read so far:

1. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
2. Say You’re One of Them, Uwem Akpan
3. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
4. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
5. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
6. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro

(I'm already behind, at this rate I'll never get to 100!!)

Bea said...

Hehe - two of those books are in my pile too: Juliet, Naked and The Graveyard Book. I wonder who will get to them first?

pixiemama said...

Anything by Anita Shreve is usually a good read; Water for Elephants is spectacular; I hear Barbara Kingsolver has a new book out ...

I don't know. I've been working on The Hour I First Believed for a few weeks. I just don't have that much reading time right now. Sad.


Anonymous said...

Theo again. :)

Return of the King- last book of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien

Memnoch the Devil- 5th book in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

On the shelf

Canterbury Tales- Various authors

A Lion Among Men- 3rd book in the Wicked Series by Gregory McGuire

The Divine Comedy- Dante Alegheri

All very highly recommended!! I also recommend Paradise Lost, The Picture of Dorian Grey, and the entirety of the Wicked sereis. Also by the same author Mirrior, Mirrior and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.

TC said...

I don't generally 'do' music and TV, so I was quiet then, but now...BOOKS. That I can do.

Reading (well, re-reading) right now my all-time favorite, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My other all-time faves, if you haven't hit them yet, are Toni Morrison's Beloved, The Known World by Edward P. Jones, and Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. (Really, ANYTHING by Stegner...)

On my iPod right now is Mary's Roach's Bonk (a nonfiction book about, yes, sex and sexual response, which is brilliant).

I've been on a classics kick of late, reading (and/or rereading) pretty much all of Austen as well as Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, but having just (for the first time!) also read (well, listened to) Middlemarch, which was incredible.

On my nightstand, waiting for me to finish the Marquez, is Book 3 of Maggie Anton's Rashi's Daughters trilogy. I don't know how much they would 'speak' to non-Jews, but I love them; they're sort of a combination of history, romance, Talmud studies, with some other topics thrown in.

I haven't finished my book list for 2009, but if you check my blog archives in December and January, you'll find long lists of at least most of what I read last year.

And now I'll stop. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I just read a really good kid's book, if you like that sort of thing. It's geared toward middle grades 4-8. It's The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. I can't recall the author right now, but it was a really well written coming of age book.

Anonymous said...

I highly endorse The Graveyard Book and would add Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett writing together)... I've just started it but it's pretty great so far and comes highly recommended from a trusted bibliophile friend. I also have a never-ending pile of Chris Bohjalian books at my bedside and he has another on the way in Feb. His stories a somewhat heavy and at time predictable but they can also be tremendously uplifting.

BRJ said...

I read ALL the time!! Just finished one I really liked by a new author. It's her second book- I read the first one, and liked it, but liked the second one much more! It's called "The Likeness" by Tana French. (her first one is called "In the Woods")
Other books I have loved:
"One Thousand White Women" by Jim Fergus
"The Book Theif" by Markus Zusak
"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
"Those Who Save Us" by Jenna Blum
"Firefly Lane" by Kristen Hannah
"Pope Joan" by Donna Wollfolk Cross
"Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan
"The Plague Tales" by Ann Benson
"Bag of Bones" by Stephen King
and nearly every Jodi Picoult I've read!!
Happy Reading

Melissa said...

Oh, without a doubt ... "The Financial Lives of the Poets" by Jess Walter. Love, love, love this book. (See review on my blog, if you want.)

The Story of a Marriage, by Andrew Sean Greer
Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Aspergers, by Tim Page
The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister
The Red Leather Diary, by Lilly Koppel
Reading the OED, by Ammon Shea
The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker.
The Life You Longed For, by Maribeth Fischer

Let us know what you end up reading!

Dani G said...

I love to read. It's my escape from my ASD world. People ask me ALL the time what I'm reading and what I like. So, I set up a virtual bookshelf with books and ratings:

I also posted a list of the best books I read in 2009:

I need to go troll through the rest of the comments for some more book suggestions!!

Daisy said...

Pretending to be Normal (Lianne Holliday) -- a memoir about growing up with Asperger's, but not knowing it. Fascinating and insightful!

cathy said...

I just finished This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper and loved it. Very disfunctional family sits shiva for their deceased father. Alternately hilarious, touching, and scathing.

And if you like Neil Gaiman, you might check out Christopher Moore. He's quirky and more lighthearted than Gaiman, but his books are fun reads. I especially liked A Dirty Job and Fool.

K said...

In the middle of Barbara Kingsolver's latest "The Lacuna". In the queue are the Nick Hornby and the new John Irving (I'm not sure I even like Irving anymore, it's more of a compulsion).

I heartily agree with other comments regarding Angle of Repose and Extremely Loud and and Incredibly Close. Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool is an all-time fave.

Loved Kate Atkinson's series of books about detective Jackson Brodie (Case Histories, One good turn, When will there be good news)

Anything by Kingsolver, Ann Patchett, Laurie Colwin, Michael Chabon, Sue Miller.

Okay, I'll stop now...

ghkcole said...

Read "What I Thought I Knew" on my iPhone in about 2 days while on vacation and loved the whole experience.
In case you haven't heard of it, a divorced mom in her forties with some medical issues suddenly finds out she is 5 months pregnant, very likely with a special needs child, and she has to rethink everything she thought she knew. After that description, you might not believe me, but I thought it was VERY FUNNY. Darkly funny.

Island Mom said...

Oh my word, i've been off-line for a few days and look at the book list!! I'm so glad i said something -- I will need to take notes on this and go to the library myself.
Here's my recent excellent reads:

I just finished "Lit" by Mary Carr, who wrote "Liar's Club" and "Cherry", which are also excellent.

"Wolf Hall" (won the Man Booker prize this year)-- historical fiction about Thomas Cromwell, dense and brilliant writing.

Nicole Krauss' "A History Of Love" which is in my top 5 of all time. I wept and wept and wept.

"The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance" by Elna Baker, a hilarious memoir by one of the writers who performs on the MOTH radio hour.

And ALSO, check out the MOTH site, you can hear stories performed by the writers, it's the best memoir stuff out there, absolutely gorgeous.

"Plague of Doves" by Louise Erdrich (acutally, anything by Louise Erdrich)

"Water Music" and "World's End" by T.C. Boyle (all-time faves)

"The Magician's Assistant" or "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett b/c she writes prose the way others write poetry, flows like absolute honey.

"Everything Is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer, also in by all-time top 5

And of course, "Eat, Pray, Love" because Elizabeth Gilbert articulates yearning and doubt so utterly precisely.

MI Dawn said...

I second the Dante. I love his Commedia. Re-read it often.

New Favs for light reading:
Aunt Dimity's Death (and subsequent books) by Nancy Atherton

For adults and children (might be a fun read-aloud for Bud): The Dewey Deception by Ralph Raab. 2 kids (twins, very competitive between each other) end up in a mystery over a summer that involves solving clues left in a library book.

Always on my list: Alice in wonderland, Through the looking Glass, Swiss Family Robinson, Hans Brinker (yeah, I DO re-read a lot of kid lit for fun.)

Unknown said...

Do you like mysteries? I'm not really a big fan, but I can recommend two excellent series:
Elizabeth's George's "Inspector Lynley" books and Phil Rickman's "Merrily Watkins" books. George you can find anywhere - Rickman you'll have to find online at B&N or Amazon.
If you like Neil Gaiman and/or Douglas Adams, you might like Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Absurdist, satirical, um, fantasy is probably the closest genre. Many of your readers' other suggestions overlap with what I have read / want to read, so listen to them, too. :)

~Kassie~ said...

ooh books! I have been on a huge vampire kick... yea I know... so cliche... but the house of night series is 10 times better than twighlight... and now i am starting vampire acadamy...

I got some super good to-read ideas from everyone else though!