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Read (Being the Past-Tense of "Read," Which there is No Other Way to Clarify)

Let's see, I last posted what I have been reading in December or so, and this next chunk will mean that I have listed 334 total books for your perusal and yet I almost never get reading recommendations from you. Sometimes I feel this relationship is all give and no take. So once you have admired my very limited book list from the past couple of months, you should make a suggestion. Please note that I don't read romance or chick lit, and have already read these and these. I suppose you will just have to psychically determine what I read before I started keeping track in 2001.

Anyway, here's my list;

Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Flipping Out by Marshall Karp
Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp
The Forger's Spell by Edward Dolnick
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
Blind Eye by James B. Stewart

Of those, I recommend:

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
For the first chunk of this book I was thinking that it was one of the best things I had ever read, possibly one of the best things ever written, and I had visions of, for the first time ever, finishing the book and then immediately reading it again. And then the second half fell apart for me just a bit. I did not, after all, immediately re-read the book, but it is still an excellent book and you should read it.

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
This is described as a book for young adults, but I don't see that at all. I mean, I'm sure they would enjoy it too. I'm 34 and avoid reading books about high school because I just don't care anymore and don't find the typical high school story lines (or high school aged people, really) compelling, but this book is excellent. The main character is young, but the plot is not. The characters are engaging and the story is told in a way that makes you want to read faster to learn what happens next. Read it.

Flipping Out by Marshall Karp
Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp
(Full disclosure: I work for the author, but shilling his books on my website is not part of my job description.)
I don't usually read cop books, see above re: why I don't read high school books. But the cops in these books are great characters who would be fun to read in any genre. The books are funny, the plots are twisty, and you will want to invite the entire cast over to dinner. Is it too early to talk about beach books? These would be great beach books. Read 'em both.

Comments (24)

You should hop on the GoodReads bandwagon. It's a fun wagon. A lot straw. Very comfy.

I'd recommend The Human Stain by Philip Roth, The Joke by Milan Kundera, and Paul Auster's New York Trilogy.

You seem to have read a bit of Stephen King but I didn't see The Stand, which is my favorite so I highly recommend that of course. Along that same line, I'd recommend Dean Koontz's Watchers, From the Corner of His Eye and Life Expectancy.

And a great collection of short stories is Enough Rope by Lawrence Block.

We read the same books. So I am not much help to you.

I do love Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk...but I'm weird that way.

I haaaaaaaaaate chick lit. HATE. Even hate the name "chick lit."

That being said, I am currently lost (in a good way) in The Piano Teacher, Janice Y.K. Lee.

I don't usually read theological/religious, but I have one for you. It's short. It's easy to read and it's eye opening. Not so much in a religious way, either.

It's called "Dinner with a Perfect Stranger" by David Gregory.

I see you've read a few by Chuck Palahniuk, but have you read Choke, Lullabye or Survivor? All three are very good.

Also didn't see Wicked by Gregory Maguire on the list. Read the book years and years ago, so it might have been before you started keeping track. Read it, seen the show and own the soundtrack.

I really need to keep track of the books I've read.

Yes. I'm an idiot. Please drive through!

Sorry, didn't see Lullabye. I read your recommendations and the other lists, but missed Lullabye on this list.

Some day I will add a "suggested reading" to my site. However, since all I've been reading for the past 3 years, almost 4, is philosophy and other fun books for my degree...there's no sense as no one would read these books for fun, relaxing reading.

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. One of the best books I have ever read, and I frequently recommend it to strangers browsing in bookstores.

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. My book club read it, it's very long, but very good. It has a sequel that came out maybe a year ago but I haven't read it, called World Without End.

Also, not sure it'll be your thing but I have loved everything I've ever read by Torey Hayden (except Murphy's Boy and any fiction)- she taught emotionally disturbed kids and kids with selective mutism for many years and her books about her experiences are really compelling.

Read The Sparrow by Mary Doris Russell. Super cool, trippy and amazingly well- written. Your cactus man would probably enjoy it as well.

I agree with "Sir:" You oughta check out

Since you've got a bit of science fiction mixed in there, you might like Ian McDonald's "River of Gods" or Tim Powers' "The Stress of Her Regard."

I came across a great website to trade books you might want to look into it if you haven't already!

The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
Birds Without Wings (Louis De Bernieres)

I'd also recommend books by Sarah Dunant (amazing at both historical fiction and thrillers) and Arturo Perez-Reverte.

The Collectors (David Baldacci) was surprisingly addicting and kept me up way too late so I could finish it.

I agree with Judy: The Thirteenth Tale, Pillars of the Earth, and World Without End are all very good.

Thanks for your recommendations! I'll have to keep them in mind the next time I'm at the library.

I started "American Wife" by Curtis Sittenfeld the other day and I am hugely enjoying it. A bit invasive for poor old Laura Bush though. I read "Prep" by the same author and was much less entranced but this is excellent.

Please forgive me if this is a repeat of one of yours or someone else's. (There is a five-week old on a pillow in my lap nursing, and I don't have time to check. Although I don't remember ever seeing it on your previous lists.) Anyway..."The Solace of Leaving Early" by Haven Kimmel is a good one. Boring first (or maybe it's the second) chapter, but it's worth getting through it and going on. At least in my opinion. Loved it enough to buy a copy and reread at least three or four times over the years. Really enjoy Janet Evanovich's (sp?) 'Numbers' series about female bounty hunter. Though it's sort of like eating ice cream for dinner. They read fast though and make me laugh out-loud on occasion, which I enjoy. You may have mentioned detesting these some time previously for which I'll also apologize. I have no memory. P.S. The little one in my lap is a girl - so now I get to try to make a pillowcase dress. :)

I second The Time Traveler's Wife

I would also recommend The Spellman Files (and the other two that follow it).

Recently read Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde, very enjoyable.

Two of my all time favorites - Lightning and Watchers by Dean Koontz

Anything by Bill Bryson - hilarious.

Also, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Hard to describe, but a wonderful, wonderful book.

You aren't recommending "Lullabye"?

Why the hell not?

And if you didn't like it I am not sure you want my suggestions. I think Palahniuk has one of the most unique and wonderful voices of any modern author.


how about jodi picoult or anita shreve. and come on, the janet evanovich 'Stephanie Plum' books are pretty awesome. I also hear there's this series about Vampires and Werewolves that's quite popular...

I haven't really come to terms with how I feel about the book We Need To Talk About Kevin. It is one that has, however, been in the back of my mind since I read it a year ago. It's a book that isn't an easy read, but you won't want to put it down. And it stays with you, lingering, makign you think and consider for a long time to come.

I'm reading Firefly Lane By Kristin Hannah right now and am enjoying it.

I'm also reading Jen Lancaster Bright Lights, Big Ass - pure fluff but hilarious. I have laughed myself to tears a couple of times.

Swan Song won a 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. SO GOOD, i kept stopping myself from reading it so that it wouldn't end.

Speaking of Marshall Karp, have you seen the video of his father speaking of his time at Pearl Harbor? It's fascinating.

I second the recommendation of The Thirteenth Tale, and Pillars of the Earth.

Your lists are too long to sort through - so here is the link to my book club site. Our reading lists for the last 10 years, more or less, are posted there.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards - one of those books that has stayed with me, the characters, the emotion. It was recently made into a Lifetime movie...I'm going to safely say it is still an excellent book, though. :)

Also, anything by Ivan Doig - historical fiction set in Montana. Lovely, lovely characters, places, experiences. I keep wishing he would write more so I could read more!

And now I must muddle through everyone's recommendations, because I don't have enough to do!

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So the Fish Said...

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