Thursday, July 8, 2010

What to read: Vol 1

I've noticed several of my favorite blogstresses posting their picks for books to read this summer and since that's a topic very near and dear to my heart, I want to post my recommendations as well.  This page will also serve as my new answer for all the people who ask me what they should read next

Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett
I'd be Captain Obvious if I posted a Phillippa Gregory book for you, so I'm going with this one instead.  The story is historical fiction in the Tudor era, but if focuses on the family of Sir Thomas More instead of Henry VIII.  I stayed up all night reading this and if you like historical fiction, you'll enjoy it.

Getting Over It by Anna Maxted
Anna Maxted is my favorite author for non-historical books.  Her characters are eerily relateable and the stories are not like the thousand other chick lit books at Barnes and Noble.  This book is about a woman dealing with the death of her dad, but it's down a Debbie Downer read and if you like it you'll probably like all her other books as well.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler
This book is about two families who adopt Korean babies on the same day.  One family is Iranian and the other American and the books follows their story as the girls grow up.  The story sucks you in quickly and it's a quick read that makes you think about what it means to be American.

I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is my favorite non-fiction author.  His travel books are great for when you want to read a little each night and laugh out loud (and learn!).  I'm a Stranger Here myself is actually a collection of newspaper columns that he wrote after moving back to America after 20 years in England.  If you like his style, you'll like his other books as well.

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Tracy Chevalier wrote The Girl with the Pearl Earring (which was made into that movie with Scarlett Johannson) but I think this book was better.  Her books often start with a painting or work of art and then she creates a story about the people who made it - in this case the famous Cluny tapestries depicting a lady and a unicorn.  The story is really interesting and it's another book I couldn't put down until 1am when I was about to pass out.

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Yes, same author as above.  This book is part mystery, part historical fiction and flips between the story of an American woman who moves to France and her relatives 400 years ago.  I read all the time and this story has stuck with me for about 4 years.  I just may read it again this summer...

The English American by Alison Larkin
This story is about a British woman who learns that her birth parents are American and she heads to the US to meet them.  Hilarity ensues, but not in the ridiculous chick lit way.  It's a true story and very entertaining.

Do any of these sound interesting to you?  Do you have any suggestions for me?  I've only got 3 more books in my To Be Read pile...


  1. Based on your selections, I think you'd enjoy "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society" and also a re-read of "Pride & Prejudice."

    I've been recommending the nonfiction book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot to everyone I meet.

  2. I saw that book on the Daily Show and when I looked at your blog - I'm definitely interested. I like to read non-fiction every 3rd book or so and will add it to my list!

  3. I'm interested in these! Yay, something different.

  4. It sounds like you would also like "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. Have you read that one yet?

  5. I've read Outlander. She's got an entire series out as well, but I haven't read those.



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