Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What to Read: Volume 2

If you know me in real life, you know I am a book nerd and proud of it.  As a kid, I saved my allowance until I had enough to buy a paperback at Waldenbooks and then devoured it in about 2 days.  Clearly that's why I had so many friends.  ;-)

Every so often, I like to share some books that I enjoyed reading since it seems like every week that I get asked for a book recommendation.  Here are some of my recent favorites:

 
One Day by David Nicholls
I absolutely loved this story, and it is now being made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway.  I highly suggest you read it before the movie butchers the story (although the trailer does look promising, movies always leave out important stuff).  I laid in bed laughing and then crying and was so sad when I ran out of pages to read.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
I've posted about Bill Bryson before because he is one of my all-time favorite authors.  If you are the type of person who is interested in history and how people lived a long time ago, you'll love this book and its ability to turn you into a source of useful facts for bar trivia.  It's really long, but the chapters are somewhat unrelated so you can read little bits here and there.  I now know things like how forks came to be, and how babies were delivered when male doctors weren't allowed to touch female patients.

Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett
I love historical fiction, and am trying to move beyond the Tudor era since I know those story lines so well (Anne never lives).  I had loved Vanora Bennett's first book after snatching it up from the clearance table, and was so excited to get her new book last year, only to have it sit on my shelf for 6 months while I planned a wedding.  I thought this story was fascinating, and I stayed up far too late the week that I read it.  The historical details are pretty accurate, if you're a stickler for those things, and the characters were not like any I'd read about before.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
I read this with my book club last year and still think about it often.  It's a very haunting memoir written by a woman who has survived more terrible things than I could wrap by head around.  It definitely makes you realize how lucky you are to be reading this on a computer period, and you'll want to cheer for her as she turns her life around. 

Do you have any book recommendations?  I can't wait to read Bossypants and The Help, but am making myself work through my existing stack before buying anything new.  It's hard.  :(

17 comments

  1. haha, i'm with you! i had to put down both bossypants AND the help in the past few weeks (i guess we're the only ones left who haven't read the help), until i finish my current reads-- little bee and the paris wife. little bee is great, but more of a downer than i was expecting. the paris wife is also great, a novel about ernest hemmingway's first wife, which i'm expecting to turn downer eventually... happy reading! :)

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  2. i love book recommendations! i have been eyeing One Day for a while now (a clear case of judging a book by its cover--nothing wrong with that, right?) this might be a stupid question but do you have a goodreads account? that's my favorite place to keep track of what i've read and to get ideas for what to read next. if so, i would love to follow you on there. i am always looking for the next great read!

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  3. I have no time to read these days and am missing it so much- love that you've given little reviews of some of your favourites...makes it easier to just choose one and have a little reading getaway:)

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  4. I'm in the middle of One Day and I can't wait for the movie! I can imagine Anne as the perfect Emma!

    Thanks for the recommendations :)

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  5. o! good to know! i have One Day sitting in my living room...must read it now! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

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  6. I just finished "Half-Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls. It started slow for me, but it drew me in as it went on. I ended up finishing it in two sittings. I highly recommend it.

    I'm going to look into the books you listed here. :)

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  7. I recently read and LOVED Sarah's Key. Also, I enjoy anything by Malcolm Gladwell and Sarah Addison Allen. And Jonathan Safran Foer.

    Favorite of all time: Salinger's Nine Stories.

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  8. my friend just recommended One Day, it's on my short list - I just read The Help and it was phenomenal - I'm also a huge fan of anything Jodi Picoult... I haven't read her latest but everything else pretty much is phenomenal. [The Pact, The Other Sister, Heart of the Matter, Picture Perfect are all a great place to start]

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  9. i'm so happy you shared these!! i've been looking for some good books for various summer trips. thanks, friend :)

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  10. I've never heard of Figures in Silk but will be on the look out for it! I am also a big Tudor England fan--right now I am reading a nonfiction piece about Elizabeth's life before her ascension--very interesting!

    Have you read Phillipa Gregory's books on the War of the Roses period (The White Queen and The Red Queen)? I really enjoyed them!

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  11. I loved The Help and Water for Elephants. I am on the waitlist at the library for Bossypants. I also enojoy historical fiction and read a book called Masquerade by Nancy Moser about two British ladies coming to America in the 1880s. I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and would recommend A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff about an owner of a vintage clothing shop since I know you like fashion. ;)

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  12. i am so excited for you to read the help, it is such a good book!!! i just started reading bossypants and it's already hilarious. i am also in the middle of henrietta lacks, which is pretty good as well. one of my favorite authors is jhumpa lahiri - the namesake. her short stories are great as well.

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  13. Well I was going to recommend The Help and Bossypants but since you already have those on your list, I would suggest The Glass Castle. It's an amazing memoir of a strong woman and her absurd family history.

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  14. I'm glad everyone enjoys book recommendations! I thought this post would get either great response or none. :)

    I will definitely check out the books you ladies recommended! I keep a shopping cart at bn.com and always check to see if prices drop, so these are going on the list.

    And for those who asked: I have read all of the Philippa Gregory books and liked them a lot, but figured she is so well known that everyone has heard of her. I don't have a Good Reads account, but should definitely get one!

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  15. I'm definitely going to check out At Home! Thanks for the reviews!

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  16. I have been trying to read one day for a few months now but I can never get passed the first few pages for some reason! I will have to try again with such a good review to motivate me!

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  17. I took your advice here and bought One Day yesterday...and I've already finished it. Fantastic. I felt like the kid who saved her allowance and devoured the book in less than 2 days all over again.

    Yep, that was me too. Book nerds of the world, unite?

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