I Need Some Book Suggestions

I’ve just updated my Goodreads list of read books for 2009. I always forget to update that thing. But it now reflects what is actually going on in my reading life. I have read six books this year (one of which I absolutely loved). I am now currently reading nothing (see?). I did request the following books from our library just now:

1. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan. I saw the movie first, which is something I rarely do. I now am forced, by my own personal moral code, to read the book and make the necessary comparison: which was better? The book or the movie? My guess will be the book but, oh, the movie was so wonderful.

2. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. This is evidence that I am deep in the throes of dorking out musically as of late. As our chorale continues to practice for our spring show, I’m finding myself listening to soundtracks non-stop. While I know the story (and the music) of Wicked, I now need to read the book. Why? Because I need to.

3. Son of a Witch, also by Gregory Maguire. I’ll be honest. In all my musical dorkiness, I didn’t know this book existed until today. I about fell off the couch when I was bebopping through titles and saw this one. And so, it must be read as well.

4. The Mighty Queens of Freeville: a mother, a daughter and the people who raised them by Amy Dickinson. I requested this one because Redbook told me to. Okay, I don’t do everything Redbook tells me to (but look for a theme on this in the near future) but I do always check out their book reviews. This one spoke to me and so, here we go.


They should all arrive in the next week through our awesome library system. (Also requested? The Making of Miss Saigon DVD and the full vocal score of the same musical. For those who don’t know what my renewed interest is in that musical, I encourage you to read this post and then offer me your congratulations.) I hate that I’m wasting a week in the process. I think I have some books in the house that have not yet been read and so I could jump into one of them but… sometimes they haven’t been read for a reason.

Especially that one book. That’s right. Two of my friends have ganged up on me and I currently have a copy of Twilight sitting on the table next to the couch. I said I’d read it if my one friend liked it after the other lent it to her first. And she went ahead and liked it. No, loved it. I should make good on reading it but I’m avoiding it like some kind of vampiric plague.

As such, we’re heading into town tonight and I want to buy a book. Please offer me your best suggestions. I like fiction and nonfiction alike. I could probably do without reading any serious parenting books right now as I feel parented out. A funny look at parenting would be accepted. I don’t really dwell much in chick lit but appreciate a good one. And, also, if the book totally avoids the word adoption, I’d be grateful. I’m also somewhat adoption storylined to death as of late.

You have until 3:30pm (EST) to offer suggestions. Winning suggestion (how well you sell your book to me and if it is available where we will be) will receive… a link if you’re a blogger… my deepest thanks… and a virtual cookie. Mmm, cookies. Unless you suggest more Twilight books. Then you will receive virtual liver and onions. It’s your choice.

[Note: No blog post yesterday because we were without internet due to an outage in a main city for most of the day. Yes, it was horrible but we did survive. Shockingly.]


17 Replies to “I Need Some Book Suggestions”

  1. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
    — this is absolutely my favorite book that i have ever read. the story was AMAZING. the writing phenomenol. and the ability to move you to another place and time was … mystical.
    all i will say is … enjoy it … i know that you will pick this one. you have to. now i’m off to get wicked. have you seen the musical of it? i could have watched it over and over and over again.

    jens last blog post..peeky-boo.

  2. I recommend Two Rivers by T. Greenwood. T. Greenwood is one of my favorite authors ever; this is a newer book, so you should be able to find it either at the book store or the library.

    Two Rivers takes palce in rural Two Rivers, Vermont where Harper Montogmery, a single father, divides his time between caring for his daughter Shelly and working at the local railroad office. Harper’s wife died 12 years before in accident and Harper has never gotten over losing her. He’s also haunted by the role he played in a brutal murder shortly after his wife died. A fatal train accident at the Two Rivers station gives Harper’s life new meaning when he is approached by Maggie, a pregnant African-American teen; he agrees to take her in, thinking that her appearance was just a random occurance. Instead, Harper slowly begins to realize that Maggie arrived in Two Rivers with a purpose in mind.

    I really loved how Two Rivers was written. There are a ton of flashbacks to the 60s and Harper’s life growing up with Besty (his future wife) at his side. There’s also bits about Harper’s mother, an educated woman who goes crazy cooped up as housewife, so she leaves Two Rivers to volunteer for SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement.

    All in all, it was an AWESOME read! I chose it for my book club this quarter.

  3. I can’t recommend it from experience, but on my next trip to the library, I plan to get Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by Z.Z. Packer. I just read an article she wrote in Wondertime Magazine (dealing with her experience interracial family/parenting) and like it.

    I’m also going to get the Gosselin’s book Multiple Blessings once it’s available – it’s on reserve for someone else and loaned out at the moment. Most people seem to have a definite “take sides” attitude toward that family, and I don’t know where you stand, but I’m interested to see how much more of their faith they discuss in the book compared to what they reveal on their show, Jon & Kate Plus 8.

    If you’re talking kids’ books for the boys, WHere the Wild Things Are and The Boy and the Tigers (formerly known as Little Black Sambo) are current hits with my guy.

    StorkWatchers last blog post..Chocolate Alert!

  4. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult was really good…I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it.

    The Kite Runner and A 1000 Splendid Suns…both by Khaled Hosseini (I think that’s how you spell his name). Great great stories, emotionally heavy in certain parts, but have become two of my favorites ever.

    Life As We knew It, I don’t remember the author, but it is about a metor that hits earth and how it impacts everyone. It is written as a journal of a teenage girl, where she talks about how they survived, how it feels to be a teenager with turmoil going on….realllllly good story. Please do check it out on amazon to read more about it, I highly reccommend it.

    ginas last blog post..Oh No They Didn’t

  5. I tend to go for books like Ha Jin’s Waiting or Jhumpa Lahiri’s Namesake. One of my all-time faves in Michael Ondaatje’s memoir Running in the Family.

    The next book on my list is Three Cups of Tea.

  6. After you get through “Wicked” and “Son of a Witch”, there’s a third one that came out a few months ago – “A Lion Among Men”. I just finished it. :c)

    I don’t really have anything else to suggest though…I often get ideas from what you’ve read, so half of what I’d suggest you’ve obviously already read. ;c)

  7. Oldies, but goodies: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Color Purple (My two absolute favorites). Both Pulitzer Prize winning novels made into Oscar winning/nominated movies. I love love love these books.

    Other favorite fiction recommendations: Memoirs of a Geisha, Bag of Bones, or The Red Tent. All very entertaining, all very different from each other.

    Nonfiction: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (travel book; he is probably the funniest writer I’ve read) or Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jean Marie Laskas (about buying a farm in W. Pa*)

    Funny look at Parenting: How my Breasts Saved the World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother.

    Favorite Young Adult reads: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Uglies (both are first in a series). Both are much better than Twilight, in my opinion.

    I tried to suggest books you should be able to find easily. Sorry there are so many, but I have a million suggestions. It was hard to narrow it down.

    *For what it’s worth, the sequel The Exact Same Moon is about adoption, but it’s not mentioned in the first book.

    jen @ negative lanes last blog post..Go ahead… ask me about my giant baby (take 2)

  8. Anything by Charlaine Harris. (With the caveat: there will be sex in the book.)

    I’ve read books from several of her series and they are all funny and enjoyable. There’s Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who gets involved with the undead and others; Harper Connelly, who survived a lightning strike and now has the ability to find the dead and relive their last moments (she can tell you how they died, not who killed them); Aurora Teagarden, a librarian – no paranormal in the book I read, but still very enjoyable.

    I have not read any of her Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard) series yet.

    CaySedais last blog post..Manta Mania!! Win a Trip for 4 from Izea to SeaWorld in Orlando

  9. Wicked the book is not at all like Wicked the musical. I read the book first. The musical is much, much better, IMO. Not that you shouldn’t read the book – it’s interesting – but they really tightened up the story for the musical. I get to see it, finally, next month.
    I’d like to know what you think of the book, when you’re done.

  10. i can’t believe i missed this post. i would recommend the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society by mary ann shaffer and ann barrow. it is an epistolary novel (told in letters) between a young lady author in immediate post-world-war-II england and a group of readers on the isle of guernsey (the only part of british soil to be occupied by the nazis during the war). it is light, charming, funny, and deceptively moving. behind all their wordplay and simple words, there is a great story to be told of a stalwart people in the face of fascist authoritarianism.

    rus last blog post..GLBTQ books for children and teens

  11. I’m probably too late…but I just finished or more accurately I am almost finished with Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune. Written originally in Spanish this book chronicles the life of Eliza abandoned as an infant at the home of Jeremy and Rose Sommers, a brother and sister. The pair take Eliza in but do not formally adopt her. I know you don’t want an adoption-themed book, but this is so much more than that. The circumstances of Eliza’s birth set the stage for the novel since Eliza is the lead character, but the novel is about much more:

    – It is a historical novel set in Chile in the 1840s, also takes place in London, Europe, San Francisco, and China as well.
    – It covers the life of comfortably off British expats in Chile who are shipping merchants.
    – The author gives details about the life of the working poor in Valparaiso. Think shacks, no running water, threadbare clothes.
    – One of the characters is the captain of a ship and then a steamer. Part of the novel deals with a group of passengers who go to San Francisco during the Gold Rush. Tha passengers range from a prostitutes, a Chinese cook and holistic healer, sailors, men who are seeking their fortunes during the Gold Rush, and wealthy folk.
    – Once in California the class system falls apart as it is every man for himself as everyone wants to make money in the Gold Rush.

    Allende wrote a sequel called Portraits in Sepia. I will read that one next when I finish daughter.

    Musings from Mes last blog post..Twitter and Me in 140 Characters or More

  12. I’ll be interested to see what you think of Twilight. I read it while my 13 year old was going through her craze. While I understand why so many like the story, the writing drove me crazy. It’s just not that good. Not bad for teen fiction, but not good. I was able to push away my annoyance and keep going after about 100 pages. I’ll definately be watching for your review.

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