Thursday, March 4, 2010

Roundup: (Some of) Cole's Favorite Books

Thank you all so much for your book suggestions earlier in the week, it's always great to hear what books I should be reading.
Since you were all so helpful I thought I'd reciprocate and share 20 of my favorites with you. And since I did some research (like any good blogger) and discovered that only 9 of you clicked the link over to my previous "Best Books" post I'll be including some of the ones from that list.

PS I realize that this is my third book roundup so I promise to lay off the literature for a while, don't forget, if you have any ideas or needs for a roundup be sure to let me know and I'll put one together for you!

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

This is one of the best books that I have read lately. I'm honestly going to be a little surprised if you haven't read this book yet, it's just that good, I even convinced my non-reader mom to read Wroblewski's story of a young boys epic journey.

I've read three of Lamb's books (I Know This Much is True, She's Come Undone, and The Hour I First Believed) and have really enjoyed all of them. She's Come Undone is probably my least favorite and I Know This Much is True is probably my favorite but all three are excellent choices.

The Poinsonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

I know this one has been around a while and there's a good chance you're read it, but even if you have already read it think about rereading it. Kingsolver is a great storyteller and The Poinsonwood Bible is a wonderful story.

I was a little skeptical when my step-grandma gave me this book to read, at 973 pages I was sure it would be a slow read and wasn't sure it would capture my interest as it was set in the 12th century. Both The Pillars of the Earth and it's sequel World Without End are fascinating books that were (relatively) quick reads. Put aside any prejudices you might have about long books and pick one of these up.

A friend lent this one to me a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely loved it. I'm definitely going to read Larsson's sequel The Girl Who Played with Fire before the third book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest comes out in May.

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

I love novels that include a little bit of history, especially when there is some suspense and something unexpected.

The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring

This is one of those automatic feel good books. Even though this book is written for teenagers there are some truths contained in it. The charismatic young girls in Kring's novel capture the reader with their imagination.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Ok, so I'm a bit of an architecture nerd (especially arts & crafts style) and I really like novels based in history. That said the story of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney is intriguing, romantic, and tragic. I read T.C. Boyle's The Women a couple of months after I read Loving Frank and while it was more historically accurate it was a little more dry and a slower read than Loving Frank.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Again, I love novels based in history, and Golden's story is unique and intriguing.

I know this book has been around for a while but Wells' characters are so beautifully flawed that I have read it over and over.

I think I am officially proving my nerdiness with this list but The Devil in the White City is a great book that tells the story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer that roamed the city during that time. While it is a bit of a slow read the story of how the world's fair came to Chicago and it's influence on the city is fascinating.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides

I know this is another of Oprah's book club books so most likely some of you have read it. The story of a hermaphrodite growing up in Detroit in the 1960s, Middlesex will hook you early on.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I know I'm going to sound like a teacher (/LeVar Burton-who has a twitter!) but the best thing about books are the travels they take you on. The Kite Runner explores a different era in a foreign culture. From what I've heard Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is even better than The Kite Runner, I have yet to read it but it's on my list.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This is a delightful story that tells one man's life adventures in the circus.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I know Gilbert has a new book out but Eat, Pray, Love is the most touching memoir I have ever read. Gilbert's journey to become happy with herself is inspiring. I'll be sure to report if I read her new one.

I thought I'd also include a couple of fluffier books in case you're looking for some lighter reading

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

While the subject of this book isn't necessarily fluffy the relationship between the women in this story is excellent and makes this book a quick read.

Dune Road by Jane Green

I'm pretty sure I've read all of Green's novels and Dune Road is a great story of a woman's struggle to claim her independence after a divorce.

A quick read about a woman that returns to her prep school to teach where the secrets of her past are brought to the future.

PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahren

I really hope this addition doesn't discount my credibility. I read this story well before the movie came out. Ahren has a wonderful way of capturing human emotion and I have read all of her books. While some are slightly fantastical all are well written and capture true emotion.

And last, but not least, my favorite book:
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

This is my all time favorite, I've read it a couple of times and telling you about it makes me want to read it again. Krauss' story chronicles the life of Leo Gursky, a man who moves from Eastern Europe to America during World War II. Krauss' story is full of everyday melancholy tragedy that makes you fall in love with her characters.

So there are some of my favorites, it was hard for me to just choose 20, so I'm sure I'll have to make another list some other time. What are some more of your favorites?

Don't forget the giveaway! You have until tonight at midnight and the winner will be announced tomorrow morning!


Pug(s) and Bugg said...

Definitely a few I'd like to try out here! I have only read two of these- Ya Ya & Kite Runner.... NOT a fan of Kite Runner!!! I just gave it away actually. I felt like it was trying too hard, but at the same time was hard to follow.

I'm REALLY wanting to read poisonwood bible, I can't believe I haven't!


olivia rae said...

WOW we have basically every favorite book in common!!! And I just bought History of Love (because Foer is my fave author) and I'm so excited to read it!!

Kristen said...

I have read lots of these, but will be coming back to this post when I need a good book! Thanks for sharing!

Chantel and Michael Magistro said...

Thanks so much for posting this list! I have just added about 15 books to my list of books to read :-) I love getting book ideas.

I also love books that deal with history. Really, though, I have books I love in just about every genre.

Have you read "The Hunger Games" "The life of Pi" or "Ender's Game" ? They are very good books! "Hunger Games" and "Ender's Game" are more futuristic, which I'm not sure if you like, but they definitely worth a shot!

I haven't finished "Hunger Games" yet, but "Ender's Game" and "The life of Pi" are some of my favorites.

I'll send more suggestions later, if you'd like :-)

I Love You More Then... said...

I too am an avid reader and have only had the pleasure of reading two of these books. I'll have to check out some of the books you suggested. Thankyou!

Katie said...

Ah...we have very similar taste in books! i have read quite a few of the ones you listed...and I'm DYING to get to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo...I've heard amazing things about it!

Have you read The Help yet? I just got it for Xmas and have been wanting to get to it, but wedding planning has been getting in my way...