What are you reading? What do you recommend?

From time to time I like to share what I’ve been reading and get some recommendations from you guys.  I’ve had a wide range of topics on my bedside table lately.

I recently finished “The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel” by Anthony Horowitz.  It read fast and definitely felt like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s style. It corresponds with some news of late (without giving too much away) and sort of made it too real. But it was a good twisty mystery. I want to check out Horowitz’s other novels.

I am currently working on two books. I picked up on a lark the new Levi Johnston biography “Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs.” It was on the “new” shelf at our local library and I thought it would be entertaining and it is. It is a very easy read. You don’t have to concentrate, and it’s fun to try to decide what is the truth and what is exaggerated. He talks about how and why Bristol got pregnant, what life was like in the Palin’s house and of course posing for Playgirl. I haven’t quite finished it. I’m not sure if I will.

I also am currently working on the new James Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver entitled “007: Carte Blanche.” I’m just starting to get into the story and have hit a point now where I just want to keep reading. It’s tough to put down.

Waiting in the wings for me to be done with my spy novels and mystery books is a food book: “The United States of Arugula: How We Became A Gourmet Nation,” by David Kamp. I started it but then found the Sherlock Holmes book and threw it aside. It will get read but Bond’s adventure must come first.

I have two books that I would like to highly recommend.  About an month ago, I finished “As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto,” by Joan Reardon. I was heartbroken when I finished it because I felt like I’d lost my two best friends. I loved reading about what was going on in their lives — what they were cooking, what appliances and kitchen gadgets they were trying out, what Avis’s sons were doing, what their husbands were doing and their view on politics, including the McCarthy hearings. It was fascinating to read about how they tested the recipes and the “cook bookery” as Julia called it. You learned what life was like in the foreign service and also the publishing industry. It also was fascinating to read about 1950/1960s marriages.

I can’t remember if I recommended the last time “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.” I know I have recommended it to friends on Facebook. It is an excellent book and is now according to Amazon.com “bargain-priced.” It would be a great Christmas present for anyone that likes history, mysteries and science. It is my favorite book of 2011.

So what are you reading these days? What would you recommend? What is a brainless relaxing book? Which books did you learn from? What are your favorites for the year?

100 comments Add your comment

Packed Colon

November 16th, 2011
1:06 pm

As this relates to raising children how?

JJ

November 16th, 2011
1:10 pm

ANYTHING by Michael Connelly (Lincoln Lawyer, Blood Work) or Harlan Cobin. My two favorite authors. Harlan Cobin grabs you on the first page, and it’s very difficult to put it down.

I love criminal mysteries…..

@Packed Colon – Happy Momma, Happy life…..’nuff said.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2011
1:15 pm

I agree JJ — Moms need outside interests other than just their kids — it helps educate, relax, inform, entertain — Also with Christmas coming up it’s nice to have ideas for wives or husbands. I will be giving the Julia Child book and the Poisoner’s Handbook this year for Christmas.

Packed Colon

November 16th, 2011
1:22 pm

Help me out. What is “’nuff”?

JJ

November 16th, 2011
1:32 pm

slang for ENOUGH…..

Packed Colon

November 16th, 2011
1:58 pm

Irony. The subject at hand is reading, and you use slang for a word…..Slang that was ONLY two letters less than the original word. I hope you don’t share that with your children. They tend to mimic the adults in their life and by using lazy slang, you are cursing them for life with stupidity.

America gets lazier and lazier.

jarvis

November 16th, 2011
2:00 pm

I was reading this blog, but I finished it right before I started typing this.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2011
2:10 pm

good insight and rec jarvis.

Sluggo

November 16th, 2011
2:14 pm

If my demeanor came across that sour, my colon would be packed too.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2011
2:16 pm

I am wondering if PC is an old friend that found a new IP address. PC I think you need to change your screen name — they have banned for inappropriate screen names. just fyi

Packed Colon

November 16th, 2011
2:30 pm

Inappropriate how?

So this guy is inappropriate too?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolo_Col%C3%B3n

You all are a bunch of uptight pansies. I feel scared for your children.

JJ

November 16th, 2011
2:36 pm

Then go someplace else with your nastiness!!!!!

Anj

November 16th, 2011
2:41 pm

Believe it or not, America’s Test Kitchen books. It’s interesting to find out why and how a recipe works, especially with a recipe detailed enough to give you an excellent chance of doing a recipe correctly the first time. Plus they have a variety of recipes from the kind that are fast to make and use common ingredients, or the more involved recipes that require specific ingredients.

I got gyoza wrappers because the older son wants to make pot stickers. We need to get ground pork and a couple other ingredients first. Poor kid – he keeps saying “Mom, I think YOU should make this for ME.” and the response he gets is: “Well, if YOU want it so much, then you can learn how to make it!”. His father is my inspiration. After watching him bumble around the kitchen, I decided that our kids need to do better than that!

Bertrem

November 16th, 2011
2:46 pm

Cook books are good.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2011
2:48 pm

anj — I love the show — I wish the books had more photos and not just illustrations. I do like photographs.

Becky

November 16th, 2011
2:48 pm

Just started a book by Mariah Stewart called “Last Breath”..Like JJ, I like Harlan Corbin books..I have read a few by Michael Connelly..The book you describe by Joan Reardon sounds pretty good, might have to try that one..So thanks in advance for my Christmas present..:)

@Packed Colon..So glad that you could join us today..It’s been a while since we’ve had someone be with us just to show how ugly they are, so again..WELCOME..Maybe in a few days, you’ll be able to play nice ??

DB (the "regular" one)

November 16th, 2011
2:49 pm

I’m re-reading Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series for the upteenth time (I tend to re-read favorite books). I read “Outliers” a few weeks ago, and finished a newish Mercedes Lackey fantasy last week, after I had read a John Grisham that MJG loaned me. I finished up a biography of Catherine the Great that was pretty good earlier in the week, but I’ve put a moratorium on any new books for the next week or so until I finish a big project at work. I’m kinda all over the place on reading material!

jarvis

November 16th, 2011
2:50 pm

Oh sorry.
I’ve been trying to re-read some classics. Just finished Gatsby again. Still best ever.

I’m about to start Atlas Shrugged. Never read it, but I’m looking forward to it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2011
2:51 pm

jarvis — i am think pride and prejudice for Christmas reading — it is nice to reread a favorite

JJ

November 16th, 2011
3:00 pm

I need to read some of the classics. Haven’t read them since High school……Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby (my daughter LOVES that book), etc. I never read Gone with The Wind either….Bad JJ, bad JJ!!!!

I’ve read EVERYTHING Jackie Collins has ever written. I have all her books, in hardback, and just can’t part with them……

I go through spells of reading. I’ll read book after book after book for a few months. As of right now, I haven’t read any book since August, when I finished “The Brass Verdict”……

I can’t stand reading paperbacks, unless I’m at the beach. And I tried Kindle and all that, but don’t like them either……I just like holding a book in my hands when reading.

jarvis

November 16th, 2011
3:01 pm

TWG, I have learned that those of us from our high school were very fortunate in the number of classic books that we were required to read.
My wife attended a good school in Cobb County, and she has not read nearly what we had to.

LM

November 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

DB(the regular one), love Outlander and all the other books, you know she has another Lord John coming out and and 2012 release for the 8th “in my own heart’s blood” is the working title. Can’t wait.

JJ, I finally read GWTW last year and loved it, gave a copy to my mom who had never read it either. I had seen the movie many years ago, but didn’t realize how much was missed in the movie until I read it.

Jarvis, liked Gastby but not one of my top books.
Love mysteries and thrillers, Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher series are good, but they are doing a movie with Tom Cruise, can’t see him as Jack Reacher. Just finished Prayers for Sale, working on a Piers Anthony.

I will read just about anything but love a good novel, doesn’t matter what kind.

LM

November 16th, 2011
3:16 pm

sorry Jarvis, Gatsby, my brain was not working.

Valstake

November 16th, 2011
3:19 pm

I downloaded “Mrs. Adams in Winter” to my iPad and am currently reading that title. it’s non-fiction and very interesting.

Looking forward to...

November 16th, 2011
3:20 pm

…book #18 from Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum is such a slut, and Lulu is terrific) and am also looking forward to the movie of book #1 that comes out next year…

Paquet du 10

November 16th, 2011
3:21 pm

I wait for the movie to come out. Who has time to read?

JJ

November 16th, 2011
3:30 pm

If you have time to go to a movie, you have time to read……

Mr Grier

November 16th, 2011
3:48 pm

And if you have time to read, you have time to cook and clean.

Razz

November 16th, 2011
3:50 pm

Love Harlan Coben, have read all his books! Just finished the Rob Lowe autobiography ‘Stories I only tell my friends’ or something like that. It was a good, easy read. Another good one I read recently is ‘Still Alice’ by Lisa Genova about a woman that develops early onset Alzheimers in her 50’s, sad but good.

Razz

November 16th, 2011
3:52 pm

I’m looking forward to the movie ‘Hunger Games’ to come out. The books (trilogy) were written for young adults but were excellent.

Mitch

November 16th, 2011
4:08 pm

I bought one of those talking parrots. It did not know how to say “I’m Hungry”…..So it died.

Fred

November 16th, 2011
4:13 pm

Enter your comments here

Techmom

November 16th, 2011
4:14 pm

Love, love, love my Kindle. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. I subscribe to a couple of feeds that list the free or cheap books on Kindle and download them as I see them come across (just b/c it’s free today doesn’t mean it will always be free). I’ve read all kind of stuff this past year. One of my recent favorites was Sarah’s Key- great, great book.

Fred

November 16th, 2011
4:18 pm

Gotta love it when you hit the wrong key and post an “Enter your comments here” lol.

Two things: First off, @TWG sometimes your ‘name” is highlighted in grey as ALL blog authors are, and sometimes it’s not. Is it always you or have you been name jacked at times and do nothing about it?

Second: On topic. I just finished the Percy Jackson series (well as many as have been written) and a couple of other books (MVP for example) that my daughter was reading. They weren’t bad. I like to keep up with the stuff she reads that I didn’t read growing up and have to admit I have enjoyed most of it. She didn’t read the Percy Jackson stuff though. She was GOING to, or at least expressed an interest so I bought them for her, but she decided she didn’t like the genre. So I read them. Why waste a book right?

Fred

November 16th, 2011
4:20 pm

Techmom: my daughter wants either a Kindle or a nook. I have a couple of friends who have the nook but don’t know anyone who has the kindle. Besides, the new kindle just came out and it looks smoking. I have an Ipad and there is a nook app for it so I was hesitant to buy her something else, she can just use my iPad. But the iPad is heavy……….. any thoughts or recommendations?

Techmom

November 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

@Fred, my guess is that when TWG posts from her phone, it doesn’t recognize her as the author.

Denise

November 16th, 2011
4:23 pm

I’m reading “New York to Dallas” by JD Robb. It is the latest by JD Robb. JD Robb is Nora Roberts’ “alter ego” for her futuristic (not science fiction…year 2060) crime novels. Love them! I am also reading “Is Marriage for White People” about the decline in marriage in African American community and the impact on society. Haven’t gotten far into it but the synopsis sounds interesting. I don’t LIKE it – he says that educated Black women, like me, are the least likely to marry – but it sounds interesting.

homeschooler

November 16th, 2011
4:24 pm

@ Looking forward to…LOVE, LOVE the Stephanie Plum series. Cheesy, easy read but so funny. I do wish Evanovich had stopped at 12 or 13 though. Haven’t been happy with thie newer ones. I read a lot of “deeper” stuff (James Patterson, John Grisham) but not much that is as enjoyable.

@ Jarvis..I went to Cobb Co. Schools 1st-12th. Had to read Alas Babylon and Wuthering Heights. No other classics..none. This is part of the reason why I homeschool. I wonder if the kids at McEachern High School are required to read any of the classics now.

I tried reading...

November 16th, 2011
4:33 pm

…reading John Grisham many years ago with “The Bretheren” and was so bored I gave up – then recently I read his book the Runaway Jury and was enthralled with all of the detail he went in to since I know quite a bit about the whole jury process in product liability lawsuits.

Ironically, the only facutal discrepancy I could find was his having the main character go to breakfast at Waffle House where they ordered pancakes! All of that research that was spot on (well, he is a lawyer by training), but you can tell he is not from the south, as everyone knows that Waffle House does NOT serve pancakes…

I Love Life Cereal

November 16th, 2011
4:39 pm

America gets lazier and lazier.

‘Nuff said!

motherjanegoose

November 16th, 2011
4:59 pm

If I find an author I like, I read all their books:

John Grisham, Jodi Piccoult, Lisa Scottoline, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans, David Baldacci, Elizabeth Berg, Richard Russo, Barbara Kingsolver,Sue Grafton, Karen Robards are just a few. Stephanie Plum is a hoot, to me…it is cheesy! I have also read a few of Kristin Hannah’s newer books.

I read Heaven is for Real, this past summer and also just finished Herman Cain’s Book. I liked them both.

If you are a pet lover. THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN….will make you laugh and cry.

I read at least a book every week…the old fashioned paper ones….LOL. I read so much that when I read for fun….it cannot be too deep.

I have a dear friend who was talking to a Nun about reading things that are way different from your real life. The nun replied, ” I know what you mean…I read romance!” HAHA!

At Mr. Grier…I will take reading over cleaning and cooking any day. I spent 4 hours on the interstate today in traffic in Atlanta and need some down time….LOL. FYI…I was not shopping!

JJ

November 16th, 2011
5:09 pm

I just soiled myself.

Fred

November 16th, 2011
6:11 pm

@I tried reading: John Grisham was born in Arkansas, when he was 4 they finally settled in Mississippi. Is that South enough for you? He got his under grad degree at University of Mississippi and his Law degree from Ole Miss.

But give him a break. As someone raised on the Gulf Coast where he set that book, Runaway Jury, there was ONE Waffle house. It was (and probably still is) on Hwy 90 in Gulfport. There may be more now, or there may not. But just damn. To call the man a Yankee for THAT?

My wife was born and raised in Atlanta and had NEVER eaten at a waffle house until I took her to one after we were married. SHE isn’t Southern? Just damn.

Fred

November 16th, 2011
6:16 pm

@ Motherjanegoose: If you promise not to tell anyone, I will disclose that I read Nicholas Sparks as well. He writes good stuff. His characterization is awesome. But I don’t care what “he” says in his BIO. “He” is not a man. No man, not even a gay man, could write some of the stuff he writes. Point blank. I ain’t believing it lol. I read out loud his description of a man in jeans to my wife from one of his books and asked her is she thought it was a man (even a gay man) or a woman writing it. She didn’t even hesitate in saying a woman. But he writes good stuff. Just don’t tell anyone I read him or I will have to surrender my man card.

fk

November 16th, 2011
6:25 pm

If you like mystery/crime novels by Michael Connolly and Harlon Corbin, you’ll like Nelson DeMille, too.

Longtime Educator

November 16th, 2011
6:26 pm

This is part of a list I put up for all my teacher friends who were looking for summer reading. Now that I’m retired, I have lots of time to read! I thoroughly enjoyed the Lincoln Lawyer books too! I also highly recommend the “Hunger Games” trilogy; it’s wonderful reading even though it is considered young adult. Lots of buzz right now since the movie is in production!

Ken Follett: “Pillars of the Earth”, “World Without End” (those 2 go together), “Fall of Giants”
Emma Donoghue: “Room” story of boy raised by his abducted mother to not be aware of the outside world (they are still in captivity…sounds icky but was a good book)
Kathleen Grissom: “The Kitchen House” Irish child on ship coming to Williamsburg sees her parents thrown overboard when they die during the voyage…captain of ship gives her to his kitchen slave to raise…interesting story
Rebecca Skloot” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (nonfiction…google it)
Sara Gruen: “Ape House”
Deborah Harkness: “A Discovery of Witches” current best seller…witches, daemons, and vampires, but not as adolescent as the Twilight books

shaggy

November 16th, 2011
6:27 pm

I just read Mad Magazine…in honor of the gathering of eagles that magazine just had in Savannah. I didn’t know those guys were even alive, let alone still cranking out irreverent satire. Sergio Argonnes’ page margin cartoons have always been hilarious, and he still draws them the same as of old.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2011
6:46 pm

Fred – the answer is – when I am logged into Wordpress it makes it grey when I am not logged in or when I reply from my phone, it doesn’t grey it. If I notice someone being me I will pull it down and most likely ban them.

forget to mention what Michael’s been reading — Longtime educator -= he loved “Room” but I think it would be too sad for me. Right now he’s reading “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” and his loving it. Other friends have recommended as well — although not a light read.

Scout

November 16th, 2011
6:58 pm

“The Leftovers” by Tom Perotta. Great read so far!

My bad, Fred...

November 16th, 2011
7:03 pm

…but I never said he was a yankee, just not from the south, and I was incorrect as you so eloquently pointed – and really, I was making fun of myself for being so nit-picky on his in-depth research (did you miss the part where I wrote “well, he is a lawyer by training”)…