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

Legend of Len Barker

November 16th, 2011
7:06 pm

Just finished There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975. I think it’s a must read for southerners. My mileage may vary, of course.

I pretty much exclusively read non-fiction, but have read a couple of Douglas Adams books in the past few months (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe) and am about to tackle a bit of Kurt Vonnegut. Somehow, I’ve never read anything of his. Also re-read Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is excellent.

I don’t too much in the way of non-fiction in the comments, but enjoyed Arctic Labyrinth and The Man Who Ate His Own Boots, which are pretty much companions. Anything with details on the lost John Franklin expedition is automatically good and both of those did. ESPN: These Guys Have All the Fun came out this year and while it doesn’t have that many funny stories, is quite easy to read.


November 16th, 2011
7:21 pm

Anything by:

Harlan Coben – mystery/thriller
Lee Child – action/thriller
Karin Slaughter – murder/thriller
Laura Kinsale – romance*
Judith Ivory – romance*

* Maybe two of the only romance authors I like


November 16th, 2011
7:29 pm

Ralph and the Motorcycle.
The Last of the Mohicans.
Green Eggs and Ham.


November 16th, 2011
7:33 pm

Nelson DeMille rocks…as do many others mentioned here. i too read books i love over again…and i cant wait for our new jersey girls new book…sthephanie plum is hilarious…and ranger and joe? yeah they could make the most goody goody turn into a slut lol..i personally am hoping to get shelter of the stones for christmas…the last in the children of the earth series…those are fantastic books…

right now im reading “midwives’ by chris bohjalian….really good so far.

Rarely comments

November 16th, 2011
7:35 pm

I recently read “Moonwalking with Einstein” by Joshua Foer and found it really compelling–about unbelievable feats of memory and the National Memory Championships (this is non-fiction–there really is such an event). Two days ago I finished Cutting for Stone, which is on most paperback fiction bestseller lists these days, and it was a beautiful and memorable story.


November 16th, 2011
7:38 pm

I forgot I like Sandra Brown and also Karen Slaughter. I read STILL ALICE… about a 50 plus year old who gets Alzheimer’s and that scared me out of my wits. It was a good book but got me thinking about all the little things I forget…sheesh! I pretty much read fiction as my real life is way too busy and I need a relaxing diversion….haha!


November 16th, 2011
7:47 pm

I agree with Razz – I just finished the “Hunger Games” trilogy and it was the best I’ve read in a long time.


November 16th, 2011
7:57 pm

Terry Moore, who wrote and illustrated Strangers In Paradise did such a wonderful job with his art and writing for female characters that I thought for almost a year that he was a she. (artists generally draw female characters as both over idealized and generic. And the writing often been as bad, if not worse than the art.)

I recommend the award winning DC series Fables for anyone who likes good writing, good art and and believable female characters.

Currently not reading the second book in the Bartimaeus trilogy with a book on CD. I picked up the graphic novel adaptation which was surprisingly good, both in writing and illustration. I usually have low expectations for graphic adaptations unless P. Craig Russell is doing it. Too often it’s a marketing tactic by publishers who assume fans hot book/movie can be persuaded to buy any merchandise associated with it.


November 16th, 2011
8:35 pm

Oohh, I’m getting so many good ideas to add to my never-ending list of books I want to read. I Recently read ROOM and The Hunger Games–loved them both, and didn’t think either would be my type of book. Sarah’s Key was great too, but my eyes were always puffy the next morning from crying in bed the night before while I read.

I will read anything by David Sedaris, over and over and over again. He always makes me laugh.

Years and years ago, I loved reading Robert Ludlum and it’s probably time to pick some of those up again for a re-read. Same for Patricia Cromwell. Anybody ever read any Nevada Barr? I like her books too.

Cool Tip for Readers: Next time you pass a Dollar Tree, pop in and take a look at their book selection. I have found some great hardback books there for $1. I’ve have found some authors I had never heard of and became an instant fan, the books were so good and also found some pretty popular books that were apparently bought on close-out from BJ’s and put on sale for $1 at Dollar Tree. It’s my new favorite book store!


November 16th, 2011
9:54 pm

I am really enjoying reading your suggestions – my “to-read” list just grew!

As for me – I just finished “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen and I was not impressed. It was our book club pick for this month and I think we were all expecting more because of all the hype it received when it first came out. I found the characters unsympathetic – I just really didn’t care what ended up happening to them. I did force myself to finish it for the sake of book cub discussion but it is not a “keeper” for me!

Several I’ve really enjoyed recently: The Wishing Trees (keep kleenex handy!), Pillars of the Earth, The Two Sisters Cafe, I Still Dream About You (if you liked “Fried Green Tomatoes – read this!), Daughters of Fortune, and The Art of Racing in the Rain. I also read “Sarah’s Key” about a month ago – I didn’t exactly “like” it – very, very depressing – but I am glad I read it.

My book club read Water For Elephants last year and it is now one of my all-time favorite books!

Whoever mentioned the Outlander series – these (well, the first 4 anyway) stay on my permanent shelf! I want Jamie to exist in this world!


November 16th, 2011
11:19 pm

“Sarah’s Key”! I read it last Saturday while on a girl’s trip. It has haunted me to my very core -and I could not put it down! It’s not like I don’t know what happened during the Holocaust -even in France, and I’ve read and seen many a harrowing, heartbreaking account, but something about that novel doesn’t turn you loose. I think if you have small children, you may be particularly affected. I know the film is coming out or is out right now, but read the book -it’s one of the best I’ve read in a long, long time.


November 17th, 2011
5:54 am

sarahs key was great-and so was im still alice. wonderful books. im fixing to read charles fraziers ‘nightwoods’-hope its great. im really hoping for a nook color for christmas-i do love the feel of a book in my hands…but winter is coming-we have power outages-with a nook i can still read when the power goes out!!! when i realized that i was so excited lol


November 17th, 2011
6:03 am

Maus & Maus II are excellent books, not just about the Holocaust, but about the effects that experience has on people.

I was friends with one man and he took me to his parents’ house. We had only been talking for a little while when she asked “Are you going to marry him?”. Totally out of the blue. The son chided his mother gently. His parents were both Holocaust survivors, had no close relatives left and one child. He did go on to marry and have children, to the delight of his parents.


November 17th, 2011
7:07 am

JALT – that is exactly how I felt about Sarah’s Key. My son is four – the same age as Sarah’s brother – and I couldn’t help but project……I am weird about things like that. I just kept thinking, “how would Jack react? how would he handle being in there? what would be going through his mind?” etc. This might sound crazy, but I am hesitant to read Room for that reason – since my son and the little boy in Room have the same name, I know my mind will have me seeing my son’s face when I’m reading about the boy in the novel.


November 17th, 2011
7:10 am

Required Reading:

1.) Everything written by “Mark Twain”…Samuel Clemmons for the unindoctrinated.
2.) Stephen Hawking, “A brief History of Time” and anything else the smartest man on the planet authors.
3.) Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Of Mice and Men”.
4.) Gilgamesh, “Epic of Gilgamesh”
5.) Dee Brown, “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”
6.) Anything else that makes shaggy and co. laugh. example: I cried when Dave Barry stopped his column.


November 17th, 2011
8:35 am

@LM: Are you on Gabaldon’s FB feed? She does daily excerpts from her works in progress, including “Heart’s Blood” and “Scottish Prisoner” – fascinating! They aren’t spoilers, just small snippets of fun — if you know the characters, they are so much fun!


November 17th, 2011
9:00 am

I read Robert Ludlum (Bourne series!), Dale Brown, James Patterson, that sort of stuff. Steven King and Douglas Adams. Loved the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Don’t Panic! (in large friendly letters)

James Patterson has all sorts of things going on. I read the complete, in order, Alex Cross books. I just read Maximum Ride, and the second book in that series. Not bad, mostly for younger kids. I did give those two to my 8 year old and he loved them. Have to get the next one in the series.

We have a Kindle (mine), a Nook (the wife’s) and a KoBo (son’s). I like the Kindle, but I don’t like the price(s) on the books. I generally get mine at tag sales and the Goodwill/Salvation Army. Cheaper, the better!


November 17th, 2011
9:16 am

I’m currently reading “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfield. It’s a surprisingly meaty look at prep school life from the perspective of a girl who feels like she’s on the outside looking in.

I love anything by Elin Hilderbrand or Emily Giffin.


November 17th, 2011
9:17 am

paperbackswap.com is a great way to exchange books via the internet.


November 17th, 2011
9:23 am

@Wayne…The Maximum Ride books are awesome for preteens and teens. (8 is a little young but GREAT that he can read and comprhend them!). Did you read “When the Wind Blows” and “The Lake House”? (inspired by the Maximum Ride Series)
I get all my books at Goodwill. Especially the classics. You can always find stuff there. This is why I can’t get into buying a Kindle. Plus I read in the bathtub so…it’s a little hard to imagine taking an electronic devise with me. :-)

@MJG..forgot about Jodi Picoult. LOVE every book I’ve ever read by her.


November 17th, 2011
10:16 am

I love to read and like Betty and Wayne, I buy a lot of my books at Goodwill, Value Village Thrift stores and some at yard sales..

I read Sarah’s Key and like NEGa_Mama, I kept thinking of my two who are nine and wondering if it were them in that situation..I’m really glad that I read it..

Has anyone ever read Suzanne Brockman’s series about Nany Seals? Love those books..I have read most all of Lee Childs books..Stuart Woods is also another on of my favorites..Iris Johannson(sp)..She’s a local girl..I pretty much will read whatever I pick up that sounds good..That’s how I wound up reading The Help, long before it was so well known..


November 17th, 2011
10:38 am

I love Sarah Vowell’s snarky history books. Assassination Vacation’s my favorite.

Wayne, have you checked to see if your public library loans ebooks?


November 17th, 2011
11:31 am

Yes, these are timeless, and guaranteed to make you laugh, especially if you are southern and maybe used to read his columns.

Lewis Grizzard – Shoot Low Boys – They’re Riding Shetland Ponies + Chili Dawgs Always Bark At Night….or parctically anything else.


November 17th, 2011
11:33 am

I love Jodi Picoult too but I wonder if every friend of hers has done her bad! She almost always has a conflict between friends in the books I have read…but that doesn’t keep me from reading her stuff. I read “Handle With Care” and it made me cry. I hated the ending. Had she stopped about 5-10 pages before the ending it would have been PERFECT but she had to go and mess it up…in my opinion of course.

I love James Patterson/all things Alex Cross but his collaborations with other authors are nowhere near as good as the ones he writes by himself. I think he gives the other authors an outline for the book and they “fill it in” and that is why they don’t “feel” like him. But I won’t put them down. I also like all things JD Robb/Eve Dallas, even though I don’t buy the short stories. They make me mad. I want LONG Eve Dallas stories.

Warrior Woman

November 17th, 2011
11:57 am

@Fred – The Kindle Fire has several deficiencies relative to the Nook Color or the Nook Tablet. The Fire has half the working and storage memory of the Nook, and the Fire’s memory is not expandable, while the Nook’s is. The lower memory means the Fire is less functional if you don’t have a wi-fi connection.

The Fire relies on Amazon’s proprietary book format, unless you make changes to the software. Without the changes, you are limited to Amazon’s library, which is about 40% of the size of Barnes and Noble library. If you make the software changes to allow reading more formats, you’re eating into the already limited space on the Fire.

If you want a fully functional tablet, the technology for hacking the Nook is more established. I’m sure it is out there for the Fire, as well, but often early hacking attempts can brick the device.


November 17th, 2011
12:14 pm

The Mom of every teenaged child should read “19 Minutes” by Jodi Pichoult. It is a MUST For parents of teens!!!! It will really open your eyes!!!!


November 17th, 2011
12:56 pm

@NEGa_mama – I completely projected both of my boys with Sarah’s Key! I have a 3 and a 5 year old, and I kept thinking of the 5 year old as the brother and just seeing my 3 year old standing in the French camp bawling all alone after the separation. He still clings to me every day, and the thought of him in that scenario and the other one in the cupboard is something I can’t get out of my head. I’ve always been very affectionate with my boys, but after getting home Sunday, I have grabbed as many hugs, cuddles, kisses and loves as I possibly can.

Another fabulous read is “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall. HIGHLY recommended!


November 17th, 2011
1:06 pm

Keep the book suggestions coming! Anybody have any books or series they recommend for 8 -12 year old girls?


November 17th, 2011
1:36 pm

At my son’s school book fair yesterday I picked up the first book in a new series by Rick Riordan – the guy who wrote the Percy Jackson books. The series is called the Kane Chronicles and the first is called The Red Pyramid. I am guessing they are “young adult” novels like the Percy Jackson ones but it looked great to me.

Shaggy – my parents had everything Lewis Grizzard had ever written and I read them all pretty much as soon as I could read! :) How you could you not love something with a title like “Don’t Bend Over In The Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes” ?!

JATL – I did the same thing! I practically smothered my son with hugs the whole time I was reading that book! Like I said – I am glad I read it but it was hard for me. I will not be seeing the movie and I’m definitely on a “happy book” kick now!

Some have mentioned James Patterson – I LOVE the Alex Cross novels and the ones about the children who can fly (title of that series is escaping me right now!) and some of his stand-alone novels are good, but I don’t like most of the ones he collaborates on. I read the first five or so of his Women’s Murder Club series, but haven’t read any since then.

Hmmm…..what else? I loved The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo once I got into it. The first hundred pages or so were SLOW but after that I couldn’t put it down! Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff (he’s a professor at Kennesaw) was an easy, fun read. He has recently written a new one that I would like to read. The Help was great.

One of my all-time favorite novels is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s a wonderful telling of the Camelot legends from a feminine standpoint and will completely challenge what you’ve always thought of characters such as Morgan Le Fey (called Morgaine in this book). I read it about once a year! :)


November 17th, 2011
1:48 pm

I recommend http://www.goodreads.com
They send me a monthly email with new books that I might like. Currently I am reading Ciji Ware’s Cottage by the Sea. Also reading the Game of Thrones series. And on my Nook I am reading Ransome’s Honor, which is part of a trilogy set in Regency England.
@TWG I read United States of Arugula, took me a bit to get into it but then really liked it when finished.


November 17th, 2011
1:56 pm

Just read Nora Roberts new “Boonsoboro Inn” book. (Made me hungry for pizza!!) I love reading her books….though with the subject matter in “New York to Dallas” I could not bring myself to read that one. I will just wait for the next time Eve plans to kick butt.

Anything by David Baldacci too. That is what I plan to read over Thanksgiving…his new novel.


November 17th, 2011
1:58 pm

Oh and believe it or not all of Rick Rioridan’s books I have read too. Even though they are young adult.

I also read things like Change Management or Java for Dummies…but do you really want to know those?


November 17th, 2011
2:34 pm

LOL – I love Nora Roberts, too – she and Jude Deveraux are my secret trashy reads! :) I especially love all of Roberts’ trilogies – The Three Sisters Island series, The Key series, The Chesapeake series, even her vampire trilogy!


November 17th, 2011
3:44 pm

@ My Bad: I was just joshing with you too. Things come across WHY to harsh on the net sometimes when you can’t see the body language or here the tone of voice.\

@Longtime Educator: Thanks. Ihave read Pillars of the Earth many times (BEFORE there was a sequel), and when i heard about the sequel, late, I wanted to read it too but forgot what it was called.

I know my replies are late, but I’ll do anything to keep a book thread alive if I can lol.


November 17th, 2011
4:05 pm

I too have read just about all of the Nora Roberts series..I like Richard North Patterson’s books too..

@Betty..My girl is 9 and she loves all of the Goose Bumps books..She reads about one a day..So maybe you can try them for her..?

@shaggy..I LOVE Lewis Gizzard..I read his book, Don’t Forget to Call Your Mom, I Wish I Could Call Mine the year that my Mother passed away..

basically, I don’t care who the book is written by, as long as it sounds interesting to me, I’ll read it..


November 17th, 2011
4:06 pm

When my daughter was little 8 or 9 I read to her Time Stops for No Mouse, and my Mother got her the Aunt Dimity’s Death books. I am looking to get them for the duaghter of a friend. They are fun and cute.

I also love Andrew Greeley, his Bishop Blackie stories are light and fun. He has several other book, and God Games is a favorite.

DB.. I am on Gabaldon’s list for updates. Love the snipets and know the other books are on their way. I refuse to finish Echo in the Bone, don’t want to lose Clair and Jamie so I was very happy about the new book. I gave the first two books to my Mom to read and she loved them.


November 17th, 2011
4:14 pm

NEGa Mom: I need to get the red pyramid and the new one too. Had a great opportunity to get the hard back at Sam’s last year and passed it by (big dummy).

@ everyone else: If you like GOOD stuff on the Holocaust, Leon Uris is a must read. Mila 18 is simply amazing. QBVII will leave youy stunned and of course Exodus is a classic. Pretty much every book he ever wrote except his last one when he was old, tired and confused, are awesome. Well the Angry Hills was pretty weak as well. The Haj will give you an interesting perspective on the Jewish, Muslim conflict. His stuff like Leon Uris’s is historically based fiction that is very accurate in it’s facts.

James Clavell is another great author if you like historical fiction. Shogun, Noble House, King Rat, Whirlwind……… simply amazing.

Back on Uris, I forgot the two books he wrote about the IRA, Trinity and Redemption. Can’t say enough about them.

Anyone interested in War books? got a bunch of those too……..


November 17th, 2011
4:16 pm

So are Nora Roberts books ‘chick books?” I haven’t read on yet…………. but they sure seem to be popular. Although to me “popular” doesn’t always mean good………… not saying that about nora’s books, just about “popularity” in general.

K's mom

November 17th, 2011
5:16 pm

The ladies out there should check out Atlanta author Mary Kay Andrews. “Hissy Fit” and “Fixer Upper” are my favorites, but I have enjoyed all of them!

Curtis Sittenfeld’s “American Wife” was excellent. It was such well done historical fiction, I had a very hard time separating reality from fiction.


November 17th, 2011
9:29 pm

LM, you should finish “Echo” — it’s safe, no one gets lost :-)


November 17th, 2011
9:45 pm

@LM–I’m not familiar with those, but just looked them up and I think the Aunt Dimity books appeal to me so maybe I can get my daughter into them as well. And, thanks, @Becky–we haven’t read the Goose Bump books but I’m willing to give them a try!

@Fred–you are so right about Leon Uris. I read QBVII back in high school and it was haunting.


November 18th, 2011
10:25 am

DB.. I might try to finish Echo now that I know there is another book in the plans. I just didn’t want to say goodbye to Clair & Jamie, sound weird I know, but to not finish means their story is still there for me to savor and it can have any ending.

Betty, I hope you enjoy the Aunt Dimity books, we did and my daughter still keeps them on her bookshelf. Time Stops for No Mouse was a lot of fun, it is tale of a timid clock maker/repairman who ends up in a adventure. It is a lot of fun.

Anyone else read Jasper Fforde? The Thursday Next series which starts with The Eyre Affair, I enjoyed how he uses words and his imagination is wonderful. They might be good for preteens, both my Mom and I share them and look forward to finding ones we have not read.


November 18th, 2011
12:27 pm

Fred…..yes, I would definitely call Nora Roberts’ books “chick books!” Easy weekend/beach reads, lots of sex, and fun, interesting characters. One thing I like about her books is that because she writes in series (generally trilogies) you really “get to know” the characters and feel very attached to them. In some of her more recent series she has added some fun mystical elements to it – the Sisters books were about modern-day witches, the Key trilogy was gods/goddesses and sorcery, and there was one about vampires not too long ago. I am under no illusions that they are great literature or anything but they are a nice way to pass the time! :)

LM or DB – so…..what is going on with Jamie and Claire now? I will confess that I stopped about halfway through A Breath of Snow and Ashes – I just could not get into it. I loved Outlander so, so much – thought Dragonfly in Amber was wonderful – Voyager and Drums were long and tedious, but I still enjoyed them – loved The Fiery Cross…….but then I just could not get through Snow and Ashes. I held onto it thinking I will eventually try again but I haven’t done it yet. I haven’t even bought the newest one yet. I did, however, borrow a copy of The Exile from the library – it was a graphic novel of Outlander told from Murtaugh’s point of view. It was fun to see the illustrations of the characters I have read so much about.

Another author I like is Philippa Gregory. She writes historical novels – I have enjoyed her Tudor series with The Other Boleyn Girl, The Constant Princess, etc. – all of Henry the Eighth’s wives, then the rule of Elizabeth I. They are fun to read.


November 18th, 2011
2:19 pm

NEGa_Mama… I will admit a Breath of Snow did get long at time, a lot of small details that don’t really move the story along. As with most of her books, I have to “get in the mood” to handle how long and detailed they are. In “Echo” they are in their 60’s, Jamie is still getting involed, this time the Civil War, and Clair is still healing the sick. Lord John and the rest of the crew are there. I love the stories, and the side stories of the children are great, but do enjoy Jamie & Clair more

I had forgotten Phillipa Gregory, enjoyed The Red Queen and The Virgin’s Lover, havent gotten around to the others.


November 18th, 2011
4:12 pm

Fred—Red Pyramid is a good read…the 3rd in the series will be out in Feb. So I would aim for this one first.

Son of Neptune was also a good read…the next in that series is due out Fall 2012. I have read this but we are reading it now as a family and the kids are really liking it.

Nora Roberts’ book are chick books with depth…not your standard bodice ripper. Plus she (and Jude Deveraux) really reshaped the genere….for one thing women in their books are smart, pick up so old romance books from before they came on the scene and that just wasn’t the case.

NEGa-Nora Roberts’ early books delved into the wiccan relm too…back when she wrote for siloutte. You can probably find them in a thrift bookstore. Quick weekend reads.


November 18th, 2011
4:22 pm

@ Betty. My 8 yr old just finished “The Boxcar Children”. She absolutely loved it. Not sure if she will get into the whole series but the first one is wonderful and always a hit. 8-12 is a big leap but here are some suggestions in order of age appropriateness. The Magic Tree House, American Girl Books, Maximum Ride series, Dicey’s Song and Homecoming were my favorites as a young girl. The Flowers in the Attic series is great also. These are all for girls. I have given up on my son. He’ll read the Kids Almanac cover to cover and loves fact based reading but unless it is required for school, he won’t pick up a literature book.
On that note, if your children are studying certain things in history, I have some great suggestions. Ancient History -”The Black Ships Before Troy” is a retelling of the Iliad.
Civil War – Turn Homeward Hannalee
WWII – Number the Stars
even my son love all these.


November 18th, 2011
8:50 pm

I just finished the new Jeffrey Eugenides book The Marriage Plot. I liked it but not as much as his first, Middlesex. I also just finished the new Grisham…..quick read and entertaining. Working on the lastest Traveling Pants novel, Sisterhood Everlasting.

One of my recent favorites was Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand. I love all her books, but this one I loved so much I could eat it.

Somebody on here said they just read The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. I loved that and his earlier books are fabulous…..Little Children is my favorite of his.


November 19th, 2011
1:45 pm

I’ve read all of Nora Roberts’ books and most of Jude Deveraux’s(sp?). They are my guilty pleasures. I did just finish the first four books in the “Game of Thrones” series and enjoyed them, for the most part. The fourth one seemed to drag a bit. I’m waiting for Dance with Dragons to come out in paperback and the tv series to come on DVD. :-)

I also like to read cookbooks. I don’t get around to making 1/100th of the recipes, but I can read the books like novels and get some ideas to try. I just picked up some history and biographies at the Border’s close out sale- I love English history! But I’m trying to learn more about US History now, so I got a bio of John and Abigail Adams, as well as Lies My Teachers Told Me. Haven’t had time to get to them yet, though.

I downloaded a ton of the classic books (for free!) from the Cliff’s Notes List onto my Kindle. One of my life goals is to actually read through all of the books on that list before I die. I do have a good head start. :-)


November 21st, 2011
8:20 am

@betty…My son (11)and I just finished reading “The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall” by Mary Downing Hahn. He loved it (me too) although the main character was a girl. She is a mystery writer for kids and has several other books out. Another author I dearly love for children is Robert J. Burch. He was a local author from Fayette County. He died several years ago. His books were written many years ago but most are timeless. We just finished Queenie Peavy in my fifth grade classroom and loved it! My class could relate to the characters and the plot although it was set during the great depression.


November 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

I just read ‘If I’m Missing Or Dead’ by Janine Latus. It dealt with domestic abuse, well-written and poignant.

Before that I read ‘Bad To The Bone: Memoir Of A Rebel Doggie Blogger’ by Bo Hoefinger. If you’re a dog lover it’s a must read. Very funny, no sad ending.