Sunday, November 30, 2008

Read Much?

Here's what I've read this year that I'd recommend. I love a lot of books, non-fiction, memiors, fiction (especially if there's a good lesson) and once in awhile just a good fluffy novel. I've left all real-estate related literature off my list:

Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett (historical fiction)

Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (memoir)

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (memoir)

Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen (fiction)

The Lady Elizabeth and Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir (historically accurate fiction)

The Shack by David Gregory (novel)

Escape by Carolyn Jessop (non-fiction about the FLDS)

Suggestions, anyone?


Laura Jean said...

Water For Elephants is the only one that I have read...I don't believe we have exactly the same taste in literature, but I still love recommendations. I can't think of any suggestions at the moment...wait. I thought you have a pile of books under your bed. Why do you need more right now? As if you can find tons of time to read during the holiday season!

Leanne said...

Yeah, I don't. I have about seven books to read right now. But my greatest reads have come from recommendations!

penney said...

Are you done with the shack yet? I would love to read it when you are done!

Leanne said...

Almost, Penney. I'm probably 80% done. I'll get it to you when I'm's really good!

Penney said...

sounds good! I'm not sure why you aren't finished, it's not like you have been busy or anything lately. ;)

Elizabeth said...

I haven't read the Ken Follet books yet (they're rather thick), the Ishmael one is on my list, as is the Shack. I'll have to check out Alison Weir; I do love historical fiction. The Glass Castle and Water for Elephants were excellent.

If you like historical fiction, any of Philippa Gregory's novels about the Tudor period (e.g. The Other Boleyn Girl ..) are great. Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran were great reads about the Egyptian pharaohs. A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner were good, if sad. Oh - I just read one called the Wedding Officer that I thought was a fluffy novel but was actually relatively historically accurate and much better than I anticipated.

Bitter is the New Black (memoir as she becomes recently unemployed) was good. How Starbucks Saved My Life (another memoir-type of a newly unemployed ad exec) was excellent. As was A Year Without Made in China, Infidel (auto-bio of Ayhan Hirsi Ali), The Freedom Writers Diary, Garlic and Sapphires (the author is a food critic), Mountains Beyond Mountains (Paul Farmer's bio), Gluten-free Girl (if you like food, this is a fabulous read that makes you appreciate food more, whether you are gluten-free or not), The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (Hmong community and experience with epilepsy), A Year of Living Biblically, Banker to the Poor, Three Cups of Tea, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Dangerous Beauty (African safari guide) ..

Apparently I don't read much fiction these days .. but I did like Stardust (yup, like the movie) and Inkheart and LOVED Perfume (rather freaky concept but one of the most well-written books I've ever read)

Interesting social reads .. Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders (blows away all the myths with the actual facts - excellent read), Unequal Childhoods, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, The Working Poor, Closing the Food Gap, Rachel and Her Children (homelessness), Harvest for Hope, The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, Savage Inequalities (or anything by Jonathan Kozol) ..

interesting religion reads .. 3:16. Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis), The Suburban Christian, The Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, Everything Must Change, The Secret Message of Jesus ..

ok .. that's all the recent good reads I can think of. Yes, I like to read. :)

Elizabeth said...

not much just chillin' by Linda Perlstein - very interesting read about middle-schoolers - it occurred to me that it might be applicable :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm remembering a few more .. :)

The Overspent American (title says it all - but if I remember correctly, this one had a lot of interesting info on consumption patterns and marketing)

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (historical basis)

memoir types --
Eat, Pray, Love
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (eating/org.)
Come Back to Afghanistan
The Year of Pleasures (learning to live after the death of a spouse)

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (easily one of the best new fiction books I've read)

The Bookseller of Kabul

Your Money or Your Life (vol. simplicity "bible")

Why Do I Love These People by Po Bronson

This is Your Brain on Music (science behind why we love music)

Leanne said...

Wow, Libby! You've got me set for YEARS. I think we like much of the same taste, but most of your books I have not read. I did read The Kite Runner and Thousand Splendid Suns (I enjoyed Kite more; Thousand was too sad for me). I think the only other book I read on your list was Three Cups of Tea. You make me look like a slacker.

I read about a book or two a's about all I can squeeze in.

Also, have you read anything by Malcolm Gladwell...The Tipping Point or Blink (about the power of the subconcious)? He also has another new one called Ouliers, which I plan to read soon.

Thanks for the recommendations!

Leanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Jean said...

Holy Crap. Elizabeth reads a ton! ...just thought I'd point that out for anyone who hasn't noticed...

Elizabeth said...

Clearly, I have no children. ;-)

If you liked Escape, you could try Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer. I'm having trouble remembering if there was one I preferred.

I own Blink - now I need to read it, LOL. I saw Outliers at B&N the other day and added it to my list. Or was it The Tipping Point. Can't remember. They all sound interesting. The problem is that I get carried away with library orders and don't always get to the books I actually own and haven't yet read.

Leanne said...

I liked Tipping Point, but Blink was more interesting IMO, easier to read. I think the psychology of people is so interesting!

I'm sort of done with the FLDS books for awhile. I read Under the Banner of Heaven (John Krakauer?) and then Escape, but those people wear me out. When I'm ready, though, I'll read Shattered Dreams. (I presume it's FLDS?)

Elizabeth said...

it is, and was almost harder to read than the other. Her husband moved them to Latin America and they spent many many years in extreme poverty.

Leanne said...

Oh, and Libby...don't be intimidated by the size of the Follett books. I read each of them in a week. And with my schedule, that says something. It took me the first hundred pages to sort of get the story, and then I couldn't put them down. Now I want to visit the cathedrals in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of the Babysitter Club or Sweet Valley High? They're really neat. The main characters in SVH are Jessica and Elizabeth. And there's always cute boys involved.
In Babysitters Club, there's always some neat drama going on. And always some fun meetings with Kristy, Stacy, Claudia, Mallory, Jessica. And there's always food hidden under the bed at these meetings. Some yummy oreos, or candy or something.

Just my should really read these series, my friend!

Speed Reader (Cory) said...

I'm a big fan of Choose Your Own Adventure books, the only problem is that my character always seems to die in the end.....I can never make the right choices.

Anonymous #2 said...

ALRIGHT!! Who pulled out their old babysitter's club books so they could write all the character's names? There is no way they remembered them all on their own.

Elizabeth said...

I LOVED the Babysitter Club books, and SVH. Hmmm .. I wonder if the library has them.

Cory -- I never read them through like I was supposed to. I'd pick a choice, read to the next fork, then go back and pick the other option and read that to the fork. That way, I knew all the endings and didn't wind up with a single sad ending. :)

Leanne said...

Peg was Anon #1. But she really has them memorized (she remembers EVERYTHING). Also, she was an honorary member of the club through Babysitter Club Fan Club of MN so she had a lot invested, you know?

Peggy said...

Now, why would you think I was anon #1? Sheesh. You think you know me.

Peggy said...

I forgot all about MaryAnne. The long brown haired studious one who got the hottie Logan to like her. I don't have any of my books anymore. Wish I did. Sold them all at a Garbage Sale years ago. Shoot. Now I have a Joxie who might like to read them. Or she might not think they're as great as I did.

MindiJo said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. I haven't read a book in so long, I can't even remember. And I love to read. After the holidays, when it all slows down, I am going to start again. And if I don't have time, well, I'll make some.
Did you ever read R.L. Stine, the Fear Street books in High school? Those are super-duper, too.

julie said...

Yay! Thanks for the book suggestions- I love to read and also like getting recommendations from other people. I just finished The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve- it's really hard to put down once you pick it up. One of my favorite books of all time is East of Eden by John Steinbeck, an intimidating read that I picked up one winter and found that it really intrigued and challenged me... seriously good stuff. :) I loved The Glass Castle and I've been wanting to read Pillars of the Earth- I'll have to make it a priority!

Gluten-Free Girl sounds right up my alley, Elizabeth! I'm on a g/f diet for my nine month old right now and am a little tired of rice and potatoes... :P

Leanne said...

Julie - come back and tell me how you like Pillars.

Anonymous said...

I also read Pillars of the Earth and I'm telling you Elizabeth, it's really not a fast read, no matter what Leanne says. I had to renew the book and I never have to renew books. But it's well worth the time although at times I had to close my eyes while reading. Some of the gruesome details stressed me out. Escape was disheartening but I don't remember the details to be so horrific. Anyway, I also read Phillipa Gregory's The other Boleyn Girl and it was good too. I need to take a break between historical fiction books, but they are a good change of pace. Right now I'm reading a good ol' Nicholas Sparks book. Now that is easy reading. A little corny at times but brainless. Sometimes that's just what the doctor orders. I'm still a huge fan of Lance Armstrong's It's not about the bike even though I read it a long time ago. Plus I'll defend him up and down and tell you that he was wrongly accused of doping. But the book is about his fight with cancer. It's an unbeleivable story.

Cyndi said...

I just finished The Shack, and I LOVED it! It was a great recommendation given by Shannon. (Thanks, Shannon! Plus, thanks for the conversation regarding the book while we "walked together" at Snap!)