Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Know What I Hate?

I hate when I go to the library, check out a metric ton of reading material, only to find that it ALL sucks.

I really, really hate that.

I don't go to the library as often as I should. I like books, and I like to own books. Plus, I have this problem, you see, which makes it impossible for me to check out one or two books.

I check out 20.

This puzzles husband. I can't possibly read 20 books in the three weeks allotted. So why in the world would I check out 20 books? It also irritates him because invariably, I do not return them on time, and I end up with a huge fine.

I? Am single handedly financing the new wing with my fines alone. You're welcome.

But here's the thing...see...

I get a panicky feeling if I don't have something to read. Reading is my escape, and it's also how I "turn off" at night. I am a worry wart and a lifelong insomniac. I literally cannot shut off my brain unless I have something to distract me from the day to day woes that all of us experience, and anaesthatize me into blissful somnolence. Well, as blissful as I get, anyway.

I have all my old favorites of course. My tried and true, my read 'em any time, anywhere and they're just as good as the first 20 times I read 'em, books.

They're neither too shallow nor too deep, they're neither too cerebral, nor too frivolous, they're neither to serious nor too silly. They're a just right mixture that can transport me from my everyday world into place where domestic and familial responsibilities don't exist.

I'll list just a few of those for you:

Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett
The Stand by Stephen King
Outlander by Dana Gabaldon
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Descent by Jeff Long
Cabinet of Curiosities by Preston and Child
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Anne Burns
The Prince Of Tides by Pat Conroy
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

They are like old friends, these books.

But it's good to make new friends. The promise of discovery that lies between the pages of a new book never fails to thrill me.

So when I don't have something new to look forward to, I feel somewhat despondant.

So I check out a buncha books, in case those that I have chosen fail to transport, delight, titillate and enterain the way I need them to. I have about a 50% success rate when picking books blindly off library shelves.

Which, by the way, I love to do. It's like a treasure hunt. I can spend hours in the library sniffing out something new and wonderful and undiscovered. The New York Times Bestseller list isn't necessarily the be all and end all of worthwhile literature.

So I usually expect that half the number of books I check out will be tripe. But half will be delicious.

Not so this last trip. Everything I have picked up has been disappointing. I am saving two for last; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Shibumi by Trevanian.

I have steadfastly refused to read The Kite Runner. It's a personal policy of mine to avoid anything that is overhyped. That goes for books, movies and events. Inevitably, I am disappointed, so I have learned to rely on my own insticts rather than public opinion.

Cases in point:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Everybody loves this book. I found it dull, poorly written and totally predictable. Not to mention depressing.

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.
I wish I had a dollar for every person who has extolled the virtues of this series to me. YAWN. I think there are 14 of these literary snooze fests now. I know she's a cash cow and everything, but I think it's time for ole Steph to retire.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.
It's so funny!!! I was told. It was insipid in the extreme.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Why do people love this book? Heathcliff is a boor and a misanthrope and Catherine is a self-absorbed twit. This isn't a romance, for heaven's sake. It's a book about miserbale people making other people miserable. Pass.

There are tons more, but of course, now that I am behooved to provide examples, I can't think of them.

I'm not really a fan of books about Middle Eastern culture, which is odd, because I really like Middle Eastern culture itself. But I did not enjoy Reading Lolita in Tehran, I did not enjoy Lipstick Jihad, and I did not enjoy The Bookseller of Kabul. I don't know why, really. I can't quite put my finger on the reason those books failed to forge a connection with me, or, I with them. They were...interesting, just not...wholly and completely enagaging, the way I need a book to be.

Maybe it's because I just can't relate to being caught between two cultures, or living in a country ravaged by political, religious, and cultural unrest.

But, because there seems to be a dearth of good reading material of late, I picked it up.

And it's waiting, at the bottom of the stack, taunting me with it's uncertainty. Could it really be as good as everyone says? Do I dare hope? Or will it be another disappointment of Oprah's Book Club proportions?

There are two more books in the stack before I reach Kite Runner. Beneath it is Shibumi.

Surely, one of the two will be worth the wait.

Please tell me what wonderful things you have read lately. My TBR list is woefully short and I need something new to sink my teeth into.

38 Comments:

  • At 10:17 AM, Anonymous AmeliaB said…

    I love the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It is a retelling of the Arthur story from the point of view of women. I find it beautifully written.

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I myself an am AVID reader...much like you I panic when I don't have anything to read. My husband does not get this part of me...I have magazines and books all over the house. I read on my lunch hour, over the weekend & right before bed! HOWEVER, sadly I cannot recommend a single book to you as it appears we don't enjoy reading the same things. I LOVED the Lovely Bones (my book club which consisted of many elderly women didn't agree) but I have read it twice. It was heartbreaking but a wonderful book. I currently INFATUATED with Janet Evanovich...I have gone to every used bookstore in the city to pick up not only all of the numbered books but every other book she has written as well. No...it is not the best writing in the world but it takes me to a place outside of my life and makes me laugh every time. As for Sophie Kinsella - I have every book of hers as well, along with Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner and some other chick lit writers I ADORE. So sadly, I cannot help my fellow reader!

    Tami

     
  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger Becky said…

    Lots of times the genre of book I pick depends on my mood. I go through phases where all I want to read is deep and heavy stuff, then suddenly that switches to wanting to read vampire romance novels! I say try everything, I like your library approach... you never know which "mood" you'll be in, so take a wide variety. :)

     
  • At 1:09 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    I don't read much like I used to... imagine that. And I was ashamed how few of your favorites I had read or even knew of. However, Pillars of the Earth is one of my all time favorites. I read it for the first time in 8th grade, and have read it thrice since. Love it.

    As for the S. Plumb books and the Confessions of a Shopaholic books: Amen sister. I've had both forced on me. I read Plumb for my mother-in-law and though I didn't HATE it, I don't think I laughed out loud once like she said I would. And as for the Shopaholic book, I didn't finish one chapter. I was so irate that I had waisted even the little time I did on the first few pages.

    The only books that have captivated me in the last couple of years are Clive Barker's Abarat books. He has such a wild imagination. These books are dark, but not at all horror. Actually, they are fantasy through and through. But not elves and wizards fantasy... everything here is unique!

     
  • At 2:11 PM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    I love to read, however; for some reason I've been a very slow reader this summer. I think part of it is that I'm too busy with my 2 new puppies to do much anything. As far as Janet Evanovich - I loved her first 10. Since that time, I've been unimpressed. So yeah, I'm thinking it's time to retire Stephanie Plum, too. Since my reading has been next to nothing, I really can't recommend any one author to you. I know on my list to read is To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee. One of my most favorite movies and for some reason, I never read the book. I can't wait!

     
  • At 2:44 PM, Blogger Avalon said…

    I am currently reading "Bright Shiny Morning" by James Frey, the guy who wrote " A Million Little Pieces" and caught all the flak for lying. So far, the book is really incredible and extremely interesting.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/books/12masl.html

    I go through about a book a week, and usually end up donating the ones I've read to our local Hospice. I would love to keep them, but I'd have to build a 5 room addition to my house!

     
  • At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Tami said…

    Out of all the things you blog about (religious views, beliefs, etc) that I don't agree with why am I so bothered about people not liking Sophie Kinsella or Janet Evanovich. I think my morals are skewed or something. I should have stayed away from the comments page! :)

    Tami

     
  • At 6:36 PM, Blogger KT said…

    I am definitely not a stephanie plum fan. Some of what you have avoided I like, and some of what you like I have avoided. So take my recommendations for what they are worth...the recommendations of just another mom who loves to read, when she has time.

    I loved Kite Runner, but as it's been overhyped I do not think it will live up to all the hype. I read it before it was hyped and a movie. So it didn't have alot to live up to.

    I've also read the author's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I would say that this book is easily far superior to Kite Runner. Check it out. I think you will enjoyu it more than Kite Runner.

    I did not not not not want to read The Time Travellers Wife. I hate the title, the cover and the fact that everyone told me to read it. I loved it. Read it.

    I hate the shopaholic series. It's just not as funny as people say. There is one book by a british author that I found laugh out loud hysterical. I can't remember the author's name, buut the book is called "Slummy Mummy" and the cover has a picture of a mother from the back with her skirt tucked into her panties. This book could be a movie, in my humble opinion. Oh, and while we're on chic lit, try "Can you keep a secret" by the shopaholic author. Much better than the shopaholic serious. I promise.

    Good luck. Finding a book is hard. I take the recommendations of others and often am disappointed. IT's personal, but you have to try or you'll never find that gem.

     
  • At 7:04 PM, Blogger Magi said…

    I want to second "Mists of Avalon" and "The Time Traveler's Wife." I loved both books. I have read Evanovich and Kinsella. They fit the category I refer to as popcorn books. If I want to read something that is pure fluff and requires absolutely no brain matter, they're fine. But to be honest, they're not very high on that list.

    My reading has been cut way back the last year and a half as I became a mom then, but I have found a few good books. You may have already read them.

    My favorite book that I read this summer is not new. It's "The Devil in the White City," by Erik Larson. My sister sent me the six books in the Samaria series by Sharon Shin. The first one is "Archangel." I was not excited at all about reading them, but once I started, I loved them. I've also been enjoying some of Jodi Picoult's books. I've found others to be boring and predictable, but I still get sucked in.

    I do the same thing at the library. It's almost embarassing how much I've paid in fines, but I can't leave with just one or two or even three books.

     
  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    Heck, I like Janet's Steph series (hated the other one though). Admittedly, after number 4, the formula becomes a bit...moldy. But, Grandma tipping over coffins is funny when there is a buncha snow on the ground. ;)

    I am usually a thriller/mystery fan but stepping outside that wall recently. My reading so far this year has included Debra Deickerson's The End of Blackness, Elizabeth Gilbert's eat, pray, love. I'm currently reading patricia Wood's Lottery and next on the list is Janine Latus' If I Am Missing Or Dead (which is though not labeled thriller/suspense, sounds like it might be).

    I wrote down a title (someone I read was so excited about) to check out--but have forgotten where I wrote and fear I may have tossed the paper. :(

    I try to avoid fines. If I can remember to go on-line and request a renew before the due date, I do avoid the fine. Thankfully, they've started sending me email alerts. YaY!

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Tami,

    Please don't feel bad. Taste in literature is a very, very personal thing. I honestly don't judge people by their literary likes and dislikes.

    I said Sophie Kinsella books were insipid, but that doesn't mean I think people who like them are insipid. I get why people like them. They are light hearted and fun and easy to read, and like you said, take you away from every day life for a while.

    I hated The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Some people that I find very smart and hip swore that I would love the character of Howard Roark and find the book impossible to put down. What I found it, was dry as toast. And then I felt kind of stupid. I tried Atlas Shrugged with not much better results.

    I really felt like I must be lacking intellectually to not GET Ayn Rand.

    So I do know how you feel. I should have just left that whole part out and avoided hurting feelings. My apologies.

     
  • At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Baroness von Bloggenschtern said…

    OK, summer reading included "I Feel Bad about my Neck" by Nora Ephron (fairly funny), "Gods Behaving Badly" by Marie Phillips (interesting concept), and "When you are Engulfed in Flames" by David Sedaris. His I left until the last, as he's my absolute favorite, but I found that I'd read quite a few of the essays elsewhere (online, maybe?). What was new was laugh-out-loud-even-on-the-plane funny.

    I am now cracking the spine on "Don't Tell Me What to do, Just Send Money", as we send our eldest off to school this weekend. I'm sure it will be riveting...

     
  • At 10:26 PM, Blogger Major Bedhead said…

    I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I love Maeve Binchy's books. And Rosemund Pilcher. They're like eiderdowns on a cold day - warm, comforting and familiar.

    Water For Elephants is one I read recently (in, like, two hours) that was incredibly good. And Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver is excellent.

    (I read a lot and I own a lot of books and could go on for ever about this topic. And i have the same library fine problem - why do I think I can read all those books? They're going to be there, I should just wait until next time. But I never do.)

    OK - all-time favorites:
    The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George
    the aforementioned Mists of Avalon
    Maia by Richard Adams
    A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson (snortingly funny)
    The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey (fantasy fiction)
    Any of the Anne Perry mysteries - Charlotte and Thomas Pitt and the Monk series are the best, IMO
    Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries


    I'll stop now....

     
  • At 10:40 PM, Blogger jess said…

    It's funny how subjective reading taste is, isn't it? I have close friends who love the same books as I do and I'll recommend something I love and they hate it, or vice versa. There's no telling.

    I totally hear you on the library thing. All of it. I live one street over from the library and I still can't leave without an armful of books. And I still return them late.

    I read The Kite Runner before the movie came out and I really liked it. Though it didn't hurt to realize that it was set in the area i'd just moved to. :)

    Have you read Atonement? I just reread it after seeing the movie. I think McEwen has the kind of writing you'll either love or hate but I really enjoyed it. Also, Summerland, by Michael Chabon. When you finish it you can pass it on to your kids.

     
  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger Dawn said…

    I don't have any books to recommend, but I just had to comment on the Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. All my girl friends just rave about her books and I just can't bring myself to pick one up and read them. I, too, could be a rich woman if I had a dollar for everytime these were recommended to me! LOL

     
  • At 8:41 AM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    Little Children by Tom Perotta;

    The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian.

    I just ordered the first Twilight novel. It's something about teen vampires??

     
  • At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Tami said…

    Antagonist,

    Apology accepted but truly not apology was needed! :) You can write WHATEVER your choose on your site and I will continue reading it every day! I just found it funny that something as minute as what authors I read could make me feel so defensive. I have always prided myself on being a very open person, I have my beliefs but am open to others views as well, whether I agree with them or not. You have written many times about your feelings on religion and it is rare we agree...but not once was I "offended"...LOL!!! I was joking the other day with a friend how I had become so wrapped up in Stephanie Plum's life (I have read books 1-12 in the last 2 months) and I think my reaction was proof! LOL Seriously - no offense taken at all..and no apologies needed...but appreciated nonetheless! :)

    Tami

     
  • At 11:14 AM, Anonymous ame i. said…

    I am LOVING The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski right now.
    I buy books then "hoard" them for the times the library doesn't have anything I want.

     
  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous brandi said…

    I have to agree with your library strategy. I've done that all my life, and now I work in a library. I also have to agree with someone else's suggestion of the Sharon Shinn Samaria series. Here are some other suggestions (and don't let the fact that some of them are classified as young adult books deter you):

    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (yes, I've read and agree with your views on religion, but don't let that stop you for this one)
    The Organ Grinders by Bill Fitzhugh
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
    A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
    The Sally Lockhart Series by Philip Pullman
    (The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, The Tin Princess)

    I'm also a big Diana Gabaldon fan and recently found a recommendation from another fan for this series that sounds intriguing:

    Suzanne Arruda's Jade del Cameron mysteries. The first book is called Mark of the Lion.

     
  • At 12:08 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    The Time Traveller's Wife was really good.

    I am also a fan of The Stand (all SK actually)- my copy has fallen apart from frequent reading.

    I like the J.D.Robb (Nora Roberts) In Death series - some what predicable but each has a crime to solve and is pretty decent, kinda like CSI.

     
  • At 1:30 PM, Blogger KT said…

    Atonement! I second that. I read it years ago with my book group. Loved it. He's a great author.

     
  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Oh, I feel this post. I just finished "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" and I was so excited to read it...but I really didn't like it. AT ALL.

    Books I have read though, that I really loved:

    The Outcast, by Sadie Jones
    Middlesex, by Jeffery Eugenides
    The Way the Crow Flies, by Ann-Marie MacDonald
    I see someone else has mentioned this, but Bel Canto was fabulous.
    Eleven Minutes by Paul Coelho was great, too.

    But my absolute favourite book of ALL TIME is Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. This book BLEW ME AWAY.

     
  • At 9:46 PM, Anonymous SandyG said…

    Hi, I've been lurking for a while, but the book discussion has brought me out into the open.

    I, too loved Prince of Tides and Outlander, but I have to admit that I also liked Ayn Rand's books when I read them years ago. So take my comments with a grain of salt.

    I very much enjoyed both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns and the stories and characters have stayed with me much more than most do. (I listened to The Kite Runner on CD, since I drive a lot, and hearing it in the author's own voice and accent added to the story, too.)

    I did not want to read any of Jodi Picoult's books because they're everywhere, but I finally did buy one this summer--Salem Falls--and liked it more than I expected, so I may try another some day.

    A few other books I've read and enjoyed in the recent past:
    Elizabeth Gilbert- Eat, Pray, Love
    Kathleen McGowan- The Expected One
    Alexandra Fuller- Scribbling the Cat
    Neely Tucker- Love in the Driest Season
    Elizabeth Crook- The Night Journal

    And if you've never read Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders, I highly recommend it.

     
  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger Mamalooper said…

    I'll list four that I read recently and enjoyed. Like you, I get all antsy without a book on the go. Travelled to Cuba and ran out of English language reading material - my biggest fear come true!

    The Outcast by Sadie Jones
    The Resurrectionist by James Bradley
    19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult (I know, more mainstream but quite good)
    The Road Home by Rose Tremain

     
  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger Mamalooper said…

    Sorry for the double post but must second Mama Tulip's comment about Fall on Your Knees by Anne Marie McDonald - the best book I read in the 90's.

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger Jaime said…

    I also did not want to read the Kite Runner, for the same reasons as you. I did end up liking it though. If you can get past the first 100 pages, it gets better.

    Have you read any of Madeline L'Engle's books for adults? A set I particularly liked was A Small Rain/The Severed Wasp. the first was the first adult book she ever wrote (which explains some of the style). The second takes place a few decades later - and she's written it much later in her career.

    Although, for what it's worth, I agree with you on Wuthering Heights, but I loved the Shopaholic books!!

     
  • At 8:12 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    Hi... I just found your blog and it had me smiling right off the bat. So...books....my drug of choice, my addiction, the only thing that stands between me and reality. Of course, reading as much fiction as I do could be the main reason that real-life is so hard to deal with sometimes. Sigh. Oh well...onward.

    My most favorite book of all time is A Knight in Shining Armour by Jude Deveraux. Love that one! I also read Water for Elephants and really loved that one; I loved the ending especially! I Feel Bad About My Neck was good and funny, sometimes painfully so.

    I work in a middle school and the kids were all reading The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer...4 books in all. I fought it for a long time as I reallyreally don't read about vampires, but let me tell you...I couldn't put them down! I even reserved #4 way in advance and finished it in 2 days. Really cool story.

    I have piles of books beside my bed, under the night-table, on the bureau, in the bathroom, in the living room, in the car....I can't ever imagine being without a book! :D

    ps--Of all Stephen King's books, The Stand was also my favorite!

     
  • At 10:12 PM, Blogger Traceytreasure said…

    I have 8 bookmarks in 8 books. I can't bring myself to finish them. They suck! I tried to read the Emigrants this Summer because those people were my ancestors. Talk about tough! The preface was 100 pages (seemed like it anyway), by page 3 I was confused and bored. I am always on the lookout for good books to read but I always end up reading great blogs, like yours. Thanks for the list of good reads.
    Have a great weekend!!
    Hugs!!]
    :)

     
  • At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I third "Fall on your knees." Wonderful book. But I read The Kite Runner before anyone hyped it, and would easily put it next to Fall on Your Knees. Both books are two of the best books I've ever read.

    Like others mentioned, I avoided The Time Traveller's Wife for quite a while, expecting romantic schlock, and when I finally read it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not in the same category as the two books above, but well worth the read.

    Have you tried Isabelle Allende? I prefer her earlier, translated-from-the-Spanish books to her more recent ones. Magic realism, although one, The Infinity Plan was the first she wrote in English and also worth the read.

    Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River, has a new book out.Can't remember the title but I have it; haven't read it yet.

    I don't do chick lit.
    I did try once though....

    Another one to try is Mercy Among the Children. I can't remember the writer's name but it is up there with Fall on Your Knees. Gripping. I've loaned that book to a lot of people. Am not sure where it is on its journey right now. If you google the name, the author's name is sure to pop up.

     
  • At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kite Runner is definitely an amazing book that lived up to the hype. Have Kleenex in hand, though.

    If you're looking for something else, I highly recommend "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. It's almost like a female verson of Huck Finn. Definitely southern but highly enjoyable and empowering.

     
  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger elastic waistland said…

    Didn't get through all the comments yet (but I'll be back to read them for book recommendations for myself!).

    I'll second the recommendations of "Mists of Avalon", "Time Traveler's Wife" , and "Water for Elephants".

    I recently read "The Lady and the Unicorn" by Tracy Chevalier and enjoyed it.

     
  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Masked Mom said…

    It's so funny to finally hear I'm not the only one who overchecks out at the library. My husband thinks I'm completely insane but the few times he's been around me when I don't have something to read, not just anything but something that really, truly absorbs me, have convinced him of the necessity of my checking out a stack I can barely carry each time I go. (And I go just about weekly.)

    Only title in your list I can really comment on is "Wuthering Heights" which is one I've read 17 times or so. I've never really seen it as a romance though--more of a cautionary tale. I thought the people who thought it was romantic were reading it completely wrong--true love is nowhere near as selfish and self-absorbed as Heathcliff and Cathy's deal. The last few times I've read it, I've started to see Nellie, the narrator, as kind of the main point. She's a ballsy broad. I once read a snippet about the book in Harper's and the guy said he didn't understand why anyone read a book populated with people you would cross the street avoid in real-life. So you're definitely not alone in your opinion.

    And Rand, if there's a point I've never been able to see it. We read "The Fountainhead" in my book group and at the discussion meeting one of the women actually started (jokingly) smacking the woman who'd suggested it with the (gigantic)book itself.

     
  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger womaninawindow said…

    Yes, Fall on my Knees was great! Just reading Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells and although I can't say I love it, it sure is making me wonder about story construction. Um, sorry, ya that doesn't help, does it.

    Aw, I loved Lovely Bones. I thought it was so fresh, albeit a little dark.

     
  • At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler.

     
  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger Pgoodness said…

    I love me some fluff reading - just finished the Twilight saga (4 600+ pages books, lol.

    I tend to do more escape reading - I have enough serious stuff to think about in my life, I don't really want to think about my books, too. :)

    Let's see...Nora Roberts for good, easy romance, JD Robb for futuristic crime (with some romance); Jodi Picoult, The Time Traveler's Wife, Karen Robards (mystery/romance); Luanne Rice...

    Oh, and the other books by the author of The Other Boleyn Girl are good, too!

     
  • At 1:59 AM, Blogger Marit said…

    stuck in a time warp here, because I grew up reading my dads books and I don't have an unlimited supply of english books (dutch rural libraries...don't get me started!!)

    so I recommend the following authors:
    James Michener
    Nevil Shute
    Chaim Potok
    James Herriot
    but I also love Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy
    and besides that I will read practically anything I can get my greedy little paws on!

     
  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    This has nothing to do with books but if you love middle eastern culture you should see Persepolis (if you haven't already) a wonderful film.

    As for books I've been reading the essays and novels of, Johnathan Ames, all summer. They are wonderfully written, disturbing, and laugh out loud hilarious, but probably not for someone with teenage boys in the house.

     
  • At 6:47 PM, Blogger Marvel said…

    I love your stupid blog by the way.. completely addicted!

    My list of favorites. I hope you are still looking for new books even a year later...

    1. Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood. *Rebecca Wells*(Read it for the first time when I was 14 and it has gotten better with age)

    2. The Alchemist*Paulo Coelho*(favorite book of all times, have read it 20+)

    3. The Tale of the Body Theif *Anne Rice*

    4. Lasher *Anne Rice* (My guilty pleasure.)

    5. Invisible Monsters *Chuck Palahniuk* (sick, twisted, poignant, and all kinds of brilliant)

    6. Dan Brown is great, The DaVinci Code was sooo good, but way too hyped. Angels and Demons, another novel of Browns, was also brilliant and not as hyped so perhaps readable for you :)

     

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