Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Recommendations, Part 4

Okay, finishing these up. There's still time, though! If you'd like to get your own personalized book recommendations, head here!

Sotoriffic Twins reports some books she has enjoyed include: Anything by Amy Tan, Life of Pi, Catcher in the Rye, Memoirs of a Geisha, A Separate Peace, Guns, Germs and Steel, and Omnivore's Dilemma. She doesn't like Hemingway (hey, join the club!), and isn't usually a fan of biographies.

Sotoriffic Twins was worried I might look down on her taste in books. First, I wouldn't ever look down on anyone's taste in reading, as I am the first to admit my own tastes run long on crap, short on lit. Second, it turns out that we have very similar taste in books, anyway. I, too, love Amy Tan (in fact, just read one of her books), and Omnivore's Dilemma is another of my favorites.

So what do I recommend? Hmmm. I'm trying to not repeat recommendations, but if you enjoyed the aspects of Chinese culture in Amy Tan's work, you may like Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I just ADORED this book!

Another novel with a historical setting is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It takes place in America during the Great Depression and focuses on life in the circus. An interesting story, and I really loved the ending.

How about Sarah by Orson Scott Card or The Red Tent by Anita Diamant? Both are novelized expansions of stories from the Bible. Sarah tells a story of Sarah (duh!), the wife of Abraham. The Red Tent is the story of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob. I thought both were very strong and interesting! I'm not big into religion (though I'm not opposed to it, I'm just letting you know it's not a topic of particular interest to me). Yet I still found both of these books to be incredibly and surpisingly amazing.


And the very last set of recommendations is for Donna at Life with Amelia. Her favorite books include: The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton, The Sweet Hearafter by Russell Banks, Lamb by Christopher Moore, My Sister's Keeper (which I won't hold against you :) by Jodi Picoult, and The Historian.

I haven't read The Book of Ruth, but something about the description reminded me of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I'm not sure why, it's not all that similar, but there you go. The book is a memoir of the author's crazy childhood, raised by two odd (neglectful? Alcoholic? Mentally Ill?) parents in varying degrees of poverty. It's not at all a "poor me" memoir, though, and was very interesting.

If you haven't read it yet, I really enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and thought it sounded like something you might like, too. It's a pretty popular book, though, so I'll guess you've probably read it already.

If you're at all interested in "women in trouble" thrillers, I found See Jane Run by Joy Fielding to be especially good. Truthfully, I'm usually annoyed by this type of book, but I found See Jane Run to be difficult to put down. I've even reread this book, something I rarely do with thrillers, because just how thrilling can it be once you know the ending?

Lastly, how about The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It tells the story of a man who is unstuck in time. He zaps back and forth to different parts of his life, instead of living linearly. It was extremely well done, in my opinion!


So that's it! Unless anyone else asks for recommendations, I think I've covered everyone now. Please tell me if I missed anyone, though! It took me longer than expected to get these all written, since I've been laid low by the endless plague-cold, but this was so fun. Thank you all for playing along. I'd love to hear feedback if you read any of the books I recommended. I know, some were a bit off-the-wall, as I free-associated my way to some ideas (oh, you like a book title that starts with "The"? I know a great book title that starts with "The"!). But I hope there were some winners in there!


Nicole S. said...

Thanks for the recs!! I have actually read Water for Elephants and LOVED it. Very interesting, unique story. So, I'm sure I will like the other books, if that's any indication. :)

I'll be sure to let you know what I think once I get my hands on them.

Donna said...

THANK YOU - I did love The Secret Life of Bees and The Time Traveler's Wife!!! I'm going to look up the others now. I do love a good engaging thriller and who doesn't love reading about someone else's screwed up life!

Debbie said...

Great recommendations. I have read most of them but there are a couple on here I haven't gotten to yet.

kel said...

I loved Secret Life of Bees! Right now I am reading The Help by Kathryn Stockard.. (I think that's her last name! sorry) It is AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an amazing book. My daughter passed it along to me recently while we were at the beach and I haven't been able to put it down! I hope they make a movie...Cate Blanchett would make a wonderful 'Skeeter'.