Book Recommendations

Oh, I do love posting book recommendation. It’s like telling you a big secret and in return, you tell me something juicy too.

January was a good reading month. I took Word Nerd’s advice and made it part of my to-do list.

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How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen with James Allworth and Karen Dillon.  *national best seller. Ya’ll, you have to read this. Every single page in my copy is dog-eared and underlined. Christensen is a brilliant Harvard business school professor…booorrrring? Oh contraire! Diagnosed with cancer, he taught what he thought might be his last class: how would he measure his life? Why, he wondered, were so many of his brilliant classmates, who had every advantage and capability so very unhappy 20 years later? He tells us why and then teaches us how to make our life more happy. Five Stars.

Fight club by Chuck Palahniuk. *lots of indie book awards. Okay, I admit it, the biggest draw was a certain P-I-T-T in the movie. I never actually saw the movie, but I did see A River Runs Through It. We clear? I also read this because I’ve heard many people say it’s “the best book, HANDS DOWN, I’ve ever read.” It just goes to show how vastly book taste varies. I would have quit reading before chapter 1 ended. I pretty much despised this book. There, I’ve said it. I skimmed to the end because I thought perhaps I was going to miss the great literary merit. There’s a great twist at the end and the writing is very good. That will give it Two Stars*.

*I feel mean writing that about another author's work but it's just my little opinion!

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DeCamillo. Whatever DeCamillo touches is gold. How about that name? Leroy Ninker. This was a Paige book. She’s 7. We both loved it. It’s short and funny and full of big dreams. “Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse — until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it’s love at first sight.” Giddyap! Four Stars.

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich. *national book award.Brynne, my 10-year-old came into my room and said, “Mom, you HAVE to read this. It is so good!” It reminded me of Little House on the Prairie, but from a little Indian girl’s point of view. I was hooked by the first line: “The only person left alive on the island was a baby girl.” Brynne keeps reading the last line in this fabulously dreamy voice: “Omakaya tucked her hands behind her head, lay back, closed her eyes, and smiled as the song of the white-throated sparrow sank again and again through the air like a shining needle, and sewed up her broken heart.” Five Stars.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. *national book award.This book has a lot of buzz. I begged the librarian to order it. It’s good. The writing is exceptional. It’s deep and literary. Historical fiction. I wanted to like it more; I felt like I should. I just wasn’t moved the way I was hoping. Hmmm. Literary merit alone is Five Stars but my personal “liking” is Three Stars. p.s. Mr. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho. I’m so happily surprised when greatness lives in seemingly ordinary places. I wonder if he has a pet cow.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Another book with a lot of buzz. I begged my librarian for this one too; Priscilla is so good to me! This book has a more unreliable narrator than Gone Girl and I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. Luckily we had a major snowstorm and I could not leave the house and had to ignore the darlings (just one second honey, go forage for breakfast downstairs…and hush) so I could finish the book in two long sittings. Written by a female journalist, you’ll know she’s English with the word “rubbish” in the first paragraph. Also, unfortunately, English authors are a little more “free” with language. Now listen, bad things happen when you drink too much and have affairs. Just don’t do it! It NEVER ends well. EVER. You like thrillers? You’ll love this. For unputdownable factor: Four 1/2 Stars

For Christmas Nelson gave me a beautiful leather journal. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it: A book journal. I’ve tried Goodreads and old notebooks, but this is just what I needed. I’m keeping track of it all with a pink uniball pen. It’s dreamy fun.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what to read next. Actually I have a stack. Tell me anyway – and happy reading!

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6 thoughts on “Book Recommendations

  1. Barrie

    I love love love book recommendations! So- from your list I now have the next four books to order from my library! Fun! I love that I have an 8 and almost 10 year old , to get recs. for too!

    Reply
  2. Nina

    Good to know about Girl on the Train. I never know whether to trust the buzz. And you know what, I’m with you on All the Light. I respected, YES. BUT, did I really enjoy reading it? I’m not so sure. I didn’t even list it in my top 10 of 2014.

    Reply
  3. Julia Tomiak

    Thanks for the shout out! and the book recommendations. My book club picked All the Light… for one of our reads this year. I’m happy to get your cautious recommendation. Then I won’t go in expecting too much. To start the year, we’re reading The Rosie Project and Glitter and Glue (one I think you’ve recommended before?)
    My dad gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and I bought myself a book journal too. Except I have a pencil tucked into the spiral spine. Pink uniball sounds way more fun.

    Reply
  4. Melissa Sarno

    There’s nothing I love more than book recommendations from someone who shares similar reading tastes : ) I put a few on my loooon to-read list. I, too, just got myself a book journal so I can keep track of my reading. I just finished a wonderfully strange and beautiful book of short stories: The Color Master by Aimee Bender. Only recommended if you like VERY weird stories with beautiful language. Ha.

    Reply
  5. Leanne Goeschel

    Just getting ready to start Girl on the Train. Your rec sealed the deal. Too bad that “Buy now with one click”makes it so easy to satisfy instant gratification. Have you read The Hardest Peace? Heartbreaking and exhilarating. You will identify because not only does she have three daughters and one son, but she is deeply spiritual.

    Reply

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