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The Good Books

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I’ve never minded the term “bookworm” and “nerd” doesn’t offend me one bit.  From the time I was young, I’ve loved the doors that reading can open for me.

Check out those sweet kicks!  No idea what is up with the margarine tub though…

No matter how busy I am, or what I am doing, I find time to read for fun.  When I work out on our exercise bike, I read.  When I eat lunch at work, I read.  When I have a free moment that isn’t taken up by cooking, cleaning, gardening, or the other projects, I read.  I also “read” books while I’m driving in that I download free audiobooks from our library to my ipod and listen to them for the 10 minutes at a time I am alone in the car.  I am greedy with my alone car time, and will do The Dance of Joy any time I get to go anywhere by myself.

So, basically, I love books.  A lot.  I’m going to share a few with you that I have read and loved.  Now, the point of this post is to discuss books.  However, the links will take you to Amazon and I am an Amazon Affiliate which means I get the tiniest percentage if you purchase through my link (even other things you’re planning to buy).  That being said, I highly recommend the library as your first option.  Our library even lends ebooks that download right to your Kindle.

1) A Fault In Our Stars
Oh dearie me, this book made me sob.  I’m not a sobber in my daily life, but this book did me in.  Troy found me in a puddle on the couch clutching this book and sobbing.  He dared to ask the stupid question “why don’t you just stop reading that book”?  Because I literally couldn’t stop.  Not if my life depended on it.  This book could not be ignored.

Even though this book made me cry – hello, kids with cancer – but I’m still better off because I read it.  You know that feeling?  So hard to read, but you can’t imagine these characters not being in your life.  Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are people that will bewitch your life.

2) The Power of One
A story about a little boy who is pretty much tortured at boarding school in South Africa.  It sucks to read the first part.  You want to slap everyone this child comes in to contact with.

Then he takes a train trip to his new home which changes his life.  Eventually, good things happen, and you root your ass off (it’s a thing) for this kid.  A bit more tragedy, an amazing friendship, some more tragedy, happy times, sad times, clean ending.  Oh, and there is a bit of racism mixed in because you know, it’s South Africa during the rise of apartheid.

I loved this book so much that I want to read it again, and again!  I love this book so much, that I named one of my chicken’s after a character, Grandpa Chook.

3) What Alice Forgot
If you’re married, or have been together with anyone for a period of time, chances are you take them for granted (and if you don’t, you’re a damned liar).  This is the book that you need to read to remind yourself why you’re still with this person.

The book is funny, sweet, sad, and pretty thought-provoking.

4) The Slap
A friend recommended this book, and even though I have a wee bit of a potty mouth, even my eyebrows raised a bit with some of the language in this book.  That being said, it is the story of a person who slaps a kid that is not their kid during a BBQ.  You then read about what happens next from the angle of most of the individuals who are at the party.  It’s supah interesting and good.

5) The Fall of Giants
I “read” this one via audiobook and wanted to cry when it was over.  I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Ken Follet ever since I read Pillars of the Earth when I was pregnant.  I had horrible pregnancy insomnia, and Pillars of the Earth came in to my life when I desperately needed it.

The Fall of Giants tells about the ramp up to World War One from the perspective of English gentry, English non-gentry, Americans, Germans, and Russians.  I absolutely loved it.

6) Winter of the World
Didn’t get enough of world war in The Fall of Giants?  You’re in luck, cause World War II is covered in this book!  I can’t get enough of this series.  Thankfully it is a trilogy, and hopefully the third book will be released soon.

7) Winters Bone
If you are depressed and sad, read about a 16 year old girl in the Ozarks who is trying to keep her family together and fed, all while searching for her father who is a meth cook and has disappeared.  :confetti:

Depressing as hell, but well-written, and will make you thankful for your own life.

8) Crashed
The first book in the Junior Bender series, this book is about a burglar who ends up helping a mobster try to make a porn movie with a washed up former child star.  Basically, if this book became a movie, Lindsay Lohan might get a project.

The plot itself sounds super shady, but he’s a good guy (ignore the fact that he is a burglar of course), and you end up getting super invested in these people.  And the humor and wit is funny as hell.

9) Little Elvises
This is the second book in the Junior Bender series, and I’m only technically halfway through the book, I’m loving it as much as Crashed.

10) At Home
If you are a giant nerd who has always wondered why the British seem to eat more sugar than most other people, or how the term “sleep tight” came to be, this book is for you.

The author tells you the history of how ever room in your house came to be.  Sounds like a super weird premise, but it was fascinating and I loved it!

11) Elizabeth Street
I was on a mob kick for a bit, and this was part of that period in my life.  This tells the story about how and why so many people left Sicily in the early 1900’s, and what life was like when they got to America.  It includes pre-mafia “Black Hand” stories and experiences.

12) The Things They Carried
This was recommend by a friend, and it’s an amazing perspective of the Vietnam War from an angle I’ve never heard from.  To be honest, it was kind of like a car accident, in that even though I’ve read it, I couldn’t really tell you what happened.  The writing made it seem like it was a voice in your head telling you a story.

13) Gone Girl
I saw the plot twist coming a mile away, but I was extremely entertained and found the writing and characters fascinating.

14) The Family Corleone
Another part of my mob kick, this is the “prequel” to The Godfather and it captivated me while I was reading it.

I’ve read more books than the above, but not all of them are “recommendable”, and I don’t want to pass on crap to you.

I adore getting book recommendations from friends, so please leave a comment on a book that you have loved!  I don’t do anything chicklit, syfy, etc.

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32 comments on “The Good Books”

  1. The critics raved about The Slap but to be honest I found it pretty meh. I guess I’ve just read so many more shocking things that this didn’t seem all that controversial? That made a tv mini series out of it here in Australia, but I never watched it.
    I’ve heard lots of good things about A Fault in Our Stars, so I’m going to try to get my hands on that.
    At the moment I am reading The Vale Girl and I’m really hooked on it.

    • For me, what made The Slap really good was that it took place in a country I didn’t know well, so I got to enjoy the book and learn more about a foreign place. Also why I loved What Alice Forgot.

  2. I’ve just gone through your list and found quite a few of them available at my local library which I have now reserved. I am at the library A LOT but most of my time is spent herding my three children so I rarely get any time just to browse. I make good use of the reservation system!
    Thanks xXx Helen

    • I LOVE the reservation system! Our library is only 1 room, so most of the books I want are not in stock. They’re great about pulling them from other bigger libraries in our county.

  3. The Fault in Our Stars was a so sad but so beautiful. I saw the twist in Gone Girl too! But I loved the crazy twisted characters, they’re making a movie. A couple I’d recommend- “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker, “Plain Truth” by Jodi Piccoult, There are a few others, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head… maybe after I finish my coffee

  4. I added a bunch of these to my Goodreads app so I can keep on reading. If you have a smart phone and you love books you should look into it. It has book reviews, you can keep a list of what you have read and want you want to read. Helps me remember all those books people recommend.

  5. I couldn’t put down “All the dancing Birds.” It’s a story from the perspective of a woman who gets Alzheimer’s. Really moving stuff. http://www.amazon.com/All-Dancing-Birds-Auburn-McCanta/dp/0985070005/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379592768&sr=1-1&keywords=all+the+dancing+birds

  6. Does your “tiniest percentage” work with the .ca version of amazon? I order stuff from there on occasion (Christmas is coming) and I would totally help you out that way if I could! (my email should be linked to my profile if you would prefer to reply through that)

  7. I enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent. The third book in the trilogy is coming out later this year. They are along the same lines as The Hunger Games.

  8. Im loving that you love books to. It makes me so sad when I see the local state of the art library in the little town Im moving to deserted. Im going to change that.

    • Our tiny town library is just two blocks away from our house. It is one room (with a meeting room attached), but they sure pack a lot in to that little room. We’re there at least once a week, and know everyone by name. The library is one of my favorite places!

  9. John Green’s books are amazing. The Fault in our Stars is (I think?) the most recent but I’ve read some others and they were equally heartbreaking/hilarious/fascinating.
    The Things They Carried is also one of my favorites–I wrote a paper about it in college (real truth vs. story truth).

  10. I can’t wait to check some of these out of our library. I am one of those readers who goes on a wild streak and reads and reads and then suddenly I just stop (usually when my kids our little). The youngest is 4 now and has started preschool, so I have a little more time in my day.

    • I definitely go in spurts too when I read more than normal, but I’m always reading at least something. I hate not multi-tasking, so juggling books just makes me feel normal.

  11. I love the Ken Follett book as well! My recommendation to you is “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. I put it off for awhile thinking it wasn’t my style, but I could’t put it down once I got started. The images it creates in your head are breathtaking and you really feel for the characters.

  12. What Alice Forgot is an amazing book! Id’ have to recommend 13 Reasons Why. It’s a YA book (and I am waaaayyyyy beyond young adult age) but I think it should be required reading for every single high school student out there because it is fabulous! Right now I’m reading the Outlander series & it is totally consuming every spare minute I have. My productivity has dropped to zilch & I’m only on book 3 of the 7 book series – YIKES!

    • After I read Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars, I can’t judge YA books. I think I heard someone else recently recommend 13 Reasons Why. Maybe it was Nancy Pearl (former librarian of the Seattle Public Library) on our local NPR station? I’ve loved everything she has recommended.

  13. Here are a few books that I have read and loved: My Own Country (this is a really interesting first-hand account of an infectious diseases doctor who practiced during the emergence of AIDS in Tennessee), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Water for Elephants (I liked this one so much that I stayed up until 5 a.m. and finished it in one night), The Yellow Wallpaper, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, The Secret Life of Bees, and the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (it is addicting). I know there are a lot more, but I can’t remember them off of the top of my head. I just bought Gone Girl and can’t wait to start reading it!

    • I read the Girl with the Dragon Tatto Triology, all the Hunger Games, and Water for Elephants, but I haven’t read the others. I’ll probably say no to the 50 Shades series, but thank you for all the ideas!

  14. If you loved The Fault in Our Stars (and oh MY stars I loved it too) you will LOVE Eleanor and Park.

  15. Darn you! I downloaded The Slap on my kindle and was up way too late reading! I also wait listed What Alice Forgot and The Fault in our Stars. I’m also a bookaholic…until I was a parent I refused to not finish a book I started and even made it through Jerzy Kozinski’s Painted Bird which was painful. Now, I have given myself permission to put it down if I can’t hack the first few chapters. I’ve memorized the 14 digit library card number from downloading books to my Kindle. I know you said no chick lit but I don’t think my favs would really qualify, they are more like Anne Tyler reads. Love Walked In, and Belong to me by Marisa de los Santos. They are aswesome stories I’ve read over and over in spite of the titles. And please don’t hate on me for my other choices which are literary junk food….

  16. I have been spending time lately finishing some series I started reading in middle and high school so I have to recommend two YA series: The Giver Quartet (ok, I haven’t read the last one yet but the first three are amazing!) and the Artemis Fowl series (actually Jack will probably like this series a lot when he’s a little older). I also love historical fiction and have recently discovered the author Phillipa Gregory; I have nothing but good things to say about her books The Constant Princess and The Other Boleyn Girl. Another commenter above recommended The Yellow Wallpaper; it’s only a short story but it’s amazing and worth the read!

  17. well I did not KNOW that the British ate more sugar but of course i want to know why now !:)

  18. If you are looking for a hilarious book you should check out “Lets Pretend this Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson.

    I couldn’t put it down and there are parts in the book that made me laugh till I cried.

    I’m also a huge fan of Carol Goodman and her writing. “The Lake of Dead Languages” is one of my favorite books. I just love the way she writes and tells stories.

    Ashley

  19. I have read many of your recommendations and also loved them, so I added the others to my wish list from the library. Here are some more I recommend for you: Little Bee, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Outliers, The Glass Castle, Heart in the Right Place, Stiltsville, Sisters Brothers.

    I like Goodreads also for recommendations from friends.

    Lastly, did you know you can lend Kindle books on Amazon? So you can only lend some books and you can only lend them once, but still is cool.

  20. I think you would really like Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill. I also loved the Frankenstein Series(5 books) by Dean Koontz.