Thursday, October 9, 2008

Book Readers of the World - Unite! (and give me some advice!)

So I really want to start reading more books. So many of my friends (and some of my new blogger friends: Celeste, Diane and Jen) are avid readers and I would like to join their ranks.

I'm so over TV. All I really care about watching is Lost and it's not coming back for like 9 more years; so I have some time now that I've dropped the habit of late night TV viewing.

So now that I'm ready to start reading more - I don't know what to do next. What's worth reading??? I could use some input from all of you on what I should read. Please give me your suggestions on some good books.

The last book I read was The Shack. I haven't finished it yet (see prior entry for more details on that). But I'm going to. (Celeste - I'm down for finishing it if you are - I'll let you know when I'm all done; maybe we can chat about it.)

So please! Give me some suggestions on books (no children's books please - I'm good on those); I'm excited to hear from you!


Rick said...

All of us really like Dee Henderson. Christian fiction, sor of romantic. Her 7-part O'Malley series is great. I can lend you the first one if you are interested.

Brazenlilly said...

Oh! I feel so honored to be mentioned by name! I am a total reader, but it's harder with babies around. I'm reading a lot more non-fiction lately (like sleep habits for kids). I'm always a little hesitant to recommend books, because I don't want you to judge me! For instance, I loved all the Harry Potter books.

I also really like all the historical fiction by Phillippa Gregory (she wrote The Other Boleyn Girl, which was a movie earlier this year). Some others that I've liked are: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Secret Life of Bees, White Oleander, I Know This Much is True, Bridget Jones (remember, don't judge), Time Traveler's Wife, Small Rain and Severed Wasp by Madeliene L'Engle, The Red Tent. A friend recently told me Water for Elephants was a winner.

But I will give a disclaimer. Other than L'Engle, none of these authors are Christian (that I know of) and several of them have some alarming content (usually sexual). IMHO, it was not bad enough to ruin the books, but if you'd prefer to avoid that, let me know and I can be more specific. Those other 2 gals you mentioned will surely have plenty suggestions.

Michelle said...

My favorite juicy romance author is Johanna Lindsey, she is very good and funny. For Christian non-fiction, I was recently recommended "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, and I always love anything by John Eldredge, starting with "Wild at Heart". Good luck!

VikingMom said...

I was talking with Cindy R. today about the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. (You know...the book that has all that annoying flair on Facebook.) Originally, my purpose was to read them through so I could determine whether or not they were decent enough for Tamila. Needless to say, I read the first two books (almost 2000 pages worth) in less that 4 days.

The books are about vampires but definitely have a good moral to them. (Waiting for marriage, consequences for actions, etc...) I was really hesitant to read them at first, but Tamila's friends were really bugging her to read them. I gave in and can't wait to pick up books 3 and 4 this weekend.

Other than that, I usually fall back on my classic California lit by Steinbeck or whatever else tickles my fancy at the library. Good luck on your search for a good book. There is so much to choose from out there it's almost impossible to know where to start!

Wendi said...

Marley and Me: Life and the Love with the World's Worst'll'll cry.
Rhett Butler's People (if you're a Gone with the Wind fan)
Before Green Gables (if you're an Anne of Green Gables fan)

Diane Davis said...

Oh, this is my kind of blog post! But it is really hard to answer because I don't know your reading taste.

One of my closest friends, Edie, is an AVID reader. But some of her favorites are flops in my mind, and vise versa. So it really just depends...

I don't read any romance type books. Also, besides The Shack, I haven't read any religious fiction... it all seems too cheesy for me. If I read spiritual books then it is non-fiction or memoirs. I LOVE LOVE LOVE memoirs as my favorite genre.

OK, off the top of my head, these are ones I would suggest:

--A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
--A Small Rain and A Severed Wasp by Madeline L’Engle.
--A History of Love by Nicholas Krauss.
--The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
--Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsoliver.
--Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.
--A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
--Ahabs Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.

--Traveling Mercies by Anne LaMott.
--Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.
--Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
--Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.
--Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor.
--The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.
--Expecting Adam by Martha Beck.
--Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor.

I have lots of non-fiction I like too, but I already got carried away...

Yeah, really carried away. SORRY. :)

Diane Davis said...

PS... I'm sending Edie to your blog... THAT girl is a reader! :)

saige420 said...

Hey Heidi,
Man, since having my second daughter my reading time has dimenished. But finally I have found the time again to read. I love it, and I really love the self help books. Louise Hay's , "You can Heal Your Life", is really wonderful. Not sure what you like to read, but she puts the , "change your thoughts change your life", into a daily part of living. I am telling you right now, it produced a lot of great changes in my families and my life.
Also how can I become part of the group? If a group is not formed yet, maybe we can start a online book group. Good luck with your book search.

edie said...

Hi, Heidi!
Diane emailed me this morning and directed me to your blog. Like she mentioned, it's such a matter of taste that recommending books can be a challenge. However, because I enjoy sharing books that I've loved with others I'll take the plunge anyways. : ) I'll try and recommend books that I think appeal to lots of different readers.

For fiction, I agree with D on A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Loved this book. Like Jen, I also love the Harry Potter book and the L'Engle books. They are wonderful stories and have that hard to put down quality. Some other titles I love are: Jane Eyre, East of Eden, Peace Like A River, The Woman in White (if you like a good mystery), and Lord of the Rings.

Recent nonfiction reads I've liked are: Wild Swans, John Adams, Misconceptions and Animal, Vegetable Miracle. I found these books hard to put down, which is sometimes hard to find in nonfiction.

I love to hear about books from others so let us know what you end up reading. Enjoy!

MWLYB said...

The Twilight series is SO good! Just beware the last book is NOT good for teens - Vampire sex, marital situations, etc....Whoever said they were reading it before their daughter - Kudos you are a smart one!

If you have not read Randy Pauchs "The Last Lecture". It is in a word AWESOME and will lift your spirits - really a great read.

StephanieJ said...

Heidi! Look at me! I have a blog now too - you are so cool you inspired me....and, I couldn't figure out how to comment to your blog without creating my own! SO...I agree with many of the books suggested here....Time Traveler's Wife, The Red Tent, Certain Women by L'Engle, Secret Life of Bees, a series to start if you want something to take up a LOT of your time is by Brock and Bodie Thoene - the first series is the Zion Covenent (about Jews in pre-WWII Europe), the Zion Chronicles picks up after WWII in Palestine - great Historical fiction series.

nikkirex said...

"Bad Girls of the Bible (and What We Can Learn from Them)" By Liz Curtis Higgens. It's truely an amazing book.

The Craftypigs said...

There are so many books in the world. This is my hard fast rule: If, by the third or fourth chapter, the author doesn't have my attention, I put it down and start another. My time is precious and I know there's a book out there just for me. Also, if by the first half, the author has lost my attention after once having it, I put it down (Shack, case in point). And, here's the other thing, once you've read a really good book, it ruins you for the okay ones. You become spoiled in a sense.

In the recent past, here are several books that I absolutely couldn't put down: The Time Traveler's Wife, The Glass Castle, Pillars of the Earth, Any Harry Potter Book, The Secret Life of Bees. Currently reading: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and it's got my attention (remember the rule). All the books I listed are completely different from the other. I just love a good story, I don't follow a pattern or even follow an author so much. A lot of my books are recommended to me by my friends whom I trust to know a good story when they read one.

One more idea, join a book club - not a Christian Fiction only club (uggg) but just a book club that meets once a month. Some of my favorite books have come out of a book club choice that I personally, wouldn't have chosen. Also, consequently, some really good friends too.

My other hard fast rule: I take a book everywhere I go. If I have 5 minutes, I read. You would be surprised how much time goes by, just waiting to do whatever you're trying to do or waiting for someone or something or your turn or whatever. Keep your book with you, read every chance you have a moment.

Suzie said...

I noticed alot of you mentioned The Time Travelers Wife.
I just read the Time Travelers Wife and it was a good story - very clever, but is it just me or did the "F" word appear more than 200 times! Holy Cow

Stacey said...

Just a little author trivia. Brock Thoene, mentioned earlier by Stephanie, grew up in Bakersfield. He has another historicalfiction,
"western/pioneer" series of which some of the settings are in the surrounding mountains of Kern/Tulare County. His mom and dad, after retiring, were the caretakers of Sierra Christian Service Camp, the camp I attended growing up...the same camp that my Dad and Laurel's grandpa spent many hours working (and sparring :) at... a fact that Laurel and I stumbled upon after becoming friends.
I met Bodie and Brock while attending his mother's 90th birhtday party last fall. My dad read both of the Thoene book series and really enjoyed them.

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying your blogs! I would recommend "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop. It is an autobiography about a woman who escaped the FLDS culture. I could hardly put the book down. It was a real eye opener and such a good read.