Thursday, November 5, 2015

10 Books I Recommend

Y'all know Kristen, right?  I'm pretty sure most of you do.  And, I'm pretty sure most of you know that Kristen and I like books...a lot...and we talk about books...a lot...  So, when I saw this post of hers (10 books I can't stop recommending), she and I talked about (what else?) books, and she encouraged me to write my own.  Since most of you probably read her post already, I tried to pick different recommendations than Kristen did.  But, there were two that I can't leave off my list, so let's start with them.  Oh, and I can not be held responsible if you cry in any (or all) of these books.  Apparently, I like to read books that make me cry. 

Two books with central characters that are book lovers that Kristen also selected:

1.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I'm going to steal the words of a friend of mine who read this after I recommended it to her. Paraphrasing:  "My heart is so full and empty at the same time. Death is a fresh perspective.  This book...touches your heart and kicks you in the gut; beautifully illustrates with words the powerful images of a significant time."

2.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (also released as The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry) - A book about a bookstore and book is a book that is endearing, a little quirky, and truly a gem.  My heart was full of emotions reading this one.

Another book about book lovers....
3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - Yes, the title of this book is silly. Don't let that stop you from reading it. This book is downright delightful.
4.  Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - If you are at all interested in YA or Contemporary Fiction, you've probably heard of (and read) this book already. It deserves its accolades. On the surface, it's sweet and charming, look a little closer, and it's much deeper and darker.

5.  Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta - Yep. Two books. My list, my rules. These books go hand in hand.  Contemporary fiction based in Sydney that weaves stories of a group of young friends.  I gobbled these up and recommend others to do so as well.
6.  Stolen by Lucy Christopher - A fictional teenaged kidnap victim writes a letter to her captor.  When I closed this book, I exhaled and exclaimed "fuck". It's a mindfuck, but it's a good one.

7.  The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - In a book challenge, I was asked to pick a book outside of my usual genres of choice. This book was listed in the "horror" category, it's sorta apocalyptic, and there's people that are kinda zombie-like. Nope. This is not my typical choice of book. I was gob smacked how much I enjoyed it, how quick & easy it was for me to read, and I much I thought the lead character, Melanie, was such a badass little girl. Sometimes, it is awesome to step outside the comfort zone and be pleasantly surprised.

8.  The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (non-fiction) - I've never been a drug addict...but I find some addiction stories to be fascinating because even though I've never personally done hardcore drugs, I have battled my own demons, acted out-of-character, done things that I'm ashamed of or never imagined doing, felt like I was in a really dark I can still relate to addiction stories.  This one is haunting, plus there's the whole Mötley Crüe/rock 'n' roll element. 

9.  102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn (non-fiction) - I went through a period of reading books and memoirs from those personally connected to the September 11th attacks. Stories of this book have stuck with me, and I imagine always will (as they should). Triumph and heartbreak, joy and hurt, and so many emotions in between. 

10.  Thrillers. I read a lot of them. I have particular books and/or authors I recommend when I know what topics of mystery/thrillers interest the party that I'm giving the suggestion.  Particular authors in this category: Karin Slaughter, John Sandord, James Patterson, Jonathon Kellerman, Jo Nesbo, and a few others. 

Honourable mentions (because I just can't stop myself): Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye, Jonathan Tropper books, It's So Easy by Duff McKagan, Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield, The Messenger by Markus Zusak...... You know this list could continue, right?

Stealing from Kristen again: "I recommend that you read a book, any book. Just read. Because reading is amazing. It's a whole new world and a whole new life, and that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your world and your life, but to have the chance to experience that and not do it? That's crazy talk."

What are some books that you just can't stop recommending?


  1. I've only read Eleanor & Park and I have The Book Thief and will likely read it soon! I saved this because your recommendations sound so interesting and I'm always looking for more books!

  2. I've only read The Book Thief from your list so that means I have a bunch of books to add to my to be read list! I've heard such great things about Rainbow Rowell books so I think Eleanor and Park is probably going to be added towards the top!

  3. Anything by Rainbow Rowell is worth reading.

    I tell kids that: "JUST READ A BOOK". I keep a copy of the reading calendar I force them to fill out on the board where they can see me tracking my own reading.

  4. I've read Eleanor and Park and the book thief and I agree, they are both great books to read! I haven't read any of the others you mentioned here so Ill be adding them to my list!

  5. Recently it's been The Martian. I've recommended it to all of my reader friends and some of my non-reader friends, too! I swear, I truly sound like a paid spokesman when I recommend it. LOL! To my reader friends who like murder/mystery/thriller-ish books, I've recently recommended The Kind Worth Killing.

  6. That's it. Now I'm making my own list. I LOVED the Heroin Diaries. I was rooting for him and screaming at him at the same time. The Book Thief is in the queue!

  7. I wasn't as big of a fan of Eleanor and Park, but The Book Thief was AMAZING!!!


  8. I love The Book Thief because as you said it's such an interesting choice in narrative and it gives the book a completely different feel. I think it's such a perfect choice for the subject matter too. I enjoyed Nikki Sixx's book as well. It's not my all-time fave, but it's high up there. We've talked before about how I love musician books, especially ones about struggle and often topics like addiction. If I had to choose a favorite I'd have to say Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis. After early reviews I'm also super intrigued by Travis Barker's book.

  9. hahaha i like books that make me cry as well, no shame. i like to FEEL.
    OH I LOVE the Guernsey book. Seriously, one of my favourite books of ALL time. I've recommended it to a few people and they didn't love it, so I stopped recommending it lol.
    I am so happy to see several of these I have read and loved as well, we are so alike ;) I am also SO glad you loved The Girl with all the gifts because that has been on my list forever, but I keep not starting it because I don't think I will like it. I think I also picked it for a challenge (yours, maybe?) but now I think I will like it if you did!
    LOVE this post! :)

  10. I've had the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on my to read list forever, maybe that can be my reward book when I'm done with writing my own this month.

  11. Oh gosh - I see 2 books right now I'm heading to add to wish list
    I love a book that just messes with my mind at the end

  12. So many yesses! In particular: E&P, The Heroin Diaries, The Book Thief, and Stolen. Also AJ Fikry but I think it's for a specific kind of reader. Not necessarily as broad of an appeal as the others. Actually, I JUST recommended Stolen the other day to another blogger who's doing an around the world in books challenge.

    The Potato book (as I call it because the name is too damn long) is on my to-read list, as are some of the others. I should copy this post idea. Because I am also a thief.

  13. I should do this post too!

    I love The Book Thief, Fikry, Nikki's book. I also enjoyed Guernsey.

  14. I thought about giving Eleanor & Park a go. It's popped up a couple of times as something I may like as I love John Green books. So, I'll have to add it to my list. :)

  15. Eleanor and Park and Stolen are both on my TBR list. What a great list. AJ Fikry was so good, one of my favorites this year!

  16. I love Eleanor and Park! Adding "The Book Thief" to my to read list.

  17. Kristen told me I should write one too, especially since I told her I'd been thinking of doing an "all-time favorites" book post for a while. I'm sure I'll get around to it ... Eventually. I've been kind of off my blogging game since I got back from my trip. Haha.

    A bunch of these are on my "To Read" list, so I'm glad to see that you loved them so much. I also liked The Girl with All the Gifts a lot even though I'm definitely not into zombie stuff. Horror, yes (though after reading it, I didn't think of it as a horror novel) ... Zombies, no.

    As you know, I'm also a sucker for a great thriller. I love books that just suck me in and keep me guessing.

  18. I usually do not even read YA but I started Eleanor & Park at some point and absolutely loved it. The characters are so brilliant.

  19. I've only read a few of these books, so I'm excited to get some new recommendations!

  20. Ohhhh man the Girl with all the Gifts. It's so not my kind of book, but goodness I adored it! Did you see she came out with a new novel?!? It's not in the zombie vein, but still fantastical in a sense. :)


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