Good books you have read!

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    Do any of you have recommendations for books to read? Have you read a good fiction or non fiction lately?
    Lately I have read and enjoyed:
    “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. loved this book, it kept me captivated all the way through. I am surprised it is not a film by now.

    “Enders Game” by Orson Scott Card. Good reading and better than the movie.

    “A Confederacy Of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole. Wonderful, fantastic read, loved all the visual experiences it conjured up for me.

    “Lawrence in Arabia” by Scott Anderson. Great read especially if you enjoyed the film. The history of the region and that period in time is fascination and gives one an insight into today’s problems there, Following the life of Lawrence in detail is very interesting.

    “Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir” by Amanda Knox. A must read for anyone following this crazy series of trials. I read it and I am sure she is innocent now.

    “When I Fell From the Sky” by Juliane Koepcke. Fascinating book about an amazing woman and what she experienced in Peru.

    “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” by Martin Sixsmith. Wonderful book about a truly tragic experience of a young girl in Ireland and how she tracked down her child. I saw the movie and it is amazing that the book and the movie look at this event from different perspectives, the book focuses more on the child.

    Well there are a few that ii have read of late, how about you?



    Currently reading “One Summer: America, 1927” by Bill Bryson. Title kind of self-explanatory. I enjoy all his books, although I think I preferred his previous “At Home: A Short History of Private Life.”

    Two Nancy Pearl rec’s I read and enjoyed –
    “The Last Policeman” by Ben Winters. A murder mystery with the premise that Earth is going to be hit with a world-killing asteroid in six months.
    “Crashed” by Timothy Hallinan. A Los Angeles burglar moonlighting as a PI… for other criminals.

    Two YA’s I liked:
    “Girl of Fire and Thorns” by Rae Carson. Fantasy world, unlikely heroine.
    “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead. I love, love, love this book. It centers around the YA “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, which I also love.

    Two non-fiction just checked out yesterday from SPL so don’t know if they’re good yet:
    “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcom Gladwell
    “The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen” by Susan Bordo



    I liked Ender’s Game too. Currently wading through some of Tom Clancy’s books, but tend toward sci-fi. Vernor Vinge is good, but I’ve read so much over the winter I can’t remember them all.
    Glad to hear that some of us still read instead of spending all of our time in front of the TV. Kind of restores your faith in your fellow man.



    Do Audiobooks count on this list?

    I concur on The Last Policeman series. Outstanding in everyway ( for speculative fiction that is.)

    I do have a preferred list for Audible. Do at least 1 a week, if anyone is interested.



    Interesting to see what others are reading! I will have to check out the “Last Policeman”.

    woodchucker – I know what you mean re: not remembering what you read! I have the same problem! I also keep trying to read all the Clancy books. I should probably keep a spreadsheet with title and what I thought etc. Yea! that will get done.. :)

    Matthew – I think audio books count. I have checked out a few from the library and listened to them at night in bed. I was surprised how fast listening to “Call of the Wild” by Jack London went, it just flowed along and then I was finished. It is nice to listen to a story once in a while.



    Hippie Boy – A girl’s story by Ingrid Ricks (local author)
    The color of Water by James McBridge (this book has been around since 2008). Great read
    Most books I read are not intense (no blood and gore), some I call “bubblegum for the brains” – culinary murder mysteries; J. A. Jance books, books surrounding character of dog or cat.
    Something light hearted to take me away into “la la land” and away from all the negative stuff I see at work.



    don’t read much fiction so here’s my recent non-fiction reading:

    “Confederate Reckoning” by Stephanie McCurry – fascinating study Of how Women and the Slaves forced changes in the South during the Civil War.

    “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford – a look at how the Mongol leader rose to power and changed the way the world does things for the better.

    “The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy” by Michael J. Gerhardt – a look at 10 of our lesser Presidents and how they affected the way our country is run.

    The Men Who Lost America” by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy – an examination of the British leadership during the American Revolution both In Britain and the colonies

    planning on reading soon:

    “Ian Fleming” by Andrew Lycett – a bio of the creator of James Bond 007

    “Johnny Cash: The Life” by Robert Hilburn – The Man in Black’s life

    The Sting Man: Inside Abscam” by Robert W. Greene – the real story that the film American Hustle is (very loosely) based on



    Thanks. Alrighty then. In no particular order.

    Paul Suarez..Daemon
    Greig Beck..Beneath the Dark Ice
    Steve Gould..Wildside
    Andy Weir..The Martian ( I think the audio version is likely preferable)
    Tom Harper..The Orpheus Descent ( another excellent audio outing)
    Glenn Cooper..The Tenth Chamber
    Richard Burton..Godsent
    Ben Bova..The Kinsman Saga ( part of a long series, but stands well alone )
    Peter Heller..The Dog Stars
    Blake Crouch..Pines ( excellent! )
    JA Konrath..Origin ( must be audio version for full effect..abit gory FYI )
    McDermitt/Resnick..The Cassandra Project
    Lincoin Child..Utopia
    Adrian d”hage..The Mayan Codex
    Marcus Sakey..Brillance
    JT Brannan..Extinction

    Top 5 of recent times IMHO

    Steven King…11-22-63 ( a LONG book, but I think ranks near his best )
    Peter Clines..14 ( this is a remarkable book btw. highly recommended )
    Anthony Frewin..63 Closure ( audio book excellence bar none..stunning)
    Michael Flynn..Eifelheim ( amazing, will be with you for a long time )
    Robert Jackson Bennett..American Elsewhere ( simply shimmering with uniqueness )

    Respectfully submitted.




    “Where’d You Go Bernadette” by Maria Semple – super quick and fun to read!

    I’m also working through all the Terry Prachett “Discworld” novels – you can get through one in a few afternoons, and they’re smartly written. Some are a little slower than others, but all are enjoyable. I think I’m on the 8th or 9th book, and there’s more than 20 in the series?

    Also, word to the wise if you have a kindle (I have an old school 2nd gen, love it) you can get all of those through the SPL overdrive site.



    Earldanger – thanks for reminding me. I have that book and forgot all about it. Heard it is a fun read.



    If you like mysteries, go for any of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series–Sherlock Holmes meets an apprentice years after retiring, then starts up on new adventures.

    I recently read an odd but good time-travel book, “Time and Again” by Jack Finney. It’s set in the late 60’s/early 70’s and then in the 1890’s. Kinda strange to read about computer output on cards.

    Currently reading a couple of David Sedaris books.



    My son has introduced me to the world of graphic novels (and graphic non-fiction!). They have become a surprisingly sophisticated, yet easily accessible, read. Since all my work reading is pretty dark, I’m quite taken.
    Current fave: The Carter Family; Don’t Forget This Song (Frank Young and David Lasky)
    Last Year’s fave: Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosch)
    And I’m re-reading Sherlock Holmes. One story a night is perfect.



    I’m re-reading a YA series called The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor– the first two books are out, and the third is being released next month. Love the setting (Prague and another dimension/world called Eretz), the magic system, and the characters, especially the fact that the main character isn’t a helpless nobody.

    Recently read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison, about a scientist who decides to go about finding a wife via a 16 page double-sided survey but gets sidetracked by the prospect of finding a woman’s biological father. A really sweet romantic comedy from a guy whose day job is as a statistician.

    I will be handing out Where’d You Go Bernadette for World Book Night next month– I couldn’t get over how hysterically familiar and infuriating the characters were, especially as a lifelong Seattlite. I laughed at them and myself.

    While I’m admittedly a romance fan, I’ve found that Courtney Milan’s romances are, quite frankly, the best in the industry and she’s self-publishing. Her characters struggle with the realities of 19th century British law and how it affects their lives, from inheritance to the inequalities between classes, and she still manages to write dynamic people and families I love. If you think romances are all boring alpha he-men and fainting shallow big-bosomed virgins, I really suggest checking Milan’s Duchess War out (and SPL carries all of her titles).

    If you read A Song of Ice and Fire and can’t wait for The Winds of Winter to come out, try Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles. There are only two of the three books out so far, but Kvothe is an unforgettable character and for whatever reason, they feel like the natural next step for people craving more Game of Thrones gray-area action. After the Kingkiller Chronicles, Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards series starts with The Lies of Locke Lamora, about a gang of gentlemen thieves in a fantasy world.

    (You guys, I’m a librarian, I can’t stop with just one or two)



    Past… “Hopscotch” by Julio Cortazar.

    Current… “A Dance With Dragons” by George Martin. Book 5 of the series (we’re talking nearly 5000 page here people, sheesh).

    On the shelf waiting… “Hell Bent” by Benjamin Lorr. It’s about Bikram.




    “The Orphan Master’s Son”, Adam Johnson. Won the Pulitzer for good reason.

    “The Terror”, Dan Simmons. Grab a few thick blankets, a roaring fire, and a hot cuppa tea…You’re gonna need ’em. I’ve read this twice and will probably do so again.

    “Two Years Before the Mast”, Richard Henry Dana Jr. A classic and deservedly so.

    BTW, my wife read The Goldfinch and loved it.



    Boatgeek, Time and Again is one of my favorites. I first read it in 1979 when my father was dying; a co-worker knew it would take me away. I have travelled away several times since then :)

    VB, it’s got some great pics of turn of the century NYC too! Now I want to read it again.



    “Two Years Before the Mast”…yes! That is a classic.

    Non-fiction exploration and adventure is the best. “Endurance”, the account of Ernest Shackleton’s epic tale of survival is one of my favorite books ever.

    Right now I am reading “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President”. I’m only half way through, but it’s really interesting so far.



    Anything by T.C. Boyle. Drop City is a good start but my fav is still Tortilla Curtain.



    My latest reading binge is the Wallander series by Helling Mankell. I watched the PBS adaptation and decided to try the books. They are actually pretty different. I love the storyline of the books, but things do unfold rather slowly. It is very realistic — the police spend lots of time in meetings and running press conferences that they don’t really want to attend. The characters keep me interested.


    great idea

    currently reading ‘Border Songs’ by Jim Lynch and enjoying it quite a bit.

    interesting look at the Northwest US/Canadian border and the happenings between people in the community who live on opposite sides of the ‘ditch.’



    Not a big fan of fiction.

    Last month I finished The Mayor of MacDougal Street by Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald. The book was really good. I saw the Coen Bros. movie and that was terrible by comparison.

    I recently re-read The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins.

    I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

    Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond



    Stieg Larsson’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl Who Played With Fire, and Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.


    Sunset Hill Irish

    I am reading Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” and about to pick up its sequel. Am enjoying it enormously. It’s not the usual historical fiction but, rather, an excellent character study of people and power. And her prose is lyrical.

    My husband plowed through “The Boys in the Boat,” loved it, and it is now in my reading stack. He doesn’t have as much an opportunity to read for pleasure so when he inhales a book that quickly and raves about it I take note.

    A guilty pleasure: Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Series books following the adventures of Uhtred of Bebbanburg as Alfred the Great (and his heirs) unite England by repelling and expelling the Danish vikings. Cornwell (who writes the Sharpe series about the Napoleonic wars) knows how to construct a page turner AND can write ripping good action scenes. The battle scenes are vivid but also give one a good understanding of how medieval warfare functioned.

    I second Cate’s dipping into the AC Doyle cannon. Also, many raves for “Two Years Before the Mast” and Alfred Lansing’s “Endurance.” Those are books I have read and reread and reread some more over the past (arhem) years.



    Read the whole Ender’s series…I think there were 9. All were very engaging, and none of the author’s despicable beliefs came through…a relief.

    The book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus, by Wasik and Murphy. This one was pretty interesting

    Right now I am finishing The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. It is about Ted Bundy. Very well written.



    SHG – Do you recommend The Men Who Lost America? I think it’s on one of my “might be interested” lists.

    Matthew: Eifelheim is definitely unique. I’m a sucker for historical novels set in medieval Europe, but the back-and-forth to the present aspect didn’t quite work for me. In fairness, I was reading it at a time when I had a lot of gaps between reading sessions.

    I suppose I’m looking for something like The Name of the Rose.

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