Friday, March 15, 2013

Books Books Books

I am in need of some solid and distracting reading and I asked for suggestions on FB ~ nothing trashy, but not W&P either.  And with the locale as pretty much a character.  In the time it took me to take a shower . . .  Voila'!

In case you need some ideas yourselves:

Ragtime is always one of my favorites
Molokai by Alan Brenneer. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

Robin Craig Feel free to elaborate, folks.

'the gift of rain' by tan twan eng. it was short listed for the man booker prize and it's so beautiful and wonderful. you will absolutely love it.

In This House of Brede

 I enjoyed Molokai as well. I hear The Paris Wife is really good, haven't gotten round to reading it yet. But Hemingway and Paris--during the happiest time of his life-- have got to be magical.
The Art of Racing in the Rain or anything by Pat Conroy! Straight Man was awesome as well!
If you haven't read it yet, you really want to read: "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein ... takes place in Seattle ... haven't read a better book (check out reviews on Amazon)
I agree with State of Wonder, Ann Patchett's latest - haven't read any Rumer Goden in years, but loved In This House of Brede when I read it. Love everything of hers. I just finished The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, which is set in Ohio, and is about the Underground Railway. Louise Erdrich's latest is an amazing piece of work, The Round House. A difficult book, but I couldn't put it down. I recently read JK Rowling's first adult novel, A Casual Vacancy - which I also couldn't put down, though I hated much about it. It is sort of the Anti-Harry Potter. The Tiger's Wife was wonderful - the location is almost the best part, Tea Obrecht. Maybe I'll send more later - don't want to overwhelm you
Another one I enjoyed is Marcus Borg's first noveil: "Putting Away Childish Things" ... I really resonated with the main character ... light reading, in a way, but every line filled with a theological depth that made it a nourishing read for me

Maisie Dobbs series....mysteries set in England in the early 1900's with a female investigator who is trained in meditation....and who always desires reconciliation as part of her agreement with clients regardless of the result of her investigation.Or mysteries by Laurie King (which I have not read but apparently are really good) or for really light weight but good, the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert.

Julie Otsuka's two novels about the Japanese in California during WW II: When The Emperor Was Divine and The Buddha in the Attic, are two of the best novels I've read in the past year. And I read a LOT of novels.

 Laurie King has two series, one of which I have read, the other not. The one I have read features a lesbian detective in San Francisco, and is really gripping - the other stars a woman (whose name I forget) who works with Sherlock Holmes. So, Victorian London.

 Molokai is about a young girl sent to a leper colony in Hawaii. Not as depressing as you might think. State of Wonder is about a medical researcher who goes to Brazil to find the truth about her colleague who died in the jungle while visiting another doctor researching a new fertility drug for their company. Interesting ethical issues and fascinating setting.

 If you don't mind old-fashioned, I love the Jalna novels by Mazo de la Roche. Multi-generational family saga in Canada.

Anything by Diana Abu Jaber. Except Origins. Shall I stop?

Have you read anything by Susan Howatch? I love her!

A favorite series of mine (if you like mysteries, and the medieval world, you may like it too) is by Margaret Frazer - featuring a nun who is Chaucer's niece, and her monastic world. Lovely. I need to go see if she has any new ones I haven't read. She has a couple of medieval series, but Dame Frevisse is my true love!


Maisie Dobbs --definitely!!!

Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks. About the first Native American to go to Harvard - very New England, very very very good.

Laurie King books are great! I'm enjoying "the game" right now!

Cutting for Stone


Cutting for Stone and Molokaii were both excellent. Just finished Once We Were Brothers--very good. Currently reading "The End of Your Life Book Club"--not as depressing as the title sounds.

Robin Craig Oh, you guys are great! Unfortunately Brede is not on Kindle. And KGB, I have devoured almost everything by Susan Howatch. And MES, I have almost all of the Frazer books. (Do you know that "Margaret Frazer" is really two women?)

All of Gerealdine Brooks' books are good - "People of the Book", "A Year of Wonder" and "Caleb's Crossing" - all fabulous.


Do I know the coolest people or what?

I now need to get into bed with my fleece blankee and reeeeeeeead . . . .




  1. Let's see... a few thoughts. I was just discussing Ragtime today! I read it so many years ago when it came out and loved it. I was in high school then, I would like to reread it.

    I went to college with Diana Abu Jaber, but I can not remotely say I knew her; I knew who she was.

    State of Wonder has intrigued me.

    One of my favorite books ever is A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher. I read it about once every 18 months.

    Have you read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell? And the sequel, Children of God? I am not one for science fiction, but these stories take place in the future, on another planet. Hold on though, there are compelling Jesuit characters. Yes, seriously. I just reread them both; wonderful.

    Until I finish school my fiction reading is limited!

  2. I forgot to add, I loved In This House of Brede when I first read it many, many years ago.

  3. If you like caleb's crossing, earlier books by Geraldine brooks are better, though I never could get into march, the one she got the man booker prize for. I especially liked the people of the book and a year of wonder was also good.

    You might also try Mary Doria Russell's books - a science fiction book about a Jesuit who is the sole survivor of a mission of make contact with an alien race. Theologically interesting plus an engaging story line. The first book is better than the second though.

  4. Oh and clearly I need to read more carefully since I now notice that both my suggestions were already listed...

  5. I'm reading the Book of Rain right now after reading his latest novel, The Garden of Evening Mists, which was lovely, too.

    I read both The Round House and Cutting For Stone and couldn't put either of them down.

    The Housemaid's Daughter is one I finished last week and enjoyed.

    Gone Girl was recommended to me by a friend and while I couldn't put it down I'm not sure I'm satisfied with the ending.

    And after reading your post I have new books to put on my list!

  6. Thanks! I needed an updated list as it is almost spring break. Great suggestions - I may bookmark this to keep for a while.