This isn’t a real post. It’s just a place to say that I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that if you’re feeling a bit down that is totally normal because this time of year is filled with weirdness and stress and ups and downs, so if you don’t feel sort of depressed at least once this month you’re probably a cyborg. To distract you from all that holiday angst, I’m sharing a picture I took from the classified section of my hometown paper. It’s usually filled with all sorts of weirdness, and this week was no exception:
PS. My parents just reminded me that their donkey (Jasper) could be a real crotchety old asshole when he wanted to be, so technically it’s probably a good idea to not settle for just any old jackass. This reasoning is true of spouses, bosses, and guard donkeys.
I’m sorry I ever judged you, Kara.
PPS. On an utterly unrelated note, for xmas I got gift certificates for books (because people know me and I have a problem). Help me choose. What’s one of your favorite books that you think everyone should read? I’m making a list.
864 thoughts on “This isn’t a real post”
Read comments below or add one.
Have you read Eleanor and Park?
I received the same thing! I really enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I hope you and your family have had a great day.
I fully admit I don’t know much about guard donkeys, but aren’t they supposed to look angry and scary? Not nice and young? Wouldn’t that send off the wrong signals?
Anything from David Sedaris! I really think you would enjoy him
A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving.
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
Love those books. And Merry Christmas…
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
I got a kindle this year and I’m going to buy your book first. I assume you’ve read your own book?
I second The Thirteenth Tale because it is WONDERFUL.
I also recommend the Divergent trilogy OR The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
I Know This Much is True-Wally Lamb
Yours, of course!
Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies by Chris Kluwe
James Baldwin – Giovanni’s Room
Graham Greene – The End of the Affair
Kazuo Ishiguro – The Remains of the Day
The Good Mother Myth. It just came out. It is so wonderful. Full-disclosure, one of my friends (@donotfaint) wrote one of the essays, so I am a bit biased, but I think every mom who has ever struggled with worthiness or mental illness would benefit from having it. Happy Holidays!
‘The Fault in our Stars’ by John Green. Everyone should read this book; it is life-altering. I’m buying my sister a copy for Christmas because she, like everyone, needs to read this.
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
(I can’t think of any books funnier than yours to suggest.)
The Curious Incident of the Donkey in the Night-Time.
My favourite book is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. His sense of humour is just perfect!
Pillars of the Earth and Ishmael….yes!
Ohhh…Kathryn..(comment 6) also a good choice. I loved Pillars Of The Earth
The Pleasure of My Company – Steve Martin. It’s funny and sad and perfect and stays with you.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
I second Eleanor & Park. And Fangirl. I just discovered Rainbow Rowell. She’s awesome.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and My life in France by Julia Child.
The Wonderful O and The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber and The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle.
Kinda sad that I’m not the Kara who placed this ad…
I loved The Reason Why I Jump by Naoki Higashida. It was the most beautiful book I read this year, but is also sad as well.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Reamde by Neil Stephenson, an awesome contemporary page turner & you will never think about video games the same afterwards. At the top of my list of living authors, up there with Neil Gaiman
Truth is… the only book I’ve ever recommended to anyone who would listen AND have bought multiple copies of (for myself and for gifts) is your book.
However, I am a big Erma Bombeck fan…so if you can get any of her books, you might like them.
Hope you are enjoying the Holidays, Jenny! Love to you and your family.
I can’t not keep adding to the book suggestions.
Read everything you can by Harlan Coben. He’s a riot. His Myron Bolitar series is wonderful…but his stand alone books are great as well.
All of the Ben Aaronovitch PC Grant Series (Rivers of London, Moon over Soho, Broken Homes & Whispers Underground). It’s about being a policeman in London who sees and talks to a ghost, becomes a trainee wizard and gets recruited by The Folly. It’s FANTASTIC! Oh and you should also try all of the Matthew Swift / Blue Electric Angels series by Kate Griffin. Happy Christmas!
Happy Holidays! I enjoy This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper or The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by Joshua Braff.
I hope Kara gets the donkey she’s looking for. I recommend this: The Shack – William P. Young, and Merry Christmas, Bloggess!
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Love love love this book and it speaks to any one who alternates between fits of genius and fits of despair!
Green Angel. It’s an uber short Y.A. book, but it’s one of my favorites.
Silverlock by John Myers Myers.
“The Chosen” by Chaim Potok is riveting and I never expected it to be. I also love “Yesterday’s Doll” by Cora Taylor and “The Last Dragonslayer” by Jasper Fforde. Have a wonderful holiday, with or without a guard donkey! 🙂
I don’t think everyone should read these -they are weird and wonderful and lots of people just wouldn’t appreciate them but I think you would — Aimee Bender’s “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” and Lauren Groff’s “The Monsters of Templeton”
The Book Thief (so much better than the movie).
Great read is Five Days at Memorial. It will make you think HARD.
Favorite book ever “Job: A Comedy of Justice” by Robert Heinlein.
Also, I am down today because I am having a flare of my Crohn’s disease and my Interstitial Cystitis at the same time, and it is making me want to jump off a bridge (which I just typoed as bitch… I would do that too), because the pain/annoyance is unbearable and I have been dealing with it for an hour and a half now, and my meds aren’t stopping it and I just want to die.
I once proposed that if a hell exists, it is having a UTI and a sore throat at the same time. I think it is kind of cruel that I have a chronic disease that mimics a UTI, but reading that book up there made me understand it all.
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.
Truth and beauty by Ann patchett. Awesome book, nowhere near as drippy as the title
At least they didn’t mix up the ads and print “need a nice, young female ass for mother.” Then again, to each their own.
The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt because it mentions Akkadian. I mean, it has to be good then, no?
Have you read any Anne Rivers Siddons? Her Peachtree Road is one of my all-time favorites, and I think you’d enjoy it as well.
And this is a children’s book, but I’ve had several people put out requests for children’s book recs. and I am a life-long fan of Tolstoy’s The Lion and The Puppy. It’s actually a compilation of many short stories he wrote for his school for the poor/serf children in his village. The stories are a bit dark (in a matter-of-fact realistic way, not in a zombie way, sorry!) compared to the Goodnight, Moon type of books, but I still gift it to every friend as a first-kid gift.
Beyond the Bear by Dan Bigley. The most amazing tale of a guy’s journey to emotional and physical recovery after he was mauled and blinded by a bear in Alaska.
Terry Pratchett. I recommend lots of Terry Pratchett. I particularly love the books with Granny Weatherwax and the Tiffany Aching ones (Lords and Ladies, Carpe Jugelum, Masquerade, The Wee Free Men, etc.). The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin is really good. It’s a really dense read but it immediately became one of my favorites. Of course, then there’s classics like Pride and Prejudice and The Count of Monte Cristo and stuff. I’m particularly fond of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. If you’re looking for some really good paranoid science fiction, Philip K. Dick is great. The Man in the High Castle is really good and so is Ubik. I read a lot. 🙂
All About Lulu and Nothing to Envy. I’ll also second Where’d You Go, Bernadette?.
I bought YOUR book and have now loaned it to 3 people and I haven’t seen it in months. Which makes me sad, because I want to be the crazy person on the bus again who is laughing out loud while she’s reading.
The Shannara books! They helped shape me into the person I am today! I read them for the first time when I was 12
This is Where I Leave You
Eleanor and Park
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
I second the book thief and the particular sadness of lemon cake.
I just wonder how they plan on mounting the tires on mom?
“Round Ireland with a Fridge” by Tony Hawks. A guy hitch hikes the circumference of Ireland while rolling along a small fridge, as a result of a drunken bet. The fridge surfs, gets blessed by nuns…what’s not to love?
I’m a cyborg then. Then again, also Jewish. Today was Chinese Food and a Movie Day. The only angst I felt was whether or not I could eat one more dumpling. Answer: heck yeah I can.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
A Dirty Job (Christopher Moore) – darkly funny, this is my recommendation most specific to you. 🙂
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Bitter is the New Black
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Isabelle Allende “The House of the Spirits”, or “Portrait in Sepia”
“Bear V Shark” by Chris Bachelder. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, even though it’s one of my favourites, but I think you’d understand 🙂
Also “Nights at the Circus” by Angela Carter which is amazing and beautiful.
“Set This House in Order” by Matt Ruff. I love Matt and all of his books but this is the most super stupendous book of all time. It’s about broken people helping each other get less broken and learning to live with their brokenness.
Catch-22 is one of my favorite books. It shows how messed up things are in a hilarious way.
A current series I’m LOVING is the Witch Central series by Deborah Geary. She’s thoughtful, and deep and yet leaves you with this brilliant uplifting feeling. Love love love her!
Donkeys make good guards for foals against coyotes.
Ooh, ooh, Ursula Vernon’s DIGGER OMNIBUS from Sofawolf Press is coming out in softcover through comic shops on 1/29/2014! You can pre-order it in your local comic shop! The code is NOV131232 if they are too stupid to look it up properly.
I don’t get any money from saying this, but I loved this comic so much when it was serialized online that I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign for the omnibus edition & received it Saturday & just sat down and read the whole thing again and it STILL hangs together.
Ursula described it this way: “A wombat. A dead god. A very peculiar epic.” There are also warrior hyenas, oracular slugs, a little shadow-type person who may or may not be a demon, and the default gender is female. It’s definitely not a typical “talking animal” type of comic, even though there are talking animals.
I got the Hunger Games boxed set and the Chaos Walking trilogy. Both are excellent if you haven’t already read them. I also received Horde be Ann Aguirre. It’s the final book in the Enclave trilogy. Very good so far. I also really like Tabitha King’s books about the Styles family. They’re old but I retread them every couple of years.
The 13th Tale is awesome! Also you probably have it cause uou love Neil gaiman but the one about an Irishman finding a world in underground London is awesomesauce
The Bond by Wayne Pacelle.
Yours of course. I’m reading it now. Again. It gets me through the stressfull parts of Christmas.
*Atonement,* *Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,* *The Fault in our Stars,* *Me Talk Pretty One Day,* *The Guinea Pig Diaries, * *The Year Without Made in China, * *Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.*
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars
by Ian Doescher
It’s the original Episode four novel, rewritten in Shakespearean iambic pentameter.
Jenny…just have to say that your book was my gift of choice to the people I really like…and also to let you know….it is sold out at lots of places in Austin (which delighted me on one hand for you, but made me a little pissy to have to travel all over the place to find #5!) Congrats on your success and many many thanks for the humor you share with the world.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s the best book I’ve read in years. Also, the audiobook is read by the excellent Mr. Wil Wheaton, who reads even better than he collates paper. 🙂
Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon (sci-fi, unique, has an old woman as the protagonist, really a scifi book about differentness and community)
The Songkiller Saga (it’s a trilogy) by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (kind of fantasy, kind of allegory, all about folk music and the soul of humanity)
Miss Twiggley’s Tree by Dorothea Warren Fox (children’s picture/poetry book, beautiful, my mom won’t let me steal her copy)
Patchwork Narrative by Tyler Yoder (poetry, all about life and growing up and being different and struggling)
The Father Brown Mysteries by GK Chesterton (mysteries solved by a priest, kind of the anti-sherlock-holmes)
A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones (sci fi and fantasy and time travel, children’s/YA)
Revolutionary Blues by Mike Politis (trippy as FUCK, historicalish fiction)
Beauty by Robin McKinley (retelling of beauty and the beast)
(going for variety with my suggestions 😉 )
Happy Holidays, to you and yours.
“He, She, It” by Marge Piercy
“Unless” by Carole …
“Good Omens” (which I some you have read but is one of my airways reread in times of need books)
Sorry for anything that is incorrect or typoed… Just home from the hospital, baby is 48hrs old, anything could happen. As long as it’s a nap.. )
If you have not yet read them, I highly recommend Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear”
The Flavia DeLuce series starting with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Every time I finish one I can’t wait for the next to come out!
Where the Red Fern Grows.
My cat typed that last part. Really. So I left it. You can forward it to Ferris M. He probably knows what it means.
Back to my list
The Husband’s Secret, And the Mountains Echoed, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and all).
Where’d You Go Bernadette (but it’s sort of unique to Seattle)
Oh, you so need to read “The House With A Clock in Its Walls,” by John Bellairs.
The Bear Went Over The Mountain by William Kotzwinkle is one of my favorites!
Best book I read this year was Room.
Merry Christmas and thanks for the much needed pick-me-up 🙂
I admit I am a bit of a fantasy and steampunk nerd …
So my absolute favorite books are “The Fairy Godmother” by Mercedes Lackey (fantasy) or the “Parasol Protectorate” by Gail Carriger (steampunk)
Fall on Your Knees by Anne Marie McDonald
Love Untethered Soul. Oprah does too, apparently. ? Happy Christmas to you, Jenny! 🙂
My favorite read of the year was Unapologetic by Francis Spufford. Like you, he talks about Jesus while dropping f-bombs. You might feel a kinship.
Your book is the one I always recommend to people. So, if you can’t remember what’s in there, read it again! But since you probably remember all your stories, I’m out of recommendations. Hope you have a great day!
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (and then the sequel)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. One of my new favourites.
The Locke Lamora series.
Wonder by RJ Palacio
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
I would recommend books by Terry Pratchett (Discworld) & Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next).
My most favourite books which I read over and over are To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride & Prejudice, Lord of the Rings (although not read much since the movies came out).
If you want action & intrigue then Matthew Reilly (Contest, Temple, The Tournament).
I also love The Book Thief and anything by Neil Gaiman. The books I regard as ‘comfort food’ are by Agatha Christie & Georgette Heyer (Regency novels).
Have a merry Christmas with your family.
I assume you have read yours and Harry Potter. My favorites. If you have not read Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck that is a great book.
Merry Christmas. I enjoy all things you write.
Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About by Mil Millington
A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Any of Cathy Lambs books
Pioneer Go Home by Richard Powell
The Cat Who trilogy by Peter Gethers ( true story about an amazing cat named Norton )
Rise Of The Steam Goddess by Ben Hamby
I am off to drown myself in one alcoholic drink ( all I can have with my meds ) and get the Kleenex ready to say goodbye to my beloved Matt Smith. I AM NOT READY.
Zadie Smith’s NW – it’s The Ulysses of our time. (which means it’s actually understandable) Seriously, I can’t say how much it blew me away, I’m a classicist, but this is the best contemporary novel I’ve ever read, in fact, one of the best novels I’ve ever read – up there with Dickens for beautiful detail, and Shakespeare for use of language. I can’t recommend Smith enough.
I recommend “The Fault in Our Stars” because it is awesome, 100 Years of Solitude because Garcia is awesome and The Wasteland series by Stephen King. And the OUtlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
And I love the ad that needs dependable tires for mother! And an anvil! I want an anvil!
My go-to book suggestion lately has been “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” but that probably wouldn’t work for you. Orphan Train is good. So is Sarah’s Key, but that book is also incredibly depressing, but so, so amazing. I would go for that one.
Book Thief, Water for Elephants, Divergent series, The Fault in Our Stars, I could go on and on…
To Begin Again by Jen Knox. I may be on the biased side, Jen Knox is my daughter-in-law. She and my son live in San Antonio. She also has quite a few short stories published online. To Begin Again is a collection of short stories.
Daniel Quinn, Christopher Moore, Hugh Howey. They are authors. They are FANTABULOUS authors.
Absolutely anything by A. Lee Martinez. He’s phenomenally weird and I love his stories so much. I bought several of his books for Christmas gifts – https://www.google.com/search?q=helen+and+troy+epic+road+quest&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
Here’s a great starter.
I don’t make time to read much but my favorite book of all times is “The Voyage of the Narwhal” by Andrea Barrett. It is a fictionalized account of Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica on the Endurance. I have read it more than once. I like to read it in the dead of winter because it makes winter even here in Vermont seem like kid’s play. The real story of this voyage of Shackleton’s is, in my opinion, the greatest adventure story of all times. Also any short stories by Alice Munro.
I just opened Sarah Vowell’s “Unfamiliar Fishes” and while I’m only about a chapter into it, I can recommend any of her work unreservedly, so pile in! This one somehow ended up on our bookshelf unread; it’s about Hawaii and American Empire.
1. A friend of mine always used to respond to overuse of the word “if” (especially in the phrase “if only I had…”) with “If my grandmother had wheels she’d be a motorcycle”. SO maybe mother is motorcycle.
2. I read How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce and The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut (Kurt’s son) when I was 16 and they totally shaped who I have become (in a good way).
So, am I the only one wondering just how they’re gonna use the tires on mom?
The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is great, as is The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.
And I second “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” and add “The HIgher Power of Lucky” because…did I mention I would love an anvil? People who want anvils feel no need to explain their choices; it is assumed that others will understand without any added information. Have a day. 😉
First, this: http://www.literature-map.com/ You enter the name of an author you like, and it gives you a “diagram” (for lack of a better term) of related authors. Free, easy, and VERY useful!! Now for the actual books:
“Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury is a MUST. I read it in my teens but am reading it again, and it speaks to me so much more now.
“Celestine Prophecies” is a cool book. I like the theory, although I’m not in love with way it’s presented. I think it’s totally worth the read just for the concepts you get from it.
And my “Not-So-Deep” faves:
-ANYTHING Jim Butcher! Dresden Files are quick and easy with adult themes, Calderon Series is a bit longer but more YA in concepts, IMO
-The Kingslayer Chronicles: I’m a bit irate with this author b/c I NEED the next book to come out NOW, but I love the way they’re written and the depth of the character development
-Bringing Home the Birkin: If you liked the brand name-dropping of “The Devil Wears Prada” but want less “Evil Snow Queen”, read this. SO GOOD!
Honest to goodness, I have a billion more if you are a fiction fan. Bloggess & other readers/posters, feel free to email me if you need/want suggestions. Nothing makes me happier than “prescribing” books! Happy winter-related celebrations!!
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. If you haven’t read them, you are missing out beyond your wildest dreams.
I am just now reading the Outlander series, and I’m sort of pissed that no one recommended them to me before now. They are so, so good.
Much merriness to you and yours, Jenny! <3
The Art of Perseverance by Joseph Marshall III
I just got the 3rd MaddAddam book by Margaret Atwood, I love that series. Also Arsène Lupin: Gentleman Thief is a great series. Sherlock Holmes era and style but Frenchier.
Echo by Francesca Lia Block
Wonder by RJ Palacio
…And, although you’ve probably read it before, I’ll add Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes too, because it’s my all-time favorite ever and everyone should read it at least twice. 🙂
Whoa. Don’t read Sarah’s Key. It really was great, but it was probably the saddest book I have ever read. Like ugly cry, physical heart ache kind of sad.
Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Dianna Wynne Jones. Anything by her really.
Cyborg indeed… The only thing keeping me from being emotionally drained are meds, meds, meds! 😉
But you asked about books. Here’s my favorite book list:
1-10: everything written by Hermann Hesse, beginning with “The glass bead game”
11: Ken Follett! Bonus for this year is the last part of a trilogy he started four years ago. So basically if you start reading the first two books now you don’t even have to wait for the third book which will be published in 2014!
12: Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan)
13: Harry Potter – because it makes me feel all tingely and loved… Knowing he was all alone and still persevered…
Fool by Christopher Moore
if you like Shakespeare’s King Lear told from his fool’s pov, then go read this….plus, it has some very creative swearing in it…who doesn’t like creative swearing???
it’s relatively new, but a great read just the same…
The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. It’s so good I can’t even breathe.
Irvin Yalom: Lying on the Couch, The Schopenhauer Cure, When Nietzsche Wept…..awesome books if you’re into the therapy world! Anyone who liked HBO’s “In Treatment” would probably love anything by Yalom.
The Book Thief. I’m recommending it to everyone. And anything by Mary Roach.
Definitely A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – brilliant, funny, poignant. I read it years ago, and finished at 3am SOBBING for the last 40 pages. Happy New Year, Jenny, thanks for all the laughs and news this year.
I think this book is out of print (well, the old fashioned paper version is), but if you can find a copy, I suggest A Brother to Dragons, A Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold. There’s just something about the main character, Sara, that I just love so much, and that makes this one of my favorite books ever.
Synopsis from Lindskold’s site: “Sarah is insane. After all, she talks to walls, rubber dragons, and other inanimate objects. What no one else knows is that the inanimate answers her back. When budget cuts put Sarah out of a mental home and onto the streets, she is adopted by a street gang ruled by Head Wolf, a sometimes brutal man who may be as insane as she is. But someone wants Sarah — perhaps merely to put her back inside, perhaps for more sinister reasons. Championed by the hacker Abalone, assisted by other members of the Pack, Sarah goes into hiding, but hiding may not be enough to preserve her freedom — or her life.”
I also recommend Elf Defense by Esther M. Friesner, a funny modern fantasy where fairy kind of invades Connecticut, and Beggers In Spain by Nancy Kress, a scifi novel following the lives of genetically engineered children (don’t bother reading the 2nd & 3rd books in the trilogy, as they were meh).
The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen. Biography of a guy who decided to opt-out of money and work and government stuff, and live in a cave in the wilderness. He doesn’t even barter. He just goes through life on giving. Changed my view of money because now I realize that paying rent and balancing the checkbook is a choice, because living in a cave in the wilderness is an option. (Strangely) I found that empowering and comforting.
Love the idea of travel and history, don’t travel for a number of reasons, but, if you are similar, try Tony Horwitz’ books, Confederates in the Attic, Blue Latitudes or A Voyage Long and Strange. I really love Blue Latitudes, but I am a Captain Cook freak. His wife Geradine Brooks writes great historical novels, Caleb’s Crossing, and People of the Book are wonderful although I have enjoyed everything of hers I have read.
Finally, Wool by Hugh Howey; I still can’t figure out if I was sad or hopeful at the end of this dystopian novel, but it was well written and enjoyable.
Have you read “A Fault in Our Stars” by John Green? If not, that should happen. Happy merry holidays!
I fourth Eleanor and Park, plus On Being a Woman, Simon Pegg’s autobiography, and for some holiday cheer, The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore, with the best Christmas book opening line:
“Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.”
What more could you want???
Absolutely agree on 13th Tale. Incredible book and well worth it. My holiday guilty pleasure is usually the latest Nora Roberts trilogy. Don’t judge.
The Outlander series is a must.
Second or third the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Best books ever, and Starz is making the first book into a TV show in 2014.
Actually, I liked this one and as a native Texan, you should understand it… http://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Window-Early-Ranch-Country/dp/0974504823
My favorites are by Elizabeth Peters: The Seventh Sinner, The Murders of Richard III, Die For Love, Naked Once More. They’re all funny mysteries. The heroine, Jacqueline Kirby, was my role model (and the cause of my 15+ pound purse).
You also can’t go wrong with Michelle Sagara’s Cast in Elantra series, or Kim Hartison’s Hollows series, or Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, or Jill Connor Browne’s Sweet Potato Queen series.
^ On Being a Woman is by Caitlin Moran. It is NOT Simon Pegg’s autobiography. That was a separate suggestion, although if he wrote a book with that title, lets face it, we’d all want to read it…
The Dud Avocado. A bit of a women’s cult classic from the ’60s I think. You would totally appreciate the humor and first person writing style of a young woman abroad.
Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Anglemaker from Nick Harkaway is great! Shit my Dad Says is hilarious and anything from Davis Sedaris I’d great 🙂
*Harrison. Kim Harrison.
If you haven’t already read it, I think you would enjoy the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, starting with the Eyre Affair. These books are delightfully weird, very funny, and celebrate my favorite thing ever – books! 🙂
I love Sharyn McCrumb, the ballad series is really great, but anything by her is good.
Bridge of Birds. Read it. You must read it.
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my all-time favourite books. Anything by him is amazing, though.
Northern Borders by Howard Frank Mosher. Coming of age story set in the North East Kingdom of Vermont. A boy is being raised by his feuding (and quirky) grandparents. Takes place in the late 40’s , I think, rural farms are just getting electric power. A beautiful picture of that time and place.
Second on Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I cannot recommend this book enough. The writing is absolutely beautiful.
Also, Outlander. They are currently making it into a TV series on Starz. My wife loves these books. Multiple re-reads and all of the audiobooks.
Anything by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Just read Stardust and Ocean at the end of the lane. They were both amazing.
I have loved every word Rainbow Rowell has had published!
Really basic but… Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and the rest of the series(way better than the lame ass movie!) I second Philip K. Dick. Anything by Sydney Van Syoc if you can find it, the most unique scifi I’ve read. And if you are in the mood for some really twisted messed up shit Chuck Palahnuik (wrote Fight Club) And on the lighter side I adore Agatha Christie.
Anything by Jhumpa Lahiri, including her latest, “The Lowland.”
Great post – some of these books sound really interesting and since it’s winter in Minnesota for the next 5 months, there’s really nothing else to do but read.
Looking forward to your new book sometime in the future.
Barb in Minnesota
I just finished Fall On Your Knees by Anne Marie McDonald. It’s one of those crazy family books that is super dramatic and full of SECRETS, lies, and intrigue. Ooooh!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is complete magic. I want to go live in that circus. I wish it was real.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a memoir of a young woman solo hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Now I want to go have hiking adventures!
My Life in France by Julia Child has quite literally changed my life. JC is pretty much my hero. Did you know she failed her graduation exam from the Cordon Bleu? And then she didn’t namby pamby around and think, “Oh, I guess I must not be meant to be a chef then, hmm…” Instead she said “Ha! I’ll show them!” retook her test, and then became THE Julia Child. This attitude has helped me overcome a similar setback. Plus she’s absolutely charming.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
The Name Of the Wind-Patrick Rothfuss
Practical Demon Keeping-Christopher Moore
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. 🙂
To Say Nothing of the Dog: or, How we found the Bishop’s bird stump at last
By Connie Willis
Shantaram. Shantaram. Shantaram.
Cutting for Stone and The Book Thief are exceptional as well.
But Shantaram is by far a life changer and the most beautiful and crazy story.
Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
I like the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (fantasy), Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (mystery) and Ready Player One (sci-fi) by Ernest Cline. Merry Christmas!
Prayer for Owen Meany…wonderful book.
Any collection of Pat McManus short stories…absurdly funny tales of growing up in Idaho.
Merry Christmas! And I recommend The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die by Paolo Coelho (pretty sure that I spelled his name wrong), Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and Shopgirl by Steve Martin. I reread those books often, sometimes once a year each. Also, Bossypants by Tina Fey and Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton- very funny memoirs by very funny ladies!
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Not something I expected to like, but I bought it to read on the plane on our way to DisneyWorld. It was so good, I ended up waking up at 5 am and sitting in the bathtub to read until everyone else woke up.
The Circle by Dave Eggers. It is absorbing . It took several hours to shake myself loose from it after I read it. I agree about The Night Circus.
OK I haven’t gone through all of the suggestions and I’m sure they’re all excellent highbrow and/or educational reads but sometimes you just need some ménage erotica… so give Hour of The Lion by Cherise Sinclair a try.
(You’re welcome Victor)
Night by Elie Wiesel
Snow crash by Neal Stephenson. Best cyberpunk novel ever.
“The Crow Road” by Iain Banks. Probably not as well known in the states as in Britain, but a book everybody should’ve read by the time they’re 25. Starts with the immortal sentence “It was the day my grandmother exploded” and gets better from there.
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan…made me laugh out loud.
any of Wally lamb’s books. She’s come undone is my favorite. I also live a tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty smith….
Let’s see, I second Jasper Fforde, Alan Bradley, Terry Pratchett, and Diana Gabaldon. I am loving all the recommendations in these comments and I’m hurriedly taking notes.
I also recommend “To Say Nothing Of The Dog” by Connie Willis, “Freedom and Necessity” by Steven Brust and Emma Bull, and the most wonderful Ellie Haskell series by Dorothy Cannell, starting with “The Thin Woman”.
Ali and Nino! Lovely book set in picturesque Georgia (the country). I told my mom the basic plot, forgetting to tell her it was Georgia-the-country, and apparently that knowledge makes a difference.
Books… I love books 🙂
I second those who suggested The Night Circus. I LOVED that book. Also Geraldine Brook’s People of the Book.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamont is wonderful, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman was amazing.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Saving Francesca, The Piper’s Son, On the Jellicoe Road and the Luminaire Chronicles by Melina Marchetta.
The Harp in the South and Poor Man’s Orange by Ruth Park
The third chimpanzee by jared diamond. Best science/anthropology book that is written in a manner that most folks can decipher. Disturbing/interesting discussion on sexual selection in animals and humans. But I am a science nerd.
“Swamplandia” by Karen Russell, “Sandman Slim” by R. Kadrey, “Kind of Cruel” by Sophie Hannah, “Harbor” by J. Lindvquist (sp?)
Evil Plans – Having Fun on the Road to World Domination by Hugh MacLeod
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
Why Girls Are Weird by Pamela Ribon made me laugh until I cried.
Anything by Sarah Addison Allen will warm your day. 🙂 Happy holidays!
Getting Stoned With Savages, by J. Maarten Troost
If you haven’t read it already, Shogun is a must.
I’m adding at least half of the above suggestions to my own reading list.
The one book I wish I could read again for the first time is “A Spot of Bother” by Mark Haddon. It’s written from the perspective of a man who is losing his mind. The ‘bathroom scene’ in particular was a joy/horror of revulsion/identification where I had to keep putting the book down since I couldn’t see through my tears of laughter/horror. Right up your alley, Jenny.
If there was a book about a giant metal chicken, I might recommend that too, but I usually go ahead and buy the towels.
Donkeys are used as herd guards for other species of animals- sheep, goats, cows, etc…they have almost no fear and a HUGE protective reflex, and i’ve personally seen a donkey kill a coyote that was attacking a herd of sheep. they will run TOWARDS an attacking animal while the flock runs from it, and they kick, bite, and POUND with their front hooves to injure and kill an attacking predator. it’s a powerful and amazing thing to watch!!!! and guard donkeys are inexpensive as well- better than any other system of protection for a herd! almost a 100% success rate, too! Love me a Longear 🙂
My daughter gave me The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern last year for Christmas. I read it about 2/3 of the way through, and then I started over at the beginning so that I could read it all again without knowing the ending.
I gave a copy to my older son today.
Ha, you know what the term for a female donkey is?
The Black Count by Tom Reiss, adventure story/history/bio of Alexander Dumas’ (fil) father, pretty much the model for The Count of Monte Cristo and a lot of The Three Musketeers stuff: amazing super-hero-type man, totally loyal to family and country, who eventually gets penalized for being black (and probably because Napoleon was paranoid and sorta jealous). Depends on whether you can get into history/bios 🙂
“One Big Damn Puzzler” by John Harding. it was one of the weirdest (in a good way), laugh out loud funniest books I’ve ever read. Even though it’s fiction, there are elements of truth that I wasn’t aware of. I recommend this to anyone who loves a great story.
On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony.
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and follow up novel World Without End (also, obvs,by Ken Follet). Epic, long novels. I reread them routinely.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Both are wonderful reads.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Oh, and my neighbor has a guard donkey. Whenever someone would come down her driveway, the donkey would go crazy braying. Now it’s her geese that go nuts, the donkey is in the pasture now.
The Walt Longmire mystery books by Craig Johnson. Recommend you read them in order. First one is called The Cold Dish.
Also, The Other by Thomas Tryon. It is back in print and is super terrifying.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. And, I got your book for Christmas! I’m so excited to start reading it.
My everyone should read list would contain books by Daniel Quinn and Hillary Jordan (“When She Woke” and “Mudbound” are both exceptional!). I also really liked “Code Name Verity,” until I got to the end. Now I’m not sure I can ever forgive the author.
The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
Oh Lordy, I love “It was the day my grandmother exploded”!! What a great resource you’re creating: my Amazon Wishlist has just doubled after going other these comments!
I agree with The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield(?)
It was well written with a twist at the end.
“Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard” by Eleanor Farjeon, and everything else by her, too.
“Cold Comfort Farm” – Stella Gibbons.
I think it would appeal to your sarky sense of humour.
Cats Are Not Peas, by Laura Gould. Science journalist realizes she has a male calico cat and sets out to find out how that’s possible. Fascinating.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
You will LOVE it!!! It’s a post apocalyptic sci-fi that is basically a ginormous geekfest about everything 80’s & 90’s. I’m a bookseller & I read ALOT. This is the first book in years that i reread as soon as I finished it because I wanted to be sure I didn’t miss anything!
Books to read, hmmmm. I’ve become a fan of Robert Heinlein’s lately. I never pictured myself a sci fi reader, but it’s been my go to section at Barnes and Noble for the last couple of months now. “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel” are a couple of my favorites. Also “The Accidental Time Machine” by Joe Haldeman. Also sci fi, but it was a really good read, I thought. 🙂
I’m glad people know you because I got, are you ready for it, another Dillard’s gift card. I could not believe it. I sent my wish list as requested and that was sooooooo not on it. I’m buying a straightening iron because I pixie cut my hair again. I need to be able to make it spiky. I, stupidly, gave away the last one I had because I swore I’d never do this again. Live and learn, I guess. At least my mother-in-law knows me and gave me a Joann’s gift card. Looking forward to buying crafting stuff. Yay! 🙂
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman or really anything by him, he’s such a great writer.
Going in a different direction I just read ATtempting Normal by Marc Maron, it was a funny, very similar to his show on IFC.
Let’s go in one more direction! The Scotland St series by Alexander McCall Smith is funny and thoughtful.
Where’d You Go Bernadette and Eleanor and Park are both must reads. I also really liked the Middle Grade novel called Waiting For Normal. If you’re looking for a series, I think you’d really enjoy Lisa Lutz’ books about the Spellman Family. I think the first one is called The Spellman Files. Laugh out loud dysfunction! I also liked Wild by Cheryl Strayed and the Kitchen House. Enjoy!
Any of these by T. R. Pearson
A Short History of a Small Place
Off for the Sweet Hereafter
The Last of How It Was
‘The Eight’ by Katherine Neville
‘The Belgariad, Parts 1 and 2’ by David Eddings
‘Smila’s Sense of Snow’ by Peter Hoag
All are wonderful reads.
Must read book – Voyage of the Beagle by C. Darwin.
BY FAR, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, both by Patrick Rothfuss. Hands down my two favorite books for years now. I see other people are reccomending them as well and thats AWESOME!
All Souls Trilogy (Book One: “A Discovery of Witches” / Book Two: ”
Shadow of Night” / Boom Three (Not yet rekeased)
I second anything by Kazuo Ishiguru. I loved Remains of the Day, but Never Let Me Go was awesome, too. He writes beautifully, though both books are laced with melancholy so if you’re looking for something to pick you up, look elsewhere.
Robin McKinley is my favorite author and Sunshine is one of my favorite of her novels because 1) it’s an adult novel (most of her writing is YA) and 2) it’s kind of a love story, but also weaves a love of baking into it. Delicious!
And I desperately want a guard donkey, now.
Geoducks are for lover’s. It’s not life altering or anything, but I enjoyed it and it’s quirky and you’re quirky and I can totally see you reading this book (especially after you google geoducks and see what they are).
Young female donkey = I already have a jack, now he needs a reason to be useful.
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and Road Fever by Tim Cahill.
Either the original style guide, or the novel based off it.
I recommend Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck (@ktidbeck) it may or may not be your thing so check the blurbs, but it’s very well written, very weird stuff that makes you think.
Anything by Gillian Flynn, Christopher Moore, Joe Hill, or Gregory Maguire.
Jenny asked: “What’s one of your favorite books that you think everyone should read?”
I say: Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus written by then-18-year-old and subsequently published by then-21-year-old Mary Shelley.
I mean, what can you say about someone who goes on vacation with her family (and Lord Byron no less!!) and while rainstorms permeated their time at Lake Geneva, Italy, spend time telling ghost stories only to be challenged by none other than Lord Byron himself to write the best supernatural tale ever?
So what does Mary come up with? BAM!! Freakin’ Frankenstein !!!
eleanor and park by rainbow rowell, the fault in our stars by john green, and the language of flowers by vanessa diffenbaugh.
Oooh! There are some GREAT suggestions on this list. You are going to have fun!!
My top-top faves: The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace (deceptively simple and beautiful series for young people – read them with your daughter!) and “The Cheerleader” by Ruth Doan MacDougall.
For some reason, my kids have been quoting your book incessantly this week (I read them my two favorite chapters — Jenkins, and the cat sliding you notes under the bathroom door). Jenny = Christmas in the Chardonnay household, apparently.
Happy, happy Christmas, dear friend whom I’ve never met!
Lullaby by the guy who wrote Fight Club. Palahniuk? It is a guy who accidentally learns a “culling song” which is a song that ancient cultures would use to sing their sick into the next life. Except it is real and accidentally kills people. And he can’t stop saying it over and over in his head so people just drop like flies around him. It’s hilarious. And dark. And sad. And hilarious all over again.
I also second The Thirteenth Tale. And the Divergent series, but skip the last one. Have someone who read the third one tell you their own dream alternate third book.
Incendiary or Little Bee by Chris Cleave
The Positron series by Margaret Atwood
Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
The Painted Sisters by Cathy Marie Buchanan
City of Women by David R. Gillham
I could go on and on and on and on….
Normally I recommend Neil Gaiman but I think you’ve heard of him. Have you read anything by Christopher Moore? I read ‘The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror’ every December. It has angels, and zombies, and fruit bats.
Girl with the Dragon Tatoo ALL – Middlesex – Wally Lamb (author) any book by him! – Wool Omnibus – Never Fall Down
Unbroken — written by Laura Hillenbrand
Lamb by Christopher Moore
The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
Another vote for A Prayer for Owen Meany. Also, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (anything of Moore’s, frankly, but Lamb is laugh out loud funny); The Persian Boy by Mary Renault; The Fortress in the Eye of Time by C. J. Cherryh… damn, a bazillion others. I will stop here. 🙂
I so highly recommend Girl Talk by Julianna Baggott, and also Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells. Fabulous, fabulous reads.
Embassytown by China Mieville and Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. Two very different books, both excellent.
Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres. Recently read it and soooo good.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – that’s also for your daughter. But when I was a teacher my best teacher friend and I read it at the same time and loved it so much.
Gone Girl if you haven’t already read it.
A non-fiction read I am enjoying now is Far From the Tree. The message for me is that difference unites us.
Andrew Solomon describes the parent/child search for identity in terms of traits that are vertical (inherited or passed down characteristics like height or religion) and traits that are horizontal (such as deafness in children born of hearing parents or genius born of more typically-minded parents).
He also explores families’ experiences in which traits like schizophrenia can be either part of horizontal or vertical identity. It is fascinating and compassionate at the same time.
I’m a murder mystery lover, as well as a humor/memoir lover:
Mystery series that are AMAZING
Phryne Fisher series by Greenwood
Maisie Dobbs series by Woodson
Three Pines mysteries by Louise Penny
Inspector Rutledge series by Todd
Deborah Knott series by Maron
Kate Burkholder series by Costillo
Humorous Memoirs (You’ve probably read all of these)
All books by Laurie Notaro
All books by Jen Lancaster
‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened’
If you want to laugh, anything by Wade Rouse, but “At least in the city someone would hear me scream: misadventures in search of the simple life” made me LOL numerous times. Thanks, I love the book ideas!
How to be a Woman – Catlin Moran
Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman (I’m sure I’ve misspelled his name)
All of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear
Um… other than your book? I mean, it’s the book I recommend to everyone. I’m just a boring old archaeologist, so I read a lot of non-fiction, but if you ever want to learn more about history, I can tell you where to start (for people who aren’t so into the traditional history book format) and that’s with just about any Mental Floss book. All of their books are written in a really funny, irreverent way. They’re brutally honest about history. They have one called “Forbidden Knowledge” that I think would be up your alley. It’s also the kind of book you can pick up and put down, because each page is a list of 5-7 things each with their own paragraph, and it’s organized in chapters based on the seven deadly sins. My personal copy is about to fall apart, because it’s kind of my comfort object and I take it with me everywhere.
I think you’d like Michael Ian Black’s You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
(this will be too long – but you asked about books and I simply have no control at that point) One of my favorites (non-fiction) is ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman – simply fantastic. For cats, I am presently enjoying ‘Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet’ by John Bradshaw. Hilary Mantel’s books ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ are wonderful historical fiction.For Fantasy, anything by Terry Pratchett or ‘Paladin of Souls’ by Lois McMaster Bujold or the ‘Chicks in Chainmail’ series by Ester Friesner. For graphic novels, ‘Maus’ and ‘Maus II’ by Art Spiegelman, ‘Bone’ by Jeff Smith, Persepolis I and II by Marjane Satrapi. For mysteries Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder novels, Reginald Hills Dalziel and Pascoe novels. For romance – ‘Beautiful Bastard’ by Christina Lauren. For children’s books ‘The Westing Game’ et al. by Ellen Raskin, so many by Daniel Manus Pinkwater, ‘By the Great Horn Spoon’ by Sid Fleiscman. Oh fuck, I could go on all day. (Did not mention books that I know that you have already read, i.e. yours, Neal Gaiman, Allie Brosh, Brene Brown, etc.)
Shards of History by Rebecca Roland. The Weredog Whisperer by yours truly. Hey, if you can’t toot your own horn, who will?
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Fifthing (? Is that a word) The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.
I also loved the Beautiful Creatures series just because I did.
The All-Girls Filling Station Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Tiny, Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed ended up in some stockings. It just speaks.
Life As We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfieffer
Anything by Joshilyn Jackson always reads well.
Merry Christmas Jenny = thank you for affirming for me that depression LIES and making me laugh hysterically and share your posts where ever I can. I hope for the most blessed of New Year’s for you, Victor, your beautiful offspring and – off course – the cats. And my favorite Bearturm. Much love!
Just read The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (twice – kept it and paid an unnecessary overdue fine, but I digress…). Obviously, I loved it!
One of my all-time favorite books is A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. When you’re done you can watch the movie, starring Helena Bonham-Carter, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Julian Sands (among others). It’s a wonderful adaptation, if you haven’t seen it. It’s on Netflix :). You get to see Julian Sands’ cute tushie.
If you haven’t encountered it yet, The Unlikely Ones by Mary Brown. Though it’s target readership might be considered young adult I’ve enjoyed it just as much since “growing up”.
Lamb by Christopher Moore. My favorite book ever. Amazingly funny and totally up your alley.
The Night Circus (beautiful imagery), Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour Bookstore (made me happy) and also The Good Thief. Three very well written books that left me wanting to read them over and over.
Nation” by Terry Pratchett.
I feel like you’ve probably read Neil Gaiman and Christopher Moore, so this is one that everyone over 12 or so should read. Yes, it is funny ( Pratchett wrote it, so that should go without saying) but it also is a look at what it means to be a society and in the end gives me hope. A good balance to the insanity part of the holidays, and your daughter could read it too.
One that I just read recently which was very good, although somewhat unconventional, was “Me Before You”. It was definitely different – and touching – and one of those books you keep thinking about long after you finished reading it.
And can I say I hope you survived the holidays with your usual style and humor and I’m really glad you posted this, since I just got some Amazon gift certificates for Christmas. I’m now going to go through everyone’s recommendations and start downloading!
How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater, by Marc Acito! Spectacularly hilarious!
And another vote for Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. Amazing historical fiction.
Also, Follet’s 20th Century trology- Fall of Giants and Winter of the World…….. The last part comes out September 2014.
Also, I agree with those recommending Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and the Barbara Kingsolver recommendations so far – love love love her work. Happy reading!
I’ll always recommend Good Omens – love that book – but here are a few more:
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
The Thief Taker (a great work of historical fiction) by Janet Gleeson
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
I’d suggest “Oh Myyy” by George Takei. Just as funny to me as you are but not as motivational. Maybe he can make you laugh once in awhile.
I third Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Just loved it! It’s like a love letter to *loving* something, to being a fan, to fan fiction. The main character is a fan of a series of books, writes fic, goes to college, has trials and tribulations, social anxieties, a quirky parent and more. There is a story within the story.
I’d also like to rec all Dick Francis’ books, if you like crime/mystery/drama, of which there were about 30 before he passed away. Francis was a jockey, and each book includes some aspect of the equine world (there are characters who are jockeys, trainers, who own horse transports etc etc). Each book is a mystery, with some crime uncovered, and the main character always goes through some testing times. There is also always some other profession or knowledge base woven into the story, from the wine trade, to art, to much more. I learned stuff reading his books, there are wonderful details throughout. Word is his wife (Mary?) helped vastly with the research (sadly she passed away, too), and the quality shows.
Sorry, I’ve just rambled on rather a lot!!
The Honor Harrington series by Weber. It’s sci fi so.. you have to like sci fi but it’s amazingly good sci fi.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessel
House of Leaves by Mark Danieleweski
anything by Jo Nesbo if you like crime novels
The Monsters of Templeton IS terrific, kudos to the poster who thought of that one. This year, I really enjoyed The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley, and a non-fiction favorite was Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell JR. The second one is about a hermit heiress who only died a few years ago.
The Night Circus. And The Shadow of the Wind. Neither are really new per se but I love them.
Now I want a donkey. Husband won’t let me have one. He also wouldn’t let me get any baby pygmy goats, which are the most precious things in the world. Something about the homeowners association. Whatever.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. One of my favorite books of all time. I’ve read everything Terry Pratchett has written, except for last week’s grocery list. I recommend all of them, except for Small Gods; loved the talking turtle, but hated the torture scenes.
Also: anything by Cory Doctorow, Connie Willis, Christopher Moore.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. It’s in the public domain, so you can probably find a free version online, but I like paying money for the hard copy when I find myself in need of a new one (I tend to hand it out a lot).
Medicine Road by Charles DeLint
The year I discovered this book, I ended up buying copies for almost everyone that Christmas.
Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa
Some of my oldies but goodies; you may have read them all:
The Accidental Tourist
The Once and Future King
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
East of Eden
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children!!!!
The Fault in Our Stars – Green
Tell the Wolves I’m Home – Brunt
This is Where I Leave You – Tropper
Lamb – Christopher Moore
The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult
Malcom Gladwell- Not Novels but fantastic social anthropology. Reads like a novel.
His latest is called David and Goliath. It is about how Underdogs came to be such large influences in society. I think EVERYONE should read this book.
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch and In The Body of the World by Eve Ensler. Yum.
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It’s non-fiction and fascinating yet not a tough read , plus it’s fun to read in public places where people might annoy you!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Merry Christmas! China Mieville’s The City and the City.
PS- don’t know if anyone has said this yet, but want to go through the comments with a pen and make notes 🙂
You can send em to me after you’ve read them!!
How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you…yes it’s a real book
LIFE AFTER LIFE
I second Charles de Lint. Anything, really. My favorites are the Newford stories, though.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My latest “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS” is Code Name: Verity. *so* good.
I’m with Jeff from comment. #11…Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies by Chris Kluwe…
The Chalion trilogy by Lois McMaster Bujold–the heroine of the second book is particularly awesome.
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams. My favorite!
The Fault in Our Stars made me cry the ugly cry, but so worth it.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a great read, and I just noticed Book 2 Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children is available for pre-order.
Of course YOUR book is among my favorites!
Running With Scissors
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
John Dies at the End. That book makes me so, so happy.
The best book I read this year (and the best in a long time) was The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway. Here’s a spoiler free review of it I wrote on the Observation Deck at io9.com: http://observationdeck.io9.com/dr-emilio-lizardo-513393164
Lamb (or just about anything) by Christopher Moore. I think he has a sense of humor that you would appreciate.
the hunger games trilogy
anything by Nevada Barr
It’s is called The Housekeeper and the Professor. It might be one of my favourite books of all times.
The Maddaddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood. Just got the third book and can’t wait!
Why Grizzly Bears should wear Underpants by the Oatmeal.
Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell
The Sot-Weed Factor, by John Barth
Geek Love. It’s about circus geeks, not nerdy geeks. It’s also about family.
Guardians of being by Eckhardt Tolle. With nice illustrations and any dog/cat owner will get the full meaning…
The Children’s Hospital
The Raw Shark Texts
The Book Thief
(in no particular order)
Pulitzer prize winner Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty…so much better than the mini series. Shocker.
The Girls by Lori Lansens a diary written in turn by conjoined twins
Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildner a memoir
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel a memoir about growing up in a town of 300ish people
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. It’s one of the only books I regularly gift to the important females in my life and I read it at least once a year.
Any book by Connie Willis or Sarah Rees Brennan or Dorothy L Sayers
Just read ALL the books. Because they are all amazing and that’s my plan and it seems to be working out so far if you like being alone and not having a job and drinking tea!
Recently of what I have read I THINK my favorites are:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Glass Castle
and I just realized that if I continued that list would never stop because I would literally just keep listing SO MANY BOOKS because I love all of them and I want reading to be my job! GAH (I’m a nerd, whatev)
*Books that are totally awesome* besides yours
THE NIGHT CIRCUS – erin morganstern its magical!
Whores on the Hill – Colleen Curran soooo good!
White Oleander – Janet Fitch
She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
Summer Sisters – Judy Bloom
Uglies/Pretties/Specials/Extras – Scott Westerfield
Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahnuk
The bitch Posse – Martha O’connor
That’s it! I’m going to stop begging my husband to get a dog and start angling for a guard donkey! Preferably nice and female, of course.
As for books, I second (or third) ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette.’ I’d also add ‘Leaving Tinkertown’ by Tanya Ward Goodman (I think you’d love this one!), ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffrey Eugenides if you haven’t read it yet, ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Weisman (nonfiction, super trippy), ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro, ‘Bel Canto’ by Ann Patchett and reread ‘Lolita’ (so damn funny!). Enjoy!
Selling the Fountain of Youth
How the Anti-aging Industry Made A Disease Out of Getting Old–and Made Billions
Selling the Fountain of Youth
How the Anti-aging Industry Made A Disease Out of Getting Old–and Made Billions
I got an amazon gift card and the FIRST THING I did was to order your book finally! Also Allie Brosh’s! I can’t wait to get them!
Now I’m going to read back through all these and add to my wish list! LOL
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
I got “Hyperbole and a Half” this morning and snarfed it down like a metabolically challenged kid with cake.
I saw your quote on the back and I said, “Hey, I ‘know’ her!” and I used air quotes and then punched myself in the throat. That’s not at easy as it sounds.
Okay, two books:
1) Grrrl power fantasy that turned me on to so many new ideas. Newbery Award winner, good to read with Haleigh: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.
b) Okay, I lied, not really a book so much as it is a series of books that have been re-packaged into companion volumes that is a master opus of awesome. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series. Cordelia’s Honor follows the main characters mom & dad meeting/his arrival on the planet. Young Miles is a re-publication of two novels with a novella in between in story-chronological order. Miles Vorkosigan is a dwarf with brittle bones, as a result of a toxic gas attack on his father. Who happens to be the Lord Regent for the Emperor of Barryar, a highly militaristic society just coming out of a time of isolation after being nuked back to the stone age by their arch enemies, the Cegagandans. Miles is being groomed for a bright political future, but just doesn’t realize it and wants to measure himself by the same stick as every other perfectly rugged military recruit. He thinks he’s 10 feet tall and bullet proof and shoots off his mouth without thinking and fakes it until he makes it, but manages to get himself into a hell of a lot of entertaining trouble while he’s at it. High space opera + mystery + brilliant character development and subtle touches of Earth-That-Was, all rolled together by a kind, funny, incredibly talented writer. If I had to take one set of books with me to a deserted island, THAT would be the series.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch- by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
In line with the spirit of your post, I recommend Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi. It’s the story of an alien blob that comes to earth and recruits an agent to introduce him to humans. A fun and light-hearted read.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente. Read it with Hailey–you’ll both adore it (I don’t know anyone yet who hasn’t loved it, and the audience I’ve talked to range in ages from 8-60).
The best book I read this year is Carol Rifka Brunt’s “Tell the Wolves I’m Home”. But don’t read it without a box of tissues!!! It was a great book. (Your book was #2 on my list for making me laugh so hard!) Also any book by Marisa de los Santos–her writing is rich and poetic and touching. Ann Patchett’s “Patron Saint of Liars” was one of her best. And if you are into inspirational type books, Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” set me to thinking about pushing my limits and opportunities lost. If you like mysteries, Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series. Have to love Havers! I’ve read them all except her latest which I’ve yet to start. I like books that tweak (NOT twerk!) my emotions one way or the other, and are written with warmth of the human spirit.
Dressing up for the carnival – Carol Shields
Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files” books. Very witty and engaging writing. I believe there’s eight books in the series. The first few are a bit repetitious w/the facts but the story lines are great…and they build as they go, to become more interwoven. However, not as interwoven and intricate as George R.R. Martins “The Game of Thrones” books. At least Butcher doesn’t kill off your favorite character two chapters in.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Story of O by Pauline Reage. although I think that’s a pen name.
It’s a light-hearted romantic novel.
Books for EVERYONE:
Let the Great World Spin – Colum McCann (good ole literary fiction)
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein (but i suspect you may have already read this one)
The Good Fairies of New York – Mark Millar (Fairies as in like Tinkerbell not like gay men. Also these fairies start off with puking in your shoes because they are hungover)
Have you read Diary of Opal Whitely? While there’s some question as to whether it’s true or not, the story continues to fascinate me and the phrasing and imagery involved might appeal to you.
“The Art of Racing in the Rain”
Christopher Moore!!! Lamb, A Dirty Job, or every Christmas I read The Stupidest Angel 🙂
Abhorson by Garth Nix. It *is* so awesome.
Honestly, the Bible & your book are the only must-haves. Radical is pretty good, too.
Wow, so many great books! Respect to Lamb, Gabaldon, Pratchett, and many more.
I received an awesome book that I haven’t even opened yet, but think it is a must read for mystery lovers. Plus, one author lives here in Austin and the other is J.J. Abrams. Nuff said. I cannot begin to describe the plot, but the book comes in a box, has two readers leaving notes to each other in the margins, and comes with items between the pages to help solve the mystery. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/S-J-Abrams/dp/0316201642/ref=la_B00EPGROHC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388027130&sr=1-1
I now return to my depression/anxiety/agoraphobic avoidance of the outside world. 🙂
The Gargoyle, Robopocalypse, Ready Player One, Girlfriend in a Coma, and The Lovely Bones.
Every year in January, I read, or reread, exclusively end of the world books: Alas, Babylon, Long Voyage Back, Day of the Triffids, Lucifer’s Hammer, The Postman . . . . It makes January in Michigan seem not so bad. Just an idea.
Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Anything by Elizabeth Hunter. She writes fantastic paranormal series. Diana Gabaldons Outlander series is huge but one of my favorites. Wade Rouse, Jen Lancaster, or Christopher Moore.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It’s got vampires AND witches and gets pretty steamy in some parts.
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong. I rarely read fiction, but this is my favorite book.
Oh, I second so many of these and am now intrigued about so many more! Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude is a masterpiece.
I’ll add an oldie-but-goodie that I have read many many times: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. If your only exposure to Hemingway was being forced to read Old Man and the Sea in school, you are missing out.
Most recently, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion–funny, tender love story with a unique and engaging narrator.
Thank you to Mandy for mentioning Pioneer, Go Home! by Richard Powell. I had never heard of the book, but googling revealed that this is the same Richard Powell who wrote one of my and my husband’s all time favorite novels, Don Quixote, USA. A truly hilarious take on the ugly American/naive tourist. A couple of years ago I found an intact though yellowy used copy of the paperback to replace my husband’s falling apart copy. He was a very happy camper. I look forward to tracking down Pioneer…
Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
Pillars of the Earth is great, and so is Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness. Also Adriana Trigiani’s book Big Stone Gap. And your book was also great, as is Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half. Oops, that’s more than one.
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link. Go. Read. It will be wonderful.
Rainbow Rowell has really great books. Eleanor and Park and Fangirl were amazing.
Anything by Chuck Klosterman is really fun to read. I loved his new book, I Wear the Black Hat.
You probably have been told this already, but donkeys will kick a bitch ass coyote in the face. They areawesome guard animals.
Book: Good Omens. Gaiman AND Pratchett. It’s my absolute favorite.
Other options include…. you know what? Good Omens is the only book I can think of and you’re very likely up to your eyeballs in book recs anyway. 😀
Happy holidays. Just remember, when you’re feeling down, somewhere in the world I exist. And if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, well. Chocolate also exists and there’s free porn on the internet?
A confederate of dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Shaun Tan’s Outer Suburbia and Garmann’s Summer by Stian Hole.
My whole family had a violent stomach flu (one at a time) and it finally hit me tonight. Good thing I at mostly Christmas cookies all day knowing I would likely toss them later. In between heaves, I remember some of my favorite books I read this year…and couldn’t stop thinking about.
-The Sea of Tranquility by Katya Millay. Heartbreakingly beautiful. Best last line
-Wonder by R.J. Pallacio. My son’s entire middle school was required to read this book over the summer and he thought the parents should too.
-Divergent series. Couldn’t stop reading.
-The House on Tradd Street by Karen White. Great ghost story
-The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.
-Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (also loved Slammed and Point of Retreat)
-Garden Spells and all Sarah Addison Allen books.
-The Kitchen House. Such an amazing story.
That’s all I can remember in between heaves.
The Gosple according to Biff by Christopher Moore
You’ve seen the movie, but until you read The Princess Bride by William Goldman, you don’t know the real story.
My favorite book ever is the Phantom Tollbooth. And I’m reading a new book called the Good Mother Myth, a collection of essays, I think you’d like it.
3rd vote for Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (and I think I’m in love with Anouk who picked it first!).
Anything by Ann Tyler, John Irving, Bernice Rubens, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman.
Also try Moab is my Washpot by the wonderful Stephen Fry, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, The Other Hand by Chris Cleave…maybe I should just send the last 10 years of my book clubs’ selections!
The Red Tent is better than Pillars of the Earth which is very, very good. East of Eden because birth defects can be mental too.
Pain-in-the-A donkeys keep preditors away from livestock, but probably you know that by now.
If someone already recommended, ignore this post, but a book I truly loved was Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton. Loved it.
i have no idea what you enjoy reading so i will suggest a few:
‘mrs peregrine’s home for exceptional children’ is what i am reading now and really enjoying it.
the real and not ‘movie tie-in’ text of ‘under the tuscan sun’ is just a fun read, with recipes! (i did not enjoy the movie but the book was fabulous!)
‘the flame trees of thika’ – by elspeth huxley.
‘the secret life of bees’ – older and you’ve probably read already if it interested you.
‘operating instructions’ by anne lamott.
‘feast day of fools’ by james lee burke.
‘the bad mother’ by ayelet waldman.
‘poisonwood bible’ by barbara kingsolver.
i will stop now…(you’re welcome!)
I highly recommend “where’d you go Bernadette” by Maria Semple
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Love it.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, but I think you’ve already read it. 🙂
The Golem and The Jinni by Helen Wecker, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norris by Susannah Clarke, Song of The Vikings -can’t remember the author, I am also reading Perdido Street Station by China Mie’ville and it’s pretty fucking awesome. Oh and the Book of Lost Things by Jon Connoly was one of my favorites last year. And Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link and The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black was great. Did you read Ocean At The End Of The Lane? Of course you did..Ok I’ll stop now-happy book shopping..And Merry Christmas-
1. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
2. The Circus of Dr. Lao, by Charles G. Finney
3. The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, which has sequels that I do not recommend only because I never did read them.
I would suggest Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, but you’ve clearly already read it since you have a blip on the cover. A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon was great. Also I would recommend The Hitchhiker’ s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
Its one of the best books out there.
I highly recommend “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson…maybe you’ve heard of it?
Also, “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron. You don’t have to be a dog lover to love this book.
Its a kid book..but worth the read..the miraculous journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Decamillo. Beautifully written and moving
You’ll never make it this far down the list, but “Le Ton Beau de Marot” by Douglas Hofstadter. It made my head grow three sizes, and left me weeping like a baby.
The Last Supper Catering Company by Michaelene McEvoy. Reading is my vice. I read a LOT. This is my favorite book of the last ten years. This is sweet, quirky, funny, sad, true, but odd. I just love McEvoy’s voice. Read this book. It will make you happy. I am not using hyperbole. This is peace and joy between two covers.
My second favorite of the last ten years would probably be Cleaning Nabokov’s House: A Novel, by Leslie Daniels. I was hooked by this terrific first sentence, “I knew I could stay in this town when I found the blue enamel pot floating in the lake.” This book is an odd but marvelous mashup of literary fiction/chick lit–as if Elizabeth Berg and Jennifer Crusie were stuck in the same body and used their time wisely.
My favorite novel(s) of ALL time are Outlander (and subsequent) by Diana Gabaldon. Not having read previous comments tonight, I imagine these are already on the list and you don’t need commentary. I adore just every little detail of these books, and so does everyone I’ve passed them on to. My mother says they’re so well written, they make other authors seem as if they’re only practicing. Every time Gabaldon publishes a new one, my daughter starts at the beginning and reads them all through before starting the latest one, just to prolong the pleasure. While re-reading them during a painful divorce (she would say “I’m going to visit Jamie and Claire now”) she proclaimed, “I’ve decided. I am never going to marry again. Unless I can marry Jamie Fraser.” (She did. Her husband is a 6′ 4″ red haired gentleman).
Enjoy your splurge! Merry Christmas
I would recommend Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, but since your blurb is on it, I know you already read it. This is my favorite book of the year and made me laugh until I cry. And cry until I laughed. I read it over and over and when my son wanted to borrow it, I almost made him sign an affideant swearing he would bring it back.
I can also recommend all of Chelsea Handler books. I’m reading Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. It makes me laugh and makes me say, “I thought I was the only one who did that!” It’s awesome.
Merry Christmas! Thanks for being my hero and inspiration. 🙂
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. I’ve loved the movie since I was five and the book since I was fourteen. It would be wonderful to share with your daughter, as well.
I agree with so many of these! Anything by Terry Pratchett; the Dortmunder books by Donald Westlake; A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; A Wrinkle in Time/A Wind in the Door/A Swiftly Tilting Planet and all of the Austins books by Madeleine L’Engle; Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks; Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli; Th Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein; and *cough* mine, because as Sara (above) said, if you don’t toot your own horn, who will? Let the Dogs Speak! Puppies in Training Tell the Story of Canine Companions for Independence.
The End of Mr Y. By Scarlett Thomas. But you might disappear after reading it so never mind.
I liked the ad below Kara’s, in which the poster is looking for good, dependable tires for mother. Reminds me of the saying, “If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a trolley.” As to books, the best I have read is The Time Traveler’s Wife. SOO much better than the movie.
I’m not reading the other comments – too many of them – so I apologize if this has been mentioned
John Crowley’s masterwork “Little, Big”. Mysterious, unearthly, strange yet familiar, haunting in its ability to make me read it at least twice a year since it was first published more than 25 years ago.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman.
Man’s Search for Meaning-Victor Frankl
You must read The Sparrow by Mary Dorua Russell and the sequel Children if God. Best books ever. Jesuits in outer space. I know it sounds weird but truly amazing reads.
Spud–John Van de Ruit (hysterical!!! yet sweet and moving too)
Crimes by Moonlight–Charlaine Harris (ed) (creepy, spooky, darkly funny short stories)
The Stupidest Angel–Christopher Moore (may make you snort whatever you’re drinking out your nose)
Ghost Soldiers–Hampton Sides (harrowing, moving, true)
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir–Bill Bryson (bits will make you pee yourself laughing)
The Red Scream–Mary Willis Walker (awesome mystery, TX writer)
The Sculptress–Ruth Rendell (may make you pee yourself from creepedoutness)
hope you find one of these worth your while. I read A LOT and I read just about anything except grocery store romance novels (bodice rippers) even though I’ve read some of those too. I could’ve listed a bunch more, but it looks like you’ve got plenty to research as is. merry, merry!
Anything by Ilona Andrews.
My vote is for either The Night Circus or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to re-read them again.
The Gum Thief – Douglas Coupland
I think my favorite single book is Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay. But I also highly recommend Cordelia’s Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold (and the whole rest of the Vorkosigan series). –m
My friend got me Hyperbole and a Half for Christmas without even realising how much I wanted it this Christmas, so I’m counting that as a miracle.
I know you read a lot so it is rather daunting to come up with a book that you haven’t probably read and should.
So I’m just going to say A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez…it’s a different kind of magical <3
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. Definitely our level of weirdness. Even has Pan. You’ll love it. Guaranteed or your money back! ???
Wideacre by Bertrice Small. Love, power, murder, incest….
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.
And/or The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Probably the second- it would appeal to the red dress tightrope walker in you! 🙂
The best book I have read in a three year, illness-induced reading spree is Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s book “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.” Gorgeously, compassionately written story of her encounter with a wild snail during the early period of her own catastrophic disease. After reading this book, I will never look at a snail the same way again.
Winters Tale by Mark Helprin is a beautiful, poignant, soaring story of hope and fierce joy and adventure.
One for the morning glory by John Barnes fantastic cynical fiction looking fun at adventure fiction while being…adventure fiction. Lovely 🙂
Caitlin Moran’s How to be a woman is hilarious and honest
I am a mystery fan and this year I’ve especially enjoyed “The Cuckoo’s Calling”. Another writer I recommend is Louise Penny.
I like Sci-Fi as well and I stumbled upon a quirky sci-fi mystery called “The Last Policeman” by Ben H. Winter as a Kindle ebook and it was a great find!! Another good sci-fi was “The Dog Stars”.
I love Amy Tan and my favorite of hers is “The Kitchen God’s Wife”.
To other folks, I’ve been recommending YOUR book!!
my friend Everett’s book – Bumbling into Body Hair. (amazon link! http://www.amazon.com/Bumbling-Into-Body-Everett-Maroon/dp/1620152320)
The Jasper Fforde Thursday Next books.
“Possession,” by A. S. Byatt.
Seriously though, “A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined As a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations,” by Cintra Wilson.
Now I want a guard donkey.
Have you read the Night Circus? Because, oh my god THE NIGHT CIRCUS! And Bossypants, but I’m SURE you’ve read that 😉
Any (or all) of Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael books: Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael. I have read the first 104 pages of My Ishmael ten or more times.
A long time ago I really enjoyed reading Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, (not Halperin, he’s a douche-nozzle).
Also, you could get My Side of the Mountain by Jean George for Hailey, because every kid should read that book.
My friend Briana was curious about the guard donkey, so I asked her if we hadn’t seen a video of a donkey killing a mountain lion, but she said no, that was a mule. Apparently that makes a big difference?
Night Flim, The All Girls Filling Station Reunion (it will make you feel good), I was disappointed by the New Wally Lamb and Diane Sutterfield.
Alive Munroe. Anything by her. She’s Canadian, so am I. You’ll love her. Oh and World War Z. It’s essential, and awesome.
Read all the Carl Hiassen books. Start with Tourist Season.
Fiction – Anything by Seanan Mcguire/Mira Grant 🙂 She has the best twisted sense of humor.
Non-fic – Either The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, or Made in America by Bill Bryson
With a greater understanding of the world mythologies all other stories are better. So you should get this book:
Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology.
*denotes the most interesting books I’ve read in 2013. The others are a little older.
Anything by Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Nick Hornby, Jonathan Ames, Jon Ronson, Mary Roach.
Charlie Stross’ Laundry Files series: The Atrocity Archives , The Jennifer Morgue, The Fuller Memorandum , The Apocalypse Codex. It’s a cross between Lovecraft, James Bond and The Office.
Attack of the Theater People, by Marc Acito.
Sweet and sad:
Anything by Garth Stein.
*The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa.
The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon.
Strange and unusual:
Anything by Octavia Butler, Peter S. Beagle.
*Unpossible and Other Stories, by Daryl Gregory
Interesting and sometimes disturbingly prophetic:
Jennifer Government, by Max Barry
Machine Man, by Max Barry
*The Postmortal, by Drew Magary
The Last Policeman, by Ben Winters
The Silo Saga trilogy, by Hugh Howley: Wool, Shift, and Dust
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is an absolute must for book lovers.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – be ready to read for long stretches – you don’t want to leave the book’s world while you’re reading this.
The Time Traveller’s Wife – always good for a therapeutic cry (speaking of which – how much did you cry at the end of the Christmas Special tonight???)
As always – everything ever published by Mr. Gaiman including the graphic novels and anything by Terry Prachett – if you’ve read them read them again.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday!
So many to choose from… Hellspark by Janet Kagen. Hob’s Bargain by Patricia Briggs. Cordelia’s Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Sunshine by Robin McKinley.
Oooohhhhh Bedlam Stories….nice n creepy
Merry Christmas! City of Thieves by David Benoit. A bookseller recommended it & said a word is not wasted in the book. He was right! (The author is one of the writers for Game of Thrones now.)
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (you’ve read this already, yes?)
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
The above books are all fantastic and cleverly written. Also, they made me laugh loudly in public.
I want chaps!
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers! It talks about illness and diseases that are widespread throughout the human-and-other-animal kingdom, from diabetes and heart attacks to self-injury, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and eating disorders.
It’s a great insight into our minds as animals. It makes me feel better to know that other animals struggle with behaviors that humans think are singular to us.
I really enjoyed “Let’s pretend this never happened”. 🙂 Also, my holiday pick is definitely “Alice in Tumblr-land”.
Amish Vampires in Space.
Because… it’s called Amish Vampires in Space, and it exists.
Happy holidaze. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is what I just gifted to introduce someone to his writings. And Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was how I was introduced to him. But maybe you have and this is a throw away suggestion…Craig Ferguson wrote an autobiographical something whose title I can’t recall and am apparently being too lazy to look up. I just started that one and it’s very entertaining thus far.
Anything by Laurie notaro, I’ve only read her first 3 books but now after looking her up I realize its been forever since I got lost reading a book all day. I think I have to go to a bookstore or Amazon asap!
Anything by Mary Roach – if you haven’t read her, I just have a feeling you’ll find a kindred spirit.
I just needed you to know that I really needed to hear that thing about the holidays being weird and hard for everyone. Like, you have no idea how much I needed to hear that tonight.
I’m sure you know about Ender’s Game, but just in case you haven’t read it, here’s a plug- I liked it as a kid because I felt different from everyone else, just like Ender. He made me feel better. Also, sci-fi and explosions.
I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books by Brene Brown lately. She’s effing fantastic. The Power of Vulnerability is my favorite so far.
‘The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,’ Jonas Jonasson.
I’ve decided to dive into some of the classics in 2014. C.S. Lewis, H.G. Wells, Harper Lee, Jane Austin, and there are many popular books on the “banned and challenged” list that I want to read.
The Blind Assassin!