10 June 2011

Give Me Some Book Suggestions

My library is doing me in.  We now live in walkable distance of the main branch (and I even finally figured out how to take the short way instead of the secret slow way), but the library only owns 3 of the 80 books on my current reading list.  And one of those books is missing.  So I need recommendations again.  ALL your recommendations.  Old books, new books, fiction, nonfiction, YA, adult.  Whatever.  If I have enough suggestions I may find one or two that are actually available to me.

Recently, I have been pleased with the following books:

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
Louis Sachar, of course, is best known for being the author of the very popular YA novel Holes.  I like his stories.  In this one, 17-year-old Alton is spending the summer turning cards for his uncle, an avid bridge player who has recently gone blind from diabetes complications.  While Alton's parents are hoping to ingratiate the family to the wealthy uncle and be included in his will before he dies, Alton is figuring out his uncle's past and the rules of bridge, both of which turn out to be complicated but rewarding.  I really enjoyed the main character here and found the story compelling even with its many notes on the rules of bridge included.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
This YA novel won an award that I'm too lazy to look up right now, but it was well-deserved.  Sixth-grader Miranda receives notes correctly predicting events in her life.  As she unravels the mystery of the notes, she's also working with new friends at a sandwich shop, trying to avoid the crazy man on the corner, and attempting to understand why she and her friend Sal are no longer close.  I found this to be a very gentle and unexpected story.  The premise of the story when it's fully revealed is a bit wacky but still entirely enjoyable and the character development is great.  Very nice.

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler
I picked this up because the library doesn't own the book I actually want to read by this author.  I just started this one and it's about the authors experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in China.  I'm not very far in, but so far I'm loving it.  Very readable and interesting.

Okay, what have you got?


Rebekah said...

it's been out for a long time so you've probably read it, but I liked The Professor and the Housekeeper a lot.

MBC said...

I'm totally out of the loop these days, so I don't recall having heard of this book at all. Thanks for the recommendation!

Me again said...

You've probably already read it, but the "Magyk" series by Angie Sage is quite good. 5 books in the series so far and all very thick. But I REALLY liked this series.

Nemesis said...

Here are some recent faves:

Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Maisie Dobbs

Poison Study by Maria Snyder

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Nemesis said...

And here are a few that are just wonderful:

the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins

anything written by Ruth Reichl (maybe start with Tender at the Bone)

These is My Words by Nancy Turner

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

The Help

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

Aaaand now I'm going to stop. Happy reading!

Katya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Can you post a link to your branch's OPAC? (That way I can limit my recommendations to what you have access to.)


MBC said...

Me Again--I've heard of the series, because it was very popular when I was still working (and buying the YA collection), but I've never given them a try. I'll see if we have them here.

Nemesis--Thank you! I've read and loved several of the books from your list which gives me great confidence in the rest of the books, which I've not read (or heard of for a number of them).

Recommend away!

eliana23 said...

4 Letters of Love by Niall Williams
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

MBC said...


The Dirty Life's been on my list for a while and I'm really keen to read it, but I have a feeling it's not going to come to my library. I'll have to pick it up when we get to North America.

ldsjaneite said...

I looked on your catalog, too. And most of what I was going to recommend isn't there. How frustrating!

Ann-Marie said...

Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins

I'll be There- Holly Sloan

At Home- Bill Bryson

The Last Little Blue Envelope- Maureen Johnson (Read 13 Little Blue Envelopes first)

Smile- Raina Telgemeier

No Moon- Irene Watts

Theresa said...

What an awesome post with awesome lists of book! I'm definitely checking back. I have started reading again! Yeah! Finally. And the library is close by and can bring in anything from around the toronto area, so it's great. But, I don't think I've found any list-worthy books just yet. Except for the first Rama book by Arthur C. Clarke (and I'm not done yet). It's interesting, because it's so credible, and the physics geek in me really enjoys it. I'm not sure you'd like it if you're not a geek though (but you are, aren't you??? I mean, you're certainly married to one. :)

MBC said...

ldsjaneite--Yeah, it's rough, eh?

Ann-Marie--Thanks! I've only read one of those (and it was one I liked a lot!).

Theresa--I may be the wrong kind of geek to appreciate Arthur C. Clarke and physics in my reading material :)

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