Good Books // Favorite Things

I did a lot of reading today. In fact, I read 140 pages…outloud… from Incredible Mammals: Meet the World’s Most Amazing Creatures. It is a beautiful book, and very informative: did you know that a polar bear can swim for sixty miles without getting tired? I’d like just a bit of that stamina, thank you!

As much as I enjoy reading full color encyclopedias to my son, I would also like to actually read a few books for myself this year. This is where you come in! Have you read any good books in the last year or two that you think I might like? I’m looking to read three really excellent books this year, and I’d love your suggestions. Here are a few I plan to start soon:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Something by Barbara Neely
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass

And a few of my all time favorites:
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Thanks in advance for suggestions–and thanks for the treadmill hints. Listening to Pandora on my iphone and running sprints, varied speeds, and at an incline for the length of a single song made my 2 miles go by much quicker!

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  1. Posted January 13, 2011 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I just finished The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Loved it! Couldn’t put it down, almost from the very first page!

  2. Posted January 13, 2011 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I loved Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Have you read People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks? I liked that one. Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden is great, too.

  3. Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I’m a fan of Edward Rutherfurd’s books. Historical fiction that follows the families in an area (I’ve read two about England and am almost done with one on Russia) from pre-history (in some) through recent times. Very interesting reads! They go into the political and the religious turmoils very well. I’ve read “Sarum,” “The Forest,” and am almost done with “Russka.” I still need to read “The Princes of Ireland,” “The Rebels of Ireland,” “London,” and “New York.” So much to read, so little time…

  4. Posted January 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    You may want to check out Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. It was one of the most enjoyable fiction books I read last year. As someone who doesn’t read romances, I was surprised and pleased to discover Lauren Willig and her Pink Carnation series. The best non-fiction that I read last year was The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, which is about the periodic table and the discovery of the elements. Sorry, if this is too much. I read a lot and am always really happy to spread the love. Thank goodness for the Arlington library system for being so wonderful – I wouldn’t be able read so much if I had to buy everything.

  5. "Lois Grebowski"
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I loved Animal, Vegetabble, Miracle. Good book. I had to laugh. This summer we tried the “amish fireworks” mentioned in the book. Didn’t work for us. (imagine six slightly inebriated people piled into a Ford Ranger pickup driving around a farm pasture with the lights off)… That’ll make you laugh when you get to that part.

    I’m re-reading Pillars of the Earth. I tried to read it years ago, but couldn’t get into it. I’m glad I picked it back up.

  6. Posted January 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m finishing The Widower’s Tale this week–listening to it on CD in the car. I love it–if you haven’t read anything else by Julia Glass, I highly recommend her other work.

    Recently I’ve also loved A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry, and The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani. If you find you like Kingsolver’s style, and haven’t read Prodigal Summer, I HIGHLY recommend it–it’s one of the few books I have re-read in recent years. High praise from a librarian, I think!

  7. two hippos
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    This fall I read David Mitchell’s The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. It’s amazing — the best fiction I’ve read in years. It’s historical fiction with a bit of a mystery thrown in. Great characters, fascinating plot, really well-written. I can’t recommend it enough!

  8. Consuelo
    Posted January 18, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I’m also a huge fan of Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. If you haven’t read his other novels or short stories I would recommend them. I was wondering if you know of any other works or authors who have Berry’s sort of style or themes. If so, I would love a recommendation.

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