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The Book Thief. Not even half way through, but so far *love* The Historian.

Is The Historian the vampire book? If it is, I read that-- totally loved it, too.

ummmmm what can I say? Sorry? Well I'm not....too much. Sweet list of books to add to my wishlist!!
You did mention a few I have read. Bass Ackwards and Belly Up being one of them. I've definitely made note of John Hart. It's not that I don't like mysteries but burnt out on them lately.

John Irving is a legend. If anyone ever asks what my favorite book ever is....A Prayer for Owen Meany...hands down. It's a hard book to start and stay with but the ending is so so worth it. It has one of those moments where things all start to come clear and I tear up just thinking about it! argh! If anyone reads this reply and hasn't read Owen Meany, go buy it and PROMISE ME you will stick it through to the end. You won't regret it!

Half the Sky sounds great too. I've sworn off any more non-fiction while I'm into The Happiness Project but will also make note of it. :-)

Thank you so much Sarah for all of your suggestions. I can't wait to hear what other people are reading as well.

You rock!! Now, go to bed. ;-)

I finished 'Why you are Australian - a letter to my children' by Nikki Gemmell just last week and it was beautiful.
Obviously helped by the fact that I am Australian but it was a great exploration of who we are, what we value and what we take for granted through the eyes of someone who had lived in London for 15yrs. She came back to explore whether the reality of Australia now would stand up to the Australia of her memory and to give her children a chance to be Aussie kids for a few months. And then had to decide if they would stay here or head back to England. Wonderful, honest, nostalgic and thought-provoking.
What Australia do I want my kids to grow up in [when I have them]?

Blindness by Jose Saramago. Hands down winner of last 12 months. It made me totally rethink fiction. No kidding.

Loved this post, BTW...I too am a sleepless list maker!

Delia Lloyd

I'm with Jenn, The Book Thief is great.

I also really loved Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. It's steampunk which I generally have no interest in but this book was so good now I want to explore that genre a little more.

Recommendations from "my son the writer" for YA books.

I just finished HAPPY ALL THE TIME by Laurie Colwin (thanks to Gretchen Rubin for the recommendation). LOVED it. Also am really enjoying I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE by Julia Glass (author of THREE JUNES, another great book). For nonfiction, THE LOOMING TOWER; and for YA, nothing beats Anne of Green Gables.

Great books are tough to identify and often I don't realize it is great until a few months after I finish and the thoughts are still in my head.

Nonfiction recommendations:
Healing of America - TR Reid. Takes a real look at how other, better health care systems work.

Hollowing Out the Middle - Karr & Kefelas: Looks at how rural education is changing rural communities by encouraging the best and the brightest to LEAVE.

Charlatan - Pope Brock: transplanted goat testicles, border radio, and the king of hucksters combined. Similar to Devil in the White City.


American Gods - Neil Gaimen
As She Climbed Across the Table/ Gun with Occasional Music - J. Lethem
(much more creative than his later work)
Mystery - George Pelicanos

Of course I recommend Backasswards and Footfree to all of my adolescent patients as they prepare for college.

Here's a book I haven't read yet, but a colleague was recently RAVING about "Just Kids," Patti Smith's memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. He loved it so much I bought it instantly.

Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my all-time favorites, too. I'm on a non-fiction streak right now: for life-changing books I've read recently, I'd have to say Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (especially on the heals of Omnivore's Dilemma). Honorable mentions: Po Bronson's NurtureShock was illuminating, and of course Gretchen's Happiness Project provided MUCH food for thought.

Po Bronson's NurtureShock - a second thumbs up.

LOVED "Hunger Games" and the sequel. Loved. Loved! That one will keep you up all night to finish it.

THE HELP was really good.

Going back -- I've always loved BEE SEASON by Maya Goldberg, THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE by Neffenegger (sp?)... both made into terrible movies.

I'm a total sucker for P.G. Wodehouse, but I recently discovered Dorothy Parker, who is simply brilliant. She is definitely my new favorite. If you haven't read her, you should.

Sample quote:

"I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid."

'Nough said.

(Yes, Sarah--this once again confirms my terrible shallowness, but I still think it is damned good. And may be my new mantra. No pun intended.)

Non-fiction: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Not only is the subject inspiring-it's about Paul Farmer, the doctor who founded Partners in Health-but Kidder's writing is excellent. His new book, Strength in What Remains, is great too.

Fiction: The Gathering by Anne Enright, and The Master by Colm Toibin. Those two writers fill me with admiring despair.

The Historian is about, basically, the history of the legend of Dracula.

I didn't have my Kindle last night, but looking at it I see great books I forgot to mention. Olive Kitteridge is a collection of short stories and is really, really good. I also personally love Roddy Doyle's books.

I know Chris said fiction, but if you like US history I recommend Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.

(Though not on Kindle, I always, always recommend John Hockenberry's Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence. It's the only book I've ever owned multiple copies of just so I can loan it out.)

Not in the past year, but . . .
Jasper Fforde's Thursday next books.

I also loved "The Other Boleyn Girl" even though it's definitely peanut gallery level compared to what others have mentioned above!

Just started "Wolf Hall" and love it so far . . . .

Yep, read The Historian. It really was fantastic. And I got John Hockenberrys book a couple years ago, but havent read it yet. Ill move it to the top of the pile!

I generally read multiple books at a time and leave them in various places around the house so that I never have to go far to have one available.

I have been reading The Women Who Write The Movies by Marsha McCreadie

I also just finished The Crimson Petal and the White for a second time by Michel Faber. I love authors who use language in such a way that you want reread the same sentence two or three times. Michel Faber does that for me.

Additionally, I love almost everything Margaret Atwood writes as well.

The best fiction book I've read in a long time is Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund- seriously gorgeous, poignant, rich, moving, philosophical, all of it.

And I'm excited to check out the ones from other commenters, yay.

I also loved Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Help by Katherine Stockett.

Fiction: Abide with Me (Elizabeth Strout)

Nonfiction: Devotion (Dani Shapiro)

WOW! Sarah I never imagined I'd end up with what looks like a wonderful list of books to read. There were more than 20 just from you! And now with all the replies....it'll be at least 2 years before I can complain that I don't know what to read!

Seriously, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!


I know! What an incredible response! My reading list has quadrupled in a day! Thanks for asking the question!


Anything by Harlan Coben. Also for classics, The Stand, Stephen King and To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my all time favorites.

Lately I've loved:

The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara

The London Scene: six essays on London life - Virginia Woolf
The Conversations: Walter Murch and the art of editing film - Michael Ondaatje

Sarah - are you on GoodReads?

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My Books (with Elizabeth Craft)

  • 'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.

    Publisher's Weekly said: "Full of romance and adventure, laughter and tears, the story is a reminder that veering from the straight and narrow road doesn't always lead to a dead end."

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    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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