10 October 2012

Need Book Recommendations!!

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 50 books in 2012.  Sadly, I'm only at 32 books so far, leaving me with 18 to go before December 31st.  Lately I haven't kept up with writing a summary of each book I've read, but here are a couple of the more recent ones I've enjoyed the most:

- The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings.  I watched the movie earlier this spring and really enjoyed it and the book was even better.  Extremely well-written, descriptive, and hard to put down.  It was both depressing and uplifting, a sad story about a marriage gone awry and a father and his two daughters trying to pick up the pieces and learn to be a family again.  I highly recommend it.

- The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  He's a fantastic storyteller and this book was beautifully written.  While it is fiction, there are elements of historical truths as he writes about the Armenian genocide early in the 20th century.

- In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner.  So sad and depressing.  It tells the story of Cambodia during the 1970s through the eyes of a 7 year old girl.  Her family is split apart and destroyed person by person by the Khmer Rouge.  This was another historical fiction, though sadly much of it was based on true events that the author herself endured.  One of the things that struck me the most about this book was how flowery and descriptive the language was at the beginning - it was as though the 7 year old narrator inhabited a poem.  By the end, the language had markedly changed to flat and grey, mirroring the world she found herself living in.

I'm always looking for book recommendations.  I've tried to read a wide range of subjects and attempted to keep the fluffy reading to a minimum (though if you see the number of Nicholas Sparks books on my list, you'll see I wasn't totally successful in that endeavor.  Sometimes a girl has got to fill her head with mindless fluff).  I love books where you feel yourself become so involved with the story and the characters, you actually feel a pang of sadness when read the last chapter and the story stays with you long after you close the book for the last time.

So.  Book recommendations.  Fire away!


B.o.B. said...

I don't like the fluffy stuff so much either. If you want a long one, I suggest Shantaram. It's really well written and will give you major wanderlust. I'd also recommend my favorite book of all time, in case you haven't read it yet, Li of Pi. SOOOOO good!

Kathy said...

Life of Pi is really good.

I just looked over my list from the past year (I use Goodreads, do you?) and came up with these:
Blonde - Joyce Carol Oates. Fictional rendering of the life of Marilyn Monroe - though it won't get you to 50 as it is really long. Took me a while to get into but loved it by the end.
The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham. I adore Maugham, have loved everything I have read by him, so I liked this a lot too.
1776 - David McCullough. A close analysis of the first year of the Revolution. I didn't even know how little I knew.
Rebecca - Daphne duMaurier. Thriller, early 1900s British style.
John Irving's novels. I have read several and have several to go, but they are all pretty enjoyable, I think. Liked a Prayer for Owen Meany the most.

Kathy said...

p.s. I took a couple from your list - The Descendants and Isaac's Storm. The Jungle has been on my list for a while but I can't seem to get up the nerve or something. Do you recommend?

Allison said...

I could probably go on and on about books to read, but recently I've enjoyed A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. They are the first two books of a trilogy. And right now I'm in the middle of the Game of Thrones series (George R.R. Martin), which I am really enjoying after starting off not expecting very much.