July 24, 2015

With We Are Water under the bridge (ba-dum-dum!), what am I reading now? I just started a semi-new book by one of my absolute faves, Nick Hornby- Funny, Girl– woo hoo!

Here are some books that I’ve read recently that I loooved!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. A funny, tender story with great characters, especially its main, Don, a brilliant genetics professor who it is implied though never stated has Asperger’s Syndrome and launches a Wife Project Questionnaire to find the perfect mate. Enter Rosie, who meets exactly none of Don’s criteria…

As hard—maybe impossible—as it would be for me to resist The Rosie Project’s sequel, The Rosie Effect, just because someone recommended I skip it, I recommend you skip it. It’s not exactly bad. But none of the characters have the same flare this time, and one of them—ahem—becomes an outright bitch. Leave yourself on the first book’s high.

Looking For Alaska by John Green. When I finished this book, I looked at my husband and said, “That was the best book I’ve read in years.” Ironically, I got onto John Green as many did, through his breakout novel, The Fault In Our Stars. I say ironically because I would normally run screaming from a book about teenagers with cancer. I don’t even remember what made me go through with reading it, but once I did I couldn’t wait to read every one of John Green’s books (I have one left to go, nary a disappointment yet).

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. Like Looking For Alaska, this is technically a Young Adult book, and can be emotionally challenging to read in terms of grief. But there is so much more than just grief here in the dazzling—dazzling, I tell you!—story of twins Noah and Jude. Intense, totally engrossing, beautiful. The Sky Is Everywhere by this author is on my short list of what I can’t wait to read next.

This Is Ridiculous, This Is Amazing by Jason Good. On a much lighter note, read this book if you have kids anywhere from age, say, 2 to 9, and want to pee in your fucking pants. Not only did I, but I actually read parts of it out loud with my kids (8 and 3) one night, and we all did together—it was awesome! Jason Good is hi-larious; get snippets of him at his blog too, right here.

That’s my most recent list, but Jason Good reminds me of another laugh out louder I just have to mention- Justin Halpern’s Shit My Dad Says

Some other favorite authors in general:

Nick Hornby– Everything he writes, I wish I had written.

Marian Keyes– Chick lit started for me with Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married. I’d love hang out with Marian. (In fact, I’d love to hang out with all of the gals on this list!)

Lisa Jewell– she is just an awesome character driven story teller.

Jennifer Weiner– funny, smart, a natural writer, the whole package.

Jane Green– I started way back when with her with Bookends and Jemima J, and she’s written oodles since then.

Whitney Gaskell– fun, clever, relatable. She writes for adults as well as a Young Adult Geek High series.

Jen Lancaster– she’s a trip, a fellow Gen Xer, and Bitter Is The New Black is still one of my favorite titles ever.

Emily Giffin– Always yummy, and the prettiest covers (oh, you bet I judge).

Allison Winn Scotch– Another steady favorite.

Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta– their books are like Guy Lit which is not really a thing but should be if Chick Lit is a thing. (Woops, just Googled it to be sure, and yep, Guy Lit is a thing. Hmm, wonder if it’s a controversial label like Chick Lit? I’ll get back to you on that).

Augusten Burroughs, but he’s for a whole other memoir blog.

James Frey, yes, that James-Million Little Pieces-Oprah-Frey, but that’s a whole other blog too!

Then there are Richard Russo (I wish he were in my family and we could talk at least once a year at Thanksgiving), Dennis Lehane (Mystic River and Shutter Island are riveting and taught me what it means to have tension on every page), John Irving (A Prayer For Owen Meany is one I’d wish to have with me if stuck on a deserted island), Wally Lamb (Yes, even after We Are Water), Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes is the obvious one, but Teacher Man blew me away too), David Sedaris (laugh out loud, every time, guaranteed).

And three books I universally recommend:

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd– a 14-year-old girl flees her tyrant father and South Carolina town and is taken in by three black beekeeping sisters. Just beautiful.

A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith– a historical fiction book about a family of Florida pioneers. Whenever I recommend this book I’m met with the same skepticism I expressed when I was first introduced to it in a former book club—hmm, that’s not something I’d usually pick up—and then the same reaction after reading it—Wow! I loved it! This goes for men, women, teens (it’s required reading at some Florida schools), with ONE exception—I’m talking to you K. Gould!

Life of Pi by Yann Martel– I’ve never read another book like it. And when I finished it, I really, honestly questioned if it was in fact fiction—ABSURD, considering there is a boy. Living with a tiger. On a life boat. Not to mention it is shelved in FICTION! But that is the power of fricking incredible writing.

These are fun lists! But now I’m getting all twitchy that I have to stop somewhere, but afraid of who/what I’m leaving out! So many authors, so many books…sigh!! 

Share some of your favorites!

LP