Thursday, May 19, 2011
Girlfriends Recommend Great Books
I've been having fantastic reading luck lately. I just loved, GOOD EGGS by Phoebe Potts, a graphic memoir about infertility, Judaism, and art. I can not rave enough about A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan, which is just fantastically written. And I'm also enjoying THE FRUGALISTA FILES by Natalie McNeal, which is a sort of memoir, financial self-improvement mash-up.
Ernessa T. Carter
I'm reading an ARC of Chevy Steven's second novel, NEVER KNOWING, about a woman who sets out to find her birth parents, to shocking results. A psychological thriller. I admire everything about her writing - characterization, theme, style and of course, a unique plot. Her debut, STILL MISSING, was probably the creepiest literary thrill ride I've ever been on.
I'm reading CJ Box's COLD WIND. This is a mystery
series featuring a game warden in Wyoming. He's brilliant with
character, plot and setting--one of my favorites!
Bellfield Hall and A Gentlemen of Fortune by Anna Dean --Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen
The Drowning River by Christobel Kent--contemporary mystery set in Florence
The Lost Temple by Tom Harper--action-packed thriller set in post WWII Greece
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton--mystery/gothic-inspired story of a woman who is intrigued when she learns that her mother was evacuated from London during the Blitz and lived in a castle, but never spoke of it
I've been reading a lot of young adult lately, since it's something I'm really interested in writing. I absolutely loved Meg Cabot's THE PRINCESS DIARIES, which is every bit as adorable and charming as the movie (how much do I love Meg Cabot?!), as well as Sarah Mlynowski's BRAS AND BROOMSTICKS, which was really funny and just cute, cute, cute. I then picked up Sarah's GIMME A CALL, which is also really funny and is loaded with charm. It's very high concept: the book is about a girl who can use her broken cell phone to call herself... three years earlier! So, she gets to make up for a lot of mistakes that she made in her past and create a whole lot of new ones.
Amazon just delivered Laura Dave's latest, THE FIRST HUSBAND, so I can't wait to dig my teeth into it. I absolutely loved Laura's first two books, so I know that I am in for a real treat with this one.
A Visit from the Goon Squad was fantastic. Some books I know I could write; others are far beyond my abilities. The book dances back and forth in time and across a key cast of characters. One of the reasons I enjoyed it was because it wasn't chronological. Whenever I picked it up, I would try to orient myself by asking "Which now is it?" All of the "nows" were equally valid, whether it was 1984 or now or the future. Most books build from past to now, and the implication is that the present is all that matters. I read it while a friend was dying, and the thought that her past "nows" were as true as her current horrible (at the time - she has since died) "now" really appealed to me.
My recommendation is a book I just reviewed called THE NINTH WIFE by Amy Stolls - very witty and smart!
HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford. Loved this book, which is perfect for readers of any age. Henry Lee is a wonderful protagonist, and it was just a very sweet and touching story.
BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Laura Spinella. Our own Girlfriend does a great job spinning a modern-day Romeo and Juliet type romance between college girl, Mia, and Harley-riding rogue, Flynn. Will they end up together when Mia's best friend is convinced Flynn is a serial-killing vagrant? You'll have to read and see if love conquers all!
COMPACT WITH THE DEVIL by Bethany Maines. If you like "Covert Affairs" on the USA Network, you'll enjoy Maines' two spy spoof novels featuring undercover Carrie Mae cosmetics sales rep, Nikki Lanier (the first was BULLETPROOF MASCARA).
Now reading Charlaine Harris' DEAD RECKONING. Can't wait to get deeper into it (I'm just about on page 30).
I have to say that Tina Fey's Bossypants kept me up all night laughing. If you were a child in the '70's especially, you'll love it!
Daniel Judson's noir crime novel Voyeur, about a former P.I., forced into early retirement, on the womanhunt for a former flame whose own mother may or may not be out to kill her.
Iam reading/listening to Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. It is so funny and spot-on about relationships. Also read Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson, who I love. Very eager to read The Bone Yard, Jefferson Bass's latest. Oh, and if you can get your hands on Janis Owen's My Brother Michael, it's brilliant!
Do you have any reading recs? Love to hear them