Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happiness is a Good Book...By Jenny Gardiner

I am always looking for book recommendations. Particularly after finishing an amazing book. One of those books that lingers, that leaves you re-living it, questioning it, pondering it, wishing you'd written it. So I decided to post a list of books I've really enjoyed lately, in case some of you might be like me, always on the lookout for a new favorite book. I'm not going to review anything, just maybe make a few comments, or not, as the spirit moves me. Feel free to link and read on yourself! So here goes: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This book is just the perfect novel. Trust me, you'll love it. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. Crazily compelling non-fiction that reads like a fast-paced novel. Set in a squatters slum in Mumbai, it's such a compelling read, you will be engrossed. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Completely engaging story set in pre-World War II Manhattan, fabulously told and incredibly well-researched. Prose is absolutely divine. Split: A Memoir of Divorce by Suzanne Finnamore. Who'd expect to LOVE a story about a divorce, but I'm telling you Finnamore's downward spiral when dumped by her husband is funny and poignant and will keep you turning the pages. In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard. Adored this coming-of-age story in which a whole lot of nothing happens but does so in such a beautifully-told way, you won't realize it! The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Mysterious and fantastical novel about a duel, of sorts, to the death, of sorts. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. Anyone who has scratched their head at how a book becomes a bestseller will love this smart-alecky and well-written story about an author who will gladly compromise his dubious morals to achieve literary success. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Bray hilariously skewers pop culture, reality TV and much that is wrong with our culture. You'll be rooting for these beauty queens to prevail. The Gap Year by Sarah Bird. Any mom who has sent a child off to the next stage in their life will relate to this beautifully-written and emotionally satisfying novel. I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson. David Cassidy tween crush. Need I say more? Fabulous story about two Welsh girls desperately in love with teen idol David Cassidy, intertwined with the heartache and agony of negotiating the world of cutthroat tween girls. Loved it. So hope you'll enjoy these books as much as I did! And I'd LOVE to take recommendations from you--I'm always always always looking for the next fabulous read! Thanks! The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce. A little slow and contemplative but sweet and redemptive. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I won't say this is un-putdownable, but it's an enjoyable read and proves once again that Rowling has writing chops and is a gifted storyteller. She's so talented at taking a large cast and weaving them together very successfully.

  Sleeping with Ward Cleaver

Slim to None

Anywhere But Here

Where the Heart Is

Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me

Accidentally on Purpose (written as Erin Delany)

Compromising Positions (written as Erin Delany)

I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship (I'm a contributor)

And these shorts:
Idol Worship: A Lost Week with the Weirdos and Wannabes at American Idol Auditions

The Gall of It All: And None of the Three F's Rhymes with Duck

Naked Man On Main Street
find me on Facebook: fan page
 find me on twitter here
 find me on my website


  1. Wow, this post is going to be very expensive for me! Thanks for the recs, Jenny!!

  2. I reading the Maria Semple right now. Big fun and so original.

  3. Don't you just adore Maria Semple's book? Fabulous writer. After I read it I found out she'd been a writer for Arrested Development, one of my favorite shows, so it doesn't surprise me. Yes Brenda--ka-ching! (in all your free time caring for kids if you can squeeze in some writing!)

  4. I actually really adored the real-life interview with David Cassidy at the end of I Think I Love You.

  5. The title says it all! nothing makes me happier than a good book! Thank you for these recommendations :) They all look like a lot of FUN reads (it's nice to get away from the heavy deep and real novels sometimes). I have a fantastic book recommendation (one I just recently read). The book is called "Until Brazil" by author Bethe Lee Moulton. It was a book that I couldn't put down and made me smile through-out. The best comparison would be "Eat Pray Love." It's about a woman, Beth, who is facing a bit of a rut in life...job isn't going anywhere...married but restless. She decides to go on a business trip to Brazil in hopes of a promotion and in doing so falls in love with the culture, the lifestyle and the people! A book of personal transformation and there is even an unexpected love story. I love books about travel (especially with a female antagonist that I can relate to!). I hope you give it a chance -
    Thanks for sharing the books you love :) Spread the happiness!