Mission possible: Three characters in search of an author

Library shelves

Oh, yeah…this is MY kind of library. Image courtesy of imelechon, Morguefile.

Blog readers, would you help me? I’m on the hunt for information. I’m prepared to bribe with virtual chocolate if necessary. (I’ll even hand over my beloved pretzel M&Ms.)

Two friends of mine and I decided to form our own book club, and we’re searching for some great books to read. One friend, S., has already compiled a list, which is mostly books in the classic and bestseller categories. I’m working on my list — it’s mostly novels in the books-I-always-intend-to-get-around-to-reading category. I’ve read most of the books on my literary bucket list  and I’m presently going back through all of my posts (about 140 of them!) to find the books that my blog readers have recommended in the 19 months that I’ve been blogging.

But I’ve decided to crowdsource (a.k.a. ask all of you) for recommendations as well because I think a lot of people out there may have some additional ideas. So if you feel like it, would you send me the names and authors of two or three outstanding books you’ve enjoyed recently? Ponder your bookshelves, comb your libraries or scamper through your nearest bookstore. We’ll take recommendations for books in the following categories:

  • Bestsellers
  • History
  • Mystery
  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Classics

We’re starting with The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, but any other ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks, people. And here’s some mood music to get you started.

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29 Comments

Filed under Writing

29 responses to “Mission possible: Three characters in search of an author

  1. I know this may not sound like it’s not exactly up your alley … or maybe you’ve already read it.

    If you haven’t read Stephen King’s 11/22/63, it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a couple of decades and I do not say that lightly. Nor am I a Stephen King fan as a rule. Nor is my husband, but he read it too. He said it was like reading poetry, and while he was reading it, he would stop and read sections out loud because the words were so beautiful. Yes, it’s science fiction, but it’s more like alternative history. No technology, just story. NOT horror.It’s a long book … but worth it.

  2. A Different Blue by Amy Harmon was a good bestseller that told an awesome redemption story. I read it twice.

  3. Impybat

    Eagle-Eyed, I really liked P.C. Doherty’s Hugh Corbett Medieval and Lord Amerotke Ancient Egyptian mysteries. I’m a Dick Francis fan, too. They’re mysteries set in the world of English thoroughbred racing.

  4. Kelli

    Some of the best books I’ve read recently have been Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (there is also a sequel of sorts called Committed that I’d love to read but haven’t gotten around to it) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (WAY better than the movie) and Spooner by Pete Dexter. Spooner is kind of hard to read, but it’s a novel that really makes you think. I like it. 🙂

  5. travelrat

    Anything by Wilbur Smith … and may I mention ‘Stone Lord’, by Janet P Reedman, for a new and authentic take on the Arthurian legend. Also, in a couple of months, I HOPE to be able to plug my book! 😀

  6. Hm, well here is a list of 3 recent reads which I enjoyed:

    “Seabiscuit” by Laura Hillenbrand
    “Sink the Bismarck!” by C. S. Forrester (somewhat on the short side)
    “Johnstown Flood” by David McCullough.

    You don’t how difficult it was to not list one Titanic book!

    • And I think there’s a new Titanic book coming out. Time to add to my collection… 😉

      • Great Scot, which one? 🙂 2012 was a great year (maybe bad, considering some of the books!) for Titanic literature. “On Board RMS Titanic”, “Exploring the Deep” and the second edition of “On a Sea of Glass” are coming highly recommended right now.

  7. Jaclyn

    I just read THE BURGESS BOYS by Elizabeth Strout and recommended it to my mom for her book club. I think it would make an excellent book club choice – there’s so much in the book to talk about. Family issues (but of course), and also issues of justice, tolerance, race, loyalty… you name it, THE BURGESS BOYS has it.

  8. I too enjoyed Stephen King’s 1963, see my comments at http://65andalive.blogspot.com/2012/09/time-to-spare.html

    However, you might want to consider Philip Caputo’s Rumor of War, especially if your group is familiar with the Vietnam War.

    Happy Book Clubbing!

  9. The best book I’ve read this year, and maybe in the past two years, is The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt. Here’s some context for what it’s about (and a shameless link to my blog): http://joannehindman.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/the-swerve/

  10. The Shadow of the Wind (Spanish: La sombra del viento) is a 2001 novel by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón – excellent story telling with a classic feel in modern language. IMHO – putting together a list of this nature is very personal and based on the taste of the reader making it hard to recommend books for another without knowing what they like or more importantly what they dislike.

  11. I loved King’s 1963, but thought he was looking for a good hamburger and love.

    You might want to consider Caputo’s A Rumor of War. Especially if you lived the 60s as a young adult.

  12. I was going to suggest The Kite Runner because it’s one book that everyone in our Book Club loved. Wish I had a list of all the books we’ve read over the years. At one point we called ourselves “The Bad Book Club” because so many books were not liked by the majority. We’re reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed for this month and most people seemed to like it, believe it or not. It’s the story of a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Our next meeting is Tuesday night. Must tell you, it’s really more of a social rather than literary event. Good luck!

  13. For some lighter reading fare, you might try the Harvard Lampoon’s “Hunger Pains.” It’s a silly spoof of the Hunger Games that had me howling. It’s pretty short, and works as a palate cleanser in between more serious titles. 😀

  14. Either book by Laura Hillenbrand (non-fiction) and Bel Canto by Ann Pachett.

  15. I recommend “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. A good book and all about a book club of sorts!

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