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Favorite Books to Recommend May 14, 2009

Posted by bookgoddess in Audiobooks, Books, Fiction, Literature, readers, Reading, Reading lists.
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Recommending books is my business, or at least part of my business, and it can be a wonderful thing.  The right book at the right time is a real gift.  My friend Tim told me that Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole changed his life.  That book, like Tim, is one of a kind, and on that occasion I got it exactly right. 

Sometimes it doesn’t go so well.  Another favorite book of mine is Raney by Clyde Edgerton, which I think is funny and charming and very well-written.  I was delighted to recommend it to my friend Peggie, but it left her cold.  Oh, well. 

Anyway, I was recently asked for book recommendations by two friends.  I’ve decided to give both of them, and you, pretty much the same list.  I happen to think these are wonderful choices that would appeal to most book lovers. 

So – here are my choices, starting with some fine American novels:

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (especially good in audio)

If you like humorous fiction (and I realize this can be very subjective, even more so than literary merit), these are some terrific titles: 

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (audio version is excellent)

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

And, some excellent nonfiction: 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls 

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi 

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson 

I would love to have your recommendations, too!

Happy Reading, 

The Book Goddess

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They’re All Good! February 8, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Great Reads, Reading, West Palm Beach Public Library.
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As you read this, voting will have ended for Read Together Palm Beach County.  I hope you voted, and I certainly hope you read whichever book is chosen (winning title to be announced on February 25th at noon, right out in front of the West Palm Beach Public Library at 100 Clematis Street). 

But I would actually like to encourage you to read all of the titles.  If you do, you’ll be able to experience the imaginary inner life of an autistic child who solves a mystery (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time); the true story of a gifted child growing up in a tragically dysfunctional family (The Glass Castle); the unintended consequences of a hasty but life-altering decision by a father (The Memory Keeper’s Daughter); the excitement and ambition of a young boy (and future NASA engineer) looking out to space and actually building his own rockets in a coal mining town (Rocket Boys); and the real-life uphill battle of a mountain climber to establish village schools in Pakistan (Three Cups of Tea).

Some of these books are fiction, some are nonfiction; they all are windows on worlds that we may never experience personally.  The magic of reading is that all of these worlds are available to us, at our convenience, and (let’s not forget) free of charge at your public library.

All the best from the Book Goddess!