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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


What is West Palm Beach Reading? February 13, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Just for Mystery Lovers Book Club, Literature, Mysteries, readers, Reading, Second Saturday Book Club, West Palm Beach Public Library.
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Here are some recommendations from members of the Second Saturday Book Club:

Joan – The Lady from Buenos Aires by John Lantigua

Willie Cuesta is a Miami private eye.  In this series entry, the mystery focuses on a woman who “disappeared” in Argentina more than twenty years ago. 

Kathleen – Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and its sequel, Pigs in Heaven.

In fact, she recommends pretty much anything by Kingsolver.  I myself think The Poisonwood Bible is a brilliant novel and not to be missed.

Lois – Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner

An English teacher in Japan receives a bequest from her mentor, a Hiroshima survivor.  Excellent reviews.

Tina – The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

A bookish biographer finds herself in the middle of a mystery.  Very atmospheric – is it a ghost story or not?

The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill

The second in the Simon Serrailler mystery series – a very well-crafted British mystery with much to say about human relationships.

William – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

An Oprah pick and reportedly a wonderfully readable historical novel about the building of a cathedral in the twelfth century.  The February selection of the Just for Mystery Lovers Book Club, which will meet February 23rd at 10:30 a.m.

What are you reading?  I’d love to hear your recommendations, too.


The Book Goddess