Big Mama Blog

Because I can read at the pool now

So last week I brought up a few goals for summer and then it was the end of school and I guess I saw something shiny and got distracted and never addressed them again.

I’ve also been honing my craft of creating the longest possible run-on sentence ever.

What I really want to talk about today is related to my goal of reading some books this summer, but I need to address a few of the other goals I mentioned.

First, I finished watching both seasons of Scandal. I got so sucked into it by the end that I happened to read a headline on Fox News that said the current administration is losing all credibility and thought, well, it’s no wonder with all the shenanigans going on in the Grant administration right now. Olivia Pope can only do so much.

Second, if you don’t curl your eyelashes, I must implore you to try. I know it may seem unnatural to hold a metal object right next to your eyelid and squeeze it as tight as you can, but it’s a game changer, ladies. If I could only do one makeup related thing before leaving the house it would be to curl my eyelashes. And, yes, it does help to heat it up a little with the hairdryer but I usually save that for special occasions because ain’t nobody got time for that on a daily basis.

Okay, now for books. Here are a few that I’d recommend.

(I mean, obviously, I’d suggest Sparkly Green Earrings or A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet if you haven’t read them already, but here are some other suggestions based on what I’ve read in the last few months.)

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I can’t remember if I mentioned this when I read it earlier in the year, but it’s worth mentioning again. This isn’t a light beach read, but it’s a book that I will remember forever. So incredibly powerful and left me with tears running down my face several times.

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

I just finished this about a week ago and loved it. I’d resisted reading it even though I am a fan of Mindy Kaling because I thought it might not be as funny as I hoped, but I was wrong. It made me laugh out loud several times. This would be a great one to read by the pool.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Oh, this book. I finished it in two days. It’s the story of two teenagers who are in love and also happen to have cancer. Which sounds like a terribly depressing subject for a book. But it is brilliantly written and you will fall in love with these characters and their witty, sharp dialogue. It’s so good.

So now it’s your turn. What books have you loved recently? What should I add to my summer list? I’ve got to get to reading if I’m going to have time to finish five books this summer and get my laundry room organized, too. Even though I might be willing to sacrifice an organized laundry room in exchange for a good book. Because I believe literacy is important. I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

(I have no idea why I just ended with that.)

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Comments

  1. 1

    I just finished The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. I don’t think this is new, but I definitely fell in love with Nicholas Sparks.

  2. 2

    Just finished reading ‘Sparkly Green Earrings’ :) and will be moving onto Bread & Wine and The Hole in Our Gospel.

  3. 3

    Oh girl…now you’re speaking my language! Last year I set a goal of 50 books in a year, I got to 52 (1 per week). This year my goal is 75. I’ve already read 39 & were not even halfway thru the year. I may wind up upping my goal.

    Ok books…these are my favorites so far this year:
    The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan
    Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
    11/22/63 by Stephen King
    Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

    These are faves from last year:
    The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
    Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
    Come to the Edge by Christina Haag
    The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain

    The memoir by Christina Haag stuck with me. It enveloped me for days afterwards. Even nearly a year after reading it, I can think of it & it makes me want to read it again…it was that good.

  4. 4

    I recently finished reading Sparkly Green Earrings and I loved it! So very funny and very well written.

    I also loved The Fault in Our Stars. I thought it was brilliant and beautiful and sad and so many other things. But FYI to anyone who wants to read that book, tissues are a must because you will cry. But you’ll also laugh and smile a lot so it’s worth it. :)

    • 5
      Patti H. says:

      My 14 year old daughter and I read The Fault in Our Stars for Mother/Daughter Book Club. Beautiful book. Lots of great discussion. My favorite line is: “The world is not a wish-granting factory.” Wow. So good. Highly recommend.

  5. 6

    I just finished THE TIME BETWEEN by Karen White, and I loved it. It is set in the Lowcountry, which is one of my favorite settings for a book, and it’s such a great story, with a teeny bit of romance and enough mystery to keep you guessing. I REALLY recommend it!

  6. 7

    Loved The Book Thief and The Fault in the Stars. Two other great ones I just read are: The Age of Miracles and the new one by the author of The Kite Runner, And The Mountains Echoed.

  7. 8

    Any of Beverly Lewis book. She writes books based on the Amish culture . My dad was raised Old Order Amish. Her books are very true and respectful of the culture.

  8. 9

    The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (her latest) ~ loved it! Her other books as well are wonderful: The Enchanted Garden, The House at Riverton, The Distant Hours

    All the books in the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley

    • 10
      Kimberly says:

      I can’t recommend Kate Morton’s books enough!! I second this vote for The Secret Keeper! I love all of Kate’s book, but her latest is my favorite.

      I also loved “The Soldier’s Wife” by Margaret Leroy. It literally haunted me for days after I read it and that’s the same word my mom, my sister-in-law and my hairdresser all used to describe it. Its SOOO good.

      And in a totally different direction….the Divergent Series. If you liked “The Hunger Games”, you’ll want to jump on board this band wagon. They are currently filming the movie and I literally can’t wait. “Divergent” and “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth.

      I’m a book devour-er….I could rattle off suggestions all day…haha (and yes…I’ve ready Sparkly Green Earrings! Great job, lady!), so I’ll stick with these for now!

    • 11

      Another vote for Kate Morton! The only one I haven’t read is Distant Shores, but it’s on my list for this summer. The Enchanted Garden was SO GOOD and The Secret Keeper shocked me in the end.

      I would also highly recommend The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin.

    • 12
      Sheryl in WA says:

      Oh yes! Flavia de Luce! Love her. Also:
      The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
      The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (it’s not new but very good)
      The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullogh (again, oldie but goodie)
      OK, The Thornbirds is sad but so, so good. The Book Thief made me think of it because the characters in The Book Thief are so wonderful and they stick with you. The same is true of the characters in The Thornbirds. I read it every couple of years and cry every time.

  9. 13

    Read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn . You’ll love it. I’ve had Mindy Kaling’s book on my Kindle wish list forever but, just like you, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it as much as I hoped I would. I also have And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini in the line up.

  10. 14
    Jenny F. says:

    Jaime Ford.. Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet a novel. I just finished reading that with my book club and loved it. Keeping with the whole bitter and sweet theme, I’m now reading your buddy, Boo Mama’s, book. So far her stories are making me so happy!

  11. 17

    I just finished Sophie’s book (read yours too, both wonderful!), now onto my traditional reading of To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it every summer and it gets me every time. I did read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, and need to read that again too. I was a bit confused. I read his others, Kite Runner, and A Thousand Splendid Suns and they slayed me. This one though I struggled with.

    • 18
      Melissa says:

      Nicole, try listening to the audio book of the Mountains Echoed (I’m a library groupie!). Hearing the words from a native speaker keeps the tripping over the pronunciations out of the picture, and you can literally see the narration in your head. Perhaps that would help :-) Love his writing.

    • 19

      Nicole, you read To Kill A Mockingbird every summer too?! I do as well. We had our first child last spring and her middle name is Scout. I liked Harper, but Scout just seemed to be the right fit.

  12. 20

    Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. Not a new one but a favorite. Or anything by Lynn Austin.

    • 21
      Leslie L says:

      Safely Home is wonderful. Touching and eye opening. Daughter of China by C Hope Flinchbaugh is also on the same vein!

  13. 22

    Recently finished Bread and Wine (Shauna Niequist). Loved it!

  14. 23

    I have Bread and Wine but haven’t read it yet. I love the Call The Midwife series by Jennifer Worth (loved the PBS shows too), faith by Jennifer Haigh, Mr. Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, The House Girl by Tara Conklin, The JM Barrie Ladies Swimming Society (forgot who that is by), and Joy for Beginners by erica Baumeister are all on my summer list. I manage a country club pool. We never run out of nacho cheese, pretzels or beverages however yesterday the entire club ran out of cups and it made me think of you and how disappointed you would be! Ha! It was a huge bummer to tell people that they couldn’t get a drink in 98 degree weather. My sweet lifeguards almost lost their minds.

  15. 24
    Emily Webb says:

    I’m so excited you asked this!!! I will be reading the comments to be looking for new books all day! Here are a few of my favorites!
    – The Winter Sea – Susanna Kearsley ( I’ve loved all her books) * this is my favorite of all these, I recommend it to everyone
    -The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton (
    -The Snow Child -Eowyn Ivey ( her first book)
    -Silent in the Grave – Deanna Raybourn ( 5 book series)
    -Her Royal Spyness – Rhys Bowen (series)
    -The Spellman Files – Lisa Lutz ( hilarious book about a family that are private eyes)

    • 25
      carol S in Florida says:

      I just picked up the Spellman Files this week at the library. Had never heard of it before and I ran across it while browsing. Always looking for a new series!

    • 26

      I loved The Snow Child – it might make you feel cool during the hot summer!

  16. 27

    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
    Nicholas Sparks ain’t got nothin’ on Francine.

  17. 30

    Two recent reads that I loved (for very different reasons):
    Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Maria Semple)
    Anything (Jennie Allen)

    • 31
      Patti H. says:

      Just finished “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” Laugh out loud funny. Interesting format.

  18. 32

    I’m with you on The Book Thief, lingers in your soul, and definitely brings on the tears. Loved it! I, of course, adored Sparkly Green Earrings, and will be re-reading that one by the pool:-) All Kate Morton’s books are favorites, and her latest, The Secret Keeper , would be a great summer read. (Our book club just read Gone Girl. I would definitely skip that one. Ugh. Really! )

    I’m loving that you asked this, since I’m on the lookout for good beach books, too, I will just “shop” your comments for ideas!

    • 33
      Becky in 'Bama says:

      Agree…Gone Girl should be gone. I kind of got into the first half, then when the
      ‘real story’ started…too much graphic sex and four letter words. If these big name writers are so intelligent, why do they have such limited use of the English language? I am not a fan of gratuitous ‘cussing.’ I finished it because I’m a fanatic about finishing a book.

      • 34

        I agree, and it was just dark in an unappealing way (to me). Girls in my book club loved it, but I really didn’t. Worse yet, I accidentally reserved the audio version at the library and didn’t have time to wait for the book, so I had to hear it read out loud- so awful to have the F-word blasting at stop lights! ;-) Ugh!

  19. 35
    Krystal says:

    My favorite topic… BOOKS!!
    Right now I’m reading The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman.
    Some other books I’ve enjoyed are Sarah’s Key, The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones, Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordon-Lake. Also, anything by Charles Martin or Jane Austen. Enjoy your poolside reading!!!

  20. 37

    Right now, I’m reading Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller. It’s a big biography on Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Totally way before my time, but it lines up with Fire and Rain pretty well! The next two books in my pile are A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet and The Book Thief. I read about The Book Thief on here and caught it on Amazon for $4! It Takeshita much longer to finish a book now that I spend so much time reading Home for a Bunny, Dr. Seuss, and My First Book of Trucks every evening!

  21. 38

    *takes me Gotta love auto correct and commenting without our glasses on!

  22. 39

    I just finished Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist, as well as Cold Tangerines & Bittersweet. Loved them all! Hoping to read your book soon! I also recommend any and all of Denise Hildreth Jones’ novels–especially the Savannah Series. Hilarious! I really love her recent ones as well.

  23. 40

    Anything, I mean Everything by Charles Martin. His latest is ‘Unwritten’. His are the perfect books for summer reading. Beautiful stories that are well written and beautifully seasoned with just the right amount of description so as to help you see the story. I’ve loved every book of his I’ve read!

    • 41
      Britany Just says:

      I agree. I just discovered Charles Martin and have been working through all his books. Love love love!!!!!

    • 42

      Love Charles Martin! I call him my boyfriend after I met him…. He’s dreamy. Luckily my husband doesn’t have to worry because he is happily married ;-)

  24. 43

    Since February, I have read three books by Denise Hildreth–Savannah from Savannah, Savannah Comes Undone, and The Will of Wisteria–all Southern fiction which I really enjoy. The Will fo Wisteria is my favorite. This is her website link with more of her books. Her bio will touch your heart & she likes Mexican food.
    http://reclaiminghearts.com/

    • 44
      Jennifer says:

      Flies on the Butter is another good one by Denise Hildreth Jones. I just read her latest (I think) book a few months ago, Secrets Over Sweet Tea. It’s set in the town I live in (Franklin, TN), so that’s probably part of why I enjoyed it so much. Her writing has gained so much depth over the last few years.

  25. 45

    The Man in the Box (by Andrew Toy) is a great beach (or pool) read. He is my husband, so I might be a bit biased, but everyone I know has really enjoyed it!
    Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) is also amazing!!

    • 46
      Anne Marie says:

      Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is hands-down amazing, and I cannot recommend it enough. Redemptive, real, you cannot put it down. Poolside, beachside, mountainside. It’s beautiful.

  26. 47

    Anything by Colleen Coble! I love her books and am currently re-reading one of my favorites – Distant Echoes, the 1st book in her Aloha Reef series. Her Lonestar series is also really good, though I’ve never read anything of hers that I didn’t like. :)

  27. 48

    Th Walk series by Richard Paul Evans.
    What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
    And I’m currently reading Parenting with Love and Logic, but you probably don’t want to/need to read that.

  28. 49

    Be sure you and Caroline sign up for the summer reading program at the San Antonio Public Library. Adults only have to read 3 books, and yes, there is a summer reading program for adults too! There is a drawing for a prize at the end too. Do I sound like a commercial?? I work at the library so I’m kind of enthusiastic about books. ;) Here is a link to the website to sign up.
    http://www.mysapl.org/srp/
    Happy reading!!

  29. 50

    Bloom by Kelle Hampton. Its a memoir about when her second child was born with Down Syndrome. But get the real book, not the kindle version. Its such a beautiful book with beautiful pictures, it deserves to be held.

  30. 51
    Kelly C says:

    I’m trying to figure out what to read this summer so I’m glad you asked this question!
    I am looking forward to checking into many of these books! Loved your book and recommend it all that time!! I do have one question….do you buy books to read or do you have a kindle/ipad to read them on? Just curious!! Happy Summer!!

    • 52

      I’m loving all of these suggestions too! I’ve gotten into a rut of same authors so desperately needed some new reads. I’ve gone onto our library’s website and placed holds on many of the titles mentioned here. That way if they don’t end up to be my kind of book, I haven’t paid out any $ for the book.

  31. 53

    I’m almost done with The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman right now. It is SO GOOD.

  32. 54

    I have already read Sparkly Green Earrings, and loved it! I just started A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, and can tell it’s going to be special. Here’s 2 I recommend:
    1) Thin Places, a Memoir by Mary E. DeMuth. It is not an easy read because of the abuse she experienced, but a great testimony of how God’s love can heal us of anything.
    2) Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I read this one early in the year or maybe even late last year. It is WONDERFUL!! The extended title is “A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.”
    Enjoy your summer!!

  33. 55
    Jennifer says:

    Me Before You, Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, The End of your Life Book Club, Between Shades of Gray (BETWEEN, not the other shades books!) The Language of Flowers, The Paris Wife, The Invisible Bridge. And my all-time favorite, Gilead.

    • 56

      you and i have the same exact taste in books!

    • 57
      carol S in Florida says:

      Just finished “Me Before You”. Holy Cow. Then I read “The Last Letter from your Lover” Even better. Now I must find everything that lady has ever written!

  34. 58

    Last Letter From Your Lover would be a really good pool read. Also, just read Rules of Civility and loved it – a really good book with engaging and smart dialogue. Happy summer reading :-)

  35. 59

    The Fault in Our Stars turned my 14-year-old non-reader into a total bookworm! She read it twice and is working her way through all of John Green’s books. She insisted I read The Fault in Our Stars so I’m doing that now and love it!

    Have you read anything by Sophie Kinsella? Love her books.

  36. 60
    Debra D. says:

    I recommend “The Sweetness of Forgetting” by Kristin Harmel. I read it a few months ago and it has stuck with me.

  37. 61

    I am enjoying the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley. Just read The Great Gatsby, so I could watch the movie! I am also a big fan of Charles Martin. He is a great story teller.
    Non-fiction, reading The Circle Maker. It is a good book about prayer.
    I downloaded Crossroads, which is by the guy who wrote The Shack.
    Currently reading Sophie’s book, and loving it!!

  38. 62

    I agree with Colorado…Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford was most enjoyable. I also recently read Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (author of The Devil Wears Prada) and enjoyed it. Love anything by Lisa See and Amy Tan, and also loved The Book Thief.

  39. 63
    Sally Andrus says:

    Many of the books submitted above are great reads. The Kitchen House, House Girl, anything by Mary Kay Andrews (funny, easy, southern chick lit-great pool reads), One Thousand White Women, The Burgess Boys, Run and The Habit are some of my favorite reads from this year.

  40. 64

    Love Anthony by Lisa Genovia… a great insight into the mind of a child with Autism.

    Lynn Austin’s books are all great but my favorites are Wonderland Creek that takes place amongst a seemingly “backwards” mountain community and involves a lot of cultural barriers for the main character who would rather read her adventures rather than live them, as well as a generational feud… While we’re far apart takes place during WW2 where Penny meets an older Jewish man living in a time when all his people do is under suspicion – he teaches her about some of the traditions Jewish families pass on to remind them about the God they serve – even when He is silent. It changes her life… A Proper Pursuit begins as another period romance but takes a delightful twist as the world fair comes to town!

  41. 65

    The Book Thief is fabulous. Such a memorable read. A few favorites:
    -Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Story about a women experiencing early on-set Alzheimer’s.
    This book will stay with you. So well written. Can’t say enough about this book.
    -Gaslight Mystery Series by Victoria Thompson. Set in the early 1900’s featuring a crime
    solving midwife. Great series for “Call the Midwife” fans!
    -Benni Harper Series by Earlene Fowler. This is a quilting mystery series.
    -Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. One of my all time favorites.
    Happy Summer reading everyone!

    • 66

      I love the Gaslight series by Victoria Thompson! I also like the Faith Fairchild mysteries by Katherine Hall Page, especially the early ones.

  42. 67
    Julianne says:

    Thanks for this. I am taking copious notes from your many comments! I’ve been reading a ton lately, which is odd because I have almost no time for it. Anyway, I read Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and it blew me away. So now I am reading her book Bittersweet, which is also great. I tend to read books in the reverse order from when they were written – did the same thing with all Jen Hatmaker’s books. Maeve Binchy is a long time fave author and she has a new one out, A Week in Winter, which was lovely. She can develop a character like nobody else. Her books make me want to take a trip to the UK in a mighty way. Have you ever read Havah, the Story of Eve by Tosca Lee? Yowza. I could go on, but it would take hours….

  43. 68
    mongupp says:

    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher
    Words by Ginny Yttrup

    Both Profound. Amazingly written.

  44. 69

    I just finished Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. Hilarious. Easy read. Perfect pool or beach reading:) Great recommendation.

  45. 70

    Some of my favorite books are from the past, but I always recommend them to people who love books…

    Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, and The Great Mysterious by Lorna Landvik

    Zippy by Haven Kimmel (great memoir for a child of the 70s)

    Happy Reading,
    Cheryl

    • 71

      Zippy! Oh my! Loved it! I laughed out loud and read many passages to my girls. They just didn’t get it. They are not children of the 70s. They are 90s girls. Cheryl, I will check out your other recommendations. Thanks!

    • 72
      Bernadine says:

      Absolutely LOVED Zippy and the sequel – though the title escapes me. It was about her mom. Something like Zippy’s Mom Gets Up off the Couch? Those were just excellent. So funny. I was a child of the 70’s so they were relevant. Great books.

    • 73

      I loved the Language of Flowers. So, should I read Gone Girl? I hear so many different opinions! I love Barbara Kingsolver and Prodigal Summer is excellent. One I read over and over again. I agree with Lorna Landvik’s. I met her as live in MN and Angry Housewives eating Bon Bons and Patty Jane’s are great. I read a series by L.N. Cronk Chop Chop series, Christian bent and so good and easy to read.

      • 74

        Language of Flowers is one of my all-time favorites! Gone Girl is EXCELLENT, there’s plot turns you never see coming. Her other book, Dark Places, is great too.

  46. 75

    i loved all of ellen degeneres’ books, reconstructing amelia (not as good as gone girl, but close), jason mulgrew’s books are hilarious–perfect for the beach, defending jacob & where’d you go bernadette–all winners!

  47. 76
    Julianne says:

    Okay, so after reading through the comments, I spent fifteen minutes on my library’s website and Amazon, requesting books like crazy. Who is going to explain to my family why there is no clean laundry or healthy meals all summer??

  48. 78

    I just finished Gone Girl over the weekend and OMG it hooks you right in. It is dark and twisty but oh so interesting.

  49. 79
    Betsy Crawford says:

    I am reading “Sparkly Green Earrings” right now and maybe because my oldest is now in college and the “baby” is in high school, I can LAUGH OUT LOUD AND SPIT MY COFFEE across the room at your hilarious descriptions of the school “projects” and potty-training woes…Anyhoo, here are some books I think you’d like: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, and Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. Please keep writing. My sanity depends on it.

  50. 80

    To me, a great book is when the characters come alive — I mean when you expect to round the corner and wouldn’t be surprised (and, are hoping!) to run into the characters — and, not just while you’re reading the book but at anytime! The book, through its author, stays with you! OK — my top 3: 1) SPARKLY GREEN EARRINGS 2) THE HELP 3) STILL ALICE

  51. 81

    Summer is a great time for me to re-read my all-time favorite: Watership Down by Richard Adams. I’m also hoping to read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals. And I recommend To America by Stephen Ambrose.

  52. 82
    Jennifer Archer says:

    Redeeming Love is my all time favorite. But these two books are a close 2nd and 3rd: June Bug by Chris Fabry and Words by Ginny Yttrup. Both of these books are gut wrenching and beautiful stories with children as the main character. Tears and smiles throughout.

  53. 83

    John Green is my favorite author, so if you liked The Fault in Our Stars, I highly suggest that you check out some of his other books. My two favorites are Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, although his others are good as well.

  54. 84

    I love to read but got totally distracted by your lash curler. If you switch to the new Dior Show mascara called Iconic Overcurl and use it with the Dior Lash Primer, you can throw that torture tool away. You can thank me later. ; )

  55. 85

    For fiction/mindless pool books, I like anything by Karen Witemeyer, Julie Klassen and Deeanne Gist. ( Also bought Shauna Niequest’s books.) Per your last line, read Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks. Short read that will motivate you to change the world, one load of laundry at a time!

  56. 86

    The Book Thief and The Fault in Our Stars are two of my favorite books. I love to read so I could go on and on, but I’ll just mention a few (in no particular order) I’ve read recently and enjoyed.
    – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
    – The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield.
    – Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.
    – I read all of Kate Morton’s books in the past six weeks and loved them.
    – I read everything by my favorite writers: Ted Dekker, Robert Liparulo, Frank Peretti, and Tosca Lee. (Recently read Iscariot by Lee and The 13th Tribe by Liparulo; loved them both!)

    • 87
      Kimberly says:

      OK….I’m stalking the comments section of this blog post because I love to read like nothing else. Lisa C, you and I have VERY similar taste in books! If you enjoyed “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”, try “The Soldier’s Wife” by Margaret Leroy (if you haven’t already). It takes place on Guernsey during the German occupation. It haunted me. I’ve become totally fascinated by the occupation of the Channel Islands since reading those books.

      And of course…Kate Morton. Adore. The Secret Keeper blew my mind. My only problem is that she needs to write faster!!! Haha…but then her books wouldn’t be as good, I’m sure.

      • 88
        Lisa C. says:

        Thanks, Kimberly! My library has a copy of The Soldier’s Wife, so I will pick it up today. Looking forward to it!

      • 89
        Elizabeth says:

        Kimberly, I loved the Channel Island books! Have you seen the PBS series “Foyle’s War”? So good…think you’d enjoy it.

        • 90
          Kimberly says:

          I haven’t seen it…it sounds like I need to look for it! Is it on Netflix?

  57. 91
    Laura Leseberg says:

    I read “Sparkly Green Earrings” and even wrote a review for Amazon. Loved it.

    Book Thief – read it 2 years ago and don’t have words to describe how much I loved it.

    Don’t waste your time with “Inferno” – Dan Brown’s newest book. It was b-o-r-i-n-g and never did get good. He has jumped the shark.

    Another good Holocaust book is “Those Who Save Us.” Not a light read, but incredibly deep and touching.

  58. 93

    1. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
    2. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
    3. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

  59. 94
    Cindy L. says:

    I can’t get passed the heating of eye lash curlers. that part of my beauty routine fell by the wayside after I had kids. I know the last one was almost 15 years ago, but I just never started again. although I am back to wearing jewelry. Anyway, a couple weeks ago I had a Living Social deal for a heated eye lash curler. Have you ever heard of such a thing? That sounds dangerous to me. I fried my hair many times in the 80’s and 90’s with a curling iron. I just can’t imagine the damage that might be done to those little eye lashes from over heating.

    • 95
      Lauralli says:

      I’m one of the people that suggested using the blow dryer for your eyelash curler. It literally takes less than a minute because my blow dryer is already out. And, it’s so worth it. Except when I get it ever so slightly too hot! Ouch!
      But, mostly, I just have to share a YouTube video that some friends showed me last week about a girl burning off her hair with a curling iron. It is hysterical! It’s gotten something like 28 million views, so maybe you’ve already seen it. Anyway, just search on YouTube for a video by Tori Locklear. If you haven’t seen it, please watch. You won’t regret it!

  60. 96
    Kelly S. says:

    I read like a freak. This week alone I’ve read 4 books. No kidding.

    YOU MUST READ

    The Shoemaker’s Wife

    I’ll See You Again (by Jackie Hance-the mom of the three little girls who died in the car crash when their aunt drove down the wrong way on the freeway, killing herself, her child, and the three girls)

    • 97
      Kimberly says:

      I have The Shoemaker’s Wife on my Kindle because I got it when it was a daily deal, but I haven’t read it yet! Thanks for mentioning it on here and reminding me about it!

      (Melanie, I apologize for hijacking your comments section….I’m just a kid in a candy store with all this book talk….haha!)

      • 98
        Colorado says:

        Had to comment again…. I just read The Shoemakers Wife kindle version and really enjoyed it. It”s the story of two Italian immigrants living in America, excellent.

        Also LOVED The Thorn Birds, read it years ago and then re-read it a few years ago. If you haven’t read it, do so, it won’t disappoint! Others I’ve recently read and recommend: 7 by Jen hatmaker, and Susan Meissner books — The Shape of Mercy and The Girl in the Glass come to mind but she has others.

        What a great idea Ms. Big Mama, thanks for all thegreat choices! Where do I begin??

    • 99

      Oh my gosh, I became re-obsessed with the Diane Schuler story just a couple of weeks ago. That is such a tragic, mysterious story. Was she a closet alcoholic whose husband didn’t know? I can only imagine what those poor children experienced in that car ride. Those poor babies.

  61. 100
    Brittney K says:

    I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn a while back so now I am reading the other two. Up next is Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow that was suggested to me by a lady at church who teaches a class for newlyweds and young moms.

  62. 101

    I’m looking forward to reading Sparkly Green Earrings and A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet while hanging out at the beach all next week. While travelling up the coast Memorial Day weekend I read “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield…very thought provoking…

  63. 102

    Last week I started reading Ever After by Vicki Courtney and I am loving it! Such a good book for this season of my life!! I seem to go through phases with my reading and right now I’m going through a non-fiction phase!

  64. 103
    Joy @ Caspara says:

    I just read Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. It was great! And I’m going to start With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin next. I gobbled up her first trilogy, so I’m really looking forward to this! Sparkly GreenEarrings remains my #1 recommendation so far,though! ;-)

  65. 104
    Karen B. says:

    Love Sophie Kinsella. Also, ‘Defending Jacob’ by William Landay is one that won’t get out of your head long after you finish it. He is an amazing writer. Love anything by Emily Giffin as well.

  66. 105

    My favorite books of 2013 (so far) include:
    South of Broad by Pat Conroy- lovely characters, great story, easy to read
    Reconstructing Amelia- love, love, love. Wouldn’t want to read if I had a daughter in high school, but it was really good.
    The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult- I haven’t really loved any of Jodi’s most recent books, but this one harkens back to a lot of her old stories. It was fantastic. It’s about the Holocaust, so it’s not a light, laugh out loud book , but I loved it.

    Oldies but goodies that I often recommend include: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (you will love this and you will cry. It’s so wonderfully written and the characters are so endearing), anything by Jen Lancaster (laugh out loud funny), The Book Thief ( so glad you enjoyed this one!!), The Last Days of Summer ((I think the little boy would remind you a lot of Caroline!), and Sarah’s Key.

    I just did this post last week; http://upnorthpreppy.blogspot.com/2013/05/summer-books-best-kind.html

    • 106

      Is THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER the baseball book? If so, I love it SO MUCH! No one I know has even heard of it, so I was so excited you mentioned it!

      • 107

        Yes, it is a baseball book, and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Cutest book ever, isn’t it? I just loved Charlie and Joey like crazy. They are such great characters. I’m so glad someone else has read it. I think it’s a great book for all ages and once people read it, they will definitely love sharing it with others. I worked at a bookstore for years and it was one of our guaranteed books- ie, if you don’t like it, bring it back for a full refund. We had people buying it, reading it, and coming back to buy multiple copies for gifts. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!! Mary can back me up!!

  67. 108

    If you loved The Fault in Our Stars, you will also love The Age of Miracles! So good!

    • 109

      Which author for the age of miracles? There are a few with same title. Thanks!

  68. 110

    Loved Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist! I also love anything by Sophie Kinsella…she’s hilarious!

  69. 111
    Melissa O'Brien says:

    Hotel and the Corner of Bitter and Sweet; The Kitchen House; and The Language of Flowers

  70. 112
    kuliejellogg says:

    HOTEL AT THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET!!!! Now. Also, Olive Kitteridge is an interesting book. It’s sort of like a collection of short stories, but Olive is in each story, and it goes throughout her life. A little dark and a definite adult read, but good.

  71. 113

    Loving all these book ideas and making a big long list! I love anything by Karen White or Mary Kay Andrews

  72. 114

    I loved Sparkly Green Earrings! Everyone should read it. I just started The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult and also have And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini on my “to read” list. The Kitchen Wife by Kathleen Grissom is wonderful.

  73. 115
    Karla Neese says:

    Everytime I turn around, my book list gets longer! I am currently reading this great book called Sparkly Green Earrings. Have you heard of it? LOL

    I just finished the part about going into “wave after wave of food poisoning”.

  74. 116

    The Fault In Our Stars IS amazing. An absolute must read!

  75. 117

    Okay, I am tickled by a list of book suggestions!! I am an English teacher and avid reader (like 2 or so books/week depending on children’s schedules and grading demands). I would agree with other suggestions- loved Book Thief, Fault in Stars, Paris Wife, House on Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Also, I liked Gone Girl because it is well-written, but it is a DARK book. I would also suggest Memoirs of a Geisha, and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand; I am currently reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and so far it’s a good one, too! Yeah for list of books!!

    • 118
      Elizabeth says:

      Loved all your suggestions, although I couldn’t get into Gone Girl. I really enjoyed Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and Memoirs of a Geisha (fascinating). I also just picked up a copy of the Harold Fry book…haven’t started it yet. Have you read Gillespie and I?

    • 120

      I was so mad at the end of Gone Girl (seriously, terrible), that I absolutely refuse to recommend it to anyone. Mad me madder than a swatted hornet’s nest. Still does. I get why people get into the book but how is everyone just not SO upset about then end?

      • 121
        Kristine says:

        Yes, totally agree. I was so mad at the way it ended – it seemed like the author just lost steam and wanted to just end it. No resolution. I was disappointed that I had wasted my time reading it.

      • 122

        I hated the whole thing, but I actually thought this was how it would end… I thought it was just that crazy and clich

  76. 123

    The Fault In Our Stars IS amazing. This is a must read!

  77. 124

    A few summers ago. I read “My Name Is Mary Sutter” by Robin Oliveira. It’s an historial novel that takes place during the Civil War about a woman (Mary Sutter) who is trained by her mother to be a midwife. Mary’s dream is to be a surgeon, however being a woman in the 1860’s, no one will train her…A great read-although it is fiction, it flows like a memoir.I felt a little more intellectual after I read it! Interspersed throughout the story are historical refernces relevant to the time period. Easy to read & follow, very high interest. “Saving CeeCee Hunnicutt” by Beth Hoffman was a great story. The story is told from the point of view of a little girl growing up in the South. It is equal parts touching, & funny! I have enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s “Firefly Lane”-(bawled my eyes out)
    *& her “Night Road”. Would also put in a plug for “Those Who Save Us” by Jenna Blum (someone already mentioned it in an earlier post. It is an intense story of a young German woman living in Germany during WWII, She falls in love with a Jew, whom she hides in her house. He is discovered, she has his child & then does what she needs to do to survive the War…Read this 2 years ago & really enjoyed it. As are most stories of the Holocaust, there are disturbing scenes that make you question the humanity of the Nazis… It is not a light read due to its theme, but it is not a story that drags on…Keep waiting to hear it is being developed in to a movie!

  78. 125

    I will give a word of caution about eyelash curlers – I started using one once too and liked the results… until I got a terrible rash around my eyes. It (stupidly) took me a few weeks to figure out the problem – I was allergic to the metal, which I think is a fairly common problem.

  79. 126
    Casey A. says:

    Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is a really good read that I couldn’t put down.

    • 127

      Yes, that IS a good read, and it has a sequel Insurgent. I feel sure there will be a third. :-)

      • 128
        Kimberly says:

        I LOVE the Divergent series and yes, the third book, Allegiant, comes out October 14th. They are also currently filming the movie and Four is DREAMY! Haha….I’m a grown woman but I am like a teenager about the Divergent books!

  80. 130
    Jennifer says:

    I recently read “The Escape of Princess Madeline” and “The Battle for Princess Madeline.” by Kirstin Pulioff and they were great! I read them before letting my 4th grader read them and actually really enjoyed them myself! They would be a great, fastish read for the pool!

  81. 131

    Melanie, You DO know you can purchase a heated eyelash curler!? I get mine at Ulta! No more blow dryer necessary!

  82. 132
    Mary Beth says:

    Any book written by Charles Martin – you won’t be disappointed! (If I had to pick my favorite, it would be Chasing Fireflies.)

    • 133

      Yes yes,yes to any of Charles Martin’s novels. Southern fiction at it’s finest.

  83. 134
    Karin Allison says:

    I enjoyed “Motherhood and Hollywood” by Patricia Heaton. Quick read, perfect for summer, light fare but not shallow. Anita Renfroe’s books are also always a great pool-side read (especially “If You Can’t Lose It, Decorate It” – perhaps just perfect for me during bikini season but maybe other people too! LOL ~ Or “When Did I Stop Being Barbie and Became Mrs Potatohead” by Mary Pierce.

  84. 135

    Recently finished Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock. Seriously one of the best books EVER! Everyone read this touching novel…so so good. Also read Pat Summitt’s bio Sum It Up great book as well. I’m currently reading and enjoying The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillip Sendker.

  85. 136

    You much have been listening to The Eagles…

    Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith. Flat. Out. Funny. Stuff. (And a little too identifiable.)

    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life by Rod Dreher Poignant and memorable true story.

    Here I Go Again: A Novel by Jen Lancaster Just. Stinkin’. Funny!

  86. 137

    Wow, there are some really great summer reading suggestions here! I posted my summer reading list today, too at http://miathereader.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/winter-is-for-reading-but-heres-my-summer-reading-list/. I’m particularly looking forward to reading The Light Between Oceans.

    • 138

      LOVED the light between oceans. If you like it and haven’t read Memory Keeper’s Daughter, you would love that one too!!

      • 139

        I liked some aspects of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, so here’s hoping I’ll like The Light Between Oceans. Also, I can’t talk enough about Love Walked In by Marisa de Los Santos. I think it’s an awesome summer read.

  87. 140

    “Every Last One” by Anna Quinlen!!!!!! It is SO good. I gasped. I smiled. I cried. I wanted to quote so many sentences, paragraphs because she nailed daily life with family. I got all the library ladies to read it. And I have to say I love anything by Maeve Binchy, broke my heart that this is her final book, felt bereft after reading it, as if all those characters that I love are just gone and I will never find out what happens with Quentins and all the rest. Oh and The Spellman files CRACK ME UP. I could go on forever….but I will spare you.

  88. 141

    I read these quite some time ago and enjoyed them very much: The Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani. Wonderful characters.

    Just finished Me Before You and liked it very much.

  89. 142

    I have a long commute and have been listening to audio book of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as read by Sissy Spacek. Wonderful!! Giving me life.

  90. 143

    Right now I am reading Bad Boy by Eric Fischl and Michael Stone and am enjoying it, although I am slightly biased. If you like art and biographies, this is a book for you.

  91. 144

    I just finished Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? last week and am now onto Love Does. Hoping to finish that one this week and then move on to A Little Salty. My goal for the summer is to read 10 books, which doesn’t seem like a lot to some people, but is a decent number for me. I love to read, but fail to make it a priority. I also have a bad habit of collecting books at Goodwill, so I’m trying to lessen the amount of unread books around here.

  92. 146

    I love fiction but I have also found I love autobiographies of old tv and movie stars. I would recommend Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds. Also Valerie Harper, Dick Van Dyke and Betty White’s are really good. So interesting to read their life stories.

  93. 147
    Kelly B. says:

    I watched Call the Midwife too and I am almost done reading the book of Jennifer Worth’s memoirs. It’s great and adds a lot more detail to the stories they told on the show.

  94. 148

    My friend published her first book about a year ago. I dreaded reading it because “what if I didn’t like it, or hated it, and what would I say?” But, I can honestly tell you that it’s one of the best books ever. Do yourself a favor and get “A Single Drop of Ink” by Carla Ramsey Weeks. It’s so-o-o good — set in Savannah. Nobody has not liked it!
    Also, not usually a fan of Jodi Picoult, but recently read “House Rules” and it was very good.
    “An Invisible Thread” was a good nonfiction read.

  95. 149

    P.S. Also, loved “Sparkly Green Earrings”. Laughed out loud a few times, and have passed it on to my daughter to read. I so miss the days of my daughter’s growing up, and am now filling them with my grandchildren, God’s reward for raising kids!!

  96. 150
    Mary Ellen says:

    There are so many wonderful suggestions here, but you HAVE to read “Calling Me Home” by Julie Kibler. It is “The Help” meets “Fried Green Tomatoes” meets “To Kill a Mockingbird”…….oh, I cried big fat tears and the characters stay with you… Don’t miss this book by an Arlington, TX author. A movie deal has already been signed and I bet it will be the new “The Help”. You will LOVE….

  97. 151

    I’m no great reader, but my daughter is. And as we progress toward the age when I want to encourage the two of us talking more and more (instead of less and less as considered typical toward adolescent years) I have taken to reading what she is reading and it’s been pretty interesting, to be honest. I have read more this year than just about ever. And now, my daughter, my husband and I are all together awaiting the release of the next book in a series that is coming in October. It may just be a book, but it’s something we’re doing together.

    So that’s my suggestion. Read at least something of what C is reading if you don’t already. Give yourselves something to talk about and share life lessons and observations through the books.

  98. 152

    One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus is one of my all time favorites! A must read for everyone! It is in a diary format, which I also love.

    I also LOVE Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

    • 153
      Kelly S says:

      I really liked One Thousand White Women!

    • 154
      Lauralli says:

      Both of these are winners!!! Gotta love good historical fiction!
      Make sure you read Shanghai Girls which is the sequel to Snow Flower. It’s great too! But, don’t watch the Snow Flower movie—absolutely terrible!
      And, if you love historical fiction, Pope Joan is a must read!

  99. 155

    I read all of these comments with Goodreads open in the next tab so I could add books to my “to read” list. Love the recommendations!!

    My two cents:
    I loved The Snow Child by Ivey. Magical and fairy tale like, plus set in 1920 Alaska, which seems very exotic to me.

    Don’t waste your time with Gone Girl. Nobody needs that much of a sociopath setting up residence in your brain.

    I also enjoyed Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Kind of a quiet book, but lovely. In the same kind of vein as that movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. (I think TBEMH is also a book, but I have not read it.)

    One of my favorite books that has not been mentioned is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It is written from the point of view of a teenage boy with Asperger’s. It’s a two-fer: good story and you also learn about Asperger’s. I listened to this one as an audiobook first and enjoyed it so much I went back to read it again later.

    I devoured Sparkly Green Earrings and very much enjoyed it! Honestly I’ve been reading you for a while and wondered whether there would be new material or simply a rehash of the blog. I was pleasantly surprised and I look forward to your next book! A Little Salty is on my to read list too.

    Finally, are you on Goodreads.com? If not you should definitely check it out. I find it a very useful site!

  100. 158

    Anything by Lauraine Snelling!!! I am currently re-reading her series “Red River of the North”. I think there are 6 books in this series. Then she has “Return to Red River”, “Daughters of Blessing” and there is one other but right now I can’t remember the name. All of the these books follow the same family and how there lives changed after immigrating from Sweden. Takes place in the 1800’s up thru the early 1900’s. I’ve read these books several times. LOVE LOVE LOVE this author!!!

  101. 159

    I’m SO glad you put The Book Thief on there! I read that several years ago in my young adult lit class for grad school and immediately fell in love- young adult lit or not!

  102. 160
    Elizabeth J. says:

    For you Downton fans….”The Last Summer” by Judith Kinghorn is quite good. Helps me when I get those upstairs-downstairs storyline withdrawals.

    If any of ya’ll haven’t read ‘Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand yet–it’s a MUST READ and a true story. Not a light read at all, but that book sucked me in and made me feel like all my problems are smaller than mole hills.

  103. 161

    I read EVERYTHING. I’m now re-reading a a series by Bodie & Brock Thoene, THE ZION COVENANT. I’ve read & gifted SPARKLY GREEN EARRINGS. Love it! I’ve ordered Sophie’s A LITTLE SALTY TO CUT THE SWEET. I hope it arrives by this weekend so I can read it on the beach. Now I’ll try some of what is in the comments.

    I DO NOT RECOMMEND Gone Girl. IMHO, it was AWFUL!

  104. 162
    Jeannette says:

    I am an avid reader. I like to read in series or complete collections by different authors. So…….. For those who have young men/boys and would like to encourage them to read I recommend John Grishams Theodore Boone series. I have read the first three in the series but I intend to catch up on the seies this summer. They are: Kid lawyer, The abduction, the accused and the activist.
    Some light reading series I have done are: Rene Guterricdge, Boo, Boo Hiss, Boo Who. Gary Chapman, It Happens every Spring, Summer Breeze, Falling for you again, Winter turns to Spring. Gilbert Morris: Cats Pajamas, What the cat dragged in and When the Cats away. And finally Erynn Magnum: Cool Beans, Double Shot, Latte Daze.
    I am currently stuck on Grace Livingston Hill. I am reading The Tryst right now. But oh what a joy it is to read her books.

  105. 163
    Jeannette says:

    oh, and this spring I read the Insanity of God. I don’t remember the author but its was so good. Then I read about three of King Davids wives. Michal, Abagail and Bathsheba. I think the author was stretching the stories a little bit but I did finish the series.

  106. 165
    Jeannette says:

    oh, and Lori Copeland has a series: A Case of Bad Taste, A case of Nosy Neighbors and The Case of Crooked Letters. These were so good I read them two years in a row.
    And for the history side of me: Killing Lincoln and all eight Al Lacy books about the civil war battles. Great characters developed in these stories.

  107. 166

    I love anything by Dee Henderson. She has a prequel coming out for her O’Malley series that I’m excited to read.

  108. 167
    Michelle Richmond says:

    I have read all the comments and made a long list…..here are some great books that no one mentioned….
    The Killing Floor by Lee Child (once you read it you will read them all)
    Lets Pretend This never Happened by Jenny Lawson (laugh out loud funny)
    On The Island by Tracey Garvis -Graves (quick read and a great escape)
    Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier (really enjoyed it)
    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls ( you cant put it down after page 3)

    • 168

      Have to agree about Lee Child…my husband and I both read them, and we are tearing through the whole series!

  109. 169

    I LOVE it when posts generate good reads! When Beth Moore did this on her blog a few years ago, it prompted me to pick up the Anne of Green Gables series again and oh my word, delight!

    I am on vacation with my family (husband and 2 small kids plus my parents, cue the Hallelujah Chorus, so I actually had time to finish 2 books in the past 5 days. This is more than I’ve read since my daughter’s birth 14 months ago). The first one was a young adult fiction book called Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and it was excellent! Set in Britain and France in WW2 about women serving during the war. And today I finished Sparkly Green Earrings – loved every bit of it like I knew I would! I didn’t want it to end – good thing Caroline is only 8…hoping for a few more motherhood memoirs to come!

  110. 170

    Sally #58 mentioned Thousand White Women-this is an older book but fabulous!!!! currently reading the Sisterhood-very good!!

  111. 171

    A few weeks ago, I got a good Kindle deal on all of the Oz books (14 in all). I started reading and realized they’d be perfect read-aloud books for my elementary school grandkids who LOVE “The Wizard of Oz” movie. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Plus, I’d never read them and I think I should have them in my library. I went through your comments yesterday with a second tab opened in Amazon/Kindle and sent myself a bunch of samples. Best way I know to see if I like the book without wasting any money. I’ve already found some winners. Thanks.

  112. 172

    I know it’s a little late, but I can never pass up a chance to recommend a good read or two.
    I love to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I read it every year. I’m also a fan of Kaye Gibbons, especially Charms for the Easy Life and Ellen Foster. Finally, enjoyed this many years ago and just might dig it out: The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne. Funny!!

  113. 173
    Melissa H says:

    I have been hearing a lot of rave reviews about “The Fault in Our Stars.” I look forward to checking it out! Thank you for posting these recommendations. My favorite YA book so far that I have read and re-read is “The Beat on Ruby’s Street” by author Jenna Zark (http://www.jennazark.com). The book follows young aspiring poet, Ruby Tabeata in 1958 Greenwich Village. Ruby’s parents are “beatniks”and she has grown up in a very unconventional and unique way. She goes to school with the neighborhood kids at the local store (deciding their own hours, learning math from the cash register) and has to learn to be self-sufficient and tough at the very young age of 11. Ruby soon finds herself accused of stealing from a fruit stand and is sent to a children’s care home because
    her home has been deemed unsafe. When she arrives, Ruby has to fight off a bully and integrate into her new surroundings. She also has to push away the sinking feeling she may never see her family again. She does finally make her way home but she uncovers a family secret that means life as she knows it will never be the same. Throughout the book Ruby follows her heart and uses her poetry to cope with every obstacle. It seems to be the one thing that helps her to heal and move on. It’s a fantastic read! I can’t promote it enough!

  114. 174

    You have more than enough suggestions to keep you reading for the next 17 years (not saying you’re a slow reader, just that you have a LOT of book suggestions here), but I’d like to add one more.

    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafón is a beautiful story. Mystery, romance, and overall amazing storytelling. It’s a slow burn at first, but once you figure out what’s happening, you can’t put it down!

  115. 175
    Ann Warren says:

    This week end we had a family baby shower for one niece that is having a boy, and another niece that is having twin girls. Such fun! I have read your book via my kindle, loved it! But I sure would enjoy the earrings and I could share the audio with my sister.
    keep on writing!!!

  116. 176

    Good afternoon,

    I am a HUGE fan! My friend Tiffany who is lifelong friends with Jenny Isaminger sent me your blog several times and then bought your book for me. I couldn’t put it down and now I cant quit reading your blog. Actually I have purcahsed a couple of your books and a couple of your friends books (A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet) to give to my gal pals. I commute to and from work on a metro bus (public transit) in order to keep from losing my mind while sitting in Houston traffic from the suburbs to downtown each day. So I read your book on the bus. I am CERTAIN people thought I was bipolar because I would start off laughing, then I would cry, then a giggle….you get the point. I just LOVED the book and can’t wait for your next one. It made me way less worried to become a mom (8 weeks prego!) because I now feel like I can still be myself. I write a silly little blog for my friends and fellow bus riders, http://www.lifesatriptales.blogspot.com. Anywho – I would LOVE to get to go back through your book and I am sure it will be even better if you are reading it! I hope I win!!

    Blessings Upon Blessings,

    Rachel

  117. 177
    Betsy Wolf says:

    I just popped over here through a random blog rabbit hole that I just went down. I’ve read all three of these in the past few months and agree! The Book Thief…it’s been since February and my heart still breaks at the thought! I just finished Jellicoe Road by Malina Marchetta because my library website recommended it for people who like Zusak. It is meant to be confusing during the first 9 or so chapters, but it was EXCELLENT. Thanks for your post!

  118. 178

    The Fault In Our Stars.. Ahhhh… I didn’t read ALL of the comments in this post, but I just want to recommend pretty much all of John Green’s books. I’ve read An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska and they are all amazing and funny all rolled in to one.

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