Reading, Recharging

☆ September 14, 2010

My late grandfather was a track star in his youth and he used to say to me, “If you don’t throw up after a race, you weren’t running as fast as you could have.”

Well, to use this as a metaphor, I hit the puking stage now that this summer is finally over (a story for another time).  I’m not actively vomiting, no, but for the last four days I felt like vomit.  Wholly, totally, and completely spent.   In fact, I didn’t move from my lying-down position for three solid days and yesterday I did so only to milk Daisy and water my tomatoes.

I couldn’t bear to stay inside because the weather was too gorgeous, so I commandeered Mike’s bedroll (so comfortable) and spent the daylight hours sprawled out with Charlie, Chloe, and Eli, getting up only to drag the bedroll into the ever-rotating patches of shade.

And I read.  I read tons – I think I averaged about 300-400 pages a day.  So here’s my book report:

The Girl Who Played With Fire: This is the sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I liked Dragon Tattoo (I read it a while ago) and LOVED the Swedish film.  This is the first instance ever where I prefer the film to the book; I even liked The Princess Bride (the book) more than the movie, and who doesn’t love that movie?  So, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: very good book, exquisite movie.

The Girl Who Played With Fire: an incredible book.  I loooooved this book, thought it was so much better than the first – the plot was so much more dynamic, the author expertly juggled a number of characters, and Lisbeth…. god I love her.  There’s a lot of Lisbeth in this book.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest: The third book of the series.  If you like courtroom dramas, you’ll love this book.  I liked it but didn’t love it, mainly because there was not enough Lisbeth action.  I am, however, devastated that the author is dead.  I want ten more books from him :(  heartbreak…….

Fair Game:  This is a story worth knowing.  Even if you don’t read the book (it’s also a movie), find a copy and flip through it.  Chills!!  Simon & Schuster and the author, Valerie Plame Wilson, actually went to court against the CIA in order to get this book published.

Autobiography of Red:  In my opinion, this is one of the most spectacular books on the planet.  You’ll either love it or hate it.  Even the title gets me, still ~ Autobiography of Red ~ so brilliant.

What’s on your list? 


92 Responses to “Reading, Recharging”

  1. Stephen
    September 14th, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

    “B is for Beer” by Tom Robbins
    “Illusions” Richard Bach (an oldie I reread recently)
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Robert Pirsig (another reread after many years away)

  2. Kathy Austin
    September 14th, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    Anything and everything by Charles Martin…the man KNOWS romance and love. Amazing books! I devour them in a just hours.

  3. Janet
    September 14th, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

    Recently read Wolves at our Door, by Jim and Jamie Dutcher. A true account of a wildlife documentarian who created a wolf camp from scratch in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho and lived with them, shooting footage for an eventual documentary for the Discovery Channel. Un-put-down-able for the likes of us folk.

  4. Kelly
    September 14th, 2010 @ 9:57 pm
  5. malita
    September 14th, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    I’m actually on Girl who played with fire – loving it so far. I did love the Danish film though always feel a little cheated for those that haven’t read the book when they leave major parts out – like his relationship with Cecillia.

    Now I’m determined to read everything Barbara Kingsolver wrote – loved The Bean Trees. I highly recommend if you haven’t read it, she’s an interesting woman with some fantastic views and appreciation for the earth and so many cultures.

  6. Maggie
    September 14th, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    Lolita – Vladamir Nabokov

    Griffin & Sabine books – Nick Bantock
    (exquisite story told through letters and postcards between the two characters, complete with beautiful postal artwork on the envelopes, stamps and postcards.)

    The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
    Don’t let the movie get in the way. This book is wonderful

    The Deed of Paksenarrion – Elizabeth Moon
    A phenomenal piece of fantasy. My all-time favorite book, bar-none

  7. Lisa
    September 14th, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

    Harpo Marx’s autobiography. I love re-reading this – it’s full of fantastic stories and is a great source of inspiration.

  8. Hilary
    September 14th, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    Stiff by Mary Roach, looks at the life of a human cadaver after death. Bit morbid for common folk but for those of us interested in the realities of life…it’s a good read.

    If nothing else it will inspire dialogue nwith your family about organ/body donation after your untimely demise.

  9. Hilary
    September 14th, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

    P.S. I liked your grampa’s quote. My Granny was famous for her saying “you’re never too fat to buy a purse”.

  10. Musky
    September 14th, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

    1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ~ translated to English from Spanish – This holds your attention like The Girl Who Played With Fire
    2. Born to Run~A Hidden Tribe, Superahtletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall – Even if you don’t run it is a completely fascinating and engaging book.

  11. dusty pines art
    September 15th, 2010 @ 12:48 am

    i’m currently working my way through robert henri’s ‘the art spirit’ – not just about art, but philosophy about life, beauty, human society, etc. just finished lucy thompson’s ‘to the american indian: reminiscences of a yurok woman” – very interesting. about to start virgil’s ‘georgics,’ but mostly i’m into mysteries! really like rita mae brown & julia spencer-fleming, among many others!

  12. Amanda
    September 15th, 2010 @ 3:11 am

    I absolutely adored The Host by Stephanie Meyer. The first time I read it, I loved it, but was oddly disappointed by the ending. The second time I read it, I loved the ending so much it made me cry. The third time I read it, I started drying heading into about the last 5th of the book, just knowing that the ending was coming up and that I was going to love it. Each time I read it I get more and more out of it.

  13. Suzy
    September 15th, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    Merle’s Door
    Lessons from a Free Thinking Dog

    I LOVE this book, so sad I am near the end of it.

    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:27 am

    I needed something captivating to get my attention after finishing the Lisbeth Salander books…. I found it in The Passage by Justin Cronin. If you like dystopian / post-apocalyptic novels, it’s a good one.

  15. Tina
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:30 am

    The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters
    The Spellman series by Lisa Lutz
    The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay
    and, of course Harry Potter!

  16. Janey
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:32 am

    Lisa: I love that Harpo never uttered a word on film, yet wrote one of the longest freakin’ autobiographies ever! Love him and his brothers.

    Suzy, the author of Merle’s Door has a new book about the dog who followed Merle. May be the next page to turn…

  17. Beth
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:33 am

    last great story read (although harsh): Little Bee, recently read 1421 interesting! currently working through a thrift store find, Daughter of Fortune and it has its moments, for $1.25 I dont hate it! ;0) next on the list something light recommended by my mommy called menonite in a little black dress….hmmmmmm

  18. Beverly J
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:34 am

    Just read The Passage by Justin Cronin, very well written book. Also enjoyed The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell. The Wood Wife by Terry Windling is Fantastic, loved it. Now, if you want your breath absolutely taken away, find an obscure little book called That Same Flower by Jostein Gaarder…..oh my. :)

  19. Deborah
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:45 am

    Soooooo many good reads out there… I read mostly non-fiction, but I have to say, “The Poisonwood Bible” really captivated me!

  20. Hawk
    September 15th, 2010 @ 6:44 am

    Just finished re-reading the Miles Vorkosigan series, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Third time re-reading them because I adore the main character. He overcomes a lot of personal difficulties to pursue what he dreams of! It’s a science fiction setting but the author doesn’t let that get in the way of Miles’ charm.
    I read a lot of Mercedes Lackey as well, light fantasy novels; gotta love a series with talking horses.
    Just picked up the first book in the Ga-Hoole series; we’ll see how that pans out.
    Oh and for reviving my poor tired mind, believe it or not, reading random Wikipedia articles can sometimes relax me! Or reading passages from Psalms.

  21. Karen
    September 15th, 2010 @ 6:48 am

    Read A Dog’s Purpose, and it made me cry. Good animal story–

  22. Tracy
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:10 am

    Anything and everything by Tom Robbins…
    Also love everything and anything by Barbara Kinsolver, just finished her latest “The Lacuna”
    Elegance of the Hedgehog was good too…

  23. Nancey
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    Currently reading “Hurry Down Sunshine” it is literally breaking my heart. I just finished “The Wet Collection” by Joni Tevis, interesting book, thoughtful, quiet pace, but couldn’t quite love it.

  24. Milaka
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    I’m currently reading “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. It has such a sweet spirit. (Pun intended!) I’m enjoying cuddling up to it before bed every night. I think the Lisbeth books are going to be next on my list.

  25. Liana
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:37 am

    I really must read more…
    But I would have to say Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. Very well-written, breathtaking descriptions, and it makes me think, which I really demand from any book I read.

  26. Dogmom
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    All-time favorite is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon Gotta love a big Scot in a kilt! Not to mention the wee bit about time-travel.
    Of course the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series
    Anything by Barbara Kingsolver, although some of her politics have annoyed me in the last few years
    Little, Big by John Crowley. A breathtaking novel. A little dense, not a quick read, but awesomely written

    Thanks, Shreve! Got my fall reading list populated from this post.

  27. Angela S
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

    This is a touching and humorous story about a women who devoted almost 20 years to this bird~ amazing.

    Thank you Shreve for this great idea!

  28. Olli Odom
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    @ Janet: I LOVE Wolves At Our Door!! I read it in high school & it forever changed the way I see these incredible creatures (my since fave animal). Have you seen the documentary?

    Well, although I have many more mature favorite; I am IN LOVE with children’s & young adult literature so I’ve gotta share a few that really sculpted my childhood & in some ways changed my life :)

    My Side of the Mountain Trilogy
    Julie of the Wolves Trilogy
    {both by Jean Craighead-George}
    Peace Like A River by Leif Enger
    Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
    ANYTHING by Tomie De Paola & Bill Peet

  29. Kanys Lupin
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    Burning Chrome by William Gibson (a lot of catching up to do; his earliest short works).

  30. Amber
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    I am definitely ordering Autobiography of Red. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I am reading a fantastic new release call EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON ( and it is so captivating. Very, VERY well written and researched. If you enjoy 19th Century Western American history and a story that simply does not quit, check this book out. So, so good. Big, beefy, won’t let you down.

  31. Donna
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:18 am

    Loved The Art of Raceing in the Rain. Currently reading City Wolves, a historical novel about Canada’s first animal doctor.

  32. Rachel
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    These are just the books I’m currently reading. I can’t pick a favorite book, or even make a list of them. I love them all!

    Right now I’m on “If I Stay.” I’m too lazy to go walk across the room and see who the author is.
    -Emma- Jane Austen
    -Like Being Killed- Ellen Miller
    -Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World- Clair Harman

  33. Tony
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:49 am


    Robert B. Parker



    John McPHEE

    “Annals Of The Former World”

  34. Penny
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:51 am

    Just finished the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. On the second of the tattoo series. Just got the Art of Racing…. and 2 all time old favs…Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and of course Even Cowgirls get the Blues!!!!

  35. mlaiuppa
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:53 am

    Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay.

    labeled young adult you’ll still love them.

    If you like them, try Neil Shusterman’s Unwind.

    Right now I’m reading Tell Me Where It Hurts. It’s non-fiction. A day in the life of a veternarian.

    For those who like even younger reading, I recommend the Clementine series by Sarah Pennypacker. There are four now. All hilarious.

    And for picture books there is a new addition to the Bats: Bats at the Ballgame. And a new Stanley: Stanley’s Little Sister.

    I’m a librarian BTW so if you’re looking for some recommendations for different ages, I may have a suggestion.

    Oh, and for adults, don’t forget The Art of Racing in the Rain. It was fabulous. I really don’t go in for that kind of book but loved it.

  36. Jessica
    September 15th, 2010 @ 9:14 am

    “So Much for That” by Lionel Shriver. Ms. Stockton, I think you’d really appreciate the message in this book. The end will blow you away.

  37. Karen
    September 15th, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    Oh Shreve… rest up! Hope your energy is back. I have read the ‘Lisbeth Trilogy’ -hee- and agree with everything you said about each book. I loved the second one, too, and agree that the film was tops!!!!

    What I’ve been reading: ‘Lit’, ‘Denial: a Memoir of Terror’, ‘Orange is the new Black’

  38. k8
    September 15th, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    The Girl Who Played With Fire was my favorite of the three. You are right. It’s full of Lisbeth and she’s my gal.

  39. kerin rose
    September 15th, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave…an absolute page turner about a relationship between an English Magazine editor and Nigerian woman…

    very disturbing in some ways,as it is based on historical fact (repercussions from oil wars in Nigeria) but also uplifting as to the depths of the human spirit..

    and “Veganomicon”..the best vegan cook book ever…and fun to read!

  40. Laura
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Are you pregnant?

    I am reading “Let’s take the long way home” by Gail Caldwell. It is about the friendship between 2 women and how one deals with the others death. Kinda sad but puts things into perspective.

  41. shreve
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:09 am


  42. Linda
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    I read all the spare time I have too. Love the mid-evil centuries…..weird. How they lived and survived is so intriguing to me. Life was so danged difficult but they did it.
    My all-time favorite is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I had the first book on my nightstand for at least a month and had a difficult time getting into it. BUT, one paragraph and down I went. Spent many a night until 3:00 in the morning. Soooo good!! And it continues through 6 more.

  43. Linda
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:24 am

    Oh, oh, and of course Pillars of the Earth. I think you have to love the time period of this book in order to even hold it. :):)

  44. Brandi
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    Bonk: the curious coupling of Science and Sex
    by Mary Roach.

    Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

    The Zen of Zombie: better living through the undead. ( A delicious parody of the ridiculous Self-help genre)

    Great Expectations

  45. Lisa
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:38 am

    American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
    Completely knocked my socks off!!!!

  46. Ingrid
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:53 am

    If you love elephants like I do,
    Modoc by Ralph Helfer, a true story awesome.
    Also I am reading now, An Inconvenient Elephant
    By Judy Reene Singer.

  47. catherine
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    I stay with the oldies. I re read them endlessly. Long summers here.
    Guy de Montpassant : all titles. Especially: Une Vie ( a life)
    Emile Zola of course. Balzac bores me and Victor Hugo as well.
    Alain Fournier, Jacques Prevert,( one of the greatest poet of the 20th Century) le portrait d’un oiseau and many more. Colette, of course.
    Marcel Proust always by my side .Raymond Carver, Updike, Cheever.
    Voltaire, La Fontaine ( the fables ). I was forced to read them as a child, now I cannot live without. I read a lot of history books and Bios. Of course there is Jules Verne , the world that came true to his vision, but a world that has lost so much humanity. I order from Amazon and buy a lot of the links bloggers pass on their site, but I am often disappointed.
    But I did order your latest finds and the titles given by your bloggers. Amazon makes it real easy. I try to be gun ho about new authors but I am old school and at time, I can’t understand why they got published and wonder : where are the great editors ?
    Literature is a long and enjoyable discussion. Start a book club on line, the coyote book club.

  48. Cathy
    September 15th, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

    One of the best books I’ve ever read – LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel. If you haven’t read it, it’s a must. Given you liked Autobiography of Red (which I have only read description on) I think you’d really like this.

  49. Keitha
    September 15th, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    Wow, quite a variety there! Hope you are feeling better.
    I liked the Gabaldon Outlander series too. Listened on CD which was nice as you get the Scots accent. Same with Alexander McCall Smith Scotland Street series. Bertie is the character who will grab your heart. AMS is quite the philosopher.
    “The Help” is neat if you were raised in the south. Maybe if not southern also? I’d be interested in someone not southerns take on it.
    Nikos Kazantakis is one of my very favorites.
    I loved Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude.
    I like non fiction too. Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande interesting medical stuff.

  50. Colleen G
    September 15th, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    I just finished “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” over the weekend and I am now moving onto “The Girl Who Played with Fire.” So glad you enjoyed the second better than the first. I did enjoy the first, but now I am anxious to read the next. I may just have to check out the Swedish film as well! Thanks Shreve! This is a great post – I love hearing book reviews. I am going to school in the evenings so I don’t have alot of free time to read, but I love to squeeze it in here and there as it too is my escape.

  51. Dunja
    September 15th, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    I loved the books of Stig Larsson too. I think I never read such a good thriller. And I love the swedish movies (in Germany already all three of them were shown in cinema). I love Lisbeth, in the books and in the movies.
    At the moment I am reading “The fabric of the cosmos” by Brian Greene. It’s fabulous (if you’re interested in cosmology).

  52. CeeBee
    September 15th, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

    Anything by Temple Grandin, the autistic woman with a PhD who has a deep connection with animals and is changing the world for farm animals. My favorites of hers is Animals in Translation and Thinking in Pictures.

    I just finished Last Dog on the Hill by Stephen Duno. What an amazing dog! (This is my all-time favorite tied with Wesley the Owl.)

    My fiction picks are books by Anita Shreve and Jodi Picoult.

  53. Diane Kaspari
    September 15th, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

    I loved Stieg Larsson’s ‘Lisbeth’ trilogy. Actually went thru withdrawal after trying to find a comparable book to read next. After a few mediocre books I am now reading “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese and its excellent. Some of my favorites are The Help, Water for Elephants, Life of Pi and Edgar Sawtelle. However, favorite of ALL TIME is Daily Coyote, which I read this summer while vacationing in Wyoming!!! My 9 y/o grand-daughter is reading it now and she’s in love with Charlie :)

  54. Emily
    September 15th, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    “The Glass Castle.” Such an incredible memoir. And such a quick read.

    In the middle of “Little Bee.”

    Someone else suggested “Merle’s Door.” If you’ve ever loved a dog, you’ll love that book.

  55. Carmen
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    Just finished Under the Dome by Stephen King.

    I also read (again) The Cat Who Went to Paris, A Cat Abroad, and The Cat Who Will Live Forever all by Peter Gethers…. Based on a true story, I highly recommend this series. I cry every time I read this series.

    I read the new book in the Outlander series. And I am thinking about getting The Passage or The Swan for my next read.

  56. Rhea
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

    Just finished Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth” – SOOO good I was sad when it ended and couldn’t even think about the next book for days. All time fav – “Bridges of Madison County”. If you like Cape Cod – local author Sally Gunning wrote 3 historical fictions that are great – “The Widow’s War”, “Bound” & “Jane Clarke”. Very much a woman’s story…
    Hope you are feeling better – what caused the malaise?

  57. Joanna
    September 15th, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

    I second the Hunger Games series. They are a great read.

  58. Tee
    September 15th, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    Just before school started I crammed 4 books in 3 weeks which wasn’t as impressive as you, Shreve :) I was in the mood for some Canadian content so I read Secret Daughter by Shilpi Gowda. It was a light enjoyable novel.

    The next book was The Pilgrim by Timothy Findlay. It’s a dark book about a man who can’t die. Really interesting look at history and of mental illness.

    Pillars of the Earth was a great read as I love historical novel.

    The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery. What a magical and sweet book. LOVE LOVE LOVE

  59. Maegan
    September 15th, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

    I’m working my way through Eugie Foster’s short story collection called Returning my Sister’s Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice. I’m not usually one to comment, but almost every time I finish reading a story I find myself thinking about it the rest of that day and the day after. They’re a lot like fairy tales, only usually without the “happily ever after” and often with a good dose of soul crushing (but in a good way).

  60. Sheila
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation – agree with Musky about the Shadow of the Wind – just an amazing book! Also love Racing in the Rain and The Help!

  61. wagga
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    Being Limerick Irish (and some Braveheart Scotch and a little Cockney) by way of Australia I find it interesting that I really enjoyed the Laughing Policeman (Sjöwall and Wahlöö) series & Smilla.

    I’ve got the movies in hand, but I guess I need to read the books first.

    Reading in order is very important (Hillerman, Patterson, Grafton, Woods, all the Kellermans and all the McDonalds)

    Easy solution to the Millenium series: Dragon, Fire and Hornet are in alphabetical order. Or Afferbeck Lauder in Strine.

  62. Eileen
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    I loved Pack of Two by Caroline Knapp. I also keep a PG Wodehouse book (any one) by my bedside always. He never fails to make me laugh.

  63. Sharon
    September 15th, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

    When I saw your post this morning Shreve, I couldn’t wait to check back tonight to see how many people commented. I work at a library and have the wonderful job of processing all the new adult books to be put on the shelves. I am sooooo thrilled that so many people are still readers. I could never pick a favorite. So many books so little time. I must say one book that really changed my life and how I look at human/animal relationships is “The Daily Coyote”. Thanks Shreve and thank you to all of you out there that can still lose yourself in a good book.

  64. penny
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

    i’m going to make a running list of the books folks are suggesting. woop!
    hope this isn’t too personal, but you do sound kind of pregnant.
    AND….i not too long ago i read the outlander series by diana gabaldon. lots of drinking. sex. adventure. great escape books.

  65. The Noisy Plume
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

    Oh woman.
    You’d have to know that Red is on the top of my list as well. I’ve got about ten thousand other things to tell you and a letter is in the works.

    Right now, I’m reading Wesley — which, if you haven’t already read, is about a woman who adopts a barn owl. You’d relate to so much of it. When I’m finished, I’ll pop it in the mail.

  66. The Noisy Plume
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    PS I also read “Jumping Fire” recently which was good…torturous…..but good. :)

  67. Maggie
    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    I see a lot of Barbara Kingsolver mentions and I did love her Prodigal Summer too!

    And I saw a William Gibson recommendation and I also loved his Pattern Recognition from which the quote, “He took a duck in the face at 250 knots” has always stuck with me. :)

  68. Janet H.
    September 15th, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    I loved the Larsson books, too.
    Just finished The Help–I’m not from the South, but grew up in the 50’s-60’s era, living in Indiana, which always had a somewhat Southern attitude-a lot of transplanted Southerners, especially in the southern part of the state. And many of the ways of behaving/thinking of the white women in the book sounded pretty (unfortunately) realistic. Have lived on the south side of Chicago since the 70’s, a minority white on the largely black south side, with African-American friends, some of whom grew up in the South, and their stories of their childhoods and parents/grandparents’ experiences certainly echo attitudes in the book also.
    Just finished Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, a book whose horror builds slowly and is-I think-more effective because the inhumanity of the characters’ lives isn’t revealed in some terrible incident, but in the slow growth of their understanding of what their lives are to be.
    A friend of mine,my lunch companion at work, and I have been reading our way through Michael Jecks’ series about the Knight Templar and the Bailiff who solve crimes in medieval England. He is a wonderful historical mystery writer. We have been reading his books, in order as much as possible, for several years now. (He’s writing his 31st book now, I believe, though not all are part of this series.)
    Also just read The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, a historical novel about the woman, Margaret Beaufort, who was the mother of the first Lancaster-Tudor house king of England, and the time period of the Wars of the Roses in English history.
    Also recently read Audrey Niffennegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry. I don’t think it is quite as good as The Time Traveler’s Wife, but still a good book.
    Am reading a nonfiction book right now, The Mayflower, about the Mayflower Pilgrims and their relationship to the New England Indian tribes. Very good history of the 1st and 2nd generation of Pilgrims/Puritans in New England.

  69. Lesley
    September 15th, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

    I really enjoyed the Lisbeth movies. The actress is pretty kickass.

  70. Jocelyn
    September 15th, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

    For those who like non-fiction, here are three worth reading….

    1. The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery

    2. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy and Ann Patchett

    3. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller ~ Autobiography of a woman born in England, raised in Africa and now living in Wyoming

  71. Katie
    September 16th, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    I’ve been working my way back through the “Dune” series by Frank Herbert. I forgot just how fascinating they really are. I’ve been doing a lot of bus riding while looking for work, and they’re wonderful books to lose yourself in, and ignore the other riders.

    I’m up to “God Emperor of Dune”. The most talky of the series. Herbert has some interesting philosophies.

  72. Holly Shepherd
    September 16th, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    Thanks one and all for some fantastic book ideas.
    Like you Diane,I too went into withdrawal after the Larsson series.I went into Indigo and actually asked if they could recommend a book as gripping as those.
    I read “Secret Daughter”, which I truly enjoyed and one of my all time favorites “Have A Little Faith” by Mitch Albom. I sooooooooo enjoyed that book.
    Now, I have ideas to take me through a few weeks of reading.
    Thanks again everyone.
    Shreve, what a great idea to have people post their reading material.
    The weather us here today is book reading weather. Cold and rainy, rainy and cold!!!!!

  73. katie
    September 16th, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    Thought the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy was thrilling! I think I read all three in two weeks (maybe less). The Lisbeth character was so great. Kickass and also vulnerable.

    A few of my other favs:
    Mountains Beyond Mountains
    Hope is the thing with Feathers
    Animals Matter
    Last Child in the Woods
    Alas, Babylon
    The Historian
    Returning to Earth
    The Good Earth
    Tales of the Otori
    Anything by:
    Barbara Kingsolver
    Michelle West
    Guy Gavriel Kay (especially his older books)
    Juliet Marillier
    John Steinbeck

    Just to name a few. The list could go on forever. Cant wait to read Autobiography of Red. And looking forword to your other suggestions!

  74. Jessica
    September 16th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    I, too, am a librarian and feel so heartened that there are so many readers out there (and fans of Shreve&Farmily). Reading is not a lost art! Carry on!

  75. don_m
    September 16th, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole.

    Those who haven’t read this, just try not to laugh out loud in public or private. Those who have read this, have read it multilple times. I’ve had a copy since the ’80s and still read it every few years.

  76. don_m
    September 16th, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

    Typo on “multiple” – sorry ’bout that!

  77. don_m
    September 16th, 2010 @ 8:30 pm
  78. pogonip
    September 17th, 2010 @ 12:41 am

    I had to laugh when I realized I just finished “Love in the Time of Cholera” and moved immediately on to Jimmy Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks at Fifty”. They’re books passed on from my cousin–worlds apart but enjoyable all the same.

  79. Mia
    September 17th, 2010 @ 10:04 am

    I recently finished 2 by Dorothy Bryant – “Confessions of Madame Psyche” and “The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You” and 2 by Lisa See – “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” and “Shanghi Girls.” Like others I love Barbara Kingsolver especially “Prodigal Summer.”

  80. Laura
    September 17th, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

    In no particular order…Life of Pi, The Gargoyle, Time Travelers Wife, Pillars of the Earth and it’s (kinda) sequel World without End, Outlander (and the rest of the series, by Diana Gabaldon…my vote for the most delicious escapism out there), A Big Little Life (Dean Koontz amazing memoir of his dog Trixie), Dear and Glorious Physician, Glory and the Lightening (both by Taylor Caldwell), Anne Lamott’s books, esp. “Operating Instructions”.

  81. katy
    September 17th, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

    Hope you don’t mind my saying this, but it’s a relief to know that even a hardworking self-made woman such as yourself occasionally succumbs to exhaustion. I think illness can be the body’s natural response to stress, an unpleasant reminder that you need to slow down and take it easy sometimes. Certainly would explain why I often get sick immediately after a huge undertaking…

    Coincidentally, I just collided head-first with a deadline and I’m already starting to feel exhaustion take hold. I’m going to curl up in bed with a book for the rest of the night myself. Right now I’m on “Awakenings” by Oliver Sacks – a somewhat dense read, but inspiring.

    Before that I read “Asterious Polyp” by David Mazzucchelli and “Rocannon’s World” by Ursula K. LeGuin – both very different, both amazing.

  82. Deanna Gates
    September 18th, 2010 @ 8:49 am

    Most recently, “Chosen by a Horse” memoir by Susan Richards.

  83. Jenny C
    September 18th, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Sometimes it takes days and days to recover from intense phases of a well-spent life, doesn’t it?

    Book favorites:

    Dogmom, I agree about The “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. Some of the sexiest-without-the-raunch writing ever, not to mention the incredible weaving of history throughout. Such big, fat books – daunting to dive into that first hefty tome, but it quickly becomes a major disappointment when you come to the end of each one.

    Jan Karon’s Mitford Series

    The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.

    Loving Frank by Nancy Horan – excellent expose on Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Slowly working my way through “The History of the Celtic Language”.

    Books, so many wonderful books – hard to pick favorites.

    Hilary, I loved your granny’s quote:
    “you’re never too fat to buy a purse”!

  84. Cynthia
    September 18th, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    Haruki Murakami: either Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World or A Wild Sheep Chase. Very well translated from the original Japanese.

  85. pansypoo
    September 18th, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    reading my 1891 encyclopedia britannica set. they are quite interesting with out new fangled science.

  86. Robin
    September 19th, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    I completely agree with your take on Autobiography of Red.

    I loved it, and thought it to be so original and unique. And I could picture every last bit of it.

  87. Melissa
    September 28th, 2010 @ 11:42 am

    Saw The Girl Who played with Fire first, then Tattoo and absolutely LOVED the movies. Have started the book series but it’s slow going. I agree, the movies rocked! Cannot wait for the last one to come out!
    I read a book last fall, Merle’s Door, by Ted Kerasote which became one of my top ten favorites of all time! Highly recommend it.

  88. Gruggers
    September 29th, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    Stieg had books in progress when he died; there is a possibility someone may be allowed to take up the manuscripts and try to finish.

  89. Kit.e
    October 4th, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

    I just came back from a trip to Vegas for my 21st, 13 hours on a plane and I took only my two favourite books, one of course was… The Daily Coyote :) I read it three times! Obsessive, perhaps.
    But the other, a book I think you’d like Shreve. It’s called ‘The Loop’ by Nicholas Evans. And you know, I love it so much I’m willing to propose a swap, you send me your favourite and I’ll send you my much loved copy, bent pages and all for your reading pleasure.

  90. Rachael Rivas
    October 5th, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    Read “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. Such an amazing book.

  91. angie
    October 5th, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    i actually like the princess bride movie better than the book! i think that’s the only one though. the book didn’t have a happy ending. the movie was perfect.

  92. CathyA
    October 9th, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    Breakfast with Buddha
    Secret Life of Bees

    Tony Hillerman
    James Lee Burke
    C.J. Box
    and a million other hardworking mystery writers!

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