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Another round of books for your consideration.

by Emma on May 22, 2010

in Books

When do you get to the point where you get to call yourself a bibliophile? If you average a book a week do you think they let you join the club then? The collective “they” consisting of serious book readers that is.

Maybe I’m not quite serious-book-reader-club material yet but I am well on my way. But in the last few week I have had more great reads fall into my lap. Check it, yo.

A friend of mine was in a performance art piece last month. It was at this converted factory type venue in downtown LA and everyone there was dressed way cooler than me. But afterward my friend Frank said he waned to show me “the store.” And basically in this back closet behind the staging area there is a bunch of stuff (clothes, books, items of general necessity) and he said if you want something you just take it and leave other things as payment. He was trading a bunch of clothes he had brought. I saw a copy of this book and had wanted to read it since seeing someone reading it at the airport last time I flew. So I traded for a clean pink comb I had with me. And that’s the story of how I came to own this book. And it’s a good read, lots of interesting stuff about the circus. It’s a little dark and gritty but the ending is quite satisfying.

I like Nick Hornby. I love loved About a Boy. So I had been excited to read another of his novels. He treats the difficult moments of life with both reverence and a sense of mocking that I quite enjoy. That being said I think this book really walks the line of having such an unsympathetic protagonist that I nearly don’t care about his plight and nearly don’t find myself rooting for his success. Nearly. But this makes it hard to get invested in the story. The book is about break ups, so I didn’t plan on being tickled pink going into the book. And I just can’t help but love Hornby’s wit and point of view on life.

I realized one day that I had never actually read a book by Roald Dahl even though I have seen so many of his books in their adapted film versions. He is the author behind the stories of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and so many more. So I picked one of his books that is not a film (that I know of) and gave it a read. I really wanted to call him a genius, but I wasn’t overly impressed to be honest. The story starts off well, then gets quite boring until the very end when finally something with action happens. It’s imaginative, but just didn’t quite grab me like I was hoping it would. I will definitely be trying another of his stories sometime-but this one I am sorry to say was just “ok” in my opinion.

I couldn’t stop myself. I had to read it. This is the second book in the Hunger Games series. I don’t think the next one is even out yet, so yes I am stuck now. But I’m still not sorry. I love this book almost as much as the first in the series. I read it in two days. It’s such a page turner. I love it.

What have you been reading? And by the by-I really do take to heart your recommendations. After all, that’s how good books are often found.


DaShannon May 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I love, love, love your choices. our not so serious book club read water for elephants. my students and i all love the hunger games series and the new one comes out in August. i’ve never read Nick H. so i need to pick one of his up. i have some in our library just haven’t made it to it yet. one suggestion- my new favorite. love in the present tense by hyde. find it . you’ll love it.

Jackelyn May 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Ah! I am so glad that you like The Hunger Game series. Even though it is technically a young adult book, it is still one of my favorites. Its nice to find that someone else agrees with me.

Jessica May 23, 2010 at 3:31 am

Water for elephants is a very quick easy read and quite enjoyable. Theres a book called the sweetness at the bottom of the pie which I just brought which has had really good reviews.

Kate Walsh May 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

You know “Water For Elephants” is being made into a movie right now?
They just started filming on Thursday. Starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz ;-)
I haven’t read the book but it’s on my list ;-) I’m looking forward to it, everyone seems to have good things to say about it!

Melissa May 23, 2010 at 8:43 am

I wish I had time for a book a week! I just got really excited that your list included The BFG and High Fidelity. And Water for Elephants is definitely on my list!

Sophie May 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

My favourite book is “The Three Musketeers” it is just a fun book and so easy to read – the original was serialised so every chapter ends on a cliff-hanger. I also just read “The Lovely Bones” for the first time and it blew my mind! A friend said that Sebold’s other book “Lucky” was even better so that’s next on my list x

Martina May 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I saw “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” on one of your posts and bought it because I couldn’t find it…and still haven’t read it! How embarrassing!
Right now I’m reading ‘Shantaram’, so far so good, but it’s huge (900+ pages!) and I’m not even halfway through…such an intense read, though, and so interesting. And funny!
I also loved ‘Youth in Revolt’ for a good lighthearted read. Such a shame about the film, as often is the case…
Roald Dahl: read one of the ones that is a film. I especially loved ‘Matilda’, but mainly because I wanted to be here. ‘The Witches’ and that one about that weird old couple, name of which I can’t remember, are also quite good. Not so much ‘Danny, Champion of the World’, though.

Martina May 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm

ps – ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ if you haven’t read them already. And ‘Birdsong’. And ‘Wise Children’.
Contrary to what this shows, I do actually have a life. I just happen to study English Literature during it…

SeeingSunshine May 24, 2010 at 12:37 am

I’ve read all of these as well. Water for Elephants quickly became one of my favorite books, it’s just such a sweet story. And of course The Hunger Games series just has a way of drawing you in even though I feel a bit old to be reading it (…is 19 too old to be reading YA novels? hmm…)
If you like Nick Hornby, you should try A Long Way Down. Full rather colorful characters, typical of a Hornby book. I found in entertaining :]

Victoria May 24, 2010 at 1:46 am

I love the BFG, it reminds me of family hoidays when we used to listen to it on audio tape in the car, definitely one for the 5 year old imagination though i think. There was a film if i remember correctly, it was an animated version but im not sure who by or if its still available.

Kokie May 24, 2010 at 7:15 am

Greg Iles writes good books. I just finished his “Black Cross” and was impressed. He has also written “The Quiet Game” and “Spandau Phoenix.”

liz May 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

Goosebumps to find someone else that has my taste in books. I’ve read and loved all the books you mentioned (except Dahl; i’ll check it out). Keep posting the books you read since i’m always looking for a good read!

cheree May 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I really enjoyed Water for Elephants – esp the ending.

Bekka May 24, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I always look forward to your recommendations. I’m still trying to find time to read the Hunger Games.

Sarah M May 25, 2010 at 11:17 am

I have heard Water for Elephants was very good, although sad. I finished Andre Agassi’s autobiography OPEN (know nothing about tennis…and it was FABULOUS) and am now about 100 pages into This Is NOt the Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson. Author of this article on choosing NOT to believe her husband when he said he wanted a divorce and didn’t love her anymore (great article in the NYTimes):
Sarah M

Jen May 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Oh I’m tempted to read The Hunger Games series. I’ve heard nothing but great things!

Melissa May 27, 2010 at 2:01 am

I’m currently reading Shadowland which is a crappy book in a crappy series but that doesn’t matter (I read the first one and can’t not know what happens…)
I think you should read Graceling. Seriously. It’s a series (second one is called Fire) that is Young Adult and it is AMAZING! Please read it!

Angie May 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm

I’ve really been wanted to read a good book lately. I’m not really the reader type either so when I walk into book stores I feel so lost! Thanks so much for these recommendations! :)

Lisa Malia February 9, 2011 at 1:48 am

The BFG animated movie is still available, at least it is in the UK! :) My favourite Roald Dahl book is Esio Trot! :) Also Emma, you should check out Roald Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie Dahl (the once plus sized model) as she has a delightful recipe book and I believe another coming soon.

María June 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

I’ve noticed you like Nick Hornby, so let me just suggest a couple of books for you:
Juliet, Naked (also by Nick Hornby), his last and, in my opinion, best novel. Simply perfect
One Day (by David Nicholls). I just finished reading it last week and I simply can’t stop telling everyone how much I loved it. There’s a movie in the making with Ann Hathaway… so run before it’s too late!

Marjolaine January 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

One of my fave movie is High Fidelity but I have just recently read the book! Loved it even more! Have you read Juliet, Naked by him? If not, you should! Really good!