Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Book List

Most everyone who knows me is aware of my serious obsession with reading. Too often I neglect my husband, children, home, sleep, etc. I'd like to say I only read quality literature that wins awards and is listed on the classic book lists, but in addition to a small sampling of those I mostly read fun, entertaining fiction. I don't want to write a bunch of book reviews, more like just list some of my favorites and what I've been into lately. I love series because I can get to know the characters and see some growth and development. Mysteries have always been my favorite and I love the site Stop, You're Killing Me for a huge list of books and series, listed both by author and main character. I like to read my series in order always so this site has helped a lot.

British Mysteries (my favorite, there's just something about those Brits!)
Martha Grimes - Richard Jury series - these are the best and there are a lot of them. Martha Grimes writing style is awesome! I even went to a bookstore in Tempe once where she was appearing and talking. I was so proud of myself for asking a question. I love these because the characters are interesting and because they talk a lot about things I wish I was more conversant in: poetry, art, classic literature, etc.
Agatha Christie - esp. Hercule Poirot - classics! I started reading these in Jr. High and they have shaped my reading habits. You should read 2 or 3... or 6.
Rhys Bowen - Evan Evans series - not really British but poor Wales gets lumped in with Britian a lot. These books are fun and light - PG rated.
M.M. Kaye - Death in... series - I think these are some of the most suspenseful and scary books I've read without including a bunch of gore or serious horror stuff. They are not truly a series because they are always about different characters and places, but sort of formulaic with the same type of young British heroine, traveling for the first time, etc. etc. But they somehow stay fresh and exciting to me.
Elizabeth Peters - Crocodile on the Sandbank & the rest of the series. These are written in journalistic style, or memoirs or something. Amelia Peabody is so stinking funny! I guess they are mysteries, but more like comedies to me. I love the romance of Egypt during the times of British influence. Just like Agatha Christie.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes - have read them all! Own them all! Have been to 221B Baker Street in London - probably my favorite attraction there.

Culinary Mysteries
Joanne Fluke - Hannah Swensen series - the most ridiculously G rated books I have ever read! And how many bodies can one cookie shop owner find? But kind of fun and I love that it's almost all dessert recipes! They are pretty good.
Katherine Hall Page - Faith Fairchild - the recipes are really highbrow and advanced so I haven't tried any yet. I like the New England setting and the main character - a SAHM.
There are tons of series out there in this genre, with most including recipes. To me, these are all just kind of fun, not much meat in the actual writing. Let me know if you have found a good series.

Juvenile Books
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter - fun for one and all! Can't wait for #7 this summer.
Gordon Korman - this Canadian author usually writes about young boys, say aged 11-14ish. I discovered these in Jr. High and love them to this day. I can't wait until my boys are old enough. I still list my favorite book of all time as "I Want to Go Home." I laugh out loud through the whole thing. The main character has such a dry sense of humor, or just personality I guess. My copy is falling apart and I think has mold growing on it from getting wet. But I still read it every couple years.
Anything off the Newberry Award List. I am reading my way through it and am never disappointed.

The modern day gals/fashionistas/romance without being called a romance novel
Sophie Kinsella - Shopaholic series - I love this main character, she is so crazy! And since I love shopping, I can relate to her alternate reality.
I read lots of other books in this category, but I don't know which I'd recommend. What I do is go to Barnes & Noble or Borders and find the displays for this genre. Then I read all the backs, write down the ones that sound interesting, then put those on hold at the library. They're fun and a good break from my mysteries.

Clive Cussler - Dirk Pitt series - seriously complex and outragesous plots, but that's the fun of it. And Dirk sounds super dreamy. Lots of good action too.
Dorothy Gilman - Mrs. Pollifax - sort of mystery/adventure. She's a grandmother and a CIA agent. Light and fun, I love to learn about all the places she travels.
Jan Karon - Mitford Series - Father Tim is very spiritual and inspiring to me. The characters are original and lovable, unless they're supposed to be unlovable. I wonder if there are still towns like this?


Susan said...

I'm so excited about your new blog - how totally fun! Thanks for the new reading recommendations. I haven't heard of some of the authors you mentioned, so I'm going to check them out. BTW: Another series of cooking mysteries that I like is the Eugenia Potter books by Nancy Pickard.

Adam & Marcy said...


Thanks for the book recommendations!!! I love to recommend books and get recommendations. I would tell you all my favorites in return, but maybe it's time I post them on my own blog. So check it out if you want to. Maybe I'll mention one right here: my book club's favorite book from last year was These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner.


shannon said...

i love the mmkaye death books. did we discuss that? hmmm.

i need to branch out. i have to say i still really like a lot of the books that i read when i was 12-13 ish. maybe because they affected me so much then bec. i was impressionable, but also, bec. they're usually a bit less grim, you know?

i was talking to tom about how you write a book without being vulgar--i mean, life is vulgar.

tarable said...

Susan, thanks for the recommendation. I will try it soon.
Marcy, we read it for our book club too. Well, I always read the books but haven't attended yet in 7 months. I liked it a lot and have been meaning to get to the sequel. Especially cool since it takes place mostly in AZ.
Shannon, I started reading the MMKaye's after you talked about them. I remember you showing them to me at the other library branch that we went to for story time once. Ummm, life isn't always vulgar. I guess it depends on what you consider vulgar. I love the books from my teens. I have read all the LMMontgomery's and own a lot, although I'm not as big a fan as you I suppose. My favorites were the Emily series.

janee said...

I have always wished that I could read as fast as you! There are just too many books out there that I want to read and can't do it fast enough. Right now I love anything and everything by Shannon Hale!