Book Recommendations

The Persephone Biannually

This came in the mail this week.  It is bad for my budget but so much fun.  Wouldn't it be fantastic to just be able to order every single Persephone book ever published?  Well, I can dream, can't I?

I am trying to decide what book to read next for the Classics Club. I am in a bit of a reading slump and just can't seem to get into anything.  I read the first couple of pages and give up.  Maybe I just need to read something light and fun and then try again.  I was looking at my Classics Club list and realized I had made a mistake.  Somehow a recently published book had gotten on it.  Probably the result of having too many lists of books I want to read floating around the house.  I took that book out and added in another Jane Austen, because you can never have too much Jane Austen.

My father has been recommending books to me lately.  I just finished The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.  I wasn't going to read it because I had not particular interest in the Wright brothers but my father insisted I give it a try.  I am glad he did.  It was fascinating.  It is a quick and easy read but packs in a lot of information.  The Wright brothers were interesting men.  You wonder what makes some people so driven to figure something out and to invent.  I always found it interesting that they were much more successful in France to begin with.  It took the US a while to become really interested in them.

This weekend my father gave me The Last Hurrah by Edwin O'Connor.  Now, one thing you need to realize about him is that he never reads novels.  His book recommendations are usually history related, but he loved this book.  I looked it up and apparently it focuses on a mayoral election in a city on the east coast.  It was #2 on the bestseller list in 1956 and a movie was made of it starring Spencer Tracy.  If I like the book I will have to try to find the movie.

A friend of mine recommended Hawaii by James Michener.  We tend to have very different taste in books so I am not sure.  She likes books full of doom and death and I like books with beautiful language and quiet development of the characters.  We each keep reading the other's books and being slightly puzzled by them.  Has anyone read Hawaii and what did you think?

I like getting book recommendations.  Frequently they lead to me reading books I would never have picked up on my own.

So, what do you think I should read?  Do you have a favorite you recommend to everybody?  Maybe something you feel like you discovered and want the whole world to read?

7 comments

  1. I really have to be in the mood for Michener, because his stories start at the Dawn of Time with the cooling of the earth's crust. Hawaii is one of my favorite of his books, with Centennial, but they aren't light reading.

    Speaking of Persephones, have you read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, or The Home-maker?

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    1. Hmm, I am not sure I am up for something that starts at the Dawn of Time, at least not right now.

      I have read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and I loved it. I haven't read The Home-maker. I gather you really recommend it?

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    2. Oh yes! It's a book to treasure. And you might find yourself - like me - obsessively collecting Dorothy Canfield's other books :) Understood Betsy is also lovely, if (also like me) you didn't read it when you were younger.

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    3. I loved Understood Betsy when I was a child. I recently gave it to my daughter to read. I will have to get hold of a copy of The Home-maker. Any author that inspires obsessive collecting has to be investigated more fully!

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  2. I just read "The Blue Castle" by LM Montgomery recently and fell head-over-heels in love with it. And I re-read "The Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum over the last couple weeks and confirmed how much I love it too. Have you read either of those? You'd probably like the former better, but the latter has lots of beautiful character development going on in and amongst all the excitement and suspense.

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    1. Oh, The Blue Castle! I fell in love with that when I was about 13 and read it over and over. I haven't read it in years. I haven't read The Bourne Identity. Beautiful character development? That convinces me. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    2. I think it's beautiful, anyway. Because it's about a man with amnesia, you get a double dose of development: him as he is now, growing and changing, and him figuring out who he was previously, and using that knowledge to grow and change too. I think it's really that journey of discovery that makes me love that book much better than the two original sequels.

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