Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Look

I'm heading back to the beach house in a little less than a week and need reading recommendations.

Don't get me wrong, my nook is chock full o' books that I have yet to read, but it wouldn't be a beach vacation without new books, right?


In exchange for your input, I will advise you to read Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. It's a memoir from a chef and I simply cannot believe that someone could be so good at writing and cooking both. I am not huge on memoirs or food and have no interest in chefs and have never heard of Gabrielle Hamilton. I didn't think I would like it but one of the few friends whose taste in reading I trust strongly suggested it and this was one of those books I could not put down. The author has lived a rich and fascinating life and has an unbelievable ability to put it into words. She's also a jerk. Google about her affair after you read the book for the full picture. An incredibly talented and genuine person who seems both deep and shallow at the same time. I loved it.

But don't base your recommendations off of memoirs or chefs, just books you couldn't put down.


Caitlin said...

"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn! SO GOOD.

Nova said...

I've recently read a few YA novels that I liked: The Maze Runner was like, Hunger Games good. Before I Fall was okay, I mainly liked it because the author did an amazing job sounding exactly like a teenager. Gone was so-so, but a quick read with some disturbing twists.

I'm also reading World War Z right now. If you haven't seen the movie yet you should read the book, it's much more serious and engrossing that you'd think a zombie book could be.

Lisalu said...

Are you at all into YA lit? There is sooo much good lit out there for teens. My oldest is going into 8th grade, and she has an awesome group of friends whose recent idea of a crazy fun day was to see Monsters University together (since Monsters Inc was one of the first movies they all remember seeing as little kids), then walk to Barnes & Noble and stock up on books to read and trade. Then they all went to one girl's house....and read the rest of the evening!

Anyway...she just read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. At camp. Started it on the bus, and finished it two days later on the waterfront, instead of going swimming! So then I had to read it. I started it at 11:30 in the morning and finished it before bed. So, so good. It's about two teenagers who meet and fall in love. Except they meet at a support group for teens with cancer.

Then there's the Divergent trilogy - Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant which won't come out til fall. It's a dystopian story set in future Chicago. She devoured the first two and is completely put out that she has to wait for the third one. I think those are next on my list.

Both Divergent and Fault are being made into movies, and they both star the same two actors. I'm always so excited to see books-to-movies, even though they almost invariably disappoint me. I just keep hoping one of them will get it right!

And then while she waits for Allegient, she's reading the Gone series by Michael Grant. Another dystopian series. Every adult over the age of 15 vanishes.

Ooh - The Maze Runner too.

And if none of these strike your fancy, remember them for Big Kid in a few years!

Have an awesome vacation!

Unknown said...

I like to say I don't like YA, but I loved Hunger Games and "Fault of Our Stars" moved me so intensely that I messaged the friend mentioned in this post immediately upon putting it down and begged her to read it. AMAZING. Then I read Looking for Alaska. I have his other stuff on my nook and should probably just read that--he is Wally Lamb good at characters.

I liked Gone Girl a lot!

Your daughter sounds awesome, Lisa. Has she read Out of My Mind and/or Wonder? Those two really moved Big Kid.

I keep hearing about Maze Runner and Divergent, I'll have to look into those.

Lisalu said...

She really is mostly totally awesome! She's super good at withering stares and cutting comments, but her summer to-do list consists of 25 books to read, and not meeting boys and sneaking drinks and smokes, so I'll put up with the occasional attitude!

She hasn't read those two but I have them in my library (I'm an elem. school librarian) so I should grab them for her. Actually I haven't read Wonder yet either but it was in a box of books I just ordered so I have to get on that.

Has BK read any of the Guys Read anthologies by Jon Sciesczka? They come in mystery, sport, thriller, and comedy themes, and they're specifically targeted to boys to keep them reading when they historically start to lose interest around fourth grade. Sciesczka has a whole boys' literacy campaign going. Go to for a ton of great suggestions for both your boys, among lots of other great resources. Not that it sounds like BK has any issues wanting to read, but he still might enjoy those.

And there's the Brixton Brothers series by Mac Barnett, about a boy whose all-time favorite books are a Hardy Boys-style series, and he gets mixed up in with crime-fighting librarians when he's researching a report on needlepoint for school. Read the excerpt at the bottom of the Amazon page - quite humorous!

And this is so far off the topic of beach reads for you, but if you enjoy reading picture books together then you have to find Jon Klassen's books This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, and Oliver Jeffers' This Moose Belongs to Me. I want to tear the pages out of all those books and frame them, besides the awesome narratives.

I feel kind of like a creepy librarian following you through the shelves shoving books at you but I just can't help it!

Sasha said...

I second (third?) Divergent. So so good. If you liked Hunger Games, you'll like this even better.

Anonymous said...

Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian - excellent book

The Weird Sisters - very light, enjoyable read

HotchaByrd said...

Food Heroes by Georgia Pellegrini is a favorite.

MzLiz said...

Wolf Hall
My brother-in-law's blog--about food... Even though it's food related, I think you'll appreciate it.

Kim said...

I second Wolf Hall and also loved Bring Up The Bodies - the sequel.

Anonymous said...

I recently read Blood, Bones & Butter and I had no idea about the affair until I just googled now. I am kind of shocked about who it is with because of how she writes about his wife in her book. Thanks for the dirt sounds kind of tacky, but I guess that's where I'm at.

Unknown said...

I know, Anonymous! I finished the book and felt some admiration and also sympathy for her--I think she's one of those people who are so brilliant that she's lacking other integral things. But mostly I liked her as a person by the end and felt soft towards her. Then my friend told me the after story and I was back to thinking "wow, what a jerk!"

Maggie said...

Hola! Just catching up on things - if you still have time, I totally agree with people about Wolf Hall. Another in that same vein is The Sunne in Splendor (not the cheesemo romance novel that comes up when you search, its historical fiction) and my latest best read was The Darkest Child - LOVED it. Enjoy your vacation and let us know what you read - I need to add more titles to Goodreads that I won't find time to get too.....:)