January 17, 2007

Read any good books lately?

I would like a recommendation for a good book. I just finished Amos Oz's memoir, which I wrote about in an earlier post. I am currently reading a lot of foreign language translated into English mysteries. These can be a bit hit or miss but I tend to enjoy them just the same. Still, I feel a rut coming on. Also, I seem to be lacking the motivation or energy to begin to tackle the sizeable selection of unread non-fiction I have been accumulating like a squirrel with a pile of nuts.

Otherwise, I have been reading out loud to the kids and they have been responding very well to the old great ones, including, Charlotte's Web (finished), Stuart Little (in process), The Wind in the Willows (in process), and the Jungle Book (finished). I can't wait to start reading them Kim and the Three Musketeers, but that may be a couple of years yet.

So, what would you recommend for me? Classic or non-classic, new or old, recently read or way old favorite. Let me have it.


Posted by Random Penseur at January 17, 2007 10:41 AM | TrackBack

Steinbeck's Travels With Charley in Search of America is currently on my reading list. Really interesting parallels, even 50 years later!

Posted by: Mandalei at January 17, 2007 12:43 PM

I am a big fan of historical fiction, especially well researched historical fiction. Two books I've enjoyed recently are "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova and "The Darwin Conspiracy" by John Darnton. Another favorite is "Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson, which is technically non-fiction except for the conversations that the characters have.

Posted by: caltechgirl at January 17, 2007 03:57 PM

Here's one: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard. It tells how TR and company overcame deadly rapids, Indian attacks, disease, and starvation to explore a previously uncharted 1,000-mile long tributary of the Amazon. The trip nearly killed Roosevelt, then in his 50s, who saw the expedition as his "last chance to be a boy." Page-turning stuff! NPR has more.

Posted by: MCNS at January 18, 2007 07:51 AM

If you're looking for an entertaining way to take your mind off the hook, try George MacDonald Fraser's The Pyrates. It's an insane send up of all things pirate-related, from Daniel DeFoe's writings up through Erol Flynn's movies.

Fraser's the guy who wrote the Flashman series (with which I believe you're familiar). Here, the emphasis is much more on silliness, but like in those books, there's a kernal of history within, albeit buried very deeply.


Posted by: Robert the Llama Butcher at January 18, 2007 09:17 AM

Ayn Rand's early stories, Robert Heinlein (philosophical sci-fi), and assorted poetry is what I'm reading now.

I HIGHLY reccommend for the wee-ones It's raining Pigs & Noodles - The Poems of Jack Prelutsky. I absolutely love this book, and luckily so does my son.

Posted by: Michele at January 18, 2007 12:19 PM

Also reading novels because current non-fiction is particularly depressing.

A second to DEVIL IN WHITE CITY by Erik Larson.

THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss – Wish I would have read it back when I had the capacity to follow a story even when interrupted. Not quick or light but worthwhile.

A THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN by Jim Fergus - Interesting premise; details of prairie life. (Read it while traveling so opinion lacks all objectivity – used to think airport bookstores had better books – captivity makes me more appreciative. As above, narrator is opposite sex of writer which I always find interesting.

THE GLASS CASTLE: A MEMOIR by Jeannette Walls –Two friends recommended and I intend to buy it tonight.

DEAR MRS. FREED by Naomi Golden Gerbarg –I wrote it and don’t think it’s your type of read but my P.R. person tells me I should push it at every opportunity.

Posted by: Naomi Gerbarg at January 18, 2007 06:22 PM

The URLs will take you to the book page on Amazon.


The Music of a Life: A Novel (Hardcover)
by Andrei Makine. Makine was born in Russia and writes in French. This was a beautiful book.


The Palace of Dreams (Paperback)
by Ismail Kadare. From Albania. A beautiful writer - Kafka with a twist.



A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan (Hardcover) Pretty good bio.


A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War: Russia, 1941-1944 (Hardcover)
by Willy Peter Reese. A recently found diary of a young German soldier - kept while on the Eastern Front. Compelling reading.


Posted by: Ivan at January 21, 2007 08:15 PM

Thank you all very much for the recommendations. If I read them all, I should be good through summer!

Posted by: rp at January 22, 2007 08:57 AM
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