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January 07, 2011



Some of my favorites from book club are The Glass Castle, A Spot of Bother, Some Things That Stay, and Bel Canto. I think these might fit in with your tastes, based on your list. But I suppose you can take it with a grain of salt because A Confederacy of Dunces is my all-time favorite too! I am re-reading it right now in fact :)


I also really loved The Glass Castle, and another of my favorites from last year were The Book Thief and I Capture the Castle.

If you haven't already read the companion to Elegance of the Hedgehog, I highly recommend Gourmet Rhapsody


The Namesake is good and pulitzer winner.

Mama Bub

The Glass Castle is fantastic. I also loved Cutting for Stone, and The Book Thief (although halfway through I want sure I would love it.)


Have you ever read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Pretty good...


How about the Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing?

I would definitely second A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.


Those are some of my favorites! And I too couldn't get through Confederacy of Dunces despite my love of literature.

The Breaking of Eggs really was good, so I still recommend that. I second A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. My Antonia is a total favorite (and easy to read yet still literary). Have you ever delved into Steinbeck? I really like Cannery Row, and it's about California, so plus there for you. In the classic reading type stuff, I also like Wuthering Heights and Ethan Frome.

Have you read My Sister's Keeper, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, or the Time Traveler's Wife? Those are all recent books that are well-reviewed, and I liked them all.


I also highly enjoyed The Glass Castle. Before I went to law school, I read alot of memoirs and true crime books. I have a very long list of books of that sort that I really enjoyed but I believe they either fit in the legal-type, or non-scholastic-type books. At the top of this list is TWEAK, and Beautiful Boy. TWEAK is written by a meth-addicted man, and Beautiful Boy is written by the meth-addicted man's father. I would say, though, that they are not very scholastic because there is no pulitzer prize writing involved, but that's my style. more about the story than the way it is written.


I second A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! It was great. I'm just starting another book called Brooklyn now, so I'll let you know how that is.

I just read Never Let Me Go and LOVED it (the movie was disappointing, though).

Others I've loved recently: American Wife, Prep, The Prizewinner of Defiance, OH.


The Glass Castle is really good! Also, have you read The Help? Also an amazing book from this past year. And I've tried to read Confederacy of Dunces several times myself and just can't get interested. Happy Reading!


Here are a few of my recent favrites...
20 Under 40:Stories from The New Yorker. (authors who are under 40 years old and are predicted to be important writers of their generation)

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy


Did you like my new word "favrites"? It's the new cool for 2011.


I decided this is the year I'm reading classics. I'm currently reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. So far...I love it.


i definitely agree with everyone's recommendations of 'the glass castle', it was a fascinating read. i'd also add 'orange is the new black', good luck!


An great oldie is Memoirs of a Geisha. There's also Tana French's Into the Woods; anything by Marian Keyes or Laura Giffin, and Lauren Bacall's By Myself.


Oh, Prep. Loved it so much. They are little fluffy and YAF ish, but Sloppy Firsts and then the sequel are some my favorite books, and we seem to have very similar taste in books.
Also "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks", "Looking for Alaska", and then two of my all time favorite books ever, "Youth In Revolt" and "Skipped Parts"


*I Capture the Castle, People of the Book, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, Rebecca, . . . So many great books out there that graduating frees you up to enjoy! Join a bookclub, that helps me find new titles and motivation each month!


PS - TOTALLY agree with The Help and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!


Hav you read the Glass Castle? It really is as good as people say...I assign it as part of my summer work. She wrote a second book that just came out in paperback, Unbroke Horses or something like that, and that was outstanding too.
But if you are really being literary, I second Steinbeck because of where you are living. Have you read Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden? It is fun because you recognize the places he is writing about, and his writing is gorgeous. Word of caution though, I love him, but I have had a lot of people tell me that they hate him. Seems to be he's like that, love or hate.


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, and South of Broad by Pat Conroy are two that I enjoyed recently. And I definitely agree with The Help and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.


We share quite a few favorite books, so I hope this helps!

Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green are both wonderful. And they're published as YA in the US (adult everywhere else), which means they're cheaper, so yay for thrift! I'd also recommend Netherland by Joseph O'Neill, and second Never Let Me Go and American Wife. And an old favorite of mine is The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. I've given it to many people over the years and everyone who reads it loves it.

On the nonfiction front, I think you would love As Always, Julia, which is the collected letters of Julia Child and her friend Avis DeVoto. I also read her memoir, My Life in France, which is a great companion (I'd read it first) but not redundant. And Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is fantastic, but does involve a fair bit of legal drama, so it may be off limits. My favorite nonfiction book of last year was Packing For Mars by Mary Roach, which is fascinating and hilarious and totally compelling.


p.s. I am one of those who hates Steinbeck, even though I love California.

Lisa C.

Hands down - The Book Thief. The Glass Castle was great, as were Room and Water for Elephants. Also a good young adult series of books were The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster is a fun favorite. Happy reading!


I just posted my own list on my blog (http://pearlinparis-pearl.blogspot.com/2011/01/50-books.html). Given your previous choices, I'd recommend THE SUN ALSO RISES by Hemingway, short story collections by Hemingway or Fitzgerald, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton, and MRS. DALLOWAY by Virginia Woolf.


I loved She's Come Undone! Have you read any of Wally Lamb's other books?


A couple of my favorites are "The Bell Jar" and "Diary of a Mad Housewife".


Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry." Quick, good read.


Anything by John Irving. I suggest you start with The Cider House Rules or The World According to Garp.

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