Home > Can you recommend a really great book?

Can you recommend a really great book?

June 11th, 2012 at 12:57 am

I realize everyone has their own taste, but if you know of abook that you think would universally appeal to, well, me, please let me know the title and author.

I'm in the mood to buy more books on amazon.

I like travel books and those that have at least something to do with the outdoors and nature, but I'm open to pretty much everything.

12 Responses to “Can you recommend a really great book?”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Well, my tastes run to experimental literary fiction (it can be really experimental as long as it tells a great story), true adventure, true crime, and expose/analysis type nonfiction books (picking apart a real event or part of culture and examining it). I like lots of other kinds of books, but these are the three genres I'm drawn to most often. So I can recommend in these areas ...

    For experimental fiction, I love two authors, Percival Everett and Laird Hunt. Probably my favorite books by them are "Glyph" and "The Impossibly." Strange books, but really funny and entertaining and poignant in places. Just have to be read and enjoyed; too hard to explain.

    In true adventure, I loved Shackleton's book about his failed travels (but amazing survival) in Antarctica, I think it was called "South." "In the Wake of Madness" and "In the Heart of the Sea" are amazing stories of hardship aboard whaleships (the latter is the story of the Essex, which 'Moby Dick' was based on).

    For true crime, I thought "The Adversary" by Emmanuel Carrere was one of the best I've read, about a French "doctor" who lives an elaborate lie until it all unravels. "The Suspicions of Mr. Wicher" is great because it's about a Victorian-England detective and really goes into that culture and the birth of the detective as cultural icon.

    As for expose or analysis, I like books that dig into the underside of industries, such as "Fast Food Nation" and "Nickel and Dimed." However, I also like books that probe odd corners of history. One of my very favorites in this area is "The Fasting Girl," which examines a Victorian-era American woman who claimed to fast for decades, and also really gets into the cultured that enabled such an outrageous claim to be taken half-seriously (and let the claimant become a minor celebrity).

  2. SicilyYoder Says:

    Ceejay- I have Nickel and Dimed in my home library. I like books like that or Danielle Steel, and of course, Amish Romance novellas. Boppli in a Basket is out on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle if you like romance novellas. Leaving Lancaster County, the revision, will be out this Friday. Both books are part of a series, Kentucky Amish and Walnut Creek Amish.

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    I like the Anna Pigeon novels by Nevada Barr. Strong female main character, mystery type stories. Anna is a national parks employee, and each one is set in a different national park.

    And I really, really like The Hunger Games. I like sci-fi, and I like stories that the more you think about them, the more you see more layers of meaning.

  4. Swimgirl Says:

    I just read The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman and I loved it.

  5. PauletteGoddard Says:

    _The Sisters Brothers_ by Patrick deWitt has been garnering awards left and right. Dark, but funny with a good ending. It is like the Coen Brothers meeting Charles Portis.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    If you like mysteries, I recommend these authors: Elizabeth George, Tess Gerritsen, Deborah Crombie, Ruth Revell, Barbara Vine.

    I also love Alexander McCall Smith's writings -- he has several series going, all good.

  7. Petunia 100 Says:

    I love mysteries. I will be looking for those authors, CB. I wasn't familiar with any of their names. Thanks! Smile

  8. katwoman Says:

    It might be me, but the cost of books does not merit the literary effort as of late. For this reason I've stated picking up books at Dollar Tree. I'm reading "If I Did It" by OJ Simpson. Only $1 and I nabbed the last copy!

    Check out the reviews on Amazon if you're curious.

  9. Dido Says:

    Wish I could think of something to recommend but travel, outdoors, and nature are not my categories. The question is, what kinds of books are worth owning, as opposed to checking out from the library? Personally, I *buy* nonfiction (mostly psychology/neuroscience, business/personal finance, and health books), but I check fiction books out from the library. The two exceptions are classics that I will re-read (I have almost everything that John Steinbeck ever wrote, and a handful of other novels), and 99-cent Kindle mysteries that are so cheap (as well as convenient) that I don't regard the cost as money wasted.

  10. Dido Says:

    I see from your sidebar that you are (or were) reading "Choosing Simplicity." That's the kind of thing I read...or read heavily a decade ago. BTW if you look at page 303 you will see a name that I think you will recognize :^).

  11. patientsaver Says:

    Oh, dido, that's so funny. I'm only on p. 163 so i had to skip way ahead to see what you meant. and just think, if we had never met, I'd never have known that the person whose blogs I'd often read, or interacted with online was the same person mentioned in the book!.

    Thus far, i have to say i've been somewhat disappointed with the book. It is somewhat inspiring, but not as much as I'd hoped. I don't feel I've learned anything really new yet.

    When i decided to buy it (with gift cards, so no out of pocket) what interested me was reading about actual people's individual stories of how they came to simplify their lives.

    But somehow it seemed to me the author genericized those stories, perhaps to appeal to as a large an audience as possible. I know she used pseudonyms for most of the people to protect their identity, but aside from that, the individual stories seemed diluted somehow and not as interesting/authentic as i had anticipated.

    While i'm sure she intended to leave out extraneous details, it almost seems like the people she's described are more "conglomerate" personalities representing several different people she decided to roll into one becus they were similar, rather than individual people.

    Just my initial take. But i was delighted to see your name there!

  12. Dido Says:

    I think you've tapped it precisely. It's been a while since I read the book, but I believe that the longer descriptions *are* in fact compilations. She's a sociologist, after all, not a journalist, and her interest is more the general than the specific. She had a long survey and a follow-up phone interview as well. She was one of the first people I talked to who changed careers (she started out as a lawyer), and that may have been the first seed that was planted that ultimately led to my own career change--that I did not even initiate until 8 years later (the year of the survey and the interview was 1996).

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