Thursday, December 12, 2013

All I Want for Christmas is a Good Book

I know, I know. You're wondering what to get me for Christmas. I thought that world peace was a pretty tough order and, while I'd like the gift of confidence in the face of uncertainty, I know it's in short supply. How about something that would be valuable to me but wouldn't cost you a cent? I have the perfect thing: a book recommendation.

Best Books I've Read - Flotsam of the Mind

In the comments or on the Facebook page, please share a few of the best books you've read. Publication date or reading date don't matter. If it's great, I want to know about it. I want the best of the best.

In return, I will gift to you the best books I've read. As of this moment, I have 206 books on my Goodreads "read" list. I gave 47 of them a 5-star rating.

Best Books I've Read - Flotsam of the Mind

A 22% 5-star rating sounds high, but my "read" list doesn't include books I started and didn't finish, bringing down the percentage a bit. I rarely read a bad book, because I am selective and choose books recommended by critics or friends. I often give a 4-star rating, but I try to reserve 5 stars for the truly superlative. Here is my list:

1. Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt

2. Love is a Mix Tape - Rob Sheffield

3. The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate (a children's book, won the Newberry Award)

4. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (a YA novel, beautiful and brutal)

5. The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach (I lived with these characters for days afterward.)

6. Lit: A Memoir - Mary Karr

7. Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness (witches and vampires, but well-written)

8. Arcadia - Lauren Groff (I didn't care for the end but still gave it 5 stars.)

9. A Discovery of Witches - (First of a trilogy. Book 2 is number 7.)

10. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake - Anna Quindlen

11. Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand

12. Let's Pretend This Never Happened - Jenny Lawson (My stomach hurt from laughing.)

13. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes

14. 11/22/63 - Stephen King (If you aren't a Stephen King fan, try this anyway.)

15. Most of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which begins with The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan (a middle-grade series but great fun)

16. The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home - George Howe Colt

17. The Emperor of All Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee (a thick nonfiction book about cancer that I couldn't put down, which says a lot)

18. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese

19. Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay (bring tissues)

20. Manhood for Amateurs - Michael Chabon (essays)

21. The Help - Kathryn Stockett

22. Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (This was the first of his I read. By the third, I was growing tired of his formula, but his books are interesting and good cocktail party fodder.)

23. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

24. The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs (hilarious)

25. A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines

26. Wonder - R.J. Palacio (a YA book not to be missed)

27. The Tender Bar - J.R. Moehringer

28. The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson

29. The Yiddish Policeman's Union - Michael Chabon (admittedly weird, but damn can he write)

30. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson

31. On Writing - Stephen King (part memoir, part writing advice)

32. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell (YA with more characters I didn't want to leave)

33. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers

34. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner (possibly my favorite book of all time)

35. Woman: An Intimate Geography - Natalie Angier (nonfiction by a science writer)

36. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott (exactly as the title says)

37. Room - Emma Donoghue

38. Those Who Save Us - Jenna Blum

39. How Reading Changed My Life - Anna Quindlen (I've gifted this many times.)

40. Johnny Cash: The Life - Robert Hilburn

41. Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl

42. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

43. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character - Paul Tough

44. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court - Jeffrey Toobin (I'm still a law school nerd, if not a lawyer.)

45. Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

46. Thank You For Your Service - David Finkel

47. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

Best Books I've Read - Flotsam of the Mind

As I look at this list, I see a handful of 4.5-star books, but that wasn't an option. I felt 5 stars when I finished the book, so I'm sticking with it and including them all. Happy holidays. I hope you find something you love.

Now it's your turn. What should I read next?

Today's writing prompt was "The Best Gift You Could Give Me This Christmas." Please follow this link to A Long Run to see what Deanna had to say on the topic and the links at the bottom of her post to see how other bloggers responded. 

If you'd like to see any of my Goodreads reviews of these or other books, click here for my Goodreads account.

1 comment:

  1. Susie: Dan Brown Inferno: James Patterson are a good mystery