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Friday, April 21, 2017

Needed: Summer Reading Recommendations


The pic above was taken by me today of "the chair" in my home where Mr. G puts things he has yet to file away, put in our bookcases, etc. It's overflowing. We have a lot of books in this house. But I'm still trying to put together my summer reading list and I need your help.

I already asked this question on my Twitter and Instagram for those who prefer to respond on those platforms. But I wanted to ask here, too, and I'm hoping that by putting this on my blog, it will be a two-way street. Hopefully you may find some summer reading recs as well, from others in our little community!

I'm looking for FICTION recs since I am drowning in non-fiction at the moment.  I welcome any and all suggestions in any genre but as I mentioned on Instagram, I am mostly drawn to intelligent, sharp, witty writing that's though-provoking. If a work of fiction has moved you and rocked your world, THAT'S THE BOOK I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT.

Thank you in advance--I cannot wait to see your suggestions!
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86 comments

  1. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah has been the best book I've read so far this year! You won't be able to put it down.

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    1. Well how can I NOT check that out now? Thank you! ;)

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    2. You've got to read 'big little lies' by liane moriarty. I was on a wait list forever, and finally brought it because I was worried people wold leak spoilers from the hbo adaptation. It was amazing, and I've heard her other books are as well.

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    3. I loved A Man Called Ove. It is about a grumpy old man. It did take a few chapters to really get my teeth in it but I'm soooo glad I stayed because by the end I was so in love with him and literally in tears.

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  2. The Handmaids Tale (about to be a series on Hulu) or Big Little Lies (I'm sure you've heard about this being on HBO). Both books are great! Also recommend any other books by either of the authors that wrote those

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    1. I'm a fan of Atwood and have read THT but it was years ago. I think I'm due for a revisit one of these days! Thanks for the recs--I have yet to watch the HBO show but I would like to read this book first (always). ;)

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  3. The book thief, in the time of the butterflies, reading Lolita in Tehran, anything by Octavio Paz. Also the Harry Potter series

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    1. Thank you!! I love Paz. I have read The Double Flame and a few of his other novels, and I have a book of his poetry that is wonderful. One of my favorite Paz poems:

      Counterparts - Poem by Octavio Paz

      In my body you search the mountain
      for the sun buried in its forest.
      In your body I search for the boat
      adrift in the middle of the night.

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    2. Thanks for sharing that. I will have to check out his other poetry. Love that!

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  4. Rocked my world? Gone Girl. Or any other Gillan Flynn really.
    I second Handmaid's Tale.

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    1. Oh I loved Gone Girl. I made a point to read it before seeing the movie and I'm so glad I did. Thank you! :)

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  5. Any good romance books? Not chit lits, but stories with real substance?

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    1. OMG- are you looking for historical, western, futuristic, erotica ...... seriously, I can totally give you recommendations.

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    2. Have you read Freedom by Franzen? It ripped my heart out.

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    3. PS: I wouldn't really classify it as "romance" but it's about a relationship that spans many years. Amazon classifies it as "Literature & Fiction >> Family Life." At its core though, it's a book about a relationship and again, it ripped my heart out. Highly recommend.

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    4. Susan Elizabeth Phillips does a pretty good romance - they're not quite chick lit, but definitely have a popcorn element to them.

      Really good urban fantasy is Patricia Briggs - romance, monsters, an element of mystery, and good writing. She's my very favorite author.

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    5. Diane Crass, how about you hit me with some literary romance...not really historical or western but something really good without being too sketchy? Many thanks!

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  6. White Teeth, by Zadie Smith. Best book I've ever read (and I have a PhD in literature). I've read it probably close to a dozen times, and even taught it twice. It's powerful, sharp, and INCREDIBLY funny. Reading it is like hanging out with a brilliant friend who provides endless witty commentary.

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    1. I just asked Mr. G if he has this and he said YES! We just have to find it now. ;) Thanks so much for the glowing rec. Definitely adding to my list. xo

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    2. I had to look this one up. Definitely on my list! Thanks for recommending it.

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    1. Thank you! I have her other book, Snow Flower, but have yet to read it. Great to hear you like this one--I will have to check it out! :)

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  9. Julia Spencer Fleming- In the Bleak Midwinter, 1st in a great series

    Simone St. James- The Haunting of Maddy James

    Ellen Marie Wiseman- What She Left Behind- 5 stars!

    Dodie Smith- I Capture the Castle- there is a movie, but the book is better

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    1. Wow, thanks for multiple recs! I'll be sure to look those up! :D

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  10. Not sure what genres you like so will recommend all over the place. I'm reading Ian McEwan's "Nutshell" right now and loving it- very sharp prose. Otherwise: "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro, agree with recs for "Handmaid's Tale", "Middlesex" by Jeffery Eugenides, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" by Michael Chabon, "Life After Life" and sequel "A God in Ruins" by Kate Atkinson.
    If you don't mind surreal/magical realism then anything by Haruki Murakami, particularly "IQ84" and "100 Years of Solitude" by Marquez.
    Genre-ish fiction- Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and sequel "Anansi Boys" (latter about to hit TV), Phillip Pullman's Golden Compass trilogy (ignore the bad movie),
    Dystopian/post apocalyptic - Justin Cronin's "The Passage" (haven't read the two sequels yet so can't speak to those, and Octavia Butler's "Parable of the Sower" series.
    For romantic, more typical summer reading then "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon (also a TV series but the eight books are further along in the story) and All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (starts with "A Discovery of Witches") and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The last may be just slightly a romance, but there's something romantic about the book in general.
    Finally for funny any of the short story collections by David Sedaris- not strictly fiction but family and observational stories. I recommend listening to these as audiobooks since the author is a great reader. In fact several of what I've listed here I listened to as audiobooks. The reader of "Night Circus" is the same man who did the audiobooks of the Harry Potter series and he's amazing with voices, highly recommended.
    Great idea, looking forward to hearing more recommendations.

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    1. Wowee! Thanks for all the recs with commentary! I am a HUGE Murakami fan (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is my fave) and I have read a few of your other suggestions but still so many others to look up. Can't wait to check them all out. xo

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    2. So many spot on reccs here! Middlesex, 100 Years of Solitude, and Life After Life/ A God in Ruins are among my all-time favorites.

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  11. "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole is probably the ultimate dryly-humored story- absolutely brilliantly written and the way the plot and characters slowly come together to form the ending...just terrific.
    I second David Sedaris for laugh-out-loud short stories.
    Zadie Smith and Jhumpa Lahiri are both incredibly intelligent writers who create extremely resonant stories.
    Flannery O'Connor and Shirley Jackson write dark-humored short stories (not the kind where there's this overt humor, but a certain irony, a black humor).
    Alice Munro is another intelligent short-story author who writes really poignant narratives.
    Tom Wolfe is another great author; "A Man in Full" is arguably his best novel.
    Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald is guaranteed to be good.
    "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky is another novel that sticks with you (and, like "A Confederacy of Dunces" was publishes posthumously).

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    1. I love Confederacy of Dunces! I read it in high school, again in college and once again just a few years ago. I took away something different from that book at each stage of my life--a mark of a true classic, right?

      Flannery O'Connor. Yes, please. THE BEST.

      I'm seeing other titles here that I could have turned right back around and recommended to YOU. I actually just bought Suite Francaise at a used bookstore for a dollar and now I can't wait to crack it open.

      I'm guessing you have read Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison? If not, please do. Based on our similar tastes, I'm pretty sure you'll love it. (I did not love the movie though--the book was so, so, so much better.)

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  12. Ok here are my picks:
    Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
    All Involved by Ryan Gattis
    In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
    The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
    And then my wildcard of the bunch because this book was so good I read it in two days:
    The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
    ( I also agree with the other comments about Liane Moriarty, I have read all of her books and she is good).
    Enjoy, G!

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    1. Thank you so much for all of the recs, Carol! I immediately looked up the Summer That Melted Everything based on what you said, and it's now in my Amazon cart. So appreciate this!!

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  13. The good girl by Mary Kubica or All the missing girls by Megan Miranda! Both amazing reads reads if you like thrillers! I could not put them down.

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    1. I do enjoy a good thriller! Thanks so much for the recs! I think I heard somewhere that The Good Girl is in the same vein has Gone Girl? Do you think they're similar? I loved Gone Girl.

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    2. Definitely similar in the keep you on the edge of your seat way! And the way it's written is kinda similar switching between present day and flash backs. I also read Gone Girl it's one of my faves!!

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  14. I read the comments above before answering and highly, highly rec Snow Flower...so great. Beautiful story about female friendships. Also rec Isabel Allende (esp. Island Beneath the Sea) & if you haven't read it, Secret Life of Bees

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    1. Thanks so much! That settles it--I need to crack open my copy of Snow Flower this summer! I will look into Allende. I have yet to read Secret Life of Bees but I own it. It's one of those books that got away from me that I need to just sit down and start. :)

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  15. Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan (Technically childrens lit so a fairly quick easy read but SO great! ) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline chock full of 80's pop culture and a great story line. The Nix by Nathan Hill was another I recently read and enjoyed.

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    1. How have I not read Ready Player One??? Full of 80s pop culture, you say? Adding to Amazon wish list STAT. Thank you so much for the recs!

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  16. Some recent favorites for me-

    Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers
    A Gambler's Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem (love all his books)
    Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (all her books too)
    All Grown Up by Jami Attenburg (light reading but also heavy)
    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (heavy)
    Before the Fall by Noah Howley
    Lexicon by Max Barry

    I realize these are all over the place genre-wise, I read everything. <3

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    1. Thanks so much, Courtney! I really enjoyed The Magician's Assistant by Patchett, but I haven't read anything besides that debut novel (I THINK that was her first?). Anyway, I appreciate all of these recs and will look them up! I only have one Eggers book (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which I have yet to read. Sigh...).

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  17. "Worth it" by cm Owen. If you liked HBO "girls" and "sex in the city" stuff. It's hilarious girl friends, hot guys, witty banter and clever dialog, a little R rated but not smut, revenge but in a funny way, and just plain good reading.

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    1. Thank you! I always like to have a few fun "light reading" books in my summer stash, but never know where to start because some are just so one-dimensional and predictable. So I appreciate this personal rec. I will definitely check it out! :)

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  18. If you haven't read Station Eleven yet, it's time. It'll change how you see the world, seriously.

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    1. Well shoot. How can I NOT give this one a try after a comment like that? ;)

      I actually remember seeing this on many "best book of the year" lists a few years ago, but I'm not generally into post-apocalyptic books unless people tell me I NEED to read them. So yeah, I'll be giving this a shot. Thank you!

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    2. So good, it's so much more than post apocalyptic!

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  19. I love anything written by Sarah Addison Allen. It's not chic-lit but an easy read. Smart, sort of southern gothic but not scary or morose, with a fantasy element, sort of. All with strong female protagonists. Also, anything by Ira Levin - Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, This Perfect Day. All amazing. I just read The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl and loved it - definitely hits that witty/sarcastic note.

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    1. Rubia, I am a huge fan of Southern Gothic lit. and your description has me intrigued! Which book would you suggest I start with when it comes to Allen? Thank you!!!

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    2. Her first book is Garden Spells and is what got me hooked. She wrote a sequel of sorts called First Frost several books later. Another favorite (maybe my favorite?) is The Sugar Queen.

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    3. If you like to read Kindle books there's a free short story download of Sarah Addison Allen's, called Waking Kate. I enjoy here books a lot, too. They're a bit Southern Gothic, but also seem to have touches of magical realism.

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  20. I'm a lover of YA fantasy (don't judge me :o) ) so I'm going to throw out recommendations of the Six of Crows duology and The Raven Cycle series. Both are different from anything else on the market and keep you glued to the pages.
    Also, if you're a fan of historical fiction, you can't go wrong with Ruta Sepetys's writings.

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    1. I cannot agree with these recommendations more vehemently.

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  21. I'm late to the party but here goes:
    The Nightengale- Kristen Hannah
    Lincoln In the Bardo- George Saunders
    Smoke- Dan Vyleta
    The Queen of the Night- Alexandra Chee

    All are excellent choices. Happy Reading!

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  22. I've been reading the 5th Wave trilogy over the past month or so. It's technically YA but definitely enjoyable for adults. It's an apololyptic alien invasion story.... And the movie does NOT do the book justice, so if you saw it and hated it, try the books anyway!

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  23. Do you use Goodreads? I've found tons of recs from there.. probably too many to read in my lifetime! I skimmed through the comments, so I apologize if I recommend something you already said that you read! (:

    Here are a few of my favorites or ones I've rated as "5 stars":
    * Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
    * Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
    * Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick
    * Geisha, a Life - Mineko Iwasaki
    * Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Patrick Suskind
    * The Giver - Lois Lowry
    * Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
    * American Gods - Neil Gaiman

    Happy reading!

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    1. I loved Perfume, by Suskind. It's disturbing yet riveting.

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  24. Hi G, I really enjoy your blog and thought it was time to post. Books, so many wonderful ones! Recent favorites: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, I second The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, & Tuesday Next Series by Jasper Fforde. I hope you find some attention grabbers!

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  25. I'm not literary savvy as everyone else is but I will give you a couple of recommendations because they are off the wall, so to speak. Stephen King's 11/22/63 was one I couldn't wait til bedtime, my reading time, to get back to this book. As usual, the book was so much better than the mini series they had last year.

    Both of Stephen's sons are authors as well. His son, Joe Hill, wrote Heart-Shaped Box. I loved it. Totally suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. I wouldn't consider either of these 2 books horror but rather thrillers.

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  26. Putting in my two cents:)
    B. Kingsolver's The Bean Trees and The Lacuna. She is one strong, insightful and intelligent writer. I intend to dig through some more of her books this 2017. Her books leave a mark and truly arouse and engages her readers' minds.

    The Invention of Wings by S.M. Kidd. This is one book that made me pause in the middle of reading it only to marvel at how beautiful and poetic a writer Sue is.

    Dark Matter by B. Crouch is one of those books that you'll have a hard time putting down and will reawaken that inner science geek in you;).

    Ken Follet's Century Trilogy series. I went crazy for his Pillars of the Earth and the follow up books for this. Checking out his new trilogy did not disappoint at all!

    A favorite modern classic of mine is The Glass Castle by J. Wells. When I picked it up years ago, I somehow had the feeling it will become one notable literary work and I was right. This may not be fiction as it is a memoir but knowing that this kind of story truly happened to the writer just makes this book even more precious.

    Lastly, Judy Blume's In The Unlikely Event is a fast read that will just make a trip to a few decades ago a one delightful trip (and after you read this book should you do so, I shall add 'no pun intended ').

    Have a wonderful time getting lost and journeying everywhere your chosen books takes you!

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  27. I just finished The Lunar Chronicles series and I really liked it. It had some typical YA tropes thrown in there but overall I really like the stories.

    Another great series is The Iron Druid series. I laugh out loud every time I read them. One of my fave series. But I have to admit I am swayed by the narrator, Luke Daniels. He could read me the dictionary and I would be interested.

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  28. Classic lit that's fun: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
    The End of the Affair: Graham Green

    Modern fiction: A Man Called Ove by ???

    Middlesex is a great recommendation too. I like Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird) as I aspire to write more than I do, and she's terribly funny in her observations. Poignant too. A bit preachy at times, but her humor overrides all.

    Eyrie by Tim Winton is my favorite fiction from the last five years, his Australian fiction novels are just yummy in terms of educating you but also with amazing characters (I cast Russell Crowe in all my imaginary roles from each book). So Dirt Music, The Riders, Cloudstreet.

    Bettyville by George Hodgman is my favorite memoir about his mother. The Last Goodbye by Meghan O'Rourke is a memoir about a mother with breast cancer that is very good.

    A Visit From the Good Squad, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Sacks, both great true stories that tell as fiction.

    The Long Road and Safe from the Storm, both by Peter Geye, are wonderful and atmospheric.

    This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison is wonderful and keeps you questioning your interpretation the whole time. As is Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin, a story set in the house the real George Orwell lived in, with lots of Scottish history, landscape, and craziness.

    I have more titles on my blog www theblacksheepdances com if you want poetry or other titles.

    Enjoy your summer!

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  29. A Man Called Ove is quite enjoyable.

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  30. The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is a YA vampire adventure, which is usually a painful sort of thought. But, oh my, how well-written it is.

    The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery has a blog attached, and the writer of the blog has the most delicious recommends list for books. The Coldest Girl... is on her list.

    Dick Francis, no kidding, the old Christmas book for aunts warhorse really did write very good books about English blokes doing right by their world.

    I second Perfume by Suskind.

    Completely light, John Moore's The Unhandsome Prince, and Heroics for Beginners, were both published in the USA and mostly forgotten, but they are wildly popular overseas. They are funny, sort of comparable to Pratchett, romance/ medieval science fiction. He has about a half dozen books, but those two are his best, IMHO. Funny, light-hearted, briskly paced, witty, just happiness. My dad gave them to me as gifts, so he could watch me laugh while I read them.

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  31. I'm not only a fan of makeup, but also a librarian, so prepare yourself! *cracks knuckles*

    *Charley Davidson/Grim Reaper series by Darynda Jones: Funny, witty, sexy, and keeps you hooked.
    *Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning: outrageously engrossing, one of my favorite series of all time, sexy, lots of lore and mythology, badass heroine.
    *Anything by Liane Moriarty like Big Little Lies.
    *Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: thrilling, edge of your seat, what-would-you-do-in-this-situation, scary
    *Gone Girl or the The Girl on the Train if you haven't read those yet.
    *Anything by Gillian Flynn like Dark Places or Sharp Objects. If you already read Gone Girl, but haven't read more of Gillian Flynn's titles, try them.
    *Emelan series by Tamora Pierce: more YA oriented, but an amazing magical universe.
    *Anything by Garth Nix, but particularly his Abhorsen series: can be a slow read, but so creative.
    *His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman: also one of my fav series of all time. May seem like a YA book, but the detail and imagination Pullman puts into this universe is unlike any other.
    *Ring series by Koji Suzuki: ready to have your mind bent? This trippy series will having you thinking about it long after you've finished. Do no let the association with the horror movie the Ring deter you. It is SO much more than that.
    *The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: fun YA mystery!
    *Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy: read this in a college book club for a gender studies class. Still think about it to this day.
    *Any Roald Dahl. Genius and you're never too old to read his titles.
    *The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: mythology and a great story

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  32. I have a few recommendations! The Prestige by Christopher Priest. There was a movie made based on this book a while ago. This is one of those instances​ where the book is equally as good as the movie. An author I'd recommend is Charles de Lint. Two titles in particular- Saving Grace and Dreams underfoot. Both are sort of supernatural-esque but more about human nature and perseverance. Beautifully written. Outlander series is fantastic though I'm sure others have to!Town that out there. Also The God of Small Things is pretty good. It's in the same vein of Pan's Labyrinth. Also midnight Circus was a great little story made even better on audio book! If you're feeling wild and need some high fantasy/romance check out Kushiel's Dart trilogy. Ha. Hope some of these were helpful!

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  33. Haven't really read anything in 2 years, I have a 2 year old and an eight month old. And I miss reading so much because the only time I can do it is if I download on my phone and read while in the bathroom. There is never any privacy or time :/ I recommend The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, it is about a vampire, not a romance and would scare me sometimes so I had to put it down and walk away for a bit. If you are open to young adult(I wasn't before this) try Gone by Michael Grant. It is a series of 5 books where in one town all people 15 and older disappear and the young ones have to fend for themselves with newfound powers, some super some not. I worked in a call center and could not put the books down.

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  34. There are so many titles here already, I don't know what else to recommend, lol!!

    Have you read "Memoirs of a Geisha" ? It's one of my all time favorite books, a love story. I think a movie was made (?) but I'm not sure. Don't see the movie if there is one, i feel like movies always ruin books for me, lol.

    If you like reading literature from other countries, I highly recommend "Gabriela Clovr and Cinnamon" by Jorge Amado. Also one of my faves by a long shot. This one also has romance, but the story is so much more than that.

    I hope you have fun making you mr reading list. I always make one with like 50 books and then it's so hard to narrow it down just to start. Good luck! =)

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  35. Ok, I'm back because how could I forget to recommend another Brazilian author I love: Paulo Coelho. Have you read "The Achemist" ? It's his most popular book by far to start with, but he has so many good ones, he's like Woody Allen but for books. =D

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  36. There are some great recs here! Here are some of my faves:

    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
    And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (Also enjoyed his other books)
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
    Redemption Road by John Hart
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

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  37. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is seriously one of the best books I've ever read. Pleaseee give it a go and tell me what you think :)

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  38. Border Child by Michel stone. Just released this month and was on the BBC list of 10 books to read. Beautiful characters. Great plot. I could not put it down (picture me reading it by the light of my cell phone while taking my kids to the Smurf movie!)

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  39. There are some great suggestions here, including Station Eleven, which I love. I'm also getting ideas for my to-read list.

    One of my all-time favorites is Amy Greene's Bloodroot, which is set in the south over three or four generations of one family. I also really enjoyed Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Keith Donohoe's The Stolen Child and his The Boy Who Drew Monsters.

    I found Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles and Sarah Lotz's The Three compelling, but my husband didn't agree, so we had our little debates about those, which is fun in itself.

    If my book were out I'd be suggesting that one, but it's not ready yet. (But it's kind of a paranormal/magical realism-adjacent female-centric book.)

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  40. Here's my standard recommendation list; all of these are favorites in their in regard. I like fantasy and sci-fi and YA novels, so there may be a few things that don't tickle your fancy... But these I love.

    The Night Circus, Erin Morganstern
    Neverwhere and American Gods and pretty much anything at all by Neil Gaiman
    Anathem, Neil Stephenson
    House of Leaves, Mark Z Danielewski
    World War Z, Max Brooks
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making (and sequels), Catherynne M. Valente
    Redwall (and sequels), Brian Jacques
    Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen, Tamora Pierce
    The Belgariad and the Malloreon (book one is Pawn of Prophecy), David Eddings
    Queen of the Tearling trilogy, Erika Johansen
    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe
    The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
    Wool, Hugh How

    Phew. Sorry for any repeats! I'm definitely checking this post later for recs to steal, too!

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    1. The Belgariad is my favorite series of all time and what got me started on seriously reading when I was 12. I reread it every couple of years. Happy to see another epic fantasy/David Eddings fan on beauty blog =)

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  41. My Heart is an Idiot or A Little Life

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  42. Wow everyone, this is so awesome! I now have a massive list to chose from. Thanks!

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  43. I read to escape so I usually pick up something light and funny. As someone mentioned earlier Susan Elizabeth Phillips is great. Two of my favorites are Nobody's Baby but Mine and Heaven, Texas.
    Rachel Gibson: sex, Lies and Online Dating- this is the first book in a short series that centered on friends who are writers. The first book is about the mystery writer who's researching online dating. They are funny reads and solid storylines.
    Janet Evanovich- the series starts with One for the Money. Stephane Plum is recently divorced and unemployed so she goes to work as a bail bondsman. Her grandma is crazy.
    It's good, but the books get so much better after the first one. They all have numbers in the title. She;s up to 23; the first ten are the best. Laugh out loud funny! Which is not great when you are on an airplane; people look at you funny. Trust me on this..
    Robyn Carr- she's become one of my favorites. She has a few series, Virgin River, is the longest and most popular. There's a trilogy prequel for Virgin River. The first book is Down in the Valley. Solid storytelling. I gave it to my mom and she read it in two days. Great read and easy reading.

    This may be fluffy, but I like fluff.

    One non fiction rec (forgive me I know this is supposed to be fiction) - Boys in the Boat is AMAZING!!!!!

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  44. This Is How You Lose Her by Juanto Diaz was an incredible book. It was a relatively quick read, and had enough love and romance to make it a good beach book. It was written as a collection of short essays that go together, but it was a work of fiction. Definitely worth at least reading the back of.

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  45. great thread, G!

    I meant to add Nick Hornby (anything by him) as grown-up humor and serious concepts. His "More Baths, Less Talking" is a fascinating look at his reading over a year, and has many book recommendations itself inside. Love his voice!

    Hit the library sale yesterday and got The Goldfinch, two Paula Hawkins, and Gone Girl. All because of the recommendations above. Thanks!

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  46. One Second After by John Matherson and its sequel!!!

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  47. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin was the best book I've read in recent memory. Unbelievably thought provoking and book-hangover-inducing. It really affected me long after I finished reading it. Here's the little snipit -

    What happens to us after we die? What happens before we are born? At once a riveting mystery and a testament to the profound connection between a child and parent, The Forgetting Time will lead you to reevaluate everything you believe…

    I also really enjoyed The Nightingale as someone mentioned above. I read it in a weekend because I couldn't put it down (I have a book problem haha).

    It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover is another powerful read. I won't give away the plot but expect to cry, a lot. Really amazing.

    Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman is another favorite of mine.

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  48. I am saving this so I can read the comments later, I also apologize if this already has been mentioned a lot but The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (aka The Fug Girls) is excellent. Angela Sanders writes very fun short series, quick easy to read, more complex than you might think murder mysteries. The Joanna Haywood series is my favorite so far.

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  49. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See was AMAZING. I couldn't put it down!

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