Currently I am reading a PZ4 selection for my book club. I’ve never been much of a PZ4, never quite made it to a jousting tournament or medieval feast and I cut my hair every few years. However, I can stand some good fantasy every now and again. The book we’re currently reading is The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart.
When I’m reading it, I want to keep reading to find out what will happen next, but when I’m not currently reading I have trouble convincing myself that I care about what happens to Vortigern, Morginstern and HÃ¤agen-Dazs of the House of Googinesh. But for the love of my good friend, I will press on.
That said, when I’m finished with this, I need more. I feel the need, the need to read.
Here are a few suggestions from me for summer reading:
These is My Words by Nancy Turner — page-turning frontier adventure and romance
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger — excellent prose, amazingly rich characters, faith promoting
Moonraker’s Bride by Madeleine Brent — fun fluff, a light, romantic, action/adventure
A while back I asked for your favorite books of all time. Now I just want one or two from each of you that will keep me interested and coming back for more between running through the sprinkler, pushing kids on the swings and deciding how long the laundry can really wait before we’ll all need to go out and buy new clothes.
I’m open to pretty much any genre but hardcore romance. Hit me with your best shots. What’s worth reading?
sarah k. says
The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth Century Ship and its Cargo of Female Convicts. By Sian Rees
Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem. By Simon Singh and John Lynch
Women of Genesis Trilogy by Orson Scott Card:
Rachel and Leah
Heather O. says
If you are going with light and Orson Scott Card, I recommend “Enchantment”. Very interesting, very fun, not too heavy, can definitely read it in between the swing and the hose.
Proud Daughter of Eve says
“Cage of Stars.”
I don’t know how light it is but it is a fast read. Despite how quickly I went through it, I also felt it was one of those books that transforms or shapes you by the end. The author herself isn’t LDS and makes a few very minor mistakes (like taking a baby born into the temple-married family to the temple for Sealing) but overall it’s a very moving story about a Mormon family finding forgiveness for the man who killed two if their children.
Okay, summarizing it reminds me that it’s not light reading at all. But it was GOOD.
Not much of a PZ4 huh? Your loss! If you’re willing to take another stab at it, I recommend any of the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold. Space opera. Very witty. I can just open the books anywhere, start reading and be entertained, even the third time I’ve read the book.
laughing mommy says
Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman – I read this cover to cover over and over and over again while I was pregnant. Love!
The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers – One of the only paperback books I keep around to read again every few years.
The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan. A lovely, nostalgic memoir of a witty and (for lack of a better word) spunky mother of ten. I’m about to start reading it for the third time. One of my favorite books to laugh and cry my way through.
Also, I don’t know if you’ve heard of paperbackswap.com, but it’s my new favorite website ever, because FREE BOOKS! (Well, you pay to mail them out, but it’s still waaay cheaper than buying them new.) I joined about a month ago and I have at least 10 new books on the shelf waiting for me to read them. And no, I don’t work for the site, I just loooooove them.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
It’s been out for 12 years, so you’ve probably already read it. I’m about to start it for the 2nd time!
See, I am a PZ4…so I don’t know how much help I will be. My favorite books are Robin McKinley books. The Blue Sword being #1. She has also rewritten some fairy tales and given them new twists. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (it is light reading, and not at all like the movie…the movie didn’t do it justice.) The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper is a good set. InkHeart and InkSpell by Cornelia Funke as well.
Now for non fantasy…hmmm. Chasing Vermeer was a great read. It has mystery, and art. (Yes many of the books I read are considered to be in the Children’s/Young Adult Category, but they are still good, and they are clean to boot.) If you like suspense and shorter reads then I recommend any Charlotte Armstrong book. And if you have never read it before (I hadn’t until this year) Bram Stoker’s Dracula is actually a very good book. Its spooky enough to give you scary dreams but not in a gory way. In relation to that book…The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova was a good read as well. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books are great friendship books, but they get progressively sleazier with each book as the characters get older.
Sorry I listed so many. I have quite a book collection and obession going on. I need to branch out but I don’t want to waste my energy on books that are sleazy.
Amy @ Experience Imagination says
If you haven’t read them yet…
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Sisterchicks on the Loose & Sisterchicks Do the Hula both by Robin Jones Gunn (all the Sisterchicks books are pretty good, but those are my favorites)
What a Girl Wants/She’s Out of Control/With this Ring I’m Confused by Kristin Billerbeck
Not completely light and fluffy, but all quick reading with lots of good characters and story.
The Eight, by Katherine Neville. We read it outloud on our Disneyland trip, and I finished it after we got back and it is GREAT! Intrique, politics, and supreme power in France of the 1700’s and New York and Algeria of the 1970’s. Good times!
(Uh, there is a scene of “romance” that we skipped in our reading outloud…just so you know.)
Also I love “The Blue Sword,” by Robin McKinley, and pretty much anything else by her. And I started “The Three Musteteers” again recently, and am LOVING it.
Mary C says
i just finished “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls- it’s a true story- REALLY good. Very quick read- I couldn’t put it down!
Also- Back in January I read “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfield. Really good, too. It’s so nice to read all that teen angst and then look up at your beautiful husband and children and think, “Ha! I’m not in hi8gh school anymore!”
By far, my favorite summer reading book that is a complete joy is Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury. It’s one you’ll want to keep around, so I say buy it in hardback. It’s full of lovely vingettes of a childhood summer.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards (yes, she’s THAT Julie Andrews)
Sarah’s Quilt (the sequel to These Is My Words)
Eragon and Eldest (and the third comes out this year!) by Christopher Paolini
(I’ll stop there. I could go on forever…)
P.S. Princess Academy and Mandy are books you’ll want your girls to read someday. Love, love, love them.
Okay here are a couple of my recent favorites. I even cut and pasted the book descriptions from my library’s website…
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman
Emilia, a new attorney, lands a job with a prestigious firm and meets Jack, married man. They fall in love and Jack leaves his wife to marry her. When they loose their two-day-old daughter Emilia has a hard time dealing with here new stepson, William, highly intelligent and slightly obsessive and his mother. Throw into the mix a stormy relationship with her own mother and father, and this tale of family troubles grows more intriguing.
Something Blue by Emily Griffin
From the “New York Times” bestselling author of “Something Borrowed” comes a novel that shows how someone with a “perfect life” can lose it all–and then find everything
And of course the new Harry Potter book is coming out in July…
The Persian Pickle Club – Sandra Dallas. Fun, Interesting and Thoughtful Mystery.
All of these titles have been recommended to me at one time or another. Guess that’s a big fat hint! I am joining the summer reading club with my kids this month… thanks for getting me started!
The Mitford series by Jan Karon… Makes me want to find a place like Mitford and stay for the rest of my life!
The Cat Who… series by Lilian Jackson Braun
Both of these series are good, clean reading with fabulous, fast stories. Start with Karon’s series, but be sure to read them in order. Get past the first few chapters and you’ll be hooked and racing me to find the best home in Mitford USA. I’ll beat you there!
The Abram’s Daughter’s series and The Preacher’s Daughter Series by Beverly Lewis
Second Draft of My Life and Back to Good by Sara Lewis
The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman
Daughters of Lancaster County Series by Wanda E. Brunstetter
…just to name a few. Don’t get me started, I could go on forever.
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Set in contemporary Botswana, these books are a quick, funny mystery series. They’re clever and endearing.
The Strangeness of Beauty by Lydia Minatoya. This one starts in Seattle and ends in Japan, spanning from about 1922 to 1940. It deals with mother/daughter relationships and it’s beautiful. As a sidenote, after Minatoya wrote this (and Talkiing to High Monks in the Snow), she got offers from all over the country to teach literature at different universities. But she chose instead to keep doing counseling at a community college in Seattle. (I realize that has nothing to do with the book at all, but it makes me like her even more.)
“The Personal Memoirs of Joan of Arc” By Mark Twain
Very interesting book about Joan’s life, trial and such. The best Twain book yet!
“Twilight” By Stephenie Meyer
Fluff and clean romance, with a little vampire (I know that makes it sound cheesy, but it isn’t)
You might be hooked!!
Yeah I just started an Ameilia Peabody book. They are buy Elizaabeth Peters. A friend recommended them to me. Not too bad so far. I will keep you posted though.
The correct title is
“The Personal Recollections of Joan Arc”
no Memoirs, just recollections
Water for Elephants – by Sara Gruen. I loved this book and hope you do as well.
The Bean Trees. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
All WONDERFUL books, but light and funny too. (Apart from the Bean trees. That one’s on the dramatic side, but it has a light feel which I like. And nature writing is the very bestest.)
oooh, I didn’t see that somebody mentioned Amelia Peabody.
I LOVE her. Oh, that I could be her. Anyway, start with “Crocodile on the Sandbank” if you’re going in that direction.
The ENTIRE Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Getting ready to read them again for the….I don’t know…..100th time? Freaking awesome!!
Lisa (qtpies7) says
The Abram’s Daughters series by Beverly Lewis is incredibly gripping, at times heart-rending, and joyful. There is just no way to describe the series quickly or accurately.
You will want to keep reading, and you are lucky that all 5 books are already published so you don’t have to longingly wait for the next book to come out while stalking the publisher/authors sites, lol.
The entire series is available for $20 here: http://www.christianbookbag.com/?keyword=abram's&searchby=title&page=shop/browse&gclid=CPTyyqX2oowCFRlmWAod5Xk0PA
“Some Danger Involved” by Will Thomas (mystery)
“Enchanted, Inc.” by Shanna Swendson (think Harry Potter for grown-ups. Clean. Laugh-out-loud funny.)
Both of these are the first in a series (so, if you like them, you can be glad there’s more to come!)
Definitely anything by Elizabeth Peters. She also writes under the name “Barbara Michaels”–I love love love “Into the Darkness,” and “Vanish with the Rose” is one of my all-time favorites.
You’ve read the other Madeleine Brents, right? My favorite is “Moonraker’s Bride”, too, but I really like “Merlin’s Keep”.
“Dawn’s Early Light” by Elswyth Thane.
“Jayhawk”, “Return to Red Castle”, and “Shadow Song” by Dorothy Keddington. (Light romance, LDS writer but not LDS-themed books. She’s written more, but those are the best.)
I’m excited to try the other suggestions!
A friend of mine recently gave me the book “Eat Cake” by Jeanne Ray. I don’t usually read fiction, but it was a great, light-hearted, warm and funny page-turner about one woman and her strength; her love for her family (with lots of hilarious ancedotes!) I think you would really, really like it! It’s a quick read because you’ll flip through it quite quickly (in between laundary and running around after little ones).
The Nothing That Is: The Natural History of Zero
The Secret Life of Bees
Sophie’s World (not Sophie’s Choice!)
I’m reading “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss, and so far it’s beautiful.
Some of my favorites:
“Secret LIfe of Bees” By Sue Monk Kidd – Great story that will make you think, cry and feel good.
“Poisonwood Bible” by Barbra Kingsolver -even though this was an Oprah book selection this was great!
“Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale
“The Witch of Blackbird Pond”- I read this when I was a kid and just read again and still loved it.
“The Chosen” by Chiam Potok – classic about two Jewish boys.
These lists make me want to make a run for the Library! Thanks for all the great suggestions!
gods in alabama by joshilyn jackson
funny and fun.
Rocks in my Dryer says
If you love historical fiction, try “London” by Edward Rutherford. Also “Hearts and Bones” by Margaret Lawrence.
As a former third grade teacher, I love good children’s literature. I would recommend any of the Newberry Award winners. Libraries usually group them together in a special section.
Some of my favorites… “Bud, Not Buddy”, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nihm” (you may think differently about rodents after that one), and “The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”
No Cool Story says
Lately I haven’t read any book worth recommending. I’m waiting for the Harry Potter book.
That post “Best book alive or dead” was the very first post I commented on, the very first time I visited your blog. I loved you then and I love you now 🙂
“The Girls” by Lori Lansens. Just finished – excellent.
“The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss. Fantastic.
So glad you mentioned Peace like a river and these is my words. Those are two of my favorite books, so I’ll have to take your suggestion on the 3rd one. I just finished Dairy Queen. Don’t know the author off the top of my head, but it’s in the YA section of the library. Fun read. Also just read The book Thief. A bit heavy for YA, but a great book.
Sorry I can’t help much in this department.
I’m waiting for Harry Potter 7…
And I do like the Narnia series.
The Wooden Porch says
Love the Potter books, but that’s only on my mind because of jk’s comment.
My favorite book would have to be…. “The Crown and the Crucible” by Judith Pella and Micheal Phillips. It’s historical fiction about Russia. It’s the first of a 7 book series (all wonderful) and it’s GRIPPING! Russia was a horrible place to live 100 years ago, but it makes for a book you can’t put down. I actually cried at the end of book 7 when I realized it was the end of reading about the characters, and I usually don’t do silly things like that.
Just finished “Summer of Light” by Dale Kramer. Modern Christian fiction writer, and one of the VERY FEW I actually like. Most of them can’t write, and seem to have very little substance.
Dale Kramer actually can write, and has something worthwhile to say. Anything by him is good. (Levi’s Will is another)
Farm Wife says
Anything by Laurie Notaro…she’s funny & irrevrent & strange. I particularly loved We Thought You Would Be Prettier.
I’m a big fan of Francine Rivers. Especially The Last Sin Eater & Redeeming Love. She used to write “hardcore romance” until she became a Christian.
I just finished Wicked by Gregory Macguire. Now I’m waiting for Son of a Witch.
The last book that I read (and currently my favorite) is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved it.
And…so happy to see that you are going to Blogher. I live so close to you…but maybe we will get a chance to meet in Chicago!! 🙂
I just read UN LUN DUN by China Mieville. SO GREAT! It’s young adult, so very easy read, but deals with issues that are so timely, like pollution, in such an imaginative way. Very, very fun book.
Another one I LOVED, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Also young adult Lit, (I’m a seventh grade teacher). Deals with the Holocost in a totally original way. So thought provoking, hopeful, and sad, but not so gut wrenching sad that you can’t sleep at night.
Anything by Jodi Piccoult.
Anything by Torey Hayden, especially One Child. She is a teacher/therapist who worked with emotionally disturbed children and has written quite a few books about her work.
Just finished “Peace Like a River.” What a great book!
My suggestion for you is “Jayber Crow” by Wendell Berry.
Check out any and all of the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. The first one is called One for the Money. These are hysterically funny, the characterization is amazing, and they are impossible to put down. They are about a Jersey girl who becomes a bounty hunter because she can’t find any other job, and she is really bad at it, but usually gets lucky and gets her man. Think lots of exploding cars, eating donuts instead of therapy, and LOTS of sarcastic humor. I read the first one, and it only took a couple of weeks until I had bought the entire series (#13 comes out in a couple of weeks!). Good thing I bought them, cause they are definately re-readable!
Kari Andersen says
Anything by Jane Porter!
The Frog Prince
Flirting with Forty – being made into a movie by Lifetime
Odd Mom Out
These are the perfect fun easy-read summer reads!!