About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

My Favorites

These are titles that are particular favorites of mine. I have read, and in many cases, reread them. I fully expect this list to grow over time. These books have made a lasting impression on me, and perhaps they will appeal to you too.

In no particular order:

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
See previous post: This Is Not A Book Review.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is a contender for my favorite book. I found it to be breathtakingly brilliant. See my full review:  Cloud Atlas

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, considered a YA novel, but appropriate for adults as well, this one is my favorite book of all time.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Strong women, secret missions, WWII? What's not to like? For more details see Winter is a great time to read.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I enjoyed this one, but I would not have called it one of my favorites until I read it a second time concurrently with the classic, Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. Like the film, Apocalypse Now, Patchett's novel parallels the story line and themes of the classic novel, but I think goes a step above. Patchett brings the story to life in our modern era complete with modern ethical questions. Reading the two novels simultaneously gave me a greater appreciation for both books and made me keenly aware of Patchett's skill and artistry as a writer.

Silas Marner by George Eliot, my favorite classic novel.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, my second favorite classic novel.

Straight Man by Richard Russo, a funny yet poignant novel that will have a distinct appeal to English teachers, professors, and writers or anyone who appreciates a good tale and witty turn of phrase.

Okay For Now, The Wednesday Wars, and Trouble, all by Gary Schmidt. Once again YA titles make the list. Schmidt is one of my favorite authors. The depth and richness of his writing is remarkable.

Holes by Louis Sachar. One of the rare instances in which the movie was indeed as good as the book. Could it be because Sachar wrote the screenplay?
The Cardturner also by Louis Sachar. Coming of age, teen love, mysterious happenings, channeling dead people, and bridge--what's not to like? I don't care about bridge or know anything about it. Doesn't matter. This book is great.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. OK, so the movie version of this one was pretty good too. Like most people I had to read this one in high school, but actually fell in love with it. Thank you, Mr. Heaton.

An American Summer by sports writer, Frank Deford. This book blew me away. The story and characters are compelling and memorable. I highly recommend you read this one if you can find it.
Bliss Remembered also by Frank Deford. Forbidden love at, of all places, the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Love this one every bit as much as An American Summer.

The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Both poignant and haunting.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, the talented YA author whose book, Looking For Alaska, I first discovered in the Book Mark in Ludington. Katherines is one of my favorite titles of his so far. It will have special appeal to those who appreciate quirky, creative, and unique characters.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Okay, this one is even better than Katherines. Funny, touching, sad, yet uplifting with the usual John Green witty dialog. Fair warning, you will need Kleenex for the last 50 pages.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Being a child of the 60's, I can relate to this book on a variety of levels. The movie does an admirable job of distilling the key elements of the book. But of course, the book is always better.


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