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I'm looking for a good book

Usually I read serious literary fiction but am going through a lot of stress right now and would like to find something good, gripping, and easy to read. Fiction or non-fiction, doesn't matter.

Any suggestions most appreciated.

by Anonymousreply 11211/16/2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. And the other two books that follow it, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

In fact, check out the Young Adult section of the bookstore or library. That's where some of the best writers and writing today can be found.

by Anonymousreply 112/01/2011

How about a good spy novel? I'd recommend Alan Furst's [italic]Dark Star[/italic] or [italic]the Polish Officer[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 212/01/2011

The Passage by Justin Cronin.

by Anonymousreply 312/01/2011

I enjoyed Lee Child's "61 hours". It's an easy read.

by Anonymousreply 412/01/2011

I don't know about gripping, OP, but if you want something that will make you laugh and keep you keep turning pages to the end, Janet Evanovich's number series, "One for the Money," etc. can be fun.

DL will disparage me for recommending it, of course, and it definitely is chick lit, but the whole series is laugh-out-loud funny, a kooky straight girl with two smokin' hot men at her beck and call, and she's always getting into scrapes that nearly get her killed or get her car blown up, etc.

Definitely not gripping, but good escapism.

by Anonymousreply 512/01/2011

You should read the first autobiography that Shirley Winters wrote. Fun book.

by Anonymousreply 612/01/2011

For urban fantasy, Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) or Simon R. Greens' The Nightside series (set in fantasy London) are great, fast, reads. Read Butchers' Side Jobs (a series of short stories), so you know if you like his style of writing. Re {R5} suggestion: start with the third book. It is laugh out loud funny, and the only one where Evanovich indulges her odder sense of humor.

by Anonymousreply 712/01/2011

The bible is a good book, but seriously you probably want a naughty book.

by Anonymousreply 812/01/2011

"V is for Vengence" by Sue Grafton

by Anonymousreply 912/01/2011

Keith Richards, Life.

by Anonymousreply 1012/01/2011

OP, have you ever read Andrew Grey?

by Anonymousreply 1112/01/2011

I know many people don't care for Michael Cunningham, but I loved "Flesh & Blood."

I also really enjoyed "A Death in Belmont," by Sebastian Junger, who also wrote "The Perfect Storm."

by Anonymousreply 1212/01/2011

People here don't like Dean Koontz either but I enjoyed the Frankenstein books, all four of them.

by Anonymousreply 1312/01/2011

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.

by Anonymousreply 1412/01/2011

If you like WWII thrillers/page turners, I loved The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva. I re-read it every winter when I get the blahs.

On a slightly different note, another old favorite is Donna Tartt's The Secret History; it always pulls me in from page 1.

(Fish out of water kid from CA attends small liberal arts college which I think it based on Bennington College. One of the wealthy students is murdered and the narrator is among the group that may have killed him. She is an amazing writer)

by Anonymousreply 1512/01/2011

Many thanks for these suggestions.

by Anonymousreply 1612/01/2011

Read this while on vacation this summer and liked it a lot. I'm a guy but totally dig Sarah Waters' writing.

Anybody else read it?

by Anonymousreply 1712/01/2011

A Shore Thing, by Snooki.

You will never look at a Guidette shaking her peaches in a sleazy het dance club in quite the same way.

by Anonymousreply 1812/01/2011

Read "We Are Animals" by Justin Torres is literary fiction, but it's a very easy, quick read.

Great, great book.

by Anonymousreply 1912/01/2011

That book looks like it would be right up my alley, OP/R17, i.e. crumbling old country house, fading aristocrats in post WWII UK, potential ghost elements, etc.

I'm going to check it out. Thanks!

p.s. If you are drawn to fading UK country house life, check out Kate Morton books. (The House at Riverton and The Distant Hours)

by Anonymousreply 2012/01/2011

I've been hooked on Linda Fairstein the former D.A.'s mystery thrillers set in New York, since I discovered them last summer. I also like Dennis Lehane and Richard Russo's work.

And don't laugh, but Ann Perry is great fun and very engrossing. OP, you can pick up anything by any one of these four and you'll not be disappointed. I'd also like to second Daniel Silva. Anything by him.

Of course I got hooked on George R.R. Martin fantasy Game of Thrones, but that's quite an investment of time.I've read all five books and I have to say the first three are really the best. After that I only wanted to know how it all gets wrapped up.

by Anonymousreply 2112/01/2011

Not sure if you are interested in music history or not, OP, but the book "And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records" is excellent. It's a look at the super sleazy late 70s record industry, specifically the most coked-up label around, Casablanca, home to both Donna Summer and Kiss.

by Anonymousreply 2212/01/2011

Book thread! Bump!

by Anonymousreply 2312/01/2011

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, great read! I've been recommending it ever since I read it this summer.

by Anonymousreply 2412/01/2011

"Mrs. Astor Regrets" by Meryl Gordon. So much good dish. SO MUCH.

by Anonymousreply 2512/01/2011

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde. It's a look at the "seedy underbelly of nursery crime."

by Anonymousreply 2612/01/2011

R20, hope you like it. When you finish, post a thread and we can discuss. I've read The House at Riverton -- what a sad book.

by Anonymousreply 2712/01/2011

"The View from the Fortieth Floor" by Theodore White

by Anonymousreply 2812/02/2011

Barbara Trapido's The travelling horn player is an old favourite of mine.

Another vote for Donna Tartt's Secret History.

for YA, Louis Sachar's the Cardturner is a pretty good read

by Anonymousreply 2912/02/2011

Loved "the Graveyard Book".

by Anonymousreply 3012/02/2011

I second anything by Bill Bryson. He wrote great travel books too. Start with Down Under / In a Sunburned Country.

by Anonymousreply 3112/02/2011

Columbine by Dave Cullen.

Duke Ellington’s America by Harvey G. Cohen

by Anonymousreply 3212/02/2011

I second The Hunger Games series. I couldn't put the first two down, and the third one was great too.

by Anonymousreply 3312/02/2011

Most gripping book I've read in a while, Uncaged by Paul McKellips. Getting great reviews on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 3412/02/2011

"Island of the Sequined Love Nun" by Christopher Moore made me laugh out loud on vacation. Funniest Fantasy Fiction I ever read. My favorite character was the Filipino transvestite navigator with the talking fruit bat. Very quick read.

by Anonymousreply 3512/02/2011

Agreed that the Frankenstein Books are fast easy reads...the first three, featuring the original Dr. Frankenstein are the best (maybe due to the fact Koontz had a different co-writer who most likely curbed his tendancies) but all of them are good cheap entertainment. Koontz books I compare to the old Hardy Boys mysteries, chapters are short, lot of action, and ends with a cliffhanger. God I hate his central heroes who we are supposed to identify with.

The Passage was good, with a great beggining, but the middle really is weak...the ending does make up for it though.

by Anonymousreply 3612/02/2011

The Glass Room

by Anonymousreply 3712/02/2011

The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

by Anonymousreply 3812/02/2011

Along with R5's suggestion about Evanovich, try the series of books by Laura Levine.

The title character's name is Jaine Austen and she has a gay male best friend and a cat named Prozac.

They are good, mindless, enjoyable reading.

I am reading the third "Hunger Games" book. Can't believe these are written for young adults! I cried 2x reading the first installment and once reading the second. MARY!

I usually read books by Elizabeth George (The Inspector Lynley series) but sometimes don't want to have to follow all the characters or "escape to London."

Happy reading, OP!

by Anonymousreply 3912/02/2011

Geek Love.

I've also been reading various short story collections by Stephen King. I prefer those to his massive tomes.

by Anonymousreply 4012/02/2011

The Sense of An Ending - won the Booker Prize this year. Great read, great twists.

Parallel Stories - by Peter Nadas. The modern equivalent of War & Peace. Big book I'm reading now and loving.

Look for a classic. Reading a lot of Zola this past year. Germinal remains one of my favorites.

by Anonymousreply 4112/02/2011

Anything by Ann Coulter. She is so witty and intelligent, I can't put her books down.

by Anonymousreply 4212/02/2011

Sarah Waters' Fingersmith is a book you can NOT put down. Total page turner.

by Anonymousreply 4312/02/2011

Sure you can, r 42. right on top of a freshly ignited duraflame log.

by Anonymousreply 4412/02/2011

For any child of the 80's, anyone who has played video games, anyone who liked "The Matrix", anyone who likes 80's pop culture...

Read "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline.

It's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a new millenium. One of the best books I've read in many years. A real page-turner.

by Anonymousreply 4512/02/2011

Thanks to everyone for your recommendations. I'm going to check them all out on Amazon on Saturday. Many titles familiar, but not plots.

Recently finished Sense of an Ending, R41, very well done. The linked book was a finalist for the Booker. I've had it on my night table for ages. Anyone read it?

Again, thank you all for taking the time to help me out.

by Anonymousreply 4612/02/2011

Where's Waldo.

by Anonymousreply 4712/02/2011

Another vote for "Ready Player One".

by Anonymousreply 4812/02/2011

I enjoyed the Hunger Games series as well.

For something a little different based on what you were looking for OP, I would also recommend Room by Emma Donoghue. It's definitely one that will take you along for the ride.

by Anonymousreply 4912/02/2011

For fun...Oh ,the glory of it pat Montanton's son....dishy and funny with some family drama thrown in.

For gripping... read any of Ann Rule's books...true crime. She is a terrific author.

by Anonymousreply 5012/02/2011

Another vote for The Hunger Games. Love them.

And a third for The Secret History. I've reread that multiple times.

Daniel Handler's The Basic Eight is somewhat similar to The Secret History, but a bit more comedic in tone. Read that one a few times too.

by Anonymousreply 5112/02/2011

The Sandman Slim series are supernatural fun based on a different take of Heaven, Hell and all points in between.

by Anonymousreply 5212/02/2011

[quote]The Sandman Slim series

I just finished [italic]Aloha from Hell[/italic]. I've liked this series more than I expected. I especially got a kick out of the alliance between Homeland Security and angels in the battle to control hell and/or Los Angeles.

by Anonymousreply 5312/02/2011

PAul Theroux.

by Anonymousreply 5412/02/2011

The site Bookgasm has reviews of books a little off the beaten path. That's where I found the Sandman Slim books.

by Anonymousreply 5512/02/2011

UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand. Has been on the best seller list for close to a year now. The true story of WWII vet Louis Zamperini and the incredible suffering he endured while a POW in Japan.

by Anonymousreply 5612/02/2011

You can't go wrong with'The Purpose Driven Life' or the Bible-the original 'good book'!

by Anonymousreply 5712/02/2011

There's a great series of books concerning crimes solved by cats. Grab them now, the authoress has recently died and they may not be in print much longer.

by Anonymousreply 5812/02/2011

Love Theroux, R54. What's your favorite?

by Anonymousreply 5912/02/2011

My Night in the Lion's Den by Claude Balz

by Anonymousreply 6012/02/2011

R38 that book was slammed in th New York Times book review

by Anonymousreply 6112/02/2011

"The Passage" in my opinion sucked.

I adore end of the world, post-apocolyptic books, but this one gets bogged down in a bad soap opera in the middle.

Eventually, I hope all of the characters would be eaten by the vampire/zombie monsters to put me out of my misery.

by Anonymousreply 6212/02/2011

The sequel should be out next month, Zak

by Anonymousreply 6312/02/2011

Eating Animals

by Anonymousreply 6412/02/2011

Another vote for Hunger Games. Couldn't stop reading them.

by Anonymousreply 6512/02/2011

>>I'm a guy but totally dig Sarah Waters' writing.

How very progressive of you! Especially since she's one of the greatest novelists of our time.

by Anonymousreply 6612/02/2011

If you are an avid reader, check out Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. It starts with 'The Eyre Affair', I believe.

It's set in an alternate world where book characters are real and can interact in different ways with the world outside the books. The main character is part of the police force set with the task of keeping things in the books in order.

I liked 'The Passage'. I wish I had known it was the first of a trilogy before I got to the end of the first book, though. Now I'm just hoping the author doesn't up and die before he finishes the series. I agree, it could have used an editor in the middle but, overall, I recommend it.

'The Revisionists' is interesting.

And, if you're looking for a fun, easy read, try 'Beauty Queens' by Libba Bray. It's 'The Lord of the Flies' reimagined with Miss California Dream teen beauty queen contestants in place of the schoolboys from the original. "I have a tiny bit of bad news, y'all...everyone else is dead." It's a really good parody.

by Anonymousreply 6712/02/2011

Another vote for Jasper Fforde... loved the Thursday Next series.

Recently, I read Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart, and enjoyed that a lot. I read Absurdistan, also by Shteyngart, after that, but didn't like it quite so much.

by Anonymousreply 6812/02/2011

Another vote for Art of Fielding.

by Anonymousreply 6912/03/2011

Where did you last see it, OP?

by Anonymousreply 7012/03/2011

Theroux's The Hotel Honolulu, I think was the name of it.

Of course anything by V.S. Naipaul, especially the Nightwatchman's Occurence Book. Richard Russo is wonderful, and so is Russell Banks.

by Anonymousreply 7112/03/2011

I also didn't like "The Passage"...

by Anonymousreply 7212/03/2011

Sorry, R70, don't understand your question.

And R66, I get your sarcasm, but I got a lot of flack from male friends for even reading Sarah Waters.

by Anonymousreply 7312/03/2011

R38, I really enjoyed TNC for about 2/3s of the way, but then it stalled out completely. Several weeks later I've little desire to finish it.

by Anonymousreply 7412/03/2011

OP here. Spent some fun time perusing Amazon today looking up titles, and ended up purchasing nine books -- all were recommendations from you.

Thanks again for all your advice.

by Anonymousreply 7512/03/2011

"Purple Cane Road" James Lee Burke

by Anonymousreply 7612/03/2011

"The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday"

An easy, breezy read - and very, very funny...!!!

by Anonymousreply 7712/03/2011

Kristof's HALF THE SKY

by Anonymousreply 7812/03/2011

any good gay book? seems nobody has got any recommendations..

by Anonymousreply 7912/03/2011

[italic]The Lock Artist[/italic] - crime/mystery novel whose title character is a voluntary mute with a gift for picking locks. The narrative moves from the present into different levels of flashbacks, giving you little pieces of how he found and developed his talents. I read a lot of crime and mystery novels and this one was a bit different, bittersweet and a bit hopeful.

by Anonymousreply 8012/03/2011


The previously mentionsed "The Wicked Eduation of henry Holliday" is a gay book...

by Anonymousreply 8112/03/2011

Another thread mentioned an old book called 'Cruising At The Movies' by Boyd McDonald. I picked it up at the Amazon Marketplace and am "reading" that .... it's not a story, but it's an easy read of his short 'essays' on different movies. He's pretty funny.

by Anonymousreply 8212/04/2011

"Three Junes" by Julia Glass, fine literature and easy to read.

by Anonymousreply 8312/04/2011

The NY Times just published their list of 100 Notable Books of 2011.

by Anonymousreply 8412/04/2011

Art of Fielding has a prominent gay plotline.

by Anonymousreply 8512/04/2011


by Anonymousreply 8612/04/2011

Here are some recent books that have gripped me:

1861: The Civil War Awakening, by Adam Goodheart

The Infinities, by John Banville

Our Lady of the Flowers, by Jean Genet

The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace

The Stranger's Child, by Alan Hollinghurst

Surface Detail, by Iain M. Banks

Tinkers, by Paul Harding

The Tragedy of Arthur, by Arthur Phillips

All the Devils are Here, by Joe Nocera

by Anonymousreply 8712/04/2011

Thanks for posting, Ciaran. I'm a reader and amazed that only one book on there is really appealing.

by Anonymousreply 8812/04/2011

Isn't it funny how the NY Times' 'notable' book list coincides so precisely with almost everyone else's 'least likely to be read by me' book list?

by Anonymousreply 8912/04/2011

Anything by Trudi Canavan.

by Anonymousreply 9012/05/2011

r87, I ignored The Tragedy of Arthur because Arthur Phillips' last book The Song Is You was so disappointing....though I LOVED The Egyptologist. And I wasn't too wild about his other 2 books as well, one about a Victorian child and the other about a group of 20somethings in middle Europe.

Should I give the new one a try?

by Anonymousreply 9112/05/2011

I hope all of the people listing Dean Koontz books are picking them up used or from the library. As was posted a while ago, he donates money to Michelle Bachmann, so buying his books puts money in her pocket.

by Anonymousreply 9212/06/2011

This may sound weird...but I was going through some streeful shit in my life too and someone recommended "I Was Wrong" by Jim Bakker (For those too young to remember, he was an outspoken evangelical who was sold out by power grabbing cohorts like Pat Robertson). Although I'm not a Christian, this book was a fast read and really pretty interesting tell-all about the power grabs and the business of selling religion to the general public. He went to prison for money laundering and bilking investors, served his time, and is now keeping a low profile in this 70's. His son has become a pierced, tattooed, new age religious leader who keeps a low profile. Pretty interesting list of characters including Billy Graham and Ronald Reagan who were his close supporters before, after, and during his incarceration.

by Anonymousreply 9312/06/2011

Damn...I really need to proofread my posts. streeful = stressful. Sorry about that.

by Anonymousreply 9412/06/2011

Good info, R92. Happy to say he's never received a dime from me, although I did read his book about his beloved dog Trixie (very touching). Checked it out of the library.

by Anonymousreply 9512/06/2011

I've recently discovered Bill Bryson. He finally ran out of places to visit, which is fine with me since I don't like travel literature. But after that, he's been writing other kinds of non-fiction. I particularly enjoyed A Brief History of Everything and his biography of Shakespeare.

by Anonymousreply 9612/06/2011

Anyone here read Christopher Moore? Lamb, Island of the Secret Love Nun, A Dirty Job, etc. I scream with laughter. Perfect vacation fare.

by Anonymousreply 9701/10/2012

Read 'Isabelle' by Andre Gide

by Anonymousreply 9811/15/2012

"The Elegant Universe"- what your uneducated fake mediums wouldn't dare be able to get through. Explains it all.

by Anonymousreply 9911/15/2012

Just bought on Amazon The Late George Apley and All This and Heaven, Too, both new classy paperback editions of vintage popular fiction I've always wanted to read.

I'm stocking up for a long winter.

by Anonymousreply 10011/15/2012

Try A Good Man is Hard To Find, by Flannery O'Conner

by Anonymousreply 10111/15/2012

Any fans of Dawn Powell? Always wanted to read her, what is her best book?

by Anonymousreply 10211/15/2012

These could be good reads for you OP:

Dracula, Bram Stoker

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

The first six novels of John Irving …

Setting Free The Bears The Water-Method Man The 158-Pound Marriage The World According to Garp The Hotel New Hampshire The Cider House Rules

by Anonymousreply 10311/15/2012

Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower It's non-fiction and I'm reading it now. It's about the fundamentalist mormom cult leader Warren Jeffs. He was much much worse than you imagined. He not only wed little girls and moved them from old man to old man but he and his relatives systematically raped little boys in the schoolhouse he built. One boy was his own nephew, who said groups of his uncles would gather to rape him and was told he would burn in hell if he tried to stop it. Unreal. He also decided the members couldn't have pets so he had them gathered together and taken to a field where they electrocuted them. It's totally mindblowing what he was getting away with and they were protected and aided by the local law officers, who were also members of the cult. A complete psycho. I'm a third way in and I think it can't get any worse for these sheep. They were terrified of him but worshipped this freak.

by Anonymousreply 10411/15/2012

R103, the idiot at r98 bumped a year old thread. The OP probably found his book and read it last December.

by Anonymousreply 10511/15/2012

My book club normally reads pretty heavy stuff, but this past month someone picked "The Princess Bride." It is as funny as the movie. Between the election and other recent trauma experienced by club members (death of spouse, loss of job, etc.), we needed something light.

The last two books I assigned were more intense but were fascinating reads. "City of Thieves" was graphic, but reads like a movie -- it was written by a screenwriter. I'm sure it will be made into a film. "The City & the City" is an odd fantasy (that I chose by mistake), and a searing indictment on government imposing an alternate reality.

by Anonymousreply 10611/15/2012

For some reason, "NYStud" and "my book club" seem a little....incongruous.

by Anonymousreply 10711/15/2012

R107, I think not.

by Anonymousreply 10811/15/2012

I'm looking for an honest man.

by Anonymousreply 10911/15/2012

I just finished "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut. The book is exceptionally clever and as sharp as a blade, and yet the easiest to read book I've read in a long time. Excellent.

by Anonymousreply 11011/15/2012

Read 'Spider's Web' by Agatha Christie. It's very relaxing, witty and really absorbing.

by Anonymousreply 11111/16/2012

the bible... rape, murder, ethnic cleansing and an invisible war that lasted 6,000 years..

there's a good guy (jesus), bad guy (satan) and almighty ruler who keeps kicking everyone's ass.. epic

by Anonymousreply 11211/16/2012
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