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Great Books to Read

I am always looking for great books to read.

Growing up, I LOVED to read. I couldn’t get enough of Nancy Drew

and The Babysitters Club

just to name a few.

Then in high school, I hit a rut and lost my time and passion for reading. (What was I doing???) I read a handful of books here and there but didn’t really get back into the books until I became a stay-at-home-mom.

(livin’ it up!)

When we brought Roo home from the hospital, a dear friend brought over some treats and a stack of books for me to read. I thought she was crazy. “You expect me to read these books? Don’t you see I have a newborn?” She kindly explained that it might give me something do while nursing our new baby. She is so smart. Well Tracy, I have you to thank for getting me back in the world of literature. I didn’t realize how many GOOD books are out there that you can really get lost in.

One of the books she loaned me was Orson Scott Card’s Rachel and Leah. It is a part of a series called The Women of Genesis. This series really opened my eyes and imagination to how things may have played out for these women that we read about in the old testament. After reading Rachel and Leah, I have since read Sarah and Rebekah. Loved them all.

Another series that I can’t get enough of is The Walk by Richard Paul Evans. A Seattle man loses everything and decides to walk as far away from his home as physically possible, which is Key West, Florida, the most southern tip of the USA. So far, three books have been published in this series, and I predict there to be about six or seven when the series is completed. These books make me laugh and cry. It’s a good balance. I have read another book by this author which is not a part of any series, and it is called A Perfect Day.

Being from the south, I love novels that take place below the mason dixon line. Bonus points if it takes place around my hometown of Atlanta. Elizabeth Musser scored big with me when I read her novel, The Swan House. Loved it, as well as her second book, The Dwelling Place.

Susan Gregg Gilmore also has a great book that takes place in a small Georgia town, called Looking For Salvation at the Dairy Queen. Its about a motherless girl who resents her small town and looks forward to the day of her eighteenth birthday when she will move to the big city. I liked the book so much, that when I went back to the library I found another book by the same author, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove, but I was disappointed. It got a bit too racey for me. (I don’t need “the deed” spelled out for me, I know how it goes.)

My all time favorite book has been The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I have always been intrigued by how history played out as blacks and whites were desegregated. And while The Help is a fiction novel, I can see a lot of truth to it and would believe that very similar events happened in the past. The book also has a lot of humor in it and had me laughing out loud several times.

Ever heard of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd? It became a movie that I did not see but I enjoyed the book. It was pretty sad in parts. A motherless girl has an abusive father and runs away from home. She is taken in by three eccentric sisters who are beekeepers. I also read her novel called The Mermaid Chair. It was quite different from her other novel, and not what I was expecting. A middle aged woman gets bored with her marriage of twenty something years and ends up having an affair. Yikes! Not my typical kind of book but I had to find out how it would end, so I stuck it out.

If you want a break from the fiction novels, I would recommend Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. True story. I love how this woman finds new ways to improve her life over the course of a year and focus on being happier. It was uplifting to read.

Another pick-me-up is How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill. Also a true story. It’s about a man who has “everything” and then loses it all and ends up working in retail, something he never could have imagined.

I am a little picky when it comes to choosing books to read. I cry easily and don’t want to sit through another depressing tear jerker like I did with The Glass Castle. I don’t mind shedding a few tears while reading, but I don’t want the overwhelming darkness taking over and consuming my thoughts day and night. So I have found a pretty good way to find books that I would enjoy, and you can do it too, whether you share my taste or not!

Simply go to amazon.com and type in the name of your favorite book. When it comes up, scroll to the bottom of the page to see the recommendations for you. Or you may see something like, “Customers who bought this item also bought…”

That’s what I do when I don’t already have a book in mind because it is a gamble to randomly pick up a book and hope that it’s good by your standards. If you have any recommendations that you think I may like, please leave a comment below! Thanks y’all!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Tracy Wallace September 12, 2012, 2:23 pm

    Love the shout out! Also love that your a big reader now. I have read a few books lately that you might like. I won’t share my super depressing reads (you know I love those best!) I’ll have to make a list and send it your way.

    • Janna September 12, 2012, 10:13 pm

      How did you know I was talking about you? 😉 I’m so glad you got me hooked on Orson Scott Card, thanks girl! And yes pleeeeease send me your recommendations!

  • Tara September 14, 2012, 4:15 pm

    I love your idea to find more books on Amazon! I like to go to Amazon and my library’s website and go crazy putting books on hold 🙂

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