The Un-Book Club

If you don’t belong to a book club but wish you did, welcome to my ever-growing list of suggestions.

 

State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett

A great read. I can’t even begin to synopsize it. And I don’t want to spoil any of it for you. It has a little in common with the non-fiction work Mountains Beyond Mountains, which coincidentally was also given to me by my Aunt Joan. Why am I so drawn to medical drama? I must have been a doctor in a former life.

 

The Year of the Flood
by Margaret Atwood

I found this, of all places, at the library! I’ve loved Margaret Atwood ever since I read The Handmaid’s Tale. She’s amazing. I’m not a big fan of Sci-Fi, but her writing really makes me think about our society and where we’re heading. It’s the second in a trilogy, the first being Oryx and Crake, recommended by my very literary friend Laura. I guess I’ll be reading the next one: MaddAddam.

 

The Keeper of Lost Causes
by Jussi Adler-Olsen

If you liked Stieg Larssen’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you’ll probably like this. I didn’t. I mean, it was a page-turner, like all good crime/suspense thrillers, but it was so dark. Maybe it’s more of a dude’s book.

 

Good in Bed
by Jennifer Weiner

I thought I would like this more. I picked it up after reading about this writer and how she advocates for women writers getting more press and more respect. Maybe I wasn’t the right age for it.

 

Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter

You’ll want to read this in the summer, by the pool. Which I did. Perfection.

 

Anna Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy

In progress. I started reading this on my iPhone. It was a free iBooks download. Then I checked it out from the library. It looked really impressive on my night stand. I read a few pages before it was due back. Now I’m reading it on my iPad. Occasionally. I should be done in a few decades. I really just wanted to see the movie and the costumes, but felt like I should read the book first. What is wrong with me?

 

The Right-Hand Shore
by Christopher Tilghman

A gift from my cousin, Christopher. It’s about a family who lives on a plantation on the eastern shore from the time before the emancipation of the slaves. I learned a lot about grafting peach trees.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

I thought I read this a long time ago but I guess I must have just seen the movie. Ah, Gregory Peck. But seriously, I loved this book. The rich descriptive writing from a time and place that is so unfamiliar to me, yet somewhat meaningful because it reminds me of the stories my stepmother told of her childhood in southern Virginia.

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling

So breezy and likable. I read it at the beach. I wanna be Mindy when I grow up.

 

The Answer Is Yes: A Novel
by Sara Lewis

Surprisingly good. I took it on my trip to California this summer. It was gathering dust on my bookshelf. I’ve had it for years and never read it. Probably because my mother gave it to me. She always gives me books that seem to say, “I’m not the worst mother that ever lived” i.e., White Oleander and She’s Come Undone.

The Answer is Yes is a really cute little page-turner about a girl who loses her job and thinks her marriage is over and ends up stumbling upon the Institute of Affirmation where she kind of redefines herself.

A Doll’s House
by Henrik Ibsen

I read this in high school and remembered some of it. It was so good to reread it. It’s about a woman who goes from ignorance to experience (what protagonist doesn’t?) about her marriage, her husband, her identity as a wife and as a woman. I think every woman should read it. EveryONE, really. What’s amazing is that it seemed so modern. So relevant to today. Hard to believe this was written in 1879.

 

Sermon on the Mount
by Emmet Fox

I finally got around to reading this book that everyone says you have to read. I managed to bear through Fox’s initial bossiness until I got to the real pearls of wisdom. Pretty mind-blowing. I mean all the good stuff comes from another book, but he does present it in a way that made me think about God and spirituality in a new way.

 

The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin

Loved this book. I not only read it, I DID it. And I am happier because of it.

 

A New Earth
by Eckart Tolle

A must read. It will sort of blow your mind. If you’re ready to have your mind blown.

 

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
by Tracy Kidder

This book changed my life. It shows what one man can accomplish by being really unrealistic and stubborn. If you haven’t heard of Partners in Health, check them out. Then donate money.

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