Regarding your suggestions:
OK, ok, I hear you already on the Janet Evanovich series, and I bought One for the Money at the bookstore today ….. geez, if for some reason I don’t like it, I’ll be too scared to say so out loud, because so many of you are fans! I also bought another Jodi Piccoult, although I’m waiting for Nineteen Minutes to come out in paperback (because I’m a cheapskate who isn’t willing to pay hardcover prices very often.)
A few books ya’ll suggested I’ve already read and enjoyed and would recommend to anyone:
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I have read and re-read this series several times and it’s one of my all-time favorites, if not THE all-time favorite. I pine away for Jamie and think Clare totally kicks ass, but Brianna is a little unbelievable and Roger is the biggest wiener on the planet. Just my humble opinion. Did I mention that Jamie is HOT and despite the 100 Things I Love About Blaine, I would toss him over in a heartbeat for a piece of that fabulous, red-headed, Scottish man candy??? I definitely think the first four were the best ….. but I’ve got them all and read them all and HIGHLY recommend them all!
Clan of the Cave Bear Series: Another series I’ve re-read several times because I enjoy it so much. Like Outlander, I enjoyed the first few books the best, but I do love them all. And I love Jondalar. But not as much as I love Jamie. Who I would TOTALLY be willing to time-travel for. Good grief he's hot.
Nobody mentioned this book, but one of my other all-time favorite books is Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor. Huge book, for those of you who like to really sink your teeth into a long story; historical romance set in England during the 1600’s …. I’m still waiting anxiously for the sequel, but considering the author died in 2003, I don’t guess I should hold my breath.
I also enjoy Meg Cabot, Debbie Macomber, and Susan Wiggs. Also, Maeve Binchey and Rosamond Pilcher. I’ve read 90 Minutes in Heaven and enjoyed it, but didn’t enjoy 23 Minutes in Hell. I liked White Oleander and if you enjoy autobiographical stories like this, I highly recommend A Child Called It and the books that came after. As a parent, it was very, very hard to read at the time. On the other hand, it made me grateful to realize that even on my worst, absolute awful, terrible, worst day as a parent, I am still five bazillion times better than his mother was. The Glass Castle was much the same way.
If it’s parenting books you’re looking for, one of the best I’ve read is Protecting the Gift by Gavin DeBecker, about keeping children and teenagers safe. Another great, must-read for parents, educators, etc, is The Essential 55 by Ron Clark. An educator, he’s compiled a list of 55 rules that all children should understand and follow to be a success both in the classroom, and in life. My friend Laura turned me on to it several years ago and our family sat around the dinner table for 55 nights, discussing each rule with the kids. Now that they are older, I think we’ll do it again. Yes, we definitely will. (In case you can’t tell, I loved this book.)
If you like action-adventure, a la Tom Clancy, then Blaine’s all-time favorite author is Clive Cussler. The protagonist of his books is named Dirk Pitt, and let me just tell you that Blaine’s total and complete adoration of this series should not be questioned, once you find out that if he had his way, our son "Kellen" would be our son "Dirk". I pointed out that "Dirk" sounds too much like "Dirt" and veto'd him.
I read both the Alice Sebold books and liked them, but struggled a bit because I found the subject matter to be grim and frightening. I have to be honest, I don’t read true crime or murder mystery, because I am the
I haven’t read any Mitch Albom books because, well, I’ve mentioned this already, but I’m cheap. I read a lot, and I read fast. I can’t justify paying eight or ten or twelve dollars for a book that I will be able to finish in an hour. I do go to the library, but don’t seem to have much luck finding recent or popular books. I am definitely going to check out the half price website that was suggested ….. and if I wasn’t so lazy I would go to book sales and yard sales but that involves actual WORK and PLANNING and ACTIVITY so I don’t see it happening. My girlfriend Lisa mailed me a box of books recently and I swear, it was like Christmas when I opened that bad boy up! (Lisa, PS, I still owe you shipping for that … send me your paypal account!) I love sharing books with friends, but must confess that if it’s a book I really, truly love, I usually won’t share for fear I won’t get it back.
Let’s see, more .. more ….
I enjoyed The Midwife and The Midwife’s Advice by Gay Courter, and think you can never go wrong with classics like Gone With the Wind (which I have to say, I enjoyed much more when I re-read it after moving to Georgia) The Thorn Birds, and Little Women. Although I despised The Grapes of Wrath. The book AND the movie. So maybe I’m not as cultured as I think I am.
And I also re-read the HP series before each new book comes out although at this point, I’ve read Sorcerer’s Stone six times, Chamber of Secrets five times, etc. I think in anticipation of HP7, I’ll skip right to Goblet of Fire and start there. And Liz, I love your suggestion of making it a contest to see who’ll finish first, but I have to be honest …. Since this is the final book in the series, I plan on savoring it like my favorite box of Russell Stover chocolates and deriving slow, guilty pleasure out of each and every page. So all of you who finish it before me have to promise NOT to e-mail me or leave comments about what has happened. In fact, I might just put myself in a sensory-deprivation chamber until I’m done.
Jenny B, you bring up a good point that killing HP would kill Voldemort --- but if that happens, I will personally fly to England and leave a flaming bag of dog poop on JK Rowling's front porch. (PS. We miss you guys!!) And Becca, what’s up with your sister getting to take a HP lit class in college??? I got stuck reading Voltaire and Goethe, for heaven’s sake, and she’s getting credit for studying Hogwarts??? There is no justice in the world, that’s all I’m saying.
Well, ok, I’m going to sign off for tonight. This will be my last post for a while regarding the book suggestions, so don’t worry I’m turning this into a literary site. (Although I'm certainly open to more suggestions and appreciate them, anytime!) Lord knows I’ve got too much complaining to do about my children for that to happen. I’ve got a few more late guestbook replies to make, then I’ll move back to my normal fare of obsessing over DDP and whining because people keep asking me if I’m pregnant.
In the meantime, hope you are all enjoying your weekend …. And that you have your nose buried in a good book!