Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reading Rainbow (ba dum bum)

Mavis & Dove like to read. We like to read good books. Mavis will even read mediocre books. Dove claims to have A.D.D. and only makes it through a book if it is real good. And it has to have substance. She has started hundreds and only finishes roughly one-third to half of them. Here are our recommendations:

Dove's top 5 reads ever

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffeneger

Ohhh, it's sooo good. Best love story ever. It's about a man who has this genetic disorder where he is sometimes displaced in time. He is in love with a woman who lives life linearly like the rest of us. She be bops through life, while he bounces in at out of it at different ages. I am sometimes a hard sell when it comes to romance, but this gets my full endorsement.

The Little Prince - Antoine de St. Exupery

This is the most condensed form of genius wisdom ever written. It reveals human foibles through the eyes of a young prince who is wandering around the Galaxy and gets stuck on Earth. It's full of simple profundity. For instance - The Little Prince meets someone on one little planet, a drunk man who is crying. "Why do you drink?" "Because I'm sad." "Why are you sad?" "Because I drink."

'Nuf said.

The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan

Typical Amy Tan in that it is about strained mother-daughter relationships that are interlaced with Chinese-American culture. A teenage girls meets her Chinese half sister and is mortified by her bizarre behavior (she sees dead people). It's well written and full of beauty, intrigue and mysticism. Ew, I think I'm going to read this again.

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

I am currently reading this for the 4th time. It's a great story and full of so much wisdom. It is the book I recommend/give more than any other and always the feedback is that it transformed the person's life. It is the story of Spanish shepherd who is on a quest to find a treasure at the pyramids. On his way he discovers the idea of a Personal Legend and how to accomplish his soul's desires, as well as learning how to understand the soul of the world as it communicates with him about how to achieve his Personal Legend.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

A classic. This book is not for the faint of heart. It's sad. It's full of tragedy, but so elegantly portrays the human condition. I read this in high school and reread it again a couple years ago as a sociology student. I gained so much more from it the 2nd time around from having some serious life experience under my belt. I'm no cheerleader. My hurkies plain suck, but man I wanted to do so many rah-rah-ree's for Francie, the girl through whom the story is told. Oh, and I love her so much that I used to want to name a daughter after her.

Mavis's top 5
I lied, I did 6. I couldn't narrow it down once I started thinking about it and frankly, this is only the top 5 that I can recall. I am a reader. I used to turn off my light for my parents sake and then when I would hear them down the hall, the light would switch back on and I would keep reading. And, yes, I do read mediocre ones. I have been so desperate for reading material lately that I have read 5 James Patterson's just in the last couple of weeks. Not that he is mediocre, but I don't think his books are really ones that move you, just scare the heck out of you.

I am moved by most of Leon Uris' novels. Most, not all. Trinity had me so emotional. Exodus is also fantastic. Somehow he makes characters so complex and so simple, you find yourself so exhausted emotionally, but it is worth it.

This book has always just stuck in my head. I was taken in by it. It has been way too long since I have read it. I am going to start it again right away.

These are the books, among others, that I would sneak read when I was 7-ish and up. I loved them. I still have them for my kids.

I'm talking the whole series. I wanted to live there. I still want to visit Prince Edward Island. It is on my list. I think delightful is the perfect word for this gal.

This is a must read. It is one of those books that you should read multiple times throughout your life because you will get just what you need from it each time. It kind of speaks to your soul.

The best historical fiction. This is the first of one trilogy about the Welch princes. I have read almost all of her books. The characters are all historically "accurate" except for one main character and you wait until the end to find out who (it isn't always obvious) but it doesn't change the story line, just adds to it. As far as I can tell, she sticks to the facts of history, just adds a tiny bit of flavor. Look into it.

What are your favorites? We are always in need of new reading material, so please give suggestions, favorites - the lot. Leave us comments galore, or better yet, play along on your own blog, listing your favorites. Just leave us a comment with your blog address so we can come and see.

One stipulation - we've read the Twilight series, so no need to suggest that. And we're well read enough not to need Jane Austen recommendations, either (we already know she's the bee's knees).


Christy said...

Ooh I have read all of Dove's and am in agreement - all are great. And I also put down books if they aren't up to snuff. But none of her choices would have made it on my own personal top five/six list. I think I will have to create my own - that's going to be tomorrow's post! Great idea ladies! I will give you a sneak peak - my all-time favorite book is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Fabulous.

Mavis - I've only read Anne of Green Gables and loved that series. I'll have to check out the others on your list too! It's just so hard finding time to read with a little one in the house, and renovation projects galore. I'm lucky if I can read a recipe all the way through before beginning dinner. But I am going on vacation this summer, and PRAY I get time to read then!

Dove said...

Ohhh, Christy - we are kindred spirits. If these were on your list, but not your faves, I can't WAIT to see your list. Remember to comment here though in case I forget to come look. Never underestimate my ADD. Never ever.

Through the Looking Glass said...

The Little Prince is one of my favorite books of all time. I taught it to my ESL students and its themes speak to people of all ages and backgrounds. Wonderful. If you're going classic, my favorite is Wuthering Heights, because it is sooo not just a love story. Heathcliff and Catherine are a mess; so self-absorbed and dramatic that their love just shreds through the lives of everyone around them.

I always recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns to women because it's just so much better than The Kite Runner and speaks to women, mothers and friends on a powerful level.
Another fabulous one is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close which is a post-9/11 novel about a little boy in New York. Right now I'm reading The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan - it's her memoir and it's delightful and tender.
I love any of David Sedaris' short stories, but you can't read them on a plane because you'll laugh out loud the whole flight and people will think you're crazy.
Kazuo Ishiguro wrote The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans and Never Let Me Go - all are tremendous and graceful.
I read Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck almost a decade ago and it still haunts me. It's her memoir and will tear you to pieces if you're a mother or if you had a hard childhood. Really, be warned - it's agonizingly wonderful.
Last, I read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell when I was in college and it profoundly affected the way I see God and religion on a personal level. It's about a Jesuit priest and has space travel and all kinds of cray things, but it's gorgeous and makes you think about right and wrong, ethics, man vs. God, that kind of thing.

And Mavis, I still love Watership Down from my childhood. Haunting, really.

Christy said...

I will definitely remind you!

Amanda - I am one of your 'followers' now - so your new posts populate my reader. But I haven't the time to read them - the titles are so enticing I can't wait to pore over your recent posts when I have more time! (I'm still loving your bread recipe. Want to share others??)

Through the Looking Glass said...

Christy -

I have some really good recipes; my mom is a serious gourmet and has taught me a few tricks. My wheels are turning and maybe I'll start posting some, or I can email some things to you.
And don't worry about not reading my posts - they tend to veer towards epistles, so they're not exactly for the quick read!

paula said...

I tell everyone to read The Time Travelers Wife. I agree...it's a surprisingly great love story. I'm looking for two or three great audiobooks for an upcoming road trip. Thanks for the suggestions!

Christy said...

Amanda - I do worry about not reading your posts. I inevitably start to/want to, and then get pulled away. Then when I'm in bed at night and my husband is sleeping peacefully next to me I want to get up and come downstairs to the computer - but the knowledge that my baby will be waking me up before 6am every day forces me to stay in bed. I hope to get some serious me time this weekend! Hurrah! And either way - post them or email them - I would LOVE either!

Dove and Mavis - I've posted my top 8 books on my site. If I were to add nine and ten I would add The Time Traveler's Wife and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept. Stop by my blog and let me know what you think of my choices!

Cara said...

One of my favorites is the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, Left to Tell is also an amazing book. Then you always have the Little House on the Prairie series, my favorites were Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years.

Tiffany And Co. said...

The Hunger Games, The Lovely Bones, Eat Cake and Mutant Message Down Under are some of my all time favorites. I am an avid reader and am excited to read some of the ones you posted. Thanks for the reccos!

Leslie said...

Amy Tan- Hundred Secret Senses is on my list too, Dove (wonder where you got the recommendation from)...The Other Boleyn Girl was freaking awesome...just finished The Glass Castle, it's a memoir that is astounding and a page turner...definately one of my faves of this decade was These Is My Words by Nancy Turner, all action, drama, and amazing love story wrapped up in one...

Really, I have read too many to remember more of my faves, but I enjoyed reading your lists ladies. Great post, keep 'em coming.