Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's talk about books, baby!

It's official: I've started packing for our move in June! I'm so excited to move to our new city and so proud of Mr. Darling! Of course, there are some things I'm really going to miss: my family, my friends, and the most amazing used bookstore I've ever set foot into! Instead of being devastated about the toll that moving away from this bookstore could take on my reading addiction (books are my cocaine), I decided to stock up on amazing books while I still live near a great discount bookstore (otherwise, I'd be spending thousands of dollars to feed my habit).

I know that library cards are free and that I could just borrow books, but there are two problems with that. For one thing, if I love a book, I must own it. Also, I'm horribly disorganized, and when I used to borrow books from my college library, I always owed fines, because they were ALWAYS late. There will be other bookstores, of course, but at my current store, I typically don't spend more than $2 a book. I've purchased classics from this store for less than a quarter apiece.

My current system is that I have a big bookshelf in Mr. Darling's office that contains all the books I've read but can't bear to part with, and a smaller bookshelf by our bed that contains all the books I've purchased but haven't yet read (there are at least 30 books there right now). I go to the bookstore a few times a month, buy all the books I can carry, and then put them on my unread shelf. Before I've read even half of them, I go back and buy more. It's a sickness. So my plan is that, before we move, I will have grown my "unread" library until it's large enough that it can sustain me between visits home to go book shopping (and, of course, visit my parents).

That's where you come in: I need book suggestions! As a writing major, I read most of the "classics" in college (or I own them and plan to read them eventually.) I've read a lot of the books on all of the "Top 100 Novels of All Time" lists, and I'm slowly working my way through the rest of them. So instead, tell me about a book that you LOVE, but that never got enough publicity to be famous. What book couldn't you put down that a lot of people might never have heard of?

For example, I am forever recommending the book Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig to everyone I know. It's the completely hilarious true story of the author as she was growing up with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Seriously, you must read it. I've read it at least ten times, and I love it every single time. So what are your favorite books? Let me know so that I can stock up for my move!


.::~P~::. said...

the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

The Heroin diaries by Nikki Sixx

ninirific said...

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult (sp?)

Call Me Cate said...

The last three books I read were good but sorta depressing so I'm going to take your recommendation next time I hit the library (btw - I put a reminder of my library due date on my calendar so I don't forget).

Last three books:

Devil in the White City (Larsen) - serial killer at the Chicago World's Fair

Kite Runner & Thousand Splendid Suns (Hosseini) - fabulous stories but also sorta a bummer

Great post - I'm going to come back to see what everyone suggests.

Adriana said...

The book is called My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva.

Best love story based on a true story of all time. I too have an obsession and love to read. I don't like to read books more than once...except this one. It will have you sobbing by the end.

I also love Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks

Former Fat Chick said...

Perfume: The story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind (OMG! such a thriller)

In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant(you will run off to Italy, or at least plan it)

Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (you will laugh your ass off)

LegalMist said...

You've probably read these since they were pretty popular, but three of my favorites from when I was in a book club are "Life of Pi," by Yann Martel, "The Poisonwood Bible," by Barbara Kingsolver, and "The Red Tent," by Anita Diamant. If you haven't read these, you should!

For non-fiction, I loved "All But My Life," by Gerda Weissman Klein (a true story of her surviving the Nazi concentration camps -- depressing, yes, but also somewhat inspiring, since she lived to tell the tale).

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

I TOTALLY back up my sister's choices (Former Fat Chick) and have 2 more to add: A tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and I just finished for my bookclub Mudbound by Hillary Jordan which I devoured in a day.

Legallyblondemel said...

I am such a book strumpet, I don't even know where to begin with recommendations. I'm with you on the library thing, though - I like to read (and re-read, and re-read) the same ones again and again, so I usually end up buying. Used bookstores are my friend.

Hmm . .. I'm re-reading SE Hinton right now; remember "The Outsiders"? I will keep thinking about this & let you know if I think up some more off the beaten path choices.

I second "Devil in the White City", which was recommended by another commenter. Fabulous read with an unusual structure. Very, very good.

Sandi said...

The Time Travelers Wife. MUST READ! It is my all time favorite.

~Donna said...

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (sp?), The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx, Drop City by T.C. Boyle, and The Alchemist's Daughter by Katherine McMahon. I could go on forever....I collect like you do. lol

SkylersDad said...

Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale by Dan Dye

I loved this book! From the inside cover:
"It was love at first sight. Amid the frenzied barking and prancing of a house full of Great Danes, one pup was shivering in the corner. Gracie. But when Dan Dye reached her, she struggled to her feet like a clumsy foal, raised her forehead to his, and announced, as clearly as if she had actually spoken the words, "You know I'm the one. Now get me outta here!"

Anne's Friend said...

Love in the time of Cholera is a great one and if you havent read Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya sisterhood - that is well, divine!

I havent gone to used bookstores before - but for 2 dollars a book! wow - i might have to check them out.

ohhh! also anythign by Phillipa Gregory

Laura said...

Good luck with the move. Moving sucks but the change is wonderful. We just did it. With Spring comes so much change. Take care Tova.

When you get a chance, come and enter the Under the Sheets five question contest :)

Girl On A Journey said...

A Mighty Heart - Mariane Pearl (the book to hte movie about the be-heading fo Daniel Pearl, so many emotions go through you as you read it)

ÄsK AliCë said...

I 100% agree with Sandi on The Time Travelers Wife - gorgeous book!
I would also recommend:

The Shadow of the Wind or anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafron - beautiful writing

Lullabies for Little Criminals - eyeopening

The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing - not about either but a really great read

The Navigator of New York - haunting story


The Golden Spruce
The Selfish Gene

Happy reading! Great idea btw

Gwen B. (aka skinny bitch) said...

if you like suspense then Dead Even by Brad Meltzer. Sooooo good! And my favorite chick lit is Pink Jinx by Sandra Hill. Check them out if you haven't already!

HoodChick said...

If you like funny, PS Your Cat is Dead by James Kirkwood. But you must have a pretty open sense of humor.

Newsy Nibby said...

I think this one is actually slightly least in my area. But The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I'm just reading it now but so far I am lovvvvving it. The narrator is Death and it's set in Nazi Germany so it's a little dark. But it gives perspective. If you haven't already read it you need to! Also a really fun one is Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes. Good luck with moving! And congrats!

Lady Jane said...

I second the Poisonwood Bible that another commenter mentioned. I'm not sure in you are interested in mystery/thrillers...but the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell is kickass!!!! And for fun there is the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I have a ton of books I love but those two series are books that I actually go buy..other than that I am a library fanatic!

Joanie said...

So many great choices here! I've read or own many of these books. If you like humorious, a series of books by Janet Evanovich, called the Stephanie Plum series are hysterical! They are numbered (One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc. up to #15)

The Gnu said...

any books by Melissa Nathan. she writes the learning curve, persuiding Annie, the nanny and the waitress.

also, sorcery and celia (it's also called the magic chocolate pot) it is a tandem story and very good.

Sarah Dessen is my favourite author. she writes for young adults but i still enjoy her books

and every single book by Terry Pratchett.

the Katie Parker Production series (3 books)

Miss Match (this is also in a series)

sorry i don't have some of the authors on me at the moment but if you type them into Amazon they will come up along with the other titles in the series.

happy reading!

ley said...

The Black Rose, by Thomas B Costain.

You may have trouble finding it, but it's one of my favourites.

You've probably already read Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) and the Sherlock Holmes stories (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), but I also like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky).

I know that last one is kind of juvenile and over-hyped, but I liked it. :)

ley said...

OH! -and The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst. But you've probably already read that one.

Gaston Studio said...

Like you, I read and reread, and like you, don't even want to think about having to donate so many books (again!) to the library because they cost so much to ship. Last Christmas, my kids chipped in and I'm now the proud owner of a Kindle (and already jealous of Kindle 2 owners!).
So much lighter than a hardback (never buy in paperback!) and you can read it anywhere.

For suggestions: I recommend anything by Nelson DeMille, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, and others from this ilk.

Kimberley said...

I have the same problems as you do about not returning library books. I love using, you can post books up for credits and then use those credits to get more books and only pay for postage. Check it out if you dare!

Tinkerbella Rose said...

JANE GREEN NOVELS!!! Most of her books are based in London, England or other parts of the United Kingdom and every time I ask someone if they've ever heard of Bookends, Jemima J or any of her other books they look at me weird... it gets annoying because she's an EXCELLENT author. Actually I can say my favorite author and I've actually read every single one of her books and have had NO COMPLAINTS about any of them.

In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. ~ Calvin & Hobbes