Monday, March 23, 2009

A Book Case

"The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait."
---Anatole Broyard

Although I read all day and all night, it's been months since I've read any fiction. I'm feeling an emptiness in my soul. I need a saturation of my senses—a book I can't put down, words that will keep me up thinking "Just one more chapter, just one more page." I want characters that will become confidantes, who will make me laugh, wonder, yearn, and cry when I say good-bye.

I don't want a fast read, or a put-it-down-pick-it-up-next-week-because-it-can't-hold-my- interest type of book. And I'm tired of learning stuff. I need a good, old-fashioned, heart-wrenching saga. Or a thriller that will have me in a cold sweat. Or a romance that will have me in a hot one. Or a mystery with a dashing British detective and a bewildered, puzzling victim. And I want it right this very second! I'm searched my It sounded good when I bought it two years ago shelf and nothing jumped out at me.

Here's a list of books I wish I hadn't read yet (so I could read them for the first time) to help you with your suggestions.

Fifty Favorite Books
  1. Youngblood Hawke
  2. Marjorie Morningstar
  3. The Winthrop Woman
  4. Gone With the Wind
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird
  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  7. To Serve Them All My Days
  8. Rebecca
  9. Eye of the Needle
  10. Day of the Jackal
  11. Kane and Abel
  12. The Odessa File
  13. The Firm
  14. Pelican Brief
  15. Presumed Innocent
  16. The Ring
  17. Ghost
  18. Shellseekers
  19. Five Smooth Stones
  20. Coma
  21. Warriors Don't Cry
  22. Joy in the Morning
  23. Katherine
  24. A Great Deliverance
  25. Dragonwyck
  26. Bourne Identity
  27. The Chancellor Manuscript
  28. Absolute Power
  29. Immortal Wife
  30. Love is Eternal
  31. The Godfather
  32. Forever Amber
  33. Disclosure
  34. The Rabbi
  35. Christy
  36. The Hiding Place
  37. The Thornbirds
  38. Jane Eyre
  39. Winds of War
  40. Far Pavilions
  41. The Water is Wide
  42. Cold Sassy Tree
  43. My Cousin Rachel
  44. Mistress of Mellyn
  45. The Ivy Tree
  46. Once and Future King
  47. Mists of Avalon
  48. The Salzburg Connection
  49. Hawaii
  50. QB VII

"Once in a very rare year, there comes along a new book,
and I say as I'm reading, as my eyes eat words without a blink,
(as my heart and mind grab each other,)
"This," I say, "is The Best Book."
I know before the first page is gone. I sense it building.
And as the book finishes, I go as slow as I can.
I don't want to leave this book's world."
---Jill Robinson

Immortal Wife and Wannabe, 1969

What books do you think I'd like?


Anonymous said...

You should read The Secret Life of Bees or The Mermaid Chair (Sue Monk Kidd). I loved them both!
Also, try Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini).
These have all been added to my favorites. Good luck! - Kim B.

Diane Linford said...

Have you read These Is My Words by Nancy Turner? (In my top 5). Also The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.

For real meat - Anna Karenina by Tolstoy - the story surprised me. I really liked it.

Then there's Corelli's Mandolin. Good luck finding something. Let us know when you've discovered a great new read...

Beck said...

Okay, so I'm a youngster compared to all the seasoned readers here (and being consumed with motherhood, my reading time has all but vanished), but if you like Austen, I just read Austenland (by a lady from my mom's stake whose name escapes me at the moment) and thought it was a good read. But then, it was perfect for me - short and uncomplicated. Thanks for your list, though. I've been trying to find more to read that will be worth the little time I have, so hopefully some of the books on your list will fit the bill.

diane said...

Have you read The Other Bolyen Girl? If you like Phillippa Gregory she has a whole series of good books. I can't get enough of her stuff.

Christie said...

I was totally going to say the Other Boleyn Girl, too. Phillippa Gregory has a whole bunch of books from that time period - they're fantastic. You won't be able to put them down. Plus, you've been to all the sites, so it'll be that much more meaningful.

Kay Dennison said...

We've read a LOT of the same books!!!!! I love Morris West's Vatican trilogy: The Shoes of the Fisherman, The Clowns of God and Lazarus. And you would probably love Martha Grimes' wonderful mystery series. I read constantly and couldn't possibly list all the authors I enjoy. Right now I'm trying to get all my books listed at The Library Thing so I know what I have.

Bev said...

I was tickled to see Forever Amber in your list --- I read that when I found it in my mother's book stash -- I was about 13 and she thought it was too "Adult" for me to be reading --- wow, how times have changed!!

I have to admit that I was totally taken with Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth --- I haven't yet gotten to read World Without End (interesting that it took him 18 years to write the sequel!), so it's next on my fiction to read list.

Looking forward to hearing what you settle on

Polly said...

I've read and loved all of the same books you have, so when you find the next "great" one let me know!

Keri(th) said...

Wow, we share some favs!

I may be going out on a limb with this one, but The Alienist, by Caleb Carr is quite an intense piece of fiction (with a dark undertone, mysteries, and murder) that you might like (or absolutely hate). I read it years ago (probably shouldn't have) and really enjoyed it (in a creepy sort of way).

raehan said...


Debbie Raymond said...

I like your list so maybe you'll like some of mine. I loved A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. Thumbs down on the movie, but the book is good. I like young adult literature and recommend Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff and Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Sweet books. Also (not YA lit.) German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel

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