Thanks To You, I Will Now Have My Nose In A Book Until Approximately 2018

Well OH MY SWEET GOODNESS, internets – it’s not every day that a girl gets two or a hundred and twenty seven book recommendations. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me a-heapin’ plenty of options from which to choose (by the way, thank you for this embarrassment-o-bloggy riches, too, and boy oh boy aren’t the nominations well-deserved because lists of books! they are funny! and riveting! and sure to make readers return for a very long time!).

[burying head in hands]

Anyway, it actually made me feel really good to read your comments, because 1) my theory about the high level of your collective intelligence was confirmed and 2) I realized that I’ve read more than I thought over the last few years. Surprisingly, I’ve managed to read all the Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Weiner books, some Francine Rivers and Jodi Piccoult, a whole bunch of David Sedaris, and a good bit of Southern literature, including my annual re-reading of To Kill A Mockingbird (side note: I get teary-eyed just thinking about that book, and today when I quoted one line from the last chapter in an email, I literally had to go find a Kleenex. It moves me way down deep in my soul). And now that I’ve read all of your comments (every single one – and taken notes, to boot), I’m ready to dive back into reading again and find some new treasures.

Initially I was going to pick ten books. But I couldn’t pick just ten. Y’all reminded me of so much that I’ve wanted to read and forgotten about, and while I don’t have any delusions about finishing all the books within this calendar year, I’m going to do my best to finish the list before I’m, you know, 60.

As I am ever-so-fond of saying, everybody needs a goal.

And just so you know: I only picked one series to tackle because I know I can’t handle more than that. I also tried to pick a variety of authors, though certainly there’s a strong bent toward women. I tried to strike a balance between Christian and mainstream stuff, and needless to say the recommendations that I didn’t put on my list this time will enable me to have a ready-made list of books to read in 2008. And 2009. And forevermore.

So…without boring you any longer…here’s what I’m going to (TRY TO) read:

At Home In Mitford – Jan Karon
A Walk In The Woods – Bill Bryson
Fair & Tender Ladies – Lee Smith
For Women Only – Shaunti Feldman
Get Out Of That Pit – Beth Moore
Gods In Alabama – Joshilyn Jackson
House – Ted Dekker & Frank Peretti
Lily White – Susan Isaacs
Peace Like A River – Leif Enger
Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld
Raney – Clyde Edgerton
SAHM I Am – Meredith Efken
The Debt – Angela Hunt
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfeld
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
There Is No Me Without You – Melissa Fay Greene
Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamott
Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell

There are no links because, honestly, I’m tired. But I’ll try to get those up in the next day or so. I’ve set up a separate blog page to keep track of what I’m reading and what I’ve finished – and there’s about to be a little link to that in the upper left hand corner of the blog. I think I know what I’m going to read first – but I’ll decide for sure tomorrow.

Also, my friend Robin and I have been emailing today about doing a little book club thing-y over at her blog in case some of you might want to read along. Plus, I know Katrina has a Spring Reading Challenge coming up, so I’m going to take a section of this list and try to plow through it this spring and summer. I hope lots of y’all will join in with that. I was a total chicken the last time Katrina did a reading challenge and wouldn’t commit because, well, I was SKEERED (that’s “scared” for those of you who don’t speak Southern-ese), but this time I’m going to jump in feet first.

Thanks again, y’all, for all of your great suggestions. I have had several people email me to tell me that they were making lists based on your recommendations – including my dear friend Bubba, who’s about to get on a very big plane and fly across a very big pond. So you’ve done a public service, oh yes you have.

Happy reading, everybody!

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  1. Phyllis R. says:

    Wow! What a great list! And thanks to your other post I’ve added several books to my own “Wish List” on Amazon! I’ve read a bunch of the ones on your list and I loved them ALL. Especially loved – LOVED – the Mitford series and Anne Lamont’s “Traveling Mercies”. They are right down your (funny) alley!

    I loved someone’s suggestion of doing a “Bloggy Book Club”. There are so many fabulous ladies, all so smart, that it would be interesting to do, and most importantly, FUN!

  2. Oh, wow–A Walk in the Woods is on my top ten favorites list. I LOVED that book! And Thirteenth Tale is fabulous. But I’ll be interested to hear what you think about House. Not saying anymore–I don’t want to ruin it for you :)

    Enjoy the reading!!

  3. Hey–did you know that your link to Robin was her test site from 2005?

  4. I would have pegged you for a Jennifer Weiner fan. Your written personality reminds me of her books, minus the foul language and sexual encounters. Thanks once again for having the audience to get the bloggity-answers I am looking for in my own life. Have fun reading and watch out for paper cuts as those pages fly.

  5. You’ll never get wrong with Anne Lamott.


  6. I was going to suggest a Ted Dekker book, but when I saw you had a hundred or so I figured . . . *shrug* eh, you’ve got enough. Still, I am tickled to see that Ted made the cut! I really enjoyed his other books he did solo . . .Black, Blink, Red, and other semi-sci fi, but christian cool combo stuff. Yet there arn’t a whole lot of gals out there that like that sort of thing, so, (again) *shrug*

  7. Your list looks really great. Good balance of heavy/light, fiction/non-fiction, etc. I’m glad you went with The Thirteenth Tale – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And I’m right in the middle of The Time Traveler’s Wife right now and I’m enjoying that one, too. I look forward to hearing more about the book club thing-y. I’m always up for anything involving book love. :)

  8. If you have time (bwhahahaha!), read Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There before you read A Walk in the Woods. One of the main characters (Stephen Katz, for those who’ve read it) traveled around Europe with Bryson in the 70s, and you’ll have a better understanding who he is.

    Excellent list! :o)

  9. Wow – what a list. I was just standing in the library last week thinking – “How am I ever gonna finish all the books I want to read?” And now I have more to add to the list.
    I would caution you on the Rob Bell book, just make sure you have a Bible near at hand as you read it. Just like with Da Vinci code, it may be interesting to read (or watch) as long as you remember that it’s fiction. Although Bell’s book is not supposed to be fiction, recreating your own truths is a dangerous thing.
    Not to be weird though. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders!
    I can’t wait to start on some of these…as soon as I finish the pile I just rented…

  10. The Poisonwood Bible is one of my favs. Great choice!

  11. There’s some good stuff on that list. Should keep you busy for a day or two. Unless you decide to keep reading blogs. In which case you’ll be reading in a rocker with a shawl around your shoulders while your grand kids’ kids play peacefully at your feet.

  12. I LOVE to read and have so enjoyed these book posts, but like so many, I’m busy!

    So, a while back, I discovered books on tape or CD. Go to the library. Get some of these books on tape, plug yourself into a Walkman and get all kinds of things done while you “read”. I’ve gotten more laundry and dishes done while listening to some wonderful literature.

    Then, in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed, I’ll snuggle up in my favorite recliner and read a book on paper. Heaven!

  13. Oh, I can’t wait for you to tell me about them. :)

  14. Ooh, Prep was really good!

  15. After you read “At Home in Mitford”, I know you will want to read the entire series. It is such a heart warming story! :o)

  16. Dang. Lost my first comment. It went somthing like this…

    If you’re going to read Beth Moore’s Get Out Of That Pit … you might as well attend her simulcast on Feb. 24! SERIOUSLY!

    Go here to find a church near you that is hosting the simulcast:

    OOOORRRRR… you could come to MY church for the simulcast, and stay at MY house for FREE … I’m just saying!

  17. Some of the Ted Dekker books tie in to each other, and I have to say House is my least favorite of his. Still good, but make sure you read the Circle trilogy and Showdown as well. :) Since you’ve got nothing’ else on the list, right?

  18. You made my day.

    MADE. MY. DAY!

  19. Rocks in my Dryer says:

    Okay, seriously? I won’t be your friend anymore unless you add a Bret Lott book to that list.

    Just kidding. Sort of. ;)

  20. You inspired me to at least catalog on my humble blog the outrageous piles of books I am currently working my way through. I did not add my latest series that I absolutely devoured: Fitzwilliam Darcy, A Gentleman by Pamela Aidan…a MUST READ for all Pride and Prejudice fans!

  21. Oh! I forgot to mention:
    You must read: “Learning to Breathe Again” by Tammy Trent. It is amazing! This is probably the only book I was absorbed in for a whole afternoon and I am a SLOW reader! Tammy Trent is a Christian singer/songwriter and she tells an amazing story of her love for this boy named Trent. How they met, how they got married, her family turmoil, and eventually how he tragically gets taken away from her and her fight to come back from her sorrow and trust in the Lord and “learn to breahe again”. You absolutely MUST put it on your number one to read today. I originally suggested “Take Time for Your Life” as it will teach you to relax and have more time to do the things you love… i.e. READ. Love ya girl! KUTGW!

  22. You have to read a Bret Lott book and let it be Jewel, you won’t regret it, its heroine is a southern girl !

    And DON’T read the KITE RUNNER, its awful, I wish I could get it out of my mind.