Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reading - My Addiction

I love to read. There are books all around the house, a couple in the van; I even tuck one in my purse when I leave to pick up the kiddos from school. When I'm without reading materials, I feel something is missing, like an itch that needs to be scratched but I can't reach the spot.

Yesterday I finished writing my review of Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin. It's not the type of book I would normally read--it's a fantasy about fairies who come to earth to save their families--but it was entertaining and enjoyable.

Many of the books I review for Bookreporter are for middle-grade or young-adult readers. Over the past several years since I've been reviewing books for Bookreporter, I've expanded my reading selections and have been pleasantly surprised with the results.Frankly, I think writers for the middle-grade and young-adult market are some of the best around. Good stories, great characters, strong voices, intriguing plots.

Next on my reading/reviewing list to review for Bookreporter is Crazy by William Peter Blatty. While I'm waiting for that book to arrive I'm catching up reading a few recently published anthologies,I'm blogging, and thinking about what needs to be done around the house for Christmas, which is at my house this year.

Earlier this month I finished reading The Help, which my writer/critique friend Becky raved about and let me borrow. If you're looking for a book with a compelling voice that will sweep you away, The Help is one you might enjoy.

I'm hoping to have some reading time over the holidays and am looking for some suggestions for good books. So, what are you reading now? What book do you recommend?


  1. I absolutely loved THE HELP, too. Right now I'm reading THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS and I'm loving that, too. I've got Stephen King's newest collection of stories waiting for me for when I finish NaNo.

    I'm a big fan of YA and Middle Grade, too. :)

  2. Hi Madeline,
    The book you suggest sounds good, especially if you loved THE HELP. I read a review on King's new short story collection, and the reviewer liked it.

  3. I just finished Fires on the Plain by Shohei Ooka. It's about a Japanese soldier in the Philippines who gets left behind when he falls sick. The war is ending and he's torn between trying to get back to Japan or simply lying down and dying. Surrendering to the Americans never enters his head. It was interesting to read a Japanese book about WWII, written by a Japanese veteran who ended up as a POW. Beautifully written, highly depressing, yet with a note of religious hope at the end.

  4. Hi Sean,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I enjoy reading about other cultures, and it's good to hear the book ended on a hopeful note.

  5. Do you read Sandra Dallas' novels? The Diary of Mattie Spenser, The Chili Queen...She always has twists in her stories, and they're well written.

    I loved Joe Hill's book Heartshaped Box (but you've probably already read it or it's not the kind of book that appeals to you). It kept me on the edge of my seat from almost the beginning to the very end.

  6. I recently finished Karen Elaine Greene's book of poetry called Three Thousand Doors. Loved it. And I'm with you on the young adult books! I think it's because they often have such great themes.

  7. Reading Tammy's comment reminded me---I agree with you both. Young adult books are well crafted. I used to read all the Mark Twain nominees every year---haven't done that in a while. However, I enjoyed them.

    All I had was E.L. Konigsberg and Carolyn Keene when I was young...The kids today are so much luckier.

  8. Donna, I'm addicted to kids books too (a former children's librarian) and every now and then I get to going on some of them. Yesterday a friend told me about Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society series so I downloaded the first one (three) onto my I-Pad and just finished it. It's great! Full of puzzles and great kids to solve big big problems. Highly recommend.

  9. I agree that some of the best books these days are being written by YA authors. I have at least six in my bookcase to be read asap.

    Right at the moment, I'm reading "The Courage to Write" (Keyes). I'd recommend Nancy Pickard's two standalones -- "The Scent of Rain and Lightning" and "The Virgin of Small Plains."

  10. Donna,
    I usually have three books going at any time. One that kept me spellbound was Wally Lamb's, I know This Much is True. I also liked Frank McCourt's, Angela's Ashes. Happy reading.

  11. Hi Sioux,
    I read Heart Shaped Box awhile back, and it was good.

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks. I need to read more poetry.

    Hi Betty,
    Thanks. God bless children's librarians.

    Hi Patricia,
    Thanks! Nancy Pickard is going to be speaking at the MO Writers' Guild conference in April. I plan to read her books before then.

    Hi Linda,
    Thanks. I've read Angela's Ashes but not the Wally Lamb book. I'll have to check it out.


  12. Donna, hope you don't mind--you're my "quote for the day!" Thanks!



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