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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer reading

At the airport this weekend, I picked up a copy of The Fault in Our Stars, the story of a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who falls in love with a seventeen-year-old in her support group. The novel has been on the NYTimes bestseller list for a year and a half, so I might be the last person in the world to read it (have you?), but in the bookstore I started flipping through and couldn't stop. Although the premise is weighty, the writing is funny and compelling, and the dialogue is pitch perfect. (So often, dialogue sounds fake or overwritten.) All day I look forward to reading it, and it's a real page turner—I'd highly recommend it for planes, beaches and general summer reading.
Have you read anything good lately? Any recommendations? I'd love to hear...

P.S. The author's adorable first date story.

(Cartoon by Peter Steiner for the New Yorker)

186 comments:

Amy Carter said...

I read this without stopping. He writes teenagers so perfectly! The tone, the vocabulary, the sweet awkwardness.... I loved it! All his other books are very good too.

Anne said...

I just picked up The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. It won the Man Booker Prize last year. It's a fat read, but I've heard great things about it. I'm excited to start it next week when I take a road trip with my bf!

mba said...

Loved this book!
I also read The Flamethrowers recently and have not stopped thinking about it. Amazing book.

sarah said...

if you haven't read the goldfinch by donna tartt YOU MUST READ IT IMMEDIATELY!!! i finished it months ago and, no joke, not a day goes by where i don't think about it. i may have to read it again this summer just to get it out of my head… you know, like listening to a song that has been stuck in your head. wonder if that would work...

Isa R said...

Hey, I've read jour blog for 5 years now and never commented (too shy, sorry). I've read that book and loved it!! I also can't wait to see the movie.... My last book was The land of stories, a spin on our favorite fairytales!!

Unknown said...

Ann Patchett's This is the Story of Happy Marriage

meawhitbrown said...

It's so good! (So are his other books.) I recently started Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. I'm about to start book 5. Talk about books you can't put down! I'm pretty much an emotional wreck, but these books are SO incredible. Highly recommend them!

Annie said...

Megan Mayhew Bergman's short stories are INCREDIBLE. Also anything by Amy Bloom or Karen Russell!
http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Lesser-Paradise-Mayhew-Bergman/dp/1451643365

Stephanie said...

I'm not rereading this book because it was so great:) Read the Age of Miracles at the same time.. also the perfect summer read!

K said...

For any pregnant ladies out there, I would highly recommend the short birth story compilation called "Labor Day". It was fantastic, got me prepared for a wide range of what to look forward to (due June 10th) and was nice that they were short and I could fit a story in before passing out.

http://www.amazon.com/Labor-Day-Stories-Todays-Writers/dp/0374239320

Making it Anywhere said...

I haven't been able to get into this book, at all! I think it's because the characters are so young... they kind of annoy me, is that mean to say about a fake cancer patient? I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed recently and I just couldn't put it down! Sarah's enthusiasm about Goldfinch makes me want to check that one out too!

Meadow said...

I will never understand why people like to read sad books and watch depressing movies. There's more than enough sadness in the world... I like happy things lol.

Alex Levy said...

"Have you ever heard of The Fault in Our Stars?" - someone who has made a career of being a tastemaker

Lindsay said...

You might like the book I'm currently reading. It's a novel called 'Astonish Me', and it's about ballet dancers. I'm enjoying it so far. And thanks for this post! I always get such good recommendations from the comments sections...

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

The Fault in Our Stars was excellent! I don't think of it as a sad book, I mean, some parts were sad, but it was more about experiencing life. It really helped me deal with a lot of my own feelings about cancer after losing my mother-in-law to it several years ago.

I also recently read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, it was pretty similarly great. A little sad sometimes, but also funny.

Alina Valero said...

I thought almost the opposite! I thought the dialogue wasn't realistic at all. Every time they would talk I thought, "Are they really teenagers?!"

Liza said...

That is a great book. It's on my nightstand and loving it. But have you read Little Bee? It's one of recent favorites.

Ashley S. said...

I'm a voracious reader, and The Fault In Our Stars has been my favorite read in quite a long time. It's fantastic... Other good books recently have been: Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner and Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

Jane {In The Pink & Green} said...

I read this book and really enjoyed it as well! Another book I just finished (and actually reviewed on my blog today!) was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - it's similar in a way in that it's an engaging read that's perfect for the beach, but the subject matter is also kind of heavy...I really enjoyed it though, and would HIGHLY recommend it!

Eva Rest said...

The Fault in our Stars is amazing, and the movie comes out June 6th. I have read it multiple times, and one of my close family members just passed away of ovarian cancer recently, and some of the comments in the book make it a bit more manageable. I think it's a book that steps out of its YA category and easily connects with people of all ages. Plus, John Green was just in the Time 100, so that's kind of cool. I would be interested in knowing what Caroline thinks about it, since she worked for Penguin and has some experience with editing?

I'm reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, which is really good as well (nonfiction , though).

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eleanor Rae said...

This is my sisters favourite book in the whole world!! Now I've seen a second recommendation I'll ask her if I can borrow it! xxx

? said...

the goldfinch is incredible, the interestings is also one of the best books i've ever read.

Alissa Moghtaderi said...

I read The Fault in Our Stars a few months ago and it made me bawl my eyes out because it hit a little too close to home. Not even that close, but I-had-a-boyfriend-with-cancer close is close enough! (My story ended with the boyfriend having a life-saving bone marrow transplant and then marrying me and having two sons together and then happily ever after, so not as much of a bummer.)

(And did you know that the author is the same John Green from Mental Floss?! I just learned that today and it blew. my. mind.)

I read TFIOS when I was on a young adult literature kick, and I also read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, which I found incredibly touching and realistic. It felt authentic, especially the way Rowell describes the depth and breadth of emotion of teenagers developing deep friendships for the first time.

And also in the YA genre (which, let's face it, is the best place to look for reading material when you've got a job and two kids), I devoured Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. It starts with a compelling premise of a world where the speed of the Earth's rotation is slowing, which has far-reaching effects for life, but the story itself is a classic and engrossing coming-of-age story. It's a great book because it weaves this bizarre and interesting apocalyptic backdrop with familiar growing-up themes.

Betsy W said...

I loved the book, but had to stop reading it on the plane because I was crying so much I looked like a nut case!

Jenny Parker said...

How in the world did you read this in public? Such a tearjerker

Lauren said...

LOVE this tearjerker of a book so much. Can't wait for the movie version with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort too which comes out next month!

Random recommendation... but I listened to the audiobook version on a trip and it was SO entertaining. The narrator makes Hazel and Gus even more witty and endearing - if that's possible. Worth a listen even if you've already read it! You can find it here http://www.downpour.com/the-fault-in-our-stars-1

Kimberly Pendleton said...

This is my favorite subject!! I loved Swamplandia! By Karen Russell, which reminded me of another book I loved, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. Both have really inspiring girl heroines. I loved This is The Story of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett and An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. I also really recommend the old young adult novel, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli!!

rawketstarling said...

Everytime someone asks me for a book recommendation I always, ALWAYS point them towards Diane Setterfield's "The Thirteenth Tale". It's a book for book lovers! I just reread it this last weekend because I wanted to rediscover it, and just like the first time, couldn't put it down! Even though I knew what was coming, it was beyond delicious.
I also really, REALLY love The Night Circus--it's whimsical, philosophical, fantastical, and beautiful. A highly recommended story.

Julie Hoang said...

I haven't read this yet but I have Paper Towns by the same author that I'm planning to read soon. The last book I read was Flowers for Algernon & I loved it!

Mary Schaubert said...

Okay, I'm going to start this tonight because it's my little sister's favorite book right now! I have read SO little since being pregnant (vivid dreams were killing me, so I stopped reading fiction because it always showed up!) but I've been missing it, and pretty bored at this point sitting around waiting for baby!

Gretchen said...

I just read "Eleanor & Park" this week and could NOT put it down. Highly recommend!

Casey Elizabeth said...

I just finished The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. It's like The Help in the 1700's. Fantastic! I couldn't put it down! Currently I've started Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers... and I think I'm falling for it too!

JCross01 said...

I love when you do these posts, the comments are always great :) I add all the suggestions to my GoodReads account!

My favorites recently have been The Age of Miracles, like many have said ....and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It's breathtakingly beautiful - check it out!!

Letícia said...

Hey Joanna!

I read this book and really loved it at the time. I read it in 2 days but I'm always finish books pretty fast, no matter how long they are.

I have a few recomendations for you:

1) Millenium series by Stieg Larsson: It consists of three novels which are all long books (over 500 pages if I remember correctly). I read all 3 books in two weeks. It's my favorite series since Twilight (don't judge!)The story is full of twists and turns and it's the kind of book that keeps you wake until late at night becasue you just' cannot go to sleep without knowing what happens next!

2) The Carrie Diaries series: Two books (The Carrie Diaries and Summer and The City)telling the story of young Carrie Bradshaw and her friends. It is a very light reading, perfect for relaxing during summer time.

I also loved the LA Candy Series from Lauren Conrad (silly books but really nice if you want to just pass the time).

Hope you have fun reading this spring/summer!

Leticia

Paige Elizabeth said...

I listened to this book on audio books. Usually I plow through these books so quickly, it was enjoyable to just sit and listen to someone else read. I loved it.

Amanda said...

I finally read Fault in our Stars a few months ago and I felt exactly the same way about it. Couldn't put it down. I've been reading a lot of Jane Austen lately. I think my summer will be mostly classics.

lainie said...

oh goodness, the fault in our stars is one of the worst books i've ever bothered to read. however, many of the books mentioned in the comments are on my to-read list (luminaries, flamethrowers, birds of lesser paradise, happy marriage), so i'm pleased to get this great feedback!

i agree with both parts of @making it anywhere's comment - Wild was excellent and stuck with me!

Lynne Millar said...

Hi! Loved this book so much!

My favorite summer books so far have been The Rosie Project and then Attachments and Fan Girl, both by Rainbow Rowell.

I also liked Astonish Me although it's not quite a light funny read.

Frances White said...

I read this book over three nights and I cried and cried and sobbed! It's a favourite xx

Amanda @ Little Lady Living said...

I LOVE that book, but would have to say it's not the best for a plane or the beach or anywhere in public... unless you are skilled at invisible crying cause wow I ugly cried through the last third of the book. It is perfectly written and I can't wait to see the movie!

Julia from Dozen Flours said...

Please read the The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. It's one of the most precious stories I've ever read - EVER.

I loved it so much I listened to the Audio Book and man that performed the main character brought the character of Leo to life in a way I could never have anticipated.

SO GOOD!

Christie. said...

I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars, I find I am always the last person to read these big sellers. I just recently finished Gone Girl. :)

I'm reading a bit of Neil Gaiman at the moment - first 'The ocean at the end of the lane' and now 'American gods', both are great!

tobylynne said...

I read 'The Fault in Our Stars' about a month ago and I have to say that I wasn't too impressed. I actually found the dialogue to be overwritten for such young characters and I didn't feel the author was sincere. It was sad, of course, but it never grabbed me.

I recently read 'The Lowland' by Jhumpa Lapiri, which I absolutely loved. Very interesting story that I would highly recommend!

Emily said...

I preordered this book when it first came out in 2012, and I've read it at least four times since then. It's one of my favorite books of all time! I can't wait for the movie in June!

Jennifer Hadley said...

The Goldfinch, hands down.

Jamy of Fourth Street said...

I also didn't know this was a NYT best seller, but I recently saw the trailer for the movie. It looks so compelling. I can't decide to wait for the movie or read the book?

Make!Do! said...

Triple nominating anything and everything by Rainbow Rowell - plus, pretty covers!

Arielle Prangner said...

I second all of the recommendations for books by Rainbow Rowell. Everything I've read of hers is fantastic. Also a great YA easy read is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. If you've read and liked Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett's Fall of Giants is good. It's book one of a trilogy, but I haven't read the other two yet. I'm starting The Goldfinch next. I've heard great things!

Arielle Prangner said...

Oh, and I also loved The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, which I see that someone else recommended. Fantastic!

Maia said...

I've just finished with 'The love in the time of cholera' and I'm totally in love! It's simply beautiful!

shannon9585 said...

I read The Goldfinch recently based on a recommendation on your site! I enjoyed it, but before I read it, I read The Secret History (also by Donna Tartt) and enjoyed that A LOT more. I flew through The Secret History, but I thought The Goldfinch took a while to get interesting. The beginning was very drawn out.

Sarah said...

Loved it. Such an incredible book.

Brielle D said...

I recently read The Secret History by Donna Tartt, (the same author as the Goldfinch) and I highly recommend it! The personality traits that she gives characters always remind me of people I know.

alyson said...

oh yes! read this back in April. really good! tear jerker for sure. I'm reading Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson right now and so far it's really great.

Karelys Beltran Davis said...

John Green is my favorite! His videos on history are in the Khan Academy.

megan said...

I listened to this book on audio while knitting and loved it. Was a blubbering mess sometimes but loved it.

Kara said...

I read this book on my plane ride to Paris- I literally didn't put it down until I was done. It was so great, though I did have to run to the lavatory to cry a few times.

http://comeawaywithme-kara.blogspot.fr/

Mary said...

Yes, you are the last person in the world to read this. ;-)

If you liked it, you should read Eleanor & Park. Another high school teenage love story. Wonderful.

Also really loved JoJo Moyes' Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. These are all books that stay with you long after you've finished them.

Emily Harden said...

I want to say I loved this book because I really did but I found it to be so sad that I almost couldn't handle it!!

Lee Ten Hoeve said...

Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann is the single best thing I've read in years.
On a different note, The Best of McSweeney's Internet Tendency is a fast read and a riot. I laugh out loud in bed and then have to reread the entire piece aloud to my husband. It's witty and spot on and short enough to enjoy amid life's many distractions.

m lou said...

....And here I thought I was the last person to read The Fault is in our Stars! I loved the relationship between both of the teens and their parents...
Half way through The Goldfinch.. and yes it is all that...
Next book on my list Bellman &Black by Diane Setterfield, if its half as good as The Thirteenth Tale it will be a good summer indeed!

Anne Libera said...

Adding to all of the love for Rainbow Rowell - I thoroughly enjoyed all three of her books (and she has another coming out this summer.

I just finished "Stoner" by John Williams. It was written in 1965 and was recently republished by the New York Review. Simultaneously, the saddest and the most life affirming novel I have come across in a long time. Talk about a book that stays with you...

Emily said...

That book is so sad. I just finished The Interestings. Good book.

Donna W said...

Hi Joanna! It's definitely on my summer reading list. Since you love to travel, I highly recommend 'Lost Girls'. I picked up Jason Priestley's memoir and attended his book signing last week Thursday. I can't stop reading!

xo

xina said...

yes, this is a good read (though VERY emotional!). I love reading fitzgerald and virginia woolf in the summer months and I've got gone with the wind on my list for this summer. I hope you get your hands on a bunch of good books to fill those extended summer days!! xx

emily0717 said...

I have been avoiding reading it, but I don't like reading super sad books - but your thoughts re: the humor and dialogue might've convinced me!

Samantha said...

If you like The Fault in Our Stars, then you MUST read Me Before You. Even better, in my opinion!!

emily0717 said...

I've been avoiding it b/c I don't read super sad books, but your thoughts about the humor and snappy dialogue might've convinced me. :)

Pooja said...

Here is my summer reading list:

The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting by Alfie Kohn

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life by Alison Gopnik

Where I Was From by Joan Didion

The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic by Uma Krishnaswami

Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith

Inheritance by Balli Kaur (re-read)

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt

Open City: A Novel by Teju Cole (re-read)

Melissa said...

I have to recommend another YA book: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. It's the most realistic portrayal of teens I think I've ever read, and made me remember what it was like to be 16. Absolutely brilliant.

Kaitlin Marie said...

I just read this book yesterday - cover to cover. Thought it was brilliant and it broke my heart in the best possible way. I'm seriously considering reading it again.. right now.

Jessica Ferron said...

Sadly, I have no recommendations, but that's because I just finished my Master's program and haven't read a book that wasn't assigned in years!

I love this post and the comments because I'm adding suggestions to my reading list as we speak.

Happy summer reading, all!

Abby @ Happy Food Happy Home said...

I love this book! Pretty sure I read it in one night over Christmas break this year.

Try "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman! Really really good. Beautful, and a total tear jerker too.

Calamity Cloe said...

This is definitely my next book !
All of my friends have read it already and I definitely want to before seeing the movie.
I'm almost finished with 'Someday, someday maybe' by Lauren Graham, which I quite enjoy.

E.E G said...

The movie should be out soon!!

rachelandryan said...

You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't pick up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'm surprised only one other person so far has recommended it. Sleeper hit, but amazingly relevant, sweet, romantic...I find myself wishing to pick up the phone to speak to the main character.

Calamity Cloe said...

This is definitely my next read !
All my friends have read it and loved it, and I want to go through it before seeing the movie.
I'm almost finished with 'Someday, someday maybe' by Lauren Graham and I've been enjoying a lot !

ashley price said...

Hi! Here's a few additional recommendations:

Fiction~
A Tale for the Time Being-Ruth Ozeki
The writing in this book is really beautiful, the character of Nao, is painted so carefully and thoughtfully well, and the plot is extremely intriguing. I don’t want to give away much about it--just read it.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane-Neil Gaimon
This slim novel is simply magical. There are mythical elements, and if it was a piece of music it probably would be an elegy or a requiem.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena-Anthony Marra
The topic might make you not want to read it, a novel set during war in Chechnya, and yet, it’s an incredibly engrossing, moving, empathetic book. I can safely say unequivocally that it’s been one of my top reads of 2013.

Americanah-Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
This is a masterful book, but frankly I'd read anthing Adichie writes---she is a powerful thought leader of our generation.

Honorable mentions:Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore-Robin Sloan;
Tell the Wolves I’m Home-Carol Rivka Brunt; and the Night Circus.

Non-fiction:

Unbroken-A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption- Laura Hillenbrand

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves- Adam Hochschild

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese-Michael Paterniti

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln-Doris Kearns Goodwin

Dorothy DeMaria said...

Read Boy. snow Bird and loved it. Also all The John Green books are excellent. Favorite line in The Fault in Our Stars "as he read she fell in love, the way you fall asleep - slowly then all at once"

heather{land} said...

Where'd you go Bernadette? !!!!!

Vicky said...

You will read it in one go. It's pretty amazing. This past year they made a movie adaptation of TFIOS and it will be out in June. Before you watch the movie, you might want to pick up this: http://dftba.com/product/1dz/PRE-ORDER-TFiOS-Preparedness-Kit

It comes with tissues, sunglasses, and a metaphor. :-)

DFTBA!

Lisa said...

I absolutely second Where'd You Go, Bernadette. To me, it was an intelligent, but not overly demanding page turner - if that makes sense.

I also have Jhumpa Lahiri's latest waiting for me on hold at the library. Cannot wait!

Stephanie Chaplin said...

The Goldfinch. Set to be my book of the year. Frequently missed my metro stop whilst transported to another world.

Stephanie Chaplin said...

The Goldfinch. Set to be my book of the year. Frequently missed my metro stop whilst transported to another world.

Jenny said...

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead - I think you will enjoy this because I remember you posting a documentary about ballet dancers. This is a great beach read as well.

Favorite books I've read this 2014 so far are:
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
- We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
- Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Currently reading and loving:
- This Burns my Heart by Samuel Park

Barbara said...

I read Casebook by Mona Simpson in a day last week. It was fabulous.

And for those of you who love JoJo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover is great. It's like a cross between To Catch a Thief and An Affair to Remember

Katie said...

Can we talk about books more often, please? I am always behind on the latest literary bestsellers, but things I just read and loved: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, a honestly hilarious and totally tragic take on Irish boarding school; and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, from a few years ago: so much emotion and true human personality/behavior packed into a very short novel (but to be fair, Atonement was already one of my favorites ever).

Whenever I make the leap and read YA novels that everyone is talking about, I always enjoy it (I'm looking at you, Hunger Games), so maybe I'll give The Fault in Our Stars a try.

Anne said...

It is a wonderful book. I am happy for you that you found it and picked it up. He is a local author for me and many of the places mentioned in the book are local places, a fun addition for me. Have you watched any of the author, John Green's, you tube videos. They are also entertaining and often informative or thought provoking. Enjoy the rest of the book!

Taryn Louise said...

I just picked up 'A Fighting Chance' by Elizabeth Warren-- or sounds kind of lame being a political book and all, but i'm really enjoying it! I'm also finishing Life of Pi which I feel like I'm the last person to read this book, but it's kind of fun! Certainly not my favorite but has some interesting insights for sure. :)

ND said...

I have to say, I really hated The Fault in Our Stars. I was excited to read it because it got such great reviews, but I was so put off by the characters' nonstop sarcasm, melodrama, and... I don't know... pretentiousness? I get they're teenagers, with cancer, but I found it obnoxious to read :X

For beach reads I love murder mysteries like Gone Girl. Otherwise recent favorites have been Devil in the White City (nonfiction but reads like novel), and anything by Khaled Hosseini. Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns have been my tearjerkers :)

Lauren said...

I echo the recommendation for "Me Before You"…heavy subject matter but really great read…I tell everyone to read it!

Lauren said...

I echo the recommendation for "Me Before You"…heavy subject matter but really great read…I tell everyone to read it!

melanie said...

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison is AMAZING. It's heartbreaking and funny and very similar to this but about a man coming to terms with his life. I could not put it down. I also highly reccomend Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. It's incredibly clever.

shawn said...

I feel like such a bitch but I can't stand the commercials for this movie, so I hardly want to read the book. I could be totally off, but it feels like a Nicholas Sparks type novel.

For me, this is another Hollywood formula that might make for an easy read but it's more sad and contrived.

Sorry! This is in no way meant to disregard those who like this stuff. I just don't understand.

appleandbean said...

while we're on the topic of books-we-should-have-read-forever-ago, i just finished "a thousand splendid suns" by khaled hosseini (think "kite runner") and i never wanted it to end! it was absolutely beautiful. read it if you haven't already!

Jana || One Drawing A Day said...

loved it and I also just read Gone Girl-intriguing!

Amy said...

Me Before You is the best book I have read since Unbroken, which is my favorite book of all time. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe at the end, but to me that is a sign of a good book (or movie but that's a different story). Keep the recs comin!

MACY said...

This is the best book ever! I can read it again and again!
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a great book as well.

Tish said...

Yes! Loved it! I love your take on the writing. I couldn't agree more. Can't wait for the film.

Lynn @ TheActorsDiet.com said...

I was just talking to my husband about this book - I know it just from the cover now. I’m currently reading Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest, “Sisterland” and thoroughly enjoying it.

Dan's Average Blog said...

I just finished reading that book :) It's so good and I can't wait for the movie which is coming so soon! :) I grabbed another John Green book which is Paper Towns. I'm not finished reading it yet but so far so good. Try it :)

Rekha Monger said...

The Fault in Our Stars remains one of my favorites. It always keeps me thinking when I come across it.

Currently I'm reading The Happiness Project and Norwegian Wood :)

Mel's Life said...

I absolutely loved this book! John Green's writing really captures every reader's imagination!

abroadathome said...

I love these posts! I get so many recommendations : )

I LOVED TFIOS!! I just finished reading it for the second time a few weeks ago--when I was in Amsterdam actually, which is perfect for the book. It's so touching and poignant and I think his snappy dialogue is unparalleled.

I recently finished The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, which was fantastic, though quite the commitment. A great, sprawling mystery. Right now I'm reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and have found its quiet meditation to be a nice contrast to The Luminaries. I'd love to read Waiting for Alaska or An Abundance of Katherines by John Green--I've heard all his stories are great!

Maria said...

I'm powering through the Game of Thrones series and I'm not stopping til I'm done. I fear it will take me a while with a new baby on the way....

Maria xx
www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

Anne said...

Sounds like nice summer reading. I will look into that once my exams are over end June. I am currently reading Goodbye to All That, Writers on Loving and Leaving New York (brilliant and actually quite emotional reading too) and Lean In (Sandberg's book). However tomorrow I am starting on the novel, Americanah, since I am going write a college exam paper based on that book.

/Anne

Denise Ying Lin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Ying Lin said...

You'll love 90 Packets of Instant Noodles by Deb Fitzpatrick too. Pitch perfect dialogue, great conflict, beautiful character development.

Here's the synopsis http://www.closetfulofbooks.com/si/9781921361999.html

Polly Rowan said...

Oh I really want to read this this Summer! Thanks for the rec

macaca grava-por-cima said...

http://www.amazon.com/Someone-A-Novel-Alice-McDermott/dp/0374281092

reading this one right now and loving it

Susan said...

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson. Reading it now and loving it.

Mad about dogs said...

I have just brought it on Kindle, can't wait to get started. Thank you for the suggestion.

Glamourbibliotekaren said...

Siri Hustvedt "The blazing world". Amazing!

Amy Gaines said...

Dying over your cartoon - Crime and Punishment IS my summer reading this year! I haven't read this one yet, though. It's on my list!

Joy said...

Such a sweet story. I admire his ability to write that novel without weighing it down with angst. p.s. so curious what you thought of Goldfinch. (i couldn't finish it)

Unknown said...

I just read the Fault In Our Stars! Loved it. I'm a John Green fan in general. Another book I only read recently that everyone is talking about is What Alice Forgot. I highly recommend it, especially for married people.

http://dontblamethekids.com

e said...

I second the recommendation for Stoner that appeared somewhere below. So sad, so beautiful.

Other books I've read and loved recently (none of them recently published!): James Baldwin's Another Country, John Irving's The World According to Garp, Bohumil Hrabal's Closely Observed Trains... all fantastic.

Oh and anything at all by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Americanah is recently published and it's great, but Half of a Yellow Sun is my absolute favourite. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.

Also, Donal Ryan's The Spinning Heart, Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone... and a gorgeous little book for book lovers: Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris.

I could go on and on. But I'll stop!

mid to late said...

I second the above recommendation of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. It is so beautifully written. Such an amazing story about family and the bond between children and parents and siblings.

Laura Barron said...

I took off work to finish this book because I couldn't put it down. It resonated with me for weeks afterwards too. It was so heartbreakingly beautiful. I would think about it and start crying - in public! Embarrassing. I think I may have to go to the movie by myself to spare my boyfriend from my public sobbing. It's definitely one of my favorite books though.

I also recently read "The Interestings" which is also very good, but slightly less emotionally exhausting. A very unique take on the lives of a group of New Yorkers...

paleyellow.net said...

I just read the comments and added tons of books to my Amazon wishlist. I've been read The Song of Ice and Fire for the past 10 months and haven't had time for anything else. I excited to start my summer reading!

Hannah S said...

this book is so heartbreaking and so beautiful and the perfect opportunity to wear out your highlighter. did anyone else suggest "Looking for Alaska" (also by John Green.) it's magical.

sayyestostorytelling.blogspot.com

Chelsey Isaacson said...

I found this book to be the opposite. Everyone has the same personality in it (sarcastic, oh-so-witty-all-the-time, unrealistic in general), and if you read any of his other books, they all have the same personality as the characters in The Fault in Our Stars. I felt like I knew what was going to happen through the whole book. Maybe it's because I read too many Lauralyn McDaniel books as a teenager...
Gosh, I sound like such a negative person. I just don't understand why this book is soooooooo popular.

Chelsey Isaacson said...

I mean Lurlene Mcdaniel...

Lindsey said...

I was blown away by Department of Speculation. I'd also recommend to book lovers listening to Slate Audio Book Club. I love hearing other people discuss books I've recently read.

wanderlustywriter said...

So funny, for a long time I was also the person that refused to read the "popular books", preferring to find my own hidden gems ... no more. Most books (emphasis on *most*) are popular for good reasons.

The best books I've ever read are by Tana French (In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor). Beautifully-written character-driven mysteries. The best writer writing today.

If I Stay was amazing (though also made me sob) currently ordering the rest of Gayle Forman's books.

If you're in a non-heavy YA mood, The Duff, Kody Keplinger was fun and cute.

If you've never read Cutting for Stone, it's amazing, simply put.

Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City--so bizarre, so good.

I could go on and on.

I think I'm the only one in the world who didn't like The Secret History ("didn't like" is an understatement) so I'm hesitant about the Goldfinch...

KristinL said...

I think you would like "The Language of Flowers" Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It has some similarities to "The History of Love" that you will find in it's really interesting and beautiful characters. It's about motherhood at its core - and really special.

I also loved "Where'd you go Bernadette" by Maria Semple as a light summer read(the author was a writer for Arrested Development) and her style is smart, honest and funny.

"Tell the Wolves I'm Home" by Carol Rifka Brunt was another good coming of age story if you want to continue on that theme. It was one of my favorite reads in a long, long time.


Kristen Dubourg said...

I loved TFIOS! I am a huge YA fan but recently I've been trying to get into adult fiction again.

The Husband's Secret by Lianne Moriarty was great. I read it in 2 days. I also read and hated Gone Girl but I decided to give Sharp Objects a chance and liked it a lot.

I picked up the Goldfinch and am 100 or so pages in and it's fabulous so far. I read The Secret History but wasn't super impressed by it.

We are also reading The Interestings in my book club this month and seeing the other comments I am excited to start. Happy reading!

amber said...

If you like YA, Tell the Wolves I'm Home is a beautiful story.

Unknown said...

I highly recommend Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. It's set in 1987 and the protagonist is a 14-year-old girl (maybe part of my love stems from my having been that exact age in that exact year?), and it's a very original and moving coming-of-age story.

collette said...

I haven't read it yet, but it's on my library reserve list! Reading "Balancing It All" by Candice Cameron Bure. Obviously no one can balance "it all" but I'm finding comfort by turning to God.

kendra said...

i adore this book. I've read some of his other's too. John Green is amazing.
I read Gone Girl. Literally couldn't put it down. I finished it in less than a day

Natalie - The Senses Five said...

Ugh, I read this while pregnant and finished in the hospital the night after Oskar was born. I was a hot mess.

morestomach.com said...

it took me awhile to read this book too and i did like it.
if you want a fun summer read, Eleanor&Park by Rainbow Rowell is it.

currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Samantha said...

I highly highly recommend The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. absolutely beautiful

Ashley Elizabeth said...

I've been putting off reading this book because I just know it's going to make me bawl. I've requested it from the library but the waiting list is so long that by the time I get it, I might be more prepared to read.

Joanna, I just absolutely love your blog and the community you've created in this space. It's one of my favorite places to hang out, everyone is just lovely. Would you ever consider a blog book club? I've tried to participate on other blogs' but I think the discussion here would be so insightful and enriching (and you've clearly got a lit loving fan base- such great book suggestions)!

I also just finished reading The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (someone else mentioned it) and I've been thinking about it for days since. The Language of Flowers, and Cutting for Stone are both beautiful. My book club recently read The Banks of Certain Rivers and I absolutely loved it.

Kelley said...

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a wonderful, uplifting story and a really quick read. xx

The City and Us

Rachel Cole said...

I teach middle school and this has become a cult classic for my students! It made a lot of them fall in love with reading. I adore this book.

Kay S. said...

Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie Macdonald. Family drama at its finest and darkest.

amy said...

I adore YA, so I'll have to pick this one up. Weird note, the cover makes me think of Wonder, a fantastic middle grade novel.

I'm halfway through Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald for my book club, and it's fantastic! All about the crazy adventures and misadventures of the Fitzes and the Hemingways, set in the roaring 1920s. I find myself wanting to sip a French 75 and dress up in a sparkly gown just to read it.

amy said...

I adore YA, so I'll have to pick this one up. Weird note, the cover makes me think of Wonder, a fantastic middle grade novel.

I'm halfway through Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald for my book club, and it's fantastic! All about the crazy adventures and misadventures of the Fitzes and the Hemingways, set in the roaring 1920s. I find myself wanting to sip a French 75 and dress up in a sparkly gown just to read it.

Mariah said...

I love, love, loved Jennifer Donnelly's Tea Rose Trilogy (The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, The Wild Rose)http://www.amazon.com/The-Tea-Rose-A-Novel/dp/0312378025


Lisa said...

I loved this book. The best books I've read this year so far are Eleanor and Park (another YA) and Burial Rites. Happy Reading!

Sarah Shoemaker said...

I recently read Midwives by Chris Bohjalian and really enjoyed it. The story is told from the perspective of a rural midwife's daughter and the midwife's journals. The format is cool, the story emotional and compelling, and the subject matter interesting.

Unknown said...

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper is a great read! Very smart and funny. Can't wait for the movie to come out this fall - the casting is amazing!

Clari said...

Currently reading Bonfire of Vanities - an oldie but goodie! - but just read "Yoga for People who can't be bothered to do it" by the brilliant English author Geoff Dyer. The title is just a joke as the book is actually a collection of travel essays. Great reading in honor of travel week! All the best

Sarah G said...

It's a wonderful book! I'm not sure I could have read it in public, though. It made me cry too much.

I'm currently rereading Gameboard of the Gods, as I await the next book in the series. It was my favorite new book last year.

veena rangaswami said...

I read this at the beginning of the year and couldn't put it down -- I think I finished it in under a week! Such a great book, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

Happy reading! xx

Christian T said...

I read it last week as well! So good and well written!

okorolev said...

I've been reading a lot lately. Just finished "NIckel Mountain" (interesting characters -up-state NY countryfolk in the 50s but no climax) and just started "fallingwater rising" a bio of Frank Lloyd Wright' famous house, how it was build, by whom, etc. Very interesting if you're into that kind of thing. I also read the "Goldfinch" that you recommended and thought the ending needed more work, like the author got tired and just gave up.

Kristen said...

Yes! This was one of my favorite books! And thank you for this post, I was wondering what to read next and some comments led me to, Me Before You, Jojo Moyes!

Josie Adams said...

My top favorite books-all page turners!:

"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
"Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes
"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
"The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Euginides
"Tipping the Velvet" and "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters
"Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles

If you haven't read "Rules of Civility" I highly recommend it. Great time period and interesting love story.

Janan said...

It's been on my reading list, but I've avoided it fearing it was just teenage mush. Glad to hear there's more to it. I'll read it now:)

Jill Gulbranson said...

Right in the middle of this one, but just read The Night Circus and loved it. Super fun and mysterious.

Annie said...

I loved this book. Be warned: lots of tears on the horizon!

Pebblyn said...

I loved it! Have you read anything else by John Green? 'An abundance of Katherines' is my other favourite of his :)
Also: I've just finished 'Lady of the shades' from Darren Shan and it's amazing. It's a twisted ghost story, so that has to be your cup of tea, but it's very well written.

the cape on the corner said...

i thoroughly enjoyed a new ya book called out of the easy, set in new orleans in the 50s about a teenager who has to be self sufficient b/c her prostitute mother leaves her to go to hollywood. it's actually really good, and really easy to read.

the cape on the corner said...

i see a lot of people recommending the age of miracles, which is one of my favorite books. also have you read the husbands secret? intriguing!

katie said...

I read The Fault of our Stars on a road trip and while we were on the Ferry I burst into tears in the kids play area. My daughter looked at me like I was insane. Loved this book so much I don't know what to follow it up with.

Rachael {All Things Beautiful} said...

Amazing book! I couldn't put it down. Now I can't wait for the movie to come out. I saw the trailer the other day and it looks great. Right now I am reading 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes and so far it is fantastic. I would highly recommend!

Rachael {All Things Beautiful} said...

Amazing book! I couldn't put it down. Now I can't wait for the movie to come out. I saw the trailer the other day and it looks great. Right now I am reading 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes and so far it is fantastic. I would highly recommend!

Anna Scott said...

My last 2 books were also long-time bestsellers that I finally picked up and loved (at least, so far). I just finished Where'd You Go, Bernadette (extra fun because I've lived in the Seattle area almost all my life) and I'm currently reading Gone Girl, which is a little dark and twisty but totally hooks you.

Amber said...

I just finished "The Good Luck of Right Now" by the author of "The Silver Linings Playbook" and highly recommend it! I hadn't read anything by him before but the cover said it is a hit with fans of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime," and I loved it!

carouselina said...

I will definitely read this, and Joanna, I'm sure you would love 'snow child' by Eowyn Ivey. Beautiful, lilting, evocative lullaby material- but read it in Winter ;-)

Lisa Maria said...

My little brother recommended it to me and I loved it - most def ugly cried at the end, though. I liked it so much I'm reading another book of his on a flight tonight: "An Abundance of Katherines."

Megan said...

I can't agree with you more about the dialogue! This book hit the perfect note of being sweet without crossing into sappy territory. I recently finished Ruth Reichl's "Tender at the Bone", a really excellent and funny food memoir. It would be great summer read.

Chelsea said...

Love that book. Read it on a bus last summer, and wept. Full-on ugly crying in public...

nina | itsazooatthezoo.blogspot.com said...

Super good book. Great Summer read. I read it last summer while travelling and it was perfect. Very well written and fun even though I cried like crazy.

Stephanie Sadler said...

I'm in the middle of one called Capital by John Lancaster which so far I would recommend. It's captivating, a story of residents who live on a street in London and the people who come into their lives.

Annalisa said...

I'm reading The Goldfinch. Can't put it down.

Sammi Egan said...

I'm a fan of John Green, I loved Looking for Alaska, but I've yet to read the Fault in our Stars. Maybe before the movie comes out ;)

Elle said...

Such a sweet, heart-wrenching book. Do NOT watch the trailer for the film until you're finished with the book though! Major spoilers. Have you read The Night Circus yet? Or Birds Without Wings? Both good summer reads!

Nicole Velez said...

I love reading everyone's posts and getting more books because im obsessed. I liked Fault in our Stars, worth reading. Here are my all time favorite books:

Shantaram
Goldfinch
Gone with the Wind
Pillars of the Earth
Outlander
The World According to Garp
Rules of Civility
Unbroken
Game of Thrones
Enders Game
Ghost Soldiers
The Bell Jar
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Godfather

Recently read and LOVED: Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Shoemakers Wife, Kitchen House, Dangerous Fortune, Fall of Giants, Thousand Splendid Suns

Kate Tepper said...

This book was amazing! I read it in one sitting on a plane ride. Luckily most people were sleeping because I was one minute laughing loudly and the next had tears streaming down my face. I hope the movie does it justice. I also recently read What Alice Forgot which was a wonderful beach read but made me think too. My favorite plane reads are anything by David Sedaris although I do tend to get weird looks because he too makes me LOL.

Sarah said...

I definitely wouldn't read TFIOS in public. I cried several times throughout the book but it's SO GOOD! I'm happy so many people have come to appreciate John Green's writing. All of his books are good, but I would recommend Looking For Alaska if you want to read more of his books!

Sarah Shoemaker said...

Oh, and I also recently read The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers and And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (who wrote The Kite Runner). Yellow Birds is short but so poignant, about the Iraq war. It was selected for the "One City, One Book" in Philly recently. I can't believe how timeless and contemporary it was at the same time. And the Mountains Echoed was so magical to me, I read it very quickly and even though I could see most of the plot twists coming, the language is so beautiful. I hadn't read The Kite Runner when everyone as crazy about it, but after reading this one, I immediately read The Kite Runner afterward.

Elizabeth Walker said...

I still haven't read it either! I have it on hold at the library! Can't wait til it's my turn!

tolldoll said...

I am also a lover of reading YA books eventhough I'm in my thirties. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Sarah Dessen books. I find her writing to be real and raw and much more mimic real life teenagers. I picked up The Fault in Our Stars and although it is a lovely read, it didn't blow me away as much as I wanted it to be.

Promise me you'll trySarah Dessen's Dreamland. Its pretty heavy - a young love with an abusive plot and it still applies to all of us at any age.

My other favorite would be The Truth Bout Forever. A girl dealing with the death of her father. I cried buckets and the love interest embarasingly enough made my 32 yr old heart swoon.

Briana Favors said...

It's on my to-read list.

I've recently just finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and enjoyed it

Whitney Biber said...

i ADORE this book :)

Britta said...

Please read Wild by Cheryl Strayed!!! I'm only 90 pages in and I absolutely love it! Its about a young woman and her quest hiking the Pacific Crest Trail by herself.

Hana said...

I just started reading The Fault in Our Stars and so far I like it.

I loved the book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and I highly recommend reading it. It was a real page turner and the photos that accompany the story are absolutely fantastic, they look like they were taken just for the story when in fact it is the opposite the story was inspired by the collection of photos that the author found.

Mariss said...

That is the best book I have read in so long. It was devastatingly beautiful! I'm starting Quiet - the power of introverts now and The Goldfinch next.

Maddie Violet said...

I am reading Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson. It's a regency romance and a real page turner! I highly recommend it!

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