Sunday, 31 July 2011

Book recommendations please!

Just got myself a Kindle. I'm looking for some summer holiday / sitting by the pool / page turning reads.  What are you all time fave books, your current faves, your top tips and recommendations.  Something you really really loved or that really really gripped you or you really really loved for whatever reason.

79 comments:

  1. My favorite books of all time are in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, hard to explain but somewhat similar to the Lord of the Rings type story but better and with more female characters. Let me warn you though, there are now 13 books in the series and they are all ONE story with one more book to come out. I have read the first ones several times, sometimes when a new one is coming out I go reread the series to get caught up. In paperback all of the books are around 1000 pages so they are not small. Sorry I went on and on, but I find them very good and can't wait for the last book.

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  2. I just finished Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name...Great story! Also, The Post Office Girl, Rasputin's Daughter, People of the Book, Freedom, Forever, Samurai's Garden. The list goes on and on. I tend to like fiction that takes place in other countries, just to give you the heads up.

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  3. I am alternating the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child with Wallander series by Henning Mankell. Also thoroughly enjoyed the Girl with Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

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  4. have you read any sarah waters? they are page turners and really wonderfully written. they are all good but i like the last one a lot - little stranger.
    i think valley of the dolls is the best summer read, and i love alice hoffmans books and joyce carol oates. a book i loved and was sad it was over was patti smiths autobiography.x

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  5. Someone turned me on to some books that are outside of the genre I typically read - far outside. I've enjoyed them immensely. They are the series called The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare and the series that starts with Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Loved them.

    Are you on Goodreads? It's a GREAT place to find books to read.

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  6. I want to second the Girl with Dragon Tattoo books. Also the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. AWESOME!

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  7. I'll second the Diana Gabaldon series. There are seven books total, each 800 - 1000 pages long. I'm now reading the seventh book having read the previous six since the end of April.

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  8. THE HELP is a must read! Such a great story!

    Sea Glass by Anita Shreve. Anything by her, really.

    Little Bee. Very good!

    Happy reading! :)

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  9. I probably enjoy SciFi the best or at least something that is not real life.

    I just read a new kids book, "How to Kill a Dragon," and just loved it....grin.

    For Mysteries I liked the Nell Sweeny Series by Patricia Ryan. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was pretty good.

    Enjoy your Kindle

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  10. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I couldn't put them down. The book titles are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. I also echo the recommendation above of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series -- it was another one that I couldn't put down.

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  11. I just finished "The Immoratal Life of Henrietta Lacks". Loved it. I also read "The Help" this summer - but I was probably the last person on earth to read it. One of my all time favorite books is "A Girl Named Zippy". Enjoy your Kindle. Does your local library offer Ebooks?

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  12. Dragon Tattoo series definitely belongs on your list although I warn everyone that the first 50ish pages of the first one are kind of a slog. Keep going! It's definitely worth it! Lisbeth Salandar is an amazing character; an equally compelling character is Katniss Everdeen. The Hunger Games triology is wonderful also.

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  13. The first that came to mind was the Diana Gabaldon "Outlander" series, so I will back everyone else on this one. Such great reads.

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  14. The Help, Secret Life of Bees, Sarah's Key, Debbie Macomber's "On Blossom Street" series (mindless fun reading), Lunch in Paris. Have a fun summer reading to your hearts content.

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  15. I'm reading the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin, love it so having finished 2 1/2 out of 5 books now. Enjoy your kindle!

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  16. I also support the suggestions for the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, but try to read them in order.

    Girl with the Dragon Tatoo series has only 3....but really good.

    Here is my new addition to your list; I'm about halfway through and really am riveted. THE GOOD SON by Michael Gruber. Here's a short blurb from the jacket: A riveting novel of political intrigue, the clash of cultures and the darker recesses of the human psyche. Plus the protagonist is a nicely drawn female.

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  17. this may help: http://littleislandquilting.blogspot.com/2011/02/and-winner-of-tufted-tweets-scraps-is.html

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  18. Just literally today finished 'Smut' by Alan Bennett which was witty and funny and marvellous. Well written of course. Then I would recommend 'One Day' by Richard Nicholls if you haven't already read it. I devoured it last year and still smile whenever I see somebody reading it. Also 'Visit by the Goon Squad' from Jennifer Egan is brilliant but it is a book you have to stay with as it has lots of characters and moves between decades.

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  19. I've just finished reading 'The Thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield - absolutely amazing, and a great finish (which I rarely find in books). Jxo

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  20. I just read Jaycee Dugard's book A Stolen Life in ONE day...ok, maybe I listened to it on audio while I was sewing...but seriously, I kept finding more stuff to sew just so I could keep listening to the end! True story.

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  21. The Help. I can't get anything done this weekend because I can't put the dang book down!

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  22. I recommend "Ella Minnow Pea" by Mark Dunn, fantastic story. Read myself this summer Stephen Fry's "The Fry Chronicles"and "The terrible privacy of Maxwell Sim" by Jonathan Coe. Both really really good! Enjoy the summer!

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  23. Last Night in Twisted River, John Irving
    Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
    The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
    The Secret History, Donna Tartt
    In the Woods, Tana French

    That's what I can think of right now. I've read several other books just this year alone, but I've recommended favorites from the past couple summers.

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  24. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is my all-time favorite!

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  25. I'm an avid reader and digest favourite authors in no time - I get a new book from a favourite and it's likely to be finished within 24 hrs
    Lynne you don't say what style of book you like but here are some action, thriller style books - Lee Child (read in order starting with the Killing Floor), Clive Cussler, and UK's own mega action writer (and do start Hunt for Atlantis) Andy McDermott - then there is the older Wilber Smith books, racing thrillers (and they are good) Dick Francis, John Francholm, Lyndon Stacy etc - some with a sci-fi twist - Matthew Reilly - the earlier books of Patrica Cornwell (Scarpetta ones are best) - anyway happy reading

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  26. I loved The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Love his style of writing. I love the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child too.

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  27. 'Was Oderic of Pardone ever in Tibet' is my current favourite.

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  28. I love my Kindle and my Kindle app on my iPad. But the Kindle itself is best outside by the pool in the bright sunshine. Some of my all time favorites are the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Hilarious! And I love the Elm Creek Quilts series, and anything by Earlene Fowler. Just reread The Help this week.

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  29. I think an excellent choice for the Kindle -- because it's MAMMOTH to haul around (trust me: I bought this book in an airport bookshop and it was as big as my carry-on) is _Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell_ by Susanna Clarke. It has beautifully dark supernatural elements, a very smart metafictive dimension (a book about writing, publishing, research, and in-fighting among "experts"), an historical setting (the Napoleonic wars) and a chilling finale (bear with the wartime episodes because the last 100 pages will keep you on the edge of your beach chair!).

    This summer I finally read Thackeray's _Vanity Fair_, and loved it. It is about a zillion times more complex and interesting and *modern* than the recent Mira Nair film version (proving that contemporary audiences are more prudish than the Victorians). Thackeray does very interesting things with point-of-view and narration, is an amazing satirist, and very insightful about social relations (incl. women's potential for cruelty to one another). And one of my all-time favourite passages is in this novel: a lengthy description of the staircase in an English home (Ch 61). You wouldn't think that that subject could be breathtakingly beautiful and touching -- and tragic -- but it is.

    Happy reading!

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  30. Congrats on your new Kindle, I'm sure you'll love it!
    Do you like mysteries? Quilting is my hobby but I earn my living as a writer, and my first novel, "Lethal Blossom," is now in the Kindle store. It's a fun amateur sleuth mystery with strong and quirky female characters, snappy dialogue, and a touch of the paranormal. Sample chapters here:
    http://tinyurl.com/3zrxdeq

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  31. My favorite author right now is Joshilyn Jackson. She has a fantastic blog (Faster Than Kudzu) and four phenomenal books, with a fifth on the way. Although gods in Alabama and Backseat Saints have some overlap, it isn't necessary to read them in order.

    Other favorites (those that are first in a series are noted):
    Humorous Science Fiction - Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (at least the first four books) by Douglas Adams
    Straight Science Fiction - Ender's Game (and others in the series) by Orson Scott Card
    Fantasy - The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
    Classics - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Anne of Green Gables (series) by L.M. Montgomery (bonus - many books published before 1923 can be downloaded for free at Amazon)
    Young Adult - Tomorrow, When the War Began (series, but only the first 8) by John Marsden, A Ring of Endless Light (and anything else) by Madeleine L'Engle
    Mystery/Thriller - Monkeewrench (series) by P.J. Tracy, The Killing Floor (series) by Lee Child, The Monkey's Raincoat (series) by Robert Crais, The Godwulf Manuscript (series) by Robert B. Parker, Track of the Cat (series) by Nevada Barr, The Mermaids Singing (series) by Val McDermid, anything by Dick Francis
    Quilty Fiction (and yes, that's a Q) - Wedding Ring (series) by Emilie Richards
    Non-fiction - Population 485 by Michael Perry,
    Other authors in no particular order - Sharyn McCrumb, Richard Russo, Jennifer Weiner, Carl Hiaasen, Linda Howard, Catherine Coulter, Robyn Carr...

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  32. Anything by Sandra Dallas is fabulous. Have you read "These is my Words" yet? Also really good. I also like anything from Ann Patchett. Enjoy your Kindle! I have a Kindle shaped package wrapped up for my birthday next week. I am really hoping it is and not something that is just similarly shaped. Like a real book (yawn!).

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  33. Faith was a fascinating read - also State of Wonder - both were bestsellers. Anything by Elizabeth Berg or Anita Shreve. So many good books - have fun with your kindle!

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  34. You can't go wrong with The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy. Read that series years ago.

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  35. I like my Isla Dewar for quick and easy fun reads! I just finished Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell, which was good - not nearly as tragic and depressing as Tess of the D'Urbervilles...!

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  36. All Jody Piccoult novels, The Help, and Rosie in the Storm.

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  37. I read so much, I have to keep a computer database just to remember what I have read! Truthfully, I tend to forget most books after reading them, even though I thoroughly enjoyed them at the time. I lean toward mystery fiction, so Lee Child is right up there(Jack Reacher-swoon!).Jeffery Deaver, James Patterson, Stuart Woods,- the list is endless!
    I actually just finished The Help and was surprised how much I liked it- you know how you can be disappointed when a book is "all the rage"! Also loved the Dragon Tattoo series-almost gave up on it with the first chapter, but was very happy I persevered.
    Oh yeah, Maeve Binchy is a favourite too! Okay, I'll shut up now!!!

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  38. Just finished
    'A gathering light' Jennifer Donnelly
    A great atmospheric read.

    memoirs of a geisha and atonement are both fab, if you can get past the characters in the movies.

    Behind the scenes of the museum, Kate Atkinson
    The Time travellers wife, Audrey Niffeneggar,
    anything by Joanne Harris (Chocolat author)

    My favourite author is Norwegian Jostein Gaarder
    very philosophical and a great story teller.

    Good luck!!

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  39. Any Douglas Coupland; the man is a genius.

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  40. A lot of good suggestions already in this thread. I would second Jonathan Strange and Cutting For Stone (both already mentioned) and add Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Jonathan Chabon or Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. And goodreads is totally worth joining if you aren't already there.

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  41. A good summertime author is Elin Hilderbrand. I just finished "Barefoot" - lots of good beach stories. She has numerous books.

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  42. I'm reading a mystery novel from a series by Jefferson Bass. I like these books because I like mystery novels and the forensic anthropology that they are centered on intrigues me. There is a book by Dr. Bill Bass about his career as a forensic anthropoligist called Death's Acre, which is utterly fascinating - if you like that kind of stuff.

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  43. My favorite author right now is Maggie O'Farrell--loved The Hand That Once Held Mine, and now I am reading her novel The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox. O'Farrell is so great with female characters and consciousness.

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  44. you really should read Margaret Atwood! my faves are Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood (read O&C first!)

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  45. Thanks for asking this question, now I have a lot of new authors/titles to discover. I love my kindle too, although I do find that some of my favourite authors arent available on Kindle eg: Sujata Massey. I bought the cover with the light in it so I can read in bed without disturbing hubby!
    I offered to buy my 18 year old son one but he said he "doesnt do the electronic book thing" huh!

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  46. "One Day," "Water for Elephants," and "The Power of One" :)

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  47. Congrats! My best friend just got a Kindle for her birthday and I told her about Project Gutenburg Free E-books at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
    The ebooks are free in the United States because their copyright has expired. They may or may not be free of copyright in other countries. Readers outside of the United States must check the copyright laws of their countries before downloading or redistributing our ebooks. Hopefully, you can access most of the ebooks for free in the U.K. There are some great quilt history related books.

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  48. The Hunger Games trilogy is one of those that you stay up late to finish. Recently, I like Pym, Bossypants, Never Let Me Go, and the nonfiction of Bourdain.

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  49. I second the earlier suggestion of Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), Suzanne Collins (YA thriller trilogy The Hunger Games) and Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book. For lighter reading, I find Alexander McCall Smith very satisfying. For mysteries, I love me some Dick Francis (earlier rather than more recent). I also love time travel (nerd alert!) so yes to The Time Traveler's Wife, Doomsday Book (Connie Willis) and Blackout/All Clear (also C. Willis). Have fuuuuun!!

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  50. You have lots of good suggestions. I didn't see Shanghai Girls or The Glass Castle listed. Enjoy!

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  51. You've got some great suggestions there - I would second the Gabaldon Outlander series and The Hunger Games series of books - but here's a Kindle tip. Amazon keeps an ongoing list of free books - some are old classics, but lots of them are books by authors with more than one book, where they want to hook you on an author so you'll buy more books. It's a great way to try out an author you might not otherwise read! But here's a warning - a book may be free today, but not tomorrow. So check the list often, and if you're even remotely interested in it, download it right away. If it isn't to your taste when you start it, just delete it! The easiest way to find the freebies is to look at the list of Top 100 Free in the right sidebar of the Kindle Store page on Amazon!

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  52. I love anything written by Stephen Fry. Once I start one of his novels I can't put it down until it's finished. They're very well written, I'd thoroughly recommend them: Stephen Fry on Kindle

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  53. If you like funny stuff, try Laurie Notaro. I also like Marian Keyes, Diana Gabaldon, Ann Brashares (I know they're young adult, but still really good), "The Help" is an awesome book

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  54. Great lists of books! I second the suggestion for Project Gutenberg, and if the format on a book is wrong, use Calibre to change it. Also I see Bonnie at Quiltville frequently posts about free ebooks. My own recommendation? I loved The Angel's Game and the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and try Sara Donati's series starting with Into The Wilderness. With a maiden schoolteacher and Hawkeye's son as main characters, you can't go wrong!

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  55. Favorite authors: Lee Child, Daniel Silva, Michael Connelly, Vince Flynn, just to name a few. I have been an avid reader for years and years and tend to like thrillers or attorney books.

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  56. Well, if you are now on a budget because of your Kindle might I recommend Feedbooks, free books, available for the Kindle. I think this might be different from the free books mentioned above. These are mostly classics, long out of copyright laws. You can get almost any classic for free. I made my way through all the Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austin (have read Pride and Prejustice several times), nearly all of Thomas Hardy's books, Charles Dickens and this summer Treasure Island. If you never got a chance to read some of these, it's a nice way to put some books on your Kindle without breaking the budget. Rarely, some of the books are 99 cents, but most are free!!!! (and they really are good books too).

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  57. Wow, what a list. I absolutely love my kindle. My favorite book right now is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. It catches you right at the beginning and never stops.

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  58. If you like police drama/thriller my absolute favorite writer is John Sandford. His most noteable series is the Lucas Davenport/Prey series (all the titles have 'Prey' in them). There are 20+ books in the series. Then he recently spun off one of the characters into his own series. They don't have the same catchy titling, but are usually listed on line as the Virgil Flowers books.

    Have fun with your Kindle! I LOVE mine!!

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  59. i'm looking for my next favorite book too. a friend recommended this http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/ .. it's powered by amazon and looks interesting. i hope you find a good summer read .. am off to see what it recommends for me :)

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  60. I soooo love my kindle. I can't imagine ever reading a book again!!

    The new Jodi Picoult, 'Sing you home' is quite good for easy holiday reading.
    'Prodigal Father, Pagan Son' is an amazingly disturbing book about the Pagans - a bikie gang in Phili.
    'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake' is what I'm reading at the moment.
    'City of Thieves' is also a great book.

    A great source of books is 'good reads' check out the website. Its American based, which is good as they read totally different books to me!!

    kx

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  62. Be careful - a Kindle becomes totally ESSENTIAL once you get going !!!!!!!!! I am bereft - yesterday we shifted dwelling from Devon to Bedsfordshire and in the rush ( family leaving too - fridge emptying etc. ) I left my Kindle behind. We'll be gone 5 weeks this time - shock, horror, I seriously considered BUYING another then phoned the neighbour and begged her to find and post mine on to me ! Hopefully it will arrive soon - I'm suffering severe withdrawal symptons at present !!!!

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  63. dont discount the free books that you can get on amazon !!!or the cheap ones i got a few for 49p and saw that one of them was no1 in e book sales,
    i got my kindle for my birthday from my son and i love it getting it ready to take to portugal on the 13th.

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  64. I love my kindle! Take it everywhere! Read it while stirring the dinner! I have just started reading "The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul" and totally addicted! It is kind of quirky like Alexander McCall Smith's No1 Detective Agency series but in a different setting! Cannot put it down!

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  65. Kindles are so great! Reading? David Nicholls 'One Day', if you haven't already- just brilliant and the references are contemporary to you. 'This Charming Man' Marian Keyes for a chick lit book with a bit of edge and'The Gate at the Stairs', Lorrie Moore- couldn't quite say why but I loved this, but will read it again this summer, USA writer.

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  66. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Must. Read.

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  67. I love every book that Dorothy Koomson has written, but the absolute musts are `My Best Friends Girl` and `Marshmallows for Breakfast`. Last time I holidayed I got `Hollys Inbox` which seemed odd to start with (no spoilers), but it really worked. Get it and you will see what I mean.

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  68. The Help, Harry Potter, Twilight, The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, The Time Traveler's Wife, Outlander

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  69. Phillipa Gregorys books about historic England are brilliant, based on facts but with plenty of guess work and scandal they are really easy reading, like a trashy novel that teaches you a bit about our history at the same time. I'm reading the Red Queen at the moment but liked the ones about Henry VIII the best

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  70. Hmm, I have eclectic taste but if you like entertaining and fast I recently read The Hunger Games triolgy and loved it. The movie is being made now so read it before you see it! Are you on Goodreads? I've found a lot of interesting stuff that way.

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  71. Try On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson; The Beni Harper Mystery series by Earline Fowler; Possesion by Rene Gutteridge

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  72. anything by Elin Hildebrand...all set on Cape Cod and wonderful family stories...

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  73. My goodness! I'm a prolific reader and was going to make some suggestions, but ended up adding more titles to my list! I see that I've read many of the authors others have mentioned, too!

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  74. My kindle is full of Georgette Heyer novels (both regency and thriller novels), and I like re-re-re-re-reading Emilio Salgari's sagas (Sandokan's or the Pirates'). For a by-the-pool mood, I recommend GH regency novels; they are fresh, ironic and the fun is granted. Although it also depends on what you usually read, I suppose...

    Gio

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  75. I am going to troll these comments because I'm always looking for new stuff to read! Recommendations that I haven't seen yet (because there are a lot up there that I would second, third, and fourth):
    Kristan Higgins, Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin (if you like chick lit)
    Ender's Game (YA science-fictiony novel, first in a series)
    Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan (should be on sale for the Kindle right now, I know it is for the Nook)
    The Art of Racing in the Rain (if you are a dog-lover this is a MUST)
    Skipped Parts by Tim Sandlin, as well as the rest of that series, I think there are 4 of them total
    A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff
    Sarah Addison Allen (all three I've read by her are good)
    Room by Emma Donoghue (disturbing but good)
    The Summer I Turned Pretty and its sequels, by Jenny Han (YA but really good)

    Is that enough?? Have fun! I LOVE my Nook and hope you will love your Kindle as well! Also--for finding free/cheap Kindle books--http://www.booksontheknob.com

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  76. Ooohh, who can resist a chance to suggest books? For some awesome Canadian choices I would suggest anything by David Adams Richards (a literary master), Andrew Pyper (literary mystery/thriller), The Birth House by Ami McKay, The Girls by Lori Lansens, Amphibian by Carla Gunn, and of course anything by L.M Montgomery (classics!) Also, if I may be so bold as to self-promote, my debut novel The Town That Drowned is being released in October and I think it's pretty good ;-) Happy Reading (and Quilting of course)

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  77. Elegance of the Hedgehog. I can't explain why I loved it so much, but I did. It may not have the same appeal for you because you are British and I'm American, but it made me smile many times. I also love Alexander McCall Smith's series about the #1 Ladies Detective Agency. I understand that it has now been made into a series, but I haven't seen it.

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  78. "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards!!! Also, take a look at my book club's recommendations from the past few years (we read one book every other month then get together to discuss over yummy food and, of course, wine)- http://myothercarisacrane.blogspot.com/p/reading-group-picks.html . Also, 12 reviews on books that I read in 2010- http://myothercarisacrane.blogspot.com/2011/01/30-by-30-30-read-12-books-post-review.html .

    Can you tell I'm a college composition instructor on the side? :)

    Happy reading!!!

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  79. Put Anne Patchett's 'A State of Wonder', and 'Bel Canto' on your list. " Cutting for Stone" is a page turner and "The Help" should not be missed either. Happy reading.

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