I'll tell you mine if you'll tell me yours

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I am a voracious reader.  I read at least one book a week.  Some weeks, I read 3 to 4 books.  I read fiction and non fiction.  I read fine literature and chick flick beach reads.  I like cookbooks and self help books.  I love nutrition and health books.  I devour every parenting book that I can get my hands on.  But sometimes, I run out of things to read.  I peruse the best seller list and I have read most everything of interest (to me) on there sometimes.  My favorite thing in the whole world to do is read.  So, I need your help.  I will share with you some of my favorite reads over the last few months if you will leave me a comment sharing some of your favorite reads with me. Please tell me what you are reading or what you have enjoyed reading (even if it is old or a classic).

 * 's are my super faves but all of these are well worth the read.

Fiction that I have thoroughly enjoyed recently:

The Help*** (I read this a while ago but don't want everyone suggesting it~ it is one of the best books I have ever read)
Still Alice*
The Middle Place
Cutting for Stone*
Angel Falls
The Hunger Games Trilogy (not my usual read but could NOT put them down)*
Don't say a Word* 
Comfort and Joy
Garden Spells 
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet*
The Swan House***
Winter Garden
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (LOVED this)**
(and I have read all of Emily Griffin's books too-I know people suggest them a lot)
Water for Elephants (did NOT like this one)

The Beauty Detox*
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Nurture Shock*
Raising Happiness*
Boundaries with Kids*
Parenting your Teen with Love and Logic*

{I intended to post about other things but my internet has been down for 2 days so I could not upload photos to flickr AND our dishwasher had a leak which ruined our hardwoods in our kitchen so I have no dishwasher and a big kitchen disaster---so I have had not had time---If you have e-mailed me, I cannot respond right now...our server is down.  Sorry.}

Be back with some normal posts once my internet connection is fixed.


  1. I started Cutting for Stone and got a little sidetracked. Will have to go back to it!

    Some of my favorites;
    The Book Thief (so different and AMAZING)
    The Prince of Tides
    One Day
    Pillars of the Earth

    PS - are you a member of goodreads? You can see what friends are reading and what they rated different books.

  2. I love this post! I'm a huge reader too! Here are some of my recommendations:

    -The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King
    -Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
    -A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    -Freakonomics by Steven J. Levitt
    -The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella
    -Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
    -Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

  3. ooh I love knowing what others are reading!

    I love all kinds of lit too. Right now I am reading:

    Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives...I am LOVING it, it is about a zoo in Florida and how they brought 4 elephants from Swaziland, and the inner workings of the zoo...it is NOT pro or con zoo, a great read.

    I also loved the book:
    Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    I love knowing what goes on behind the scene and the inner workings of places, so these two fit the bill for me.

    I am also reading One Day...it is ok, I heard it is going to be a movie...easy read :)

  4. I loved The Help also. But man, it was a long read. But very worth it. Also liked Still Alice.

    I really like books about the Amish that are told in a Christian format. Beverly Lewis is my favorite author about the Amish and I have read all of her books.

    I have now been turned on to Karen Kingsbury. She is wonderful! I cry at every book. I read Unlocked and it was amazing. To begin her series books I was told to start with the Redemption series since most of her other series stem off of the family in these books. I'm on the last book (#5) right now. I stay up so late reading them and, of course, crying through all the family goes through. If you have not tried any of her books, I highly recommend them!

    Kim O

  5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Marjorie Morningstar are two of my all time favorites, but I also loved The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Did you read Memoirs if a Geisha? It was another good one.

  6. Oops. Sorry, I just reread your post and you already read Bitter and Sweet. How about Sarah's Key?

  7. I love these suggestions. The Help is one of my all time favorites! I love to read but have not had time lately.

  8. My favorite recently was "Sarah's Key". Being a history major in college, I love historical fiction. It is told in two voices (one from a young girl living in WWII France and the other an American reporter in "modernish" day Paris). Although it was tough in parts I thought it was beautifully written and a page turner.

    Blessings, Ashley

  9. I'm the same way and was glad to get your recommendation for Swan House, since I have been eyeing it...free on Kindle/ipad right now...
    I have a few I would say were good enough read to be worth your time, possibly...
    many were free Christian fiction but i liked them anyway..lol
    The boy who came back frm heaven
    Alone by Lisa Gardner (A little gruesome but I couldnt put it down)
    According to Jane by brant
    Flight to Heaven (capt Dale Black) I loved this one.
    God Stories by jennifer skiff
    Now by Rob Stennett (loved)
    Gray matter by levy
    Homemade Haunting by Rob Stennet
    In the Arms of Angels by Anderson..(you can tell I am really into Christian spiritual experiences!!)
    Life From Scratch by Ford (another Julia and Julie type by well done)
    Listen by Gutterridge
    Mr Darcy's Diary by Grange (his pov)
    Safely Home by Alcorn (tough read but insightful and important)
    She walks in Beauty by mitchell

    Love hearing if you find something else too!!

  10. I'm so happy to see your list. I've read some of them and am thrilled to get some new ideas. Here are some other books I've read and enjoyed recently:

    The Paris Wife (Paula McLain)
    A Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick)
    The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (A. Bender)

    No Biking in the House Without a Helmet
    **(Adoption memoir by Melissa Fay Greene)
    Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter (A. Fraser)
    A Widow's Story (Joyce Carol Oates)
    Beginner's Grace (Kate Braestrup)
    The Emperor of All Maladies (Sidhartha Mukherjee)
    The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond)
    The Five Things We Cannot Change (David Richo)

    Happy summer reading!

  11. I loved 'Wish you Were Here" and its sequel, "Emily Alone" by Stewart O'Nan. I'm hoping for a third!

    Also "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End" by Ken Follett. Happy reading!

    You have great choices on your list, and a few that are new to me; I'll check them out!

  12. Scared and Priceless (tom davis)
    Shanghai Girls
    (and its newly released sequel Dreams of Joy - can't put down)
    Redeeming Love

    excited about your list because I've picked up several on your list and just haven't gotten to them yet!

  13. and OMGOsh....Anything fiction by marian Keyes....really well done chick stuff...can't put any of it down but I cant really recommend it as being worth while...haha but she is brilliant at funny even with some tough issues...Irish sisters, one book each...(I secretly use their lazy, loving clueless mom as my role model! haha)

    Her Mothers Hope by Francine Rivers...have not read the sequel yet though..

  14. I can't wait till I can read a book a week again! Perhaps when I'm a little less sleep deprived :)

    I'm currently reading Karen Kingsbury's Baxter Family series. I was a bit hesitant to read them since it is a huge series and I don't like to be tied down, but truly they are FABULOUS. Not at all what I expected and now I cannot wait to finish every last one.

    I also love Jane Green, she and Emily Giffin are my favorites.

    I see a few on your list that I'd like to read, thanks!

  15. Thanks for posting all your book picks:) I love reading too and am always looking for new books to read! Here's some I have enjoyed:

    Silent Tears by Kay Bratt - often a hard book to read (a memoir about a Chinese orphanage), but so insightful.

    Any Sophie Kinsella Shopoholic Series - fun beach reads:)

    Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell- another hard read at times, but sooo good!

    Reformation Manifesto by Cindy Jacobs - wow! Change your culture!

    One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda - great book on raising children!

    Hope one of these sparks your interest and looking forward to reading comments of others' suggestions!

  16. Hi.....try these

    The Shadow of the Wind
    Lisa See's Red Princess series
    anything Nelson DeMille
    The 19th Wife
    The Book Thief
    Leaving Mother Lake
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (I found these disturbing BUT riveting)

    Happy Reading!!!!! I really enjoy your blog.


  17. I loved
    Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (hands down BEST book I read last year, gave it to three different people as christmas presents and they all loved it)

    The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society -Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (again, LOVED this book)

    Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

    Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

    reading Year of Wonders with my son for school, also a great book.

    Just finished the new Jodi Piccoult, a page turner but nothing really special.
    Happy reading


    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival
    A Box of Darkness:The Story of Marriage
    Cutting For Stone
    Room: A Novel
    Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt
    The Other Wes Moore
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society
    The Last Song
    Let the Great World Spin
    Say You're One of Them
    Sarah's Key
    The Lost Symbol
    Beautiful Boy
    Prayers for Sale

    These are all the books my book club has read. some you have already read....hope you enjoy some you haven't!


  19. "Chasing Fireflies" by Charles Martin (great author) and "Wish You Well" by David Baldacci are both great books that I have recently read!

  20. I love book posts!! I also loved The Help. The movie is coming out in August. It looks good. One of my all time favorite books is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. If you haven't read it, you should give it a try. I think you will enjoy it.

  21. Kim - We have MANY of the same favorites. I too am a voracious reader and do not watch any tv since I would much rather read.
    I have my book list on my blog side bar (mcc.typepad.com/blog/) and I also keep track on Goodreads.
    SInce you loved The Help (as did I) .. you must read Kitchen House .. dare I say, I think I like it even more!

    So sorry about your kitchen disaster :(

  22. I just finished Little Bee and loved it. It is kind of heavy and sad (although the uplifting parts are really beautiful), but I thought that the writing was excellent and I love the overall theme (basically, how much of yourself should you be willing to give to save another?). I am starting Live From Jordan because I currently live in Jordan, but I don't know if you would be interested in that one.

  23. Sorry to hear about your dishwasher and hardwood floors! I'm reading "Wench" and "Unbroken" now...both are good.

  24. I just read "One Thousand Gifts: a Dare to live fully right where you are" by Ann Voskamp not too long ago. Wonderful book and I need to read it again:) I love to read!!!!!!!

  25. Ok, so this one has been out a while, but I just finished it and really enjoyed it. Lit, by Mary Karr. So much to think and pray about in that book.

  26. I just picked up The Forgotten Garden, a historical fiction with some references to The Secret Garden, after receiving a strong recommendation. I haven't read it yet, but I'm prepared to love it.

  27. Poisonwood Bible is another favorite or anything by Barbara Kingsolver. I'm sorry I keep commenting, but I love to read and enjoyed your list!

  28. Hi Kim,

    I love your blog!!

    Have you read "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss? That's the best book I've read in years. Really different and really great.

    Everyone says to read Jennifer Egan, but I haven't tried her yet, personally.

    "The Family Markowitz" by Allegra Goodman is a truly delightful collection of short stories.

    Also just for another opinion, I did not like "Little Bee." It's a little...well, I won't give it away.

    Happy reading!

  29. P.S. I echo the Barbara Kingsolver comment. I really enjoyed "Prodigal Summer" -- a good summer read of course!

  30. I just last night downloaded the book Snobs, by Julian Fellowes. He wrote Gosford Park and last years PBS series Downton Abbey which was wonderful. I highly recommend renting it. I am thinking that this will be my favorite highbrow beach read.

    More from my summer stack:

    Nothing Daunted, Dorothy Wickenden
    The Greater Journey, David McCullough
    The Thoughtful Dresser, Linda Grant
    Room, a Novel, Emma Donoghue
    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
    Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand

    Love this topic! I enjoy seeing everyone's favorite books.

  31. I love reading, too, and with my nook it's so much easier to get my reading fix (especially since I just recently figured out how to "borrow" books from the library using it).

    For my fiction, I enjoy all cozy mysteries and books by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts.

    For non-fiction, I'm enjoying:
    It's a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life by Joan C. Webb.

    Take care.


  32. A great historical fiction read that my book club just read was Sunflowers: A Novel of Vincent Van Gogh by Sheramy Bunderick. I thought I would have zero interest in this book and it is now on my fav list. Love when that happens.

    I also love Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom. I give it as a gift often.

    Two books I read a long time ago that never left my mind are White Masai and the follow-up titled Reunion in Barsaloi by Corine Hofmann. I would love to have dinner with her, I have so many questions... (ha)!!!

    I am from Kentucky and a favorite author is Silas House. I have loved all of his books, especially Clay's Quilt.

    Currently reading Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley.

    Happy Reading!

  33. I think that you and I would make fabulous friends! I, too, read CONSTANTLY! All. Of. The. Time. I've read most every book on your list, but I've discovered some new ones that you named, so I'll have to look into those. I love Elin Hilderbrand's books -- "The Island" and "Barefoot" and "The Blue Bistro" and "The Castaways." She writes so well and so vividly. Good luck with your summer reading list!

  34. Rob Lowe's new book...I tend to like edgy fiction, but for comfort and joy I love Rosmunde Pilcher (The Shell Seekers and Coming Home, especially) and Maeve Binchey (love her earlier much better...but the latest Heart and Souls was a nice quick read). Anne Tyler is fabulous as well, and I like some Jodi Piccoult...her books are totally hit or miss for me.
    I've enjoyed a couple from Lisa Scottoline recently...but they are kinda far fetched...lol.
    Jane Green has some good ones in the chick lit category...

    So many books, so little time:)


  35. The Book Thief.....amazing!!! If you haven't read it yet, please do. I know you'll love it!

    Quick, easy and page turning? Harlen Coben. Any and all!!

  36. I just remembered 3 others that my parents said they liked from their book club. "The Glass Castle," "Man in a White Sharkskin Suit," and "The Girl I Left Behind."

  37. I also loved The Help.

    I also love The Great Gatsby.

    My all time favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it every summer.

    I live in Alabama, and just love these books about the south.

  38. This is such a great post! I love to read and I'm always looking for new suggestions. I'm a big fan of Philippa Gregory's series (The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, etc) she writes wonderful historical fiction! Have you read Sarah's Key? Also a great work of historical fiction.
    My go to chick lit author is Nora Roberts, I can read her books in one sitting :-)
    A friend recommended Raising Cain, about how to protect the emotional life of our sons - it was a very interesting read.
    I'm going to bookmark this post so I can come back for more suggestions!

  39. Reading Haven is for Real and can not put it down!!!

    Thanks so much for all your prayers and sweet comments. I will post an update later this evening!

  40. Have you read any of Lisa Scottoline's books?? they are usually mysteries and she is from the Phila area and writes about Philly and the burbs--growing up in the Philly suburbs it is fun to read cause you will be able to relate to lots of the places her characters go--one warning there are a few "f" bombs in them--but if you can get past that, they are fast, exciting reads with lots of twists and turns!

  41. I am also a big reader with a lot of your same interests!

    Here are some of my fav's:

    All time favorite - Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman. Amazing memoir!! About a year in the life of an ordinary family going from one to two kids, and the joys and sorrows of motherhood, making you both laugh and cry. This book is not fluffy though, it's deep.

    Jane Porter's 'modern lit' books
    Odd Mom Out and Mrs. Perfect (ignore the lame-ish titles). She knows how to really connect with her readers. Love these!

    Mia King's books - Good Things and sequel Table Manners. Cozy!

    I am devoring Hunger Games right now!

  42. Hello sweet friend!
    I meant to email you about your comment on the beauty detox post! I would love to try it out together. I have pushed my start date off due to needing a really good blender and also I hurt my foot! So no dance class for a couple of more weeks! But I am trying to eliminate things from my diet. I know you are so healthy already, this will be a breeze for you but would love the company!!!

    Also, I love to read to. I do not read fiction but here are some wonderful ones I have enjoyed!

    Same Kind of Different

    The Me I Want To Be - (so good I can't stand it!! They also have the teen addition!)

    His Needs Her Needs

    The Five Love Languages

    Parenting The Way God Parents
    (Refusing to recycle your parents mistakes)

    So many more, I will comment again with a better list!

    Big Hug,


  43. I don't know if you would like this... but I read it and it evoked a lot of different emotions! I can't say I agreed with everything in the book... but it really made me think.
    Sing Me Home- Jodi Picoult

  44. Oh! Another three are:

    Remember Me?
    Can you Keep a Secret?
    The UnDomestic Goddess

    all by Sophie Kinsella, but deeper and richer than the Shopaholic books. They are still def chick lit, but like I said, deeper and richer characters. Remember Me? is actually kind of a mystery. Love these books!

  45. Little Princes. Amazing true story of child trafficking in Nepal and the getting these children back to their families. Highly recommend! : )


  46. Has anyone mentioned Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews? Should be a fun, light, "beach read"! It came out yesterday- haven't bought it yet, but loved Hissy Fit and Savannah Blues...

  47. My favorite books lately...

    The midwife of Venice
    All Kate Morton's Books
    The Josephine B Trilogy by Sandra Gulland
    Even Silence has an End - memoir
    The Thirteenth Tale
    The Tenth Gift - excellent
    Skeletons at the Feast

    The Book of Negros by Lawerance Hill one of my favorite books ever. He is a Canadian author and I did hear that this book has a different title in the US, but a truly amazing book.

  48. I loved The Book Thief and just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain - one of the better books I've read lately. I'm on an extended summer vacation and wish wish wish I had brought The Hunger Games, but left it at home because it is a hardback. Cutting for Stone is on my list to read, as well as Hotel on the Corner..., but now I'm adding Saving CeeCee Honeycutt! Good List!

  49. Parenting book- The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel (she also has a new release suited for raising teen-agers). If you aren't familiar with this book, she uses Jewish parables to teach common sense parenting. I am Catholic but love glimpses into religion. It's practical and fun to read.

    AJ Jacob's books esp A Year of Living Biblically. It's a fun read but you also get a look at the history of the bible along the way.

    Anything by Bill Bryson (fun for the summer since the books are all travel related.)

  50. Miss Jill,

    I love Blessing of a Skinned Knee. One of my faves. Will look into the others too:)

  51. China Reads: *Snowflower and the Secret Fan, Saving Levi, Chinese Cinderella, China Run-great book only if you are home from adoption, Chu Ju's House -kids book made me cry
    Non China reads: *The Glass Castle, Pioneer Woman, Very Valentine.
    *must read!!!
    Happy reading!!

  52. I love reading too. I just read Unbroken and it is one of the best books I've ever read. My husband thought the same and he isn't really a "reader".

    On my "to-read" list is
    A Fine Balance

    I realize from your blog you are not jewish and neither am I and neither is my friend who recommended this book BUT for parenting books
    The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children is highly rated and also on my to read list.

  53. I recently finished "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman. It was a great book!

  54. So glad you posted this. I have had NO time to read this past year. The summer is my time to catch up! So I won't be able to contribute anything yet, and I am gonna have to mooch off your list.

    Thanks for sharing!!


  55. Just finished three fabulous books -

    "Pearls in the Sand" by Tom Davis - a historical fiction about the life of Rahab
    "Scared - a Novel on the Edge of the Earth" - fiction that deals with poverty & orphan crisis in Africia
    ""No Biking in the House without A Helmet" - an account of one woman's adoption of 4 older children as her bio kids grew up and out

    thanks for the post - blasted through these so quickly I need more ideas!

  56. I just read "Piece of Cake" by Cupcake Brown. It's a truly inspiring piece. I don't know if the subject matter would offend you, but it's really interesting. Look it up! :)

  57. I loved The Help, too. It was such an easy and interesting read, it kept my attention & I finished it quickly.

    I would recommend The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) - its long and it took me a bit to get into, but once I did, I was hooked.

    Also, for non-fiction, The Devil in the White City was a super interesting read about the World's Fair in Chicago. It didnt sound too interesting at first, but as soon as I started it, I loved it.

    Going to add some of your responses suggestions to my list...

  58. I just finished reading a book called Same Kind of Different as Me, written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It is a true story about these two very "different" men and how their lives intertwine. It was such an inspirational book. If you are swaggering in your faith, or just want a good faith-based read, this book will change your life and make you want to be a better person.
    p.s. I love your blog! You have such a beautiful family!

    Caroline @ tupelohoneycaro.blogspot.com

  59. Hi - My name is Debbie and I am probably best described as a lurker, but I prefer peruser. I have a niece adopted from Korea and a coworker who has adopted twice from China, so that is how I found your blog. I have four kids,twins who just graduated from high school, a tenth grade son, and then my daughter just "graduated" from fifth grade today! I was reading your blog yesterday and saw your response to a commenter named DEBBIE (I have never commented here!)about mascara -- I have been on the hunt for the perfect mascara for the past five years, so I really feel your recommendation was a "God wink". Thanks so much, I went to Target today and bought both the original and the "explosion" Telescopic. Can't wait to try them! Thanks again for the tip and you have a beautiful family!

  60. No time to read everyone's post, so this may be a repeat...

    I read East of Eden and loved every single word (my niece recommended it and has read it several times over); the characters stayed with me long after I finished the last sentence. I loved the cadence of John Steinbeck's writing and was fascinated by how timely this book is despite its being written in 1952!

    It's worth the time to read every last one of its 600 pages!

  61. So excited...I needed some new books for a trip, and some of your favorites are some of mine; right down to NOT liking Water/Elephants like everyone else seemed to.
    Question though: Who is the author of "Don't say a Word"? There are a few books with this title...
    Great post!

  62. Hi Kim,
    I didn't read all the commments so this may be a repeat or if you have already read it or not. The book is "What's it like to be married to me?" by Linda Dillow. It is Christian book and can be an asset to single, married or divorced couples. Our book club read this book and it really did change marriages!

    Sorry about your kitchen mishap and hope repairs are moving right along.


  63. Hi Kim,
    I didn't read all the commments so this may be a repeat or if you have already read it or not. The book is "What's it like to be married to me?" by Linda Dillow. It is Christian book and can be an asset to single, married or divorced couples. Our book club read this book and it really did change marriages!

    Sorry about your kitchen mishap and hope repairs are moving right along.


  64. Love reading the suggestions!
    Love anything by Mary Kay Andrews for a fun/girly/beach read kind of book. Some are antiquing and others are decorating with a bit of mystery thrown in. Have loved them all!


  66. I love all your book suggestions. Like you I am a total bookworm. One of my favorite books of all time is Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. It was written in 1947 but I discovered it as an adult. I have even given it away as a gift. It is just a treasure to read.

  67. Sarah's Key was fabulous. I couldn't put it down. I love a lot of the books on your list. Several I had not read and have made a list - so thanks! Have you ever read Gone With the Wind? As much as I loved the movie - the book was so much better. It is one of my all time favorites. Another oldie but goody is the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Harriot. Your boys might like them as well. I have read each of them several times.

  68. We've read a lot of the same books recently. The best book I have read so far this entire year is Bloodroot by Amy Greene.

  69. Hi Kim,

    I know this is a LONG time ago that you posted this, but I was just perusing again for other books to download, and I'm wondering if you have read Divergent by Veronica Roth. If you haven't, I think you'll really like it. It's Huger Games-ish, but, IMO, even better. Everyone I know who has read it after Hunger Games has LOVED it. Just thought you might need something new :)


Thank you for your kindness.