Thursday, January 16, 2014

Read any good books lately?

I love books, always have.  I also love audiobooks and I'm lucky enough to be able to download lots of them for free from the library.  I listen to them when I'm driving and working....I go through lots of audiobooks.  Trouble is, it seems to be harder and harder to find a good book.  Got any suggestions?  

I am not terribly fussy, I am open to just about any genre except true crime and really graphic horror stuff.  Those things usually make me feel like I need to run my brain through a dishwasher.  Other than that, I just like a good story with good characters.   Whether it be a murder mystery, fiction, science fiction.....whatever, I don't care what category it falls into as long as it's a good story.  Why is that so hard to find these days, is it just me?  What are you folks reading?  Really, I want to know, I'm getting desperate!


  1. This is not a fiction book, it's really more of a biography, but I really enjoyed Marley and Me. For one of my high school classes, we are required to read "adult level" books AKA on an approved list and usually extremely dark. Marley and Me is the only book I found that fit that criteria and I found that did not leve me feeling totally depressed after the first five sentences.

    1. I never have been able to figure out why so many of the books that schools make students read are so depressing and miserable. I hated that when I was in school, back in the dark ages. They're probably making you read the same miserable stuff I had to all those years ago. I'm glad there is at least one good book on the list, I will check it out. Thanks.

  2. I am going through the series by Laura Crum right now. Starting with "Cutter" and I like them quite a bit. I also just read Linda Benson's "The Girl who remembered Horses" Also very good.

    "The Art of Driving in the Rain" A story told from a dogs point of view. Fantastic book...have kleenex handy. Does have happy ending though.

    Have you read or listened to Healing Shine by Michael Johnson yet? If not I would gladly loan you my audio discs. I think listening to him tell the story is much better than reading it. The voices....oh the voices of his horses...priceless!

    I don't know if you like fantasy type stuff but there is a series of books that I absolutely LOVE! The first book is Rhapsody, by Elizabeth Haydon. The reviews on it are all over the place but I really enjoyed all the books. Of course I love to read so much that even a mediocre book will keep me entertained. But I like the characters in this book and I like fantasy stuff too. As long as it isn't gory.

    Oh, and one more....The Book Thief. This one was a little bit slow for me to get into, but once I did I enjoyed it.

    I recently read a book called "The Outlander" Not the series that is becoming a movie (although I read those too and they were pretty good) This is a different one. Kind of a neat story.

    Okay that is enough I think. Can you tell I read alot! :-)

  3. In 2013, I read one novel that instantly became an all-time favorite, one of the best novels I have ever read. It was Leah Stewart's "The Myth of You & Me". Find my review here:

    I also enjoyed Delia Ephron's "The Lion Is In" which is a novel about two girls, one in a wedding dress, on the run. They pick up a pedestrian, a middle-aged woman running (walking, actually!) away from home and they all end up at a bar called The Lion, which features--you guessed it--a real live (and rather old and lonely) circus lion. Is there redemption for any of them? Sure there is!

  4. Do they have to be audio books? I've never used them so don't know what's available, BUT I'm reading Winter's Tale by Mark Halperin right now and just found out last night there's going to be a movie, so I want to finish it first! I recently finished the whole Louise Penny 'Inspector Gamache' crime mysteries -- and I'm hoping there will be more - I still miss the Inspector and the little village he falls in love with.

    I'm guessing you've read the whole "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' trilogy?
    You've probably read 'The Wisdom of Donkeys' too.
    Another sweet story is The Green Halter' more for young people but I loved it.
    Cutting for Stone -
    And if you like apocalyptic novels that that have mutated creatures in them, Justin Cronin's The Passage is a good read, although scary.
    I suspect you're going to get A LOT of recommendations to last you for a while!

  5. Hunger games trilogy and is audio from finger lakes library

  6. Hi Chris, just finished reading "The Flight of the East Prussian Horses". It's not a very long book but very interesting about saving the Trakehner horses from the Russians in WWII. It's very inspiring what these people went through to save these horses although not many survived. Did you ever read Jean Auel's books about Earth's children, "The Clan of the Cave Bear"? There are about 6-7 books in the series. Happy reading!

  7. Roger Stelljes, he has a good series I like especially since it mostly occurs in my part of the Midwest. Good mystery, who dun it.
    I'll have more ideas once I receive my Kindle back! Son finally sent it to me.
    I've found lots of good new authors and books browsing the Amazon library.

  8. I love love love audio books! Before I retired in 1999 and was in the car about 3 hours a day, I listen to many audio books. My favorites were Jane Eyre, Clan of the Bear Cave, and To Kill a Mocking Bird. I enjoyed the books by Rosamund Pilcher; The Shell Seekers, The Day of the Storm, and September. I like Nicholas Sparks' books, Message in a Bottle and The Notebook. Oops, didn't mean to get carried away. I could go on and on...You have probably heard all has been a while since 1999. :)

  9. Janet/My Miniature DonkeysJanuary 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Try the Louise Penny mystery series. A friend recommended them and I'm smitten.

  10. "Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour bookstore" by Robin Sloan was really entertaining. "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Anne Shaffer was wonderful (had a heartwrenching story twist, but still a wonderful book with fantastic characters!). "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen was magical (and I also loved her "The Girl who Chased the Moon.").

    I'm biased on this next recommendation because they are written by one of my best friends in the whole world: The White Trash Zombie series by Diana Rowland (first book: "My life as a White Trash Zombie") Even though they are about zombies, they aren't terribly graphic (but her language is full of f-bombs and other cursing). They make me giggle and do not give me nightmares. And I'm more terrified of zombies than anything else in the world.

    Except for clowns. Or Zombie clowns....

    Anyway, I hope that you enjoy any or all of these suggestions!

  11. Oh and my favorite audio books are the "Cat Who" books by Lilian Jackson Braun. The guy who reads them is really good (especially with the cat sounds).

    Also, the Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes books by Laurie R. King (first book "The Bee-Keeper's Apprentice) were entertaining.

  12. Leigh Russell is a British Author with some fantastic books.
    She can be found at:

  13. Just finishing Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman. Not heavy reading, but something you like to get back to.

  14. Four really good authors are Lynn Austin, Anne Perry, Francine Rivers, and Bodie and Brock Thoene. They all right novels that are historically correct.

  15. Go to and find Nathan Lowell's Trader's Tales to listen to for free. You can also download the first few to read on kindle for not too much. His Ravenwood and Southcoast books are really good as well. Great stories, well written, and well read. Podiobooks is a free site for new authors to get their books out before they can find a publisher, most are read by the authors themselves. There are a lot of really good ones to listen to, all free. Lowell is my favorite author so far from that site. The Deverry books by Katharine Kerr is another great series, I don't know if there are audio versions available tho.

  16. I commented last night with several books, did my comment not come through?

  17. A lovely little donkey book with a twist is 'Caroline' by Cornelius Medvei. Not my normal reading but just a little gem, you might like :-)

  18. Any of Barbara Kingsolver's books are great - especially her earlier ones. Try Prodigal Summer, or Flight Behaviour. They were my favourites of hers. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was also amazing. Khaled Hosseini's books, And The Mountains Echoed, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner are tops! 419 by Will Ferguson was a real eye opener. Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky was refreshing and a good quick read. Oh, and The Purchase by Linda Spalding was great. I could go on ...!

    1. I enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

  19. This may be the second time around for my posting? Barbara Kingsolver's books, The Prodigal Summer and Flight Behaviour were great reads. Also her books The Poisonwood Bible, Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams and The Bean Trees. I LOVED Khaled Hosseini's books The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian was amazing. Folly, by Laurie King, might appeal to you. The main character is a woman who heads off to an island off the west coast to build her own log cabin and live there. It is wrapped in a mystery as well. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards was a hauntingly beautiful love story. The Purchase by Linda Spalding was another great story. I could go on and on! Happy reading!

  20. Elizabeth Gilbert "The Signature of All Things", Barbara Kingsolver "Flight Behavior" and her earlier books, Mary Alice Monroe "The Butterfly's Daughter", Kristin Kimball "The Dirty Life" (a farming and food memoir), Jacqueline Sheehan "Lost and Found" and "Picture This", most anything by Lisa Scottoline, Joann Mapson and Judith Ryan Hendricks. I also loved "The Art of Racing in the Rain".

  21. Let's see, I have been going through a ton of audio books myself! Have you tried the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning? Darkfever is the first. Then, Bloodfever, Dreamfeverk, Faefever, Shadowfever. Well written with great characters.

    Also, anything by JD Robb. The narrator is wonderful!

  22. Several things I was thinking of are already listed...I skimmed through. Have you read/listened to The Shadow of the Wind? I just finished several Henning Mankel. Maybe George R Martin's Fire and Ice series. I'm getting sort of desperate too. Fantasy has never been one of my favorites but..... some of it is actually good. And right now I'm working my way through Harry Potter. We can only check out 5 at a time and I set them to expire in 7 days. If you go through all of them before something expires, you're out of books!

  23. I read many of the Laura Crum books...easy reads and horsey. The Litigator (John Grisham). Dorothea Frank wrote several Low Country books that were fun. A friend gave me her old Kindle and it has 150 books on it. I am on number 32.

  24. Lauren Willig has written the PInk Carnation series (historical spy novels with hooks to the current )
    Alan Bradley has the Flavia de Luce series (juvenile sleuth)
    Donna Andrews series of humerous murder mysteries
    Clive Cussler - has several character series (many are recorded)
    Michael Buckley - Junior Fiction - Fairy Tales (Sisters Grimm series)
    Kasey Michaels - - detective fiction
    Joan Hess - Mysteries
    Rita Mae Brown - mysteries
    Susan Wittig Albert - mysteries
    Michael Scott - Young adult fiction series -Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
    Sally Goldenblaum -
    Agatha Christie ?

    My mother and I are fond of who-dun-its

    M in NC

  25. Hubby and I have both recently enjoyed the first two books about Flora by Ysabeau Wilce. The first is Flora Segunda, the Second is Flora Dare. They are fantasy set for young adults but we are not young and we still liked them. Very original, very interesting lead and side characters and world. And, she loves dogs and horses and I think a future book has a mule enter the group as well. :) We plan on getting more. :)

    Also if you have not read The Woodwife by Terri Windling, that is a fab book. One of our all time faves!

    I have all the Nina Kiriki Hoffman books but especially love The Thread That Binds The Bones and A Fistful of Sky.

    We've recently discovered the books by Sarah Addison Allen. Very easy reading and enjoyable characters.

    Sheri S Tepper is my all time fave author but her stuff can head towards horror at times. I am not a horror reader but still read her fantasy for the great characters and the way she can render alien worlds and cultures. Her love for animals and nature runs through all her works. The Mavin Many-shaped series would be a good way into her books. Gate to Women's Country is good too though very different to that. The Fresco is a nice bit of wish fulfilment set mostly on current Earth. :) Fall of Light is an early work that is more fantasy less horror. Not that she is a horror author as such, but some fairly gruesome things happen in her books, usually to bad people. :)

  26. I have not read all the comments so don't know if these will be repeats. All are Christian titles. I was our church's librarian and know these were popular. (First list is fiction.) Nancy Rue is a favorite author of my husband and me - - especially her Sullivan Crisp novels. Dee Henderson is great especially the O'Malley Series. Deanne Gist is excellent, too- - historical fiction - - only one or two that are so-so. Make sure to read her last page to see which parts were true. "Not in the Heart" by Chris Fabry was a good read, too - - just overlook the man's gambling addiction - - good storyline. "The Touch" by Randall Wallace was excellent. Terri Blackstock has some good series - - mystery with romance. Karen Kingsbury was popular and we liked a lot of them - - but once you read half a dozen, you see the pattern. However, some of her stand-alones we particularly liked were "Between Sundays", "Oceans Apart", and "On Every Side". Make sure if you start one of her series, you get the first one - - especially the Baxter Family - - maybe look at copyright dates to help you out. Author Lynn Austin - - especially "All She Ever Wanted", "Eve's Daughters", "Hidden Places", "Wonderland Creek"
    Biographies: "A Positive Life" Shane Stanford, "Bryson City Tales" Walt Larimore (3 books in series), Any biography by Benge in the YWAM Publishing Group, "Let's Roll" Lisa Beamer, "To Fly Again" Gracia Burnham, "Trapped in Hitler's Hell" Anita Dittman
    Let me know if you want more biographical titles and I will send them to you.

  27. If you haven't read the Jan Karon "Mitford" books you might check the mitford books dot com website. Though some bookstores categorize these as "Christian" and while Father Tim is certainly a man of the cloth, these charming books are far more about community and wonderful character studies than religion or church. They are all available on audio and in paperback, there are a dozen in the series but you don't need to read them in order to enjoy. I have to read a LOT in my job and my preference for pleasure reading is almost exclusively nonfiction in a wide range of topics (a recent study of introvert vs extrovert by author Susan Cain, called "Quiet" was absolutey stunning in its clarity of analysis and readability) - the exception that continues to charm me many times over are the Mitford books.If you can find it in English (rather than Spanish) you might listen to the lovely, short memoir of a little boy and his burro called "Platero and Me" ("platero" meaning silver, the color of the little donkey).