What We’re Reading

Ay carumba! This blog has been out of commission for a few weeks, ever since Blogger shut us down as a suspected spam blog – but they figured out that there are only humans here, eventually. So, now it’s time for us to weigh in with our current reading lists. What books are you reading now, and which have you just finished? Add a comment below and fill us in. Thanks!

47 replies
  1. Los Gatos Girl
    Los Gatos Girl says:

    I read 2/3 of Jack Valenti’s book _This Place, This Time_…I was interested in the viewpoint on politics & didn’t care at all about Hollyweird 🙂

    Currently, I’m on an Agatha Christie kick, and have just finished 2 Poirot’s (Sad Cypress and The Blue Train) and 1 Miss Marple (Murder at the Vicarage). I’m reading The Tuesday Club (another Miss Marple).

    Summer is the best time for reading. I wish more people would get in tune with the seasons and shift things into low gear during the summer and just relax and enjoy life.

    I read a headline that stated that only 1 in 4 people read NO books last year. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20381678/)


  2. Christy Tucker
    Christy Tucker says:

    I read quite a bit, but I have been enjoying Madeline L’Engle lately. I finished The Irrational Season a few weeks ago, and before that I reread the Time series (Wrinkle in Time, Wind in the Door, Swiftly Tilting Planet, Acceptable Time). The Time series was written for young adults so they are quick reads, but I have enjoyed rereading them every few years since I first read them in fourth grade. I always get something new from reading her books, even when I’ve read them before.

  3. Niquenya D. Fulbright, Executive Life Coach
    Niquenya D. Fulbright, Executive Life Coach says:

    I read a lot but lately it’s been mostly personal development type books. I’ve just finished up Franklin Covey’s “The 8th Habit” and I’m starting in on Natasha Munson’s “Spiritual Lessons for My Sisters: How to Get Over the Drama and Live Your Best Life!” I am enjoying both selections immensely and have already experienced the value.

    It has been awhile since I have read anything fiction but the last was a series of books by Eric Jerome Dickey, all very good.

    Happy Living!

    Niquenya D. Fulbright
    Executive Life Coach & Professional Speaker

  4. Grapeshot/Odette
    Grapeshot/Odette says:

    I am re-reading Proust’s great (and long) masterpiece, and blogging about it (and finding many Proust readers). http://proustwhore.blogspot.com/
    At each stage of life I find different things to admire about “Remembrance of Time Past.” Other than Proust, I read mysteries for relaxation. Dan Fesperman’s “The Warlord’s Son” is a good read. Anything by Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich for laughs. The old novel “Three Trapped Tigers” for pre-Castro Cuba.


  5. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I just finished reading two books.

    I picked up the first, Sting’s memoir, called Sting: Broken Music, at the Police concert in Boston at Fenway Stadium last month. I really enjoyed it and found myself reading passages aloud to my husband since it was so good and funny in places.

    The second book, a novel called Life of Pi by Yann Martel, was a gift and had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years but I finally decided that I should try reading it. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. It’s an excellent tale about a boy and his experiences growing up. It is the unlikely and captivating story about a zoo-keeper’s son seeking God in a non-religious family, embracing several religions at the same time, and then getting lost at sea with several of the zoo animals.

  6. Durbahn
    Durbahn says:

    I devour books, so I’ll list some of the titles I’ve read over the last few months:
    *Guns of August (Barbara Tuchman)
    *Paris 1919 (Margaret MacMillan)
    *All of Kathy Reichs’ “Bones” series
    *God’s Politics (Jim Wallis)
    *Religious Literacy (Stephen Prothero)
    *Healthy Aging (Dr. Andrew Weil)
    *Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
    *John Adams (David MacCullough)
    I love history books, studies about religion (I don’t completely tie myself to one faith, but I am fascinated by the concept of religion and its evolution), and psychological thriller/mystery novels.
    Happy Reading!!!

  7. Jill
    Jill says:

    I just finished reading Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw. It’s very long and quite detailed but really interesting. It’s a good history of the period leading up to World War I. Since I’d just been saying that I thought we should pay more attention to WWI because it basically set the direction of the whole next century, I found it interesting.

    Also, since I grew up in Pittsburgh and a number of my relatives worked at the steel mills, I really enjoyed reading about the development of the mills and the labor strife.

  8. Carie
    Carie says:

    I also saw the same headline stating 1 in 4 adults had not read any books last year. I’m embarrassed to say that at times, I am one of those 1 adults, as my reading tends to be a little sporadic depending on what’s happening in my life.

    That being said, I did just finish reading ‘The Late Bloomers Revolution’ by Amy Cohen. It was a great book! Very clever, entertaining, thoughtful, and “laugh out loud funny” at times. Also being a (neurotic at times) single, Jewish girl in her 40’s, I could definitely relate to much of what the author wrote about, and I just loved her storytelling and the way in which she expressed her feelings and her life’s challenges with such honesty and humor.

    Overall, a fun “memoir” book that will make you smile a lot until the very end.

  9. Julia
    Julia says:

    Recently finished via audiobook (yes, you can clean and read at the same time!), The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan.
    Now about 3/4 the way through Charles De Lint’s Spirits in the Wires. Both are very enjoyable in different ways.

  10. Liz
    Liz says:

    The book I have been telling everyone about lately is “Water for Elephants,” by Chicagoan Sara Gruen. It is one of the most creative and engaging books I have read in ages. The gist of the story may sound strange, but trust me on this one. It takes place alternately in present time (being told by a 90+ year-old man) and back in the Depression on a circus train. Even though it’s a novel, she did quite a bit of research, weaving in true tidbits of circus life at the time. I promise you won’t be able to put it down!

  11. communicatrix
    communicatrix says:

    Recent and recommended:

    + The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay (Michael Chabon, fiction)
    + Apartment Therapy (Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, creator of the fantastic blog apartmenttherapy.com, non-fiction)
    + It’s All Too Much (Peter Walsh–great for kickstarting your organizational/decluttering master project)
    + The War of Art (by Steven Pressman, highly recommended for creative kickstart)

    Currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (excellent escapist fiction).

    And a gigantic stack of New Yorkers. I am always, it seems, reading a gigantic stack of New Yorkers.

  12. Marie
    Marie says:

    Hooray! Book lists!
    I, too, am a voracious reader and am always looking for great book recommendations.

    I read a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction; mysteries and light novels (such as “The Ivy Chronicles,” which I finished this week); parenting books(such as “The No-Cry Discipline Solution,” which I’m reading right now; business books; and my favorite genre: literary fiction.

    I have my “Best books” lists of the past several years posted on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/2enz8l.

    I also post entries about books that I have been really enjoyed as the year goes along. Let me know what you think!

    Happy reading, everyone!

  13. anne
    anne says:

    I LOVED Water for Elephants. Totally delightful.
    I just finished Chris Bojhalian’s (sp?) new book, Double Bind – and enjoyed that too. Didn’t see the end coming until almost the end – interesting literary twist.

  14. Betsy Smith
    Betsy Smith says:

    My favorite book of the year was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and a book she wrote prior to that called The Last American Man. Awesome writer.

    I too read way more in the summer and got through a bunch of books. Glass Castle was a favorite last year.

  15. Kristen B.
    Kristen B. says:

    What?! No one has mentioned “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” yet?

    I love to read, mostly fiction. I read “Deathly Hallows” a few weeks ago and loved it. The whole series is great; I’ll miss it. If anyone has kids who are having withdrawals, I’d also recommend C.S. Lewis’s Narnia tales, of course, but also Lloyd Alexander’s books (“The Book of Three”, “The Black Cauldron”, “The Castle of Llyr”, “Taran Wanderer”, and “The High King”). And someone mentioned Madeline L’Engle; her books are wonderful, too.

    Most recently read (and enjoyed): “Keeping Watch”, “From Baghdad With Love”, “Dreams of My Father” (I went to school with Barack from 5th through 12th grades–still need to read “The Audacity of Hope”), “The $64 Tomato”, “97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile”, “The Kite Runner”, “The Time Traveler’s Wife”…

    Other favorite (non-children’s literature) modern authors: Laurie R. King (her Mary Russell series and her Kate Martinelli series are quite different but both captivating, and her standalone novels, “Folly” and “Keeping Watch” kept me riveted.), S.J. Rozan, Jonathan Kellerman, Ken Follett, Nelson DeMille, Stephen Hunter, Dale Brown, Earlene Fowler, Janet Evanovich, Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, W.E.B. Griffith, Tom Clancey, John Grisham, Andrew Greeley, Lawrence Sanders. I used to read a lot of Dick Francis on business trips–quick, fun reads.

  16. L.E.B.
    L.E.B. says:

    I read at least 2 books per week. I don’t drive so I read waiting for the bus or train, on the bus or train, while eating, before I go to sleep etc. I like history, historical fiction, mysteries,some science fiction and really good novels. The best novels I have read in the last few years are “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver, “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larsen (not really a novel but reads like one), “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, “When the Emperor was Divine” by Julie Otsuka, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger, “The Bookseller of Kabul” by Asne Seierstad, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See and “Between, Georgia” by Joshilyn Jackson. With all the books I read, these really stood out and I remembered them long after I read them. My favorite classics are ones I read as a young girl “Little Women” by Louisa Alcott, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, and everyone of Jane Austen’s books. Books and reading are my healer when I am sick or in pain, company when I am lonely, escape when I am feeling overwhelmed and a way to lose myself in another culture, time and sometimes personality for a time. How empty life would be without books!

  17. anne
    anne says:

    The most recent book I have read is Texas Hold’em For Dummies by Mark Harlan.

    Even with the fact that I know very little about any type of card game (except Crazy Eights, Old Maid and Gin Rummy) I found this book both informative and entertaining. The author’s stated assumptions that we understand the basis of a normal deck of playing cards, plus simple but detailed descriptions of how play advances at the table, make this volume an enjoyable read. The sidebar stories and trivia tidbits are so funny that the reader could ignore the main text and just read the anecdotal information to learn a LOT about the game.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have known the author since high school, and his writing just keeps getting better as the decades go by.

  18. pawillars
    pawillars says:

    I’ve just been on a reading spurt lately. It started with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Then a science fiction forum I frequent started up a book club. Our selection for August was William Gibson’s Neuromancer which I had read years ago but enjoyed rereading. Just two days ago I finished reading the last of the 14 Drizzt Do’Urden books by R.A. Salvatore that we have. Fortunately these are in “Collection Books” so they were compiled into 4 books. There is one more that we don’t have yet that I’m meaning to pick up along with the Book Club’s Spetember selection Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

    In case you are wondering, I’m not speaking in the “royal we”. My husband and I discovered early in our relationship that we enjoy the same kinds of books although we read different authors. I generally read them first though since I read faster and don’t accidently share details. Authors we read include Dean Koontz, Mercedes Lackey, Stephen King, David Eddings, Barbara Hambly, Robert Ludlum, Anne McAffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Terry Goodkind, Michael Chricton, James Patterson, etc.

    My oldest son (17) has also become quite a reader (thank you, JK Rowling!!) and has “inherited” my Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica books among others.

  19. MeDaveyboy
    MeDaveyboy says:

    Read my first Harry Potter’s (EVER!)while on vacation last week – Scorceror’s Stone and Goblet of Fire. I am going through the whole series, hitting some by book and some by movie, much to my wife’s chagrin.

    Also, Cosa Nostra – A history of the Sicilian mafia.

    Also, Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.

  20. Ritergal
    Ritergal says:

    I was probably the last literate person in the world to discover Paulo Coelho, but maybe I wasn’t yet ready for his messages. In the last month I’ve read Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Alchemist, and The Witch of Portobello.

    That’s soul food. My “technical read” author of the moment is Julia Cameron. I’m nibbling my way through her classic, The Artist’s Way to compare it with Natalie Goldber’s recently updated Writing Down the Bones.

    Last, but not least, nary a day goes by that I don’t refer to my own book on writing: The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing.

  21. mjaross
    mjaross says:

    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is beautifully written and quite the story. Now I want to go back and read Michael Chabon’s other books. I’ve been listening to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals which is incredible and am currently reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini (Kite Runner)and a delightful book of essays, The Art of travel by Alain de Botton. I also listened to The Love Wife which was an interesting look at how a Chinese family’s immigrant experience in America. Next on the list is probably Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking, although I’ll have to see what my book club is up to. Or there’s the bookcase full of books i haven’t read yet.

  22. Susan DAvis
    Susan DAvis says:

    I just finished YEAR OF WONDERS by Geraldine Brooks. It’s an eloquetly written acount of the plague in England in 1666. Previously mentioned, SNOWLFOWER AND THE SECRET FAN by See is also one of my very favorites. Although a dark but informative account of the Chicago World’s Fair, DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY is a very worthy read. All three of these are “can’t put down” books.

  23. Mary
    Mary says:

    I travel pretty extensively, and quite a while ago when I was really stressed on the road, I “gave myself permission” to read non-work books. Now I don’t mind the flight or the wait in the airport, and have gotten through a lot of great books (and this list has given me more)…

    I prefer fiction, and I tend towards authors I know as well as books that have been recommended. I love anything by Maeve Binchy (her most famous is “Circle of Friends” but I liked “the Copper Beech” and “Night Class” very much); Amy Tan who does an incredible job weaving a story that covers several years (or even centuries) into a haunting story; Jeffrey Deaver for government agent/military stories (I unfortunately started with what I consider to be his best book – “The Devil’s Teardrop” — if you can, read them in the order they are written instead) and like Dan Brown of DaVinci Code fame although his books are somewhat alike so don’t read them back-to-back.

    I just finished “September by Rosalind Pulcher (She wrote “The Shell Seekers” also) and Nicholas Sparks’ book “True Believer” (he wrote “the Notebook” “Message in a Bottle”, etc.)

    My kids are almost done with Harry so I should be getting that soon; I also like James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Tami Hoag, and the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwall.

    Oh, and I like to read books of positive thinking – Jon Gordon’s “The Energy Bus” is my favorite, and if you have a chance to see Jon as he travels the country this summer, I’d strongly recommend you get there! I saw him a few weeks ago in Austin and he still inspires me to get up, get moving, and get positive!

    Mary McD

  24. Janet
    Janet says:

    I too love the spiritual, personal growth books. Right now I”m reading The Universe in a Single Atom, by the Dali Lama. I was struck by the title, because I had that epiphany while looking at photos of galaxies in an astronmy class: the galaxy looked like an atom! This thoughtful and intelligent book on the Dali Lama’s intellectual grappling with science and spirit is as engaging as you would imagine.

  25. robert
    robert says:

    I’m currently reading “Blink” it’s a great read and has helped me redefine “influence” both in my life and business.

    Of course I read the last Harry Potter book after I picked it up at midnight when it was available. All in all an amazing series. How J.K. Rowling ties everything together from seemingly incidental occurrences in the first book through the last is incredible. The writing has gotten better with each book. I’m sorry to see the series end.

    Finally, I’ve listened to the Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny by Wayne Dyer. It has a meditation sequence at the end that has been very successful for me. There is nothing new in the book (it’s about 10 years old), but it is a nice refresher.

    The next book on my list is the “Tipping Point”.

  26. linda
    linda says:

    I read 2 or 3 books a week and the most recent ones were: Common Nonsense by Andy Rooney (very enjoyable if you like his style and wit); Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (a FANTASTIC read, one of my most enjoyable ever); and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (another very interesting combo of history and fiction).

    I cannot imagine life without books and reading in it! I was blown away by the stat about how many people read NO books last year.

    Currently I’m ready the true account of Mutiny on the Bounty (which is not what you saw in the movies about it) called The Bounty by Caroline Alexander. (I previously read her book on The Endurance (about Ernest Shackleton) and it was great too.)

    Linda M. Lopeke

  27. rita j.
    rita j. says:

    I recently read Lee Iacocca´s last book: where have all the leaders gone? i also read books about success-factors, leader-ship and communication (mostly German authors from universities). i also read about psychology and Sales in business but in terms of relaxing hours i rather chose Harry Potter!

  28. susan
    susan says:

    Hey I am reading Letter S by Sue Grafton.I love all mysteries especially those that are local to my area. One great author is Earl Emerson. He is a City of Seattle Fire Fighter who writes mystery novels.

  29. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    I have this habit of reading multiple books at once. Here are a few I am reading together:

    “Philosophy for Dummies” by Tom Morris, Ph.D

    “South Park and Philosophy” essays put together by Richard Hanley

    – These two have been quite entertaining.

    “Stand Up for your Gifted Child” by Joan Franklin Smutny

    – This book came recommended to me for my son from a child psychologist whom I was asking about my son’s perceived “behavior problems” at daycare/preschool.

    Lastly, I am reading several children books, one every night, some more than once, depends on my son’s wishes for the evening.

  30. Jodi
    Jodi says:

    I have been totally hooked on Bookmooch.com, where you can trade books with people from all over the world.

    Most recent reads include:
    J-Pod (Douglas Coupland)
    24-Karat Kids (Judy Goldstein)
    No Way To Treat A First Lady (Christopher Buckley)

    I tend to like snappy, funny fiction and mysteries. My favorite authors are Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, Jennifer Weiner, Carl Hiaasen, Tabitha King, and Christopher Moore.

  31. Joan
    Joan says:

    I am reading First Lady from Plains right now. I enjoy reading reading biographies (especially women in politics), science fiction, mysteries, and novels.

  32. Leah
    Leah says:

    I joined a book club this summer and we had to read Intuition by Allegra Goodman and The Keep by Jennifer Egan.

    One of my favorite reads this summer was Blaze by Stephen King. 100% of the profits go to the Maven Foundation to support freelance writers!! It was written in 1973 and ‘found’ in the basement of the University of Maine library.

    I am wading my way (slowly) thru Harry Potter on the side to savor it.

  33. Kirsten
    Kirsten says:

    Jared Diamond–The Third Chimpanzee
    Jared Diamond–Collapse
    Winston Churchill–Their Finest Hour

    And, of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 🙂

  34. rickey
    rickey says:

    I’m still reading marketing books. Can’t quite get to novels unless I’m on a plane or on vacation.

    That said, I just finished Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin. Filled with great tips on how to create a Wow! marketing idea.

    Am trying to get through David Allen’s Getting Things Done but keep getting sidetracked with all the things I have to do!

    The World Is Flat by Tom Friedman is on my nightstand along with Andy Sernovitz’s book Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get Peope Talking.

  35. Sara
    Sara says:

    I just finished The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seirsted – if you liked A Thousand Splendid Suns and/or Reading Lolita in Tehran, you should definitely pick it up.

    Is anyone else a goodreads member? It’s a social networking site that revolves around what you’re reading and what you’ve read. Check it out at goodreads.com – it’s lots of fun! If you want to see my profile, click
    http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/144900 (sorry, I don’t know how to do a tiny url).

  36. dianemm
    dianemm says:

    ‘All the King’s Men’ by Robert Penn Warren kept me enthralled this summer– everyone in our book group is glad we moved it to the top of our list. I may never see the movie…

  37. Catherine Weber
    Catherine Weber says:

    I, too, am reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. She stirs up so much and makes me laugh in every chapter. Simultaneously, I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which is an entertaining account of how her family spent a year eating local, in season, organic food.

    They are actually great complements to each other and perfect for the summer.

  38. Janet B.
    Janet B. says:

    I’m reading:

    The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H.W. Brands

    A Woman’s Book of Life by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

    Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

  39. Jill
    Jill says:

    The View from the Studio Door by Ted Orland is a nice collection of thoughts about being an artist. I also have jsut finished Whitley Strieber’s Cat Magic and Audrey Neffenegger’s The Timetravelers Wife– delicious! I have a long train commute so 3-4 books a month is not unusual. i am looking forward to checking out some of the things you all have been reading!

  40. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver IS the best book I’ve read in the past 10 years. Right now I’m in the middle of Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell – we learned of it at a art exhibit featuring the ‘revolutionary’ and anarchist poster art of Picasso and others during the Spanish fight against fascism.

    Water for Elephants just arrived from http://www.paperbackswap.com (a GREAT book swapping site for avid readers!) – can’t wait!

    I also found Eat The Document, Dana Spiotta, via paperbackswap and both my husband and I enjoyed it – it travels back and forth between the radical protests of the 70’s and impact of that era on kids in 1990’s.

    The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich, was another enjoyable summer read – set in New Hampshire and South Dakota with lots of Am. Indian influence. She’s a beautiful writer.

  41. Terri
    Terri says:

    I just finished “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini (he also wrote “Kite Runner”) and I highly recommend it. It was a tough read, but very well written. I’ve become fascinated by Afghanistan, its history and its treatment of women thanks to his books.

    I also recently read John Wood’s “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World.” He is the founder of Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org). It was a quick read and very enjoyable.

  42. HuskyBytes
    HuskyBytes says:

    I love the mystery writer Lee Child! He has a character named “Jack Reacher”, an ex-Army MP that solves situations with military precision and expertise. When I start one of these paperbacks everything else stops because I cannot put the book down! Every chapter keeps you riveted with details that place you in that location with all the sites and sounds painted. Each book is a separate story so pick up any of them in any order for an afternoon treat of adventure. Hard Way, One Shot, Die Trying, The Enemy were all great.

  43. Christopher Kelley
    Christopher Kelley says:

    I just finished a book called “The Queen of Kings,” by – I think – a new author. Book says he’s in NC and was a Navy diver. Anyway, he’s got a really interesting pitch on the discovery of Cleopatra’s tomb. I like Egyptian history and got to spend time in the Mideast, so I was piqued by the story jacket. His website The-Queen-of-Kings.com says he’s writing another one called “Ironclad Gold.” I like reading new authors, so I can’t wait. Cheers!


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