What Should I read?

I’m going to the library today, and for the first time in a long time, I don’t have anything on hold to pick up.

Do you have any book suggestions for me?

I like books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Tom Robbins. I read mostly fiction, but I will do some non-fiction, especially biographies and books like Thomas Friedman’s and Jared Diamond’s. I have a personal goal to read one classic for every non-classic I read…sometimes, I live up to this goal. 😉 Some of my favorite titles include: To Kill a Mockingbird, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Gatsby, Half a Life, Love in the Time of Cholera, Like Water for Chocolate, Lord of the Rings and Jitterbug Perfume among others.

Bookplates from papered together


  1. Okay. I LOVE reading, and I love talking about books, and I have so many suggestiongs! Mt favorite book I read recently is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. It’s a Western but don’t let that deter you. It’s rich and complex and so engrossing.

    If you like Marquez, you might like Isabel Allende as well. She’s fabulous.

    Here are my all-time favorites:

    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    Woman Warrior by Maxine Hing Kingston
    Sandman Chronicles by Neil Gaiman
    Watchmen by Alan Moore
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (a doily in book form but still damn good)
    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Herper Lee
    Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
    Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

  2. How about The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver? Well-written, in five unique voices.

    Glad you chose Anna Karenina.

    What do you recommend? One fiction and one non-fiction? Thanks!

  3. Oh yes, I do like Italo Calvino. Never read Invisible Cities, so I’ll have to give that one a try.

  4. I just read “Water for Elephants” by (I think) Sarah Gruen and couldn’t put it down. It was a great story and had a great ending too.

  5. Italo Calvino’s books (but especially Invisible Cities and On a winter’s night a traveler). I am a huge fan of Gabriele Garcia Marquez and I found that Calvino is just as fantastical.

  6. Anything by Chuck Klosterman. He’s a rock/music/nonfiction/fiction writer of personal novels and for mags like Spin. I highly rec. Killing yourself to Live and I’m anxiously waiting for his new book Downtown Owl. It was supposed to release in August, but as of last week Borders didn’t have it.

  7. Byw, I’ve read a lot of your suggestions including Perfume, Secret Life of Bees, The Count of Monte Cristo, Gone with the Wind, the Wizard of Oz, pretty much everything by Kurt Vonnegut and 100 years of Solitude among others.

  8. Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! I ended up with Anna Karenina and Atonement, but I put a lot of stuff on hold including The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and The Namesake.

  9. Three books that came to mind were Perfume, The Stolen Child (do you like fantasy?), and The Secret Life of Bees.

    My recent guilty pleasure has been reading plays, though, such as Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and All my Sons. It’s a guilty pleasure because in the back of my mind there’s always a voice nagging “But plays were meant to be read aloud, to be performed!” But they’re so great for quick, suspense-ridden reads.

  10. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. Such an amazing book full of fully fleshed out characters that truly live. Or have you ever read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Many haven’t… It’s still a really well written story.

  11. I could never pick a personal favorite to recommend. There are just too many! But I keep track of everything I read on my site at http://www.katejonuska.com. (I have more than 200 books reviewed now.) You can browse by recent reads or by category, i.e. five-star books, award winners, repeated authors, non-fiction, etc. If you get any ideas from the site, drop me a comment!

  12. I agree with Marketa, you should read Norwegian Wood by Haruki Marukami. He is a wonderfully surreal writer who captures characters beautifully.

  13. Song of the Dodo by Quammen for Non-fiction

    anything by kurt vonnegut, barbara kingsolver, or marian keyes for fiction.

  14. I absolutely loved Love in the Time of Cholera and seeing that you enjoyed that book would lead me to recommend a book by Cristina Garcia called Dreaming in Cuban. It kind of reminded me of Marquez and since I am Cuban that was another interesting bit. I see that someone already recommended A Hundred Years of Solitude and I wholeheartedly agree (that was going to be my first suggestion)! Hope this helps (:

  15. Nice list so far! How about John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    Or one of Robertson Davies’ trilogies: The Deptford trilogy begins with Fifth Business. My favorite individual book is Rebel Angels, the first of the Cornish trilogy.

  16. If you like Marquez and haven’t read “100 Years of Solitude” yet I highly recommend it. If you never read any of his other stuff you should read this one. Also, I’m reading the newest collection of essays from David Sedaris called “When You are Engulfed in Flames” which has me laughing out loud most of the time. Much to the annoyance of my husband I’m sure.

  17. Amy Bloom: anything by her!

    Jhumpa Lahiri: The Namesake

    Ian McEwan: Atonement

    oh, and Kazuo Ishiguro: Never let me go

  18. Some of my favorite books are Norwegian Wood by Haruki Marukami, and Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. I highly recommend both authors if you ever want to read Japanese literature.

  19. Try The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It’s my favorite book, and I think would definitely be a great read for someone who’s into Marquez and Lord of the Rings.

  20. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon)
    The Master Butcher’s Singing Club (louise Erdrich)
    Accordion Crime (Annie Proulx)

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