Tag Archive | books

Your Recommendations – A List

Ten days ago, I presented you all with a special request : recommend me some adult books, or books that are different than the ones I have been reading recently. You answered my cry for help with even more recommendations than I had hoped for and it was exactly what I needed.

Because I am always looking for a reason to make lists, I had to make one for your recommendations (including my own, and excluding those for books I have already read). I was pleased by the number of recommended books that are already on my shelves; I identified those with a (s). In some cases, when I don’t have a specific book from an author I added another that I do have. I don’t need more reasons to buy books, do I?

  • If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous (s) (read this week)
  • Undress me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman (s)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  • Holy Fools by Joanne Harris (s) (not a recommendation, but it’s the only one from the author I do own)
  • I Thought you Were Dead by Pete Nelson
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (s)
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
  • The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (s)
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
  • Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
  • The Good Earth by Pearl Buck
  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (s) (added this week to my shelves!)
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (s)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (s)
  • Modoc by Ralph Helfer
  • Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
  • Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (s)
  • 100 Heartbeats by Jeff Corwin
  • The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (s)
  • Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
  • Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes
  • Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes
  • This Charming Man by Marian Keyes (s)
  • The Human Bobby by Gabe Rotter
  • Red, Black, White by Ted Dekker
  • The Circle by Ted Dekker
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  • The Likeness by Tana French
  • In the Woods by Tana French (s)
  • The History of the World in Ten and a Half Chapters by Julian Barnes (s)
  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  • One Day byDavid Nicholls (s)
  • Sepulchre by Kate Moss (s)

So, that should keep me busy for a while! 🙂

I thank you all for your help, and if you have any more recommendations, please share them with me! 🙂

Recommend me some adult books

Dear readers, I come to you today with a very specific request : I need some recommendations for some adult fiction or non-fiction. If you accept the challenge, read further to find out exactly what I am looking for!

You see, I just finished reading Crossed  yesterday, and while I sped through it, it was nothing special, really. And while I do enjoy most YA I read, and know that there are some really great YA novels out there, I’ve been feeling the need to read something else. I do read adult fiction in French (enough that I kind of revived the blog’s French version, though I don’t update it as much) but I need more ideas of what to read in English.

The reason I read a lot of YA is that it is often the exact opposite of what I have to read for class; light, fast, it allows me to turn off my brain while going on a fictional adventure. Also : reasonable number of pages with often big fonts that make me feel like I’m turning a lot of pages!

I would love to find something similar in adult fiction, but I do have some specifics.  I want something to entertain me but that could also surprise me, teach me something, or blow me away with its beautiful writing. Something easy to read that won’t require too much thinking.  No strict romance novel, that’s for sure. No politics or religion. No paranormal or fantasy : I already have plenty of those, and I would like something different. I’m open to “chick lit”, although it would have to be different in some way.

I’m thinking maybe something along the lines of travelogues, fictional or not, or about people moving to “strange lands”. I have If You Follow Me and Undress me in the Temple of Heaven on my shelves, so maybe I should begin with this? Any similar recommendation?

I’m also interested in animal-related non-fiction. Not the dramatic kind like Marley and Me, but more like The Tiger (which I still have to finish).

I guess I have a thirst for adventure and discovery, right now! I would also enjoy some original mystery or adventure novel, magical realism, general fiction (though nothing too literary that would make my brain explode!)

I’m taking any recommendation, really. Please feel free to invite me to step out of my comfort zone! 🙂

(from past experiences, I feel the need to add : authors, if you want to request a review, please communicate with me through email rather than on this post. It is a lot easier for me to follow through, and more pleasant for everyone! Thank you! 🙂 )


2012 Debut Author Challenge : My Reading List

Again this year, The Story Siren is running her Debut Author Challenge, an event challenging you to read over the year 12 YA books published in 2012, by authors debuting in the US. I didn’t participate in the previous years, but I always thought it was a fantastic idea. After all, debuting authors of today could become some of my favorites, and I love discovering new voices.

If you wish to participate or are curious about the debuting YA authors of 2012, there is more information on the challenge’s page (click on the banner at the top of this post to get to it!) or this great list of books on Goodreads.

There are easily more than 12 that I would want to read – my personal challenge might be not to read them all! I couldn’t select only 12, so I included all the titles that interest me the most for now (but there could easily have been more). A few of these titles have already been featured on my Wishlist posts, and for now it’s heavy with paranormal/fantasy/speculative fiction, but I would love to add more of the realistic or historical fiction. Have any suggestion, feel free to mention it! 🙂

Since the list is long, I’m linking the titles to Goodreads in case you want to have a better look, with just a few words on why each books interests me.

So, in no particular order :

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Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Under a cute cover, a story of romance, photography and teen superstar. Sounds cute!

Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Waking up in the hospital after a bad accident, a young woman remembers how she landed there after a race up the status ladder. I love stories of characters looking back on their life.

* * *


Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Dystopia meets paranormal under this striking cover. (already on my shelves!)

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

A lighting addict endangering herself to fill her craving, fighting in a destroyed L.A. Gorgeous cover and sounds just like my kind of thing, paranormal meets catastrophe!

Read More…

Like Christmas in January

I was super excited this week when, after a pre-order that felt way too long, my copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green finally arrived home!

It’s not often that I pre-order books, but of course the excitement over the author’s promise to sign all pre-order copies got to me. As a John Green fan, I just had to have one too!

You see, I’ve had very bad luck in getting my books signed by some of my favorite authors. I got sick on the day Louise Penny signed books at Montreal’s Chapters bookstore. When Brandon Sanderson was here for a signing, I only saw him from afar, leaving, and not matter how fast I ran, he was too far ahead and I missed him.

Tragedy, really.

But this time, though I didn’t get to meet the author, I at least got to have my book signed.

It’s even certified with a fancy sticker :

My copy is signed in green, which is really suiting I believe. Of course, it looks a little like someone was trying to draw a straight line and sneezed at the wrong time, but with so many copies to sign, I didn’t expect anything fancy. Just think of the author’s poor hand!

It’s perfect as it is, isn’t it?

I’ve put Glow aside for now, because it is imperative that I read this one NOW. I’m a very happy reader right now! 🙂

The 2011 recap : the best of the best!

Whew! Another year gone by, and another recap on the way!

In some ways, it didn’t feel like a great reading year; there were many slumps, and many not so great books. But when I look back, I can see that there were, in facts, many books I enjoyed, enough to fill this list of favorites!

There are also many books I enjoyed that didn’t make the “best-of” list; taking a look at the 4 to 5 stars reviews on the sidebar will tell you more about the great reading I did this year 🙂

Best Romance :

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins : Who thought I’d ever have a romance category on this list? Not me! But, after having read this book, I just couldn’t avoid it. And while we’re at it, Perkins’s second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door was just as adorable.

Best Non-Fiction

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz : I’m not sure what I loved more in this book : the wonderful feeling of being back in Paris, or the delicious recipes!

Best Mystery

Still Life by Louise Penny : Clearly I’ve been charmed by the fact that this novel takes place in a typical village of my dear province; but still, I enjoyed this cozy mystery enough that I immediately added the next books on my shelves!

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson : While it might not win any fancy literary award, Before I Go To Sleep is a hold-your-breath-till-the-end mystery that was extremely compelling.

Best Graphic Novel :

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle : I loved this. The story was amazing of course, but it also had beautiful illustrations!

Best Fiction :

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown : Though the setting itself was something we’ve often seen before, The Weird Sisters explored family dynamics in a unique and true-to-life way.

Best YA Fiction :

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers : Summers was already an author I enjoyed, but Fall for Anything was by far my favorite of hers – and a favorite of 2011.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman : I had really liked the first book, If I Stay, but this sequel had more depth and hit just the right notes. Definitely worth the read.

Best YA Fantasy / Paranormal :

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst : Beautiful, magical, inspiring. Loved it!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor : Oh gosh! I still have to review this one but it rocked my little world! Talk about different and unpredictable! I really need to find my words and review this one!

Best Magical Realism :

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry : Atmospheric and mysterious, this novel captivated me in an unexpected manner.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen : I had been recommended this author so many times before, but it turned out even more enchanting than I expected it!

Best Speculative Fiction :

Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield : A post-apocalyptic zombie novel exploring both a new way of life and the complexity of human emotion, Aftertime took my breath away and left me wanting more. I still haven’t read the second book, keeping it for my next reading slump.

Best “Books that Will Stay with Me” :

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin : What a beautiful and intriguing novel! I can’t believe it sat on my shelf for so many month before I finally read it. Definitely my favorite of 2011.

Reading Goals for 2012 :

Read 100 books : I barely made it this year, but I want to do it again in 2012! Although, I’m planning on maybe including school reading to give myself a chance, which I didn’t do in 2011.

Read more non-fiction : I enjoy non-fiction but I don’t instinctively go towards it. I would love to read a few more of these this year!

I’m not being too severe with my goals as I am starting my master degree this winter and I’m sure it will keep me real busy!

What were the best books you read in 2011? What are your goals for 2012?

Holiday Reading

It’s that time of the year again : the holiday season is coming and I couldn’t be looking forward to it more!  Christmas has always been that magical time of the year for me : I love what it means in terms of school (semester over!), in terms of family and friends (seeing all those I love and don’t get to see often enough) and all the beautiful, glittering decorations. Christmas is that time of the year where I fully embrace my cheesy side! 😛

One of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit is, obviously, reading. I had a great time last year, reading books that took place during that joyful time of the year! I also know I’m not the only one who likes to celebrate by reading, so I though I’d do a post of books I’ve enjoyed in the past and what I’m reading this year. I welcome your comments on these books, or your suggestions for other holiday-related books!

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Read in the Past

First, let’s take a look at some favorites read in my pre-blog era :

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn : An original tale that really brought warmth to my hearth! The story of Santa, told by Santa, with a collection of other historical characters. I’ll admit it went a bit too magical even for my taste, but I still enjoyed it. Also fun : the story is divided in 24 chapters, meaning you can read one chapter a night before Christmas. How fun is that?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott : This is one of my favorite books of all time, but the winter season has always been the one where I enjoyed it the most. It’s a classic with a magical quality to it.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens : The most classic of holidays classics! I read it for the first time in English two years ago, in a beautiful edition illustrated by Robert Ingpen. But illustrated or not, it is a short read that was completely worth my time.

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Read last year

Now, let’s take a look at what I read last year : I also linked the titles to my reviews.

Secret Santa by Sabrina James : This was a cute YA read, taking place in high school with a fun (and sometimes confusing) mix of characters. It’s also a quick read, I liked it!

Ex-Mas by Kate Brian : A very cute young adult novel for fans of the Holidays season, romance and road trips. This one felt like the book version of a romantic comedy movie. Again, a really quick read.

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle : Again, a YA book. This one was fun because it took three great authors, with three different stories that are lightly linked together.

Over the Holidays by Sandra Harper : This one was of the “chick  lit” genre (if you’re willing to call that a genre) and it was really fun. It mixed the Season, family and questions about life everyone can relate to, without getting too heavy.

* * * *

What I might read this year

Now, a look at what I might read this year! Some of these books I already own, but I don’t know yet what I’ll have time to read.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

Two very different books, that were both recommended to me last year when I was looking for interesting holiday reading. In fact, I got a copy of each at the time, but the season ended before I had time to read them. Maybe this year?

But there are plenty of other holiday-related books around, and I’m pretty sure this year isn’t the year I’ll get to read them all! One thing I discovered it that the romance department is filled with holiday books, but I’ve never been a huge romance fan (except for that strange Nora Roberts period in my teen years…. ahem, back to the subject now!), so I don’t know how much I would enjoy these (if you’ve read them and have an opinion on it, I’d welcome it! :D). But what I absolutely love about these, is how fun the premises are! Christmas is a magical time, and authors are definitely embracing it!

I linked to the Goodreads descriptions so you can take a look at those that could interest you 🙂

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman : I’ve just started this one, and I’m curious to see where it’s going because the first 45 pages were really depressing! The reviews last year were fairly good though. Also : cookies recipes!

Home in Time for Christmas by Heather Graham : The premise says : “Melody Tarleton is driving home for Christmas when a man—clad in Revolutionary War-era costume—appears out of nowhere, right in the path of her car.” Teehee! I love those incredible stories when characters travel through time!

Last Christmas by Julia Williams

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul

Christmas at Harrington’s by Melody Carlson

It Happened one Night by Lisa Dale : This romance takes place in Vermont, where my in-laws live, and which I love. It’s reason enough for me to want to read it!

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts

What are you planning on reading for the holidays (if you are planning such a thing, of course!) Any books on my list you would recommend over the others?