Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10 Books I'm So Happy Were Recommended To Me

Once again, Ronnica at Ignorant Historian had a fun post up on books that I had to copy. This time she was listing 10 books that she was happy to have had recommended to her. I would like to point out (a hem) that she listed The Mysterious Benedict Society which I recommended her to and she mentioned that she kinda sorta liked it. AND I'M SURE YOU WOULD TOO! But I digress...)

This site, by its very nature, is a book recommendation site. I like talking about books I've enjoyed. But I'm also listening and taking suggestions from you all and here are some that have been recommended to me through the book blogging world (and otherwise) that I have been incredibly grateful to have read.

All titles are linked to my reviews (after having finally gotten around to reading your suggestions!)

Number One:

First off, there was Redeeming Love which was pretty much recommended by every single one of you! Years ago my in-town friend, Mirlandra, recommended it to me. Since she initially threw it in my face all I heard from bloggers who like Francine Rivers is, "You've GOT to read Redeeming Love." So I did. And I was glad I did. And now I can join the ranks of all of the rest of you (not being out in the cold any longer!) in recommending it to anyone who has not yet read it. Are we all happy now!? (haha!)

Number Two:

Next up I'd have to say that I am so glad that Amy at Hope is in the Word recommended The Twenty-One Balloons which I only recently read. It was such a fun adventure story that I'm glad to know of it for my boys. I'm anxious to share this story with them because it was so intriguing and fun and perfect for capturing their imagination. Thanks, Amy, for the tip! (I owe you one.) I have another of her suggestions sitting on my shelf waiting to be read and - given her raves about it - I'm sure to like it as well. Hoping to get to it shortly. (What is it you ask? Unbroken. Given the fact that it's set during my favorite time period in history - WWII - I have high hopes!)

Number Three:

P.G. Wodehouse. That's an author recommendation as opposed to a book recommendation. But anything you pick up by Wodehouse is sure to be a delight. I've read a few books and reviewed them over at 5 Minutes for Books. Think dry British humor and lots and lots of snickering under your breath. If you haven't read Wodehouse, I highly recommend him to you! Wodehouse was recommended to be me by one of my (very favorite, of course!) law school classmates and so I'll namelessly thank him for this here. (Thanks, you person, you.)

Turns out Jonathan was a Wodehouse fan as well and when we got married we combined our Wodehouse collections, expanding our Wodehouse shelf until it's completely full. (Another law school friend gave us a wedding gift of many Wodehouse titles which was one of the cleverest gifts we received!)

Number Four:

I'm Outnumbered!, by Laura Lee Groves was originally recommended to me by Barbara at Stray Thoughts. A whole book devoted to the subject of raising boys to be godly men!? Yes, please and thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have since recommended it to every mother of young boys that I know. Of course, when I read it I had two boys and only a girl on the way. Now we're a mixed bag family but I'm still outnumbered and her advice was spot-on and very good! I have to turn right around and recommend this one to you. Thanks, Barbara, for the heads up about this! (And really, whether you have one boy or all boys, I would suggest this read for learning how to relate to your young man.)

Number Five:

I read Cordelia Underwood several years back at the recommendation of my friend, Sky. I'm linking this one to my paltry review against my better judgment. (I don't like the way I wrote - or didn't write! - back then.) At any rate, I read and loved this story and have Sky to thank for the enjoyment of it! That's what it is - pure, undefiled enjoyment. Since read Cordelia Underwood I have scoured used book stores for other books by Van Reid. They are kind of hard to find but I've managed to snatch up a few. I just haven't managed to read them yet. But I will! I purpose it! I hope. (Thank you, Sky, for the tip on this very fun author!)

Number Six:

When Lisa (from Lisa Writes) recommends a piece of fiction, I generally sit up and take notice. I tend to like what she likes. She popped me an e-mail sometime back suggesting that I might like The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I tucked that little nugget away and was delighted to find a copy at our local Goodwill. I snatched it right up without a moment's hesitation and ended up enjoying it - just like Lisa said that I would. This is a very fun mystery. I just read it recently so you might have seen the review but, if not, CLICK HERE, and then go find yourself a copy. I think you'll probably like it (just consider the one disclaimer re: family dynamics.)

Number Seven:

Perhaps I shouldn't be including this one on my list JUST yet as I'm currently in the middle of it. The Help was recommended by any number of you. I'm probably one of the last on the bandwagons with this one. I've seen quite a few (positive) reviews pop up on this title from book bloggers I trust. The tipping point for my being willing to pick up a copy though was my mom, who read and loved it. With her saying that it was a great book that she really enjoyed and had zero objections to, I figured it was a very safe bet I'd like it too. (After all, if your mother tells you to do something . . .) As I said, I'm in the middle of this one but I am absolutely LOVINGit! I can't stop thinking about it. Will post my thoughts once I'm done with the book and I cannot imagine but that I will be trying to foist it on any of the rest of you who are further behind the reading times than I am. (Be prepared.)

Number Eight:

A Toast to Tomorrow, by Manning Cole was recommended to me by my friend Rose a very long time ago. The title is linked to Amazon and not a review because I don't think I wrote one. (Here's a link to some brief thoughts on it.) Originally published (at least in the U.S.) in 1941 it's a story of espionage set in Germany during World War II. Absolutely fascinating read and it's been far too long since I've read it! It is a sequel to the book Drink to Yesterday which I was just able to locate very recently! Definitely hoping to read them both now that they are in my possession. Extremely fun and fascinating, especially being that the story is set in Germany. I highly, highly, highly recommend it if you can find a copy! (Looks like it's just been re-released in paperback from though so we're all in luck!)

Number Nine:

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax is another delightful recommendation by my friend Sky (who knows a good mystery when she finds one!) If you are looking for some fun summer reading, look no further! I've linked to a brief mention I made of the series sometime back and my post includes all of the titles in the series so that you know where to head for a good time.

Mrs. Pollifax is a grandmother who decides she needs to spice up her life and so she volunteers to work for the CIA. That's definitely spicy! She gets into a good number of adventures and scrapes and I have thoroughly enjoyed each Pollifax title that I've picked up. Again, thanks to Sky for the good reads!

Number 10:

Lastly, I must conclude with a suggestion that Jonathan made to me when we were married. He read quite a few books when he was growing up by Patrick McManus, who is an outdoor humorist. Now, I know you may be thinking, "Outdoor humorist, eh?" But before you allow that doubtful thought in, I beg you to consider McManus for a good laugh.

I asked Jonathan to write up a post about Patrick McManus some time back and I've re-linked his name to the review. So many fun titles to choose from and each are great! I'm not an outdoorsy kind of girl but McManus really tickles my funny bone. He is to the outdoors what Erma Bombeck is to the home and family if that gives you a clue. Definitely recommend him.

And with that - I shall conclude my list.

I know you've probably had a slew of good reads thrown your direction but do any of them in particular stand out to you as being so good you have turned around and recommended them to others? Do share! And continue to enjoy, of course!

(Furthermore, if you would like to take this time to recommend a book to me that you think I'd like, now's the perfect time...)


Annette W. said...

You've mentioned Wodehouse a lot...I need to read some.

Thanks for sharing...I will be holding onto this post for further examination, esp at the library!

Barbara H. said...

Thanks for the mention!

I read Redeeming Love years ago and one Wodehouse book, but I don't think I've read any of the others. I've seen The Help recommended all over, too, and the one Lisa recommended looks good as well.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Aw, what a fun post! Thanks for the link, and I can't wait to read your thoughts in Unbroken!

Bluerose said...

Wodehouse is officially on my TBR list. Do you have a favorite title or titles? I read your review at the link you gave. Were those two favorites?
And also Mcmanus? Any favorites on him? :)

I'm wanting to read most of your list!! :) And I'm looking forward to your review of The Help. I still haven't started it yet. :P

Carrie said...

I JUST finished The Help and LOVED it so it definitely makes my "happy to have had it recommended" list (officially.) Review forthcoming. With a strong recommendation of my own! =)

Keri @ Pop Parables said...

Redeeming Love and The Help are both aaaaaaaamazing books. I love them both so much. This is a great list.

Sky said...

I'm still searching for more van reid books myself. I am always glad to share my love of books with a fellow booklover!

Lisa Spence said...

Fun post! I too loved The Help.

Anonymous said...

loved "The Help". Great picture of the South, and discussion of the complicated relationship between the "mistresses" and their servants.


Alison said...

I had forgotten about I'm Outnumbered. Now it needs to go back toward the top of my list. :) I think both of my sister in laws would appreciate reading it, too.

Krista said...

We are so different in our reading styles in some ways! I clicked over to read your reviews of Redeeming Love and from there to Journey to the Well. These have actually been some of my all time favorite books (ones that I choose to keep after reviewing, well, not Redeeming Love, that's too old!). I think the reason I like them so much is because they help bring to life the stories from the Bible for me. I remember studying John in depth and the woman at the well, but after reading this book it really occurred to me that perhaps she wasn't an outcast entirely because of her sin and perhaps it wasn't something she willfully chose to begin with. In some ways that makes it so much more relatable to me because while I do sin many times I somehow feel like I didn't intend to. It's a product of making the poor choice in a bad situation rather than going out and deliberately choosing to be disobedient. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs, but I really do like the way it helps these stories stick in my mind.
Another one I've read recently is Pearl in the Sand and it's the story of Rahab. I thought it was very well done.

Oh, and Patrick McManus is awesome! There's a guy from Spokane who does a one man comedy show based on these books. He's soooo funny! My parents have been to 3 or 4 of his shows. His name is Tim something... you should see him if he's ever there in town!

Carrie said...

Krista - YES! We saw that one-man show when he came through town several years ago. REALLY funny and well-done. We'd love it if he came back sometime!

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

My mom bought me Redeeming Love not too long ago...have heard recommendations from MANY...hope to get to it someday!

rbooth43 said...

I have two books that are amazing!

I really lost myself in Melinda Elmore's e-book, NATIVE SPIRIT. Her book showed how proud the American Indians truly are. They show honor and respect for all living things. Melinda incorporated outstanding knowledge about the American Indian.
I first noticed the amazing cover showing a dream-catcher and a soaring eagle, which peaked my desire to read this e-book.
From the first page, I was in awe of the heroine, Half Moon. This young maiden was captured by a ruthless white man, Seth and his band of outlaws, while her beloved one, White Hawk, was on a buffalo hunt with his warriors. Through this ordeal, Half Moon showed the wisdom and courage born inside her. She makes a deal with Seth to let some of the other captured villagers go, and she would go to his ranch with him and become his wife.
When White Hawk returned to the village and learned about the kidnapping of Half Moon, he vowed to rescue Half Moon and seek revenge against the white man who took her.
The story unfolds with very descriptive scenes that I could visualize as if I were there with both Half Moon and White Hawk as they dreamed of being together again. Will this happen? There are many twists and turns that kept me spell-bound. Would White Hawk rescue Half Moon and let no harm come to her?
Here's an excerpt that White Hawk prayed: "Creator, I know this journey will have many paths that I must choose from. I pray that you will allow me to make the right decisions. I know I ask a lot from you, but my heart is good and honest. I would never harm anyone, but the path I must walk has been determined, which leaves me no choice." Can he stay focused and do what his heart tells him and stay on the right path?
Reading Native Spirit is the only way a reader can find out the answers.I will be reading more of her writings!

Mary Manners has written an amazing Christian book, TENDER MERCIES, a captivating love story between Cooper, an NFL quaterback who sustains a knee injury, and Lexi, a woman with a jilted heart that raises her abandoned pre-teen nephew and organizes an online auction to raise funds for a down and in trouble youth center.
Cooper and Lexi were high school sweethearts, who have a heart-breaking split. When Cooper returns home to recuparate after a knee injury, the former sweethearts see each other which brings back old hurts. Lexi's secret keeps the couple in turmoil. With a tear-jearing ending, the book has me intrigued until the last page.
I highly recommend TENDER MERCIES and will be reading Mary Manner's books from now on.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Oh, fun! I love posts like this. I've read about half of the books on your list, but there are still some here for me to check out. I recently read the second Flavia book and just the other day picked up the third -- I share them with my mom and some friends so those books end up very well-read!

Jennifer said...

I have heard that Redeeming Love is good also. I'm in the middle of reading your review since all I've heard is that "it's based on Hosea," which left me wondering. I think I'll make some time to read it in the next few days.

Hannah said...

What a great list! Redeeming Love is one of my favorite books, and I've recommended The Help to all my reading friends.

Unbroken is the best book I've read in 2011 - I hope you enjoy it!

Susanne said...

Love Redeeming Love and The Help! If this was my list I'd be adding The Kitchen Boy. :v)

Hmmm, what would I recommend to you now. "Prayers for Sale" by Sandra Dallas is one of my newer favorites. "Tallgrass" by her is also really good. "The Silent Gift" by Michael Landon Jr. is a really amazing story that I could not put down. "The Moment Between" by Nicole Baart is absolutely emotional and gripping. I think I better stop now. LOL. You can find the reviews I did for those on my book blog under 2010 reviews.

Ronnica said...

ANOTHER person read and loved MBS at my recommendation, so through me you've now introduced 4 people to the series (that I know of)!

I almost didn't want to read this post, as I know I'll add at least one book to my TBR list! I think I made it through, though it reminded me that I still need to read Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I'm so incredibly honored to make this list! Wow...

I missed this post (and it was near the end of school when my life was crazy). Here it is, summer, and I'm cruising around your blog and I found this.

Thanks so much, Carrie! (By the way, I'm with you on The Help and on my way to check out A Toast to Tomorrow.)

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