My Convertible Life

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday's 5: Book Recommendations for Grown-Ups

Some friends recently complained that I post favorite children's book titles, but not lists of favorite books for grown-ups.

This is not true, I said. I have posts about grown-up books. There just aren't many of them.

I don't read nearly as much as I'd like to these days because I'm still not good at pacing out a book -- and it's hard to ignore my job, family and house ALL the time in order to immerse myself in everything I want to read. So I find myself reading The New Yorker (occasionally) and blogs (sometimes) and the newspaper (most days).

So, in case you missed those few moments where I did actually list some books for grown-ups, here they are:
  1. Bibliophile: My personal history with reading.
  2. American Lit 101: Books you should have read in high school or college, but they're worth reading again.
  3. What I Read in 2010: Okay, so some of them I listened to, but we take what we can get.
  4. Short Good Reads: Short stories, because you don't always have time to binge read a whole novel.
  5. Good Reads: Five favorites from my high school and college days that I'd read again if I didn't have 4,782 new books still on my to-read list for the first time.
And because it's been awhile since I've had a Friday's 5 (and because I'm posting this on Saturday anyway), I'll give you a double (which technically makes it 10, I realize, but Friday's 10 loses the alliteration and I do so love alliteration). Here are the five books I've read so far in 2012:
  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I was late to the Hunger Games bandwagon, but once I jumped on there was no turning back. Dropped everything else to finish this one in just under two days. My primary recommendation is that you shouldn't start reading it until you can disappear for about 24 hours. Also, you have to read it through your 14-year-old self instead of your mom-self who naturally worries about all the children.
  2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: Book two in the series -- not quite as good as the first, but still worth reading.
  3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: Book three in the series -- wraps up a little more neatly at the end than I think I wanted it to, but maybe I was just sad that it was over.
  4. Diary of an American Au Pair by Marjorie Leet Ford: This one I actually did read piecemeal at a chapter or two a night. It was good enough to finish, but not so good that I devoured it. Probably enjoyed it more because I've lived in the UK and understand the fish-out-of-water feeling of being there.
  5. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann: Really, really good book that I got from my dad's bookcase. Takes place in 1974 when Philippe Petit completed his surprise high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in New York. The book isn't so much about Petit as it is about the seemingly unrelated and then magically intertwined stories of other New Yorkers who were there at the same time. In some ways, it's a 9/11 novel that isn't about 9/11. Best to read this one when you can get 75 pages in before you have to take a break.
What are you reading now? Or what favorite can you share from your reading list? Leave a note in the comments to let us know.


  1. HI there,
    I really enjoy reading your blog. I am currently reading The Art of Racing in the Rain. I have already read it once before, but that was some time ago. Regardless, I did love what you put out there to read as the suggestions are great. Thanks.
    I have one correction on your Bibliophile post. One of my favorite childhood authors was Judy Blume. You made mention to her as well but spelled her name Bloom. Being on the grammar/spelling/etiquette police myself, I do believe you would appreciate the correction.
    Have a great day!
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    PS-I have tried my hardest to either underline or italicize the book title, but it is a no go.

  2. Thanks for the catch -- that's what happens when I start writing too fast. And I feel your pain about needing to underline or italicize titles. Will check out the book you listed!

  3. Just finished the Hunger Games trilogy, and I burned through them sooo fast. So good! I just read a book called The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman which was pretty dang good. I'm currently really enjoying 11/22/63 by Stephen King, but to be fair, I love all things King, so take me with a grain of salt.


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