What Are You Reading?

After food, my favorite thing to talk about is books.
I am so lucky to have the job I do – two days a week in our local, independent book store, Royal River Books. We get a new shipments of books almost every day and opening that box is like Christmas. Pulling out fresh copies of bestselling fiction, kids’ classics, new releases and old favorites makes me feel like I hit the jackpot, even though they don’t really belong to me. I stack them high on the counter as I enter them into inventory. Most days there are a few special orders and they’re often books I’m not familiar with. It’s such fun to see what other readers are interested in. Sometimes I end up ordering a copy for myself.

The past six moths or so I’ve been lucky to read one great book after the next. Here are some of my favorites…

This character driven novel tells the story of a young college baseball star, his mentor, the college president and his daughter during a time of awakening and change for them all. Loads of great dialogue, a sense of humor and a good feel for its location.

You probably know Ann Patchett as the author of the bestseller Bel Canto. State of Wonder again takes us to an exotic location (the Amazon River) where the main character is completely out of her comfort zone. She confronts both her past and her future as she searches for a colleague deep in the heart of darkness.

Loved this story of young New Yorkers in the 1930s! A chance encounter brings a young woman of modest background into a wealthy and sophisticated circle. She learns that things are not always what they seem.

A twisted psychological thriller that was impossible to put down. Gone Girl will make you dizzy as your sympathies swing from one character to the other. I mean that in the best possible way. Worth the price of the hardcover.

All the action takes place in one day (although there are flashbacks) during the Victory Tour for a young soldier fresh from the battlefield . His stream-of-consciousness is alternately hilarious, poignant, innocent, worldly and definitely eye-opening. An interesting commentary on American heroes.

And last but not least, the latest from my all time favorite author, John Irving. It has all the usual themes of his work – older women, wrestling teams, sexual confusion, prep schools, Vermont and more (although I can’t recall a bear and he often includes bears). There’s something about the Irving style that is so appealing to me. Part humor, part empathy and some other indescribable quality that’s hard to name.
And that’s why I’m a blogger and not a novelist.

So tell me, what have you read lately? What have you loved? Couldn’t finish?
And if you’re ever in the area, come see me at the store so we can talk books and food.


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  1. HEY!! You are back! Where have I been. Hip hip…joined your pinterest too! I don’t twitter…have an account but don’t touch it.

    Welcome back, girl!

  2. Dennis Lehane’s newest book LIVE BY NIGHT is great. A Boston gangster in Florida & Cuba during the roaring 20’s.

  3. been fun to see you back in action! i have been long gone myself, but still look at my reader. i spend my time on the iphone, to small for socializing with my huge fingers and poor eyesight, but allows me to look in from afar. i have thought of you often, especially regarding reading, great to see your post~

    only read gone girl from above, but have all the others on my tbr lists. i check your library thing here and there and see you have not been updating in ages. i am always reading something, right now i just picked up casual vacancy and the secret keeper, just finished a cute childrens book the tail of emily windsnap, i love beach books when by the sea :-)

    i recently really liked the care and handling of roses with thorns, the light between the oceans, shine shine shine, the unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry and an unquenchable thrist to mention just a hand full. have read 130 year to date and counting, my reading has been impacted with an interest in puzzles lately, but if winter ever arrives my reading should be picking up its pace again. envy you playing with boxes of fresh new books, i can feel your joy~

    • jain, is that you? I’ve missed you! I’m not keeping up on Library Thing, but I’m totally up to date on Good Reads. I just finished “The Middlesteins” and loved it and “Harold Fry” is on my short list too. Thanks so much for you comment – it’s wonderful to hear from you!

    • yep its me~ just read about middlesteins, omg could be my bio i fear! just got on my libraries wait list for it… egads i hope i can stop eating enough to find time to read it!

  4. Thanks for these tips. All sound interesting.

  5. Reading “The Midwife”- the memoir on which the recently aired (by PBS) Brit series, “Call the Midwife” was based. Tells the story of the midwives operating in the East End (very poor) section of London in the 1950s. Really enjoyed it.

  6. I am jealous of your job! Something like that would be perfect for me. Heck, I’d probably do it for free :) Gone Girl is on my list (which is ridiculously LONG), as is The Art of Fielding. But the John Irving sounds wonderful, too. I like the variety of your NaNoBloPoMo posts and I’ll bet you’re enjoying them as well. It’s food for thought as I continue to decide just what to do with S&V. We’ll see. Thanks for the great recs.

  7. One of the freshest, original and engaging novels I’ve read a long time, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is an absolute gem. Even to a 64 year old’s doddering sensibilities, the crisp, funny, thoughtful and at times brilliant characters and dialogue of Sloan’s 20 somethings jump right off of the pages of this short, fascinating code breaking thriller. It’s the Davinci Code on endorphins.

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