Thursday, September 24, 2009

Three Books That Are Well Worth the Reading

With fall officially in the air (carrying with it the prospect of long, chilly evenings and warm, cozy fires), my thoughts turn to snuggling down in my favorite chair with a delicious book. I'd love to hear your comments about any satisfying reads you've run into recently. In return, I will share three pretty tasty ones that I've enjoyed.

The Guernsey Library and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, is set in post-WWII London in 1946. This is an engaging story about an equally engaging writer who is looking for a creative departure from the formulaic heroine that has made her famous. She finds that departure through a letter from the founder of The Guernsey Library and Potato Peel Society, and the fun begins as she is introduced to a cast of characters so quirky and appealing that you'll want to jump into the book with her. The plot is moved by letters written by and to the protagonist (a lost art), but this device is used so skillfully that you forget all about it. Charming, funny, and sunny.

The Forgotten Garden: A Novel, by Kate Morton, has all the magic of The Secret Garden and all the mystery of Daphne Du Maurier rolled into one gentle and romantic read. The story spans the years 1900 to 2005, tracing the puzzle pieces of a little girl's identity through three generations and across three continents. The plot jumps around a bit, but once you get used to the style and familiarize yourself with the almost Dickensian characters, you will move seamlessly through this nearly 700-page book. If you are like me, it will seem like far fewer than 700 pages, and you will be sorry when the last one is turned.

Twenties Girl: A Novel, by Sophie Kinsella, is plain, old-fashioned fun. Or maybe I should say new-fashioned, because the author is nothing if not hip. In general, I am not a big fan of Kinsella, but this one takes a step up from her norm by introducing a ghost that I found just as intriguing, mischievous, sympathetic, and evocative as the old sea captain in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. No one would ever call Twenties Girl serious literature, but any reader who doesn't need to be a snob to feel validated would have to call it serious entertainment. As for me, I read it with considerable pleasure in one sitting!

Hope you enjoy some or all of these, and don't forget to leave a comment with a tip or two for me! (I love a good recommendation...)


KC Mom said...

I'm always looking for new books to read...problem is, I can't read them fast enough!
I'll have to check these ones out.

Carolyn said...

I've already read two out of three. I guess the garden one is next on my library list.

I liked Twenties Girl. It was a fast fun read. Like watching a good chick flick.

Snarky Belle said...

I just finished Guernsey two nights ago. I loved much so I was planning on mentioning it on my blog as well. :)
Thanks for the other recommendations. I'll check them out!

karen said...

Thanks for the suggestions - I'm always running out of things to read, so I'll look for these.

Beck said...

I already have The Forgotten Garden just WAITING for my next Amazon order!
The other 2 sound great - I'll get them at the library this weekend.

VK said...

Thanks for the suggestions, I wish I prioritized reading into my day. I do listen to books on my I-Pod through and about once every 2 months I'll actually read a book, but other than that, my hands are too busy.
Maybe I'll take one of these on my trip in a couple weeks.

Sue said...

Okay, gang. Does anyone out there have a book recommendation for me? I'm in serious need of a new author or two!

McAuliffe Bunch said...

I love Kate Morton's books. I will have to find this one. With two of my kids in school and the third taking a nap in the morning still, I have found more time to read.

I have a recommendation for you. for the life of me I can't remember the author, but the title is The School of Essential Ingredients. It is about a cooking class and the people who come. It isn't as much about the cooking as it is about the individual stories of the people. I thought it was a very engaging book.

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