need a good book to read?

I keep thinking I’ll write about some books I’ve read lately, and then I put it off. Partly out of laziness and partly because I’m annoyed by all the new rules now about making sure you disclose that books were given to you for free from the publisher and all that mumbo jumbo.

And besides, maybe I’m being cynical, but with everybody and her sister writing (quite often lame) book reviews these days, I feel like they don’t really mean anything anymore.

Anyway. I’m going to tell you about a few books. Some I’ll talk about because I said I would. And some because I can’t not. One thing I can promise you is my honest opinion. Not always my ENTIRE opinion, because when you know authors personally, it’s just too hard to say negative stuff about their books.

Anyway. Here we go.

Thin Places by Mary DeMuth (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.)

I really like Mary–as a person and an author. This book is good. Raw, honest emotion. It made me cringe and gave me goosebumps. Mary has endured so much in her lifetime, and it breaks my heart. I’m so thankful I can’t relate, but I think that might be part of the reason the book didn’t completely resonate with me. The men in my life (my dad especially) were always loving, caring and never did a single thing to harm me. I think this book would be a compelling, comforting read for anyone who has abuse in their past. 3.5 stars.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I received a free copy from my library, but they’re insisting I return it by March 20th.)

There’s a reason this novel is #3 on the Bestseller List and has been sitting in the top whatever for over a year. I loved every minute of it. Completely fell in love with the characters, loved the fact that one of them was a writer who desperately wanted to help the others capture their stories and share them with the world. There are 42 one-star reviews of the book on Amazon–scathing reviews of how stereotypical the characters and vernacular were. But there were 1400 five-star reviews, and that’s what I’d give it too. Brilliant book. Couldn’t put it down.

Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.)

Well, first of all, this book is a lovely shade of cornflower blue, and it’s the newest addition to my stack of blue books. I actually read it quite a few months ago, then forgot I had it. However, I do remember saying to Gabe, “I’m loving this book. She’s what I want to be when I grow up.” I love Tricia’s writing style–not too fancy, just the right amount of funny. It’s a memoir of motherhood and all God has been teaching her from getting pregnant with her first child as a 17-year-old until now. I’m super-inspired by all Tricia does for others. In fact, I sent her a box of Expecting books a couple months ago for the girls in her Teen MOPS group in Montana (she and her fam are moving to Arkansas now, I think). I recommend the book.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (another library book which was actually due yesterday but I didn’t finish it in time, so now I have to pay late fees)

This was one of the best books I’ve ever read. My agent recommended it, and I picked it up from the library right before I left for New Jersey. I almost didn’t even start it since it’s 550 pages, but then I did. And couldn’t put it down. And neglected just about everything to get it read. It flips back and forth between (among) three different eras–1900, 1975 and 2005. It’s about a granddaughter solving a mystery of who her grandma really was, except WAY more exciting and nail-biting than that. Awesome story, and the author did an incredible job of hardly ever letting the action drag. Read. This. Book.

That’s probably enough for now. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t buy new books very often (I mostly beg, borrow or buy used). For a chance to win a copy of Thin Places, tell me what it takes for you to spend money on a book. (recommendation from a friend, seeing the shiny cover at a bookstore, hearing about it on the web 25 different times, on a whim.) I’ll randomly draw the winner’s name Friday at noon.

Have an awesome Thursday!

24 thoughts on “need a good book to read?

  1. michelle

    Read all but the last one…and love them.
    It doesn’t take much to get me to buy a book. A prettty picture on the cover, a favorite author, a reccomendation by a favorite auther but mostly just a reccomendation by a friend.

  2. Kathleen in Albuquerque, NM

    Hope I’m not too late.

    Three things grab my attention:

    1) Title
    2) Recommend
    3) Who has promoted the book

  3. Marla

    Books, books, books!!! I LOVE BOOKS!!!! If I don’t hear about a book through a frirend, the cover has to draw me in. Most of the time I read books by authors that I know and love. That is when I buy them. If I don’t know an author, I’ll check the library out first! Finally put the budget on hold. Our house is overflowing with books, it is crazy!!! I can’t control myself in the bookstore!! If a book is good I’ll get it done in a day, even with working and have two small kids. I’ll forgo other things just to read. My favorite past time living on the East Coast is going down the shore and sitting on the beach and reading all day long. Well…. those days don’t happen much but when they do, watch out, I’ll read two books in a day!! Right now I have three books I am reading at the same time 🙂 with one of them being a book of yours!

  4. deanna f.

    I love books, but having a 3 year old limits my time in which to read them. So I’m like you, I usually borrow books that people insist I read because they’ve read them and “Oh my gosh, you just have to read this!”

    However, I did buy “The Help” last year because I saw a review on Amazon and the few sample pages I read drew me in. I loved it and couldn’t put it down!

  5. Denise

    I am actually not a huge book person – in oder for me to even read a book it has to be tempting. I don’t do novels normally. In order for me to purchase a book – I will get it from the library first and if I really like it buy it.

    I am not a good blogger – I had no idea there were these kinds of rules….ah well…arrest me!

  6. janelle

    It takes me hearing how the person disects our lives in Christ…it takes me “where GOD wants me to grow”…or “search me”… what I feel God wants me to truly learn and give to others, but not until I have it nailed… so I read and digest….and prayerfully GOD will speak through the book..and the change will happen.

  7. Jen your cousin

    I will only by a book if it’s something that:

    1) I know I’ll want to highlight like crazy (such a “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On”)


    2) Love enough to MAKE my friends borrow so that they can enjoy reading it as much as I did (such as “Two from Galilee”)

    But I rarely BUY fiction. I READ fiction like crazy, but all thanks to the wondrous free public library system. Most of my personal book collection is made up of “self-improvement” type books

  8. Christy

    I only buy books recommended by you (as gifts for others). I bought two of the books you recommended previously, as a Christmas gift for my book-loving Grandma.

    Really, I cannot spend money on a book unless it’s a book I know I’ll read again (which I RARELY do), will use as a reference in the future and/or will be marking it up (I think I need a purple pen). Last book I bought: So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. However, I am a sucker for kid’s books. I can’t buy enough.

    This, “(another library book which was actually due yesterday but I didn’t finish it in time, so now I have to pay late fees)” is me. 🙁 Thankfully our library lets you *pay* late fees with canned goods every October ($1/can), and I can get canned food for FREE (or nearly free) with coupons and sales! This year we paid off $20 worth of late fees (yep, $20!) with a couple bucks worth of canned food.

  9. Tiffani

    Oh how I love books!!! The Help is on the wait list for me at the library. Just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society–very good. Read “Embrace Me” by Lisa Samson, also excellent.

    What makes me buy a book?? Probably borrowing the first one in a series and then falling in love and HAVING to buy the second, third, etc…I also used to buy all of Beverly Lewis’ books (got to meet her once).

    And now, my beloved Francine Rivers has a new book that just came out 2 days ago and I’m almost certain I will buy it. But, yes, I usually buy used or borrow, too.

    Did you ever get the book “My Heart is Like a Zoo”?

  10. Bethany

    Our inter-library system is my best friend. If they don’t have it, I usually forget about it. Then if I find myself requesting it again and if I really have the urge to write in it, underline, etc. (non-fiction), then I consider buying it. Right now I want to buy all these sewing project books! And ones on organizing! I usually don’t buy books unless I have birthday or Christmas money. But I’m always updating my Amazon wish list just in case someone wants to randomly bless me. 😉

  11. Bethany

    Just like Joyce, I heart books too! I also had to be grounded from them as a child if I did something wrong or if I was not getting to my homework.
    I mostly read christian books. Fiction, non-fiction, etc….My favorites from the most recent read are Healing Waters, Healing Stones, and Healing Sands by Stephen Arturburn and Nancy Rue. Great great reads! And yes, I am one who will go into a book store and buy a book right off the shelf. I actually had to limit myself from doing that this year and utilize the incredible library that my church has. It’s been great!

  12. joyce

    Doesn’t take much for me to buy a book. I heart books.

    Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton was fantastic. I think I liked it better than The Forgotten Garden, which I loved.

    A couple other recent good reads-

    The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell…everyone I’ve recommended this to has said they could not put it down.

    Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

    The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen…and I don’t normally read ‘historical fiction’ but I enjoyed this one alot.

    Still Alice by Lisa Genova…a little tough to read (about a woman with early onset Alzheimers, but so well written!)

    Did I tell you I heart books?

  13. jess

    usually for my to BUY a book it has to either be a)$1 or less at a garage sale or 2)one that i’ve already read, LOVED, and decided I want to refer to over and over and over again or iii)one that I see on bargain shelves at the bookstore that I read in it’s almost entirety at the bookstore and decide i need (see number 2). 🙂

    have a fab day, marla!

  14. Rachel

    I love to read and I just finished The Help – I couldn’t put it down!

    I don’t usually buy fiction books unless it is extremely marked down and I know I will enjoy it (or I have read it before and want to read it again). Non-fiction is easier for me to buy, but again, it needs to be pretty inexpensive. Even if it is my birthday! 🙂

  15. Liz

    I usually have to read or hear people that I respect rave over and over about a book before I will buy it new. I do buy new books (on discount or with a coupon) for my boys more often than I do for me. Especially for my 10 yr old since he’s not a big fan of reading and I want him LOVE it as much as I do!
    Oh! I won a book on a local radio station yesterday! It’s called “The Postmistress” and it’s supposed to be about three women during WWII, an era of which I am so fascinated with. It’s a secular book but I’m sure it will still be good. 😉

  16. Kathi Lipp

    The Help – LOVED It (and the other one I loved almost as much this year was The Gurnsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Society)
    I will be downloading the forgotten garden post haste…

  17. Emily Kay

    Since I started having kids, I can probably count on one hand the number of new books I’ve read. I used to read constantly…in fact, I was that 4th-grader whose mother had to ground her from reading because she wouldn’t get her other schoolwork done. 🙂 If I buy a book, it’s usually from Amazon and only if it’s dirt-cheap and comes highly recommended. I have never ever walked into a bookstore and purchased a book on a whim. Is that bad?

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