30 Years of Books

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41IU-ciqOzL._AA160_  Unknown-7  Unknown-2Hello Book Reading Buddies– If it’s the second Tuesday of the month, you’ll find us, old friends,  leaning in around a restaurant table, deep in discussion.   Our Lit Group.  It’s been meeting for 30 years this August.  That’s a lot of books! 

So our intrepid leader, Jenni, sent out a note for us to list our favorite 30 books from all that reading.  After a whole lot of agonizing and editing (and a little cheating involving 10 extra favorites), I came up with my list.

TOP 30 LIT GROUP LIST
 
1.  Reason for God– Tim Keller
2.  China Road– Rob Gifford
3.  Gilead– Marilyn Robinson
4.  Snowflower and the Secret Fan– Lisa See
5.  The Shadow of the Wind– Zafon
6.  Bel Canto– AnnPatchett
7.  Wild Swans– Jung Chang
8.  The Distant Land of my Father– Bo Caldwell
9.  I feel Bad About my Neck– Nora Ephron
10.  The Help– Stockett
11.  The Girl in Hyacith Blue– Susan Vreeland
12.  The Painted Veil– Somerset Maugham
13.  The Professor and the Madman– Simon Winchester
14.  Pride and Prejudice– Jane Austen
15.  Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress–SIjie
16.  Corelli’s Mandolin– DeBernieres
17.  The Color of Water– McBride
18.  Sister of My Heart– Divakaruni
19.  The Secret Life of Bees– Monk Kidd
20.  Memoirs of a Geisha– Golden
21.  A Moveable Feast– Hemmingway
22.  The Poisonwood Bible– Kingsolver
23.  Bonhoeffer–Metaxas    
24.  Traveling Mercies– Anne Lamott
25.  A Grief Observed– Lewis
26.  The Shell Seekers– PIlcher
27.  East of Eden– Steinbeck
28.  The Joy Luck Club– Tan
29.  Soul Survivor– Yancy
30.  The Glass Castle– Walls
 
31.  Emma–Austen
32.  Count of Monte Cristo– Dumas
32. Thousand Splendid Suns– Hosseini
33.  Blue Like Jazz– Miller
34.  The Guernsey Potato Pie Society– Shaffer
35.  Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhoos– Young
36. The Tale of Two Cities– Dickens
37.  The Book Thief– Markus Zusak
38.  Unbroken– Laura Hillenbrand
39.  The Namesake– Jhumpa
40.  The Kill a Mockingbird– Lee  

Do you have any of these books on your own “favorites” list?  Or any suggestions for what we should be reading next?
 

11 thoughts on “30 Years of Books

  1. I love so many of those!!

    As far as suggestions:

    “Left to Tell” by Immaculee Iligabiza
    “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    “Amazing Grace” by Eric Metaxas
    “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krekauer

    Hqppy Reading!

    • Hey Anne– OK, I’ve got my pencil out to write these titles in my little notebook I take along to the library to track down books. Loved the Bonhoeffer book by Metaxas– thanks bunches!

  2. oh wonderful, I bought the reason for god already after one of your earlier suggestions I will now look through the list and see if there is anything else there that I could like! I searched through and see you have the secret life of bees on there, loved that one, I read the kite runner, but couldnt read the thousand suns, the image of a woman being forced to munch on pebbles by her husband was too hard to stomach, I love Amy Tan though, hope you have read her other books, I loved Saving Fish from Drowning and the Kitchen Gods wife too. And I recently bought a book I haven’t yet read but I somehow think you could like it: Written by an Irish stonemason about the dying art of stone cutting a biography. Once again I cannot for the life of me remember the name right now.
    Happy weekend POli

    • Hey Poli– Did you see the Secret Life of Bees movie that came along a good while back? Thought it a very likable version of the book.

      I loved/hated the Kate Runner. Glad I read it but parts that were hard. I think the Thousand Splendid Suns was so sad, but more readable. And I really loved his most recent book more than the others– And the Mountains Echoed– he spins some magical stories, one after another.

      I have read ALL of Amy Tan’s books. Favorites were the Joy Luck Club and her memoir book– can’t remember the title on that one– but it’s stories of her life and you can see where a lot of her characters came from…

      Let me know if you come up with the Stone Mason’s title– sounds intriguing–

      Happy week ahead to you… xo Rhonda

      • Hello there my dear Rhonda – kite runner was tough true, didnt dare to try another one after that one. Amy Tan books, well fancy that you loved them as much as I did, I read them all as well, not the memoir though I dont think. Just remembered the name: Stone Mad, by Seamus Murphy : 7. Oktober 2007 – text from Amazon:
        Think of stonecarving in Ireland and it won’t be long before the name Seamus Murphy comes to mind. In one of the oldest traditions in the world, Seamus carved his own niche to become one of the most respected sculptor’s in his field. Stone Mad is an account of his days as an apprentice where he learned to work the stone and discovered that there is no regularity in nature. With hammer, mallet and chisel he shaped and fashioned rough boulders under the guidance of the master stonecarvers. Their unique voices emanate from the pages as Seamus allows the men to tell their own stories by using the language of the ‘stonies’. A symbiotic relationship exists between the stonecarver and his chosen material. The full artistic potential of a piece of stone is realised by the stonecarver who can respect his material and take a suggestion from it. A good carver will learn to speak kindly to the stone. Seamus spent seven years romancing the stone and Stone Mad documents his years of joy and struggle. His artistic feeling for quality responded to his workmates’ reverence for the ‘well made thing’. The result is a book of surpassing beauty, full of warmth, humour and profound perception.

  3. I love the memoirs of a geisha – it really got me on a whole journey reading about geishas and their culture. I realised after reading it that it was really he best of its kind, but I maintain my appreciation since it got me started on learning about them.

    emma almost made it on my favorite list, but I find her a little annoying (the eponymous character, I mean). p&p is still my favorite book from JA, and I wish her other writes were just as alluring!

    have you guys ever read “a suitable boy”? it’s long and involved reading, but I read it years ago and remain impressed till today!

  4. love a suitable boy, great book, I was really sad when it ended, even though its about 400 pages, it seems too short. I read the next book by the same author as well – *** music (a different music??) – which was sadly not as compelling – I remain impressed today too, I remember it very fondly. Another books set in india which is impressive is the White Tiger. Very different of course to the suitable boy but impressive nonetheless. And another one I enjoyed was Shantaram http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33600.Shantaram – however according to Amazon lots of people think its shallow rubbish, so I guess it’s one you like or dislike intensely..

    http://www.amazon.de/The-White-Tiger-A-Novel/dp/1439137692/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1403161331&sr=8-3&keywords=white+tiger

    • OK, Poli– got A Suitable Boy and White Tiger on my list of books to track down at the library. Hope they have them on hand– if not, they are willing to order them usually. Love recommendations!! Fun to find new authors… thanks.

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