April 06, 2009

The Best So Far...

I have been receiving some great reading recommendations from fellow bloggers lately - Claire and Steph to name just two. Which has got me to thinking - why do all the hard work of finding great books to read by myself when there are so many readers of wisdom out there who could do it for me!
So, I am posing the question - what is the best book you have read so far in 2009? What is the book you would recommend to your best friend without hesitation? If you can't decide on just one I am more than happy to hear about two or three books that have blown you away so far this year. The easter long weekend is coming up so I am hoping I will have some time to fit in lots of reading.
I won't be completely lazy and let everyone else do the work - I'll put my own suggestions into the ring.
My favourite book so far this year would have to be The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - too beautiful to describe.
Other great reads for me have been Affinity by Sarah Waters and Wanting by Richard Flanagan - both books I would recommend in a heartbeat.

19 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I recommend The Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins to everyone age 11+. It is the best book I have read this year by a long way, and the great thing is that I think it will appeal to everyone!

claire said...

Hi Karen, The History of Love gets my number one vote for this year, too! I'm really so glad you loved it. :D

My numbers 2 and 3 and 4 are The History of the Siege of Lisbon by Jose Saramago and The Trembling of a Leaf by W Somerset Maugham and Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera. Although these 3 are a bit more stylized for a certain kind of reader, so I'm not sure if they're the right kind of books to recommend to everyone. :D

Mari said...

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. You will love it. :)

Karen said...

Hi farmlanebooks - I remember you mentioning this book before but unfortunately I haven't been able to find a copy in Australia - I will keep looking!

Hi Claire - I'm sometimes a little wary of the type of books you are mentioning - I have to be in the right mood to read them! I have read another book by Kundera in the past and really enjoyed it though. I'm willing to give any of your recommendations a go!

Hi Mari - what a wonderful title! I will have a look for it. Thanks!

Steph said...

I've already recommended one of my favorite reads of the year to you ("Gentlemen & Players" by Joanne Harris), so I'll mention three other books I've enjoyed immensely thus far.

1) Empire Falls by Richard Russo - great if you want longer novel focusing on small town life that is both funny and pensive. Its pages are populated with rich characters whose lives tangle and intertwine. Great slice of Americana.

2) Crow Lake by Mary Lawson - Another small town novel, but this one is more somber and haunting. It is quite slim and I read it hungrily. Emotionally, I found this book quite piercing.

3) A Mercy by Toni Morrison - I found this book captivating and beautifully rendered. A good into to Morrison's writing as she balances some of her more impenetrable stream-of-consciousness style writing with more forthright prose (but all of it is the work of a true master). A great book that would stand up to multiple readings.

Hope some of those tickle your fancy!

Trish said...

How sad is it that I'm away from my bookshelves and lists right now and can only think of a handful of books I've read (and there aren't that many). A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is immediately coming to mind. I'm reading The Glass Castle right now and really enjoying it.

But ya--bloggers give such great recommendations! Seems like so many of the books I pick up are ones I found on the blogosphere.

booklineandsinker said...

i really enjoyed jen lancaster's upcoming 'pretty in plaid'. it's an essay-based memoir...and i about died laughing. it's on sale may 4th.

adevotedreader said...

I get many of my best reads from book blog recommendations as well. I'm glad you'd recommend The history of love and Wanting as I have a copy of each waiting to be read.

The best new read for me this year so far has been Of a boy by Sonya Hartnett, which I'm happy to see will be one of the next 50 Popular Penguins books as it means many more people will read it.

Karen said...

Hi Steph - I have seen Empire Falls before and have been tempted by it so I will definitely pick it up now. I agree with you that Toni Morrison is a brilliant writer but I have found some of her books very heavy going. I do want to read A Mercy though.

Hi Trish - thanks for your recommendations. I remember reading your review for the Ukrainian etc... book and thinking it sounded really good.

Hi booklineandsinker - nearly dying of laughter is a great recommendation for a book! I love books that make me have a physical reaction - it rarely happens but when it does I know I have found a great book.

Hi adevotedreader - I loved Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett so I am keen to give her other books a go - thanks!

megan said...

American Wife, definitely. But you've already read that one, so my second favourite has been Last Seen in Lhasa, by Claire Scobie

Marg said...

My favourite read so far this year is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Nadia said...

My fave book so far has been Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. It was a superb book! A definite must read that left me in awe of Atwood and her genius.

Jodie said...

My friends and I ahve such opposite tastes I wouldn't pass these to them but I did really enjoy 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green and 'The Tenderness of Wolves' by Stef Penney.

Tara said...

The best book this year so far, is probably The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Another great read is The Book Thief.

Karen said...

Hi Megan - I did love American Wife - thanks for your other suggestion!

Hi Marg - I have The Graveyard Book waiting on my shelf so I will need to pick it up very soon I think.

Hi Nadia - yes, Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors - I think I could probably re-read Alias Grace - it was such a great book.

Hi Jodie - thanks for passing on these suggestions - I haven't heard of either of these books before.

Hi Tara - thanks for your suggestions -I did read The Book Thief last year and absolutely loved it but I will look out for the other book. Thanks!

Iliana said...

I've read some great books this year but the one at the top of my mind right now is The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig.

You'll have to keep us posted on what you read for the long weekend!

eveningreader said...

Delicate Edible Birds, by Lauren Groff, is probably my favorite of the year. I admit to being quite taken with GWTW, but not in the same way--more for the character and the history, than for the writing and story as a whole.

Tamara said...

Hi Karen, This is difficult for me to recommend something to you but here goes.... My best read this year (that I didnt get from you) would have to be Murakami's Underground, Frida's Bed, and currently reading and enjoying Three cups of Tea. But Best Read for 2009 would include Q & A, The Other Hand, and White Tiger. Happy Easter and enjoy the reading time.

Karen said...

Hi Iliana - I remember reading your posts on the Post Office Girl and thinking it sounded good - thanks for reminding me!

Hi eveningreader - thanks so much for your suggestion - I hadn't even heard of this book or author before.

Hi Tamara - thanks for reminding me I have those books of yours to read! I'm looking forward to reading both of them but I think I am in the mood for some good fiction at the moment.