09 May 2007

I Need Help

I need some book recommendations. Fiction preferably (although it doesn't have to be). And since my brain's still fuzzy, 200 pages or less. I have some good books on my TBR list, but they're in the 400 page range and I don't think I can do that right now. Or at least not very many.


  1. I just read Siddartha by Herman Hesse for the second time. It is short and worthwhile.

  2. Have you read Nevil Shute? I think you would enjoy his stories a lot. My recommendations by him are:
    Trustee from the Toolroom
    Round the Bend
    The Pied Piper
    The Legacy
    No Highway

    If you like these then read the rest. Some are better than others but they're all good.

    I also like Mark Salzman:
    The Laughing Sutra
    True Notebooks
    If you like those, try the others. He writes about half novels and half memoirs but his memoirs are quite novel-like, and his writing has a lot of wit and warmth.

    Another favorite is Michael Innes:
    Appleby on Ararat
    Sheiks and Adders
    One Man Show

    He has a very dry sense of humor, he's exceedingly clever and very cool in a devastatingly well-educated way. :)

    Have you read Richard Adam's Watership Down? It's not a kids' book, really. It's just an excellent novel.

    Thornton Wilder is amazing and awesome. I recommend The Bridge of San Luis Rey (if you haven't already read it) and the play Our Town.

    Have you read Nikos Kazantzakis' Zorba the Greek? The Last Temptation of Christ? I think he's a fantastic writer.

    Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding is hilarious and wonderful, if you happen to have missed it so far.

    These books are all the ones I've found most delightsome and scrumptious to read. I tend to love things like Dostoyevsky the most, but none of these have his darkness or anguish. They are all of the type that you can read in a day (except maybe the last 3).

    All these seem like the sort of books you would really enjoy, though one never can tell, of course. But I chose them specially for you. Enjoy!

  3. It's not fiction, but "Guests of the Sheik" by Elizabeth Fernea is really interesting. Her and her husband went to Diwaniya Iraq in the 1950s to live with a local tribe and do some ethnological studies. The book was written with ethnological studies in mind, but unlike other books she doesn't detach herself at all from her subjects, and tells many stories of how she got to know the people, became friends, and interacted with them according to their way of life.

    There's this other really good book that's out of print called "A Sacred Duty," by Ester Rasband and Richard Wilkins (published by Bookcraft). It's fiction based off of a BYU law professor's journey to the Habitat II UN Conference in Istanbul in 1995, and how he used the Family Proclamation to stop a vast coalition that was set on writing a UN declaration that would attack the traditional family on multiple fronts. It's pretty rare, though, so you probably won't be able to find it. The story is absolutely amazing, though.

    Other than that, I mostly read science fiction. I could recommend some stuff in that genre, but I don't know how interested you'd be in it.

  4. Flashman.


  5. Sorry, the link didn't work. Flashman, by Fraser. Great story about a caddish British officer in Afghanistan.

  6. michelle jMay 10, 2007

    Hadji Murad by Tolstoy

  7. You're welcome to raid my TBR list:

    Have you read The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)? Everyone's raving about it (nothing like a bandwagon, eh?). But that's not 200 pages.

    Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier (is only 311 pages)or The Lady and the Unicorn, also by her (250 pages)

    Cornelia and the audacious escapades of the Somerset Sisters, by Lesley M. M. Blume (264 pages, YA fiction)

    In the Stone Circle, Elizabeth Cody Kimmell (225 pages)

    Into the forest, Jean Hegland (241 pages)

    Pomegranate Soup, Marsha Mehran (222 pages)

    Yellow Star, Jennifer Rozines Roy (227 pages)

    You know, it's hard to find a good adult book for around 200 pages. Maybe we need better editors??

    You could try out Lisa Yee's books -- probably quick, easy reads, and she's an incredibly funny blogger.

    That's not my whole list, of course, but I tried to pick ones you'd be interested in/haven't read already.

  8. You're all wonderful. I picked up 10 books at the library- almost all short.

    gst- My library only had a couple of Flashman books, and it didn't look like the first one was there. Are the others good too?

    onelowerlight- I read A Sacred Duty shortly after it came out. It was quite interesting.

    And thanks Melissa, I'll check on those books too the next time I go to the library.

  9. I read for work, for kids, and for fun, and there's never enough time! I did just read The Floor of the Sky which was lovely and right at 200 p. Also Winter's Bone, which is stark & grim but also very good. The Book of Lost Things was amazing (IMHO) but probably more like 300 p.

    For really good, but not doorstop-sized reading, you should check out the Alex Awards list put out by the American Library Association every year. Ten 'adult books for young adults' titles chosen annually. It's at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/alex

  10. I recommend two good novellas by JM Coetzee: Waiting for the Barbarians, and Disgrace.