let's talk books

Ok, so since I've been posting what I'm reading on Instagram, I've gotten a lot of questions and requests for book suggestions. While I did answer this question on Formspring, I thought I'd post this layout I did for a Digi Dare a few months ago and talk a little more in depth about some good reads.

I'll just give my honest, humble opinions about these books. I won't go into synopsis or anything like that. I personally like to know very little about the storyline when I dive into a book (just the general premise). If you're looking for synopsis, that's easy to find on Amazon or Good Reads.

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It was nearly impossible to choose jsut a few favorites for a layout, so I just went with the first books that popped into my head when I thoght of "Book Club books I've loved".

These are in no particular order:

"The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant (read in April 2006)

General Premise: The story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph, as well as Leah and Rachel of the Bible told in first-person narative in a way that will have you seeing these biblical characters like you never even imagined.

My Layout Reads: We read this so long ago! But I still think about it from time to time. Probably one of my favorite books ever.

"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein (read in Jun 2010)

General Premise: A story of love, loss, overcoming heartbreak, family, all from the perspective of . . . wait for it. . . a dog! Yes, the dog tells the story and its totally AMAZING!

My Layout Reads: I think almost anyone in our book club would name this book in their Greatest Hits. It’s so unique and moving. One of those books you just can’t ever forget.

Additional Notes: I'm not even really a dog lover, and it is one of my favorite books. EVERYONE should read this book. I highly recommend it. So good!

"Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli (read in March 2010)

General Premise: Boy meets a girl who is not afraid to be herself. It's all about what this girl teaches this boy about acceptance, confidence, and love. (<-- that does NOT do this story justice, I just can't think of a better way to explain the general premise!) Layout Reads: Life changing. Truly. I need to reread Stargirl like once a year, just to strengthen my resolve to be an indivdual, and find happiness and stop worrying so much about what other people think. It’s a MUST-READ in my opinion. Additional Notes: Make your teenagers read this book. It's a book for young readers and it's amazing. I'm sure most avid readers have read it already, but just talking about it makes me want to go read it again.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot (read in January 2012)

General Premise: A poor southern black woman "donates" a sample of her DNA cells in 1951 (which, amazingly, can somehow live forever) and changes the future of medicine forever in an unbelievably powerful way. The woman and her family aren't even aware of it, until much later and the search for the full story of the HeLa cells is such an amazing adventure!

Layout Reads: My mom said it best when she said “this book is the reason we have book club.” It is something totally differet and it was an incredible experience to read!

Additional Notes: My aunt chose this book and she heard about it on NPR. It was truly gripping. I loved every page. I recommend it to all my bookie friends. It's all based on true events and I guarantee you've never read anything like it.

"Austenland" by Shannon Hale (read in January 2010)

General Premise: New Yorker Jane is obsessed. Obsessed with Colin Firth Mr. Darcy in stretchy pants (who isnt'!?). Ok - its more than that. Jane gets to live her fantasy in a place where Austen's novels are made real for those lucky enough to be guests.

Layout Reads: Fluffy? Sure. But it was so much fun, I read it twice.

Additional Notes: This is one of my favorite "romantic" books. It's totally fun, happy, clean, and well written. I love the premise. It will TOTALLY leave you dying to go to Austenland yourself. Since I made this layout, I also read "Midnight in Austenland" which is a fabulous sequel. Every bit as fun and awesome. I highly recommend BOTH these books to anyone who wants a good clean romantic "escape" book.

Well, I hope I've given some suggestions that spark your interest. Now, I'd love to hear YOUR suggestions! What's the best book you've read in the past year?

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