5 Books I’ll Be Cozying Up With This Winter.

Looking for a good book to read?  Me too!  It’s so exciting that we met each other here. This is going to work out just fine.

How’s it goin’ eh?  (I couldn’t resist)

Raise your hand if you like to read! Now take that hand and slap yourself in the butt because that’s the last time you’re going to have any feeling in it for the rest of the winter.  The holidays are over, the house is cleaned up and it’s January.  Put your furry slippers on, the official month of slothing has begun.

It’s time to revel in the fact that you have no lawn to cut, no garden to weed and no gutters to clean. Unless you’re renovating your house or spending 5 nights a week taking tap dancing lessons, chances are you have time to whump your ass down on the couch and read.

I mean, I can’t do that, I just fall asleep when I try to do that, which is why I only read before I’m going to bed.  But YOU might have the rare talent of being able to open a book on the couch and read more than 3 sentences before waking in a pool of your own spittle.  I do not have that talent.


Over the past few months I’ve made my way through a classic Agatha Christie novel, an adult fairy tale, a slavery novel and did NOT make it through an American classic, American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

Based on the description of American Pastoral, including the fact that it won the Pulitzer Prize, I thought I was going to really like it but within the first few pages I was drowning in a pool of my own spittle and I wasn’t even asleep.  I boredom drooled through the first chapter or so before I abandoned it.  Life’s too short for books you don’t like.

The Agatha Christie classic, And Then There Were None (formerly named something I can’t even type for fear Google will flag my site for racist language and also because … well I just can’t.)  was good, but I wouldn’t call it the greatest mystery of all time.  Which incidentally is what it’s considered. You can click here to read about it’s original title on Wikipedia if you like.

I really liked the slavery novel The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead which also won the Pulitzer Prize.  Unlike the Philip Roth novel, Whitehead pulled me into the story with his extraordinary writing as opposed to pushing me away from it.  Whitehead’s writing seemed effortless, Roth’s seemed like he was doing everything he could to prove to me HE WAS A GOOD WRITER DAMMIT.

And My Mrs. Brown by former Vogue editor and society page columnist William Norwich is a quick, fairytale-esque book about a plain, older woman who decides to save up for a $7,000 dress.  It’s a really easy, silly read but is also enlightening.

So those are a few I’ve gone through recently.  For January (the official month of slothing) I’m going to be cracking open these books. Or at least one of them …


Good Books to Read

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a book I’ve been reading on and off for a couple of months. It isn’t a novel so it’s something I feel like I can pick up and put down.  I put it down a LOT, not because it isn’t great but because it’s terrifying.  Not voodoo, horror show terrifying, but HOLY CRAP terrifying.  It’s exactly what it sounds like. A short history of nearly everything, starting with how the universe was formed.  If you ever want to sort of understand how inconceivably vast the universe is and how inconceivably insignificant WE are … read about how the universe was formed.

Benediction by Kent Haruf is one I’ve been holding off on. It’s the third and final book in a series of books by the late author.  I know when I finish it, it will be done.  Haruf’s writing is poetic in the most subtle way.  The first two books in the series are Plainsong and Eventide so look at those two first if you’re thinking of reading the series.  And you should.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman is going to be a complete surprise to me. Someone I follow on Instagram raved about it so I bought it immediately.  I have ZERO idea what it’s about. And I’m going to keep it that way because sometimes it’s fun just to not have a clue.  Unless you’re performing surgery, in which case … that’s just irresponsible.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway  by Ruth Ware is the third novel of hers I’ll have read in the past year.  It’s your basic suspense novel but I like them.  Ruth Ware novels that is, not necessarily suspense novels.  I didn’t like Gone Girl for example and I HATED The Girl on the Train.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.  I still don’t know if I’ll be able to read this. I bought Kitchen Confidential as a Christmas present for my mother 2 years ago intending to read it after she did.  Before I got to it, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide and I couldn’t bring myself to read it. I, like a lot of people really liked Anthony Bourdain and was hit hard by his suicide. Definitely harder than I should have been considering I’ve never met the man.  For instance, at least once a week I mutter “You f*cking asshole” to him in my head for one reason or another.  It may not be this month, but some time this year I will read this book because more than an interesting character, a good chef or irreverent tv personality – Anthony Bourdain was a truly exceptional writer.

Lay it on me! What are you reading right now? Give everyone the name and a short description of what kind of book it is in the comments and before you know it we’ll all be slothing our way out of winter and into spring.


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5 Books I\'ll Be Cozying Up With This Winter.


  1. judy says:

    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller was a book that I just loved and I would love to know if anyone else found it as engrossing. I won’t include any caveats cause I don’t want to provide spoilers or discourage reading it. I have always loved reading,gave away 15 boxes of books to the local prison and have 7 6′ x3′ bookcases filled,and more books in the attic. I thought of getting rid of them but maybe our 2 sons 54 and 58 will enjoy them after we’re gone. Lovely thought,a coffee,a couch and a good book-wonderful way to slip gracefully into old age.

  2. Alex Griller says:

    OK, Karen, I give in since no one else has asked. Where did you get the brass lamp? Is it a brass lamp??
    Love all the book recs. So sad that we lost both Bourdain and Haruf. Two entirely different but gorgeous writers.

  3. Amy Hart says:

    The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, Where the Crawdads Sing and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and the best of all – The Golem and the Jinni – just fabulous!

  4. Mara says:

    Being a nerdy librarian, my winter break reads included:

    The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
    The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine by Thomas Morris.
    Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart .
    Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker, which is a brief foray into fiction (or is it?) for me.

    Just started American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic by Victoria Johnson

  5. Bonnie Harris says:

    Before I forget, I like your sweater, is it handknit?

    I’m almost finished The Death of Mrs. Westerbury and it’s pretty good. I like that it’s sort of an old-fashion English country-house mystery set in believable today’s world.

    I don’t like anything too dark or too silly, and especially enjoy mysteries.
    Here are some authors I’ve enjoyed in the last few years (taken from my library and Kobo histories) . . .
    Frances Brody, Wayson Choy, Michael Connelly, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Esi Edugyan, |Lawrence Hill, Freda Jackson, Vincent Lam, Linden MacIntyre, Margaret Mayhew, Deborah Moggach, John Mortimer, Alice Munro, Barbara Pym, Ann B. Ross, Annie Proulx, Alexander McCall Smith, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Martin Walker, S. J. Watson, P.G. Wodehouse, Inger Ash Wolfe.

  6. Christine says:

    Totally off topic.l am 66 next month and have never coloured my hair.l have been blessed with natural blonde hair and it is still blonde but your ash was so inspiring l went for highlights.omg! Thank you,it looks amazing!
    On topic,l am trying to read through the BBC top 100 books.l never will finish because l am NOT reading the Bible! I did make it through Moby Dick only because l was on a beach in Grand Cayman with lggy Pop a few towels over( he is way better looking in person).Worst book ever!

    • Karen says:

      I haven’t met Anthony Bourdain but I did meet Iggy Pop for a few seconds. Wait, no. It might have been his son Eric, lol. K. nevermind. ~ karen!

  7. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Hamilton by Ron Chernow–not a page-turner, but I enjoyed the musical so much I wanted to give it a shot. Turns out that Alexander Hamilton was a remarkable human being. While the book is not a thriller, it is consistently interesting. It’s one I started last year and will finish this year.
    Transition by Kate Atkinson-a curious story of a young woman who transcribes conversations of German spies for the English CIA (MI5) and the consequences of that in her life. Well written, told in first person (with lots of thoughts and commentary interjected), and somewhat of a mystery because the main character is trying to figure things out. Almost done with it.
    Coming soon: How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals. Can’t wait.
    Gone Girl (Although now I’m skeptical because you didn’t like it.)
    Almost Everything- Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott-because I’m needing hope these days.

  8. Kipper says:

    We have those little lending library boxes in the hood. I’ve read lots of books that I’d probably never buy or borrow from the city library and enjoyed most of them.
    Current read is Crazy Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan, which I just started.
    I’ve passed on the Anthony Bourdain books as his passing still saddens me.

  9. Bonnie says:

    I’m reading Killers of the Flower Moon about the murders of the Osage people and the birth of the FBI. I’m also reading The Crowning of Calla Lily Ponder, a coming of age story. I just finished My Cousin, Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier of Rebecca fame. All recommends.

  10. Norma says:

    You might enjoy Bryson’s At home: a short history of private life. It’s a tour through his home in England and each room sends him into a history of that type of room, e.g. the kitchen. It’s fascinating.

  11. Susan Claire says:

    After re-reading The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch I am re-starting her Starbridge Series.
    I LOVED Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

  12. Karen says:

    I am (re)reading the Exit Unicorns series by Cindy Brandner. They are so good…she is self-published so I don’t know if you can find her in a bookstore, but I read mine on my Kindle app. I highly recommend these – about Ireland during the “Troubles”.

  13. Marilyn Meagher says:

    My brother loaned me kitchen confidential , haven’t started it yet but I am anxious to get into it. I received a new kobo for Christmas and I love it ..so easy to borrow books from the library! I love books but because of arthritis and sore elbows and arms it’s difficult and painful to hold a book for too long. Reading is easy and painless once again!

    • Karen says:

      I’ll convert to a Kobo once all my bookcases are officially full. ;) I started Kitchen Confidential last night and I think I’ll be able to get through it. ~ karen!

  14. Jane S says:

    I’m rereading Louise Penny’s Gamache books in order. Great mysteries set in the eastern townships of Quebec. The stories are good but the character development from book to book is amazing. And she’s still writing.

    • susang says:

      do you get the feeling that the latest book is the last of the series?

      • Denese says:

        If you go to Louise Penny’s website, you can sign up for her newsletter. In the January 2019 letter, she mentions finishing the second draft of the next book. Also, for those worried that ‘Kingdom’ would be the last book, she expresses her intention “to keep writing as long as she can peck away at a keyboard”.

      • Denese says:

        If you go to Louise Penny’s website, you can sign up to receive her newsletter. Or just read all of them there. For those concerned that “Kingdom of the Blind” is the last one in the series: in the newsletter for Jan 2019, she mentions that she has just finished the second draft of the next book. Also, that she hopes to keep writing “as long as I can peck away at a keyboard.” Good news indeed.

        I do so enjoy reading about all the recommended books. I recently learned the word ‘panoply’ and I think it applies here. (Also, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work it into a conversation.)

  15. Molly says:

    I just finished 9 Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty, it’s extremely entertaining, not hugely cerebral, but who needs that after the holidays? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing cerebral about my holidays, but I just need to ease my brain cells back into function – no need to shock them. But my all time favorite, go-to book, when I’m between books, is Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman. It’s a book of essays for people who love to read. It’s a great item to have to just pick up and randomly re-read an essay. I cannot say how much I LOVE this tiny book!

  16. Donna says:

    Something in the water by Catherine Steadman, who you might know as the actress who played Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey, Lady Mary’s competition for one of her admirers. The book starts with a young wife digging her husbands grave, which sounds like a typical murder mystery, but it is not! It is an examination of how small seemingly small decisions can totally alter your life. The Witch Elm by Tana French very different from her previous books, which I love, but very interesting. I read a lot of books and always have, in Fact I’m sure I spend more on kindle than I do on clothes,shoes, make-up, I’m afraid to check.

  17. susan says:

    I read so many books that the best thing in my retired and poor life is finding out that the library is on line and you can download books for 3 weeks to read on your tablet. My sister got me hooked on Louise Penny and her Inspector Gamache series and there just aren’t enough! I usually avoid Canadian writers but she’s as good as any mystery writer I’ve ever read and that would be just about all of them. Another Canadian I stumbled over accidentally is Eden Robinson and her Monkey Beach. A little deeper than my usual but I couldn’t put it down.

  18. Janine Samuelson says:

    Just finished Washington Black by Esi Edugyan – she is a Canadian Writer – she also won the Giller prize for an earlier book Half Blood Blues. Highly recommend both books.

  19. Jen says:

    Books aside, I am still not over Anthony Bourdain’s death. I cannot watch his series anymore (certainly not the last one) and the books of his I have on my shelf are hard to see. And yes, I never knew him either but he was a huge influence and I always thought we could be friends. So sad. Dammit, Tony.

  20. Monique says:

    I second Eleanor Oliphant
    A Man Called Ove
    Then She Was Gone
    The above are my recent faves.
    The Glass Castle
    My Name Is Lucy Barton
    We were Liars
    Love and Other words
    Every Note Played
    The Lonely Hearts Hotel
    The Alice Network
    The Lilac Girls
    The Child

    • Penny says:

      Oh, yes, A Man Called Ove is wonderful! I cried, but then I am a sloppy old slush-bucket.
      I’ve also enjoyed
      The Betrayals by Fiona Neill
      Chinese Whispers by Peter May and
      To Catch a Rabbit by Helen Cadbury
      and I read and endured
      All the Single Ladies by Jane Costello
      none of these books are particularly recent, but I take part in something called Bookcrossing ( check out Bookcrossing.com) which means a constant supply of free books with no worries about library overdue fines.
      I’m liking all the suggestions for ‘ones to watch for’ in the coming months.

      • Ann Marie says:

        It is a bit old but if you need a cry A Light Between Oceans by M.L.Steadman did the job for me. Took me forever to work up to seeing the movie. The book was written before the movie of course. It is rare when it is the other way around.

  21. carol says:

    I adored Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight: full of quirky characters, humour, and moody nostalgia. Growing up an orphan in post war London.

    On another note: Karen, can you tell me where you got that lovely red and blue printed pillow beside you in the picture? I want it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol. I got that pillow at Terra Greenhouses 2 years ago. They carried it as recently as last year but I’m not sure if they would still have it now. ~ karen!

  22. Roxana says:

    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. A memoir so unbelievable that I had to check a couple of times to make sure it was not fiction.

  23. Betsy Leggat says:

    I loved EDUCATED by Tara Westover. A great book club book as her life is absolutely unfathomable. And I just finished WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens, a novel about a girl growing up on her own in a marsh in a small town in North Carolina. This book will keep you up as you will want to know what happens next. BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah. Hmmm – a theme is emerging of stories of difficult childhoods and highly resilient and creative characters. Another favorite – not on the childhood theme is RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles, as well as A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. I also love all of Paula McLain’s novels about historical figures – THE PARIS WIFE about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife Hadley, CIRCLING THE SUN about aviator/adventurer Beryl Markham. I am about to read her book on Hemingway’s third wife, called LOVE AND RUIN. And two of my all-time favorites are THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG by Muriel Barbary and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr. There are so many great books to read!

  24. Terry says:

    I just finished The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce, I was very good. She also wrote The Unlikeley Pilgramage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Henessey which were both great stories.
    I’m also hooked on anything by Jean Grainger, an author you can only get through Amazon Kindle.

  25. Lynda Johnston says:

    Help! I read a few books by a Canadian author a year or so ago and I CANNOT remember his name or the titles. They are police procedurals that take place in a fictitious town north of Toronto and the police force is the Dundas Police Department. Anyone??

  26. Beth Kowalski says:

    The Power by Naomi Alderman. It’s the flip side of the The Handmaid’s Tale.

  27. Dawn says:

    Was so excited to see a list of potential reads. I ❤️ to read. Then I saw you hated Gone Girl, I love all things Gillian Flynn 😢. Ah well, I’ve also tried Phillip Roth and have struggled. So, just completed People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, for bookclub. It was great – the basics without giving anything away – really old Jewish book found and the history of those that were involved with the book are revealed. BUT – is the book real or fake?? Rich Jewish history and wonderfully told. Enjoy.

  28. MaryG says:

    ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover. Exceptional. I could not put it down.

    • Teri says:

      I agree. Equally un-put-downable is Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. A not dissimilar theme without the side of fundamentalism. Spent two lost days with my nose in that book.

      • Noreen McKechnie says:

        Both of these books are unforgettable however the glass castle is my favourite.

      • p says:

        I was going to add Glass Castle if nobody else did. GOSH it was shocking however I do and have known similar people and living conditions here in Ky.
        Karen, I’m in the middle of Road to Little Dribbling- Bill Bryson :D
        but have to say Peter Mayle is still my fav author.

    • Beebs says:

      Educated… my favorite book on 2019

    • Janet says:

      LOVED ‘Educated.’ Another excellent one is “North of Normal’ by Cea Sunrise Person.

  29. Angela says:

    My first thought when I saw Kitchen Confidential in the photo was ‘No, I can’t’. I read it and Bloody Raw years ago and loved them both, but when I tried to go back and reread it after his suicide, it tore me to pieces. I don’t think I got even 2 chapters in before I removed it from my Kindle app so that I could pretend it doesn’t exist.

    As someone who struggles with depression, who knows what is in the book, and then knows how his story ends, it was just too much. Maybe now, since some time has passed and I’m in a healthier place, but probably not quite yet.

    Separate subject- I made vanilla using the recipe (and the beans and bottles) you posted, but I’m scared to try it because you taught me that the internet lies.

    • Eileen says:

      I have made and used vanilla this way for years and I’m not dead (yet)….
      Of course maybe I’m lying too.
      : )

    • Karen says:

      I did do that didn’t I? Well, although the Internet lies, generally speaking, I don’t. LOL. :) The vanilla will be good. Trust me. As for Anthony, I actually started to read it last night. I’m a few chapters in and I’m doing O.K. I can handle it. But I know what it’s like to be in a place where you *just* can’t read something because of circumstance or what’s going on in your life so just wait. ~ karen!

  30. NanTee says:

    I loved, loved, loved Radio Girls by Sarah Jane Stratford. Set in London, pre WW II, follows the story of a Toronto girl working for BBC Radio in its infancy in London. Second audiobook I’d ever heard because I hadn’t planned well for the weekend with real books.

  31. KimS says:

    I read these over Christmas break and enjoyed them all:
    The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni, and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
    I love reading about what others are reading! LOVE to read!

  32. Michaele says:

    Hung Over – one mans quest for the cure
    If nothing else, the first chapter makes the whole book worthwhile.

  33. SuzNKton says:

    I downloaded most of the Canada Reads 2019 long list but know that I will lose interest soon. In real book terms, I have 419 by Will Ferguson waiting for me. This year is the first year that I am going to try to track what books I actually read during the year.

  34. Mary says:

    Allison Weir’s books on Henry VIII’s wives. I’ve read the ones on Katherine of Aragon and Anne Bolynn (spelling may be off). Also, I really enjoyed Resurrection Year. It was about getting over a major disappointment and moving on with life. I think the author’s name is Sheldon Voysey.

  35. Susan Bauer Gaina says:

    I’m with you 100 percent on Anthony Bourdain. Except I read Kitchen Confidential years ago. My teenage son can’t understand why I was and still am so upset about his death… by suicide. You effing a$$hole is right

    Anyway, I loved the book, Circe, by Madeline Miller. The narration on the Audible version is divine.

  36. ecoteri says:

    Structures or Why Things Don’t Fall down
    Gordon, J E

    just amazing. I read it years ago (and have just abehbooks.ca ordered it again) . My Dad was totally annoyed 30+ years ago when I first read it, because every paragraph had me saying “OH” or “HUM!!” o or well, exclaiming.
    I don’t have my dad anymore and I lost the books, so now you have reminded me – excellent books. I can’t order my dad online (damn it all) but I can order these books…..
    Why don’t we fall through the floor (that is his other book).? good reading about weird stuff we don’t usually understand.
    GAH, you always send me onto the interwebnessnessness of things I love.

  37. Laura says:

    The Mrs. Brown book sounds almost exactly like the book and movie called “Mrs. ‘Arris Goes To Paris.” The movie stars Angela Landsbury. She’s an older woman who saves up to buy a Dior dress. I’ll have to see how different they are.

  38. Mandie Wood-Donaldson says:

    I’m trying to get through Outlander. It’s not boring at all. I’m addicted to the show! I’m just like you, I fall asleep after a couple of sentences. Lol I have NO idea how I was able to read when I was younger.. getting older really sucks!
    Ps. I know I’m behind. Lol

  39. Sandy says:

    “Calypso” by David Sedaris (he’s an awesome story teller), “The Bright Hour” by Nina Riggs, and “The Best of Us” by Joyce Maynard were my favorite memoir reads in 2018. If you enjoy Ruth Ware’s work, you may also like Tana French’s books. I actually prefer French’s writing over Ware, but to each their own. French has written seven novels and I read all of them in 2018. Her first book titled “In the Woods,” remains my favorite, but I liked them all well enough to keep reading.

    As for Stephen King — I have enjoyed a number of his books. I read “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Outsider” in 2018. I recall really liking “The Stand” which I read long ago, and “Duma Key.” When I read Duma Key I didn’t want to eat, sleep or go to work until I finished it. My mother also read it and devoured it just as I did, but a friend of mine didn’t like it at all. Not surprised, cuz we don’t have the same taste in books.

    A book I love and give to people is “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.

    Happy Reading!

    • Sandy says:

      Oops meant to type “Sleeping Beauties” (Stephen King). While I’m here correcting, let me add a few more books that I’ve read or re-read this past year (and very much enjoyed).

      The Good Earth – Pearl Buck
      The Sea-Wolf – Jack London
      The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
      Happier at Home — Gretchen Rubin (her work is soooo readable)
      How to be a Husband – Tim Dowling (funny memoir)
      Starbucks Saved My Life – Michael Gates Gill (memoir)

      • Catherine Safer says:

        The Good Earth. Yes! My mother and I were talking about it the other day. Haven’t read it for decades. Must find it again.

  40. Gigi says:

    “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman is a book I picked up at my local library because it was featured for the monthly book club. It is an unconventional love story about an old-fashioned, rather dull and dowdy thirtyish woman on the spectrum (I assume) with a secretly horrific past, bumbling her way through life avoiding any and all annoyances except her cunning Mummy, and a tenacious, unhygienic IT guy from her office. A witty yet sad, strange little read that I’m thoroughly enjoying!
    Totally off topic, but I dipped and painted 8 Amaryllis in wax after reading your tutorial and have had great success. Next year, I’ll give them as gifts now that I know how splendid they turn out. NO mess, no fear of overwatering or underwatering, or getting enough light. The Amaryllis I grew the conventional way, this year only grew strap leaves, with no blossoming stalk. ACCK!! A total misfire and waste of space and energy. I also want to add that the first round of 4 I soaked & dipped in wax, bloomed a full week before the 4 that I painstakingly painted wax onto the bulb. Wax dipping is the way to go. Thanks again for the wonderful idea.

    • Karen says:

      Good to know Gigi! I’m actually going to do a round that includes nutrients in the water to see if that helps them bloom even bigger and better. ~ karen!

  41. Suel says:

    I’m revisiting The First Man in Rome by the late Colleen McCullough. This novel and the follow-up novels set in the time of Gaius Julius Caesar are treasure troves of political intrigue, wars, and some really juicy scandals. Of course the stories are fiction, but each book has been judiciously researched by Ms. McCullough. They’re full of rich details about the language, culture and the realities of life in the Roman world.

    • Martha Murphy says:

      Loved The First Man in Rome! Probably out of print, but possibly available to download from your library?

      • Suel says:

        I’m afraid all my books are bound and on the shelf. I’m pretty sure you can find the series on Amazon. I had these in paperback for years and finally decided to gift myself hardcover copies for Christmas one year. One is a first edition, but not signed…

  42. Susan F says:

    Above by Leah Bobet. Fantasy tale set in Toronto. Matthew, who is an artist and Teller of tales, is forced to flee his underground refuge after the shadows invade. The story is the attempt of the survivors who try to return. It deals with some big themes, but the characters feel real in their emotions and actions.

  43. Cynthia says:

    Don’t really know where to start. There are sooo many really great writers. I read 1 or 2 books a week. Mostly read before bedtime. Before I had my Kindle, I had to make my own card catalog. Local library has a nice collection. I find an author I like then devour everything they write. Saying all that, I’m definitely NOT an intellectual, I like to be entertained but I do enjoy some historical and actual geography. Sorry I didn’t adhere to the request.

  44. Rebecca C. Hall says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and love it! It’s for anyone who loves living a creative life (you!)

  45. Mindy says:

    This can’t be right. First comment???
    I have a long list of high hopes, but I’ve spent the last three days pouring through hand-me-down magazines in front of the woodstove. It has been fantastic.

  46. Cathy Reeves says:

    We’re wintering in Az ( my first retirement winter trip ) so between hikes and casino visits, I found a sweet Little Free Library in an even sweeter Garden Members Park. I also got my library Card the second day I was here. So, I found Barbara Kingsolver’s “Pigs In Heaven” in the LFL. Haven’t started it yet, but no sightseeing tomorrow so….
    By the way, I too, hated Gone Girl (didn’t finish) and The Girl on the Train which I finished but hated. I tried to get through Death of Mrs Westaway both XL print and audio, but it just wore me out.

  47. corbin sweeny says:

    read Bryson’s Lost in America- very funny, if you have lived or traveled the Midwest to any degree. And written before he was quite so full of himself. Dear fellow from Iowa, after all, good and bad.

    • Margo says:

      Was this actually The Lost Continent? I can’t find the book you are referring to.

      • Karen says:

        Bryson’s The Lost Continent is probably the book she is referring to. He returns to the US after living in England and tours the midwest in his mother’s car.

    • Lisa says:

      I thought Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything was fascinating. Another of his books about small towns in America I couldn’t finish.

  48. Nadia says:

    The Diviners by Margaret Laurence, a Canadian classic.. so far I’m drawn in & enjoying it.

    • Nadia says:

      The Diviners by Margaret Laurence, a Canadian classic.. so far I’m drawn in & enjoying it. I also could not get through American Pastoral… sucked the enjoyment out of my reading time and gave up.

    • SuzNKton says:

      Oh I love Margaret Laurence! “The Stone Angel” was the first novel that I read of hers(was assigned for grade 11) and it was the first time that a novel resonated deep in my soul.

  49. Mike Flegle says:

    I’m binge-reading books by Lynda Barry. Begining with ‘What It Is.’ Here’s a review, copy-and-pasted from Amazon:

    “Deliciously drawn (with fragments of collage worked into each page), insightful and bubbling with delight in the process of artistic creation. A+” -Salon

  50. Stephanie says:

    Just finished Calypso by David
    Sedaris! Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was heavy… but soooo great.

    • Meredith says:

      Calypso was sooo good. I listen to David Sedaris books on audio because the way he reads them adds so much to his writing. I’ve listened to the entire book at least 3 times so far. The story “now we are five” breaks my heart. I read it multiple times when it appeared in the New Yorker and listened to it repeatedly on the audiobook.

    • Suzanne says:

      Calypso by Sedaris is a fantastic book. The part about his aging father haunts me!

    • Dana says:

      I’ve been so see Sedaris read twice – and he was trying out material for Calypso the first time. I love his humour.

    • Claire says:

      EDUCATED one of best books I have read – an unbelievable memoir of a young girl raised by fundamentalists in Idaho.
      WASHINGTON BLACK -Esi Edoygan – story of an eleven yr old slave and his journey to freedom
      RED WORD – Sarah Henstra – timely novel of rape culture and what goes on campus particularly life at fraternities.

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