Great Books to Read. 5 Books I’ve Read & 5 I’m Gonna Read.

Looking for a great book to read are you?  Who isn’t!  5 I’ve read, 5 I’m gonna read and reader recommendations.  

Karen Bertelsen sitting at a white marble Tulip Table with a small Siamese cat on her lap, looking at the back of a book.

Grade 6 was as good a time as any to become a woman.  There I was standing in the grocery store aisle,  long blonde hair pulled into two ponytails secured with big pink bobbles looking down at my dirty running shoes.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Before me was row upon row of unusual choices, none of which seemed to make any sense to me.

But I was a grown up now and I had to pick something. I’d asked around a little bit so I had a few recommendations but ultimately this was going to have to be a personal decision. All I knew was I didn’t want some product marketed to kids, I wanted the adult version.

As it turns out, the decision I finally made changed my life.

Black and white photo of the house the book The Amityville Horror was based on.


I went with The Amityville Horror.  The first grown up book I ever read.  It was absolutely terrifying.  There’s no way in hell I should have been allowed to read that thing in grade 6. But I’d finished all the Judy Blume’s so ….

That little paperback from the local grocery store scared the SHIT out of me.  Because of The Amityville Horror, my first job wasn’t eating other people’s potato chips and babysitting like every other teenager, it was slogging away packaging sunglasses for a friend’s father.  Who did not provide potato chips.

Babysitting?  Stay in a stranger’s house while their kids slept? Um, no.  I mean, I knew things now.  Houses could not only be haunted, they could try to kill you.

You see, at the time, The Amityville Horror was marketed as a true story.  It was based on the real life experiences of a family who moved into a home where the previous owner went nuts and shot 6 members of his family.  Enter the next family to move into the house and cue the paranormal activity.  Rooms filled with flies, people levitated, glowing eyed pigs romping through the house.  It was quite a step up from The Bobbsey Twins; Secret at the Seashore.

That book did two things.  It really did scare me to the point that I knew I was going to require therapy later in life.

And it made me understand what a page turner was.  The book was so scary I knew it was scarring me, but for some reason I couldn’t stop reading it.  I was compelled to read it every chance I got, mental health be damned.

Antique pine kitchen chair with a stack of books on it and around it in front of a white brick wall.

I’d say every 3 or 4 books I read now are ones I consider page turners.  The kind of books you find yourself thinking about throughout the day wondering when you can acceptably get in your pajamas and go to bed to read.

These next 5 great books are all page turners, but one of them is a STAND OUT.

Side shot of an antique chair with a stack of books on it, topped with a flow blue tea cup.
5 Great Books (I’ve read)

1. A Prayer for Owen Meany – This book captivated me when I first read it. I can’t remember when that was but it was probably 30 years ago.  ACK. What a horrible thing to say.  That’s when the book was originally published. As is often the case with John Irving novels, this one is based around a very unique character; Owen Meany. An incredibly small boy with a squeaky voice who believes he is a conduit of God. A Prayer for Owen Meany is my second favourite book of all time.  My favourite book is the Pulitzer Prize winning Western, Lonesome Dove. It took me 3 or 4 cracks at it before I could get through the first chapter but once I did?  Wow.

2.  A Man Called Ove – Here we go. THIS is the book. The page turner, the exceptional, the STAND OUT. I read A Man Called Ove after watching the movie based on it. The book follows the life of Ove, a cranky older man.   It is funny, touching, insightful and sad.  If you can only buy one book make A Man Called Ove the one.

3. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls I love David Sedaris. If you like funny you’ll love him too.  Sedaris has a dry humour that can sometimes bubble up from nowhere until you’re crossing your legs praying not to pee yourself.  His books are usually a conglomeration of autobiographical short stories.  Essays.  If you *haven’t* read David Sedaris before start with Me Talk Pretty One Day.

4. Manhattan Beach This was a, Yeah, it’s a pretty good book, to me. It got great reviews and according to the amount of stars it has on Amazon people mostly loved it. I did look forward to reading it every night but … it was just missing something for me. Not a lot.  If it was a person it wasn’t missing a major organ, just … maybe some necessary fluids.

5. Middlesex The most critically acclaimed novel on this list, not only did Middlesex win the Pulitzer Prize,  Amazon readers give it close to a 5 star rating. The book, published in 2007, which is when I read it, focuses on Callie a young Greek girl who at the age of 14 discovers she’s Intersex (formerly known as a hermaphrodite). It’s then that she becomes Cal.

Side shot of an antique pine chair in front of a white brick wall. 5 books stacked on the chair seat topped with a pair of reading glasses.

5 Great Books (I’m gonna read)

1. A Prayer for Owen Meany  Yup. I’m gonna read it again.  Like I said, it’s been almost 30 years since I originally read this book and declared it one of my all time favourites.  I feel like it’s time to read it again. I’ve reread lots of books, but this one I’m rereading on purpose so I won’t be surprised when I get halfway through it and think “Hey.  I feel like I know *exactly* what’s going to happen.  HEY. I’VE READ THIS BOOK ALREADY!

2. Eventide This book was on my books to read list LAST TIME. I keep saving it. It’s one of those “I want to save it books”.  Not everyone is an “I want to save it” kind of person, I realize. I was also the kid who would still have Halloween candy by mid-June.  Eventide is the follow up to Kent Haruf’s Plainsong. He has a quiet, subtle voice that allows even the most dramatic scenes to be told with a whisper, not a scream.

3. A Visit From the Goon Squad Written by the same author who penned the aforementioned “yeah, it’s a pretty good book” Manhattan Beach.  I’m giving author Jennifer Egan another go with this, the novel that won her the Pulitzer Prize.  It’s about an ageing punk rocker and record executive.  Based on that, chances of me not liking this novel are very slim.

4. Sing, Unburied, Sing Set in Mississippi’s past and present, Sing, Unburied Sing, is the portrait of a struggling family and the hope we all have to continue on no matter how miserable things get.  This is one of those critics darlings novels which can go either way for me.  I’m usually on board when it comes to critically praised books but most critically acclaimed movies leave me with the dry heaves.

5. Theft by Finding I mentioned that David Sedaris writes autobiographical short stories (essays). The reason he can do this so accurately is because he began recording his life in a diary at the age of 20 and hasn’t missed a day of writing since. Last year he published Theft by Finding, the first half of his edited diaries (1977-2002).  Yay!

Karen Bertelsen sitting at tulip table putting on a pair of glasses, looking at a stack of books in front of her.

I’m super-dignified in case you were wondering. 

I just wanted to mention as a side note, that the people who lived in the Amityville Horror house? The ones who claimed to have had all these paranormal experiences in the house? Well,  a couple of years after the book was published and people started to suspect it wasn’t actually true the couple agreed to take lie detector tests.  The husband and wife submitted to tests performed by 2 of the top Polygraph experts in the United States.  There was no indication of lying.


O.K., you know what to do now.  It’s time for you to give us your book recommendations. Feel free to include the first book that really grabbed you.  Metaphorically speaking of course.  I hope.

Have at it.


  1. Elaine Abshire says:

    I found a first edition Lonesome Dove signed by Larry McMurtry at a resale shop several years ago and although it isn’t priceless by any means, I am as proud of that as if it were! I saw the mini-series with Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duval before I read the book, but just couldn’t get enough of the whole masterpiece. My favorite, too. Have read it a few times and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

    Also, love The Prodigal Daughter and Poisonwood Bible – both thought provoking and interesting studies of human nature.

    My daughter and I read Red Dragon many years ago – before the first movie came out – and were mesmerized. Evil personified! I’m currently reading a lot of crime/mysteries and highly recommend the Lucas Davenport and/or Virgil Flowers novels by John Sandford. Read them in order if you can, as they follow Lucas from his time as a beat cop to a detective to state/federal level. Anything Lee Child writes in fascinating. And James Lee Burke will make Louisiana unforgettable. His writing is unforgettable.

  2. Pam says:

    I too have read A Prayer for Owen Meany (twice) and agree – it is a book to keep and re-read. I’d also suggest The Endurance by Caroline Alexander supplemented with Endurance by Frank Arthur Worsley and/or Endurance by Alfred Lansing and Nathaniel Philbrick. The utterly amazing and inspiring story of a crew that set sail for the South Pole and how they all survived months living on ice and rock.

  3. Kim says:

    Karen- Just finished A Man Called Ove. Loved it. Laughed and cried a little too. Thank you for the recommendation!

  4. Ann says:

    Read the Wind in the Willows every spring !!

  5. Celeste says:

    I have never read “A Prayer for Own Meany” but will now, with so many great recommendations. One of my favorites of all time is “City of Thieves” by David Benioff. It is about the seige of Leningrad during WWII, an event that wasn’t publicized for years. It is fiction that is both heart-breaking and uproariously funny. I also love “The Stand” by Stephen King and the mystery series by Jussi Adler-Olsen. The Adler-Olsen books are translations that are truly so well written that they flow much better than some originally written in English.

    I have tried Confederacy of Dunces and Watership Down and just could not finish either.

  6. Kristina says:

    So many books, so little time!! Some I always recommend are Christopher Moores Lamb-The Gospel according to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal (Moore, to me, is only second in humor to David Sedaris), The River Why by David James Duncan (absolutely joyous), Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi (epic novel with a part about white asparagus you’ll never forget) and Peter Matthiessen’s odyssey The Snow Leopard (and why I became quite fascinated with snow leopards).

    Thanks, as always, for your recommendations. x

  7. Meliss says:

    I’m so glad I read this! I didn’t know David Sedaris had some new books out. I guess I haven’t even looked. I started with Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and couldn’t help but laugh out loud through the whole thing. He has such a great insight into human behavior. The friend who gave me the book said if I enjoyed reading it so much I had to get a book on tape and actually hear his voice. So I think I must have grabbed Santaland Diaries – OMG! Hilarious!!! Highly recommend a book or two on tape, too!

    Also loved A Man Called Ove. Will make you laugh and cry!

    Thanks for the book reviews/recommendations!

  8. Tina W says:

    I second Sourdough, or Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore if you haven’t read that yet.
    – The new Phillip Pullman, La Belle Sauvage
    – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
    – Pachinko
    – Word by Word (Secret life of dictionaries)
    – The Name of the Wind
    – Evicted: Poverty and Profit

  9. CJ says:

    Knew you’d love “A Man Called Ove”. It is one of the most touching stories I’ve ever read.

  10. Maureen Elliott says:

    I do not read anymore… After I got trifocals all the fun came out of reading. Far too hard to get the words into the right focal range. I’m ok with that. There’s sooo much to enjoy on the internet and Pinterest has managed to suck me in. Sometimes I lose an entire day on that.
    I do need to tell you that the “Subscribe if you like to sweat, swear and do stuff banner at the top of the page is a pain. Not liking that at all, though I’ve been told that I’m not a fan of change.

  11. KD says:

    To add to the EEK…

    When I was little, I sometimes dreamed of a red-eyed friend outside my window, who wanted me to come out and play. One night I woke up and had to go to the bathroom, so I went downstairs. My parents were watching TV and I looked at the TV and said, “Jodie!”

    My mom shut that TV off so fast…

  12. Gay Sullivan says:

    Owen Meany and Watership Down are 2 of my all time favorite books. My book club introduced me to “All Quiet on the Western Front”. This book really struck a nerve and hit home and although it’s from WW1, it is very relevant today.

  13. Sherri says:

    Sitting here trying to narrow down the books I would recommend is a bit hard since my list of favorite authors is quite large. I just wrote a page and a half of authors before I quit. I think i would start out with The Book of Proverbs by Solomon. A lot of very useful bits of wisdom in there. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tokien. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeline l’Engle, opened my eyes to seeing the Creators fingerprints in more places than I had previously considered. I read for two reasons, well three, information, encouragement and distraction. Don’t read serious work very often I have been through enough downers in life that I know one can overcome if you are a mind to overcome. I do like to read apocalyptic stories, Mark Tufo’s Zombie Fallout series being my favorite because the people are real, family is important, they laugh, cry, struggle and even fail, and keep moving on doing whatever they need to do for their friend, pets, family and stranglers they pick up along the way. I like Lincoln and Childs, Pendergast series. nothing like a good mystery. Clive Cussler’s adventure books. Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody series, archaeological family romping around Egypt solving mysteries. LM Montgomery’s Anne series. Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden and The Little Princess. Most anything by Dean Koontz. Most any thing by Seanan McGuire (Mira Grant), specializing in scientific experiments gone horribly wrong.
    I like humor, love that is more than just hearthrob that fades, but real love that lasts. There is so much more but I will stop.
    I enjoy your blog

  14. Carol says:

    Loved, loved, LOVED Ove (and thought they did a great job with the movie, too); agree with you wholeheartedly on Manhattan Beach (meh) and David Sedaris (lol); and while I read Middlesex 10-15 years ago, it’s stuck with me. I found it fascinating.

  15. Rene Walkin says:

    Oh I’ve just spotted someone posting about The Poisonwood Bible which I have read twice as well as all of Barbara Kingsolver’s books. It was my first and what an amazing read!

  16. Rene Walkin says:

    I recently read A Prayer for Owen Meaney again and enjoyed it even more than the first time around. In my teens I was a sucker for Ayn Rand and the book Atlas Shrugged rocked my world. I also loved Sophie’s Choice which was a particularly harrowing story but so well written. More recent reads include A Man called Ove which was a movie recommendation from you but was unavailable in the U.K. then so I read the book instead-just wonderful. I also love David Mitchell’s work-Cloud Atlas (there is a movie which I did not see but I think it got poor reviews. Quite a difficult subject to transfer to film-sometimes books just have the edge.) Also The Bone Clocks by the same author. I am currently reading The Tattooist of Aushwitz which is actually a love story. The tattooist now lives in Australia and his story has been told by somebody else. He and the woman who became his wife were among the few survivors of that terrible period of history. The other book about survival in a concentration camp, called Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel is an incredibly uplifting tribute to the spirit of man under circumstances most of us cannot even imagine, and how some individuals still manage kindness and show humanity even when tested beyond their very limits. On a lighter note-although again a wartime story was All the Light We Cannot See, set in occupied France about a blind girl and her grandfather and how the townsfolk in small ways sabotaged the German Occupation of their lovely town. Just fabulous.

  17. Linda says:

    LOVED “A man called Ove” and just finished his next book “Bear Town”, also highly recommended!

    So far this year couldn’t put down “The Clay Girl” by Canadian author Heather Tucker…and “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

  18. Debbie says:

    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver,
    The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay (The audio version is so good) It is not a self help book!
    If you like horses… The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation, by Elizabeth Letts

  19. Colleen Quesada says:

    I loved The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. This is the first of 3 books. I read them all several times.

  20. susan gill says:

    the entire series by Louisa Penney (sp?) Canadian mystery-seems like Brigadoon to me – just loved all the characters

  21. Sarah McDonnell says:

    The One and Only Ivan. A kids book so a one night read. But you will cry, and cheer, and call people to tell them to read it at roughly 2am. I mean, uh… some people would do that. Not me. Um, no matter what my friends say.
    Then follow up with Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand to make yourself feel like a dignified grown-up, again.
    Ooooo, so glad you are back.

  22. Naomi says:

    1. All My Puny Sorrows, Miriam Toews. Some similar themes to A Man Called Ove, but more intense.

    2. Instructions for a Heat Wave, Maggie O’Farrell

    3. Still Life With Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen

    4. A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby

    5. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Helen Simonson

  23. Melinda says:

    I knew the chickens were just a cover for your true dignified self:) I recommend Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. And The Keillor Reader by Garrison Keillor.

  24. Gwennie says:

    One of the best books I have read in the past 5 years is a children’s book called Mr and Mrs Bunny: Detectives Extraordinaire. I read it out loud to my kids and we all loved it.
    The best books I have read lately: These books are all over the place in type.
    Hit By a Farm by Catherine Friend
    Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
    No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos (written by the man who discovered Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scam)
    Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
    Braving It by James Campbell (his daughter is an alumni of my kid’s school)
    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

    Some of these I might have heard about here from prior lists and replies!

  25. Patricia says:

    The first book that ever grabbed me was My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. The second was Little Women. I thought I had discovered Louisa May Alcott and thought it my duty to tell the world about her writing.

    The books I read over and over because of their humor, characters and just great charm are the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. Uncle Billy is my hero.

  26. Barbara N Kahl says:

    I would recommend Ahab’s Wife;Or, The Stargazer; A Novel by Sena Jeter Naslund. Apparently it is a love it, hate it book. My friend loathed it. I loved the main character so much I missed her when the novel was done.

  27. Heather says:

    I will be checking out David Sedaris, because I love to laugh. And my recommendation is that you read Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. All his books are excellent but Sarum is in a class by itself.

  28. Sabina says:

    Here’s my short pile of favorites! The Last Train to Memphis The Rise of Elvis Presley, The Last Cannoli, New York The Novel and I just finished The Family Corleone. Now I’m on a hunt for a copy of The Godfather.

  29. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Room by Emma Donoghue will grab you by the heart strings and not let go until you finish it. And even then, I couldn’t bring myself to see the movie in case “they” ruined it.

  30. Catherine Gibson says:

    Oh, and don’t forget your towel.

  31. Catherine Gibson says:

    If you read anything in your life, read the complete and totally not organized “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, along with the maybe sorta canon of “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.”

    And you are fore-warned, do NOT read these books while drinking beverages of any kind. Particularly milk. Sinuses and milk should not know one another. Long shudder.

  32. shannon says:

    I could.not.stand Confederacy of Dunces… but that was in 8th grade, so maybe I should give it a chance again.

    But I *love* A Prayer For Owen Meany by Irving. I have it on my list to read again this year too because it’s been about a decade. But I still remember it as one of my favs.

    In any case, I *loved* A Man Called Ove! So much that I went out immediately and read another book from the same author, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. It was equally (if not a smidge more) wonderful.

    Other books I think are great:
    ~~The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Such a great perspective about a dark topic, no idea how it measures to the movie bc I didn’t see it.
    ~~A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – What relationships would you create if you could never step outside your house?
    ~~The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein – You MUST promise to commit to reading the whole thing…do not stop at the hard part. I promise it’s worth it.
    ~~The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – Note: this is fantasy-ish but stay with me, it’s mind bending at the end, the world-building is amaz-balls and the characters are for real.

  33. Cussot says:

    Have you read The Tin Drum by Günter Grass? John Irving has said that A Prayer for Owen Meany was an homage to Grass. It’s a monster of a book and pretty darn wonderful.

  34. Tanya Januszko says:

    Karen!! I have Amityville Horror Story trivia nobody knows about except a small handful of people.

    During my 7th grade year, a new boy joined our class in our small beach town school in Southern California. He was quiet. An out of towner. It was the 1978-79 school year…back when Leonard Nimoy hosted a super popular TV show called “In Search Of”. Do you remember?

    As the school year came to a close, we had our yearbook signing picnic. I remember Danny Lutz, the new kid, signed my yearbook. We were all abuzz about the “In Search Of” episode that was going to air soon…an episode about what REALLY happened at the house in Amityville.

    Danny Lutz didn’t show up to school after that episode aired. Turns out he was the son of Amityville Horror family. I never saw him again.

  35. Steph says:

    I just finished Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmi Lang . I recommend for anyone who enjoys magical realism- I really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to get to Lonesome Dove for years, and I can second the love for Plainsong. I just had to hold that book for a while after I finished it.

  36. Artt Vernon says:

    Fredrik Back, (writer of ‘a man called Ove’) also wrote “my grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry” . It’s a wonderful story about a very intellingent
    almost 8 year old and her loud seemingly bat-shit crazy Grandma and her
    secret multifaceted past and the unlikely people from it.

    I love it!!! Art

  37. Judy says:

    I also loved A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Widow for One Year. My favourites include All the Light You Cannot See, Cutting for Stone, and The Alice Network. Have you read any Martha Grimes? I’m addicted to her Richard Jury series. A good book is delicious – you hate to see it end!

  38. Jcrieff says:

    Thanks! I just refilled my queue on my library website.

    I just read “Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. A page turner for sure.

  39. Beth says:

    A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
    The Mistress of Spices – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks (all her books, really)

    • shannon says:

      Geraldine Brook, yes! I still think about the Year of Wonders, after reading it 10 years ago (!!)
      …haven’t tried The Mistress of Spices, so it’s going on my list now.

  40. emily welker says:

    You grabbed me by the throat at Owen Meany. John Irving’s Hester is life goals for me.
    Since moving to the frozen tundra I think I’ve yet to read anything to top Louise Erdrich’s Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. All her stuff is good, but that one….it made me laugh and cry, sometimes simultaneously, and wonder at the beauty she prises out of this bleak landscape and its difficult lives.

  41. G-L says:

    A Prayer For Owen Meany is my all-time, ever and always favorite. I read it when it was first published and read it every few years. While dating my (now) husband, he attempted to read it as a way of understanding what made me tick. Halfway through the book, he gave up and said it was as much a mystery as me and maybe that’s what God intended. I’m mysterious. I like it.

    A horrific version(animated air quotes) of the book was turned into an awful film adaptation years ago. Simon Birch was the offending name and it was an awful, disjointed, and just plain yucky version with a screenplay NOT written by John Irving. Hopefully he sued someone. Anyone.

    I digress. AMAZING READ.

  42. Alena says:

    The best book I read in January is The Last Wave by Gilian (?) Best. Only when I was done with it I found out the author grew up in Waterloo (she now lives in the UK).

  43. Barb says:

    I’m loving all the great book suggestions! Making a list right now. I love a good mystery and started reading Ruth Ware when I saw one of her books was going to be made into a film and the other into a mini series. Was curious – Got hooked, read all three of her books and loved them all and now waiting for her 4th book to come out. Her books are In A Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Lying Game.
    Also liked The Girl On The Train ( haven’t see the film) by Paula Hawkins and am reading another mystery by her Into The Water.
    Karen – Have you read another book by Jesmyn Ward called Salvage the Bones? A hard book to read but very good and it really stuck with me long after I was done.

  44. jan upton lloyd says:

    Books I read before the movie (all beautifully written) :

    “The English Patient”
    “Remains of the Day”
    “A River Runs Through It””

    Also, anything by Malla Nunn, great apartheid era South Africa detective series.

  45. lmc3104 says:

    I stole my first adult book from my (much older) sister’s suitcase when she was home for a visit from college. It was “Coffee, Tea or Me?” a best selling memoir supposedly about two “exuberant” stewardesses….. and I was 7 years old. (Yeah, I was one of those kind of little sisters.) Boy, was that ever confusing! I clearly remember deciding if that is what you had to do to be a stewardess, then I was going to be a pilot instead : )
    Encyclopedia Brown never tried to join the mile high club, did he?

  46. Wendy Heath says:


  47. Dru says:

    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara rocked my world. So incredibly written and all consuming.

  48. Fonda says:

    Your Amityville Horror = my ‘Salems Lot. Could really happen, y’know.

  49. Carol Odenweller says:

    One of my favorite authors is Louise Penny, who writes a mystery series located in Montreal and a fictional, but idyllic little town south of it called Three Pines. Her characters are intriguing, the storylines complex, and she has a magical way of revealing the deepest parts of the fascinating characters she’s created. Love her books!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hey Carol, I was just about to recommend these books but you beat me to it! It’s kinda cool to have some great murder mysteries with Canadian references and Quebecois flavour. If you haven’t signed up for her monthly newsletters, I highly recommend it. Her writing is so lovely that it helps to fill in the gaps between books.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Also meant to ask, have you read Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee crime/mystery series? Totally different from Inspector Gamache but also really good. The main character is Chinese Canadian living in Yorkville (Toronto) but she solves crimes, mostly involving money, all over the world. Really a kick-ass heroine! If you decide to try them, I recommend reading them in order. Cheers!

      • Carol O says:

        I read ALL of my series in order, much to the amusement of my friend who turned me on to Louise Penny, Laurie R. King (the Mary Russell series), and Julia Spencer-Fleming. She prefers the confusion of jumping around in a series. I will add the Ava Lee series to my list. Thanks for the tip.

  50. Kipper says:

    Anybody remember R.F. Delderfeld novels? I read all of them. Now my favorite book is The Shepherds Life by James Rebanks. He is a shepherd in Cumbria, amazing writer and his Twitter feeds have amazing photos and tweets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen