Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Reading List: Trying Something New

I have the scariest TBR pile in the world.  No, really, I have.

If I were to pile the books on top of each other they could take out a few bodies when they fell.
All  because I am addicted to books.  And it's an addiction I'm happy to admit.
Unfortunately this results in daily deliveries and massive amounts of books on the surfaces in my home.  Buy a kindle! I hear you cry.  Well, yes.  I have.  And the less said about the amount of books I have on my kindle the better.  But really -secretly, it's like I can hide them all from my other half and my kids - it's fabulous.

So why buy all these books.  Because I want to.  And where do the recommendations come from?
Everywhere.  Sometimes people blog about a favourite, sometimes I've just read reviews.

So here's what is currently on my TBR pile.  Would you care to recommend where I start?

John Irving A Pray for Owen Meany - I saw Julie Cohen talk about this book as she used to use it as a teacher.  I'd never read it so thought I would add it to my collection.
 Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mum with a baseball and believes--correctly, it transpires--that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom.  The scene of doltish Dr Dolder, Owen's shrink, drunkenly driving his VW down the school's marble steps is a marvellous set piece. So are the Christmas pageants Owen stars in. But it's all, as Highlights magazine used to put it, "fun with a purpose". When Owen plays baby Jesus in the pageants, and glimpses a tombstone with his death date while enacting A Christmas Carol, the slapstick doesn't change the fact that he was born to be martyred. 
Kristan Higgins Fools Rush In
 Millie Barnes is this close to finally achieving her perfect life... Rewarding job as a local doctor on Cape Cod? Check. Cute cottage of her very own? Check. Adorable puppy suitable for walks past attractive locals? Check! All she needs is for golden boy and former crush Joe Carpenter to notice her, and Millie will be set. But perfection isn't as easy as it looks--especially when Sam Nickerson, a local policeman, is so distracting. Sure, he needs a friend after being dumped by Millie's fortune-hunting sister, but does she really need to enjoy his company that much? He is definitely not part of her master plan. But maybe it's time for Millie to start a new list...
Linda Howard Mr Perfect

What would make your perfect man? That's the delicious topic heating up the proceedings at a certain table of professional women at their favourite restaurant. As the conversation picks up momentum, so do the quartet's requirements for Mr Perfect. And they write down a tongue-in-cheek list that's both funny and racy. The next thing Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends know the List becomes an overnight sensation, grabbing the interest of local newspapers and television coverage. No one expected this avalanche of attention for something that began as a joke among friends. But the joke turns deadly serious when one of the four is murdered...The prime suspect in the case is the victim's boyfriend, one of a number of men who found the List sexist and offensive. But an impenetrable alibi gets him off the hook. Now, with the help of Jaine's neighbour, an unpredictable police detective, the puzzle must be solved - and time is running out as a deadly stalker targets the three remaining friends, and the dream of Mr Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.

I have 2 Susan Mallery books on my TBR pile.

 With only 30 days to come up with $2 million, Lexi Titan's last chance to save her day-spa chain is to fake an engagement with wealthy Cruz Rodriguez. But neither one of them is prepared for their long-ago shared passion to throw a wrench into what seems like a perfect deal
Wedding bells are ringing in Fool’s Gold, but not for Nevada Hendrix. Her triplet sisters are engaged, and even her mother has a more active love life than she does. Determined to make a fresh start, she applies for her dream job, only to discover that her new boss is her first love. Maybe she could overlook the fact that they’ve seen each other naked, but she’ll never forget the way he broke her heart. Tucker Janack agrees to Nevada’s “business only” ground rules. After all, love is a trap that the construction millionaire has avoided his whole life. But when great business partners turn out to be so much more, every rule gets broken. Will either of them be willing to try again…or will their past get in the way? 
I have all three of Suzanne Collins books The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Catching Fire and have heard great things about them.   A fight to the death - on live TV. The game show where you kill or die, and where the winner's prize is survival. In District 12, where Katniss Everdeen lives, life is harsh and brutal, ruled from afar by the all-powerful leaders of the Capitol. The climax of each year is the savage Hunger Games - where twelve boys and twelve girls from each District face each other in a murderous showdown. When sixteen-year-old Katniss is chosen to represent her district in the Games, everyone thinks it's a death sentence. Only one person can survive the horrors of the arena. But plucky Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature...

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Natural Born Charmer, Ain't She Sweet

Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what's gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can't imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.
Blue Bailey is on a mission to murder her ex. Or at least inflict serious damage. As for the beaver suit she's wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curveballs? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out ofit.
As the summer progresses, the wandering portrait artist and the charming football star play a high-stakes game, fighting themselves and each other for a chance to have it all.
Natural Born Charmer is for everyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust and never looking back. Susan Elizabeth Phillips takes us home again . . . and shows us where love truly lives.

Michael Grant Gone Hunger Plague Lies.  Now I spotted this book in a book shop.  The black cover and red word Plague intrigued me and I realised it was part of a teenage fiction set that started with the book Gone.  I gave my 12 year old son the first book and he read 500 pages in 2 days.  This from a boy who reads nothing.
What kept him interested?  Read the blurb below...
 Suddenly there are no adults, no answers. What would you do? In the blink of an eye, the world changes. The adults vanish without a trace, and those left must do all they can to survive. But everyone's idea of survival is different. Some look after themselves, some look after others, and some will do anything for power...Even kill. For Sam and Astrid, it is a race against time as they try to solve the questions that now dominate their lives...What is the mysterious wall that has encircled the town of Perdido Beach and trapped everyone within? Why have some kids developed strange powers? And can they defeat Caine and his gang of bullies before they turn fifteen and disappear too? It isn't until the world collapses around you that you find out what kind of person you really are. This book offers a chilling portrayal of a world with no rules. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.

Finally my critique partner Rachael Johns, listed this book as one of her favourites last year.  So I had to buy it.
What Alice Forgot
 Imagine losing the most important ten years of your life ...

Alice is twenty-nine.She adores sleep, chocolate, and her ramshackle new house.She's newly engaged to the wonderful Nick and is pregnant with her first baby.

There's just one problem.All that was ten years ago ...

Alice has slipped in a step-aerobics class, hit her head and lost a decade.Now she's a grown-up, bossy mother of three in the middle of a nasty divorce and her beloved sister Elisabeth isn't speaking to her.This is her life but not as she knows it.

Clearly Alice has made some terrible mistakes.Just how much can happen in a decade?

Can she ever get back to the woman she used to be?

So, have you read any of these.  And can you recommend where to start??!!!!!!!!


  1. Start with Fools Rush In. That was Kristan Higgins' debut novel, and it is fabulously funny!

  2. Oh my your TBR pile sounds exactly like mine. I'm with Marcy, I've just read another book by Kristan Higgins and it was GORGEOUS. I also recommend Mr Perfect and What Alice Forgot, both of which I've read this year and LOVED!!

  3. Thank you Marcy, I was swithering where to start! Kristan Higgins soulds good

  4. Hi rach, I'll put these two at the top ofmy hit list. Looking forward to reading them!

  5. I read Kristan Higgins book and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Both are so fun!

  6. I'm half way through Fools Rush In at the moment - hoping to finish it tonight!