11 October 2010

Reading Monday: There's Something for Everyone!

I love books.
Yes, I will no longer hide in the shadowy corners of my living room or bedroom, coveting books in utter isolation. I want to declare to the world that "My name is Chary and I have an addiction to books." Wow, that felt really good. Join me all of you bibliomaniacs! To all the book lovers out there, rise up and let it be known that we will not hide any longer. Just kidding. :D

But seriously, this is a list of some recommended books for various age groups and genres.

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid b
y Jeff Kinney - This is a wonderful coming of age book that describes the life of Greg Heffley, a young man's struggles to attain girls, popularity and overcome the ever-embarrassing, well-meaning parents. This character originated on the educational website www.funbrain.com. This book is great for ages 8-13 or Grades 4-8. (Children's/Pre-teen Fiction)

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian United States, that is broken into the Capitol and 12 districts. Twenty-four young people, two from each district, are forced to participate in a televised fierce competition against each other. This book is part of a trilogy. Recommended for ages 12 and up/ Grade 7 and up. (Science Fiction, Young Adult)

3. Maus
by Art Spiegel - an emotional tale of Artie's fathers' Holocaust survival. It is a raunchily honest account of Vladek's horrific journey from Poland to Auschwitz to Rego Park, NY. It is a graphic novel with complex layers and exquisite illustrations. This is followed by Maus II. Recommended for ages 14 and up/ Grade 9 and up. I love using this book for my students who are low level readers and highly interested in art. (Graphic Novel, Young Adult).

4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt - this is a mind-blowing account of the New York City journalist who travels to Savannah, Georgia. He encounters high society, voodoo, murder, transgender individuals like "The Lady Chablis" and so much more. I absolutely recommend this book (and the movie) to those who enjoy quirky high-spirited characters, fast moving plot and an insightful look into human nature. If you enjoy this book, then I also suggest the memoir Hide My Candy by none other than the fabulous Lady Chablis. (Non-fiction, Adult)

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - This is one of my all-time favorites. It is a fictional novel detailing the journey of an English nurse, Claire Beauchamp Randall and her husband Frank Randall who go on a second honeymoon in 1945 to the Scottish highlands. She mysteriously travels back in time to 1743 and meets Scottish soldier James Fraser. They battle against Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, Frank's ancestor. This literary work has history, romance, science fiction, fantasy and much, much more. I really recommend reading the entire series. (Historical/Science Fiction, Adult).

Have you read any of these books? If not, what do you recommend as an enticing read?


Jemi Fraser said...

Wimpy Kid is SO popular in my classroom - the kids adore it. I love the Hunger Games series - fabulous! I just ordered Maus through my book orders - hoping it's great too!

ViolaNut said...

Hunger Games is brilliant (we tell people it's kind of like Lord of the Flies meets Survivor), and Outlander is one of my favourite series too - in fact, I'm currently listening to it on audio for about the 27th time while attempting to knit holiday gifts. :-) Graphic novels - I admit it, not a fan. I just don't give a hoot about the pictures, and since a lot of the story is conveyed there, they don't do it for me. I tried the new Outlander graphic novel, The Exile, but yeahno. Ah well. ;-)

Hart Johnson said...

Son loves the Wimply kid stuff, and I loved Hunger Games. I read part of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It reads to me like non-fiction, which is sort of a turn-off, even if the setting and characters are interesting... I think my attention span needs more action or something. I definitely need to add Outlander to my list...

Belle Wong said...

Great list! Wimpy Kid is in my tbr, as is Hunger Games. I've read Maus and Outlander. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil sounds good.

Erin said...

The Hunger Games is easily the best book I've ever read. But not Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I didn't like them, though they were necessary to tie the story up.

I'm very skeptical on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, probably because they started coming to popularity right after I got out of that age group.

ViolaNut said...

Pssst, Tami - Midnight IS non-fiction. ;-) It's shelved in true crime. And yeah, read Outlander, it feeds my Scot fixation nicely without descending into the piles of tartan-wrapped romance novels that make me go "bleh". Plus all the books are really really long, which is good with my speed-reading nonsense. ;-)

Shaharizan Perez said...


I love Wimpy Kid. I think he is the iconical nerd and teenager. My kids love it too! I have it on my library shelf in the classroom for my kids who struggle with reading but want age appropriate books.

Shaharizan Perez said...


I have only read the first one and am going to purchase the series for my Kindle. I am so excited but have such a long reading list (like Rick Riordan's new book with fresh new Olympians) before I get to the other Hunger game books.

Shaharizan Perez said...


Yes, Outlander is a wonderful book for all of Leanne's reasons and more. It is rich in history and culture and fantasy.


Shaharizan Perez said...


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is great because

1. It is rich in history.
2. It really happened.
3. It is so entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

Please do put it on your reading list.

Shaharizan Perez said...


I have long been out of that age group but still found it to be a good book. Plus it helps me to reconnect with those long ago awkward adolescent days. :D

Shaharizan Perez said...


Ditto! Outlander feeds that romantic need without being too overly sappy. Plus, it is really well-written.

Ketutar said...

Love Garden, am interested in Hunger Games, HATED HATED HATED OUTLANDER. Absolutely, with every fiber of my being. I hate it even more than Da Vinci Code. It's illogical, unrealistic, with an anachronistic (and I'm not referring to the time travel part, but no WWII nurse would be like the) Marysue history that goes on and on and on and on and on and on forever and ever for all eternity... Only a total idiot would carry the flower press with her to a collecting excursion... and the guys' reaction on her at the 18th century... PLEASE!
I was very interested in the concept and so was my husband, so we bought the first four books at one go without having read any, and neither of us even finished the first one. I threw the book on the wall several times and walked around in the apartment screaming like a banshee, because it was just... I get the feeling that ms. Gabaldon has no understanding of history, human nature, power of social codex or even the things she speaks about. I can understand that she had to make her MC a nurse interested in plants so that she could go on using her education and skills to become a valuable part of the "old age", but... plant medicine is an art form.

Anyway, millions of people have read it and absolutely adore it. Hundreds have read it and absolutely abhor it, and come forth and say it too. I don't know how many just hate it without saying anything. I suppose it's like with Da Vinci Code and Twilight. Both books have been praised as "amazing" and the authors have been elevated to be "good writers". Mostly it's about... I suppose, which camels you have no problems in swallowing, and which you do.

Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy works for me.
Katherine Neville's The Eight.
The Historian was amazing.
I think Dean R. Koonz is a wonderful writer, and his books are not at all as gory and horrible as one might think. I recommend the Odd books.
If you want historical romance that is not too sappy, read Eva Ibbotson.