What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > Best stand-alone books to buy! No classics, no depressing, character-driven rather than plot-driven

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message 1: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Grech | 47 comments I would like to buy a bunch of books and I need your help. So far, I've got The Help, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Book Thief (I still haven’t read it), and The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, I know, I don’t have much but I’ve only just started buying books with my own money.

I would like stand-alone books that are:

- Not old, meaning, no well-known classics, like Oliver Twist, Little Women etc.

- Not depressing. At least those that would not leave me empty and hollow the moment I close the book.

- That you’d close with a smile on your face. It can be any kind of smile, bittersweet, heartwarming, sentimental, even a smirk would do.

- That are character-driven rather than plot-driven. I want to gradually fall in love with each and every character.

- This is optional but I believe in togetherness, like the book, The Help. In another words, humanity. It gives me some kind of hope and makes me feel like I am part of something big.

- That you consistently want to re-read a favorite part or two, especially those parts that moved you most.

Basically, just share the books that you’re so glad you own!


message 2: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6990 comments Mod
Ok, first warning Nadine--I'm into mysteries, sci fi, fantasy, dystopian, PNR, and UF. If you don't like any of these types of book, just skip my suggestions altogether (although I did enjoy The Help.)

Also, run, don't walk as far away from ANY Oprah Book Club suggestion. The woman only seems to like books that are total downers. I've read one or two of the books on that list for various book clubs, and was usually left feeling depressed and hopeless.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Despite the somewhat dated tech, this is a very deep and moving story. (Also, sorry, but no matter how good an author Robert A. Heinlein is, but his female characters suck, even in this one.) But he definitely had an interesting suggestion for a political philosophy in this one. I think I've read it about 15 times, altogether.

Don't Look Down is a fun, light hearted mystery/romance. But I do enjoy the snark that Jennifer Crusie brings to her work.


message 4: by Tytti (last edited May 08, 2014 06:35PM) (new)

Tytti | 187 comments Well personally I prefer to buy classics because people have been reading them for decades and probably will read them for decades to come. I can even give/loan them to my friends to read. TPoBaW and TFiOS are YA novels and you will probably grow out of them some day. So I am happy that I own Anna Karenina (twice actually, a hardcover and a paperback), all Sherlock Holmes short stories (thinking of getting a translated edition) and my favourite since childhood: Gone with the Wind (in two languages). I'd like to buy The Count of Monte Cristo. My friend just loaned me his copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

So basically when I buy books (though I try not to buy that many), I usually buy classics in hardcover and other books in paperpack. (The ones I buy are often longer because then I don't have to worry about returning them to the library on time.) So books by Nobel winners, other prize winners and nominees... sometimes something lighter perhaps. Other than that, I don't think anyone can say to you what to buy, bestsellers are usually not that good. Books by your favourite author, maybe. But not many people read mysteries or thrillers twice.


message 6: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Grech | 47 comments Ann aka Iftcan wrote: "Ok, first warning Nadine--I'm into mysteries, sci fi, fantasy, dystopian, PNR, and UF. If you don't like any of these types of book, just skip my suggestions altogether (although I did enjoy The He..."

Thank you! I've just realised that I didn't mention what genres I usually go for but then again, everyone has different tastes. I've created this topic because I am curious what books other people usually own other than classics. In case you've noticed, the ones I've got so far are the popular choices. Thank you for the second warning as well! Believe me, I've had enough of feeling depressed and hopeless! I need books to lift me up, not the other way around!


message 7: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Grech | 47 comments Chrissy wrote: "Astor Place VintageAstor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann."

Thank you!


message 8: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Grech | 47 comments Tytti wrote: "Well personally I prefer to buy classics because people have been reading them for decades and probably will read them for decades to come. I can even give/loan them to my friends to read. TPoBaW a..."

I know but while it's my intention to get some ideas what books to buy, I would like to know what people usually buy other than classics. I was forced into reading classics when I was in secondary school and don't ask me why, they never sat well with me. Fortunately, it didn't stop me from discovering years later, the simple pleasure of reading books, be it classic or modern. I simply prefer the latter. Nonetheless, thank you for the kind advise!


message 9: by Nadine (last edited May 09, 2014 01:48AM) (new)

Nadine Grech | 47 comments Deborah wrote: "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison AllenGarden Spells ..."


I've heard great things about Garden Spells and Saving Francesca. I thought The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a classic based on the cover so I never checked it out! Apparently not! Thank you!


message 10: by Kat (new)

Kat (katsobsession) | 42 comments If you like horror, anything by Stephen King, but particularly the uncut edition of The Stand, The Tommyknockers, and It.


message 11: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy (backdraft4508) | 41 comments I second Garden Spells! great book.


message 13: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2231 comments Kat wrote: "If you like horror, anything by Stephen King, but particularly the uncut edition of The Stand, The Tommyknockers, and It."

Heh. While I adore The Stand, I'm not sure that anything by Stephen King qualifies as a book "That you’d close with a smile on your face" :D


message 14: by Michele (last edited May 10, 2014 08:50AM) (new)

Michele | 2231 comments Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books. There's always a murder but the characters are superb and I love every one of them, especially Lord Peter himself. And when he meets Harriet Vane in Strong Poison it gets even better.

Sharon Shinn's Samaria series, starting with Archangel. A lovely and unusual blend of fantasy, science fiction, romance, and music.

Anything by Sheri S. Tepper, but particularly Gibbon's Decline and Fall. A great story about female friendship and how it saves the world.

Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar books, starting with The Summer Tree. Myth, legend, fantasy, free will, the power of choice; I generally cry in at least three places but it's in a good way; definitely meets your criteria of feeling part of something larger.

Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others. Creative, original, thought-provoking, wondrous short stories.

The Quartzsite Trip by William Hogan. Thirty high school seniors go on a week-long camping trip into the desert. The characters are a joy -- so realistic, and the emotional roller-coaster that is high school is brilliantly evoked.

The Secret Life of Bees - just plain great.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - still wonderful & inspiring after all these years.

Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys - yes, they're classics, but if you're looking for books that make you feel genuinely good, these top my list.

The Drifters - college kids in the 1970s try to find themselves; excellently drawn characters that you really come to love (and one of the only Michener books that's not a humungous doorstop!)

Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books: The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30), A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight.


message 15: by Pamela (last edited May 10, 2014 09:13AM) (new)

Pamela Love | 1027 comments I recommend Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. It's a minor classic, but it's great if you want to feel better about humanity.Cold Comfort Farm


message 16: by Kazza (new)

Kazza | 5 comments This is somewhat off-topic, but if you ever want to read classics, you might want to head down to Project Gutenberg and check if the title(s) you want are already there. If you don't know, PG provides free ebooks, with the criteria being that the copyright of the book must be expired (hence classics makes up quite a significant portion there). That will save you money which you can then spend on other books :)

As for book recommendations, I unfortunately can't think of any right now. It feels like most of the books I read are pretty depressing even at the end, or at least have a satisfactory but not necessarily happy ending. (I wonder what this says about me as a person...)


message 17: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 187 comments Kazza wrote: "This is somewhat off-topic, but if you ever want to read classics, you might want to head down to Project Gutenberg and check if the title(s) you want are already there. If you don't know, PG provi..."

But that only works if you know the original language very well. Otherwise I need translations and for example the early Finnish translations may not be that great. (Studying in Finnish at a higher level has been possible for less than 100 years.)

About the topic: here are some of the books I have bought https://www.goodreads.com/review/list... (I haven't read them yet.) As you can see, there are all kinds of books. Usually if I go to a bookstore I find many books I might like to own. Luckily there are libraries so I can at least read them and then buy if I really want them.


message 18: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie (laurielynette) | 1042 comments The Nutmeg Tree and any other book by
Margery Sharp leave me with a smile on my face.


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