If you like…


The Old Man and the Sea can satisfy a reader from any era. Yes, depending on how the word is used, ‘classics’ might refer to any work from the 1700s (or earlier) to the more recent mid-20th century. Earnest Hemingway completely fulfills the definition of the word with this superb narration of the most epic fishing trip ever. Plus, it is a quick read, so for those of you who don’t enjoy venturing into the literary world: (1) thanks for stopping by my blog! and (2) you shouldn’t have any excuse not to read this book. Even if it’s the only one you read in your lifetime. It holds a few life lessons, and has deservingly won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Another great recommendation from the profound mind of Joey Tucker – it did not disappoint.

Might also like: Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck; Life of Pi by Yann Martel


I’m so happy that the first James Patterson book I ever read was not part of a series. I experienced all the excitement of chasing murderers, some romance, discovering victims and sweet victory behind one cover. I realize that with Patterson it can be hit or miss with the quality of his nail-biters. However, I thoroughly enjoyed The Postcard Killers, which he wrote with the lovely Liza Marklund. In this account of foreign crime, detective Jacob Kanon is bent on finding the duo that murdered his daughter and her boyfriend, along with several other couples. In my opinion, a far better piece than the Cross novel I recently finished. It is because of this book I still have Patterson on my reading wishlist.

Might also like: 11/22/63 by Stephen King; Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Fairy Tales

These books put a modern spin on historic fairy tales. You may have noticed on the Favorites page that I love Disney Princess movies, hence my recommendations for these creative remakes. Carolyn Turgeon reinvents the story of the little mermaid brilliantly in her version of the romantic fable. Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale is told through the lives of two princesses, one from the North, the other from a different world entirely. One must save her kingdom from an impending war, the second risks all she has for the sake of her soul. Although it is definitely for an older audience, those who are whimisical at heart will be as enchanted as I was.  Turgeon, as well as author Gregory McGuire, is known for bringing new perspectives to the vintage stories we love.

Might also like: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr; Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror by Gregory McGuire


The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, should catch your interest. It’s not a series, unlike many current sci-fi stories, so don’t feel like you have to be committed. It’s set in 23rd century Thailand, and global warming has completely altered the world. Dominant biotechnology companies that essentially control global markets, constantly commit acts of terrorism in order to create a need for their products. Gradually, Bacigalupi introduces the reader to Emiko, a Japanese windup girl. At times, I had to force myself through a few pages, but all in all, a good read. It requires a considerable amount of imagination, but what sci-fi novel doesn’t?

Might also like: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer; World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Medical Mysteries

Little known fact: I have often considered becoming a surgeon rather than an ag teacher. Nothing says I still don’t want to get my EMT license or participate in the medical field somehow. Even if I don’t jump head first into the profession right now, I’d still like to get my fix. What I like about Gawande’s Complications is that he doesn’t bore you with tons and tons of research. That’s all good and well, but won’t really make a great page-turner. Instead, he leads the audience through some of his most interesting – and not so interesting – experiences. I often tell folks I know how to repair a hernia or perform a tracheotomy simply because I’ve read this book. It’s not a lie; I do know how, I just haven’t done it. 😉 And for those who become faint at the sight of blood – this is a way to still get your fill of blood and guts without passing out!

Might also like: When Air Hits Your Brain: Tales From Neurosurgery by Frank Vertosick Jr.; Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande

Historical Fiction

Possibly my favorite genre of all time. Love, love, love intertwining real events with intellectual invention. The Diplomat’s Wife is an exemplary account of possibly my favorite time period. World War II era scandal, high stakes and mystery. That’s not all, it’s going to play on your romantic heartstrings as well. My hat is off to you Ms. Jenoff. A sequel to The Kommandant’s Girl – also a great read – The Diplomat’s Wife succeeded in placing me in 1940s Europe. There was never a dull moment, and I now have another author I’m on the lookout for. Pam Jenoff has many books that are now on my Amazon wishlist.

Might also like: The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee (on the 1,001 books to read before you die list!); The Reader by Bernhard Schlink


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