Some Books I Love

  1. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
    I read this 600+ page book in 2 days (Mother of the Year!). Granted, I was sick and waited in the ER for something like 6 hours and read the whole time. He writes it from the voices of four members of a polygamous family. It is hilarious and endearing. You will fall hard for painfully misfitted 11-year-old Rusty. "What a gyp!"
  2. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    I sat near a funny kid when I worked at Merrill Lynch. This obnoxious dude on our floor would ring a bell every time he made an impressive transaction and this kid would shout out "SERENITY NOW!!!" in response. He recommended this book and it was more impressive as he gave me a copy of it at the time. He might have been planning it or perhaps he always had a copy to give away. I would give you one right now if it could. The story wraps up deliciously.
  3. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
    This is one of the first books I read that didn't have a happy ending, though the resolution is beautiful and satisfying. Gorgeously written and so insightful. The friend that recommended it to me made fun of my desire for everyone to die in their sleep and get the girl. I felt more like a grown-up after this one. Crossing to Safety is a good one to check out, too. (Any idea what these first three authors have in common?)
  4. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
    I read this to my kids a few months ago and fell in love with it. It's quirky and surprising and reminded me a lot of A Prayer for Owen Meany in how beautifully it wraps up. You don't realize how all the threads are weaving together until the poem at the end which made me cry and hug my kids hard. We also loved Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Desperaeux.
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    I read this after I saw the movie (which I watched sobbing with my I sister) and loved it so much. The movie misses a bit of the redemption that is so powerful in the book. I saw the show on Broadway last month—Cynthia Erivo and Danielle Brooks are phenomenal!—and it made me want to revisit the book. I cried my fake lashes off.
  6. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
    This is a memoir that will make you laugh out loud and will break your heart. She tells the story of her childhood colored with poverty and uncertainty. Though her parents are so flawed, she gives a fairly unbiased account of her life without blame or whining. It is a compelling read and has stayed with me.
  7. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    This is another story-layered-within-a-story like Angle of Repose. I am a fan of Margaret Atwood and love her ability to build tension and angst gradually and with subtlety. Beautifully written. I also love Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye.
  8. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
    I highly recommend this on audiobook as you get not only the incomparable Amy Poehler as the narrator, but Carol Burnett, Kathleen Turner, Seth Myers and some others. I love her idea of time travel. I love that I listened to the parts of her on a plane on a plane. She is delightful. I cried some and laughed a lot.
  9. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    Again, I highly recommend this on audiobook, otherwise you'll miss Tina saying "Modessssss" in the section about her first period. So funny. It served to deepen my crush on her (which was already pretty deep).
  10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    Dark and disturbing in places, but such a brilliant and haunting book. I love the discussions that Lee and Adam have. "Thou mayest."
  11. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
    (Um, duh.) I especially love when Jim Dale reads them to me. My husband calls me and those who are so obsessed with them "Dumbledorks." He picked up book 5 for me the night it was released and some kid said he liked Diagon Alley the best because of his interest in finance. Dumbledorks indeed.