What are your top 5 recomended books?

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What are your top 5 recomended books?

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1honeydew69862004
Jul 7, 2009, 1:01am

I'm looking for something new to read. I've read most of my books at least enough times to remeber the endings a little too well sometimes. I've done the Twilight series and the mary higgins clark and carol higgins clark series as well to name a couple. I just need a new book to read. So what would you recommend?

2RebeccaAnn
Edited: Jul 19, 2009, 11:06pm

Well, you're not giving us a whole lot to work with, but if you liked Twilight you might want to try some other vampire fiction. I enjoy the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, starting with Dead Until Dark. It's urban fantasy, but has a much lighter tone. If you want more traditional urban fantasy (which is much darker), you could try Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series which starts with Guilty Pleasures.

Since you seem to like the Clarks who I believe write mysteries/thrillers, you could try an author who writes similar material such as Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, J.D. Robb, Harlan Coben, or John Sandford. If you want a little less mystery and a little more horror, try Dean Koontz or Stephen King.

You also seem to enjoy fantasy and young adult fiction, so I would personally recommend one of my favorites, the Gentlemen Bastards Sequence by Scott Lynch. The first book is The Lies of Locke Lamora and there are only two out at the moment (the third one will hopefully be coming out soon and it's supposed to be a series of I believe seven books). It's not a traditional fantasy and it's more on the adult end of young adult fiction, but it's fantastic.

I hope I helped just a little bit! :P

3jenreidreads
Jul 19, 2009, 11:38pm

If you just want my top five favorite books, here you go!

Gone With The Wind - my all-time favorite.
Mistborn - this is a fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson. He's a genius. Read anything by him.
The Hunger Games - young adult fiction. Probably the very best thing I read last year.
Outlander - a huge epic historical romance series. I love 'em.
The Tea Rose - another epic romantic tale. So good.

I don't know if our tastes are similar, but these are what I'm always recommending to customers at the bookstore where I work.

4RebeccaAnn
Jul 20, 2009, 7:55am

Whoops. I got caught up in my recommendations that I forgot to include a top five. Well, here are mine:

Gentlemen Bastards Sequence by Scott Lynch
Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Alex Cross Series by James Patterson
Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

Those are the top books that I've read recently and really stand out in my mind.

5RosyLibrarian
Edited: Jul 22, 2009, 12:49pm

Maybe you'd also enjoy the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman, if you like a little bit of fantasy and mystery.

Those are my favorite books!

6meags222
Jul 24, 2009, 11:26am

I'd recommend a couple:

My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Anyone Out There by Marian Keyes
The Strain by Guilermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner

The last one is a mystery, The Strain is about vampires/zombies. The other 3 I guess would be considered chick lit.

7jmccord
Jul 31, 2009, 7:38pm

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Bible
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

In no particular order, I love these books and each one has something to contribute.

8elliepotten
Aug 1, 2009, 11:10am

Hmmmm, tricky things, recommendations. It's so hard to make any unless you know someone well, so I'll settle for giving you MY top 5 and if any of them sound good to you, well, so much the better!

1) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - a witty, flamboyant, yet darkly gothic tale of excess... the movie's coming out soon too so if you'll be seeing it, read it first!

2) The Secret History by Donna Tartt - a group of brilliant misfits let their obsessions get out of hand until they end up guilty of murder.

3) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Books and Barcelona and literary mystery all rolled into one delicious novel.

4) The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman - a magical book about an icy woman who has been struck by lightning, who meets with another lightning victim, a burning man, and how they reawaken each other.

5) A Book Addict's Treasury by Lynda Murphy and Julie Rugg - a delicious little anthology or commonplace book of well chosen paragraphs and quotes and book extracts, all on the joys of books and reading.

9leb62
Aug 1, 2009, 4:44pm

I have noticed that many previous posts mentioned C. Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries. I too was a lover of Twilight and searched to fill a void after my completion of Breaking Dawn. Dead Until Dark the first book in the series definately helped me move on from Twilight.
Other books I would recommend would be Honeymoon by James Patterson, The Eight by Katherine Neville, Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice, and Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz. All either great thriller, mystery, or supernatural reads. Good Luck!

10KRN0330
Aug 2, 2009, 4:17pm

I highly recommend The China Garden by Liz Berry if you haven't already picked it up. If you liked the Twilight series you'll definitely enjoy this book. It has the romance in an Edward/Bella meant for each other kind of way, a slight supernatural feel along with mystery and suspense.

Timeline by Michael Crichton is a great read. I don't know if that will fit your tastes though, I'm an Archaeology major and find the book fascinating as well as extremely suspenseful.

I know it's already been mentioned but I also picked up Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris and recommend that series as well.

I'm guessing most people have but, if you haven't ever read The Count of Monte Cristo in school or otherwise I would suggest picking that up as well. It's one of my all time favorites, it doesn't quite match your description of what you like, but I feel we similar tastes.

Lastly, if you're a fan of Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is highly amusing and a puts a nice twist on a beloved classic.

and to recap:
1. The China Garden by Liz Berry
2. Timeline by Michael Crichton
3. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen
5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

11elliepotten
Edited: Aug 3, 2009, 5:03am

I read The China Garden from my school library, and although I can't remember anything about it - character, plot, nothing - I get such a happy, fuzzy feeling when I think of it that I know I must have loved it. I should find it again!
ETA: OK, that made it sound like a forgettable book, so I should add, that was about eight years ago!

12ZJF
Aug 3, 2009, 6:14am

My top 5 books that i usually recommend are:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
I know this much is true by Wally Lamb
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Im also 3/4 of the way through Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen & really enjoying it!

Hope that helps :)

13adamsax08
Sep 3, 2009, 12:21am

If you like Twilight you should try Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. It's a series there are 4 books out right now and two more on the way. If you like the author is planning on doing a spin off with more books. You could also try the Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine. The Darkest Power series by Kelley Armstrong is also good.

14Sutpen
Sep 3, 2009, 1:03am

In no particular order...
-Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin---A severely underrated book. The NYTimes reviewer wrote that this book made him feel nervous, in a way he'd never felt before, of inadequately displaying the brilliance of this story. Me too, so I'll leave it at that.
-Suttree by Cormac McCarthy---Maybe my favorite McCarthy novel. It's suitably bleak, but not depressing. Nor is it nearly as violent as most of his other stuff. It's a truly fascinating portrait of dirt-poor Knoxville, TN
-Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges---There's really nothing else quite like Borges. Some of the best short fiction anybody has ever written.
-At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien---This one's probably the least accessible of the 5. It's about an author whose characters rebel against him, among other things.
-As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner---Maybe my favorite Faulkner. I will note that some people find this novel really hard, but I found it remarkably easy for Faulkner. In place of chapter numbers, each chapter begins with one of the characters' names and is told entirely in that character's 'brain voice.'

These aren't my absolute favorite books necessarily, although I do love them all.

15trisweather
Sep 3, 2009, 11:49am

My top five at the moment is in no particular order:

The little mermaid. The original version, not the disneyfied one. The ending is so beautiful in the original.

The will of the empress. My favourite of all the books by Tamora Pierce

Where rainbows end by Cecelia Ahern. My favourite chicklit book. Love her book, because they are never just straight romance. There are always something that sets them apart in that genre.

Watchmen. Best comic book ever

The reader, because it really got me thinking.

16jessuncw
Sep 29, 2009, 3:55pm

Top 5 as of right now:
1. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
4. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
5. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

17PaulBerauer
Sep 29, 2009, 5:45pm

Its hard to narrow it down to just 5, but in no particular order here are my favorites of the moment:

The House of Paper by Carlos Dominguez
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost

18dancingstarfish
Sep 30, 2009, 8:28am

The History of Love by nicole Krauss (cheesy title, but awesome book)
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (funny travel writing about australia)
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (gothic, beautiful, haunting, book lover type of story.. i dont really know how to describe it)
City of Theives by David Benioff (story about two boys who are surviving the war in russia by finding eggs for a general's daughters' wedding)

19jessuncw
Sep 30, 2009, 6:50pm

Dancing...what else have you read by Bill Bryson? I just finished In a Sunburned Country and loved it. My next Bryson book is A Short History of Nearly Everything...have you read it? I love how can he can write such educational books in such an entertaining way. Definitely one of my favorite authors.

20dancingstarfish
Oct 2, 2009, 3:47pm

Yea I actually started with In a Sunburned Country and then worked my way through all the rest of his books. My second favorite is A walk in the woods which is great. I also really liked A Short History of Nearly Everything although damn, get ready for a load of info! And Life and Times of a Thunderbolt Kid was a lot of fun. The rest of his books after that are only OK (in my opinion), a couple of his other travel ones are kind of.. endless bitching about being cold or lost etc without the humor, so he just sounds sort of unhappy and bitter. That was a sad experience for me, I think he was in a better place when he wrote the Sunburned one. Anyway, thats my two cents!! I hope you enjoy them!

21veevoxvoom
Edited: Oct 6, 2009, 12:48pm

#19: A Short History of Nearly Everything is a great book. It does have a lot of info, but Bryson is such a good writer that I absorbed it easily.

As for five books I really like, in no particular order:

Maria McCann's As Meat Loves Salt
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin
George R.R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
Sarah Monette's Melusine & its sequels\

To honeydew: if you liked Twilight, you might like Wicked Lovely. I haven't read it but I've heard a lot of good things about it from people who enjoyed Twilight.

22afelka
Edited: Oct 12, 2009, 7:19am

My top five books until now.

Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
Royal Game by Stefan Zweig
The Outsider by Albert Camus
The Summer of Katya by Trevanian
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

23demianmood
Edited: Oct 19, 2009, 7:27am

My top 5:

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (an all-time fave)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Going after Cacciato and as a side The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien was also a good read, too.
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (The Foundation series are just as amazing, but if I had to choose between the two, I would go for the former)

Too many favorites to choose from, really... Tch.

24JamesAbdulla
Nov 25, 2009, 1:31pm


I just finished reading I think therefore who am I? by Peter Weissman which was very good.

Recently some other good books have been:

Il Gattopardo by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa
The Damned United by David Peace
Leviathan or The Whale by Philip Hoare
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

25BooGirl
Dec 4, 2009, 10:34am

Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz - My favorite series by him. Its a 'guy who can see ghosts/spirits' book with an original twist. My all time favorite books.

London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave - Little book but I fell in love with it. I feel that this book would make an amazing independent film.

Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris - Vampires that don't sparkle...need I say more?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Historical fiction I was forced to read by my mom who is in love with this series. Turns out to be a truly amazing book. It's a series but I have only read the first book as of yet.

Edgar Allan Poe in general. Anything by him.

26babygurl14
Dec 4, 2009, 10:35am

honeydew69862004 try the house of night books or even blue bloods

27LheaJLove
Dec 11, 2009, 3:14pm


Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Price of the Ticket by James Baldwin

hm...there might be others, especially when I think about poetry. But these are the first that come to mind...

28asukamaxwell
Dec 24, 2009, 8:52am

1.) Thomas Jefferson: Scientist by Edwin T. Martin
2.) History of My Life by Giacomo Casanova (it's 12 volumes, so good luck! lol)
3.) The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
4.) Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
5.) Candide & Other Short Stories by Voltaire (or anything by this man)

29chamberk
Jan 22, 2010, 2:52pm

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

(IJ has recently dethroned The Once and Future King for top-5 status, but it still warrants mention)

30BBGirl55
Jan 26, 2010, 4:35pm

in any order

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
The Lovely bones by Alice Sebold
Five People you meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Crooked Pieces by Sarah Grazbrook
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

all off these are recomended!

31alsvidur
Jan 26, 2010, 11:14pm

I loved the Southern Vampire mysteries and Blue Bloods YA series as well.

My favorites:
The Princess Bride - William Goldman - Way better than the movie, and that's saying something
The Abandoned - Paul Gallico - Boy gets hit by car and wakes up as a cat
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - No comment needed here, I think
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell - Again, the book puts a great movie to shame
Good Night, Mr Tom - Michelle Magorian - YA/children's book about kids being moved from London to the countryside during WWII

I'd recommend all of these except The Abandoned. I loved it, and it's by a great author, but it could also be one of those books that hits you at a certain point in your life and stays with you, no matter the quality.

32TineOliver
Apr 6, 2010, 6:23am

1. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
2. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
4. 1984 - George Orwell
5. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

33inaudible
Apr 6, 2010, 11:53am

Q by Luther Blissett (now Wu Ming)
2666 by Roberto Bolaño
Personae or Hugh Selwyn Mauberley by Ezra Pound
V. by Thomas Pynchon
The Chelsea Whistle by Michelle Tea

The first is an adventure novel set in the 16th century peasant wars that retells the history of 20th century radicalism. It rules. The second is an immense and terrifying book. The thirds are probably the greatest poetic works of the 20th century. The fourth is my favorite first novel, ever. The final is a memoir that does better at talking about gender and class in America than any other book I've ever read.

34Leli1013
Apr 26, 2010, 7:02pm

1. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
3. In Memoriam by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
5. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

35Redthing
Aug 21, 2010, 1:37pm

1. Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov
2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Island of Dr. Moreau H.G. Wells
4. The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
5. A Shadow on the Glass by Ian Irvine

It's hard to pick five!!

36NocturnalBlue
Aug 21, 2010, 6:51pm

1. Atonement by Ian McEwan
2. Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
3. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
4. An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks
5. A Collection of Essays by George Orwell.

I also second all the Southern Vampire recommendations.

37johannes_reiter
Jan 16, 2011, 3:04pm

1. Truman Capote - In Cold Blood
2. John Irving - The Hotel New Hampshire
3. Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
4. Thomas Bernhard - Extinction (although I don't know how good the translation is)
5. Albert Camus - The Plague

38lippylibrarian
Jan 21, 2011, 1:03pm

As a librarian I get a lot of requests from my patrons asking what they should read next. From your description, it seems as though your reading tastes include mysteries, romance, young adult fiction, with a dash of the supernatural thrown in. If you were one of my patrons, I would probably recommend:

1. Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris
2. Women of the Underworld series by Kelley Armstrong
3. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. (This also happens to be one of my favourite series of all time!)
4. The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
5. Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs

Most of these are series, but I guarantee that you'll want more than just one book after reading any of these!

39MissLibrarianLord
Jan 27, 2011, 1:36pm

1) Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
2) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
3) Candide by Voltaire
4) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
5) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

40philae_02
Mar 22, 2011, 1:17pm

1. Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander -- a Victorian romance/mystery/suspense series that this first one had me completely hooked

2. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran -- historical fiction about princess Selene and her life in Rome

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen -- a fun parody of the classic book..of course the original is still the best

4. Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd -- I had got this as part of ER and like #3 it is a mystery novel with Austen characters...very interesting plot twists

5. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan -- okay, yes this is a YA series, but since you mentioned Twilight (which I have also read), I thought you might throughly enjoy this series based on Greek mythology and young heroes.

41veilofisis
Apr 22, 2011, 11:50pm

In no particular order (and the list is sometimes fluid, but this has been the top five for a couple of years now):

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - Still my favorite, I think. I love things with a Gothic sensibility that aren't bloodless or wooden. This is neither. There's also a sensual thread of...something curious and indescribable...that weaves through this, and tinted though it is with doom, it's really quite something to experience (and later, explore). Languid and lovely, and always ready for a reread.

2. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin - Another great all-time favorite, this is a Gothic novel that departs from the norms of the genre, like Dorian Gray, but is ultimately a distillation of everything the genre epitomizes: the decadent, the paranoid, the vicious, the venomous, the ironic, the cruel; it's also remarkably profound, mystical even, and its Faustian theme is original and pithy and spiritual in the most potent and bizarre of ways.

3. H.P. Lovecraft: Tales - No conversation of American supernaturalism is complete without even just a passing nod of this man, and his stories are testaments to an overwhelming cosmic terror that is unnerving and stupefying in equal measure. Required reading, from the more obscure to popular fare like 'The Call of Cthulhu.' My favorites in this volume are probably 'The Haunter of the Dark' and 'The Rats in the Walls.'

4. Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood - My favorite writer. His own supernatural stories are esoteric and impossible to classify; they have this otherworldly beauty about them that disturbs as much as it enraptures. Gorgeous and menacing stuff. Favorites are 'The Listener,' 'The Wendigo,' and 'Accessory Before the Fact.'

5. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - Although deeply dividing, of course, and ultimately a testament to the undying natures of hatred and insanity, this book is too good to throw away off hand. The racism here is thick and upsetting, but the narrative's beauty and subtle, haunting codas of horror are impossible to forget, and linger in the fleshier parts of the brain a long, long time after reading. If you can get through it, there is much to ponder, revile, and adore here. This is desert-island fare, as far as I'm concerned.

Honorary Mention: Plato's Symposium - What can I say about this that hasn’t been said already? This is the concept of love abstracted in the warmest and most effervescent of ways, and something that inspires constantly, no matter your opinion on love, your own sexuality, or the way in which you choose to look at the world.

I'm not sure if I really hit the nail on the head as far as a solid recommendation goes, but I thought I'd post here anyway. Some of the best things I've ever read have been stumbled upon simply because I thought the title sounded pleasant or I liked the look of a cover or someone I barely know or overheard in a coffee shop mentioned them in passing...

42DeusExLibrus
Jun 15, 2011, 1:00am

In no particular order:

Lord of the Rings/Chronicles of Narnia: I know I'm cheating here, but Tolkien basically created the fantasy genre. Nearly the entire genre is derivative of him in some way shape or form. Chronicles is, IMHO, one of the best kid's series ever written, and well worth reading for adults. There's so much in both these works that both a kid and adult should be able to enjoy reading them.

Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East Purported to be the record of a trip into the Indian highlands taken by a group of scientists and seekers around the turn of the last century (beginning of the 20th) Life and Teaching is a mind-bending wild ride for anyone with an open mind.

I'll come back later for the last three, and may well give another list at some point.

43amz310783
Edited: Jun 15, 2011, 5:38am

My top 5 so far (in no particular order)

Never Let Me Go
Change of Heart or most by Jodi Picoult
The Solitaire Mystery
The Uglies and the rest of the series
The Stolen Child

44InfectiousOptimist
Jun 30, 2011, 12:34pm

What a fun thread!

My top 5:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Jk Rowling's Harry Potter Series, of course.

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series

Meg Cabot's Heather Wells series

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult

And if I threw in a "bonus" book, I'd include:

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

45heidio
Aug 17, 2011, 2:28am

I love learning what others are reading...I also enjoy sharing my most recent favorites!
Current Top Five:
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Unbroken by Jessie Haas
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (first read The Glass Castle)
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett (just read it for the second time)

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