worth reading

by jenna on October 6, 2011

Let me share with you my latest book love! I got this book based on your recommendations to take along with me to Colorado a few weeks ago. You guys know me so well! This book was everything I love and more! It was a richly detailed historical novel taking place in the mountains of Tennessee and spanning from the Great Depression to modern day.

The novel almost has a “mystical” vibe to it and is told in different character perspectives, which isn’t something I normally love (sometimes I feel like it’s distracting) but it worked really well here! I ended up starting this book the night before I left and not being able to put it down on my entire flight over to Denver….it was that good!

What are you reading right now? I need a new book, stat!

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) October 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’m going to need to pick this guy up! I’m reading one I think you’ve already read- the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!

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andrea October 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I would highly recommend Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It’s a Christian book, not a novel. But definitely, deeffiiinitely a book you should read.

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

read it and love it! we studied that book in our small group last fall and it was very convicting (in a good way).

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine October 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I loved that book too. I know some people think it’s too much—it poses a lot of really tough topics. But I thought it was great. Heaven is for Real is wonderful too!

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Lisa October 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I liked Heaven is for Real too. It’s a quick read.

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Beth October 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

This book sounds like something I would like. I am going to add it to my list. I’m currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It’s non-fiction, which isn’t always my first choice but it is really interesting.

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Alex October 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I’d suggest “Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love and the Search for Home” by Kim Sunee. It’s a beautifully-told story, and it features delicious recipes. Plus, I’m suggesting it as our next book for my book club tonight :)

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Catie October 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay- it’s a must read! It’s an intersection of two stories: a journalist in early 2000’s Paris and a young girl in the Vel d’Hiv roundup in 1942 Paris.

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Cara October 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I just finished Blood, Bones and Butter (memoir by the owner of Prune restaurant in NY) and it is a great book for a foody and she is an amaaaaazing writer!

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Blog is the New Black October 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Still Missing!!! I just stress it & I’m obsessed- it’s about a kidnapped girl & she tells the story through her hearty sessions. It’s chilling & fascinating.

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Karen October 7, 2011 at 5:17 am

I really enjoyed that book last summer…it was unique in the format the author chose to relay the details of the kidnapping. Mostly, I liked being the fly on the wall during her therapy sessions!

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Blog is the New Black October 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Woops, just started I meant!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I think you should read…yoga books! Maybe read some yoga sutras and meditate on them and see how they resonate with you since it seems like yoga has become a bigger influence in your life lately :)

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meagan October 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I agree! One of my favorites on our reading list during yoga teacher training was T.K. V. Desikachar’s ‘The Heart of Yoga’. So inspiring! Also, The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi. Both were good books to begin a practice with.

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B n B October 7, 2011 at 4:55 am

That’s a great idea. Yoga is not just a fitness thing and really is about the “other” stuff.

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Kate October 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I haven’t started it yet, but I’ll be diving into We need to talk about Kevin tonight. I’ve heard great things about it.

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Maggie October 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I think you might like Alice I Have Been; http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6540352-alice-i-have-been

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Laura October 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I just finished Bloodroot too!! You’re right, it definitely had some sort of mystical vibe to it!! I’m reading a Fern Michaels novel titled “Sins of the Flesh” and it’s so engrossing, I can’t put it down!

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Mellie October 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Agatha Christie! I love her mysteries, they are so unpredictable!

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Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso October 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I am currently reading Little Bee. But I just picked up We Were Strangers from the library per your recommendation! Keep the good books coming…I’ve got such a long list to complete!

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Colleen October 7, 2011 at 4:05 am

am also reading We were strangers based on Jenna’s review, great book. you will love it.

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

i’m reading the tast of salt right now.

i just finished the view from here. it was really good!!!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes October 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

This sounds great! I am reading the English Patient right now.

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Christine October 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I’ve suggested this before but I will suggest it again because I loved it and I think you will, too! Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr. Such a moving story about a little girl growing up with her grandparents in the 1960s in rural Wisconsin!

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Hannah October 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Thanks for the recommendation. I just added this audiobook to my hold list at the library. I recently finished reading Every Last One, which was good, and have started to read Uglies. It’s not exactly riveting so far, but I think the story is still building into something entertaining.

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Amber October 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I am reading A Thousand Splendid Suns…so far good and has great reviews. Have you read Bittersweet? More short life applicable stories. Very good. And I just finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Sad, but I highly recommend it.

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Rachel October 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

LOVE Khaled Hosseini. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns were epic, and I love reading about cultures so foreign from my own.

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Krista October 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Night Circus by Erin Morganstern. It’s really good!

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Mary October 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I second this! I just finished it and ADORED it.

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Sara October 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I just finished The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and it the writing was amazing. The story follows a Russian immigrant through his life in New York and to eastern Europe and back again. It’s a coming of age story, but the writing is what really stands out.

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) October 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

FREEDOM is an incredible book – I just read it and it is literally probably one of my top 5 EVER. I read it in 3 days and I think it has like 600 pages….

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Laura October 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

The Hunger Games! Once you start it, don’t plan on doing anything else but reading until you’re finished, though!

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Christena October 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Jenna – so glad you liked the book! I grew up in that area & the setting & even the people seem so real to me. I think I mentioned this when I recommended it, but I actually emailed the author and gushed about it. She wrote me back and was very nice. She’s also from East Tennessee, so she was writing about home, and I think you can totally tell.

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Jenn's Adventures October 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Oooh, I might just have to read this book — I lived in the TN Valley for almost two years. Right now I’m finishing “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado and “Prayerwalk” by Jante Holm McHenry — both fantastic reads.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I just finished Room. I have to admit, I didn’t find it to live up to all the hype. I’m glad I read it but I don’t know if I would necessarily recommend it to other people.

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Christena October 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I felt the same way about Room, but I also didn’t like The Help or Water for Elephants….so I’m not surprised when I don’t like bestsellers.

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Kelly October 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm

What didn’t you like about The Help?

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Stefamoe October 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I’ve added to my to-read list. Thanks for sharing!

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Marina October 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

The Hunger Games trilogy! AMAAAZING!! You won’t be able to put them down! (and the first movie comes out in March! yayy!)

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Marla October 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Jenna have you read
“The Art of Racing In The Rain” by Garth Stein?

I loved this book that is written from the perspective
of a dog, especially as one gets further in the book.

I couldn’t put it down near the end.A very good read! :)

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Kathy October 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I just read the art of racing in the rain and loved it!

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Becki @ Bites 'n Brews October 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I just finished “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Alonzo. Amazing true story about how her faith carried her through major terrorism and tragedies against her family.

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Leslie Means October 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

You can read Ella B. Bella and the Secret Ingredient!! http://www.ellabbella.com
OK – that was a LAME attempt to plug my new children’s book. If you aren’t between the ages of 0-10, it’s probably not for you. :)

What I am reading right now (for adults) is “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” by Mitch Albom. I’ve read it before but just pulled it out again for the first time in a LONG time. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this one.

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Christena October 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Have you heard of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? Oh my — this book changed my life. It is a Christian book & she blogs at aholyexperience.com She writes like a poet.

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Alexis October 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm

How to Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway. It’s on the newer books shelf at Barnes and Noble. Loved it. This story is about a Japanese woman who moves to the US, but it’s not just about her housewife woes. It is narrated at an older age and is about her daughter tracing her roots.

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anita October 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Just finished The Postmistress, and have started The Hobbit, for some fun reading!
Am also reading the Outlander series, but they books are so long I need a break once in a while.

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B n B October 7, 2011 at 4:57 am

I loved The Hobbit and the whole LOTR trilogy. I need to find those again.

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MsCaroline October 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I haven’t read ‘Bloodroot’ yet, but it reminds me a bit of Kaye Gibbons’ writing. If you haven’t already read ‘Ellen Foster’ and/or ‘A Virtuous Woman’ I would highly recommend them.
Right now I’m really into Geraldine Brooks http://geraldinebrooks.com/
since I’m reading ‘Caleb’s Crossing.’ However, I also loved her ‘Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague’ and ‘People of the Book’ – both historical fiction, very well researched. And, as always, anything by Lisa See.

I’m off to order ‘Bloodroot’ on my Kindle: thanks for the recommendation!

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meagan October 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I just recently read:
1. By Nightfall–Michael Cunningham. Very well written. Also, very modern.
2. Full Dark, No Stars–Stephen King. Short stories by…well, you know. He really knows how to spin a yarn; I don’t like horror/suspense but I just can’t put his stuff down.
3. The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman. A psychological thriller.

All three of those are pretty dark/intense books, but I really enjoyed them. All were well written.

Right now I’m reading Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. So far, so good.

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Kate A. October 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I just finished reading “The World Made by Hand.” It is a novel set in upstate NY about what America would be like if we ran out of oil. It is interesting because it is a little bit like historical fiction because they ride horses, churn butter, are farmers etc. But also it has the twist of not being in the past, so the characters remember cars and ipods. I read it in a night – I just could not put it down! I am so excited that there is a sequel.

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Colleen October 7, 2011 at 4:09 am

Diane Setterfield’s the Thirteenth Tale is a great gothic read, good for curling up with the cat in your yoga pants on rainy day

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Karen October 7, 2011 at 5:21 am

I’m reading Tina Fey’s memoir, Bossy Pants. It’s light and funny, as you’d expect.

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Barbara October 7, 2011 at 5:37 am

I’m reading The Invisible Bridge right now. It’s a long book, which is great for me because I read so fast. I am loving it!
http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Bridge-Vintage-Contemporaries/dp/140003437X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317990870&sr=8-1

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R. Chandra October 7, 2011 at 6:20 am

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery!

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Jenn October 7, 2011 at 7:45 am

Have you read the trilogy starting with The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo? I am starting that this weekend!

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Samma October 7, 2011 at 7:47 am

I loved Bloodroot! Like the author, I am from East Tennessee, and the setting and characters rang so true to me. Have you ever read Lee Smith’s novels? If not, you would really enjoy the earlier ones, which are also set in Appalachia. Fair and Tender Ladies is one of my all time favorites.

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jhoysi October 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

Will have to add this one to my list!

I’m currently reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, and enjoying it so far (just started this week). I’ve been dying to start reading it and so far, so good!

I also just finished reading Julia Child’s My Life in France. Anyone who loves food should DEFINITELY read this book! Though, don’t read it while hungry :)

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Ashley @perfectleypeared October 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

Hey Jenna,
Do you have a link to all your book reviews? I could have sworn you had a tab. Let me know!! If not, you should do that!

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TiffanyS October 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

I just finished ‘The Kitchen House’, and I couldn’t put it down. Loved it. Also, read Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes (he amazes me), and about to read Born to Run if your into anything with running I’ve heard it is really good.

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Karen October 8, 2011 at 5:30 am

Jenna – Next on my list is Birds of Paradise. Given the Florida setting and the culinary theme, it might be right up your alley! Karen

http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Paradise-Novel-Diana-Abu-Jaber/dp/0393064611/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318076748&sr=8-1

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Charlie October 8, 2011 at 7:25 am

I have just read The Night Circus and it is AMAZING! cross between Water for Elephants and Time Traveller’s Wife. So good. Also have you read Cutting for Stone? its great.

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Ali October 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

I just finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness. It was so, so, so good and filled with mystery, love and suspense. The second book comes out summer 2012, and the anticipation is killing me.

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Honey Bear October 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

Anything by Sara Addison Allen, mainly The Peach Keeper, but her others are Garden Spells, Sugar Queen, and The Girl Who Chased The Moon. They are all excellent, take place in the South, and have an almost mystical quality about them. Very well written, very good reads!

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Kelly October 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Jenna, please do yourself a favour and go borrow The Secret Daughter from the library. I just finished it (this morning!) and loved it. The style of writing is captivating and I just couldn’t put it down without knowing what happens next!

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Jessie October 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Just finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. AMAZING book.

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Jessie October 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

It is a retelling of the book of Hosea, nothing like I would normally read . . . gotta LOVE book club!

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Meg October 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Wally Lamb – the author quoted on the cover of Bloodroot – has some great books: The Hour I First Believed was excellent.

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peacebeme October 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Added this to my goodreads list!

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Pam October 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

“Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis. Jenna, her story is amazing. She has a blog…kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com

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Carol October 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I read The Kitchen House in 3 days while on vacation…one of my all time favorite books.

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