Behind The Butter

Go Read a Book


I receive more emails about books than anything else. I guess y’all know who to ask when it comes to reading since I don’t have a TV and like to believe I live in 1865.

I actually got accused of cheating in fourth grade when I wrote on my pleasure reading log that I had read 1,000 pages in two weeks. Mrs. Stein called my mother at home saying her daughter who was either always up in a tree in the playground or in the school library was setting a bad example for the homeroom class with a dishonest reading log.

My mom had my back.


I read on.

Here’s a list of my favorite books. You know, the ones you can read for the second or third time and whose pages are weathered and worn around the edges. I feel bad for people that don’t read. I really do. I also feel bad for people that don’t eat dessert, but that’s a different story.

Prince of Tides

Redeeming Love

Cooking for Mr. Latte

Those Who Save Us

Sarah’s Key


My Life in France

The Outlander Series

The Moveable Feast

ANYTHING by Jodi Picoult

At First Sight

Trail of Crumbs

The Poisonwood Bible

Afternoons with Emily

Lunch in Paris

Lonesome Dove

ANYTHING by Richard Paul Evans

Red Water

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse

Julia and Julia

Grapes of Wrath

Certain Girls

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

The Year of Fog

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Bread Alone

The Baker’s Apprentice: A Novel

On that note, I must go to the library today. What are some great books that you can recommend? I need a good one.

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  • Lisa
    April 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Hi Jenna,

    Great list of faves! I just finished Brideshead Revisited which was a pretty fabulous piece of literature. Last night, I started reading The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World. I think it’s going to be life altering.

    I heart the library!

    Have fun,

    • Marisa Leigh
      April 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      I recently read “The Geography of Bliss” and I just loved it! It is a remarkable book with so much insight and inspiration.

  • Evan Thomas
    April 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

    My two timeless favorites are Wuthering Heights and The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

  • miranda
    April 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

    thank you for a book list!!! now i can add them to my pages and pages of books to read and begin to conquer them this summer. tell me you have read “time travelers wife!” have fun at the library!!

  • emily
    April 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Haha, I had a very similar thing happen with my 2nd grade reading log! I LOVE to read, and I always admire how you make time for it in your busy schedule. Growing up I read at least 1book a week and now it’s been months and months (for a librarian’s daughter there’s just no excuse!). I also love how personal reading is – your favorite list basically looks like my most hated book list. I’m much more into memoirs, nonfiction, and fantasty. I feel like literature has another variety that there is something for everyone to love!

  • Lisa
    April 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I was the same way growing up: total book nerd. I’d rather read than do anything else! Have you read “Eat Pray Love”?

  • Louise
    April 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

    “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”. It is a quirky mystery.

  • Katie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Try reading anything by Wally Lamb. His characters are incredibly REAL.

    • Shannon
      April 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Agreed! One of my favorite authors.

  • emily
    April 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

    another = amazing. Apparently my love of the written language doesn’t mean I have mastery of it πŸ˜€

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle
    April 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I love reading… once I start, I have a terrible time setting down a book before it’s finished so I avoid starting new books when I need to get a lot done :(. I’m almost done with my grad school thesis and looking forward to lots of reading this summer- I will be checking back on this list.

  • Diana
    April 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I like Agatha Christies’ books. Murder, mystery, thriller, crime. That’s my kinda thing. I love books (as does my dad). We have a decent collection at home, actually, more than 1000. πŸ™‚

  • Michele
    April 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    House of Sand and Fog
    We Were the Mulvaneys
    Sense and Sensibility
    Peyton Place — this is pure, page-turning bliss — old school scandal at its BEST!!!

  • Paige
    April 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    My two favorite books are: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. I have read them about 3 times each, and never tire of them!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    April 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I feel bad for people that don’t read, too! Reading takes me away – it is my escape.

  • Cristin
    April 26, 2010 at 11:13 am

    The Things They carried by Tim O’brien is wonderful. And all the Harry Potter books of course πŸ™‚

  • Emily Eats and Exercises
    April 26, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I love reading but I’ve read so few of your list! I guess we have different tastes? I’ll have to try some. I like Norwegian Wood by Murakami, The Blind Assassin by Margret Atwood, A Fine Balance by Mistry, What is the What by Dave Eggers. To name a few…

  • Beth
    April 26, 2010 at 11:14 am

    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, oh you will adore it!

  • Erin
    April 26, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I’ve been looking for good book recommendations! I think you just made my summer reading list πŸ™‚

  • Kaye
    April 26, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I second the Wally Lamb suggestion, “She’s Come Undone” is so painstakingly detailed, the emotions feel real. Usually, I have the attention span of a gnat though, so my staples are David Sedaris, Augusten Bourroughs and other short story anthologies/memoirs. I especially love the annual “Best Non-Required Reading” anthologies!

  • Shannon
    April 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Redeeming Love was SUCH a good book. I need to read it again…right now. Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion triology was really, really good too. I’d say it rivaled Redeeming Love. I also just read The Scarlet Thread by her and it’s mainly set in LA, but begins in Healdsburg and Windsor–I thought of you and some of your posts to visualize the places as I read the book (is that strange?). I agree with you about feeling sorry for people who don’t read!

  • beerab
    April 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I love huge books like the poisonwood bible!

    ROOTS- Alex Haley. I’ve read this book so many times my personal copy has fallen apart lol.

    Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody.

    Anything by Pillippa Gregory (She wrote The Other Boleyn Girl- Queen Anne Boleyn)- her books are great! The Constant Princess (about King Henry’s first wife- Katherine of Aragon), The Boleyn Inheritance (Anne of Cleves-wife#4), The Other Queen (Queen Mary of Scots), Queen’s fool, Virgin’s Lover (Elizabeth 1st).

  • eatmovelove
    April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Reading is MY fave…oh Jenna is a better life possible? One where I can write and just be…?
    I liked Julie and Julia as well – didn’t like the movie though …hmm. My Sister’s Keeper was good. I have so many to read now! I want to read that one “The Happiness Project”..has anyone read it?

  • Andrea J
    April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I could spend hours at the library! I’m definitely going to check a few of those books out. Thanks for the recommendations! Hope you have a wonderful afternoon πŸ™‚

  • Tanner
    April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Confederates in the Atttic by Tony Horowitz
    The Universe in a Single Atom by the Dalai Lama

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    i LOVE reading. my dad’s an English professor and we used to have to do a book report every week during the summer…SO awesome! i really enjoy a lot of authors, but agree that Francine Rivers is amazing in the Christian fiction realm!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I love Jodi Picoult anything.

    I just read a really cute easy read called Remember Me? You won’t want it to end but its such a quick read!

  • Katie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The Kite Runner; Eat, Pray, Love; Anne of Green Gables series; Gone With the Wind. All of these are amazing, I did only read The Kite Runner once because it made me sad, but it was still amazing and I’d recommend it to any and everyone. The others are all ones I could read a million times and love! I am also a huge fan of all Jodi Picoult books, but I think I’ve already read everything she has out right now, so I can’t recommend anything new!

  • Bethany
    April 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Totally agree about Jodi Picoult, she’s the best!!!!! I’m not a huge fan of reading like you, but I LOVE all of her books!

  • Britton
    April 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I LOVE Redeeming Love!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    April 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Great list!!! That is too funny– I got accused of LYING once in 5th grade about the amount of books I’d read too!! Guess that might be a common thing with future-English Majors πŸ™‚

    I just finished American Wife, and it was really good. OH! And one of my all-time favorite biographies is The Silent Woman, by Janet Malcolm. It’s a Sylvia Plath biography, and it’s really interesting and intense! Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett’s memoir about her friendship with writer Lucy Grealy is really great too.

  • Jennie {in Wonderland}
    April 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I could read Jane Eyre over and over and never get tired.

    I love Sarah Waters. She is fantastic – especially ‘The Night Watch’ and ‘Tipping the Velvet’. The 2nd is very bawdy and entertaining, whilst the first is one of the best depictions I’ve ever, ever read of World War II London. She embodies her characters. Just a wonderful writer… I’ve read all her books dozens of times.

    I adore Kate Atkinson – especially ‘Case Histories’.

    Virginia Woolf is definitely a favourite – Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse. I also adore Daphne Du Maurier – Rebecca has always, and will always be a classic.

    Margaret Atwood is an awesome, feminist writer. I will always remember ‘The Handmaiden’s Tale’ but I think my favourite remains ‘The Edible Woman’.

    I love poetry books… I could read any poetry. Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver, Rainer-Rilke, Auden, Yeats, Neruda…

    I LOVE TO REEEEEEEAD! I also don’t own a TV and can happily live without one.

    Curling up in bed, early, when it’s still almost dark out, with a hot cup of green tea and a book is the greatest, simplest pleasure in the world.

  • brandi
    April 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I know how you feel! I once read 8 books in one day, which no one believes but my mom can vouch for me and the nightmares I had that night πŸ™‚

    Some of my all times favorites are on your list!
    Redeeming Love
    The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    any and all short stories by Hemingway

    and more fun “kid” books:
    Mandy by Julie Andrews
    Matilda by Roald Dahl
    Around the World in 80 Days

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    April 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I’m with you: Reading is the best way to escape. It’s my favorite way to spend a weekend afternoon. Two books I’ve recently read stand out: The Hunger Games, which YA and so hard to put down. (I read it in an afternoon and couldn’t even eat without reading it.) And The Road, which I couldn’t stop thinking about even after I finished.

  • Sarah
    April 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    So glad you posted that list, I’m on my way to the library this week and needed some good recommendations.

    As for one I’d recommend, one of my absolute favorite books is “Fortune’s Rocks” by Anita Shreve. It’s seriously great and one of those books I read over and over again.

  • Katie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I had a similar experience in 2nd grade, except mine was with the summer book club, and my dog ate my book list. My mom took it in, all tattered and doggy-drooled so that I could win my prize. Of course I read the most books – over 100 in 1 summer!

    I just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and highly recommend it, especially being that you are from the south. You will understand perhaps a bit more than our Yankee counterparts might!

    I can’t wait to check out your recommendations and reserve them at my library. I’m always looking for good book recs, so thanks!

  • Beth
    April 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I concur…reading just is…AMAZING! Here is my Top 10 (or rather 11) books that I put together not too long ago. Definitely some goodies on here!

    I just finished Drums of Autumn from the Outlander series (ah…Jamie & Claire…). I keep saying I’m going to take a break between each book but it gets more difficult each time.

    Happy Reading!

  • Becca
    April 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Anything by Mary Kay Andrews. Totally easy beach reads but so good! They are always set in Georgia and always include recipes from the stories within! Love love love her! She even rents a cottage on tybee island where she gets most of her ispiration! I want to go there so bad!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    April 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I haven’t read a single one of those books!! My sister is a book lover too, she’s all about the classics – I just like chick lit! My brain is always too fuzzled to cope with anything more by midnight πŸ˜›

  • Jennie {in Wonderland}
    April 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Someone above mentioned ‘American Wife’ by Curtis Sittenfeld. Definitely recommend that, although it made me cry numerous times… the descriptions of grief are SO sharp and apt. And the ending… I was in floods of tears. It’s those quiet moments of memory that are the hardest, I think. When you can almost reach out and touch the memory, but it slips away.

  • Mallory
    April 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

    LOVED Cooking for Mr. Latte!
    if the rest of your list is anywhere near as entertaining, i know i’ll love them πŸ™‚
    thanks for the recommendations!

  • AnneW
    April 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Love love love good books! Thanks for the suggestions!
    I recommend:
    Water for Elephants
    Bel Canto
    The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry (about Le Cordon Bleu!)
    The Help

  • Katherine
    April 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Atonement, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Piano Teacher, Jitterbug Perfume (my fav Tom Robbins), Eat Pray Love, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Secret Life of Bees, Water for Elephants, The Namesake….to name a few. I am reading “Cutting for Stone” right now and love it. I can’t imagine life without books and rarely go a day after finishing one before diving into another!

  • Laura
    April 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

    The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher!
    I lost myself in this multi-generational saga of an English family It’s a long book and I slowed down at the end because i didn’t want to finish it. It’s heartwarming and makes you long for all things English—I want to live in a cottage with an AGA stove and a scrubbed pine table and go on holiday in Cornwall! Also Rosamunde Pilcher is a master of descriptive writing. The book borders on a pulpy romance novel but RP’s writing ability raises it above that. It’s a perfect summer, escapism read.
    *checked the Amazon reviews before posting this–yup, it’s pretty much universally beloved”

  • Marianne
    April 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Time traveller’s wife!! Best book I’ve read in a while!

  • jen trinque
    April 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Ooh, thank you for posting this list! I love to read, too, and am always looking for good stuff. I love anything by Elizabeth Berg, Elinor Lipman, or Meg Cabot (Cabot’s stuff is super light and fun). I love lots of other books, too, but of course I can’t remember them at this critical juncture.

  • Kim
    April 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I have to confess that I carry a small notebook with lists and lists of books I’d recommend and books I want to read.

    I’d definitely suggest Kay Warren’s Dangerous Surrender. I just finished reading it with a women’s group at my church, and it completely changed my life, drew me closer to the women I was reading with, made me cry, made me stronger. I think every woman in America should read it with women they love.

    I’m also obsessed with The Omnivore’s Dilemma right now, which you’ve probably already read but I just had to throw in there.

    And agreed – Jodi Picoult is fantastic.

  • Lindsay
    April 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Water for Elephants – couldn’t put it down.
    The Art of Racing in the Rain – for dog lovers.
    The Help – a MUST read!!
    My Sister’s Keeper – didn’t see the movie, but the book is incredible.

    • Shannon
      April 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      It’s probably a really good thing you didn’t see the movie! I loved the book but hated the movie as they changed the ending.

  • Meghan@traveleatlove
    April 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I looove going to the Boston Public Library, especially to browse travel and cookbooks.
    There is a book written by my brother in law’s friend that I love. It’s called Juno and Juliet and it’s by Julian Gough. A great story about twin sisters living in college in Galway Ireland where I went and where my husband grew up. I met Julian at my BIL’s wedding and (am now so embarassed) gushed about how much I loved the book!
    Ok, now that I have written a book for you. . .

  • JenniferfromLaJolla
    April 26, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Cannot believe no one has recommended The Help by Katherine Stockett. I could not put it down. Being from the South, I don’t think you will be able to either.

  • shannon (the daily balance)
    April 26, 2010 at 11:26 am

    we have very similar tastes!

    that being said, I know you’ll love:

    Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Barbara Kingsolver

    The Weight of Silence – Heather Gudenkauf

    Goldengrove – Francine Prose

  • Rachel Gary
    April 26, 2010 at 11:26 am

    “Unaccostomed Earth,” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Really good. Her, “Interpeter of Maladies” is good too, Also anything by Bill Bryson if you’re in the mood for something subtley funny and super interesting. I like “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” and “A Brief History of Nearly Everything.”

  • lucy s.
    April 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I just finished American Wife and Prep, both by Curtis Sittenfeld and loved both of them. Also, The Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao is fantastic.

  • jennifer
    April 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Hey! I love how you post pics of the newest books you read, I need something light for the summer so any suggestions are welcome!
    How did you like “Sandcastles” (I believe that was it)?

  • Emily
    April 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is one of my absolute favorites! He also wrote The Kite Runner but this one was much better in my opinion πŸ™‚

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething
    April 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

    the art of racing in the rain is my current favorite!

  • Elizabeth
    April 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

    If you like mysteries, the series by Elizabeth George is fabulous. Make sure to read them in order, however.

  • Jess @ MTL Veggie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Currently reading Angela’s Ashes and I’m really liking it so far.
    One of my fav all time books is Jane Eyre, and I always love the Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe series πŸ™‚

  • Laura
    April 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I just read a book that changed my life. “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” by Jonathon Safron Foer. It’s very different and told from a few narrators, one being a little boy named Oscar who is trying to cope with his dad’s death in 9/11. It will warm your heart, truly.


  • Mary
    April 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

    THE MISTS OF AVALON by Marion Zimmer Bradley

    We seem to have similar tastes in books & this is my all time favorite! It comes across as sort of strange (& was made into a pretty bad tv movie), but I promise you will love it! I have recommended it to so many people who were apprehensive at first but now cite it as one of their favorites.
    Also, have you read the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel? These are pretty easy to find in public libraries & are also surprisingly amazing. Clan of the Cave Bear is the first & definitely the best. Both of these books are the type that you live the story & make you never want to stop reading!

  • katie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Oooh I love Redeeming Love. Have you read Time Traveler’s Wife, have you read it?

  • Megan
    April 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

    The best book that was ever recommended to me was “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” It is an amazing story and incredibly well written. It is not my all time favorite, but the recommendation was a complete surprise; it is one I never would have picked-up on my own.

  • Ashley
    April 26, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Great reading list! You should read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

  • Lauren
    April 26, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Read “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. One of the best historical fiction novels EVER. Main character is a German girl with a Jewish man living in her basement. Incredibly moving book.

  • Chandra H
    April 26, 2010 at 11:37 am

    ANYTHING BY CURTIS SITTENFELD!!!!!!! she is amazing. my favorite is ‘prep’, but i also loved ‘american wife’ and ‘the man of my dreams’.

    also, ‘the elegance of the hedgehog’ by muriel barbery is wonderful.

    i love reading too πŸ™‚

  • Katie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I second the suggestions for The Help and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I also adore Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

  • Lori @ All About Me
    April 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Love, love, love The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Best book ever. The only trouble is it’s kind of hard to find. It was on Kindle for awhile, then wasn’t, and the sequels (2) I had to order from England. But worth it! So good.

    I recommend logging all your books at It is a great way to keep track of books and share recommendations or warnings to stay away with others!

    I’m going to check out a few from your list. I love the Outlander series also!

  • Stacie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I’m currently reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and it’s been really funny and great so far:

    I also just finished Prep and really enjoyed it:

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing
    April 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I read a lot, too and when I was in elementary school I was doing a book report and we had to tell a new word we learned. I hadn’t learned any new words in that book and my teacher was going to mark me down unless I basically lied and said I did. My mom had my back, too! πŸ™‚

  • allison @ thesundayflog
    April 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

    i was down in vero beach/tampa for a wedding this weekend, so i am just catching up on my blogs. i hope you’re feeling better. that post was very real, and very heartwarming. it’s nice to have an outlet to get stuff out, huh? you made me crave cookies! just got the martha stewart cupcake cookbook and she has a ton of buttercream recipes, so i cant wait to give them a try. your posts have been wonderful lately. thanks so much for sharing! i cant wait for your book!!

  • Sarah
    April 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

    My favourite book of all time has to be Pride and Prejudice. I could read that book over and over. I am currently reading Eat Pray Love, and from what I know about you from reading your blog, I think you would enjoy it! I also love anything by David Baldacci, and most of John Grisham’s works as well. If you like a good chick-lit memoir, I suggest anything by Jen Lancaster, she’s very funny.

  • Whitney @ Whitinspired
    April 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Gah! I love the Outlander books. I just finished the 4th one last night and I’m taking a break between that one and the 5th one. They are so good!

  • Jil
    April 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Looove the books! and this: “I also feel bad for people that don’t eat dessert, but that’s a different story.” — I may or may not have giggled – out loud – and been nodding my head in agreement. πŸ™‚

  • Lina
    April 26, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Not sure if you’ve read them but I love both of Alice Steinbach’s books Without Reservations and Educating Alice. If you haven’t read them I think you would fall in love. And of course Eat, Pray, Love is an amazing one, The Craggy Hole in my Heart and the Cat who saved it by Geneen Roth.

  • adrienmelaine
    April 26, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Great booklist! Poisonwood Bible is my all time favorite book- poor Ruthie! I’ve got to get some of these other ones- just in time for summer, your time is impeccable

  • Natalie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Ahh! Love Prince of Tides! I may have to dust it off and read it for the 5th or 10th, who knows, time soon. Thanks for the list πŸ™‚

  • Samantha
    April 26, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Ohhh, fun post! I too loooove to read. I like: The Lovely Bones (Alice Seabold), Me & Emma (Elizabeth Flock); anything by Jodi Piccoult and finance/career books!

  • Charline
    April 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I love Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” Series…. romance excitement, time travel (Not sci-fi at all though)… Just a great series!

  • rachael
    April 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I am a bookworm myself. We didn’t have tv until after we had a baby and date night=top chef night, and time to myself=folding laundry while watching real housewives. Anyhow . . . I am currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, The Lacuna. Other good recent reads: Greasy Rider by Greg Melville, That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo, and The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. Have you read Heat? My chef husband and I both loved Heat and have given it as a gift about 25 times:)

  • VeggieGirl
    April 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I recommend seriously ANYTHING by Stephen King – he is my all-time favorite author and I have read almost every novel.

  • Kacy
    April 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I agree with much of your list! And that people who don’t read/eat dessert don’t know what they’re missing πŸ™‚

  • Lori
    April 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    “I feel bad for people that don’t read”.——I do too!
    I also feel bad for people that don’t watch tv !

  • Jennifer
    April 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I just started Suzanne Collin’s “Hunger Games” series last week and am totally enthralled! No really…go out and get the first one: “Hunger Games,” and then “Catching Fire.” The third book is released this August. But be warned, you start the book and you will lose hours of your life, get nothing done, and crave more! πŸ˜‰

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    April 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I’m a huge reader, too. I just don’t understand people who “don’t” read. There’s no such thing as can’t-miss TV but plenty of can’t miss books.

    Jasper Fforde writes these fun literary books about a world within the world of books, where it’s possible to travel in-between “reality” and the books. The characters hop in and out of novels, interacting with Mrs. Dalloway and dating Mr. Rochester. It’s great fun!

  • Megan
    April 26, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Looove reading your list and the comments! I second we were the mulvaneys and anything joyce carol oates really.

    and middlesex. I just re-read it and its such an engaging story.

    this is also a super weird/out there suggestion, but i just finished the immortal life of henrietta lacks and i was hooked!!!

  • Laura Georgina
    April 26, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Ooh, love reading about what others read! My recent favorites include The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (by Junot Diaz) and The White Tiger (by Aravind Ardiga). I’ve read Oscar Wao three times now and I could pick it up and read it AGAIN.

  • Scott
    April 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Two great books, one I’ve finished “Life of Pi”, and the other I’m currently reading, “The Geography of Oysters”

  • Courtney
    April 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Reedeming Love. It is my all time favorite book by far!

  • sophie
    April 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Siddharta by Hermann Hesse

  • marge
    April 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I love your bread books! I happen to be guilty of reading cooking related books in bed (such as Harold McGee’s). Seeing them on the list makes me think of the Simpsons episode when Marge is reading a book called “Cookbook to Read in Bed.”

    Please check out Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s a great story–made me feel and think. I think you’d be into it Jenna.

  • marge
    April 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I love your bread books! I happen to be guilty of reading cooking related books in bed (such as Harold McGee’s). Seeing them on the list makes me think of the Simpsons episode when Marge is reading a book called “Cookbook to Read in Bed.”

    Please check out Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s a great story–made me feel and think. I think you’d be into it Jenna.

  • Laura
    April 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    East of Eden is so worth it; Toni Morrison’s Paradise is stunning; and for Jodi Picoult-meets-Law and Order: SVU try Tana French’s In The Woods (which I think is in the suspense section usually, which is weird to me but whatever)

    and um, Twilight? πŸ™‚

  • Cinthia
    April 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Oh Jenna: How can you pick? There are SO many great books. Have you read “Poison” by Kathryn Harrison? Or “Bodily Harm” by Margarte Atwood? Or “Cowboys Are My Weakness” by Pam Houston. And, oh, the short story “How to be a Writer” by Lorrie Moore–I could read that 50 times in a row, I swear. And I just read that greatest memoir “Without a Map” by Meredith Hall that was so good I called in sick at work to finish it. (Right now I’m rereading “Animal Dreams” by dear, dear Barbara and “Widow For a Year” by John Irving.) And oh my god, have you read “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean? The voice is so incredible, so fresh and funny and colorful. I think one of my favorite books is “The Odd Woman” by Gail Godwin. It’s a little gem.
    Cheers and happy reading (I also read through elementary school and missed out on math and history and still can’t multiply fractions but hey, I make my living as a writer and that’s all that really matters).

  • Nadine
    April 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I love Garden Spells and Sugar Queen, both by Sarah Addison Allen. Link below:

    Hey, and can you update us on your book? Where are you in the process, when can we find your book on shelves….you know, general run down?

  • katie@ runthislife
    April 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I totally love to read. I will read almost anything at least once and would love to have weeks to just sit somewhere beautiful and read, read, read! When I go a few days without reading, I really feel out of it. I love when I find a book that I can’t put down, while also dreading the day that I finish! One of my favorites is The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

  • MMiller
    April 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Jenna you turned me on to the Outlander series! I love it so far! I am still on book one, but have #2 and #3 ready!

    I am generally not a big reader, but I do love a good book!

  • Camille
    April 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I was the same way as a kid! I always logged so many hours that my mom just signed off and didn’t even keep track of my hours anymore πŸ™‚
    Loove reading!

  • kristen
    April 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Oh please tell me that you have read “A Year In Provence” by Peter Mayle? My favorite! Thanks for your book picks! Yay!

  • kate
    April 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I was just blogging today about how I love Eat Pray Love. I cant wait until its a movie!

  • Emily
    April 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Jenna! I love this list and totally agree about The Poisonwood Bible. I’m really excited that I haven’t read many of the books you mentioned. πŸ™‚

    Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle yet? I just finished and its so good. Another great one is Water for Elephants.

    Good luck finding a good one.

  • Anne P
    April 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Have you read “The Glass Castle”? Love. Memoirs are the best.

  • Caroline
    April 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I just read Sarah’s Key in the fall and loved it. I totally blame you for getting me hooked on the Outlander series. Have you looked into her series about Lord John Grey?

  • Adriana
    April 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    Thanks for the list of books! I will definitely check them out!
    Have you read Jeffrey Eugenides? He has two AMAZING books – The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex. I highly recommend them both!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    April 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I used to read all the time and then I got away from it. I’m working on my schedule for the week and I’m going to schedule in some reading time because I truly do miss it.

  • Mellissa
    April 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Oooh great post! I have read 57 books in the last year and here are some of my favorites of all time:

    Pillars of the Earth
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    Lunch In Paris (a cooking/eating memoir)
    The Poisonwood Bible

  • Lacey
    April 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I read The Other Boleyn girl last week. It was really good. You should check it out.

  • Michelle @ NewLeafEats
    April 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    My reading list is pretty much limited to Christian or inspirational books, simply because my sister reads them like it’s going out of style and I’m too cheap to drop $14 on a book. Anything by Rob Bell, John Piper, Eric/Leslie Ludy, or John Eldredge would be good (though I think you would be more into John Eldredge of those listed). My favorite book at the moment is probably The Ishbane Conspiracy by Randy Alcorn, et. al. It’s a lot like the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (also a good one), but more in tune with the modern world.

    I grew up reading the Dear America diaries. Did you read those?

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
    April 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing this list! I just added all of them to my account. πŸ™‚
    I love the Count of Monte Cristo, The Spiral Staircase, The Giver, Tess of d’Urbervilles, and The Glass Castle.

  • emily
    April 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    The Razor’s Edge, Somerset Maugham
    Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
    Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
    The Master, Colm Toibin
    Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
    and most recently, The Help, which has been recommended many times above!

  • Jackie
    April 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for the recommendations! I will definitely add a few to my “to read” list. I highly recommend Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett. Amazing books – I was devastated when I finished them!

  • Melanie
    April 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith…such a good book about a girl coming of age.

    I love Jodi Piccoult…but clearly who doesnt?! I’m also a fan of anything by Chris Bohjalian, he writes a lot of books about really interesting, sometimes controversial topics. Hope you find some new good reads!

  • Marie
    April 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Have you read “eat, pray, love”? It is wonderful!!!!

  • Jess
    April 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing your list! Some really good ones are:

    ~ Same Kind Of Different As Me
    ~ A Homemade Life
    ~ Secret Life of Bees
    ~ Memoirs of a Geisha

  • Christy
    April 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I can’t say enough about The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s completely engrossing and if I had had the time I would have read it in one day without putting it down. I think you would love it!

  • Sara P
    April 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Love the blog by the way. I think we have a lot of books in common, so I will recommend reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Folliet. I am in a book club and we read ALOT of books. I actually read this one on my own a couple years back and it still remains my favorite book, even after reading all of the time. I also recommend “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.”

  • Heba
    April 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Redeeming Love is one of my favorites! πŸ™‚ It’s funny because although I was an English major in college (and got my MA in English!), I only remember a few very good books in detail. I focused Cultural Studies, so I read a ton of books about pop culture, sociology, the food industry, and publishing. Some of my favorite fiction “page-turners” include The Counte of Monte Cristo and The Kite Runner. I want to read Time Traveller’s Wife, but haven’t gotten around to it.

    Thanks for sharing your fave books! πŸ™‚

  • kate
    April 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    AH I LOVE jodi picoult. And I totally agree…I feel bad for those that don’t read. I LOVE a good book, especially a feel good book. So relaxing, tea and a book in the spring outside…ahh I wish I wasn’t at work so I could go indulge…

  • Kelley
    April 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I absolutely recommend: Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de BerniΓ¨res. It’s amazing.

    Also: House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    April 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I LOOOOVE to read so I’ll definitely be checking out your book list! Some of my favorites are Mary Kay Andrews books (doesn’t really matter which one but I love the Savannah series). Also, Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin.

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal
    April 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I L-O-V-E To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.

  • Lauren (Health on the Run)
    April 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Such a great list Jenna!! I haven’t read a lot of these, so thank you!!

    I didn’t read through all the comments so I apologize if I’m repeating people but some of my favorites: Eat, Pray, Love (though I think almost everyone has read it by now haha); anything by Wally Lamb — especially “I Know This Much is True” (this is my ALL TIME favorite book); “Water for Elephants” by Sarah Gruen; and “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield.

    Oh, and I just started reading “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire because I LOVED the musical, and so far it’s pretty good!

  • FloridaGirl
    April 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Just read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen & David Oliver Relin. An incredible story about doing what you love and standing for what you believe in, even in the face of extreme adversity. Greg Mortensen is probably one of the most amazing human beings who’ve ever lived. Puts life in perspective, for sure.

  • Heather
    April 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    One book I’m checking out from the Library is Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. It has received great reviews, and I love books about food and Paris – so this has both. I love your book list – a lot of my favorites are on there as well!

  • Heather C
    April 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    along the lines of Alice Waters and Julia & julia – I think you’ll LOVE Ruth Reichl’s memoirs. Start with “tender at the bone”, then “comfort me with apples” and ” garlic & saphhires”. I’m on the third and can’t put it down!

  • Rachel A
    April 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve read and loved several on your list. A few more that I enjoyed:
    The Mermaid Chair–Sue Monk Kidd
    The Life of Pi-Yann Martel
    The Last Life-Claire Messud
    I Know this Much is True and She’s Come Undone-Wally Lamb
    Three Comrades–Erich Marie Remarque
    Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns-Khaled Hosseini
    I could go on and on = )
    I’m a huge reader too and go through about two books a week.

  • Shelley @ Green Eggs & Hamlet
    April 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I’m reading “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks and I love it. I would also recommend “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn if you’re in the mood for a fun food book (in the same vein as “Julie and Julia”).

  • Shelley @ Green Eggs & Hamlet
    April 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I am reading “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks and I love it. I would also recommend “The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn if you haven’t already read it (it’s in the same vein as “Julie and Julia”).

  • megan
    April 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    the count of monte cristo is my favorite book by far! Such a classic, and such a wonderful story. I’ve read it countless times, and have introduced so many people to it (it quickly becomes one of their favorites as well!) try it πŸ™‚

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    April 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    From childhood have always had two speeds: All out outdoor activity, or quietly painting, reading, cooking. Not a fan of TV, 20+ years didn’t have one, and usually had 5 books going at one time.

    Although have read through ‘The 100 Greatest Books’ ever kind of lists. My all time favorites are:

    -Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ 2nd book of western civilization written in 800BC about events that occured in 1200 BC. It’s important for readers/writers because this is a metaphor for the journey of every life. Greek myth and this hero archetype is the underlying story archetype of everything from Star Wars, the Matrix, Lion King, Danielle Steele novels and the secret of their emotional resonance–because we all have that hero archetype inside. The Odyssey has spawned books, films, poems, plays thru history from Cavafy’s ‘Ithaca’ read at Jackie Kennedy’s funeral–here is a reading of it by Sean Connery: to Tennyson’s
    ‘Ulysses’ to ‘Cold Mountain.’ My novel French Heart uses this story archetype/blueprint.

    -Seabiscuit’ by Laura Hillenbrand. A landmark book I read 6 times.

    -Anything by Peter Mayle ‘Toujours Provence’ ‘A Good Year’ ‘Chasing Cezanne’ ‘A Year in Provence’ etc.

    -Mark Twain’s ‘Personal Recollections of Saint Joan of Arc.’ This was his personal favorite of all of his books. It drives me nuts when people discount St. Joan of Arc. Her entire 19 years and everything she did to save France from falling to England in the 100 Year War was documented by two trials. I read the trial transcripts. She was as articulate then as Queen Rania is today (and if there is someone more articulate than Rania–I don’t know who that is). Joan of Arc turned around the course of western history during 10 minutes on the battlefield. She is a avatar for feminine courage in my novel. Here’s a famous passage by Twain on St Joan:

    -‘The Chalice and The Blade’ Raine Eisler. All women should read this book to understand the real history of women.

    Too many more to mention–but those and ‘Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ are my favorites. I bought this after 911 to read on the beach and calm myself and wound up buying copies for every woman I knew practically. Very soothing.

    Great topic and love the pix of you and your Mom!

  • lz
    April 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    The Book Thief. Down-to-earth writing. Profoundly moving. Excellent execution.

  • Sammi
    April 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Oryx and Crake, Handmaids Tale- Margaret Atwood
    The Glass Castle (Memoir)

    Wow my mind is blank.. but those are all good πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth
    April 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    i LOVE to read also! nothin beats a wonderful book and a bubble bath. i just finished reading a book called off season by anne rivers siddons. it took a while to get into but once i did, it was very good.

  • Mary
    April 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Recently read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and absolutely loved it!

  • Eileen
    April 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    A classic…The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck (I think I have read this 4 times), Animal Dreams & Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver, anything by Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird, since you love to write). That should keep you busy for awhile.

  • Ellie
    April 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    The Red Tent- LOVE LOVE LOVE

  • Charlie
    April 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Also being a Florida girl, I completely understand the need for sunshine.
    The best book I could possibly recommend is on that I “judged by the cover” (trust me, it’s a beautiful cover!!). It’s “The Breakdown Lane” by Jacquelyn Mitchard, and I do believe it’s right up your alley. πŸ™‚

  • Lizzie
    April 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    “Women Who Run” – it’s a great collection of profiles about women of all ages and backgrounds and why they run.

    When I was growing up, my absolute favourite thing to do was get a huge green apple and climb into bed with a new Nancy Drew/Trixie Belden/Babysitter’s club book and read until my mum gently cautioned that she was serious about lights out (for the third time!). Unfortunately my English Lit major at college saw me lose a genuine love of reading, because I had to analyze/write a paper/present a tutorial on pretty much everything that was assigned to the class. I’m back, but still not there with the fiction yet. I love books that are about people’s real life experiences and what we can learn from them.

  • Katie (Life Discombobulated)
    April 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    My VERY favorite book as of late is “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg (writer of the blog Orangette). I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE her book and cannot wait to start trying out some of her recipes!

  • theemptynutjar
    April 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I spend hours in abookstore…honestly.
    I actually don’t like Jodi Picoult that much….and I didn’t enjoy Julie and Julia that much either…I must be the odd one out.
    I like different ones at different times. Fantasy is great at times. But silly chick-lit can also work at times!

  • Kyle
    April 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Jenna – I’m with you and am actually off to the library here in DC as well! My favorite book, that I saw you didn’t have listed, is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It’s a memoir and absolutely addicting. Very moving – speaks of overcoming life’s obstacles…

    Cheers to reading,

  • Wendy
    April 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Jenna!

    Completely enjoying your blog! Thanks for sharing.
    Just finishing up Jeffrey Steingarten, The Man Who Ate Everything. Very clever book.

  • Tricia Tinnin
    April 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I saw these listed and have to second them:

    Same kInd of Different as me…will change your life…READ IT!!

    Red Tent, Wally Lamb Books too are amazing.

    I always say that people that say they don’t like to read just haven’t read a good book yet!

  • Molly M
    April 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! My fave book of all time : )

  • Jessie
    April 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I highly recommend “Water for Elephants,” “The Glass Castle,” and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” So so good! I love reading πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie
    April 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    You have a lot of great books on there! One of my all time favorites is “Memoirs of Geisha”…BUT, for something completely different, I would HIGHLY recommend you read “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Its science fiction and doesn’t fit in to what appears to be your usual taste (it isn”t my usual taste either), but its one of those cannot put down and have to finish asap books. Its not at all what I expected when I started reading it at the urging of a mentor. Its a fast read with a GREAT ending. Oddly, a science fiction book is now one of my absolute favorites.


  • neha
    April 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. It’s perfection.

  • Sarah W.
    April 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I LOVE Certain Girls. I own each and every book Jennifer Weiner has ever written. They’re all fabulous!

  • adria
    April 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    The Thirteenth Tale
    Bridget Jone’s Diary
    Anne of Avonlea

  • Lucy
    April 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Well I have my “summer-and-beyond” reading list down after reading your post and the comments! Some of my favorites:
    “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” – i read this book on my honeymoon last summer and will probably read it again and again, it’s one of those books that’s not really about anything but is still so, so good!
    “Summer Sisters” – i used to read this book every summer
    “Island of the Blue Dolphins” – i read this book probably 5x when i was in about 5th grade, loved it! You should start a “Reading List” tab, maybe even do something like a blog book club where we all read a book and chime in – how fun would that be?!

  • Marina
    April 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I adore reading a good book, when I get lost in it. Unfortunately, since I started uni, I haven’t had much time for reading a book that wasn’t about animals. I can’t wait for summer to come, so I can read a few thousand pages πŸ™‚
    Maybe Tolstoy….
    Have you read Time Traveler’s Wife? I love it!

  • Jayce
    April 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I loooove Redeeming Love! If you haven’t read it yet, I would recommend Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series – A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, and As Sure As the Dawn. And my fave Austen novel is Mansfield Park.

  • grace b
    April 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Going to bookmark this page so I can look up books when I’m near a good library. I have loved reading since I was little and I LOVE getting stacks of books out of the library on all kinds of things. Two recomendations:

    Love is a mix tape by Rob Sheffield
    Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope
    April 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Les Miserables, the unabridged version—amazing.
    Also, THE ROAD by McCarthy.

    April 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for the book list! I’m always searching for new reading material. We just put up our hammock and now I cant wait till it’s warm enough to enjoy one of my favorite spring/ summer activties: laying on the hammock under the afternoon sun with a good book πŸ™‚

  • Rachel S
    April 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations!
    I recently read “Shanghai Girls” and loved it!! A great story that follows two sisters who escaped from war in Shanghai and came to California. It’s an engrossing, heart-wrenching read!

  • Carter
    April 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Ah, we have so many favorite books in common. I adore The Poisonwood Bible. Educational, engaging, AND entertaining. what a combination.
    I just finished The Condition, by Jennifer Haigh, and it was great. Getting ready to start Matilda Savitch by Victor Lodato – looks good. Also on my to-read list is Let the Great World Spin, bu Colum McCann. Nat’l Book Award winner….supposed to be fantastic, but not terribly uplifting.
    Happy library-ing!

  • Jess
    April 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Love Walked In and Belong to Me, both by Marisa de los Santos. (Belong to Me is the sequel.) And everything by Jhumpa Lahiri – The Namesake and her two anthologies of short stories. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop.

  • Erin
    April 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I love reading so much, and could spend hours and hours in a bookstore or the library.

    When I was growing up, my favorites were any Judy Blume book, the Nancy Drew series, and the Little House on the Prairie series (I was excited to see you talk about the books recently! – and I love the cookbook too!!). I still have all my favorite childhood books (including my Sweet Valley High books – which I’m not embarrassed about!). My husband thinks I’m goofy, but I’m never getting rid of them!

    My favorite books are: Kite Runner (I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns too), Middlesex, Under the Tuscan Sun, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Outlander (I’ve only read the 1st one so far), and A Homemade Life (I heart Molly Wizenberg!! – her writing is just so charming! check out her blog

    Right now I’m reading Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen. It’s a very sweet ‘southern’ book. Up next will be either Pillars of the Earth, or the 2nd Outlander book. Happy reading everyone… πŸ™‚

  • Tina
    April 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I recently finished Look Again by Lisa Scottoline-read it in one day! Last night I started Tales from the Bed by Jenifer Estess. I’m about half way thru. Its really good so far. My ‘to read’ list is a mile long!

  • ida
    April 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    great list! did you have ‘book it’ growing up? i always filled my button up so fast…

  • Tara @ Food For Fuel
    April 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Currently reading: The Help by Kathryn Stockett and loving it!
    Some of my favorites: Time Traveler’s Wife, East of Eden, The Things They Carried, Angela’s Ashes, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Love Walked In
    Guilty pleasure: Harry Potter and Twilight Series πŸ™‚

  • Erin
    April 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I forgot to mention another favorite: ‘She’s Come Undone’

  • Kelly
    April 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    This is one of my favorite topics. I love books and like you, am constantly reading. For non-food related I love The Wednesday Sisters, which is all about a group of mothers in the 1960’s who form a writing circle. Other favorites include Goat Song, Bending Toward the Sun, The Cheese Chronicles, and Tender at the Bone.

  • Errign
    April 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I have to recommend The Time Traveler’s Wife. Such a good book – movie, not so much.

    I also love the Outlander series, and being a NH native, love me some Jodi Piccoult.

  • Jenna
    April 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Reading is sooo relaxing!
    I just finished eat, pray, love and I definitely think this book is great for you!!!

  • Kristy
    April 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Not sure if you have ever read any of Karen Kinsbury’s books. She is a christian author and her books and series are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health
    April 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Books are an amazing, amazing things! As I was wrapping up my exams, all I could think about was going to the bookstore afterward and picking books to read!!
    I have a great recommendation. I just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and it was AMAZING! So, so good! The story is told by the family dog. It’s very heart-warming.


  • Sarah
    April 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathon Safran Foer. It will change your life – seriously. The protagonist is a little boy named Oskar Schell, and you will love him to pieces. I’m a high school English teacher and love classics and modern fiction equally. This is THE BOOK I recommend to my students and to my collegues. “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” by Marisha Pessl is also great. It’s got nothing to do with physics but rather is a mystery story..kind of. The main character’s name is Blue – nuff said!

    I have never commented, and I’m a new reader to you. Book will always get me to talk!

  • Katy ( The Balanced Foodie)
    April 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE “On Bread Alone” and I’m finishing “Cooking For Mr.Latte” and I’m loving it. I haven’t read any Jodi Picoult yet but I know I need to. Also, you MUST read the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Redeeming Love is one of my favorite books of all time, and I am through the first one in the MoTL series (A Voice in the Wind) and it was AMAZING!

  • amethyst
    April 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    Have you ever read ‘The Outsider’ (L’Etranger) by Albert Camus? It’s compact, written with wonderful purity of language – stunning! I’m sure you’d find it very evocative and thought- provoking. You might know that Camus and Sartre used to have word battles at the Cafe Flore and Deux Magots on Bvd St Germain…
    Happy you had such a good weekend, btw.
    A x

  • Marie
    April 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers
    Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • Tracy
    April 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    You’ve probably already read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, but if you haven’t, you must. Very, very good!

  • Jessica, Haute Teapot
    April 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.

  • Darien
    April 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Life of Pi by Yann Martel;
    I saw somebody else had mentioned it too. It is amazing. I’ve read it about four times and it gives me something new each time!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now
    April 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I used to read A LOT as a kid. It was my favorite hobby. I still enjoy it, but being active is more my style nowadays!

  • Hillary
    April 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I am jealous of your huge LOVE for reading. I am trying to make it a goal to read in bed at night, despite massive amounts of icky homework. I just got hooked on In Defense of Food. I think reading definitely contributes to intelligence…and I think of you as nothing but that! =)

  • Kerry
    April 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

    DO IT.

  • Kristin
    April 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I didn’t read all 167 comments but here are some ideas… anything by Eleanor Lipman, I just read My Latest Grievance. If you haven’t read Memoirs of a Geisha, you must! Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. The Pilot’s Wife is my favorite Anita Shreve book. Ruth Reichl has written some wonderful foodie memoirs. I am assuming you have already read A Year in Provence! An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser. I seem to have wandered off into the food/travel memoir category. I notice you had one Jennifer Weiner book on your list, I assume you’ve read her others! Good in Bed (by Jennifer Weiner) was one of my favorite books. Also my staple recommendations: Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, About a Boy, White Oleander, The Lovely Bones, Charms for an Easy Life. And can’t miss Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate! Don’t know how you’re going to manage all the suggestions from everyone, but good luck!

  • Caryn
    April 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    more votes for the Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) and Animal Dreams (Barbara Kingsolver)
    I also recommend Peace Like a River (Leif Enger) and a book that’s probably at a 4th grade reading level, but I just love it…Frindle (Andrew Clements)

  • Kendall @ Whisk Her Away
    April 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Man…I thought I was going to get through the comments without seeing Twilight.

    To each their own, though. I guess I can’t gawk too much because I’m on the fourth book of the Harry Potter Series…about 10 years too late.

    Books I am emotionally attached to:
    The Time Traveler’s Wife

    Books that are a fun read:
    Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas
    The Beach House – Jane Green

    I also just finished The Lace Reader, which was very twisty.

    I think this might be the first food blog post where I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. πŸ™‚

  • Christie
    April 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments yet but I must say I love Jodi Piccoult too. And Wally Lamb – he’s one of my favs. But I’m also the kinda gal who reads trashy romance novels πŸ™‚

    I also liked “The Lovely Bones”, Jennifer Weiner, “White Oleander”, “Eat pray love”, “Middlesex”, and “Angela’s Ashes”.

    My favorite books as a kid were “Where the Red Fern Grows” (so sad I cried and cried), “The Giver”, and “The Great Gatsby”.

  • Lauren
    April 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I enjoy anything by Paulo Coehlo (last name spelling questionable) πŸ˜‰

  • Kelly
    April 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I love that you posted this! I love reading too (and dessert) and I always need new books to read!

  • lola
    April 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I love to read, too. And the restaurant you went this weekend looks lovely! I love canopies! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances
    April 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Oooh I LOVE The Poisonwood Bible! As far as fiction goes, I also love No Country For Old Men, All the King’s Men, The Moviegoer and pretty much anything by Flannery O’Connor. My favorite nonfiction writer is Donald Miller; Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years are AMAZING! πŸ™‚

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    April 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

  • Ashley
    April 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I’m a total bookworm! Some of my favorites include:
    Animal Dreams and The Bean Trees (both Barbara Kingsolver)
    Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin)
    Stones into Schools (Greg Mortenson)
    Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
    The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Hosseini)
    Baking Cakes in Kigali (Gaile Parkin)
    Water for Elephants, Eat Pray Love, The Secret Life of Bees, To Kill a Mockingbird and anything by John Steinbeck!

  • BostonRunner
    April 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I totally hear you on ANYTHING by Jodi Picoult!! I’m currently reading her newest book right now!
    Great list, I’m bookmarking this, thanks!

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health
    April 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. I’m pretty embarrassed at my lack of reading experience. I really do love reading, I just don’t ever know where to start! So I’ll definitely be referring back to this list for suggestions πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    April 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I’m actually re-reading A Moveable Feast right now!! It’s one of my favorites! I was so happy to see it on your list. I absolutely love his descriptions of food and drink. I was actually a literature major, and for my last semester, one of my classes did an entire focus on food literature. It was great!

  • Kait
    April 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Man, I feel like I haven’t read any of those books and I do read quite a bit…I’ll have to check some of them out!

  • Katherine
    April 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you for the books recommendations! I’m always looking for something good (not so great at picking out; sorry!). I’m glad you use the library (I do too and love the price tag on free rentals).

    So many animals my oh my!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    April 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Reading makes me feel alive and appreciate all of the nuances and details of life that commonly escape our attention in everyday life. I love John Steinbeck, and Grapes of Wrath is easily one of my favorites. If you like his stuff, I highly recommend “Travels with Charley.” It’s an autobiography of his cross-country road trip with his french poodle, Charlie. It renewed my fascination and appreciation of this diverse country. It also made me want to drop everything, rent-a-car and go on my own voyage.

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    April 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I have to recommend Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. If you truly want to be transported to another time, this book is for you. It’s a historical drama, with romance thrown in, lots of good character development, and fun insight to village life in England circa 1100!

  • Stephanie
    April 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    If you haven’t already read it, I would highly, highly recommend ‘The Glass Castle’ by Jeannette Walls. It’s one of the best books I have ever read!

  • ann
    April 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Water for Elephants
    To Kill Mockingbird
    Bel Canto

    The best!

  • Lauren
    April 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Hi Jenna! Just started reading your blog, I enjoy so much the diversity of topics and your style! I JUST read “Redeeming Love” and could not put it down until I was finished (which was 2 AM, poor husband)! I am not quite the reading fanatic that my sister is BUT if and when she gives many any good suggestions I will pass them on!! Hope you are having a beautiful day!

  • Andrea (TastebudApproved)
    April 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    thanks for the book reccommendations! Some good reads: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and any of Ayn Rand’s books!

  • Stepfanie
    April 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Ohmygosh! The same thing happened to me in 6th grade. I won the prizes for most books read in a month and most pages. My teacher was skeptical and asked my mom if I had “really” read all those books. I won two book lights–so I could keep reading late into the night, under the covers!

  • Tracy
    April 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I’m sure someone’s recommended The Help – if not, you must read it – so good!

  • Mary (Food Fit & Fun)
    April 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Jenna! I love your appreciation for books. I am actually a Master’s student right now at UPenn for Reading/Writing/Literacy! I am working with sixth graders in Philadelphia right now and am having so much fun. I am trying to get the kids to pick up a love for reading. Today I read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid with one of my 6th graders…she ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! Any kind of book is a-okay in my eyes! Her eyes lit up when I showed her the book and she grabbed it from my hands and immediately opened it. She was laughing the whole time. I think she might be hooked!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    April 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I love, love, love reading! I love anything by Pat Conroy and Jodi Picoult. Favorites include classics like The Catcher in the Rye and newer stuff like Eat, Pray, Love and Water for Elephants.


  • lise
    April 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm


    “Blue like jazz”…

    “a million miles in a thousand years”

    ( this is his new one, and HONESTLY one of the best books i’ve ever read ) YOU WOULD LOVE IT… it’s all about living “our story”

    check it out on amazon NOW!
    you will read it in minutes… no joke. i re-read it ALL.THE.TIME – and have quotes of his dancing around everywhere.


  • Julie @savvyeats
    April 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    When I was little, our local library had a summer reading program where you got a prize once you read a certain number of pages…which I always hit less than a month into summer. πŸ™‚

    One of my absolute favorite books is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. It is a “murder mystery” told from the point of view of a little boy with autism…such a unique point of view for a novel, no? Love it!

  • Running Betty
    April 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Books: Born To Run – funducational, Jitterbug Perfume – crazy fun, The Time Travelers Wife – a true love stort, Alice’s Adventures Underground – always a classic, Peter Pan – ditto, The City of Ember – for 3rd graders so you’ll zip through it fast but it is meaningful and memorable, Thrive – to learn more about how your body processes food, The athletes pocket guide to Yoga – to buy and keep with you for after every bike, run, softball game.

  • Karoline
    April 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    You HAVE to read The Book Thief. And, Special Topics in Calamity Physics. And, The Help.

  • Shannon
    April 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Yay for Lonesome Dove! That book is so unappreciated. I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t a cowboy or cowgirl who loves it πŸ™‚

  • Erika W.
    April 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I didn’t realize we had read so many of the same books! I also love to read and the first thing I do when I move to a new city is find the library and become a member. πŸ™‚ Some of my favorites are:
    The Analyst by John Katzenbach
    Animal Vegetable Miracle
    And Ladies of the Club
    Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children
    Shadow of the Wind

  • Terin
    April 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Definitely loving this post…Eat Pray Love changed my life. Bird by Bird is the ideal book for the writer and it doesn’t get much better than Anne Lamott. Stiff by Mary Roach was awesome and made me want to be a crash test dummy in the afterlife. I also found The Truth About Fairy Tales by KT Casha to be rather special.

    Reading the Happiness Project now and really enjoying it…followed her blog for two years before the book came out πŸ™‚

  • Betsy
    April 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I heart books. I’ve never kept track of the books I’ve read, but this year, I decided to try and aim for 100 in 2010– I just finished #41!

    Two of the best books I’ve read this year are ‘Molokai’ by Alan Brennert and ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein. Seriously amazing, and based on your list, probably right up your alley.

    If you ever find yourself looking for something fun witty but not airheaded, try the Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty. They follow Jessica (who’s too smart/observant for her own good, yet totally awesome) and her friends an family from the time she’s 16 (in 2000) through 26 (in 2010), so there’s some fun cultural references, too. Absolutely LOVE.

  • Lisa P.
    April 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Since you like dogs, I really loved “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” I am more of a cat person, but I loved it. It is written from the dog’s perspective.

  • Rose-Anne
    April 26, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Now this is a post worth bookmarking. Thank you for sharing, Jenna! A few of my own loves:

    * The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (I still love this book even though the movie was disappointing.)
    * Deep Economy by Bill McKibben (for the tree-hugger in all of us)
    * 20-Something Manifesto by Christine Hassler (for anyone who has ever felt lost or overwhelmed by adulthood. Also, I love self-help books and I’m not afraid to admit it!)
    * Eat, Pray, Love or Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. Insightful and provocative.

  • Em (The Lady Pastor)
    April 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm


    1. The History of Love

    2. Alice in Wonderland (the original)

  • Jess
    April 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I LOVE the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. The HBO show True Blood is based on the books (but of course, the books are much better).
    Other favorites:
    -Harry Potter series
    -Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
    -Time Traveler’s Wife
    -Eat, Pray, Love
    -Me Talk Pretty One Day and anything else by David Sedaris
    -Outer Banks by Ann Rivers Siddons

  • Amy
    April 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I’ll have to come back to read the comments when I have time to make my own reading list. Two of my favorites are:
    Pillars of the Earth
    Red Tent
    Both are incredible historical fiction and take you back in time. I could read them over and over.

  • Amanda
    April 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I feel bad for people that don’t read either, haha. Which is funny because my boyfriend does NOT read! I don’t get it. Since graduating college I’ve read over 10 books (thats alot for me, coming off my reading hiatus)…. he’s rather impressed. I’ll turn him soon enough… oh my favorite is ‘To kill a mockingbird’. Could read it over and over. I’m an adventure/mystery girl at heart. Have you tried ‘The Bourne Identity’, anything by Dennis Lehane, ‘Dune’, ‘The Host’ or ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ ? All fantastic!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)
    April 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Best post and comments list ever!!! I too am bookmarking this. Just finished Poisonwood Bible, and OMG. I live in Africa and it was so powerful that I had to wait another week to touch another book! I just want to echo the sentiments already shared here for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, as well as The Art of Racing in the Rain (you would love it by what I can guess), and Eat, Pray, Love. Also Donald MillerΒ΄s “Blue Like Jazz” is an AMAZING book. ThereΒ΄s another Christian (but not preachy, just more inspirational) book by a guy name Erwin McManus (my pastor at my old church in LA, Mosaic) called “Chasing Daylight” that I would definitely recommend to you, I think you would really like it. And yay for Jodi Piccoult, everything she writes is amazing.

  • marie
    April 27, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Although I’m like the sixth to say so, you should really read Wally Lamb’s books: She’s Come Undone, The Hour I First Believed, and I Know This Much is True. They are AMAZING!! Other than that, Time Traveler’s Wife is good. The Harry Potter series is awesome.

    There is also this book which is under ‘teenagers’ but it is really something that you will not be able to put down, it’s called The Hunger Games.

    Oh yeah, Love in the Time of Cholera!

    And Anne of Green Gables (the entire series).

    I could go on and on and on…

  • Delfina
    April 27, 2010 at 4:54 am

    I adore this book of short and hilarious articles by Starshine Roschell (Professor and Columnist for a Paper in Santa Barbara, CA) called “Keep Your Skirt On”. So many good laughs! I also love “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck and “Garlic and Saphires” by Ruth Reichl and “The Dirty Girls Social Club” by Alissa Valdez-Rodriguez (totally chick lit., but I still love it!).

  • Sara @
    April 27, 2010 at 5:26 am

    The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns = amazing books. Also, Into the Wild and East of Eden. And Harry Potter. Always Harry Potter.

  • Kathryn
    April 27, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I just read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and loved it!! It is a must read — especially for us Southern gals.

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    April 27, 2010 at 6:47 am

    My read again and again books (apart from Little House on the Prarie!) are Wuthering Heights and The Secret History by Donna Tart.

    I’m currently reading Kissing the Sunset Pig by Laurie Gough which is about a roadtrip from Canada to Cali. I think you’d like that one.

  • Barbaera(Blood, Sweat and Heels)
    April 27, 2010 at 6:56 am

    LOVE LOVE the Outlander series!!!! and Price of makes me ball!

  • sherri
    April 27, 2010 at 7:20 am

    guernsey literary and potato peel pie society
    the hunger games by suzanne collins
    catching fire by suzanne collins
    like water for elephants
    the salaryman’s wife (first novel of a series by sujata massey)
    the elegance of the hedgehog by muriel barbery
    caught by harlan coben

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    April 27, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I got accused of cheating on my summer reading log too. Thank goodness for mom’s who know their daughters are bookworms πŸ˜‰

  • Ashlee
    April 27, 2010 at 8:08 am

    You MUST read Redeeming Love. It is such a powerful book. It really makes you put life and relationships into perspective and realize what love really means. I cried in it and would read numerous passages to my boyfriend. He probably got annoyed with that πŸ™‚ But I think everyone should read it. Both my parents are actually reading it now.

  • Jackie
    April 27, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I LOVE the Outlander Series. Best books ever.

  • Corinne
    April 27, 2010 at 8:20 am

    AWEsome list!! Just getting into Sarah’s Key now and LOVING IT!! what a moving story!

  • Corinne
    April 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Ahh forgot about book recommendations! If you want something light … ANYTHING by “Chelsea Lately”. I dont think I saw the Kite Runner on your list, that is another solid page turner.

  • Corinne
    April 27, 2010 at 8:23 am

    shit i’m commenting again, last one. i think you would REALLY enjoy eat, pray, love!

  • SueP
    April 27, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I know I’m late to the party; but I needed to post a couple of my favorites:

    Water for Elephants – best.ending.ever.
    Things We Keep – Elizabeth Berg – such a great voice
    How to be Lost – by Amanda Eyre Ward. Okay, I take it back. THIS one has the best.ending.ever. Every time I loan it to someone, I re -read the last 30 pages.

  • Kimmy
    April 27, 2010 at 8:44 am

    The Last Summer (of you and me). Great summer book with summer coming up and all.

  • Kimmy
    April 27, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Oh and Ive never met anyone else who read A Year of Fog — Great Book!

  • Shannon
    April 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

    The Help, Water for Elephants, Waiter Rant, She’s Come Undone, and definitely anything by Tony Bourdain and Ruth Reichl.

  • Morgan
    April 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

    The Help is one of the best books you’ll ever read, no joke. Read it and then let’s discuss who will be cast in the movie.

    Water for Elephants is also wonderful and sad all at once.

    Are you still going to France this summer?

    Can you recommend your Paris foodie destinations? I’m heading that way in less than a week!

  • Petra
    April 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    My favourites:
    -The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    -The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    -The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    -The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    -Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (not at all as horridly depressing as the title suggests!)
    -Extremely Loud and Increadibly Close by Jonathan Saffron Foer

  • Joanie
    April 28, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I know you have gotten hundreds of suggestions for books already. I am a huge reader and I am always looking for the next great read.

    Have you read Jodi Piccoult? She writes about current issues and every book includes a trial. She is a fabulous writer who makes every book a page-turner.

    By the way, I bought a new cookbook yesterday and was hoping to find yours there…but then I realized that it isn’t out yet…when can I buy it??

  • Hilary
    April 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    The Red Tent is my all time fave (I’ve read it 4 or 5 times) and Princess: The True Story of Life Behind the Veil along with the rest of Jean Sasson’s books

  • Kinder
    May 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    So many great suggestions, and I know I am late to the party, but an awesome book is “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill, it’s US title is Someone Knows My Name. Such an excellent book, especially if you like historical fiction.

  • Jen at VegetarianInTraining
    May 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I haven’t gone through all 257 posts, so I’m sure (well, hoping…others have to have the same taste as me, right?) that these are duplicates.

    All time favorites:
    Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    Anything by Christopher Moore (particularly Lamb)
    The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
    No Way to Treat a First Lady by Christopher Buckley (all his books are fabulous actually)
    Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare

  • Ingrid
    May 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    the outlander series is the best! did you ever finish the last one??

  • Ingrid
    May 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    also the painted house by john grisham is really cute and a quick read (not a thriller/his usual type of book)

    oh and i loved the outlander series so much that i named my son Jamie!

    did you ever finish the latest outlander book?

  • jennifer (take the day off)
    May 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Here are a few really good ones!
    Little Bee by Chris Cleave is amazing, I’m reading it now.
    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
    The Hours by Michael Cunningham

  • Judith
    May 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Serious news: you know you are a reading ADDICT when you can agree with almost ALL the recommendations listed here. OMG, I realize I have a problem, but this has made me ask myself “Do I do anything else but read?!”
    Since your other readers have listed so many books I love, I won’t add any, but reinforce one of the best. The Shell Seekers: on my 4th (or so) reading last week, I realized what it is I love about this book (and her others). She paints a picture of life in the everyday details that make you want to walk in the door and sit down with the characters. It is full of moments that aren’t grandiose, just real.
    Which brings up another thing to ponder: do you ever feel the tiniest bit guilty rereading a favorite, thinking there are so many others out there to conquer? It’s the same as traveling; I am going on a trip this month to celebrate a significant birthday, and try as I might, to go elsewhere and explore new worlds, I am, once again, ending up in France. At least not just Paris this time, heading south too. Hey, there could be worse things.
    Keep up your awesome writing!

  • Mayura
    May 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Great post! Nice to find so many other enthusiastic readers.
    One author I don’t think I saw mentioned in the other comments is Georgette Heyer. She’s not very well-known in America, but she’s pretty much credited with inventing the historical/regency romance genre. Her books are so much more than historical romance novels though…they have a lot of humor, very memorable characters, intricate plots. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve re-read her books! But some of my favorites are “The Grand Sophy”, “Sylvester” and “Venetia”.

  • Margaret
    May 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Such good suggestions. Here are a few excellent reads that have not been mentioned: 1) Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset–set in 15th century Norway and explores themes of religion, superstition, family, regrets, sin, and redemption. It’s long, but very compelling and thought provoking. Definitely read the Tina Nunnally translation. 2) One Vacant Chair by Joe Coomer and 3) The Girls by Lori Lansens. I don’t think you would be disappointed by any of these.

  • The PFB @ Paris Food Blog
    May 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    it’s “a moveable feast” i think

  • a
    August 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Hey new to your blog but its great! Anyway, I would really recommend History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Old School by Tobias Wolff, Still Alice, My Sister’s Keeper, or The Time Travelers Wife.

  • Alexia@ Dimple Snatcher
    October 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I am obsessed with the “House On Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros.
    That is all.

  • Rosa
    January 31, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I’m so glad I found this post, I’ve been looking for some great new reads. I’m assuming you’ve read everything by Ruth Reichl? If not, do so immediately!