Thursday, January 8, 2009

That's What Friends Are For.

My two favorite books, equally tied in my world of perception of greatness, are Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind and The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin. (Right about now some of you are reeling..."WHAT? Not Twilight?" Oh, my lovelies...the four books of that saga are in the top 10, rest assured. Resume your reading now.) I also adore anything Francine Rivers ever penned, as well as Steinbeck's East of Eden, which my forgetful friend, Kelly, gave to me on my 18th birthday, with an inscription that read, "Thought you'd like this--it's rather soap operaish and stuff." To this day I haven't determined if I should've been flattered or offended by that summation, but no matter. I loved it.

I love to read, clearly. It's my passion. And I am not, nor ever I have been a book snob. If I feel like reading some Stephen King, I'm reading Stephen King. (Oh, The Stand. Fabulous!) Every now and then I break out some Judy Blume, just because. Her works of fiction, for all age groups, mean that much to me. And do not even get me started on my beloved Mary Higgins Clark...I've read every word she's ever written, with rapt attention and a fondness normally reserved for members of my own family.

The last four novels I've read have had two traits in common: they were unputdownable (yeah, I made that word up!), and sold in the YA section of bookstore. YA--as in Young Adult. Heather said recently, "YA is where it's at!" Truer words have never been spoken. Hello--Twilight? The Hunger Games? (Click the links to read my posts on these two, if you're so inclined.) I rest my case.

Because I love each of you, I have to pass on my latest and greatest reads. If you're in a cold, snowy part of the country, there's no better time to curl up with a fantastic story. If you're in warm, sunny parts, I hate you. OK, I jest. Kind of. Also, because I love each of you, I'm linking each book's page on Amazon...read Amazon's synopsis (because I'm the world's worst at describing why I love a particular story), order away, and be happy.

Graceling Pictures, Images and Photos

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore, is this author's first work of fiction. My dear Angie gave me the heads up just before Christmas and because I trust her, I instantly ordered it from Amazon and read almost every word by Christmas Eve. Once I got into the story, it was unputdownable. Truly, Graceling is in my top three list of favorite reads of 2008. It also contains one of my favorite scenes I've ever read...ever...but I shant spoil it. Go read...then we'll discuss. (And thanks, Angie...I'm indebted to you for this one!)


cover wake Pictures, Images and Photos
I read this a few nights ago. In the bathrub. The entire book in less than 2 hours, while I became all pruny and waterlogged. Wake, by Lisa McMann. What made this work brilliant for me is that I literally saw it in my head as I was reading. I saw it as a movie, continually playing in my overly dramatic brain. It was fantastic. And the sequel comes out next month. It makes me happy.


Life As We Knew It Pictures, Images and Photos
Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. Unputdownable, to say the least. It's the diary of Miranda, a sixteen year old girl whose life is drastically altered when a cosmic event changes the world as we know it. Somewhere Michael Bay is dreaming of bringing it to the big screen...




The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart. Smart. Serious. Saucy. Utterly brilliant. Just read it. Trust me.


If you've made it this far, without skimming, I have a little reward in the form of a giveaway. Because I loved it so much, I think someone needs a copy of Graceling. An autographed copy, at that. No, not by me, by its author, Kristin Cashore. Leave a comment...and I'll pick a winner on Friday. I'll also share a few more recommended reads, some of which come by way of a middle school librarian. Now that's a gal who knows her YA literature!


OK, y'all...get reading. And then we'll discuss, as always.


69 comments:

momof3crazykids said...

Love your recommendations above!
Oh those books I've got to read.
I have Wake, I read it and loved it!! I even emailed Lisa McMann to let her know. And she responded.
I can't wait to get Fade, I pre-ordered it on Amazon.
I have also become addicted to the House of Night series by PC Cast. Her next one comes out soon too.
Gotta Love those YA books!

TattooedMinivanMom said...

New really good books! Yeah!!! Is my Barnes and Noble card in the mail yet?

Denise said...

I want the Graceling and I want it NOW! I'm too poor to order books now. I have to get them from the library and do you know how hard it is to get current books at the library????

Trish said...

I've been reading like a maniac lately, but have not read any of those. Yet. (we all know that I now read what you tell me to and I do it when you tell me to, lest you sick your bff Amazon on me again!)

You know I fell in love with you the day that book arrived on my doorstep in it's pretty little brown packaging.

So, I recommend that you read My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young. It's an amazingly bitter sweet story.

Heather said...

I'll come back and read your post in the morning...

Just wanted to tell you that you won! And it was not rigged at all. I promise.

Love you.

Felicia Eis said...

I am with Denise!!! As a poor college student I have the hardest time getting book to read :(

greedygrace said...

I'm all about getting an autographed copy!

You were right about the Twilight series, so I'll trust on these recommendations, too!

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I saw your Graceling recommendation in your comment box and already checked it out. I didn't order it yet though - only because I am short of fun funds.

I will always read anything you tell me to. Because that's what friends do. Ha!

Amy said...

If it wasn't 3 am and I wasn't to awake to sleep but tol lazy to go fetch a credit card I'd be ordering them all now. I will however be doing it at a respectable time.
love your picks!

Amy said...

I always judge a book by it's cover. Literally. The "WAKE" book looks awesome, just because of it's cover. I will check out these on Amazon later today when I have time.

Thanks for the recommendations :D

Shelley said...

Hey Lula,

You know I love to read me some books. Pick me.......purty please...

Lauren W said...

Oh dear... like I need more excuses to buy books... or read them... I've been on something of a reading frenzy recently, and poor Josh is feeling neglected :/
Oh well... ;)

Robin said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll have to try one of them out. Have you read the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich? I love her own take on her books. It's basically, like, she feels like her books are the desserts of life. A fun read!!

Kimberley said...

Thanks to this post, I think I single handedly just spent my entire B&N Christmas gift!

Kori said...

Geez Louise My recommended reading list is geting a little long. I guess I need to get started.

Kat said...

I have Graceling on reserve at the library - but to win a copy - and an autographed copy - well sign me up!

And Life as We Knew it was fabulous! Katie loved it too. Have you read the companion piece to it? It's a little darker - and I didn't let Katie read it...but it was very good.

And I have been saying for years that the best writing being done today is in the YA market...

Divine Chaos said...

ohh i love to read too :) I'll have to add those books to my never ending list of books that i absolutely have to buy ;) My daughter is all into the Warriors books by Erin Hunter, so of course I had to read them too ('cause I'm not a book snob either, I'll read pretty much anything lol).

My all time favorite book is Violin, by Ann Rice. Love love love it. I've bought it several times .. 'cause I keep giving it away to people, 'cause I love it so much :p

Brandy said...

I love that you said the book plays as a movie in your head. Because I thought it was just me! Maybe it is unique to people that love to read but I've always been able to zone out and enjoy the "movie" I'm reading.

Now I really, really, REALLY want to go on vacation to somewhere warm with fruity drinks, a lounge chair and no dirty dishes so that I can read all these books.

jori-o said...

It's--I won't say eerie because I adore YOU so much, but-- interesting how alike we are in our tastes. East of Eden is in my top three of. all. time. Westing Game is a fave too (I taught 8th grade English for awhile and LOVED reading this with the kids). And I have Hunger Games and Disreputable History in my possession at the moment TBRS (to be read soon). My friend met Landau-Banks and got my copy signed for me! Perhaps, on your recommendation, I should move both books up on my priority list. =)

Mama Dawg said...

I literally typed out all your recommendations and printed it out. I'm going to the big city (where there's a B & N)next weekend armed w/this list.

Heather said...

Personally I prefer to scrapbook in the winter and read good books in the summer while basking in the sunshine on my back deck.

But I may make an exception for you. So we can discuss.

Oh, and if I won, then it would happen even sooner.

Just sayin'.

Sissy said...

I could so use an autographed copy!

Live.Love.Eat said...

You truly have a knack for pitching a good thing. I want to read every book you mentioned!

April said...

I haven't read any of your picks! When do you have time to read all these books??? Do you sleep at all?

Nicole said...

Reading is my born again obsession now. I hadn't read a book in ages (since giving birth to 3 kids actually) and I got hooked on the Twilight series and now I cant seem to get enough reading! Thanks for the list, I need some new obsessions!

Elena said...

Lula, I trust your book recoomendations over anyone elses. I'm adding all of these to my "to read" list on Goodreads.com (which you should become a member and then be my freind if you aren't already). The Hunger Games was amazing and I about died with the ending. I didn't realize there would be more books to come. Thank goodness. Sign me up for the giveaway, I LOVE a good book, but signed books are so totally awesome!

Mrs. S said...

Ohhhh that last one looks especially good. Maybe you should host a book swap one day :) ( you like those delegating skills dont you?) and we could all pick a favorite book and send it, then we could finish our books and swap again (not buying a new book, but taking the one that got sent to us and sending it to someone else...) hmmm too complicated? ah well. I'll sit on it and think!

Thanks for all the great reccomendations!

Smoochiefrog said...

Sounds like some good recommendations. I'll have to check those out.

I'm submersed in the Alphabet books by Sue Grafton right now. I've read A-F since Dec. 30th. I started G this morning and am already halfway through it. They're a good yet quick read.

I'll be re-reading Twilight as soon as I pick it up from the library though. :)

Kelly said...

thanks for the shoutout. and i *did* remember, but just because you mentioned it a few months ago. also, lots of things i say are left-handed compliments. might as well go with flattered, i'd say.

KimmyJ said...

Pick me, pick me! If not, I will get your pics anyway - just cuz you seem like a girl with good taste. :)

CaraBee said...

I was at the library the other day and found myself drawn to the YA section. I felt a little awkward standing next to a couple of tween girls, but who cares. I'll be checking out all of these books.

Jen said...

I am looking for a new book to read. Those sound really good.

angie said...

Oh, I read every single word......and I want that autographed book badly......but, since I've read the book, I'd better put my selfishness aside and just tell you that.....I loved how racey East of Eden was without being in your face racey. I have read every single one of Mary Higgins Clarks books too. Have you read Lois Lowry yet? If not, you MUST read THe GIVER and Number the Star (for a tear jerker).

TheRightWife said...

Oh, what the heck :) I never try to win anything, buy I'm on maternity leave for the next 6 weeks and I can't drive yet to get to the bookstore to buy something new to read!

Thanks for the recommendations - I'm always looking for something new to read!

Melissa said...

Okay, am I gonna win? Sometime this year I will. Let it be now. Bless you. [kissing your hand or your butt, whichever gets me that book]

Okay, love you space lady, buh-bye!

Britt said...

I was going to say something .. and then I noticed above the comment section that Lost returns in two weeks ..

Now that, plus those books .. I'm so excited, I'm glad I tinkled before I sat down.

I love when you point out books .. it's hard to discover when you are trying to keep little hands from destroying the library from the seat of the double stroller. Another perk to add to my "Kelly's Home During The Day" list: Mama can run away to the Library ALONE!

ParentingPink said...

I love to go to blogs where great books are recommended. I love to read as well (when I can find the time!).

I too loved Steinbeck's East of Eden, AND Grapes of Wrath. Plus, I think I was the only teenager in the world to read Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities" twice for English class. Still love that one! So romantic!

Gonna check out some of your recommendations! Thanks for passing them along!

Caroline said...

Ooh goody, a new book. I feel I've turned a new leaf with regards to reading and I can't wait to go into the library and get some books, the first on my list if Pride and Prejudice. I can't believe I have never gotten the chance to read that one.

Oh how my former English teachers would be proud of me!

Thanks for the suggestions!

Eudea-Mamia said...

Please, please add me to the list!!

I'm totally bookmarking this post. Don't have time to hit my Barnes and Noble wish list right now, but these WILL be added.

dancinginthemargins said...

Because I trust you with my life, I will be reading these books. And based on past recommendations I know you've got the literary goods.

Not to mention The Westing Game brought us together. One of my top 3 favorite books.

Gone With The Wind, too? Do we share a soul? I think we do. lol.

Veggie Mom said...

I've read GWTW 27 times, and I've seen the movie I don't know how many, and I'm proud of that. I love to read, too. Thanks for the selections...I'll get right on it!

Mommy Mo said...

I love reading, just wish I had more time to do it. I used to devour books quickl...now, it takes me forever to finish one book (the three kids is five years will do it to you).

The STand is one of my all-time favorite books, along with The Count of Monte Cristo, Memoirs of a Geisha and Life of Pi.

I am currently reading Pillars of the Eart and I like it! I can't wait to read the sequal.

John Deere Mom said...

Love books, love reading, always looking for a new title. Count me in!

Shannon said...

I've added these to my list...

Now I just need to plan a trip out to B&N... maybe I can get Angie to come with me!



Speaking of books, the Cornwell one came in the mail today... thanks! Will let you know what I think. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stationary! Where did you get it?

Rhea said...

me, me, me!! I ended up losing The Hunger Games after you recommended it.

So I need to read all these you have listed. Thanks for passing them on! You ROCK.

heathersister said...

Ok, so, I read Twilight because I saw it on your blog. Love you forever for that. I read Hunger Games because I saw it on your blog. Loved it. Can't wait for the next one. I have read The Westing Game, a few years ago with Danielle because she had to read it for school. Liked it, but can't say I loved it as much as you did, but that's ok.

So, I will definately have to add these to my read list. I am currently reading The Memory Keepers Daughter, so I will let you know what I start next.

Dean Koontz, one of my favorite authors, (ever read any of his?) always has a new book on the shelf every year in honor of my birthday. I have to get that one in too.

Happy reading!!

heathersister said...

Oh, and if Heather wins, I will kick both your butts!! lol

Just sayin'

Love you both.

But, if she wins, I can get the book from her, so I guess that will be ok.

sassy stephanie said...

Dang. Your book giveaway is w-haaay better than mine.

I got Hunger Games for Christmas in my stocking....thank you me. I need to settle down and crack it open.

Jennifer said...

Hey there! Angie pointed me your way and actually linked you to my blog today. Those look like fun reads. If ever I have the time to read for myself again I'll have to try some of those. Maybe when the kids get in school I'll have time? Right?

Tiffany said...

You know I collect YA autographed books.. right.

I am 1/2 way through The Shack and finished "Whiteny, My Love" last week...

I will be talking your recommendations, you never steer me wrong.

BTW, Heather is getting A LOT of linky love from you lately. I'm just sayin'.

scargosun said...

I LOVE my books. Now I have more to add to my list. Are you on Goodreads?

Julie said...

Is it too late to enter? I am just catching up on blogs and emails... and can I just tell you I cried both times I read your email to me. I will write this weekend. It is so hard to think of things just for myself. This is the tricky thing. Wow. I am humbled beyond belief.
Thanks

Divine Chaos said...

psst .. I left you something on my blog :)

Tracey said...

Ok 1st let me say that I am a huge Francine Rivers fan as well!! I have all of the Lineage of Grace novellas....loved them! But I also bought Graceling for my teen **wink, wink** thinking I could read it once she was finished.....I can't get her to pick it up!! Is it wrong to take back your childrens Christmas Gifts....do you think she would notice it was missing?? Maybe I could switch the book covers on it so she wouldn't notice me reading her Christmas present....hmmm...

I also read The Hunger Games over Christmas break! Thanks for telling us about that one!!

Hugs!
Tracey

Kat said...

Okay...I am laughing out loud at Rhea's comment. Cause she so did NOT lose The Hunger Games. She mailed it to me. I read it. Katie read it. My mom read it. And I am thinking I ought to give it away. In honor of Rhea "losing" it.

And have I told you how much I love GWTW? I read it when I was 20. And stayed up all night to finish it. I keep trying to get my book club to read it. But they are dingbats sometimes.

I am #4 on the list at the library for Graceling, and #1 for Wake.

Cheryl said...

I love book recommendations. Count me in. :-)

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I wanna win something.

Like a date with Lula. THAT would be cool.

Julie said...

i am entering again... i think i am as addicted to books as you!!!

Kori said...

I'm with Lizzy a date with you would be Awesome-mazing. Yeah that would be Calob's new invented word.
Awesome + Amazing = Awesome-mazing

I do like to read though too. But reading has got nothing on Lunch with Lula.

Shannon said...

Just back to increase my chances! Woot!

Tony C said...

Being quite possibly the only male both wise and bold enough to read and COMMENT regularly in Lulaville, I want to appeal to your innate sense of cultural diversity and shamelessly plug yours truly for the book give away on behalf of all men, both secure and insecure.

My campaign promise, if selected, is to not only read but also blog about the story and it's inevitable lasting effect on my primitive (by nature) male psyche.

Also, if reading the story about a confused warrior-girl in her late teens with extraordinary power results in open weeping, I will not fail to mention that in the aforementioned blog. Not because I'm a girly-man...but because I'm now in touch with my sensitive side and have come realize the effect that has on the opposite sex.

And I sincerely hope your head feels better.

April said...

I LOVE HERSCHEL WALKER!!!


Does that get me any extra points?

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I am commenting again! I want that book! Ha! Poor Hertchel....

Your poor head...

Linda said...

Crap, I didn't enter the first time around? What is wrong with me, how did I miss this? Ok, I'm currently reading something academic and something political .... seriously ... I NEED that book! For my own sanity.

Shala said...

One of my New Year's resolutions was to branch out and read new authors. I haven't read any of these and am on my way to read about each book. If you get a comment from my husband about how you made me read more and pay attention to him less, just ignore him, I always do!

Tony C said...

Oh, did I mention that I'm a huge Vikings fan and, well, we all know H.W. was a Viking.

I also personally seen him run for like 9000 yards in one half against Vanderbilt my senior year while he was a Georgia Bulldog. He was the man!

Aubrey said...

Ah shadoobie!
Count me in although I'm sure the 1st commenter & last never win. LOL

heathersister said...

Hell yeah.

Here is another comment 'cause I want to win.

Jen said...

Ok, you are a recommendation queen but I LOVE it!! Can't wait to check out all these books.