Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I've Been Reading

I had the privilege of meeting debut author Henry McLaughlin at the 2011 ACFW Conference. He's such a nice, interesting man that I had to pick up his book. I'm glad I did. While there's a romantic thread to this story, ultimately it was the writing and the wonderful Old West feel to the book that grabbed me and kept me. Check out his first line: The crowd was small for a hanging. I definitely recommend this book to readers who like historical fiction.

I really enjoyed this read by Noelle Marchand. This is her first book and she sold it at a super young age (I think 16?). Sometimes category romances get a little formulaic but this one felt very fresh to me with vivid characters and an interesting premise.



If you didn't know it, this book has become popular posthumously. The author, Stieg Larsson, passed shortly after handing in the third manuscript. I enjoyed the writing in the book. It was different than my norm. While the pacing felt off, ultimately I liked the main character enough to start the second book.


I'd heard of this book for over a year but didn't get around to reading it until I saw the movie trailer and realized there was romance involved. I really enjoyed the writing and story. The premise/setting was really intriguing, the characters (most of them) were well-rounded and the way Sara Gruen set up the story was interesting. Now I'm ready to watch the movie!




What have you been reading? Any recommendations for 2012?

29 comments:

Lindsay Harrel said...

Hmm, I've never read any of these books.

Recently, I read the Hunger Games series...highly recommended! And I've just finished a few Susan Meissner novels. Seahorse in the Thames was really good, as was Lady in Waiting. I'm looking forward to a few debut novels from some blogging friends in 2012!

Jessica R. Patch said...

I just finished A Bride Most Begrudging and Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist. Awe-some! And I started Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones. So far, I like it!

Sandra Orchard said...

You've been busy reading! Thanks for the suggestions :)

Tamika Eason said...

Water for Elephants is a favorite! Definitely on my top ten list- that I know I would read again and again.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- is one I've considered.

Loree Huebner said...

My oldest daughter read The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. She has a book club with her friends, and they all read it. I believe they started the second book for the same reason as you - they liked the main character enough.

She told me a bit about it.

Stacy Henrie said...

I've got three books coming in the mail any day - all Christian historical romances, of course :) - and I can't wait to read them.

Lynn said...

Wow, that is a great first line! I read Water for Elephants a few years ago after hearing my Dad had been on a CBC radio show, recommending the book. And I like Sara Gruen's story to publication. The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo is on my TBR list. Hope to get to it soon! I started Ted Dekker's Cicle series, so it might be awhile. :)

Anita Grace Howard said...

Well you've been busy, my little reader! ;) You'll love WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. It's a beautiful movie. :) DRAGON TATOO--I heard that one was hard to get into in the beginning. Did you have that problem?

tracikenworth said...

The Henry McLaughlin book sounds good. Will have to get it. Thanks.

tracikenworth said...
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Linda Kage said...

I've been debating whether I wanted to read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I'm still not sure if I do, though I had no idea with was published posthumously. Love the covers for the other three book. How pretty.

Jessica Nelson said...

Lindsay, I haven't read Meissner yet but I want to. I've heard her books are really good.

Jessica, heard Save the Date was great!

Sandra, always! lol

Tamika, Girl was okay, I think worth the read, but it does start very slowly.

Jessica Nelson said...

Loree, it's def. Lisbeth who I root for and am interested in. There's the freaky mystery in her past which is hooking me and I'll probably read all three books just to find out what happened to her. lol

Yay Stacy! Fun stuff. :-)

Lynn, very cool about your dad!

Jessica Nelson said...

Anita, it wasn't hard for me because I was curious already, but it is slow and filled with extraneous details. Backstory, even. Still...it's an interesting read, I think.

Traci, I hope you enjoy! :-)

Linda, they are pretty, aren't they?

Karen Lange said...

Just finished Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist. Enjoyed it, especially the ending. Also read an ARC of Cathy Gohlke's Promise Me This. It was excellent!

Terri Tiffany said...

Some really good books you've been reading. My hint--don't watch the Elephant movie---it was not as good as the book! Just my opinion:)

Bibliomania said...

You and I are kindred literary spirits! I am trying to read as many books as possible in 2012 and I'll have to read some of your recommendations. I am currently reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. It is amazing!
-Erin
http://erinsbibliomania.blogspot.com/

Angie Muresan said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Jessica. I've been so busy I haven't read anything since the beginning of December. But even more important is catching up with all my favorite bloggers.
Hope you and your boys are well.

Julie Dao said...

I've been wanting to read Water For Elephants for SO long, but never got around to it. I have to pick up a copy! I also like reading the book before I see the movie :)

Janet, said...

Those sound like some interesting books, especially the first two.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm currently reading Love on the Line and enjoying it.

I've seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but the title puts me off. The other books sound appealing.

Jessica Nelson said...

Susan, I don't think you'd care for Dragon. It's definitely R-rated. I've enjoyed Gist's work in the past and will hopefully pick up Love on the Line at some point.

Janet, hope you can grab some up sometime. :-)

Julie, I thought it was pretty interesting!

Jessica Nelson said...

Angie! Hi!!! Yes, we're all well, thanks for asking. :-)

Hey Erin, thanks for popping by. I've heard good stuff about Kingsolver but have never read one of her books. I'll have to check one out this year. Have fun with all that book reading! lol

Hi Terri, yep, I heard they were different so I'll bear that in mind.

Karen, I'm jealous!! I'm a fan of Gohlke after reading the Watchfires book. I'd definitely read more of her.

Faith Pray said...

So fun to read your book reviews! I'm currently entrenched in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, The Tuesday Night Murder Club by Agatha Christie, just beginning The Guardians of Ga-Hoole by Kathryn Lasky and drooling to go buy Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey.

Nancy said...

I've been reading some pretty good mysteries. One was about murder on a cruise to Alaska. Well, it went down the same "Inside Passage" we were on. So fun.

Looks like you've been very busy reading some popular books. Sounds like you enjoyed them.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Jessica,

You always introduce me to new books. I love coming here. Blessings to you this week!

Melanie

Jessica Nelson said...

Hi Melanie! Blessings to you also. Love your new profile pic and name. :-)

Hey Nancy, yep, I'm a commercial girl. I usually end up reading what everyone else is. Mysteries are fun too, but I need romance in them. lol

Hi Faith! Thanks for stopping by. The only author you listed that I've heard of is Christie. Thanks for mentioning the others. I might need to check some of them out!

Caitlin said...

I'm re-reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I've re-read it every year since I was twelve.

Warren Baldwin said...

What have we been reading? If I can recommend a nonfiction - Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. A great read about the founder of Apple. Very interesting, insightful, and also sad. I did a review of it a couple of weeks ago on FAmily Fountain. Hard book to put down.