The last good book you read (and a mini description)

I’m on the lookout for my next Kindle read. I’m open to anything.

Give me the name/author of the last good book you read, and a very short synopsis (no spoilers, of course!) so I can get a good feel for it.

I read Confessions of A Prairie Bitch which is the autobiography of Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie on Little House On The Prairie. If you know anything about that show, you have got to read this book.

She did a great job. I started it and couldn’t put it down till I finished. Did you know her mother was the voice of Sweet Polly Purebred on Underdog?

The last non-fiction book I read that was so good I couldn’t put down was Mailman by J. Robert Lennon. This is a GREAT book

It is about an older guy who has spent his life as a mailman. Only being a mailman isn’t a job, it’s who he is, it’s his identity. I can’t even tell you a bit about it as it’s that good and any information would spoil it.

It’s funny, it’s fast paced and I stayed up till 6:30am to finish it.

I was very taken by Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. It was quite something.

The book was based on the true (and remarkable) story of a middle-aged couple in Nazi Germany during WWII who wish to make some form of protest. Besides providing an amazing and essentially real-time view of Germany at the time (Fallada wrote it immediately after the war), it’s also moving, suspenseful, and altogether unique in the way it reads. Definitely worth a try if the ‘subject’ is not one you avoid.

“Go like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their battle for speed and glory at LeMans” by A.J. Baime.

Two titans of the automobile industry: Enzo Ferrari and Henry Ford II (the Deuce) battle to build the best car at 24 hours of LeMans back in the 1960s when it was the biggest auto race in the world. It happened after Ferrari signaled they were open to being bought by Ford and then set conditions that made The Deuce say “Screw them…Beat them on the track no matter the cost”. Interesting secondary characters like John Surtees and Carroll Shelby and the politics that went on inside the teams.

I am glad I read your post, I was thinking of reading the book because I like LHOTP. Melissa Sue has a new book out as well but I didn’t get much out of that one. I think I’ll give Nellie a try.

The Life of Pi by Yan Martel.

From Wikipedia:

I read it in one sitting.

I read The Grandmothers: A Family Portrait by Glenway Westcott. It follows the trials, tribulations, and bizarre neuroses of several generations of a Wisconsin family around the end of the 19th Century and parts of it were featured in Wisconsin Death Trip.

My mother also read it and insisted that several of the characters were gay. I hadn’t arrived at the same conclusion, viewing them instead as strange and unhappy due to the hardship in their lives. But the book was written in 1926 and I guess in that day references to homosexuality would be veiled.

Oh, dude, I’m in the middle of The Sea Wolf and I can not put that bad boy down! I only picked it up because I love sea stories and a friend is teaching it to his freshman English class, plus I spent a week learning to sail a schooner a few years ago. It’s intense and it’s giving me anxiety dreams. I’ve read Jack London’s much more famous books (Call of the Wild and White Fang, plus I’m sure some short stories other than “To Build a Fire”) back when I was a kid, and now I might have to revisit them if they’re all this… affecting.

So this effete intellectual type is minding his own damned business on a ship in San Francisco harbor when his boat collides with another and he ends up in the water and almost dies, only he’s picked up by a schooner bound for the Japan sealing grounds captained by, let’s call him Neitzche’s Superman. With a touch of Billy Budd-style homoeroticism, although I suspect I’m adding that in myself. Seriously, it’s very accessible and it’s really good. I don’t know how it ends, though!

ETA - I believe I got it either for free or for one of those 99 cents “cleaned up public domain” deals on the Kindle.

Two I can recommend, having recently finished them:

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon, a creepy, compelling novel about identity theft, and Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth, a terrific supernatural action-adventure yarn about a vampire working for the U.S. Government.

Man, other than The Life of Pi, which I have already read (and loved), I could read every one of these books!

Ice Man, the story of Richard Kuklinski. A sobering tale of one of the most deadly and efficient mafia hitmen in all of history.

scans Goodreads list
The last book I rated highly was the second in the series, so instead I’ll recommend the first: Savage Season, by Joe R. Lansdale. The Amazon review:

I’d recommend Monster by A. Lee Martinez, a humorous fantasy with a lot of dramatics and bite.

I’ll post my last good book: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. This story takes the relatively factual accounts of Lincoln’s life and weaves in vampires! It was a good because it treated the subject seriously. After it I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I think I enjoyed AL:VH better (which is weird because I love me some zombies).

Currently, I’m reading 1984 by George Orwell, which, I’m sure, needs no description.

Apart from that, one of the last good books I’ve read was Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It was assigned reading in a course I took my last year at the University. Essentially, it’s a book told largely through dialogue, spoken and internal, between a man who has become jaded and cynical through the years, and a telepathic gorilla. It discusses the mythology of our culture and shows how, without swift intervention, we’ll destroy our planet. It’s very well-written and gives its point well without being preachy.

The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Kean.

Great read about the history, science and other anecdotes behind the discoveries of the elements of the Periodic Table (and the Table itself).

I’m also just started Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. So far, I’m diggin’ the first story.

True North, Eliott Merrick. The memoir of a man who travelled several hundred miles into the wilderness of Labrador when the rivers were still wild. The man was a true poet.

I just re-real Lamb by Christopher Moore- it’s the story of the unknown apostle Biff, Christ’s childhood pal. I’ve heard people refer to Moore as just a more succint Elmore Leonard, but I don’t see it at all. I think book is hilarious and a very compelling read.

I like most of Moore’s books, and the irreverence of this one makes it even better.

Christopher Moore is almost always hilarious. The Leonard comparison sounds odd to me, though - I’ve previously referred to him as “America’s Douglas Adams.”

I’m about halfway through Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, having just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and about halfway through The Girl Who Played with Fire. I must admit I was a little leery of the popularity of the series (not sure why), and only started reading at the urging of a co-worker - but Larsson had a talent for the genre (mystery/thriller), and his characters are empathically drawn and his storylines intriguing.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was titled (in the original Swedish) Men Who Hate Women, and it’s an apt description. The story begins with journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who has just been convicted of libeling successful businessman Hans-Erik Wennerstrom due to an exposé published in his magazine. Distraught and in disgrace, Blomkvist is persuaded to accept a freelance job in a remote part of the country working for aged industrialist Henrik Vanger on a family mystery. Concurrently, we are introduced to Lisbeth Salander, the eponymous Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who works as a researcher for a security firm and has a mysterious dark past of her own. Of course they eventually meet and begin working together on the Vanger story, but the details of what has actually happened there, as well as the details of the Wennerstrom story, make for a surprisingly quick and engrossing read.