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Off the Stacks: 8 Books I Want to Read Right Now

Off the StacksOne of my very favorite things in the world is sitting by the lake at my parents’ cabin in Wisconsin with a good book (I’ve posted about this SEVERAL times before). I regularly make a pilgrimage there for a long weekend in the spring and an even longer weekend over the 4th of the July. Given our horrible, un-Spring-like weather this month, I’ve spent more time than normal yearning for a quiet summer weekend with the lake breeze in my hair and a margarita by my side.

As much as I love nonfiction, my favorite books for lakeside reading are almost always fiction. It’s easier to turn off my “book reviewer” brain and just get lost in a good story. I’ve also bought a lot of fiction in the last several months, books that are just screaming to be read on a warm spring day.

Today I thought it would be fun to share eight of the titles I’ve bought lately and see if you, my dear readers, have recommendations about which of these fine books I should read first. This is (coincidentally) very similar to the topic of last week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. I’ve never participated, but I do want to give them a shout-out since I’ve adapted their idea for this post.

Anyway, 8 titles languishing on my bookshelves are:

  1. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin — I bought this one impulsively during a rare visit to B&N after Melissa (The Betty and Boo Chronicles) mentioned it on her blog. After she called it “absolutely flawless” in her review, I became desperate to read it myself.
  2. The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka — I can’t exactly remember why this one got on my radar (the Bookrageous podcast, perhaps?), but it’s been taunting me since I bought it.
  3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain — All the chatter about this book in the Tournament of Books finally pushed it over the edge from “curious about” to “taking up space in my house.” I want to read it now!
  4. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn — I loved Gone Girl enough that I wanted to catch up on Gillian Flynn’s backlist. Hence, Sharp Objects came home with me.
  5. Out by Natsuo Kirino — New Book Riot contributor Rachel Smalter Hall recommended this murder mystery/”crazy treatise on enslaved middle-class housewives in Japan” as one of her favorite badass female revenge thrillers. It sounded awesome, so I bought it.
  6. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice — Meg (write meg!) mentioned this book in a list of love stories that won’t make you gag. I happened to find a copy at a used book store and promptly bought it because Meg said it was one of her favorite books of all time.
  7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — I just got caught up with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but instead of feeling morose that there is ONLY ONE MORE (sob!) I decided it would be fun to visit the source material (which I’ve never read).
  8. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson — I got a surprise galley of this one a couple weeks ago and I have my DYING to read it since. I know, I know, I didn’t technically buy this one but whatever… it’s my list.

So, readers. What books have you recently acquired? Do you have any books you’re saving to read by the beach/pool this summer? Which of these books do you think is a “can’t miss” read?

Photo Credit: Ginnerobot via Flickr

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joanna March 26, 2013, 6:22 am

    Oh, spending a beautiful spring day reading sounds heavenly! Out is fantastic, though it’s not relaxing because of the subject matter… It’s an intense book, eye-opening and interesting, but intense. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is lovely, soft and kind. And you have to read P&P, especially if you loved The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I’ll be curious to see what you think of that one, having seen the youtube version first. I’m sure all the books on your list are great, but these are the three I’ve read.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 7:54 pm

      When we have friends up for the weekend at the cabin, the ladies are always reading mysteries or thrillers — that’s why that one reminds me of the beach. And yes, P&P. I think that might be next, to ease the pain over the end of LBD (which I am addicted to).

  • bermudaonion(Kathy) March 26, 2013, 6:40 am

    You’ve never read Pride and Prejudice? You must remedy that. I’m reading Life After Life right now.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 7:55 pm

      P&P is one of my most embarrassing literary oversights. I don’t know how I missed it, really.

  • Krystyn March 26, 2013, 6:41 am

    Oh I love this idea…I think I’ll put together a similar post!! I am also anxious to read The Orchardist!!

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 7:56 pm

      Thanks, it was a fun list to put together!

  • Tanya Patrice March 26, 2013, 7:11 am

    I so wish I was doing exactly that right now – sitting in a cabin by a lake and relaxing. Other than Pride and Prejudice, I haven’t read any of those books, but #1 & 3 are on my reading list for this year. I’m currently sifting through the books nominated for a Nebula Award, so I would take those with me – all fantasy and science fiction.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 7:56 pm

      I’d give just about anything for warm weather and a long weekend. This winter has to end.

  • Melissa March 26, 2013, 8:46 am

    I adored The Orchardist so much!

    Right now I’m dying to read my copy of Jabob’s Folly. I’ve had it since the day it was released, but I haven’t had time to read it. I also want to read The Legend of Pradeep Mathew.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 7:59 pm

      Ha, I love your avatar (devil donuts!). I haven’t heard of Jacob’s Folly, but I hope you get to read it!

  • Meg March 26, 2013, 9:03 am

    Oooh, yes — The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is the BEST! So happy to hear you snagged a copy, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 8:00 pm

      It seems like a perfect, fun spring time read. I think I will enjoy it when I’m in the mood 🙂

  • Jennifer March 26, 2013, 12:33 pm

    It’s your list and you can do what you want 😉 You absolutely must get to P&P..I challenge you to do so!

    I’ll let you know when spring comes to Wisconsin. We’re still buried in snow and ice. Boo 🙁

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 8:00 pm

      Challenge accepted! P&P is next on the list 🙂

  • Kari March 26, 2013, 2:11 pm

    I’d love a reading retreat. I was just thinking of posting my own list. Here it is: wp.me/pGja6-LS

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 8:01 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Amy March 26, 2013, 3:10 pm

    I’ve got the Atkinson too and am really looking forward to it. I just dove into Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, a nonfiction book about life in North Korea. After being fascinated by the novel The Orphan Master’s Son, I wanted to learn more about this country.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 8:01 pm

      Oooo, Nothing to Envy is totally awesome. That was one of my favorite reads last year (I think last year, maybe the year before?). It’s remarkable.

  • Teresa March 26, 2013, 4:10 pm

    The only books you mention that I’ve read are P&P and Life After Life and both are marvelous books by two of my favorite authors, so I’d say both of them are can’t miss books. Of course, they’re really different from each other, so it’s a matter of which suits your mood right now.

    I’ve been wanting to read more Gillian Flynn since loving Gone Girl. And right now I have so many books calling out to me that I can’t even pick out one or two to name.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 8:03 pm

      I think I’m in more of a P&O mood at the moment, but I really hope to get to Life After Life in April.

  • Jenny March 26, 2013, 7:34 pm

    I’m curious to hear what you think of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets. Your lake time reading sounds amazing. I wish I could do likewise. I haven’t done any by-the-lake reading in way too long. I don’t know why reading is better when you are near a body of water but it JUST IS.

    • Kim March 26, 2013, 8:04 pm

      I look forward to going to the cabin more and more every year. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year. And I don’t know why it’s better either, but it really is 🙂

  • Charlie March 27, 2013, 5:26 am

    I wanted to say I’m totally envious, but instead I just want to hope that the weather improves and you can go, because it does look the perfect place to read and if you’ve such an opportunity… yes, rain, go away.

    Pride and Prejudice, definitely. Then again it’s my favourite, joint with Jane Eyre, so it would be impossible for me to think objectively when it’s on a list like that. I read Zibilee’s review of The Orchardist the other day and she made it sound absolutely fantastic. Link here if you want the second opinion: http://www.ragingbibliomania.net/2013/03/the-orchardist-by-amanda-coplin-448-pgs.html

    • Kim March 28, 2013, 8:38 pm

      Thanks for the link! I haven’t seen a bad word about The Orchardist yet.

  • Laurie C March 27, 2013, 5:35 am

    I’d go for the Kate Atkinson as more of a vacation-style read but, yes, you really have to read Pride and Prejudice!

    • Kim March 28, 2013, 8:39 pm

      I’m super psyched about P&P. I have one library book I need to finish first, and then that’s my next read.

  • Jenny aka Sister March 27, 2013, 7:59 am

    Read P&P! Also It may be 50(!!!) on Saturday in the cities if you come for a visit. oh but then it is going to snow that night! 🙂

    • Kim March 28, 2013, 8:39 pm

      Winter!!!!! *fist shaking at the sky*

  • Courtney March 27, 2013, 10:50 am

    Now that I have been reunited with all my books, I want to re-read Book of a Thousand Days (one of my favorite love stories), get cracking on the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, and I just ordered the sequel to The Princess Academy.

    • Kim March 28, 2013, 8:40 pm

      I always feel sad without my books. I don’t know how you managed 🙂

      I’m curious about the Wheel of Time. I haven’t read epic fantasy in awhile, and that seems like a good series.

  • Stephanie March 27, 2013, 1:51 pm

    On this list, I’ve only read Pride & Prejudice, but they all sound intriguing.

    • Kim March 28, 2013, 8:40 pm

      I know! Why do authors keep writing awesome books? Seriously! 🙂

  • Edith March 28, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Be advised that Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is a book as dark as its black cover….not sure even the light of a gorgeous day by a lake could dispel its darkness,…. I personally would not put this first on the list.

    • Kim March 28, 2013, 8:41 pm

      Good to know. I didn’t think it’d be a light read by the description, but sometimes a good, dark story works in a more peaceful setting.

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel March 29, 2013, 9:39 pm

    Well crap. Now I have 8 books I want to read right now!

    • Kim April 1, 2013, 2:56 pm

      Lol. I hope you find a good one!

  • Rebecca @ Love at First Book March 31, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Love the list! I actually stopped by a used book store a few months ago, journeyed through the $1 bin and found Sharp Objects! I had to go inside to make sure the price was accurate. And it was, all because the cover was well-worn. But who cares??? All the pages were there. It was a steal for $1.

    I also have Dark Places. Have you read that one?

    My “OMG I need to read right now” book is Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller.

    • Kim April 1, 2013, 2:58 pm

      Dang! That is a great deal. I love almost nothing more than amazing deals in the clearance bin. I don’t have Dark Places yet, I was going to wait to get it after I read Sharp Objects (because I have restraint… ha!).