I'm seeking Back Room Book Recs
by FormerIrishHoya (2012-12-30 22:25:29)
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Because neither of them got a book for Christmas, both my wife and her mother feel like they are missing an essential part of the holiday. Here is what I'm dealing with:

For my wife, she will read most anything, but I think it's fair to characterize her favorites as epics. She sometimes calls "Pillars of the Earth" her favorite novel, but she also loved "The Stand" and the first two Kingkiller Chronicle books. I would love a rec in this vein.

For my mother-in-law, it is tough. She reads constantly, but she reads (for the most part) dreck. It's also strange that for such an educated woman (M.D.) she strongly refuses to read anything that can't be characterized as a "whodunit" or "spy thriller." While there are great books in these styles, they are not the ones that she reads. I could easily grab something from this genre, but (a) I'd be afraid that she had read it already, and (b) I (and my wife) would love to give her something that fits the conventions that she's interested in, but sneaks a good book to her. I don't know if this possible, but if it is, I'm sure this is the place to figure it out.

Thanks in advance.


Maybe the Nightside series by Simon Green.
by Nohow  (2012-12-31 10:45:56)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I have the same taste in books as your wife, and I thoroughly enjoyed this series. A little different from my usuals. Your MIL might like it as well. It's definitely some easy, enjoyable reading.


Acacia Trilogy by David Anthony Durham for the wife.
by djpall  (2012-12-31 10:35:58)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Commissario Brunetti (set in Venice)novels by Donna Leon for the MIL.


Wife: Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay. MiL: The Tourist, Steinhauer
by NavyJoe  (2012-12-31 09:11:46)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Kay is probably the most underrated fantasy author. Tigana is among his best and it may be the best stand-alone fantasy novel ever.

For your MiL, I would recommend The Tourist by Olen
Steinhauer. It is widely regarded as one of the best spy novels released in the past decade but, despite that, I know few people who have read it. If she enjoys it, there's also a sequel. Edit: two sequels now, apparently. I need to get reading.

If you want to go the mystery route, I'd recommend anything by Rovert Goddard. He's an excellent British writer with something close to 20 novels. It's unlikely that your MiL has read him because those books have only recently come into print in the US.


50 Shades of Grey (plus some batteries)
by NDscott  (2012-12-31 08:38:01)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

They'll leave you alone for a month


That's like giving himself a present. *
by Wooderson  (2012-12-31 08:56:39)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


David McCullough- The Greater Journey, The Great Bridge...
by NicevilleFlIrish  (2012-12-31 01:22:24)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

John Adams, 1776, and many others. Take your pick.


Two options:
by Barney68  (2012-12-30 23:55:21)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Anything by Laurie King (but "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" is the best possible start).

Anything by Teddy White (but "In Search Of History" is a wonderful start)

Master and Commander (the first of 21 books)

Flashman (in a variety of stories; you either love the guy or hate him)

Path To Power (volume 1 of a magical biography of Lyndon Johnson)

My final suggestions:

Lee and Grant: A Dual Biography (it brought tears to my eyes)

And, of course, Manchester's Churchill (a little hero worship is not bad)


has your mother in law read The Great Santini or Lords of
by jt  (2012-12-30 23:54:14)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Discipline?

Fantastic books.


Great reads. *
by Buck Mulligan  (2012-12-31 08:40:27)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


The Dark Tower. *
by Papa November  (2012-12-30 23:50:45)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Does the MIL like medical thrillers?
by Revue Party  (2012-12-30 23:25:59)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

If so, she might like Michael Palmer and/or CJ Lyons, both of whom are MD's who write thrillers. I read a lot of what you might call "dreck". Even write some.

For "spy thrillers" somewhat off the beaten path could be Andrew Grant's EVEN. I've read that and enjoyed it. I just bought his second book, DIE TWICE. Grant's wife, Tasha Alexander is a Domer who writes best-selling historical fiction and his brother created a character called Jack Reacher.

For a kick-ass female protagonist spy thriller type, I'd recommend Taylor Stevens's THE INFORMATIONIST. James Cameron just agreed to make the movie.

I just bought a book called DON'T EVER GET OLD by Daniel Friedman. He pitched it as "the funniest books about Nazi's you'll ever read". Nelson DeMille raved about it. The protagonist is named Buck Schatz, who's an 89-year old Nazi hunter. You can't go wrong with a name like that.


"The Medical Detectives."...
by kbyrnes  (2012-12-31 01:58:58)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

...It is episodic, and well-suited for someone who would like to read 10 to 15 pages stories written like detective fiction but based on true stories of field epidemiology. As hard as it might be to believe, they are fascinating and fun.

Here it is on Amazon.


ask and ye shall receive
by airborneirish  (2012-12-30 23:17:28)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

non-fiction:

habit
moonwalking with einstein
steve jobs bio
1491
botany of desire
why children succeed
omnivore's dilemma

fiction
mongoliad
day by day armageddon
wool




Why My Team Sucks, by Jerry Jones *
by inigomontoya  (2012-12-30 23:13:21)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


that's a one page book with an autographed picture of Jerry *
by jt  (2012-12-31 00:14:03)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Cowboys lose. Just like in the old westerns. Oh wait a sec. *
by socal_doubledomer74  (2012-12-30 23:27:09)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


That would require self awareness-or a ghostwriter *
by knutesteen  (2012-12-30 23:26:08)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


if she likes spy thrillers, tell the MIL to look into
by gozer  (2012-12-30 22:54:32)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Olen Steinhauer's "Tourist" books. Just started the third one myself... the first two were fun


He's on the third? Those first two were great. *
by Anthro_domer  (2012-12-30 23:12:46)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


"an american spy" came out in march or so
by gozer  (2012-12-31 00:18:23)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I started it this afternoon. "The tourist" and "the nearest exit" were very entertaining.


Has your wife read Game of Thrones?
by Smokin_Clover  (2012-12-30 22:36:54)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

If not, get it. The Magicians by Lev Grossman is another good pick. My wife has similar interests and loves them both.


Ooh, twice. This is also a response to Anthro
by FormerIrishHOya  (2012-12-30 22:49:01)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

She's read book one of Song of Fire and Ice, but for whatever reason, she hasn't gone back for book two. She has read The Magicians, but I think she felt like the author loved coming up with ideas, but not following through with them, if that makes sense (it did to me), so hasn't read The Magician King.

Good suggestions though, thank you.


Get her 2 and 3 of aSoIaF.
by Smokin_Clover  (2012-12-30 22:52:23)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

If she can stay interested through book 2, the rewards are there in book 3, which I consider to be one my top 5 books in any genre.


Another one: The Dark Tower series by Stephen King *
by Smokin_Clover  (2012-12-30 23:26:35)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


I agree 2 and 3 are awesome. If she's okay with
by Anthro_domer  (2012-12-30 23:12:04)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Sci-fi I love Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion. Hyperion is one of my most favorite books. If she's okay with apocalypse and vampires I think The Passage is excellent and am liking the sequel, The Twelve halfway through it.


For your mother in law...
by Atticus  (2012-12-30 22:35:51)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Eric Ambler or Alan Furst. More accessible than LeCarre, just as good.


Has your wife read the Song of Ice and Fire aka game of
by Anthro_domer  (2012-12-30 22:35:29)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Thrones? That's my first thought. I love those kingkiller chronicles books. I've heard good things about the Magicians but haven't gotten to them yet.


for your MIL - The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
by irishnyer  (2012-12-30 22:35:18)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

It's a whodunit and very well written. The protagonist is an African American elevator inspector who gets framed for an incident, and in the process of clearing her name finds a deeper conspiracy.


Can't fault your MIL. I spend so much time reading
by bengalbout  (2012-12-30 22:33:04)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

medical and scientific journals for work that when I read for pleasure I want dreck and mindless reading. I really like this series, and if your MIL hasn't read it yet, she will also.


for your wife....
by mkovac  (2012-12-30 22:32:04)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

"The Alchemist's Daughter" by Katherine McMahon. (link).

I keep hoping for a sequel but nothing so far.

It's a captivating novel of the early 1700's in rural England.


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