Books We Love

I just finished reading The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas (or as one of my friends called it, Literary People Behaving Badly).

I loved the book! It’s perfect for writers, particularly anyone who’s ever been part of a writers’ critique group. The author gets inside all these different writers’ heads, deconstructing their jealousies and insecurities, and she even delivers a surprise ending. It was a fun read.

So what’s the best novel you’ve read lately?

Have a great weekend!

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


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  8. PicardyRose on October 31, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    >I just read back to back Connie Willis' two-part story of time travelers trapped in WWII London during the Blitz. Loved it — er, them.

  9. Jennifer Fromke on October 31, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    >Still reading it: The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. If it ends as well as it begins, then I'm in for a treat.

  10. Caroline Clemmons on October 31, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    >I just finished WILD TEXAS WIND by Nicole McCaffrey. I enjoyed the book and will read her next one. Before that, I read THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS by Meg Waite Clayton. Loved that book!

  11. J.M. Lacey on October 30, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    >My favorite w/in the last few months is a book you highly recommended, Rachelle. It's Kate Morton's "The Forgotten Garden." I love her style of writing and it gave me some great ideas that helped when I revisited my manuscript. I loved Morton's book so much that I grabbed another one of hers: "The House at Riverton."

  12. Tim A Martin on October 30, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    >Just finished reading "The Bride Collector" by Ted Dekker. It is an awesome thriller written by a Christian author. I highly recommend it if you love thrillers!

  13. Old Salt on October 30, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    >My daughter gave me the entire Larrsen trilogy. Read them one right ater the other.

  14. Steve Pritchett on October 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    >I really enjoyed Dekker's The Boneman's Daughters. It's the first Dekker I've read. Fast-paced, white-knuckle stuff.

  15. Nicole L Rivera on October 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    >Wintergirls by Lauri Halse Anderson. One word: WOW. She rocks. What a writer.

  16. Karen on October 30, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    >I read The Forgotten Garden over the summer and really enjoyed that, even though the "twist" was easy to figure out.

    I just finished Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith for one of my grad school classes. It definitely packs a punch; its one of those book that, when you're finished, you have to sit still & absorb it for a while.

  17. thescribblerross on October 30, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    >I could never name just one. I've read sooo many good books this year! One of my recent favorites is Lucy Christopher's debut novel Stolen, about a teen who is kidnapped from the Bangkok airport and taken deep into the Great Sandy Desert of Australia. I also loved The Savage by David Almond, The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, Devilish by Maureen Johnson, and (guilty pleasure, here) Dramarama! by E. Lockhart.

  18. Heidi Britz on October 30, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    >I loved Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay, and just got her next book, A Secret Kept. I get absolutely lost in her characters and the rich history of her Paris.

  19. Beth K. Vogt on October 30, 2010 at 6:43 AM

    >I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Such clean writing, my internal editor didn't turn on once. It's set in 1946 and the main character is a writer . . . and the story is told through letters.

  20. kangaroobee on October 30, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    >The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks that I won on Alison Miller's blog

    I found it slow to start but absolutely love it as a whole. After reading Dear John too I'm now a Nicholas Sparks fan!

  21. T.R. Blackett on October 30, 2010 at 3:05 AM

    >Room – Emma Donoghue. Short listed for Booker Prize. Awesome.

  22. Carrie L. Lewis on October 29, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    >I just finished reading Frank E. Peretti's The Visitation and Monster in the same week. Monster keep me reading until 3:45 a.m.

    Both are fantastic reads!

  23. Nicole on October 29, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    >I just re-read PREP by Curtis Sittenfeld, which I loved. Also loved MY HOLLYWOOD by Mona Simpson.

  24. L.C. Gant on October 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    >I absolutely loved Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. It's been over a year since I've read it, and I'm still haunted by all of the characters.

  25. Sharon Kendrew on October 29, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    >just read Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence… for the first time. Decided to go back and read all the classics I never got around to and so glad this was one of them!

  26. Jessica Kirkland on October 29, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    >Just read Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee. Really enjoyed it.

  27. Margo Kelly on October 29, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    >I just finished Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Loved it. Easy to read, historical novel about how Asian-Americans were treated in the U.S. (Seattle area, specifically) during WWII.

  28. James L. Rubart on October 29, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    >Thanks, Sandy!

    So glad you're enjoying ROOMS.


  29. Jillian Kent on October 29, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    >This looks like a great read. I'd never heard of it. Thanks Rachelle.

    I'm reading Georgette Heyer's, The Grand Sophy, and listening to Julia Quinn's, It's In His Kiss, on CD.

  30. Norma Beishir on October 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    >Janet Evanovich's SIZZLIN' SIXTEEN. I have the Audible version and the woman who does the reading makes Evanovich's hilarious tales even funnier. I've learned not to listen while eating, however. I've nearly choked on my food more than once!

  31. JoAnn on October 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    >I just finished re-reading "A Town Like Alice" by Nevil Shute. Though it starts out slow, the story is gripping. Absolutely one of my all-time favorites.

  32. Erica Vetsch on October 29, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    >I recently finished Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy. I loved every word. Action and humor-packed.

  33. T. Anne on October 29, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    >Best novel? I can’t pick just one. Here are some I’ve read recently; The Stieg Larson trilogy (the first was the best), The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund—loved it, I managed to plow through ‘Freedom’ but am ambivalent about recommending it. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick more explicit than I bargained for but sharp writing, You Should have Left Me by Jonathan Trope, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (mature YA but SO worth the read!!!! Incredibly fresh writing).

    I love books, and love to talk about them even more. This list could go on forever.

  34. Kathleen Rouser on October 29, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    >The Writing Circle sounds like a fun read.

    I recently enjoyed The Country House Courtship, an inspirational Regency romance by Linore Rose Burkard. Left me longing for more Jane Austen type books. I've started watching BBC's Pride and Prejudice over again because of it! Need to remember where I stashed my collection of Jane Austen novels. 🙂

  35. Caroline Starr Rose on October 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    >This sounds great!

    Rosslyn, fun to see the books you mentioned at our recent coffee. I'll share the same title I shared with you:

    LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS (non-fiction) walks the reader through a family feud in Emily Dickinson's family that ultimately helped define the way we see her today. Fascinating!

  36. Jessie Andersen on October 29, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    >Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It makes you think!

  37. Rosslyn Elliott on October 29, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    >I can't choose between Allison Pittman's For Time and Eternity (historical) and Meredith Efken's Lucky Baby (contemporary).

    Both fantastic stories, incredibly well-crafted, and completely compelling even for this picky reader.

  38. Erin MacPherson on October 29, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    >Ooooh… this looks good!! My favorite recent novel was probably Jody Hedlund's new book… it was soooo good.

  39. Madeline Mora-Summonte on October 29, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    >Loved BACKSEAT SAINTS by Joshilyn Jackson so much, I went and bought her first one, GODS IN ALABAMA – loved that one, too!

  40. kathy taylor on October 29, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    >Sounds therapeutic.

  41. Nicole on October 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    >Lately? American Assassin by Vince Flynn (although there were so many copy-editing mistakes in this hardcover by Atria, Simon&Schuster: embarrassing).

    A Season of Miracles by Rusty Whitener

  42. Teenage Bride on October 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    >Names My Sisters Call Me…. easy read… super funny.

  43. Laura Maylene on October 29, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    >If you like reading about writers, check out After the Workshop by John McNally — it's about an Iowa MFA grad who had a story published in The New Yorker and BASS and ends up washed up and working as a "media escort" for all the famous visiting writers.

  44. Ishta Mercurio on October 29, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    >I'm enjoying GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray right now; makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

  45. Walt M on October 29, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    >ON FOLLY BEACH by Karen White and KILLING RAIN by Barry Eisler.

  46. Sarah Wells on October 29, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    >"Island of the World" by Michael Obrien, which I read earlier this year. One of the most moving books I've ever read (and I read a lot); it's still popping up in my head randomly months later.

    Currently on my nightstand (though busy life keeps pulling me away!): Pat Conroy's "South of Broad". Requisit reading for any writer in Charleston. His prose is amazing.

  47. Cheryl Barker on October 29, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    >It's a toss-up on the ones I've read lately so I'll have to mention a couple. I loved Carla Stewart's Chasing Lilacs as well as Mary DeMuth's Defiance Texas triology. Okay, I know a trilogy is three, but I'm counting it as one because again, I can't choose 🙂

  48. Catherine West on October 29, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    >If I say my own do I go directly to Jail? Hee hee. Um, that's a tough one. I've been doing a lot of reading lately. Best book I read over the summer was The Forgotten Garden. I'm reading The Book Of Negroes, by Lawrence Hill, which is fascinating.
    Sadly, I can't say I've had that 'Wow, that was amazing,' experience after finishing a book for a really long time.

  49. Sandy Ardoin on October 29, 2010 at 7:22 AM

    >I'm close to finishing Jim Rubart's book Rooms. It's been several months since I've read one I've enjoyed as much.

  50. Em-Musing on October 29, 2010 at 7:02 AM

    >the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, Steig Larsson,

  51. Wendy Paine Miller on October 29, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    >HA! Love this. Cool cover, too. How did this one sneak under my radar? Will check it out.

    Am reading The Thirteenth Tale now and am caught up in it.

    ~ Wendy

  52. Sue Harrison on October 29, 2010 at 6:13 AM

    >Just finished two while on vacation – THE KITCHEN HOUSE by Kathleen Grissom and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson. Loved both books. Read SNOW DAY by Billy Coffey to review. It's great.

  53. Sharon A. Lavy on October 29, 2010 at 5:45 AM

    >I just added The Writing Circle to my wish list on Amazon so I won't forget about it. My TBR pile is already huge, but I am tempted to buy this one.

  54. Katie Ganshert on October 29, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    >Writers feel insecure and jealous? That doesn't happen, does it?(enter hysterical laughter). Sounds good. I'll add it to my list.

    And dang – two commenters talked about Belong to Me. I read Love Walked In, which is de Los Santos's first book. I just haven't gotten around to reading Belong to Me yet! I wish I had more time to read. My TRB pile is seriously piling up.

  55. Sarah on October 29, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    >Plain Kate by Erin Bow. It's a YA novel. The writing is lovely and the story was a amazing.

  56. IanBontems on October 29, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    >I'm reading Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief. It's a wonderful book, with a great story that's really well told.

  57. Gwen Stewart on October 29, 2010 at 4:53 AM

    >Just read Deeann Gist's "Maid to Match" and loved it start to finish! I'm currently reading a Susan Wiggs book, a nonfiction, and the Book of Isaiah for my daily Bible reading. And to think I used to be a 'one book at a time' gal! 😉

    Have a great weekend, Rachelle.

  58. Lynda K on October 29, 2010 at 4:39 AM

    >I recently finished Ann Weisgarber's The Personal History of Rachel Dupree. An excellent debut novel, it is a first-person account of an African-American homesteader in South Dakota in 1917. Amazing work which blends a bit of history with a story of personal strength.

  59. Katy McKenna on October 29, 2010 at 4:17 AM

    >For anyone who hasn't read Belong to Me, which I LOVED, I noticed B&N had hardbacks on clearance yesterday for $6.

  60. Lisa McKay on October 29, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    >Marisa De Los Santos' (Belong to Me)

  61. Talbot D. on October 29, 2010 at 4:03 AM

    >WITNESSING TO DRACULA by Billy Ng, an over-the-top memoir of doing ministry in Dracula's home country of Romania. Very very funny and educational at the same time. Absolutely loved it from start to finish. Not fiction though!

  62. Cacy on October 29, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    >The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, a YA Sci-Fi novel. I love the narrator and his "talking" dog. They're very funny, though the book has some dark themes. Full of action too!

  63. Arlee Bird on October 29, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    >Stephen Tremp's Breakthrough, a very exciting action adventure novel; and Marvin Wilson's Beware the Devil's Hug, a somewhat controversially difficult novel that I had much to disagree with, but it made me think, which can be a good thing.

    Tossing It Out