11 Oct 2010 Three Books I Couldn’t Put Down
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Have you ever picked up a book just for a look only to find yourself still reading a couple hours later? I have, and the feeling I get from a book like that stays with me. Maybe that’s the key to a story you can’t put down–feeling.
Often these grab-me-by-the-heart books are slim and spare, but not always. Sometimes they are written for adults, but most serve an any-age audience from elementary to ancient. Here are three books that grabbed me:
A signed copy of Michael Bishop’s Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thubana came in the mail one afternoon. Before I even got to the rest of my mail, I had finished reading this novel and was sitting, stunned by the emotional impact. Like a lot of good science fiction, it had real social value, but that didn’t slow it down. My copy of Apartheid… has disappeared, so I just ordered another. Twenty years later, post-Nelson Mandela, I’m curious how it will feel this time.
Red-Dirt Jessie, by my friend Anna Myers, impacted me in a different way. Normally, I don’t do tear-jerkers, but I didn’t let a few tears slow me down. I was crying for joy by the satisfying end, and every time I see a “blessed gift” I think of this book.
Like Red-Dirt Jessie, Melodie Bowsher’s My Lost and Found Life sucked me in from line one. Strange, since the protagonist wasn’t all that likeable at the beginning of the story. Her change felt so real that, by the end, I was cheering her on. Even the ending, which I should have guessed but didn’t, was exactly right.

What are some books you couldn’t put down? I’d like to know.

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7 Responses

  1. 1
    Jerry 

    I am having a hard time getting any work done while there are Gregor the Overlander books, by Suzanne Collins, I haven’t read yet. It was this series that made me start The Hunger Games this week, too. I’ve really gotten sucked in both series at the moment, not only because the material is so riveting, but I’m also studying the pacing and story development for my own books.

    Another author I can’t resist is Brian Michael Bendis, graphic novelist and comic book author. His take on the Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man is top notch. Stuart Immonen’s artwork in New Avengers is so full of fun and style, too.

  2. 2
    admin 

    The Gregor series is one of my favorites! I started the series before the final book was published. The day Book 5 came out, I bought it in hardback. So many students read the entire series that I had to buy a second set of books.

    I’ll check out Brian Michael Bendis. I have turned nonreaders into avid readers with graphic novels. How could I not love them?

  3. 3
    Vonna 

    My son and I are big fans f the Gregor series, too! Another MG series I loved enough to read the entire series is Michelle Paver’s Chronicles of Darkness. A recent YA that I loved is Laura Resau’s Red Glass, also her Indigo Notebook. And The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, despite having no one fleeing or fighting for her life, was very difficult to put down.

  4. 4
    admin 

    I checked out these books on Amazon, and I’m convinced I must read Laura Resau, starting with the two books you named. Thanks for adding to my must-read list.

    I, too, enjoyed The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate–such a mixture of social and life science. Have you read Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith?

  5. 5
    Donna Le 

    After I read the first Theodosia book, I was scrambling to find the next in the series. Set in England in 1906, Theodosia spends her time at a museum where her father is curator. Her mother spends a great amount of time searching for artifacts in Egypt. Theodosia is frustrated that her parents never detect the curses attached to all the artifacts her mother brings home. Start your journey with Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos.
    For adult reading, I loved every book Tony Hillerman put out. I find the weaving of a story with learning about another culture irresistible. Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth has always been a favorite.

  6. 6
    Valerie Lawson 

    This happens to me with so many of the books I read. The most recent one that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning was Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. The characters were a refreshing change from the usual teen fare and yet still complicated and insecure enough to make them interesting. The author handled the love life of the main character the way it should be; as if it is completely natural. The main character was not campy or exaggerated. He was real. I loved it so much. My best friend is gay and growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, he didn’t get to live like this main character. Life was much harder for him and I had never thought about it through his eyes so thoroughly before reading this book.

    I’ve also read through the Hunger Games trilogy at a break-neck pace this summer, and I’m pretty sure I lost some sleep over those books. Libba Bray’s Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy was another great series I’ve read recently that kept me up way past my bed time. both were excellent for very different reasons. What they shared were strong female characters.

  7. 7
    admin 

    Donna, since I love The Good Earth and everything Hillerman, I’ll have to take your word on Theodosia.

    Valerie, every time I think of the Joy Scouts and Ultimate Darlene, I smile. Great book! I’ve not read the Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy, but I loved Bray’s Going Bovine.