Book Recommendation Contest (in the land of the shortened posts)

I never want to admit this, because I consider myself an avid reader, but I'm in a bit of a slump. My motivation to turn pages every night is gone. Why? I'm not even sure. I've picked up several highly-touted books and, regrettably, have found myself leaving the dust jackets intact. I don't even have a current bookmark. In times past I've been known to use old receipts, gum wrappers, business cards, and occasionally a watermelon Airhead. It pains me to say I have yet to use a bookmark in 2010. I haven't ventured far enough within a book to a point where I'll forget where I am (usually chapter 3 or 4.) Certainly I'm only stating the obvious, but in order to even consider myself as an author, I have to read books. What's a chef without a whisk? A mathematician without an abacus? An ogre without a donkey? Nothing. So goes the title of author without a book to read. As you can see, this is shaping up to be a devastation.

I need help. I'm willing to pay (sort of) for assistance. In exactly one week, I'm heading on a vacation and I fully intend on packing a book or two for the trip. As it stands, I have no idea of what to bring. This is where you (or y'all for my southern readers) come into play. Recommend a book for me. I can't do this without you. I need to break out of my slump and I believe you have the answer. Recommend the book I choose and I'll send you a signed copy of The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters and Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness.

It doesn't matter what genre your favorite book falls under. It might be important to add though, I have a slightly partial leaning toward suspense and/or middle grade fiction. But I'm open to anything if your recommendation is spot on. Tell me why you love this book. Then tell me why I'll love this book. Will I get lost within the pages? Will I feel the need to linger in my room whilst the world around me plays, to experience just one more chapter? Will this book make my list of top 5 all time? That's what I want and like I said, I'm willing to pay out a reward. I know authors will visit this blog from time to time and my suggestion to you, whoever you are, would be to sell me on your book, but don't be offended if I opt for an alternate route. The contest runs until Friday at 8:00 p.m. I will then hurry out to the book store on Saturday to make my purchase.

I'm excited! I love books and I love reading books! I just need to be reminded with an outstanding recommendation. Please help. Ready... set... go!


numberonedashnerfan said...

K, um i might come back with more ideas but here are some that I have seemed to like not sure you will but its worth a try.....
James Dashner books
Harolds purple crayon
Hardy Boy/Nancy Drew
Sherlock Holmes
Esperanza Rising
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Because of Winn-Dixie
Charlotte’s Web
.....ya thats all I can think of for now I shall come up with more ideas later

Kristen said...

First of all - totally jealous of your upcoming vacation.

Books I'd recommend:
1. Leon and the Spitting Image
2. Star Girl
3. Uglies
4. The Wednesday Wars
5. No Talking
6. Found - Margaret Peterson Haddix
7. Among the Hidden
8. Al Capone Does My Shirts

9. Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole
10. Schooled

Melissa said...

Current must read: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Bryan & I just finished it -- loved it! Can't wait for the next book in the series. I'm now a steampunk fan.

Steven Ludlow said...

Here are a few:

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

All the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Monster Hunters International by Larry Correa

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (you can order it from the UK right now, it is going to be released in the U.S. in March I think.)

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (can't remember whether or not you have read these ones already)

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

The Mom said...

Have you read the Book of Mormon Sleuth series? There are 5 in the series, and we love them. They are geared towards middle school age, and they have suspense!

J Scott Savage said...

I'm reading Gone at the moment and really enjoying it. It's the one where everyone over the age of 14 disappears. I also recommend the Uglies series and Hunger Games if you haven't tried that. The Ranger's Apprentice series is also pretty good for a middle grade fantasy.

Andy Hueller said...

Have I got a recommendation for you, Frank: Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger. It's an adult novel, probably, about a thirteen-year-old kid who befriends a famous (made-up) third baseman. The kid's smart and sarcastic, dealing with his missing dad and his Bar Mitzvah. The third baseman's of the same ilk. The novel's epistolary--told in letters mailed back and forth between the two main characters and others. It's my favorite book. As an English teacher and writer, I read a lot of great stuff, but this is the book I always, always, always recommend. Every reader new to the book says the same thing: I laughed, I cried, I wanted to open up to the first page and read it again. And because of its format, Frank, and it's compelling story, it's a quick read--a couple sittings and you're through it (getting to feel that wonderful feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a novel).

So that's my number one recommendation. I'd be awfully surprised if you didn't walk away saying, "Now THAT'S a book I wish I wrote."

My second recommendation would be The Princess Bride, if you haven't yet read it. Many, I know, have seen the movie but not read the book. I love the movie, but the book's the second most fun I've had as a reader. It's funny, it's exciting, it doesn't take itself too seriously . . . another book I wish I'd written.

And if you want a third recommendation, here goes: Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane. I know, I know. The movie's out now. I read the book a couple years ago, and it's awfully thrilling. Just pulls you along and doesn't let go.

So there's three.

Phillip said...

Frank, the best book(s) I have read recently are the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. If you like fantasy at all, this series is absolutely amazing! Not your typical dragon, elves and trolls cliche... This book is truly unique and amazingly well-done, especially when you consider that the author is just 34 years old! The magic system is amazingly detailed and unique, and the whole series is like nothing you've ever read before.

Other than that, I would caution you against the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. Although extremely highly acclaimed, it's got a lot of not good sex scenes and also some amazingly offensive swear words that I thought I would never see in a fantasy novel, especially given the fact that fantasy writers can make up their own swear words. Definitely not cool to see the F word in any fantasy novel. Other than that, it's a very real-life, gritty, intriguing series that is very well-written.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the Mistborn series. I'd love to know your thoughts on it when you're done.

meggy said...

I want to suggest

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. These books are hilarious. Greg- well i feel bad for him.

2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Very interesting. I love how much info it has on Greek mythology. Funny but breath taking.

3. The Wednesday Wars.About a Presbyterian kid Holling Hood Hood.
The only one out of the whole class who has to stay and learn about Shakespeare because he doesn't go to the temples. SO FUNNY!

Megan Lamunyon

Amy said...

Brandon Sanderson is getting a lot of press on your site. Let me add my own plug: _Elantris_. It's a stand-alone book, so no worries about the desperate feeling of finishing the series, as with Mistborn. Also, he's LDS!

But if you do like a series, and you're leaning toward the middle-age range, I would highly recommend _Peter and the Starcatchers_ by Dave Barry and Rildey Pearson. Beautifully written and a page turner. Have to love the reason it came into being; Pearson wrote it after reading _Peter Pan_ to his little girl, and she wondered how Peter and Captain Hook first met and became arch enemies. What a great dad to answer your child's question in such a creative way! Bonus: the chapters are short, so if you don't have a bookmark handy, you can easily find your place again.

For a little self-improvement, I'd recommend _The Anatomy of Peace_ by the Arbinger Institute. I can't say enough good things about this book. It will change your relationship with your children in such a positive way. And it reads as a novel.

For fun, anything by Bill Bryson. He writes non-fiction about his life experiences. To begin, I'd recommend _A Walk in the Woods_ which recounts his adventures hiking the Appalachain Trail. (He also wrote one about books he wishes he'd written, but I can't think of what it's called right now.)

And finally, _Peace Like a River_ by Leif Enger. You will adore the main character's sister, Swede, who write epic poetry about the Wild West. And she's like 8. But the story is about Reuben older brother who is running from the law after defending his family. Very suspenseful. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!

Amy said...

(Please excuse my poor grammar. I was rushed.)

Frank Cole said...

Wow, so far there are some really good suggestions. To be fair, I'm going to list all of the books from your posts that I've already read, just in case you want to add something else.
Farworld 2
13th Reality (1&2)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (through 4)
The Percy Jackson Series
Diary of Wimpy Kid #1
Most of Leviathan

Oh, and I probably should've mentioned this early, but I do like an occasional horror novel (nothing too overtop graphic). I like to be scared.

numberonedashnerfan said...

K so Here are some more............
The Edge Chronicles
The Iceberg Hermit
Doll House Murders
The Tale of Despereaux
Princess Academy
Little House on the Prarie
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
A Long Way From Chicago
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
..........ya idk, hopefully im giving you ideas............idk why but this got reading rainbows theme song stuck in my head........

numberonedashnerfan said...

Or .....
The Time Bike
The Fledgling
The Borrowers
Baby-sitters club.....
Beatrix potter books like The tale of peter rabit
Huckleberry finn
Road to Avonlea
Box car children
Stuart little
WinnIe the pooh
....ya Idk......