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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Help me pick out books! (TSS)

The Sunday

One of the things that I've gotten in the habit of doing lately is picking out books for Mike. He's perfectly capable of choosing his own books but he tends to run out of time in his day. Mike probably reads more books than I do so I'm constantly on the lookout for things he'd like. I like to think that I'm doing a pretty good job at it, he seems to like the books I bring home for him. (Either that or he's just not picky?)

But here's the problem: I'm coming up empty on fiction. Mike reads a lot of non-fiction, so it's really easy to cruise the new release non-fiction section and bring home a book or two I'm confident about. Like all of us, he has a few topics that he'll almost always read and there's almost always one or two there. But fiction is hard. I don't usually get adult fiction for myself at the library. I have tons in the TBR and I mainly pick up YA fiction for myself. When I read blog posts I keep a lookout for things he might want to read, but fiction continues to elude me.

Here's where YOU come in. Mike has read and enjoyed: Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, R. A. Salvatore, Patrick O'Brian. He really enjoyed Graceling by Kristin Cashore. He liked Robert Jordan's never ending series. Looking at this list, it would seem that he only enjoys fantasy novels, which isn't really true. He would tell you he isn't really into fantasy, but all of the examples we can come up with seem to say otherwise.

The good news is that he does prefer non-fiction, so it's not urgent to find something, but I'd like to be able to offer some good alternatives. In non-fiction he tends to like anything about baseball, particularly historic baseball, mountain climbing and exploring (right now he is reading The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon on Trish's recommendation), he loves WWII, particularly Stephen Ambrose.

He really enjoys books like The Tipping Point, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives .

I'm looking for suggestions, both fiction and non-fiction. I don't think he would enjoy graphic novels. I'd like to find something that isn't part of a series, although it IS easy to just grab the next one in a series for him. I'm planning to try him on Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series and Kim Harrison's Hollows series, but I'd like more ideas.

What would you suggest?


  1. My husband recently read (and enjoyed) "Bottom of the Ninth" by Michael Shapiro, which Mike might also enjoy.

    Another thought - has he read "Freakonomics"?

    Just two that happen to come to mind. Hope that helps!

  2. The Brothers K is fiction, thick, and heavy on the baseball.

    And has he read Freakonomics? If he liked The Tipping Point, I'd think he'd like that. And Gang Leader for a Day is out in pb now...that's the story of the sociologist mentioned in Freakonomics. I haven't read that one, but I did buy it a few weeks ago.

    Hunger Games and Catching Fire? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series?

  3. Urr, ummm, ?????

    I'm horrible with the man recs. Chuck has been reading The Road for six months, so he's not exactly whipping through 'em and giving me good titles to work with.

    Good luck!

  4. If he liked Tipping Point, he might like Outliers, which we just read for book club, but I know that's nonfiction. Sorry, I don't really have any suggestions. My husband likes Nick Hornby, as do I, so I thought of Fever Pitch (I haven't read it, but just about everything else he wrote). Most men I know love Terry Pratchet, but it doesn't necessarily sound like your husband's taste.

  5. PS I'm in a coed book club, and I find book selection to be a real challenge. The first book we read was one called Three Men in a Boat, and it was sort of funny and about traveling (in England). All of the men liked it.

  6. I wonder if he'd enjoy Summerland by Michael Chabon? It's a fantasy novel that revolves heavily around baseball!

  7. My husband tends to like the David McCullough books but that's just more non-fiction for Mike. Mine is also a big mystery reader and one of the series he thoroughly enjoyed was Robert Praker's Spenser series. But there I am coming up with a series for you and you didn't necessarily want one. I don't seem to be doing very well, do I?

  8. Have you given him the Patricia Briggs series to try? I'm drawing a complete blank otherwise though :)

  9. I would second the Patricia Briggs rec - apart from her Mercy / Anna & Charles UF books, her older fantasy books are either standalone or duologies.

    Also, I have loved Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters fantasy books, "Daughter of the Forest" is the first of a trilogy.

    And oh, what about Naomi Novik's Temeraire books (His Majesty's Dragon is the first in a series of four or five books so far) - they're sort of like Patrick O'Brian with dragons :-)

  10. Hi--just found you from Book Chatter. I think a great fiction book for your husband would be "City of Thieves." It's an excellent story set during the siege of Leningrad.

  11. Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I've made a nice list to take with me to the library. If you think of anything else...

  12. I liked Lost City of Z. Would he like Boy's Life even though it's fiction? My dad really liked it.

    Anyway, some BBAW love for you here:

  13. Hmmm...I had my husband read World War Z about the zombie war and he LOVED it. It's really well written, not cheesy at all. He also really liked The Poisonwood Bible. He's also going to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombie with me.

    As for non-fiction, hmmm. Try Rory Stewart's The Places In Between. He loved it and recommended it to me and I loved it too. It's about Rory's walk through Afghanistan. Pretty darn interesting.

  14. For nonfiction, a few of my faves are Lies My Teacher Told Me, Affluenza, and Animal Vegetable Miracle.


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