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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Any book recommendations?

After seeing Argo last week, I was inspired to reread the fantastic graphic novel Persepolis, which tells the story of the author's childhood in Iran during the Islamic revolution. Her neighbors' homes are bombed, and her relatives are imprisoned. Her father considers fleeing to America, but then asks his wife, "I can become a taxi driver and you a cleaning lady?" As she grows up, the girl's rebellious streak endangers her life. Her personal story is gripping, heartbreaking and surprisingly funny. I devoured it in three days, and now I'm really looking forward to reading the authors' other two books, Persepolis 2 (the sequel) and Embroideries (about her female relatives' sex lives!).

Have you read any good books recently? I'd love to get your recommendations...

P.S. Four other great graphic novels.

301 comments:

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Unknown said...

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas is also excellent if you're on a Persian culture kick!

Lauren Knight said...

Um, frankly... I am just reading the comments to get good suggestions! :)

thea said...

if you want to continue your Iranian revolution/hostage crisis kick, I thought "Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis" by Mark Bowden was great...

kate of little adelaide said...

"The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul", "The Book Thief" & "I remember nothing"

Natalie Ramirez said...

I second that!

Natalie Ramirez said...

"The Shadow of the Wind" (Zafon) is a favorite of mine. Recently I read "The Forgotten Garden" (Morton) and loved it. I'm not through "The Rules of Civility" (Towles) just yet, but I'm enjoying it!

Sarah Jane said...

I read Persepolis in my freshman college english class and absolutely loved it!!! Right now I'm reading Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires, I love love love it! I'm really into reading food based books right now!!!!

Annette said...

Small Island by Andrea Levy is lovely--it's about Jamaican immigrants in England. I also love the BBC miniseries!

Danny said...

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society".....sweet and lovely and simple and touching and a bit sad at times but so uplifting and quite clever........wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Lejla said...

The Tiger by John Vaillant

http://lejlatravels.blogspot.com/

Alyssa said...

I was on a huge Haruki Murakami kick this past summer, and I just finished 1Q84, book 3 (the final installment) a few weeks back. A little long, but an absolutely gripping read by all accounts!!!! Would also recommend "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith and anything by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Jody said...

Amazing YA novel, "Wonder" by RJ Palcio. i think everyone with kids should read it and all kids should as well, when they are old enough. Super fast read.

AnnaSophia said...

I read Blackberry Winter and it is so great! I also liked The Violets of March and The Bungalow by Sarah Jio. So far, The Bungalow is my favorite book by her. They are page turners!

Margaret H. said...

Just finished "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese. Very good book about twin brothers spanning their lives in Ethiopia and New York.

Marcie Greene said...

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran. May only be available in UK, but maybe find on Amazon? Hysterical autobiography.....

Audrey said...

I just finished Beyond The Beautiful Forevers and I felt it was an important read. Made me so thankful for EVERYTHING in my life. I'm now halfway through Anna Quindlen's memoir "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake". Amazing, of course....it IS Anna after all!

alyssa newton said...

Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and Luka and the Fire of Life are two favorites. Both are by Salman Rushdie. I'm so glad you wrote about Persepolis! I've read it three times.

Leica said...

Gillian Flynn is an incredible writer!!!

Tana French left me SO frustrated with In the Woods!

As for graphic novels, you must read MAUS, Joanna. You'll revise your "best of" list.

laco said...

Jugganath. It's a Swedish collection of short stories, it's magical, it's a little dark and strange and wonderfully familiar. Plus Npr loved it...and so did I. Devoured in a day.

Sarah said...

I just read "You're Not That Great" by Dr. Daniel Crosby and loved it! It was a great thing to read at the start of a new year.

Also, I finished "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" a couple weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it.

Caroline Royce said...

Interesting. I came over to this blog while listening to the Public Image Limited song "This is Not A Love Song" which is featured in the movie version of Persepolis and also the first place I heard it.

Sarah said...

Recently finished "You're Not That Great" by Dr. Daniel Crosby and loved it! Great thing to read at the start of a new year.

"Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is another current favorite!

Kristina said...

I loooooved Persepolis and Persepolis II. I didn't realize she had a third book, I'll have to check it out!

Kristina

Kristina does the Internets

ohdizzle said...

I always love reading everyone's comments in these sorts of posts! I just finished "Speak" by Laura Halse Anderson. It's a YA novel from the late 90's, that really delves into the pain of being an adolescent when things are going seriously awry. Very smart. Very interesting.

I post about all the books I read on my blog, if you'd be interested!
www.ohdizzle.wordpress.com

Nina said...

PLEASE read the the book Daughter of Persia. It changed my life. As a daughter of Iranian Jewish immigrants, I never truly understood Iran until I read this book. I also met the author and she is still, at ninety-something, a force. I beg you to read this!

Kohinoor Choudhury said...

I'm reading Destiny of the republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. I'm only in 100 pages but already I'm hooked. It's about the attempted assassination of President Garfield, how Alexander Graham Bell tried to help and ultimately Garfield's death at the hand of doctors. Amazing!

Ashley Smith said...

hello,I want to make an cooperation with you .Please contact me as soon as if you are interested in it .Email: tbdress118@gmail.com

LBM said...

History of Love is one of my favorite books of all time! I also love Ahab's Wife. A great read.

A-H said...

I did not read the book but I watched the persepolis movie and it was great!

Genevieve said...

Ooh! I just borrowed this from the library. I absolutely adored Jan Karon's Mitford series so i think i will like this too. Can't wait to get into it.

Genevieve said...

I just finished (30 minutes ago!) 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. It is witty, charming and utterly delightful. One of the best books i've read in a while.

Kata McClanahan said...

Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart - Joyce Carol Oates (heart wrenching, cathartic, beautifully wrought)
Among the Missing - Dan Chaon (lovely shorts)
Snow Falling On Cedars - David Guterson (beautiful, wintery, mysterious)
The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes (read the whole thing then reread the first chapter)
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls - Alisa Nutting (hysterical shorts but also touching)

Grace Twedt said...

Check out the Language of Things by DEYAN SUDJIC. Just posted this book on my blog! It is great!

http://imperfectobject.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-language-of-things.html

Suzanne Iovaldi said...

"All That Is Bitter and Sweet" by Ashley Judd

JeanneW said...

I just finished that one a few months ago. I really really liked it. Very insightful.

Debdatta Purkayastha said...

i've read all the books by Satrapi - Persepolis 1 & 2, Chicken with Plums and Embroideries... i must say Persepolis 2 and Chicken with Plums are the best of the four...
i must also recommend a good book 'Tiger Hills' by an Indian author, Sarita Mandanna, although it is a very long novel and not a graphic one...

Julia said...

Going with the Persepolis theme, I would recommend with much enthusiasm A Game for Swallows by Zeina Abirached, a lovely young Lebanese writer and artist whose graphic novel is based on her childhood growing up in a nation torn apart by civil war... uplifting, beautiful, loved it.

Lena said...

Kabul Beauty school. Book with a great story.

JeanneW said...

I was scrolling through to see if anyone had rec'd Rules of Civility. Loved that book. For anyone that's interested, it's a coming of age story in the age of the Great Gatsby. Love the time period and the main character's pluck.

Kara said...

Yes!! How to be a Woman is sooooo good.

prabha said...

The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. The World According to Garp. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lindsay said...

Yes, I agree! I saw others mention Tina Fey's Bossypants, but I think I liked this book even more. Funny, but also very articulate.

29case said...

Just finished Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Brunt and absolutely loved it - love and grief set in the 80s AND NYC.

Lindsay said...

Oh man, this recommendation is totally buried in the comments, so you may not see it, but 'Tell the Wolves I'm Home' was the best book I read in 2012. Girl, coming of age, New York City, sisters and families, the 1980s, the AIDs epidemic; it was such a breathtaking novel!

Lindsay said...

Wow, I JUST commented after you recommending the SAME book! Crazy! It was so amazing, wasn't it? I read it over 6 months ago, and still think about it.

29case said...

sooo good. i was weeping in quite a few parts.

Sandeep verma said...

Hey.. very interesting website...just came across while browsing through the new.. Do visit my portal too and leave a comment if you like anything on it...

www.stylerug.net

Jonna said...

No et moi, Delpine de Vigan

Jonna said...

And of course, The help by Katryn Stockett (it's a must) and the lovely, precious and wonderful The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Enjoy :))

Karijn said...

Dear Joanna,
The graphic novel indeed looks wonderful and interesting.
I am currently reading Zadie Smith's NW, which according to me is a great book written by a very talented woman!
Enjoy!
Karijn

Karijn said...

Dear Joanna,
The graphic novel indeed looks wonderful and interesting.
I am currently reading Zadie Smith's NW, which is a great book written by a very talented woman. I also enjoy reading poetry, for example the poems of Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. All are worth reading!
Enjoy!
Karijn

Megan LaPorta Sherry said...

If you have not read The Glass Castle yet by Jeannette Walls you need to. I am not normally into non fiction but it is fascinating. I guarantee if you read the prologue you will finish it in two days or less :)

blue light said...

'I Remember' by Joe Brainard. One of the most fantastic books I've ever read and I love the fact that you can revisit it once in a while.

cienpajarosvolando said...

'I Remember? by Joe Brainard. It's one of the most fantastic books I've read. It seems simple and so easy to write like he did but at the same time it is so personal and sincere. Amazing book!

Ly said...

Thanks for this blog post! I've recently become re-obsessed with books and have been devouring them on my commute. Your lovely readers have lots of great suggestions which I've promptly added to my book list!

Lindsay said...

You must read the Psychopath Test. It's a book about what makes someone a pyschopath as well as mental health diagnosis in general. So so so fascinating and entertaining.

Gemma said...

I think I need to read Gone Girl after seeing all these recommendations! Have you read any of Barbara Kingsolver's books? I have read a few and got the latest one for Christmas which I would absolutely recommend. I made the mistake of starting to read Game of Thrones a couple of weeks ago and am completely hooked now!

keepsakes. etc said...

I just finished -- Daughter of Empire by Pamela Hicks... what a great story!

auste said...

The Language of Flowers - by Vanessa Diffenbaugh... Best book I've read in quite a while. I couldn't put it down - and that's tough to do with a 3 month old baby.

Marie said...

I recently read The Kitchen House and it was fabulous.

Everyone I recommed it to has the same reaction - abosolutely loves the book.

megan said...

I just started listening to books because I love knitting and it's a great way to catch up on some 'reading' while finishing a sweater. You have to pick and choose your books a bit more carefully because they aren't all narrated that well, but I just listened to The Fault in our Stars by John Green and loved it. The narration was brilliant and the story was incredible. Now I'm trying to find my next audiobook...

sage said...

Beat me to it, I second Wild. Could not put it down!

twosipsafter said...

still have yet to see argo!!! gonna read some of those after i see it :)

www.twosipsafter.wordpress.com

bisbee said...

I have so many books on my iPad...I have to stop downloading! I highly recommend What Alice Forgot - thoroughly enjoyed it!

And it's funny - I have Gone Girl, and was slogging through it...I finally got about halfway through and figured there must be something wrong, since I read so many glowing reviews of it, but I could never get into it, so I asked a group of friends if they had read it. I was so relieved to know I wasn't the only one - so I stopped reading it. I really didn't like it at all - didn't like the characters, didn't care about them, and it's SO drawn out! But...obviously, many don't agree!

Artaud said...

I just finished "The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adriana Trigiani. I LOVED it. Such amazing character development and beautiful description of place. Touching and empowering. Highly recommend.

Suzanne said...

Good Eggs by Phoebe Potts is a wonderful graphic novel memoir by a woman dealing with infertility. It's brilliant!

Maddy from MPDaily said...

I am totally using these comments for suggests for our next book club book! thanks

okorolev said...

I'm reading Fortune's Rock. It's a 1900's lolita story. very interesting

Audra said...

I loved The Fault In Our Stars- wept through the whole thing.

Audra said...

I was just going to suggest "Wild" it is an outstanding book that I couldn't put down.
Tiny Beautiful Things is next!

Audra said...

SO many great suggestions in the comments so far but I didn't see my all-time favorite book- "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is both romantic, and suspenseful. Full of history and love and written in the most beautiful way. Adore it!

Marta said...

I agree!! so good.

Liz said...

Les Miserables! It's intimidatingly long, but so worth it, especially if you're the kind of person who likes to know every detail of a story. Get the Julie Rose translation, it incorporates some more modern language (which some people feel is cheating, but I think it just turns it back into the page-turner that it was when it was first written!)

SJS said...

I just finished Wolf Hall (the sequel, Bringing Up the Bodies, is everywhere right now) and loved reading about Henry VIII's court from Cromwell's perspective.

Amanda said...

I just read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and loved it. I'm recommending it to everyone.

N said...

Reading "How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz. Gorgeous writing!

Maclean Nash said...

I love Persepolis!
I read it in first year university and we spent a whole class dedicated to discussing the cover! The shapes look like penises and the large geometric shape in the middle looks like a vagina!

On another note, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood is excellent!

Maclean Nash said...

I love Persepolis!
I read it in first year university and we spent a whole class dedicated to discussing the cover! The shapes look like penises and the large geometric shape in the middle looks like a vagina!

On another note, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood is excellent!

Maclean Nash said...

I love Persepolis!
I read it in first year university and we spent a whole class dedicated to discussing the cover! The shapes look like penises and the large geometric shape in the middle looks like a vagina!

On another note, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood is excellent!

domonique matthews said...

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Beautiful beautiful story.

Amanda said...

The Light Between Oceans was so good!

his little lady said...

You must see the movie. It's just brilliant!
xo TJ

Mina said...

I loved Persepolis! You should watch the movie sometime too. I read a ton and I would recommend Little Bee, Gone Girl and Beautiful Ruins. They literally could not be more different from each other, but I enjoyed all of them over the last year.

Mina said...

Loved this one too!

Carol said...

George Saunders "The Tenth of December " - short stories - brilliant writer! Just published, amazing reviews.

Kate Jones said...

I just finished The Lovely Bones, which I reviewed here: http://katejones.me/the-lovely-bones/
I'm also looking for something to read next... I really want to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers, but it's not on audiobook yet, and that's how I read books these days during my commute. Hmm Let me know if you think of anything awesome! http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10904662-kate

missj. said...

"Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson made me laugh so loud, I had to read in private. Hehe! Enjoy!

Nikki.Bollerman said...

Agreed! I love Wally lamb. Best book ever

Sara said...

If you are interested in graphic novels about interesting times in interesting countries, check out Guy Delisle's Burma, Pyongyang and Jerusalem.

Hailey said...

If you like graphic novels, you should read Fun Home by Allison Bechdel.

Delirious Twig said...

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Delirious Twig said...

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Kaitlin McCafferty said...

I'm LOVING this book The Round House but I'm not done with it yet. Wonder was a middle grade book that BLEW ME AWAY in 2012. I also loved The Art of Fielding, My Berlin Kitchen, Seating Arrangements and Where'd You Go Bernadette!

Kasia Nikhamina said...

If you want another graphic novel, I just read the first installment of "Y The Last Man" - basically about a world in which there is only one man left. Pulls you right in and never lets you go!
http://www.vertigocomics.com/graphic-novels/y-the-last-man-vol-1-unmanned

Idea Interiors Mtl said...

Oh my so many good books!

I loved :

The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao
Middlesex
Perfume
White Teeth!
Love in the time of Cholera
:)

Cheers!


Elena http://www.ideainteriorsmtl.blogspot.ca

Kislay Kumar said...

I read this,,,, This is such a nice book... I also recomend the books The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup at Infibeam.

Emily said...

I would add a vote for Behind the Beautiful Forevers. I'm halfway through it right now and it is not only amazing to read, but also such an insight to a life far beyond anything I'll probably ever experience.

Also, since you live in Brooklyn I'd add A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (if you haven't already read it). I had a friend come to visit me in NY and she brought it as a gift for me. It was a great piece of historic fiction from an older age of New York.

Henry Jordan said...

I just love this story! Have you seen the movie?You are done absolutely awesome work, I watch it again and again.
The Equation

Madysen said...

I don't know if it is necessarily in the same vein, but The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson is a really interesting read that delves into the culture of psychopathy and how it is treated in the US. Also really informative and mind-blowing is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which looks at the system of mass incarceration as a new version of the racial caste system. It is beautifully written and very relevant to current events such as stop and frisk.

Madysen
midwestmisplant.blogspot.com

meggychris said...

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card is my favorite book of all time (It is not related to the Disney movie). I read it at least once a year. We just moved to England so my husband can get his PhD and it was the only book I took with me, that's how much I love it. If you are a fan of fairy tales it should be one that you like. Orson Scott Card puts so much research into his work, it gives the story so much depth.

Tania said...

I read The Art of Racing in the Rain following your recommendations and I must say it is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. I'm recommending it to everyone.

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