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Huh? Booking Through Thursday

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question:

What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

Now this is a great question. Recently I’ve been reading fairly mainstream stuff (Harry Potter (okay, that’s totally mainstream), Stones From the River, etc). But I do have a few books (I’ve picked four) that most people I know haven’t read. Here they are:

Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis. On the front of the book it says, “Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive SCRABBLE Players.” I have to warn you: I was obsessed with Scrabble after I finished this book. Fatsis manages to make his story almost a mystery, because he interweaves his own progression in the competive Scrabble world with snapshots of world champions, explaining the history of Scrabble, describing how excellent players stay competitive. This is definitely on my Top 10 List, if not my Top 5. Seriously, go read this book now. Rating: 95 out of 100

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. I read this for a book group that I started (that eventually fizzled out). I did not want to touch this with a 10 foot pole. A Christian novel? How good can that be? Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand romance novels, I’m just saying I don’t want someone preaching to me when I read a book. It’s a good thing that I was “forced” to read it. This book is excellent. It’s the first book in a trilogy. This book is about a Jewish girl who converts to Christianity and is living in Jerusalem when it is overtaken by the Romans in (70?) C.E. She is taken captive and is forced to work for a Roman family. The book has even more of a jaw dropping ending than We Need to Talk About Kevin. Really, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. But be forewarned: if you read this book, you will want to read the sequel. Rating: 92 out of 100

 

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. This book is about “Sugar, a nineteen-year-old prostitute in Victorian London who years for escape to a better life. From the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, she begins her ascent through society. Beginning with William Rackham, a perfume magnate whose lust for Sugar soon begins to smell like love, she meets a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters as her social rise is overseen by assorted preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all kinds.” I love this book because Sugar does something at the end that I should have been horrified at, yet I felt she was justified in a way. I enjoyed how the book probed moral boundaries and really made me think about why something that should be so wrong, was okay. Rating: 92 out of 100

And finally:

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. This book is based on what is thought may have happened at some point: a woman (disguised as a man) made it all the way to being Pope. Of course, whether this happened or not, we’ll never know, but it’s an interesting idea (not that a woman was Pope, but how she ended up there). Joan is a girl who loves to learn, but women are not permitted knowledge in her time (814 C.E.). When her brother dies, she assumes his identity to learn, not to necessarily become Pope. It’s a very interesting book on a very interesting premise. I highly recommend it. Rating: 92 out of 100

Sooo…what books do you know about that I should read? Hm?

| Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 9 comments »

9 Responses to “Huh? Booking Through Thursday”

  1. lisamm

    Awesome list!! The only one I’ve actually heard of is Pope Joan. I know I’d like the Scrabble book.

    [Reply]

  2. --Deb

    I loved Word Freak! It made me feel so ashamed that I’d never sat and memorized all those 2- and 3-letter words (grin).

    [Reply]

  3. T.F.P.

    That Faber book sounds like it would be a fantastic read. I’ve added it to my list!

    [Reply]

  4. Crafty Green Poet

    Word Freak sounds great, I love Scrabble

    [Reply]

  5. Heather

    Great recomendations! I’ve actually tried to get through Crimson Petal but only got to page 300 and just wasn’t into it… the other 3 sound great, though, and I’m adding them to my Bookmooch wishlist, as well as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. thanks!

    [Reply]

  6. trish

    Heather, I could understand you not making it through Crimson Petal. The writing was strange, but I actually got into it. Let me know what you think of the others, though! Or review them on your blog… 🙂

    Crafty Green Poet, if you like Scrabble now, this book will make you seek out the local Scrabble “clubs”…I know I did!

    Deb, after I finished Word Freak, I started memorizing the 2 and 3 letter words and studying Scrabble. My intensity fizzled after a while, but I’m playing Scrabble at lunch with a friend now, and my interest has crept back up!

    TFP, let me know what you think of The Crimson Petal and the White (if you remember that I was the one who recommended it…it’s so hard to keep track of who recommended what!).

    [Reply]

  7. bkclubcare

    I enjoyed Pope Joan. A Voice in the Wind intriques me…

    [Reply]

  8. raidergirl3

    I loved Pope Joan too. It made me wonder what other famous people in history might have been women and nobody knew.

    [Reply]

  9. Break-ins and Giveaways « Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

    […] Freak by Stefan Fatsis. I mention the book here. If you like words at all, and if you’re reading then I assume you have a passing interest, […]

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