Resolving to Read that Recommendation

Forget those five pounds—you promised your friend you were going to read that book, the one she recommended to you every time you see her.

I recommend books to friends all the time, and now it’s my turn to listen to them. Here are some of the “must read” books I haven’t read yet. What are yours?



The Red Tent
Anita Diamant
Picador, $15

Perfect for anyone who loves historical fiction—it’s a look into the lives of women in biblical times, as told by Dinah, daughter of Jacob.




Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
Vintage, $16

I know as soon as I read it, I’ll ask myself what took so long. The love of family combined with medicine, moves and miracles—the story of twins Marion and Shiva Stone promises to entertain.




Bel Canto
Ann Patchett
Harper, $17

Ask someone if they’ve read ‘State of Wonder” and chances are they’ll say, “Yeah, but ‘Bel Canto’ was my favorite.” Set in the midst of a lavish party that goes horribly wrong, readers are pulled into the twists and turns of the relationships between terrorists and their hostages.




A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Irving
William Morrow & Company, $16

The looks I get when I admit I haven’t read this Irving classic! (Psst … I haven’t read “Watership Down” either!) Two boys, one foul ball, and what happens when Owen believes he’s doing God’s work.




This is How You Lose Her
Junot Diaz
Riverhead, $27

Diaz’ follow-up to “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” has a lot of buzz behind it as one of 2012’s best reads. Through a series of short stories lies the core of the book—the power of love relationships in their many forms.




The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Muriel Barbery
Europa, $15

Barbery’s tale of a Parisian concierge and the residents that lie within her charge has enchanted many, yet remains sorely underrated.  Magical and moving, it’s a must-read for book clubs everywhere.




The Tiger’s Wife
Tea Obrecht
Random House, $15

A “best book of 2011” favorite, Obrecht’s tome is not an easy read—a young woman’s search for how her grandfather met his fate, set in eastern Europe, is both touching and tragic.




She’s Come Undone
Wally Lamb
Pocket, $8

One of Oprah’s early picks and a fan favorite, Lamb delivers a beautiful portrayal of the life of little Delores Price and what happens when you spend years in social isolation.