Rainy day reads

Here in Seattle, it’s raining. Again. All my coworkers and I have done today is complain about the weather. Outside, it looks like winter. This, of course, prompted many of us to whine pathetically. This could also be because it’s Monday.

I don’t know about you, but rain makes me want to curl up on the couch with a book and waste an afternoon (or a day) sitting on my ass, eating popcorn, drinking hot chocolate, and getting lost in a good story. Without further ado, here’s my top ten rainy day books!

The Likeness Tana French – I’ve raved about this book a number of times, but I honestly can’t get enough of it. Featuring Cassie Maddox from her previous novel, In the Woods, Cassie goes undercover to uncover the truth of a girl’s murder. The catch? She looks exactly like Cassie. It’s heart wrenching in so many ways, and the writing is superb.

Daughter of Fortune Isabel Allende – This was one of the first Allende books I read. A rich, complex story about a young woman immigrating to Gold Rush era California, I personally think it’s an excellent introduction to Allende if you’ve never read one of her books.

The Key Trilogy Nora Roberts – The three novels of the Key trilogy are, hands down, my favorites by Roberts. It wasn’t until my, oh, sixth or seventh reading of these books that I realized there’s just the barest hint of paranormal-ness going on mixed in with the romance. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read the story of three women in small-town Pennsylvania tasked with finding the mythological keys that unlock the souls of three demi-goddesses.

Certain Girls Jennifer Weiner – If you associate rainy days with a book that makes you cry, this is one for you. With her trademark wit and sass, Weiner takes us back into the world of Cannie Shapiro, navigating the waters of raising a young teenage daughter and somehow remaining sane. The crying part comes toward the end-if you read Good in Bed, the first part of Cannie’s story, you’ll cry even harder. And I never cry during books.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal Christopher Moore – I imagine after bawling your eyes out, you’ll want to laugh. Hard. Enter Christopher Moore and the as-yet untold story of Jesus’ childhood. Warning: avoid reading in a public place. People will think you’re nuts because you’ll be laughing so much.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith – I come back to this story again and again. It’s my all-time favorite book. If you’ve got a few hours, I could give you a full-on synopsis of the story, to the point where you could probably write a book report afterward. Francie’s story of growing up in the slums of Williamsburg is my “pickle book”: when everything else on my bookshelf seems dull and boring, I re-read this, and suddenly the world is full of color again.

News of a Kidnapping Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Say what you will about Garcia Marquez, but when it comes to reporting, the man tells a riveting story. In late 1990, two journalists were kidnapped by men associated with the Medellin Cartel and the notorious Pablo Escobar. The story that followed ended with a total of ten journalists kidnapped, two shot, and a story so full of suspense and intrigue you’d swear it was fiction. It’s not.

Shadow Kin MJ Scott – I just read this a few weeks ago for the first time, but the world building was so fantastic, I can’t wait for the next one, Blood Kin. Able to slip in and out of the shadows unnoticed, Lily’s the pet assassin whose most recent assignment goes terribly wrong. It’s a combination of vampires, mages, and Templars (yes, Templars) that sets the stage for an interesting new series.

Bastard out of Carolina Dorothy Allison – This is one of those stories that has your eyes widening in horror, gradually, with every turn of the page. It’s also the reason you can’t put it down. Bone grows up spending her days trying to avoid Daddy Glen, her step father. But he won’t be avoided, and their encounters stoke a fire that grows steadily until it reaches the point of combustion.

Cast in Shadow Michelle Sagara – Something about the world of Elantra is just so engaging, I can’t put it down. Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, tasked with investigating crimes within the city of Elantra. After having escaped the fief of Nightshade seven years before, she’s ordered back to investigate the deaths of several children, the crimes duplicates of the murders that drove her from the fief in the first place. Worse, she’s ordered to partner with a man from her past that she swore she’d kill on sight, should their paths cross again. Awesome world building and a kickass heroine had me going for book two, book three, book four…okay, fine. I’ve read them all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some books to read 🙂

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