- CRRL Staff
Here are some suggestions for other books that you may like. Next time it would help up find suggestions for you if we knew why you liked a certain book. The more info you give us, the better we can personalize your request!
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
While the family struggles to cope with the death of their 14-year-old daughter and sister, Susie Salmon, the victim, describes the events of her horrifying murder.
Sebold has taken a grim, media-exploited subject and fashioned from it a story that is both tragic and full of light and grace. The novel begins swiftly. In the second sentence, Sebold's narrator, Susie Salmon,announces, "I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
Susie is taking a shortcut through a cornfield when a neighbor lures her to his hideaway. The description of the crime is chilling, but never vulgar, and Sebold maintains this delicate balance between homely and horrid as she depicts the progress of grief for Susie's family and friends. She captures the odd alliances forged and the relationships ruined: the shattered father who buries his sadness trying to gather evidence, the mother who escapes "her ruined heart, in merciful adultery." At the same time, Sebold brings to life an entire suburban community, from the mortician's son to the handsome biker dropout who quietly helps investigate Susie's murder. Much as this novel is about "the lovely bones" growing around Susie's absence, it is also full of suspense and written in lithe, resilient prose that by itself delights. Sebold's most dazzling stroke, among many bold ones, is to narrate the story from Susie's heaven (a place where wishing is having), providing the warmth of a first-person narration and the freedom of an omniscient one. It might be this that gives Sebold's novel its special flavor, for in Susie's every observation and memory of the smell of skunk or the touch of spider webs is the reminder that life is sweet and funny and
surprising. (from Publisher's Weekly)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical
reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about
adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a
zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion." (description
The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks.
Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun meet one evening at a carnival. But they are separated by Allie's parents who dissaprove of Noah's unwealthy family, and move Allie away. When Allie doesn't hear from Noah after several years, she meets and becomes engaged to a handsome young soldier named Lon. Allie, with her love still alive for Noah, stops by Noah's home to check on him. Seeing that their reunion has rekindled a passionate romance, Allie must now choose between true love and the match that her parents approve of. Scenes from the past and a collection of intensely personal letters tell the story of a long married couple now confined to a nursing home.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
Siddhartha's life takes him on a journey toward enlightenment. Afire
with youthful idealism, the Brahmin joins a group of ascetics, fasting and living without possessions. Meeting Gotama the Buddha, he comes to feel this is not the right path, though he also declines joining the Buddha's followers. He reenters the world, hoping to learn of his own nature, but instead slips gradually into hedonism and materialism.
Surfeited and disgusted, he flees from his possessions to become a
ferryman's apprentice, learning what lessons he can from the river
itself. Herman Hesse's 1922 Bildungsroman parallels the life of Buddha and seems to argue that lessons of this sort cannot be taught but come from one's own struggle to find truth. (from Library Journal)
The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.
C.S. Lewis takes us on a profound journey through both Heaven and Hell in this engaging, allegorical tale. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis introduces us to supernatural beings who will change the way we think about good and evil.