Tag Archives: fiction books

21 Books to Read for a Good Ugly Cry

Sometimes we just need a good, healthy ugly cry.

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Sure, you can listen to Tom Waits or Taylor Swift and cry one out…or pop in The Family Stone or Titanic if you’re feeling blue…but for us bookworms, the list of books practically guaranteed to stimulate an ugly cry is often too long to even consider…

The thing about books is that you spend SO MUCH TIME with these characters.  A sad movie is over and done in a couple hours…but for some of us, a sad book may take months to complete…so it really is an emotional roller coaster to finish some of these stories!

I love a good ugly cry…and I give big props to books that can bring me to tears.  While some of these were more tear-jerking than others, they are all worthy of a read if you’re feeling like you need to open the floodgates a little bit.

books to read for a good ugly cry

21 Books to Read for a Good Ugly Cry

One Day
David Nicholls

A relationship is brought to life over the course of 20 years. Snapshots are revealed on the same day – July 15th – of each year, and as Dex and Em face fights, laughter, tears, and missed opportunities, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

We Were Liars
E. Lockhart

A group of friends spends a beautiful summer on a private island, laughing, swimming, as socialites do. But when an accident causes a secret to be released, everything changes. This book is slow to start, but the end made it worth it for me.

My Sister’s Keeper
Jodi Picoult

What would you do for the people you love? When Anna is forced to sacrifice her health for the safety of her sister, Kate, questions about life and morality are raised. A provocative novel that raises important ethical issues, this story is about the struggle for survival…at all costs.

Night
Elie Wiesel

Perhaps the most brilliant and heart-breaking book in the Holocaust canon of literature, Night should be required reading for every human being. Honest, eye-opening, and terrifying at times, this memoir puts readers right into the middle of the chaos.

Bottomless Belly Button
Dash Shaw

This graphic novel tells the story of a family that comes together for one weekend, only to discover that the reason for the gathering is that mom and dad are getting divorced. A story for the times, this novel is so truthful, raw, and honest.

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

After Susie Salmon is murdered, she tries to help her family solve the mysteries surrounding her death. Told from Susie’s perspective as she watches the aftermath of her murder unfold from Heaven, this story raises interesting questions about the afterlife, and what that means for those who must continue on surviving.

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This timeless tale tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe. Through a collection of extraordinary encounters and discoveries, we learn, along with the Prince, how wonderful and sad life can be.

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness

Oh man…if you’re only gonna read one book on this list for the ultimate ugly cry, it should be this one. One of the most truthful and beautiful portrayals of what it’s like to loose a loved one to a sickness, this story will utterly wreck you.

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom

After Mitch Albom reconnects with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, at the end of Morrie’s life, a beautiful friendship develops that turns into a collection of final lessons on how to live. You know how this one ends, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

This memoir explores important questions about life as a widow, a wife, and a mom. When author Joan Didion suddenly looses her husband at the dinner table, she embarks on a journey of anger, healing, and understanding that’s all too familiar if you’ve ever lost a loved one.

The Road
Cormac McCarthy

After the human race is basically obliterated after an unsubscribed apocalypse of some kind, a father and his son must fight for survival in a world that is nearly void of life. This is a quick, but powerful read.

Daytripper
Fabio Moon

How would our lives be different if we waited in the longer line in the grocery store? If we really ended up with our soul mate? If we got our dream job? This graphic novel explores the question that forever plagues the human race: what if? Truly inspiring and bittersweet, this book was one I found myself reading again immediately after finishing it the first time.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny story about family, love, loyalty, and hope, this book is beautifully crafted and is a captivating look at all the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Set during WWII, this groundbreaking novel tells the story of a girl, Liesel Meminger, and her love of books. Narrated by Death himself, this story raises interesting questions about why and how we die, using the background of the war to better highlight how all walks of life continue to run from the same enemy.

The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch

After his fatal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, professor Randy Pausch gives his class one last lecture before retiring to spend the rest of his life with his family. This one is a heart-wrencher. Filled with inspiring and motivational quotes, this little book packs a powerful punch.

Love You Forever
Robert Munsch

A short children’s story about a mother and son, this book is probably on the shelf of children all over the US. The deeper message of aging and the circle of life make this book a must for kids (and adults) of all ages.

Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates

I’ve realized that this book is on a lot of book lists that I do, but it’s just that good. As we watch a seemingly perfect marriage fall apart at the seams, it becomes clear that relationships are a lot different to those on the inside, and sometimes what we see is NOT what you get.

Red Hook Road
Ayelet Waldman

This one hit me in a very unexpected way. As a newly married couple drives to their reception, they become victims of a deadly car crash. The families awaiting their arrival are left to pick up the pieces, and go from planning a wedding to planning a funeral.  Now they must learn to work together to honor the wishes of the now deceased bride and groom.

Bridge to Terabithia
Katherine Paterson

OMG. I’m sure we all read this as pre-teens, yes? The ultimate he/she friendship story, this book tells the tale of Jess and Leslie, two friends who create a magical kingdom together where they reign as king and queen, that is until a tragic accident changes everything. OMG WITH THE TISSUES.

To Dance with the White Dog
Terry Kay

This was the first book that ever made me cry!  When Sam Peek’s wife passes away, his children worry that he won’t be able to take care of himself; however, when a mysterious white dog appears, Sam wonders if it’s the spirit of his wife returning to him.

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck

A beautiful story about friendship, this classic book hits ya right in the gut. Two outsiders work together to find their place in a society that wants nothing to do with them. A story that has birthed a Broadway play and not one, but THREE acclaimed films, this book is great for a good, classic cry.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Reading Around the Country: 50 Books for 50 States

They say that books are the cheapest form of travel…and with this list of 50 Books for 50 States, you can make your way around the US from the comfort of your own couch.

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Start your journey at the Whistle Stop Café in Alabama (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café), then journey into the Alaskan wilderness in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild.  Travel back in time to 1800’s Chicago for the Chicago World’s Fair in Devil in the White City, then get a true taste of Wyoming’s beautiful landscape in Annie Proulx’s collection of stories, Close Range.

This is the ultimate reading list for those looking to learn about the eclectic culture of the US, from the rough and tough landscapes of the American southwest to the picturesque mountains and valleys that abound on our coastal states.

Reading Around the Country: 50 Books for 50 States

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  • Alabama – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Fannie Flagg
  • Alaska – Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
  • Arizona – Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
  • Arkansas – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • California – East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  • Colorado – Kings of Colorado, David E. Hilton
  • Connecticut – Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
  • Delaware – And Never Let Her Go, Ann Rule
  • Florida – Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

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  • Georgia – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt
  • Hawaii – The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings
  • Idaho – Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech
  • Illinois – Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  • Indiana – All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
  • Iowa – The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller
  • Kansas – In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  • Kentucky – Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Louisiana – The Awakening, Kate Chopin

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  • Maine – It, Stephen King
  • Maryland – The Sot-Weed Factor, John Barth
  • Massachusetts – The Crucible, Arthur Miller
  • Michigan – The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Minnesota – The Good Girl, Mary Kubica
  • Mississippi – The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  • Missouri – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • Montana – A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Norman Maclean
  • Nebraska – O Pioneers!, Willa Cather

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  • Nevada – Desperation, Stephen King
  • New Hampshire – A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  • New Jersey – American Pastoral, Philip Roth
  • New Mexico – The Milagro Beanfield War, Joe Mondragon
  • New York – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • North Carolina – A Land More Kind Than Home, Wiley Cash
  • North Dakota – The Round House, Louise Erdrich
  • Ohio – Deadeye Dick, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Oklahoma – The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

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  • Oregon – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
  • Pennsylvania – Rabbit, Run, John Updike
  • Rhode Island – The Witches of Eastwick, John Updike
  • South Carolina – The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
  • South Dakota – The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, Ann Weisgarber
  • Tennessee – A Death in the Family, James Agee
  • Texas – Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger
  • Utah – The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff
  • Vermont – Where the Rivers Flow North, Howard Frank Mosher

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  • Virginia – Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • Washington – Border Songs, Jim Lynch
  • West Virginia – Rocket Boys, Homer H. Hickam, Jr.
  • Wisconsin – A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
  • Wyoming – Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Annie Proulx

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Eleanor & Park Book Review

Ah, young love.  It’s confusing and random…built on the gravely foundation of one or two common interests that mean “we’re meant to be!”  It’s the flutter of seeing him in the hallway, the blushing that comes when he grabs your hand for the first time.  Notes passed in hallways, diary entries littered with hearts and monograms, stolen glances during class…For young lovers, those first few months are magical and breathtaking.  They’re filled with time spent exploring each other’s likes and dislikes, sharing favorite CD’s and books, and finding the small moments between chemistry and math to sneak away for a moment alone.

Set in the 1980’s among a background of comic books and great music (this book would be worth making into a movie for the soundtrack alone), Eleanor & Park is the story of two 16-year-olds, both outcasts in their own right, who find that where they best belong is with each other.   It’s a story about the innocence of young love, the naivete of believing it will last forever.  Much like the characters themselves, this book is cute on the surface, but the foundation of the story left me, well, unsatisfied.

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Meet Eleanor – a young new-to-town girl with fiery red hair and a personality to match.  Her style is frumpy, her body is unproportioned, and her attitude about the world has pretty much been ruined by her troubled family life.

Meet Park – a young Korean-American kid with beautiful green eyes, a great taste in comic books, and a quiet, reserved personality that makes him sexy in that soft mysterious way.  He’s not the most popular kid in school, though the popular kids have adopted him as one of their own, and most days his mind wanders among a soundtrack of 1980’s rock songs that pump out all the feels.

When Eleanor is practically forced to sit with Park on the bus one day on the way to school, an inevitable meet-cute happens, and the two begin a quiet, intimate courtship, fueled by a love of comic books and mix tapes.  I mean, how 80’s is that?

In the beginning, Eleanor and Park sit in comfortable silence, reading comic books together and listening to music.  Most of the dialogue is said in the characters’ heads, a detail I loved and found personally very relatable.  As they spend more time together on the bus and in school, a wonderful friendship begins to form that slowly, oh so slowly, transforms into something more.

It was at this moment that I stopped liking Eleanor & Park.

I wanted to like this book…I really did.  It wasn’t a traditional love story, which I liked.  The characters were flawed, which I also liked.  But at some point along the road to romance, I lost interest.  Eleanor began to frustrate me with her hot and cold personality and I became aggravated with how cold she was to Park at times.  Granted, her behavior is understandable considering what we learn about her background, but that really wasn’t even enough for me to like her.

Personally, Park made this book for me.  His kindness and understanding were traits beyond his years, and his adoration for Eleanor despite her insecurities made him an unlikely, albeit romantic, hero.  His moments of quiet where he talks about Eleanor in his head are enough to make every girl hope that some guy out there thinks of her that way…and his determination to make Eleanor happy at the risk of his own happiness gave Park’s character much more fluidity and growth than Eleanor who, in comparison, seemed rather flat.

Even Eleanor’s secondary plot with her step-father seemed out of place to me.  His actions didn’t seem justified…at least not enough.  After the reveal at the end (don’t worry, no spoilers!), I just felt cheated…like I missed something along the way that led to that moment.

Did I love Eleanor & Park?  No.  But, for the most part, I enjoyed it.  It’s a story that will churn up those feelings deep down that only arise when you rewatch Dawson’s Creek or Boy Meets World…it will remind you of those late-night talks, those stolen kisses before your parents get home, and that wonderful notion, however false it may be, that true love never ends.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs

All men must read.

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Whether you’re a die-hard GOT book lover or you’ve only committed to the TV show, this collection of gift books are a must for any wanna-be Lannister, Stark, or Tyrell.  From fun coloring books to scientific explorations of what happens when a brother and sister really do procreate, this collection of 10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs is one to bookmark for any upcoming birthdays or holidays.

10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs

The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book

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Make commercial breaks fly by with this nerdy Game of Thrones coloring book.  With dozens of stunning black and white illustrations from several artists, this coloring book will certainly help pass the time after these first 6 episodes are over.

Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine

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Game up for Sunday’s premier with an assortment of baked goods from Game of Scones.  Featuring Red (Velvet) Wedding Cake, Joffrey’s Jaffas, Jaime and Cersei’s Family Mess (eww), and Oberyn’s Smashing Head Surprise, this book is a must for fans!

Game of Thrones Versus History: Written in Blood

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Aside from the many fantastical elements of Game of Thrones, much of the plot is actually based on real historic events.  Get a better idea of what inspired Joffrey’s death, how the War of the Roses influenced battles in the series, and how slavery, celibate societies, and other myths and legends factored into George R. R. Martin’s world.

Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors

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How to love, hate, good, evil, greed, and narcissism drive good and bad behaviors in the characters of Game of Thrones?  This book tries to explore that answer, offering a close examination of the psychology behind the characters in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Living Language Dothraki

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Written by David J. Peterson, the man behind the Dothraki language, this book will arm you with enough vocabulary and grammar to have a complete conversation in Dothraki.  This course includes a language guide as well as a CD featuring more than 200 words and phrases, grammar explanations, cultural notes, and exercises.

Brain of Thrones: A Game of Thrones Quiz Book

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How much to you REALLY know about Game of Thrones?  Test your knowledge of seasons 1 through 6 with this collection of quizzes.  A fun book for friends to do together, this collection of quizzes is the perfect way to prep before the final season begins.

Game of Thrones: An Unofficial Travel Guide

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Part of the beauty of Game of Thrones is that it’s filmed all over the world.  Have you ever wanted to walk around King’s Landing or explore Winterfell for yourself?  Well, now you can explore the real-life locations that created these magical worlds.  They are all places you can visit…and this book will tell you how.

The Science of Game of Thrones: From the Genetics of Royal Incest to the Chemistry of Death by Molten Gold – Sifting Fact from Fantasy in the Seven Kingdoms

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Is it possible to crush a person’s head with your bare hands?  What REALLY happens when royal families sleep together?  Does Cersei have a borderline personality disorder?  What curious medical disorder does Horor suffer from?  All these questions and more are answered in this scientific look into the world of Game of Thrones.

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister

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We all know that Tyrion is the best character in Game of Thrones, and this little gem of a book gathers up all his wisdom into one place.  Find his best quotes about dining, women, wine, and politics in this illustrated gift book that’s perfect for those who drink and know things.

A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook

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With a forward by George R. R. Martin himself, A Feast of Ice & Fire is the official cookbook for Game of Thrones fans.  With recipes for lemon cakes, pork pies, honeyfingers, and more, this is the perfect guide for creating an epic feast suitable for a Game of Thrones premier party.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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10 Books to Read if You Love The Princess Bride

What do you love most about The Princess Bride? Is it the swashbuckling adventures? The wit and sarcasm? The tales of true love? No matter what it is that keeps you coming back to watching the movie or reading the book, there’s no denying that this story holds a special place in the hearts of children and adults of all ages.

And if you are craving more tales of evil pirates or stories of mythical creatures, there are a whole slew of other books you could read that have all the things you love about The Princess Bride (except ROUS’s, of course!).

Filled with romance, travel, and journeys to lands unknown, these 10 books are sure to satisfy whatever craving you have to jump back into a story that helps you escape reality and indulge in the comfort of your own imagination.

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10 Books to Read if You Love The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride, William Goldman
Granted, the book is slightly different from the film, but chances are if you love the movie, you’re gonna love the book…at least give it a try for Prince Humperdinck alone!

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes
Well, this is just a no-brainer. Written by Cary Elwes (Westley), As You Wish explores the making and production of The Princess Bride film, complete with behind-the-scene stories and memories from the entire cast.

Stardust, Neil Gaiman
Take a journey into a magical land as a young boy pursues his one true love. Sound familiar? This charming story features the adventure and humor that make The Princess Bride so wonderful, as well as a little romance!

The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
This fantastical quest of concealed identity is the perfect book to cozy up with if you love The Princess Bride. The Last Unicorn was also made into a wonderfully cheesy movie if you’d rather indulge in the story that way.

The Thousand Autumns, Jacob de Zoet
The strength of true love, the power of faith, the thrill of the adventure…it’s all here in The Thousand Autumns by Jacob de Zoet.

Candide, Voltaire
Pirates? Check. Exciting adventures? Check. Love and revenge? Check and check. Candide is a breathless tour of far off lands and the quest for true love.

Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe may not have the wit and sarcasm of The Princess Bride, but it sure packs in the romance.

Guenevere: Queen of the Summer Country, Rosalind Miles
Guenevere is a romantic and heart-wrenching narrative, complete with all the pageantry, politics, war, lust, love, and conflict the Brits so gallantly require in their legends. A fairy tale likened to Buttercup’s adventures, Guenevere is sure to appease lovers of the King Arthur legends and romantic fairy tales.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
If you love Buttercup’s wit and sass, chances are you’re gonna fall in love with Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. A story about romance, love, and a fun-loving sarcastic leading lady, Pride and Prejudice is one swashbuckling pirate away from The Princess Bride.

The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
A fantastic book filled with epic adventures, lots of magical heroes and monsters, and travels in far off lands, The Book of Lost Things is maybe one of my favorite novels of all time. While it lacks the romance of The Princess Bride, it makes up for it in amazing characters and harrowing journeys.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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29 Audiobooks Read by Celebrities

As an avid book-smeller, there’s really nothing that can replace sitting down with an old book and a warm cup of coffee…snuggling up under a blanket as a storm rolls in…or watching the late summer afternoons slowly turn into night…those are my favorite times to read – but let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to find moments in the day to actually sit down and relax with a book.

Try as you might, the laundry still has to get done, dishes have to be cleaned, kids have to be transported from one activity to the next…not to mention when you finally do have time to sit down, opening a book and reading might just be enough to instantly put you into a deep sleep.

Thankfully, us bookworms can still get our shizz done and enjoy a little literary flair with the invention of the audiobook.  Though books on tape, books on CD, hell – even books on 45’s – have been around for a long time, the ability to listen to a book via the Internet is certainly a game-changer…and readers of all ages and types are enjoying services like Audible, Libravox, and even iTunes to listen to their favorite books as they drive, walk, work, or cook.

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And, when it comes to audiobooks, the voice is the thing…a dull voice makes for a dull story.  To help introduce readers to older classics and new possible best-sellers, publishers have started to reach out to celebrities to offer their voices to the words of Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, Earnest Hemingway, Roald Dahl, and so many more…and celebrities of all calibers have answered the call.

So whether you’re jumping in your car for a summer road trip or snuggling up under a blanket watching a late summer storm, these audiobooks are sure to keep you company…soothing you, entertaining you, enlightening you – like an old friend – with a voice you’ve come to know and love.

 

29 Audiobooks Read by Celebrities

The End the Affair, Graham Greene
Narrated by:  Colin Firth
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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
Narrated by:  Anne Hathaway
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Narrated by:  Nick Offerman
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The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Narrated by:  Claire Danes
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To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
Narrated by:  Nicole Kidman
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A Rage in Harlem, Chester Himes
Narrated by:  Samuel L. Jackson
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Being There, Jerzy Kosinski
Narrated by:  Dustin Hoffman
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Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
Narrated by:  Diane Keaton
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The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers
Narrated by:  Susan Sarandon
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Dracula, Bram Stoker
Narrated by:  Alan Cumming
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The Human Comedy, William Saroyan
Narrated by:  Meg Ryan
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Life, Keith Richards
Narrated by:  Johnny Depp
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Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Narrated by:  Maggie Gyllenhaal
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A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Narrated by:  John Slattery
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A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
Narrated by:  Tim Curry
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Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Narrated by:  Jeremy Irons
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Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Narrated by:  Rachel McAdams
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Matilda, Roald Dahl
Narrated by:  Kate Winslet
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To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Narrated by:  Sissy Spacek
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Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
Narrated by:  Reese Witherspoon
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Narrated by:  Stephen Fry
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Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Narrated by:  Rosamund Pike
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Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
Narrated by:  Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, and more
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The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
Narrated by:  Bryan Cranston
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The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Narrated by:  Jake Gyllenhaal
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Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Narrated by:  James Franco
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Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Narrated by:  Gary Sinese
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
Narrated by:  Eddie Redmayne
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Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote
Narrated by:  Michael C. Hall
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Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Before the Fall Book Review

I love me a good survival story.  Whether it’s surviving a zombie apocalypse, traveling the Alaskan territories, or hiking the Amazon trail, I get such a high from humans beating all the odds to ensure their own survival.

Why?  I have no idea.  I guess subconsciously I desire to go on my own daring adventures…risking the elements and taking my body to the limit in the face of ultimate danger.  So far, camping in a park is about as rugged as I’ve gotten…but there’s still time!

Recently I went on a little trip to visit my alma mater and, since it’s about a 7 hour drive up to Marquette, MI, I stopped at my library to pick up a story to listen to on the way.  I knew it would have to be something that would keep me interested during those looooooong hours driving up through Wisconsin…so I needed something exciting, enticing, and engaging…

TO THE THRILLER SECTION I WENT!

Since I’d be driving by myself through the backwoods of Michigan, I didn’t want anything too scary, so I settled on a story about a plane crash called Before the Fall.

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Little did I know that this would turn out to be such a gem in the realm of survival fiction…told with such fluidity and honesty that I completely found myself engrossed in this amazing tale of strength and the human condition.

On a foggy summer night, eleven people board a small plane departing Martha’s Vineyard, heading for New York.  Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane crashes into the ocean and most of the passengers disappear.  The only survivors are a down-on-his-luck painter named Scott Burrows and a young four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful family.

With chapters that weave between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the reasons behind the accident begin to unfold…and as the media frenzy spirals out of control with false accusations and media outrage, the fragile relationship between the two survivors begins to grow and blossom…and truly is the beating heart of this story.

A unique POV story that gives almost every character a moment in the spotlight, Before the Fall aims to highlight the life of each passenger before they boarded that small plane from Martha’s Vineyard.  It puts into perspective how small events in their lives lead them to the pinnacle moment where most of them perished…and also highlights why Scott, a man who wasn’t even supposed to be on the plane at all, was one of the only ones to survive the horrific accident.

A bittersweet and tragic story about fate and human nature, Before the Fall is a spot-on novel about what humans – and the media – will do to survive.

 

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