- Nefertiti by Michelle Moran—Drama for yo mama alert. It’s like The Other Boleyn Girl in Egypt. War, plague, seduction, and one unlucky courtier gets SPEARED. 496 pgs.
- The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly—The first book in the Rose trilogy. The Eliza Doolittle dialect grows on you. I hope you’ll ‘eart it as much as I ‘eart it, luv. Drama alert, and by ‘drama’ I mean the heroine takes down Jack the Ripper. Yeah. Think about it. 592 pgs.
- The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly—Book 2 in the Rose trilogy. You don’t have to read them in order; I certainly didn’t. To quote my review: “This book is one of the most exciting books I’ve ever read. It’s got homicides, underground tunnel chases, assassination attempts, people getting shot in the back and jumping out of windows, people hooking cables onto clock towers and Spiderman-ing around London, steamy lovemaking scenes, great prison escapes, emergency amputations, rabid hyenas, and a lion’s den. It’s also got the most perfect ending this side of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.” Caution: If you read this book before The Tea Rose, you’ll know the identity of Jack the Ripper. 720 pgs.
- Perfume, the Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind-–Has one of the best villains in literature. He tries to kill 25 virgins to make a perfume! 272 pgs.
- Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite—New Orleans food scene, an all liquor menu: a yummy read. 353 pgs.
- Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor—Drama alert! It’s like Gone with the Wind set in Restoration England. There’s sex in a priest hole, riding crop whippage, pistol duels, catfights, sex with the KING, the plague, poison, fire, sex with Captain Morgan (the man, not the drink). 979 pgs.
- The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike—Vampires? Zombies? Martians? How about vampire zombies from Mars! No, seriously, this book is good, so good in fact that it received MAX star ratings on Amazon. People RE-READ it over and over again. If I were wearing pants at time of reading, it would’ve scared the pants off me. 448 pgs.
- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen—If you think teens are idiots, you haven’t met Sarah Dessen’s teens. Dessen will teach you how to SEE. She will teach you how to LIVE. Coming of age done right. 400 pgs.
- Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen— Ditto. You must promise to read at least ONE Sarah Dessen novel. She is the YA messiah. 383 pgs.
- Paper Towns by John Green—A character has a collection of black Santas, but this is not what the story is about. This book has a hilarious road trip that involves peeing in a bottle and cow crossings (brings back many fond memories). Plus, John Green is nerd-a-licious. 320 pgs.
- The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen—Magical realism. A comfort read with yummy food descriptions. Left me happy and hungry for days. Warm, fuzzy ending alert. 304 pgs.
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen—Ditto yummy food. A cozy Southern read. 320 pgs.
- Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson—Non-fiction that reads like fiction. Substitute Harrison Ford for John Wilkes Booth, except, unlike Harrison, Booth is totally guilty. 496 pgs.
- In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick—Non-fiction that reads like fiction. There’s cannibalism in this one. 302 pgs.
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich—You’ll appreciate Evanovich’s humor. Trust me. There’s also a hamster that deserves honorable mention for being the cutest mother-effing pet ever. 334 pgs.
You are obligated to read 5, but if you love what you read, you may read all and call me your ‘book pimp.’
And because I like to spread the WONDER around like a bad case of venereal disease (not that I’ve ever done such a thing), you are all welcome to share in the merriment.