Sunday, February 16, 2014

Volume VI of Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader

As you can pretty easily tell from the title, this is the 6th installment of Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader.  It’s been 15 days short of one year since I posted #5.  Did you miss it?  Did you even notice?!

Vanessa Diffenbaugh – The Language of Flowers.  I have really blogged about this ad nauseum (that means you’re sick and tired of hearing about this book from me!).  Just read it.

Jodi Picoult – The Storyteller.  I have read all of Jodi’s books (except her 2 YA’s).  This is one of the top 3, maybe the very top.  The other 2, My Sister’s Keeper and The Pact, are already on my FFTNFR lists.  This one is present day with flashbacks to Nazi Germany.  It’s mesmerizing.

Beth Hoffman – Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (feel free to read Beth’s other book too – Looking for Me – you won’t be disappointed).  It’s 1967, and 12-year CeeCee Honeycutt lives in Ohio with her mother.  In fact, her mother is a bit “disoriented,” and CeeCee has been taking care of her.  When circumstances dictate that CeeCee goes to live with her aunt in the deep South, it’s a real treat to see how she adjusts.   

JoJo Moyes – Me Before You.  I read this one only because I was browbeat(en?) by friends of mine.  I’m sure glad they insisted.  The protagonist in this one loses her job at a diner and ends up caretaking a quadriplegic (all of this happens early on).  If you read this, and you think you know what’s going to happen, you probably don’t.  (Warning:  The book takes place in England, in case you’re an Anglophobe).

Amy Franklin-Willis – The Lost Saints of Tennessee.  It centers on a Southern family, with a 42-year old son and father as the main narrator.  But the other characters are critical to the story, and you will care about all of them.  This is our February selection for the VHOB Book Club (Feb. 18).  Early comments from book club members are extremely positive.

Sue Diaz – Minefields of the Heart.  This is my only non-fiction on the list.  It’s about a 3-tour of duty U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, told from his mother’s perspective.  It not only gives the reader a glimpse of what it’s like to be deployed in the Middle East, and it’s not only very well-written, but Sue also mixes in some humor so that we don’t all feel like taking hemlock.

Jamie Ford – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (as well as his 2nd one, Songs of Willow Frost).  Jamie tells a great story about Seattle in the mid- to late-‘80’s and a Chinese man and his son.  Just like The Storyteller, there are flashbacks.  In Hotel, we’re transported back to WWII and how the Japanese in Seattle were sent to internment camps.  The story centers on the Chinese man as a boy and his relationship with a Japanese girl. 

Harlan Coben – Missing You.  This is Coben’s latest.  In fact, it doesn’t even hit the stores until March 18.  But it’s one of his best.  And I’ve read them all (except, again, for his YA’s).  In this one, a female detective comes across an old flame on a dating service.  But is it really him?  And what about the crazy conspiracy that underlies the whole website?  Darn good. 

Mitch Albom – The First Phone Call from Heaven.  This is Mitch’s 6th book.  Of course, he’s most well-known for Tuesdays with Morrie.  And, again, I’ve read them all (he doesn’t have any YA’s, thank goodness).  This is far and away my favorite.  In a small town on Lake Michigan, people are getting calls from deceased loved ones.  The events lead to world-wide coverage.  Interesting storyline, yes?  Definitely yes.

Jeffrey Archer – Only Time Will Tell (book 1 of the Clifton Chronicles – books 2 and 3 are equally good).  This is a great series.  I happen to love historical fiction, especially when it’s done as well as Archer does it.  Book 1 takes place between 1920-1940.  Memorable characters.  Book 4 comes out next month.  Can’t wait.

Richard North Patterson – Loss of Innocence.  I read this book very recently.  In fact, I finished it 2 days ago!  I’m a big fan of RNP.  I’ve liked all of the ones I’ve read (not all of his, but most).  2 of his earlier books, Exile and Protect and Defend, have previously made FFTNFR.  In his latest (which is a prequel to Fall from Grace), a 21-year old daughter of a very privileged East Coast family finds reason to question who she is.  It’s a coming-of-age store, and a lot more.

That’s the latest.  These 11 now make a total of 72.  I would imagine that you won’t agree with me on all 72.  But I’ll bet that you like most of them.  Since you’ve all read the previous 61(!), go ahead and get started on these 11.  And let me know what you think.

P.S.  If you want to see my other 5 lists, here are dates on the blog;



  1. I've read 3 of those books (4 if you count both of Beth Hoffman's) and loved every one of them.

  2. Good to hear. It's always nice to know that at least one person likes your recommendations!

  3. Wow ... thanks for the terrific shout-out, Lloyd! I'm incredibly honored! I've read four books on your recommended list (not counting my own ...LOL).

  4. Beth, you didn't say how you liked those 4. Egos are at stake here! (no guilt)

  5. I've only read Beth's two wonderful books, but I have high hopes for The Language of Flowers :)

  6. Get Language near the front of the TBR pile.