Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nosehair-Grabbin' Books

SOMETIMES you need a book that will grab you by the nosehairs. That will hook its claws into you and not let go until the book is done. Whenever the work life and my personal life are busy, I really need this type of book to keep me going--to give me some reading momentum.

For instance, this month I've found it really hard to be monogamous to books. I start and stop and shuffle them around without really settling down. I need a book to suck me in and not let go. One of those books that can inspire me to stay up a few minutes later or drag lunch out a bit longer.

If you get into this same state, I want you to have a fall back list. Here are some nosehair grabbin' books I recommend...


Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel with some fun twists. A girl finds a ghost down a well and it's all downhill from there.

Relish by Lucy Knisley was charming and gorgeously illustrated and just super fun and cute, just like Lucy Knisley herself.

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan doesn't get nearly enough attention. It's a collection of quirky short stories with even quirkier illustrations. Just beautiful!


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake is just a rip-roaring, gut-bubbling good time. There's lots of gore, but who cares? It's a super fast adventure. 

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson looks like a random choice, but it's amazeballs! I read it for library school several years ago and loved this historical middle-grade novel about a young girl working in textile mills. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is not a book for young readers. That's what Neil says, and I agree, but it fell into this bunch because of it's child narrator and magical plot. Read it in a day, y'all. 


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is just gush-worthy. I read it earlier this year, it's short, and it's a hauntingly gorgeous and unsettling story. 

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a heart-wrenching story of a Chinese family dealing with some really heavy stuff. But I'll be dipped if I could put it down!


Sarah Addison Allen is always a go-to for me when I need a book to pump up my reading mojo. Garden Spells is probably my fave, but running a close second is The Girl Who Chased the Moon. 


My Life in France by Julia Child is one of those books I stumbled into by accident. I'm actually reading it now along with three other books. I was stuck in a meeting, I had my tablet/e-reader, and things happened. 

What books would you recommend to de-slumpify? To recharge your reading batteries? 




36 comments:

  1. I wish I could tell you because I seem to be in the same place right now.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Kathy. I hope your reading is back up to snuff soon.

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  2. I have also been going through a similar reading slump lately! Anna Dressed in Blood is fantastic, I agree, and I'd really love to get my hands on a copy of We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Great post! Hope you're able to find a good read soon.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

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    1. I Have Always Lived in the Castle is such a creeptaculous, fun read. I hope you can get to it soon! It's a great slump buster. My reading finally picked up this weekend and I feel like myself again!

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  3. Hi Andi ~
    I discovered your blog during Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon and instantly feel in love! My de-slumped-re-charged book is Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler. Surprising, considering it's emotionally draining (but so worth it!).

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    1. Thank you so much! I am glad to know Octavia Butler is a de-slumping book for you. I can't wait to read more of her work. I adored Kindred.

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  4. The last time I had a reading slump, I read the entire Dark Tower series in succession. It worked! :) I must add some of these to my TBR though :)

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    1. Oh wow! That's amazing. I've been wanting to get to that book for YEARS! I feel like such a slacker. lol

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  5. There are so many good books in this post! My youngest read Lyddie for school last year. I wish I had read it along with her. I see a few gns that I'd really like to pick up before the next readathon ;) The Good Earth? That's one of my all time favorites...top 10 for sure.

    King can always get my juices flowing. Oh, or Alice in Wonderland!

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    1. Never too late to go back to Lyddie! It's such a great book, and you'd whip through it in an hour or two. Great idea re: Alice in Wonderland!

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  6. Nose-hair grabbin'? Love it! My list would include Stephen King's Cujo (read that in the dark and then hear a dog bark!), Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park, Beth Hoffman would probably be my Sarah Addison Allen, and Ami McKay's The Birth House.

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    1. LOL, there are lots of dogs barking around my place, so that might terrify me! And I'm glad to hear about The Birth House! I have it on my Nook right now.

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  7. I totally need some of these - I can't believe I haven't read any of them yet (but they're almost all on my TBR!) Ugh, all the books.

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  8. I hate reading slumps (although, your post has given me MORE fodder for my TBR!) I like to break a slump with something silly and mindless. Sometimes I just need to pick up a romance novel and cleanse my brain before I get back into a groove.

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    1. Ha! Definitely silly and mindless. Anything that'll suck me in really, though silly and mindless usually does the trick. Cleansing! Great word. I need a good brain cleanse periodically.

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  9. Thank you for this! I've been a bit blah with my reading habits lately and can't seem to get that urge to read any book I pick up. I need some nosehair grabbing reads and this has given me a fair few ideas...

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    1. I hope one of these will do the trick for you!

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  10. There seems to be a lot of slumping in blogland lately... I'm right there with you! Rereading an old favorite (Crossing to Safety) seems to have helped me. I could just as easily have picked up The Good Earth - love!! - My Life in France, or We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

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    1. I'm glad your re-read helped! I am SO digging My Life in France right now. Perfect slump buster.

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  11. I wish had some nosehair-grabbin' books to read - I am in need of something like that. I love the titles you shared with us - some look so good ( like I need to read them ASAP good!). Thanks :)

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    1. I hope you can get to a few and that they help de-slump you!

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  12. My Life in France was a great read! It's so much fun learning about how Julia Child became, well, Julia Child!

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    1. I agree! I am thoroughly loving it!

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  13. I have been wondering about Ocean at the End of the Lane...will definitely read it now. And what an image - nose hair grabbing books.HAHA

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    1. It's sooo great! I sucked it down in no time.

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  14. I'm also in a reading slump but I think it has to do with having so many great-looking books on my shelves. So many of the books you've recommended are page-turners. Graphic novels really help with reading slumps. I recommend the Fables series by Bill Willingham.

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    1. I get overwhelmed that way with all the books on my shelves, too. It helps me to narrow them down to smaller groups to pick from. I do love me some Fables. My library doesn't have them, so I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy more volumes to keep going with the series. :)

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  15. I'm listening to the audio of We Have Always Lived in The Castle right now. I'm so anxious to figure out what's really going on.

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    1. I bet that's awesome on audio!

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  16. I am pretty bad about switching books, especially depending on moods. I don't usually find myself in actual slumps because I always find something to read, even if it's a romance or something. But sometimes if I feel really restless I just reread favorites like Anne of Green Gables or P&P. I read P&P earlier this year just for fun, but I haven't read Anne in a while and I miss it, so I need to do that soon!

    But ahh your list! I want to read Anya's Ghost! You know, I am pretty sure I read Lyddie when I was in school, too. The name sounded really familiar and reading the description makes me think I did read it. I loved anything historical like that, and still do! I really need to read Ocean Lane! I've heard such good things, and I'm kind of hit-or-miss with Gaiman but I feel like this one will be a hit. The Girl Who Chased the Moon sounds interesting!

    Fun post!

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    1. I start guilting myself about ditching books. I'd never get in slumps if I'd just drop them and move on! lol Anya's Ghost is sooo fun! I'm also hit or miss with Gaiman, but this one was a winner for me.

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  17. Oh, The Good Earth!!!! Such a fab read!!!

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  18. Great list! I loved Gaiman's book. I haven't read these others but The Good Earth is on my classics list (and shelf) so I'm glad to hear it's one of your favorites. I've been reading a lot of light stuff lately but one that really knocked me out was Jenni Fagan's The Panopticon. Wow, wow, wow.

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    1. I hope you love The Good Earth as much as I did! I have The Panopticon on my shelves, so I'm glad you liked it!

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