Book Dumpling’s ‘Most Recommended: Mainstream’ Reads.

March 15, 2015

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You asked and it was a pleasure to answer.

I’ve answered over 3,000 surveys for book-seekers with titles that range from little-known nuggets to genre-specific romps to the more popular, oft-publicized reads.

Enjoy the list below to see PART 1 of Book Dumpling’s ‘Most Recommended’ (the Mainstream titles).

Add any appealing titles to your reading list. Or give these as presents.

#1) CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff (For Intellectual Fiction Lovers; Adult and Teens alike)City of Thieves photo

For lovers of irreverent, page-turning, intellectual, historical fiction that features a foul-mouthed protagonist, an insight into the siege of Leningrad, and the story of an unlikely and gorgeous friendship. Plus Benioff writes Game of Thrones for TV: he knows how to tell a good story.

#2) WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE by Maria Semple (For the comedic, page-turner lovers; Adult and Teens alike)

Where'd You Go Bernadette_DIFFERENT

As a former writer for television’s delicious comedy, Arrested Development, we can trust that Maria Semple knows a thing or two about using family dysfunction as a backdrop for telling a really good, really funny story. She does just this in her wonderfully written novel, told from the perspective of Bee, a precocious 15-year-old, through whom we meet her insanely brilliant mother, Bernadette Fox. With different points of view, plot twists crazier than an episode of Homeland, and a strong sense of character, this delectable read will have you laughing (and scratching your head at times), while thanking Semple for a sneak into one of the more interesting heroines to grace contemporary pages.

#3) I AM PILGRIM by Terry Hayes (FOR the Espionage lovers. And the Reluctant Readers).

I Am Pilgrim_Book Cover

The mysterious, Pilgrim, a US spy of all spies (complete with shady history), globe-trots (literally, the book jumps from Thailand to London to Afghanistan) to prevent bad things from happening.

#4) TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Cheryl Strayed (For seekers of honest, witty and inspirational advice that tells it like it is; anyone experiencing a difficult period in his / her life).

Tiny, Beautiful Things

NOT YOUR TYPICAL, schlocky advice book: in this compilation of her cultish-ly followed Dear Sugar columns originally found on, Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild), offers her signature honest, hilarious and poetic bursts of inspiration and empathy in response to stories that most of us can relate to.

#5) A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING by Ruth Ozeki (For lovers of philosophical, intellectual fiction)

A Tale for the time Being_Book Cover

16-year-old Nao is bullied and ponders ending her life in a café in Tokyo while recording her deepest thoughts (and admiration of her 104-year-old Zen Buddhist great-grandmother) in her newly purchased diary; on an island in British Columbia, a writer named Ruth finds a diary washed up – perhaps debris from the recent tsunami? The two narratives collide in this phenomenal and brilliant novel that runs the gamut from quantum physics and the culture of suicide in Japan to Zazen meditation and the relationship among families. Mind-blowing.

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Stay tuned for PART 2: ‘Quirky Titles for Funky Readers’ coming soon…


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