We always love hearing from you, especially about what your reading. Here are some books that fans have recommended to us, and what they liked about them. If you've read a book that you think Bill and/or Debbie (and all of Bill's fans) would enjoy, email the title and author to Michele@billharley.com.

For your convenience, we've linked the title of the book so you can learn a little more about it. Links will take you to Books on the Square or Barrington Books a couple of our favorite local independent bookstores.

Book Title: Author: Description:
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (Audiobook) Fredrick Backman Anyone who loves story must listen (or read). Jean
Braiding Sweetgrass Robin Wall Kimmerer One of the top three books I've ever read. Sylvia
The Pearl that Broke Its Shell Nadia Hashimi Amazing book about life in Afghanistan and what it is like for women. Incredible education for us westerners. Linda
English Creek Ivan Doig ...just for the love of reading a good book. It's the first book in a trilogy. Carol
Children of the Dust Bowl Jerry Stanley It’s a vivid and moving account of the Weedpatch School, and how one person was able to recruit and motivate so many others to make the Weedpatch camp a place where life got better. Carol
The Orphanmaster (Audiobook) Jean Zimmerman Zimmerman is an unbelievable writer, and the reading enhances the story immensely. David
The Glass Room Simon Mawer It deals with a wealthy family in a city in Czechoslovakia who have a house built, in the mid 20s, that is like the modern art of the
time.  Eventually the Germans take over that county...bit by bit; and the family's life (and others) are turned upside down. -Nick
Elizabeth Street Laurie Fabiano a fictionalized account of her great-grandmother's journey from southern Italy to Little Italy in NYC. It's about the reasons she and others left southern Italy, traveling in steerage, and, In New York, trying to stay out of the clutches of the Black Hand Gang (forerunner to the Mafia) when her husband is able to stop selling fruits and vegetables from a pushcart and begins to sell from a store. Janet
Sudden Country Karen Fisher submitted by Kathy
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese submitted by Kathy
The Swan Thieves Elizabeth Kostova submitted by Kathy
House Rules
Jodi Picoult submitted by Kathy
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs Really enjoyed and hope he writes more. Christine
Uglies/Pretties/Specials and Extras Scott Westerfeld Read and loved! Christine
Manhunt James Swanson a detailed description of the assassination of Lincoln and the hunt for his killer.......really good book. Tom
State of Wonder Ann Patchett A great read and would make a great movie! Lisa
The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher Bill Harley I am reading a fabulous book called ‘The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher” aloud to my daughter’s 4th grade class at Underwood Elementary in Newport. About the 3rd year in a row that I have read this to my various kid’s classes. They all love it and I love reading it!! Paul
Integral Spirituality Ken Wilber Submitted by Frank
The Big Thirst Charles Fishman This is a thorough, informative, and very entertaining look at our relationship with water. The author, who also wrote The Wal Mart Effect, has a gift for taking incomprehensible numbers and bringing them down to an understandable level. Plus he really knows how to tell a story. You will never think of Las Vegas or India in the same way. I wish every lawmaker in the country would read this book. Brucie
Wonderstruck Brian Selznick It's about half text, half pictures and absolutely brilliant. Published as a children's book, it will appeal to all ages. It interweaves the stories of two hearing impaired people born many decades apart. Settings are Minnesota and Brooklyn. This doesn't begin to convey how wonderful this book is. I hope it wins awards. Brucie
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot The book reads like a novel, with a lot of interesting science in it; and a look at the lives of an African America family in Baltimore heavily influenced by 'the immortal life' of their mother. Nick
Wesley the Owl: the Remarkable Story of an Owl and his Girl Stacy O'Brien

A true story about a barn owl raised in captivity by a young woman who worked at an owl rehab/research facility in Southern Calif.  Light reading, but interesting, touching, and funny.  Lots of interesting facts/observations, amusing anecdotes, and good photos. Judith

March Geraldine Brooks a fictional work about the absent father of Lousia May Alcott during the Civil War.  A wonderful historical fiction "wholly...steeped in the details of another time."  I found this book to be very gripping as well as informative. Judy
The Lost Girls Amanda Pressner, Jennifer Bagget, Holly Corbett These girls took a year of their lives to travel around the world together and kept their notes via blogging. Phyllis
Here If You Need Me Kate Braestrup Excellent memoir. Pat
Just Kids Patti Smith About her life with artist Robert Maplethorp "I couldn't put it down and lost a lot of sleep" Katie
The Lacuna Barbara Kingsolver About Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo. Katie
The Brothers Karamozov Fyodor Dostoevsky Long but worthwhile. Frank & Karen
Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics  Diarmuid O'Murchu In my opinion does a great job of explaining some of the what we are learning from science about how reality operates (ie, uncertainty principle, non-locality, etc.) and how that might cause us to look at how we understand the divine. Frank & Karen
The Art of Racing in the Rain  Garth Stein A very thoughtful story. Beatrice
The Help Kathryn Stockett It deals with African American maids in Jackson, Mississippi, who decide to write down their stories. Set in the 1950s/early 60s. Nick
The Thirteenth Tale Diane Setterfield's The book references Jane Eyre, The Turn of the Screw, and psychological experiments on twins. It was one of my library's book discussion choices, and everybody liked it. It is strange, puzzling, and filled with eccentric characters. By the end everything is explained. Janet
Water for Elephants Sara Gruen in which a 90-something y.o. man in a nursing home re-lives his younger days in the circus through a blend of memory and present day experiences.
Monique and the Mango Rains Kris Holloway a former Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, who wrote about her experiences and the people she came to know in a way that reads like a novel, but is in fact a memoir.
M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia; The Reverse Therapy Approach John Eaton This is a small book; only 130 pages, which will appeal to therapists and to people suffering any kind of physical/emotional symptoms. Jana
Fieldwork Mischa Berlinski Murder mystery; Anthropologists, missionaries, indigenous people in Thailand, “deadheads” (followers of the Grateful Dead). All come together in this intriguing story! Sharon
Same Kind of Different as Me Ron Hall and Denver Moore True story and anyone who reads it will be moved. Merrilee
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World Vicki Myron True story about an amazing cat who changed a town by living in the 
library. Merrilee
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara Kingsolver Great book. Beth
Hot, Flat and Crowded Thomas Friedman Another great book. Beth
Shut up, I'm talking : and other diplomacy lessons I learned in the Israeli government: a memoir Gregory Levey A humorous look at foreign affairs. Beth
The Cat Who Wished to be a Man Lloyd Alexander I too am a fan of Lloyd Alexander's books, including the Chronicles. If you have not read his The Cat Who Wished to Be a Man, I recommend it. I read it to elementary shool children in grades 2-5, and it had them in fits of giggles. It is a fast read, too. Janet
The Kite Rider Geraldine McCaughrean For young adults "The Kite Rider" (not "runner") is amazing Laura
The Mummy Congress Heather Pringle For older audiences, my daughter's favorite book, "The Mummy Congress". If you can stomach the details, it is a well written, entertaining (believe it or not) thought provoking book about how the peoples of the world deal with their dead. Sounds odd, but worth the read. Laura
Funny in Farsi Firoozeh Dumas It is definately funny she is amercian born in Iran. It gives you another type of idea about the Iranian. And if you want and even boarder approch I think you should look up Iranian and United States timetable. Then you will say no wonder people hate us Americans. Connie
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortensen A real tribute to one person making a difference. He is a nurse by training and his passion was hiking and mountain climbing (as in K2) but turned into building schools in remotest Pakistan and into Afghanistan. An amazing man and book. Mimi
Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil Deborah Rodriguez It is a true story; amusing, enlightening. Judy
A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket sent in by a fan, who says it's a good book for those in grades 3-5
The Things They Carried (audiobook) Tim O'Brien read by Ted Stechshulte It's about Vietnam, but much more. This is such a stoyrteller's book! Barbara
Women of Silk Gail Tsukiyama Just now I'm reading books by Gail Tsukiyama. Once I got started, I reserved them all. Her writing is wonderful. Her mother is Chinese and her father is Japanese, so we get an interesting mix. Judy
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms Gail Tsukiyama Just now I'm reading books by Gail Tsukiyama. Once I got started, I reserved them all. Her writing is wonderful. Her mother is Chinese and her father is Japanese, so we get an interesting mix. Judy
Dreaming Water Gail Tsukiyama Just now I'm reading books by Gail Tsukiyama. Once I got started, I reserved them all. Her writing is wonderful. Her mother is Chinese and her father is Japanese, so we get an interesting mix. Judy
The Language of Threads Gail Tsukiyama Just now I'm reading books by Gail Tsukiyama. Once I got started, I reserved them all. Her writing is wonderful. Her mother is Chinese and her father is Japanese, so we get an interesting mix. Judy
Night of Many Dreams Gail Tsukiyama Just now I'm reading books by Gail Tsukiyama. Once I got started, I reserved them all. Her writing is wonderful. Her mother is Chinese and her father is Japanese, so we get an interesting mix. Judy
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin I've been giving it to friends as a surprise gift. I recommend it highly. Steve
Last Train to Paradise Les Standiford It is the story of Henry Flagler (developer of much of Florida) and his greatest accomplishment, the Overseas Railroad, a railroad that went from the tip of the Florida peninsula all the way to Key West. During construction (1905-1912) three different hurricanes wiped out parts of the railroad and it was completely demolished in the hurricane of 1935. The sheer magnitude of this accomplishment is incredible and the human stories are wonderful. Highly recommended. Danine, Bobby & Elise
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Robin McKinley Anything by Robin McKinley but definitely this one. She writes fantasy/fairy tale stories that read like more detailed versions of the originals. Julie
North and South Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell A story set during the English Industrial revolution. It was originally released in serial form in one of Charles Dickens' magazines. Julie
Our Mutual Friend Charles Dickens The last book finished by Dickens. Many lives woven together by an inheritance left by a "dust heap" owner. Julie
Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky Marsha recommends this but she didn't say why
The Glass Castle Jeanette Walls The best book that I've read in a long time. Barbara
Ella Minnow Pea Mark Dunn Its about a community that starts to outlaw letters of the alphabet. Very cleverly written as a novel of letters between friends and family and their reactions to the goings on. Maria
A Girl Named Zippy Haven Kimmel I'm just finishing one by Haven Kimmel called Zippy and I'm loving her ability to tell stories. I think you'd love it. She really captures growing up in the 60's. She has a gift with words. Another great summer read is Eat Cake our book club just did that for a fun summer read. It was good. I also enjoyed Shannon Hale's Goose Girl and Princes Academy. Princess Academy was a Newbery Honor book. Ann
Eat Cake Jeanne Ray see above
Goose Girl Shannon Hale see above
Princess Academy Shannon Hale see above
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini I am 64 and have just read The Kite Runner and felt it was a very good book. Pat
Holes Louis Sachar My daughter and I are reading Holes. We are both enjoying it very much. Before that, we read Little Women (by Louisa May Alcott). My daughter is 9. Cassandra
All Over Creation Ruth Ozeki What a great book to open or in my case reopen your eyes to the world of GMO's What science and nature together can create can be very scary! It takes place on a potato farm in Idaho, with more pesticides that anyone cares to imagine! Leigh
Precious and the Boo Hag Patricia C. McKissack The students at our school are really enjoying this book. It is a GREAT read aloud. Bonnie
An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland Michael Dirda Delightfully written, and it will tweak lots of memories for those of us of a certain age. It was on my son's school reading list (high school senior)--he loved it, so he urged me to read it. Dirda is about as literate as they come, and this is a sort of "my life as a reader"; which could be deadly dull, but in fact is quite the opposite. Another nice feature: no matter how big your vocabulary, you will encounter here at least a few unfamiliar words, artfully deployed. Dictionary time! When you finish the book, be prepared to feel sorry; and when you return it to the library, don't be surprised if you miss the author's company. Mary Jane
Inkheart Corneila Funke I love it because of the premise - that you can read something aloud so well that it becomes real. If you haven't read the story, the girls father, 8 years ago, was reading a book aloud. And evil stuff came out of the book into the world we live in. And his wife was sucked back into the world of the book. It's a combination of the fabulous reader the father was and the wonderful way the book was written. He will never read aloud again. But now, 8 years later, the girl is able to do the same thing - and she sets out to find the man who wrote the first book and have him write changes into it, so she can read the world right again. Andrea
Messenger Lois Lowry somewhat of a trilogy. Not for the very young...a little heavy at times I would say 11 and older.
The Giver Lois Lowry somewhat of a trilogy. Not for the very young...a little heavy at times I would say 11 and older.
Gathering Blue Lois Lowry somewhat of a trilogy. Not for the very young...a little heavy at times I would say 11 and older.
Hoot Carl Hiasson good, especially for young people interested in protecting wildlife and who love a good mystery.
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery My son's favorite book to be heard aloud. We never tire of it, nor of its lessons for living.
Good Night Gorrilla Peggy Rathman Submitted by Kevin, Age 2
10 Minutes to Bedtime Peggy Rathman Submitted by Kevin, Age 2
The Horse and His Boy which is part of the "Chronicles of Narnia" series C.S. Lewis My 9-year-old son is currently reading it
Les Miserables Victor Hugo My 12-year-old daughter is currently reading it
The Double Jose Saramago Not as compelling a premise as The Cave or Blindness, but interesting, with a zinger of an ending.
The Song of Names Norman Lebrecht A beautifully told tale. Leah
Trickster's Queen Tamora Pierce Sidney and I just finished the latest Tamora Pierce book, we both loved it, Sid is 12, and I'm 41. Tamora Pierce is one of Sidney's favorite authors
The Fairy Godmother Mercedes Lackey I also highly recommend as an adult book.
The Borrowers Mary Norton  
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Betty MacDonald  
Raggedy Ann and Andy Johnny Gruelle  
The Good Dog Avi a wonderful story told from the dog's point of view Helen