Great Reads for the Train!
The BeanTrees by Barbara Kingslover: This is a story of Taylor Greer whose one goal in life as a young girl was to graduate high school and not get pregnant. She manages both, only to find herself confronted with motherhood anyways when, on her way to bigger and better things than Kentucky, an abused baby, who Taylor monikers Turtle, is literally dropped in her lap.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London: The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger: Novel by J.D. Salinger published in 1951. The influential and widely acclaimed story details the two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, he searches for truth and rails against the "phoniness" of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally ill, in a psychiatrist's office. After he recovers from his breakdown, Holden relates his experiences to the reader.
Club Dead by Charlaine Harris: A Sookie Stackhouse novel, and basis for the HBO series True Blood. Sookie's boyfriend has been very distant-in another state, distant. Now she's off to Mississippi to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead-a little haunt where the vampire elite go to chill out. But when she finally finds Bill-caught in an act of betrayal-she's not sure whether to save him...or sharpen some stakes.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: The disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle, Henrik Vanger. He is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age--and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness--assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism--and a surprising connection between themselves.
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster: Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughter's house in Vermont. When sleep refuses to come, he lies in bed and tells himself stories, struggling to push back thoughts about things he would prefer to forget--his wife's recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughter's boyfriend, Titus. The retired book critic imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America the twin towers did not fall and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union and a bloody civil war ensued. As the night progresses, Brill's story grows increasingly intense, and what he is so desperately trying to avoid insists on being told. Joined in the early hours by his granddaughter, he gradually opens up to her and recounts the story of his marriage. After she falls asleep, he at last finds the courage to revisit the trauma of Titus's death.
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich: Out of work and out of money, Stephanie Plum lands a job as a bounty hunter and her first prey is, guess who? None other than Joe Morelli, the macho pig who deflowered her in high school and bragged on the lavatory wall of Mario's Sub Shop. Now a cop, he is wanted for murder. The intriguing thing is she still rather fancies him and even more intriguing is that he will save her life.
Sweet and Deadly by Charlaine Harris: Before the Southern Vampire series, Harris wrote more traditional mysteries. Sweet and Deadly, herfirst published book, has been brought back into print after nearly 30 years. Set in the small town of Lowfield, Mississippi, it is a gothic-influenced novel about a series of murders starting with the town doctor and his wife. Six months later, newspaper reporter Catherine, the daughter of the murdered couple, discovers a body at an abandoned cabin on the family land. At first, Catherine is the only one who believes that the new murder is connected to her parents' death, but her eager fellow reporter, Tom, desperate for a big story, joins her investigation, and together they begin to uncover a plethora of small-town secrets. Taut, tense, and compelling, this stellar debut is a terrific small-town mystery. While Sookie fans may miss the vampires, they will be enchanted with tough, lonely Catherine and will find some similarities in the insular setting. – From Booklist