I think its time to get some book recommendations. I want to know the last five books you've read and what you thought of them. Here's my list:
Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume: Short, wonderful book you can read in one sitting. To be honest, many times YA protagonists seem angsty and dumb to me, but Davey Wexler was a sweetheart, and I didn't mind her teenager-ness. Very good YA read. There's a reason for Judy Blume's wonderful reputation.
Villette, Charlotte Bronte: Oh wow. What to say about this book? It is such an intense emotional journey--you spend the majority of the book being dragged through the mud, being let off just enough to catch your breath so you don't suffocate. You crawl and struggle up a hill, still dragging in the mud. You get to the top and finally have a chance to stand up and dust yourself off. Then you get a knock-out punch in the face. I absolutely loved it. Charlotte Bronte is a genius. Not as mysterious or positive as Jane Eyre, but just as wonderful.
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson: Beautiful, beautiful book. Almost musical in tone. Not the typical structure for a novel. It's written as a letter from a dying father to his young son. Stunningly beautiful. One of those books that really does take your breath away.
A Virtuous Woman, Kaye Gibbons: Another short, sweet book. I will admit that it took me a bit to get into the tone of it, but I ended up very much enjoying it in the end. Most of the book is written in first person, and then there's a switch to third in the very end, and this end part was my favorite. Kaye Gibbons really can get to the emotional gut in a wonderful way.
The Bonesetters Daughter, Amy Tan: I enjoy Amy Tan's stories. She is not the most elegant writer, but her stories are extremely well-crafted and fun to follow. She understands relationships very well, I think. Good read, I would definitely recommend it.
Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens: Ok, so I know this is six. But I just could not leave without recommending this book. Absolutely phenomenal. If you like Dickens, or even if you don't, this is such a sweet book with so much Dickensian awesomeness and humor, and so much heart. Little Dorrit herself is one of the great characters in literature. Seriously, read this book.
So those are the last five (ok, six) books I've read. Right now I'm reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I'm enjoying it a lot so far, though I'm not too far into it yet and its different from my usual. But I like McMurtry's style.
Anyway, the point of this is to get some recommendations from all you guys. What are the last five books (or so) that you've read? Which ones would you recommend, which ones not so much? Every clump of writing advice I've ever seen includes the thought that to be a writer you MUST be a reader. So this can help me read voraciously for the next little while. So, books?