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Topic: Book Recommendations for my 92-year-old mom

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Subject: Book Recommendations for my 92-year-old mom
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
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My mom is 92 and loves to read. She likes mysteries, the books by Fannie Flagg, all the Jan Karon books, etc. She's currently reading the Southern Sisters mystery series by Anne George. Also, she reads a variety. For instance, she has read the Harry Potter books.

I get her a lot of books through PBS and am looking for new ideas.

Thanks for your help!


Date Posted: 12/16/2007 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2007
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Belva Plain, Anita Shreve,are two that just came to mind



L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Anything by Pearl S. Buck - start with The Good Earth.  My Mom actually turned me onto Buck when I was young.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 8,152
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I have some suggestions if your mother enjoys mysteries.  An author (can't remember her first name) named Braun has wriiten several mysteries starting with the phrase The Cat Who...  Another suggestion, popular with women, is Alexander McCall Smith.  Other authors to consider are Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 568
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Lillian Jackson Braun writes The Cat Who series. I enjoy them, in fact I have The Cat Who Played Post Office on my bookshelf. Here's a couple of links to lists of her books.



Last Edited on: 12/16/07 1:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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The Mrs Polifax series by Dorothy Gilman. I love them they star a senior lady who one day decides that life is boring so she joins the CIA. Shes a member of a garden club and a black belt. She goes to all sorts of cool places and meets interesting people and solves crimes while doing slightly dangerous things. Oh and they are funny as all gitout.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
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Charlene Ann Baumbich writes the "Dearest Dorothy" series which stars a quasi-detective in her 80's who lives in a small town where every one knows everyone else.  I think there are 4 books in the series and they are gently entertaining.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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My grandmother loved everything LaVyrle Spencer has written, especially the historicals.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,954
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She might like the Donna Andrews 'cosy mysteries' -  the first one is Murder With Puffins. They're entertaining, a bit of humor and not graphic or gruesome.  I also recommend Ann Tatlock, esp. her book, I'll Watch the Moon;  and anything by Lisa Wingate - I loved Good Hope Road and Tending Roses. 

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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She might enjoy Jeanne Dams, especially the first two or three if she never read them.  They are about an American woman who moves to England - a bit of a Jessica Fletcher type.

I don't know if she would like Miss Seeton or not.  You need to pick and choose a bit and they are very English and perhaps dated but my daughter likes them.

My mother-in-law (and I) enjoyed the first of the Carolyn Haines books, "Them Bones."  The second was good too but then the series began to decline.

Has she tried any of the Ellie Haskell books by Dorothy Cannell?

ETA:  Charlotte MacCleod wrote quite a number of entertaining light mysteries, including a cute series under the pen name of "Alisa Craig." 

Last Edited on: 12/17/07 8:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2007 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,594
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Does she like cozy mysteries?  Try Mary Daheim's bed and breakfast series.  Also, historical mystery with a sense of humor, try Fidelis Morgan's Unnatural Fire.  Nancy Atherton's Rett MacPherson mysteries are quite good.  They are mysteries with a genealogy twist.

If she likes southern fiction, try Haywood Smith's Red Hat Club.

How about Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

Cross Country Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini was a good, positive story

Future Homemakers of America by laurie Graham was enjoyable.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 92
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Sue Grafton is a really good choise. What about some of the Nora Roberts Trilogies? I"d recommend the Chesapeak Bay Saga and the Garden Trilogy to start with. I do love the Born Trilogiy too.


Date Posted: 12/18/2007 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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Lee Child and Harlan Coben.  The are thrill writers.  Lee Child uses the same character, Jack Reacher, in all of his books.  Great story lines also.  But I also highly recommend Nelson DeMille, especially his earlier books, i.e., Gold Coast, The Charm School, Word of Honor, etc.

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 2:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2006
Posts: 28
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Grace Livingston Hill.  They were all written when your grandmother was a young woman and she would be able to relate to them well.  My mother-in-law read them and then re-read them.

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
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Thanks for the great ideas! She has already read some of these but not all. I've already ordered the first of the "Dearest Dorothy" series.

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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I believe she might like the Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross. The main character is feisty, 70-something Julia Springer of Abbotsville, North Carolina. Thus far, eight books have been issued; the ninth will be released April 3.  http://www.annbross.com/

Joan Medlicott's Ladies of Covington series is also enjoyable. Three women of a "certain age" meet one another in a Pennsylvania boardinghouse. The trio's adventures begin when they move to North Carolina and renovate a rundown farmhouse. There are seven books, plus a holiday novella, in this series. http://www.joanmedlicott.com/


Date Posted: 12/20/2007 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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I second both The Cat Who.. series and the Stephanie Plum books by janet Evanovich (One for the Money, etc).  Both are mysteries -- but the Plum books are also just plain comedy.  Think Lucy & Ethel become bounty hunters.  These books are all available in Large Print editions.

For southern fiction no one beats Flannery O'Connor.  I'm not quite sure how to describe her writing.  To me it's hysterical, but a lot of people don't find her funny at all.  She's dark and twisted just enough to be very entertaining; she writes with a southern Catholic backdrop that may not be picked up at all.  She's got three novels and a volume of short stories, along with letters published posthumously.  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/browse_advanced.php?a=flannery+o%27connor&oby=ASC&l=10&s_type=b

My M-I-L likes the Mr Monk series.  She watches Monk on TV and I found some books for her here.  These are also available in Large Print.

Or try my mom's favorite book:  Christy by Catherine Marshall http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780800792909-Christy  It's listed here as a YA or Children's book, but I didn't read it until I was an adult.  It's great for all ages.  If you like Little House on the Prairie, you'll like this book.



Date Posted: 12/22/2007 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
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I just ordered her the first of the Monk books. She enjoys the TV series a lot.


Date Posted: 12/22/2007 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2006
Posts: 9,102
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She might like the Murder, She Wrote  and Diagnosis Murder series.

Date Posted: 12/24/2007 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 967
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My Antonia by Willa Cather. 

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Last Edited on: 12/24/07 1:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/26/2007 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 33
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I bought my daughter all of the Shadow Children series starting with Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix; neither one of us could put them down. Haddix' latest one called Uprising is OH so good, too. It's a Historical Fiction based on the New York sewing factory fire. Made my daughter cry, but she wants to reread it- she talked about it for a long time.

  Also, anything by Iain Lawrence is usually great.


Date Posted: 1/12/2008 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
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Lots of good ideas here. Have ordered some books for Mom and for me. I also got some good ideas from the "favorite cozy mysteries" topic. Thanks!!

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 159
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My grandmother read these same books that you mentioned. (I used to get books for her.) She also loved most of the Oprah's Book Club books, anything by Belva Plain or Anne Rivers Siddons. I have recently read some great books by Jodi Picoult that I believe my grandmother would have loved if she was still living. You may want to try some of these.

Subject: How about the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert or...
Date Posted: 1/15/2008 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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(even though they aren't mysteries) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  I read them to my children and plan to reread them just for me!  I also loved his space trilogy.  (Out of the Silent Planet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength)

Last Edited on: 1/15/08 9:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/15/2008 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 4,813
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I just started a cozy mystery- Getting Old can be Murder by Rita Lakin.  It is set in a Jewish retirement community in Ft. Lauderdale.  Fun book so far.

You also might want to try one of these cozy mysteries that take place during the late 1890's/early 1900.s  The Gaslight series by  Victoria Thompson.  They take place in NYC and feature a midwife and a police detective.  The second series is by Conrad Allan and the books take place on a cruise ship and feature a male and female detective.  Murder on the _________ (insert name of ship).  Both series are murder mysteries, not bloody or gory.  She might also enjoy the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen.  That series takes place in NYC during the early 1900's.  I'm happy to hear that she is still able to read at her "tender "  age.  HTH


Last Edited on: 1/15/08 11:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1