"Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky: The wife of one of my boyfriend's colleagues read this in her book club and said she was surprised by how much she liked it. (I trust her because she is German and artsy.) It was written in the early 1940s, but the manuscript went unread for 60 years. Could be another interesting tale written of a time, in that time. Another good sign: On the novel's Amazon page, "Water for Elephants" is listed under "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought"!
"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith: A friend in Dallas recommends this, the first in a series. The Amazon review says:
If Miss Marple were fat and jolly and lived in Botswana--and decided to go against any conventional notion of what an unmarried woman should do, spending the money she got from selling her late father's cattle to set up a Ladies' Detective Agency--then you have an idea of how Precious sets herself up as her country's first female detective.
Apparently this was also a "Today" show book club pick. And it's being made into an HBO series. A two-hour pilot was directed by Oscar winner Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") and stars Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose.
And an entertainment-news blog I read, Buzz Sugar, picked Richard Yates's "Revolutionary Road" for its book-club-via-blog this month. (They assign chapters to read by each Friday, eek!) It's about a couple in the Connecticut suburbs in the 1950s. You may have heard of the movie it's based on, starring Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, together again for the first time since "Titanic"! Slated to be released in December.
So what books have you heard good things about recently?