Touch of Green

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Beyond the kissing and the pinching and the drinking that usually defines this holiday is my favorite part of the day – the wearing of green (it’s my favorite color!). So, in honor of today’s special color, here are a few good books to read – all with “green” in the title. I’m not so sure carrying one of these around will save you from getting pinched – though you can try…

(Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus; starred entries are recommended.)

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FICTION:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

  • Anne, a mischievous, red-haired, eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

  • A meditative novel of a young boy on the cusp of adulthood follows a single year in the life of thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor as he grows up in what is for him the sleepiest village in Worcestershire, England, in 1982.

Deep Green Sea by Robert Olen Butler

  • Traces the romance between a Vietnamese woman whose family is killed in the war and an American veteran returning to Vietnam to make peace with the past.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg*

  • Mrs. Threadgoode’s tale of two high-spirited women of the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, helps Evelyn, a 1980s woman in a sad slump of middle age, to begin to rejuvenate her own life.

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

  • A great human drama is played out from a Blackfoot reservation to Hollywood while the mythical trickster, Coyote, watches from the sidelines, playfully manipulating events.

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by W. H. Hudson

  • Seeking refuge in the jungles of Venezuela following a failed revolutionary coup, Abel, a young European, falls in love with Rima, a lovely and mysterious girl of the jungle, and the two travel through dense South American jungles and arid grasslands to Rima’s distant homeland.

The Green Mile by Stephen King*

  • The story of a convicted killer on death row and one of the prison guards assigned there.

Green Rider by Kristen Britain

  • After an unexpected confrontation with a dying knight, Karigan G’ladheon becomes the unlikely bearer of a vital message to the king, on a mission during which she faces assassins and other deadly dangers in a world of complex magic.

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

  • The youngest son of a Welsh coal-mining family recalls the tender and tragic experiences of his youth at the turn of the century with his courageous and loving parents and brothers and sisters.

Hunter’s Green by Phyllis A. Whitney

  • After three years of separation, a woman returns to her husband and to a suspenseful game of fear.

Legend in Green Velvet by Elizabeth Peters

  • Susan, a young American archaeology student in Edinburgh, finds herself fleeing from mysterious pursuers and links her fortunes with those of a young Scottish laird who is being threatened by the same unidentified figures.

Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley

  • The privileged life of John Oliver Banion, a stuffy Washington political commentator, is thrown into upheaval when he is abducted by aliens during a golf outing at his exclusive country club and embarks on a holy crusade, at the behest of the aliens.

Many a Green Isle by Agnes Sligh Turnbull

  • A quiet, middle-aged English professor becomes involved in events which threaten his marriage and his career.

Miracle on the 17th Green by James Patterson

  • While playing a round of golf on Christmas, Travis McKinley experiences a Zen-like vision that transforms him into a professional player, pits him against his favorite champions, and eventually saves his troubled marriage.

On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks

  • In 1960, Mary van der Linden, a loyal wife and mother approaching forty, moves with her family from London to Washington, D.C., where she escapes her narrow world for the larger issues of politics and the Cold War with the help of Frank, a New York journalist.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight*

  • This Middle English tale depicts the Green Knight, a mysterious and powerful creature, who offers a fateful and deadly challenge that tests the honor and courage of Gawain, King Arthur’s youngest knight.

Thrush Green by Miss Read

  • First in a series of novels about village life in the English countryside and the daily adventures of a host of eccentric, affectionate characters.

The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by Joshua Braff

  • A young Jewish boy growing up in 1970s suburban New Jersey struggles to deal with his fear of disappointing and yearning to escape the demands and expectations of his tyrannical and narcissistic father.

~~~

NONFICTION:

The Green Dark: Poems by Marie Ponsot

  • A selection of original poems, as well as selections from four previous works, that span the full nature of human experience and age and explore the passage of time in human life.

Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway

  • A 1930s African jungle safari as recorded in the journal of Ernest Hemingway describes the glory of the landscape while bringing to life the story of a land under threat of human incursion.

The Green Road Home: A Caddie’s Journal of Life on the Pro Golf Tour by Michael Bamberger

  • A twentieth-anniversary edition of the Sports Illustrated writer’s first book documents his season as a PGA Tour caddie, during which he assisted such players as Al Geiberger, George Archer, and Steve Elkington in tournaments ranging from the Byron Nelson Classic to the British Open.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran*

  • Presents a revealing look at life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq, criticizing the follies and foibles of L. Paul Bremer in the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan by Eric Biehm

  • The author exposes the realities of unconventional warfare and nation-building in Afghanistan in this chronicle of one of the most important military mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror.

Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties by Robert Stone

  • A memoir of America’s most turbulent, whimsical decade. From the New York City of Kline and De Kooning to the jazz era of New Orleans’s French Quarter to Ken Kesey’s psychedelic California, Prime Green explores the 1960s in all its weird, innocent, fascinating glory.

And of course, how could we go through the day without a nod to the most classic of “green” books,

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess*

  • Illustrates the principle that things are not always what they might appear to be.

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