Friday, October 17, 2008

I feel a book-buying binge coming on.

Anyone read anything good lately?

49 comments:

Kerry said...

The House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristin Cast.

I'm not really a vampire girl, but I was engrossed. Fun times.

mary beth bass said...

This came out a few years ago and I don't know if it's your thing, but I was obsessed with it and so was my then 19 year old daughter. It's called The Knife Man, and it's written by Wendy Moore. It's a biography of John Hunter, the father of modern surgery. The historical/surgical details are graphic and mesmerizing, but it's the way Wendy Moore captures John Hunter in the lifelong process of thinking that took my breath away. I loved it.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Re-reading Rebecca Miller's 'Private Lives of Pippa Lee' for Book Club. Brilliant - wish I'd written it. Obviously have not read the Booker winner (yet) Perhaps if we all have a binge we can stave off the doom and gloom in publishing? :)

Clair Dickson said...

Baby Shark books by Robert Fate. I just finished the third one and thoroughly enjoyed the butt-kicking woman and the exciting plotting.

brianfarrey said...

Manuscripts. I'm reading manuscripts. Piles and piles of manuscripts. That's all. Just manuscripts.

However, before entering Manuscript land, the last good book I read was THE HUNGER GAMES. YA might not be your thang but it really is well written.

Oh, and LUST by Geoff Ryman. That's a grown-up book. MOST excellent. Definitely on my top five for the year.

Jill Myles said...

I LOVED the HUNGER GAMES. It's a post-apocalyptic version of Survivor and it's really good. It will chew up your brain and spit it back out.

I also just finished reading BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS by Shannon Hale which I absolutely loved!! It was a fairy tale based in medieval Mongolia. So different! So good!

150 said...

Al Capone Does My Shirts--a YA novel set on Depression-era Alcatraz.

Moth said...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

JES said...

What sort of reading mood are you in?

Last summer, The Missus and I were in NYC, staying down in the NYU/Washington Sq. neighborhood for a few days while she was at a conference. Walked over to The Strand one day, looking for something I couldn't find anywhere else. Found a title, The Complete Roderick, by a John Sladek, which is actually two books in one cover.

On the front is a blurb from the Washington Post's Michael Dirda: "In a properly run universe John Sladek's Roderick would be regarded as a major American novel. Which it is." Why this blurb interested me: (1) It was from Dirda; and (2) the books are nominally science fiction.

Roderick is a robot, but (at least initially) more in the R2D2 mold than C3PO. (He's described as resembling a small tank, although as time goes by he acquires limbs and so on.) He "grows up" in the course of the first book, learning to talk from watching TV, abducted by gypsies for a while, getting kicked out of public school and being sent to Catholic school... And the humans tend not to believe he's really a robot, but a strange child of some kind. (While at the public school, he's identified as a "special-needs child": ha!)

Very well-written, off-beat (and funny!) SF.

I'm really enjoying it.

Leslie said...

A book I love to recommend is We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (a woman). It's chilling and dark, and so smart, about a mother who's son commits a Columbine-style murder. We know that upfront, so the suspense is in the relationship between the two, which is challenging and unsettling. I also like Shriver's more recent novel, The Post-Birthday World, which sounds gimmicky but isn't: we follow a woman through two different paths in her life, one as if she succumbed to a moment of infidelity, the other path as if she hadn't.

Anonymous said...

Rereading Beach Music and loving it more the second time.

Aerin said...

YA - The Hunger Games and Graceling by Kristin Cashore; The Preservationist by David Maine

beth said...

Way behind times, but I really enjoyed Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. It was a departure from the Chocolate world, and very cool.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little behind, but Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris was fantastic.

Kristina said...

The Ice Queen / Diary of a Seducer ... but that's the one I'm working on so perhaps it's not fair to mention it. What I'm reading is Georgette Heyer, the truly greatest Regency writer. Her Georgian-set "These Old Shades" has been reprinted, and in it she shows her best fencing technique. No one uses words more effectively. "Regency Buck" and "The Masqueraders" are two others I adore.

Anita said...

I have a part-time job, four kids ages 12 and under, and a pilot for a husband (which means he's gone A LOT). Still, I read about two novels per week---that's how much I love reading. So when I recommend "Horace" by George Sand to you, it's with credibility. Read it. You'll love it.

moonrat said...

Anita, how the heck do you manage it? I read one book a week, and that's because I work my @$$ off to squeeze it in.

A P Mullaly said...

I hope The House of Night was better than Ms. Cast's Goddess by Mistake (which I picked up by mistake). IMHO I thought Goddess was dreck, being neither a good fantasy (which I thought it was supposed to be) nor good romance (what it was supposed to be.

Julianne Douglas said...

I just finished Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill and loved it. It's a historical novel about a woman's capture in Africa, enslavement in America and eventual return to Africa and work with the abolitionists in London during the Revolutionary War period. Riveting, and very informative.

The Trouble With Roy said...

"Missy" by Chris Hannan.

"A Spot of Bother" by Mark Haddon, and his "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time" if you didn't ever read that.

Or anything by John Irving.

stellar19 said...

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Sasa Stanisic is an awesome translation of a German book...got pretty good reviews all around and did well overseas.

A Carnivore's Inquiry by Sabina Murray is what I'm currently reading...a little dark, but so well written.

(PS I'm such a Grove/Atlantic junkie)

Eileen said...

I quite liked The 19th Wife.

JohnO said...

I just started "The Indian Clerk" by David Leavitt. I remember reading the review and then sort of forgot about it ... then saw it on the NYT 100 notables list.

I'm about 50 pages in, and it's such fun to be in the hands of someone who's such a good writer. Thus far, thumbs way up!!

Kay said...

Out Stealing Horses by Norwegian Per Petterson. Beautiful writing, plot surprises, role of memory in age after choosing to live alone with a dog in a rural, snowed-in cabin. Super good read!

Chris said...

PASTORALIA
by George Saunders


you. must. read. now.

Mary said...

AWAY by Amy Bloom. It starts out ordinary (in my opinion) and quickly moves into extraordinary. Layers upon layers of story. The last paragraph is one of the best ever.

And a second vote for Lionel Shriver and Kevin!

ChrisEldin said...

I'm reading "A Wrinkle in Time" for the first time.

ChrisEldin said...

re 150: I read "Al Capone Does My Shirts" last year--LOVED it!!!

writtenwyrdd said...

I'd avoid House of Night, myself. Pretty awful after the first book.

the Dexter books are fabo, if you can handle a serial killer hero. It actually works, but it's a strange concept.

If you are up for a five book science fiction series, how about the Wess'har series by Karen Travis. Or, for a classic, Dune by Frank Herbert (and it's several sequals).

Ebony McKenna. said...

I recently enjoyed the Cat Royal series by Julia Golding, and I have DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little on the night stand because I'm keen to read that again.

moonrat said...

hmm, thanks for reminding me--i've wanted to read AWAY for a really really really long time. i kept forgetting to buy it.

moonrat said...

THE KNIFE MAN sounds really interesting--i love narrative nonfiction, but since it's all shelved in different categories in bookstores i find myself not buying as much as i buy fiction simply because it's more cumbersome to browse.

moonrat said...

Brian--I feel your pain. I do.

Di Francis said...

I had a binge today. Sent the order off. Now I wait . . .

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

I'm currently reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" (yes, this is the first time that I've read this wonderful book...I saw the movie many times)

Here's some I've read that stuck with me:

"The Legend of Colton H Bryant" by Alexandra Fuller

"The Poisonwood Bible" by barbard kingsolver

"The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold

"Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger

"Chasing Fireflies" by Charles Martin

"When Crickets Cry" by Charles Martin

James Klousia said...

I only just got around to reading "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini and loved it.

One book that I've read I don't know how many times is "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. It's sort of nonfiction and fantastic.

Jane Smith said...

Emma Darwin's The Mathematics of Love. A wonderful, haunting book that I stayed up after midnight to finish.

(By the way, with a name like that I bet you can guess who Emma's great grandfather was.)

Her new novel, A Secret Alchemy, is out soon, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Mrinal Bose said...

I read Donigan Merritt's 'Possessed by Shadows' recently. It's a wonderful novel, and I've enjoyed it hugely.

intact said...

"Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life" by John Sellers is fun.

Marian said...

Two books I liked enough to buy new...

How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. If this doesn't make you laugh out loud in the subway, nothing will.

Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. All about why we eat more than we think we're eating, complete with details of fascinating experiments, eg. the Soup Bowl Which Could Never Be Emptied.

Anonymous said...

The best book I've read in a long time is THE HIGHEST TIDE by Jim Lynch. I'm a fan of coming of age stories. This one's about a boy who discovers a rare sea creature on Pugent Sound. He references the environmentalist Rachel Carson a great deal which makes it even more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes (earlier posters) to We Need to Talk About Kevin, Out Stealing Horses, Indian Clerk, and Pastoralia. Also: Look at Me, by Jennifer Egan, and The Good Thief, by Hannah Tinti.

Anonymous said...

Here are the best books I read during each of the past five years:

2004: My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

2005: Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant

2006: I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal

2007: Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet

2008 (so far): The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati

---Anonymous, by way of Goodness Gracious

moonrat said...

To date: there have been 4 Amazon casualties because of this list.

I'm not going to list what I've bought thus far (sigh).

Anon via GG--I like what you have done there. Perhaps I, list afficionado, should compile a "book of the year" list!!

What would the rules be, though? Should it be my favorite book I read that year, or my favorite book that was published that year? Hmm.

Lisa said...

I just read Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's newest, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, and thought it was lovely -- such affection for the characters, especially the 7th-graders, who are not necessarily an easy bunch to like let alone love. Also because there are so many novels of grown-up hippies and so few about grown-up punks, and I always warm to that.

Other good reads recently: William Maxwell's So Long, See You Tomorrow, which was a total jewel of a book; Tobias Wolff's Old School, a bit self-indulgent but also a very kind book; and I drank the Kool-aid and read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle -- definitely flawed (how can a book be that long and not be flawed?) but I was completely seduced by the characters, especially the dogs. I love dogs.

I have a four-foot stack of books on my kitchen table just waiting for me, but I think up next is Nabokov's Speak, Memory, which I oddly enough have never read.

Anonymous said...

"Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned" by Walter Mosley

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