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Old 05-05-2010, 02:07 PM
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Recommend me a fun, easy, light read-- quick!


I just finished a university course in international postmodern literature with a very intense reading schedule (500+ pages per week of some of the most dense and inaccessible stuff I've ever read.) I'm dying to get back to reading for pleasure.

It can be fiction or non-fiction, graphic or pure text (though if it's graphic, I've probably read it, but shoot anyway.)

I don't really want to put any restrictions on it other than fun/exciting and light/fast, because I have very broad taste.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:17 PM
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This is Where I Leave You

Soon I Will Be Invincible

Beat The Reaper
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:20 PM
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International postmodern literature? Are you a masochist?


Have you read any of the Dresden Files books? Mystery series with a wizard private investigator.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:21 PM
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull

It'll take you about 15 minutes, and you'll enjoy all of them
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:25 PM
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Anything by David Sedaris. Quick, quirky, cute.

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

"All Creatures Great and Small" by James Herriot (oldie but goodie, and each chapter reads like a little story within a story).
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:22 PM
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Tom Bodett, The End of the Road, and its sequel, whose title I can neither recall at the moment nor be arsed to look up. Short stories about quirky characters in a quirky Alaskan town. Lots of humor and heart.

Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes. If you liked the movie, you'll love the book.

Last edited by Scarlett67; 05-05-2010 at 03:25 PM. Reason: comma
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:27 PM
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Stiff by Mary Roach. One of the only nonfiction books I've ever laughed out loud at.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:30 PM
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Anything by P.G. Wodehouse. Especially the Mulliner stories or Jeeves and Wooster, but anything really.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:48 PM
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Anything by Douglas Adams
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:36 PM
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Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett ... humorous story of the apocalypse
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:03 PM
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Sorry, I remembered this was the SDMB and meant to add (but missed the edit window) that I've read Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett (and most of Neil Gaiman, for that matter .)

Thanks for all the recommendations so far, though!
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:24 PM
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Anything by Terry Pratchett.
  #14  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:35 PM
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If you just want some comedic mind-candy, try any of the M*A*S*H Goes to (place name here) books described here.

Scroll down a bit to see them. Most of the original characters are included...Hawkeye, Trapper, Hotlips, Radar, Henry, Spearchucker, and Frank with some great new characters added (most with some tie to the 4077th). Funny stuff. Lots of drunken debauchery, but nothing graphic. Very much not PC.

Last edited by Oakminster; 05-05-2010 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:42 PM
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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly The editor in chief of Elle france was struck down with Locked_in Syndrome. Completely paralyzed he was only able to move his left eye lid, using that and an alphabet list he could write a word every five minutes. You can believe that a guy who put that much effort into his words chose them carefully. The book is sometimes funny sometimes poetic, sometimes sad, but it's a quick read and worthwhile.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:47 PM
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Fun, light, easy, entertaining?

Try Bill Bryson (especially A Walk in the Woods), Carl Hiaasen (I can vouch for Basket Case), John Mortimer's Rumpole books, and maybe Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books (more gentle than exciting, but they are light, easy, fun). And I second Wodehouse.

Or you could always go for adult-accessible children's fiction (e.g. Harry Potter).
  #17  
Old 05-05-2010, 07:59 PM
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Budding Prospects T.C. Boyle
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:04 PM
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I'll second the Jeeves and Wooster stories by Wodehouse.

I enjoy old hardboiled crime fiction. The Big Sleep by Chandler is a usual recommendation, but Farewell My Lovely is quite good as well. I remember finding Jim Thompson almost impossible to put down. The Grifters is usually the easiest to find.
  #19  
Old 05-05-2010, 09:35 PM
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The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (and all sequels).
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:27 PM
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Oh, blast it all to heavens, I had the perfect response to this, what? And the nub of the matter is, I've forgotten the identity of that jolly entertaining set of tomes... Oh, don't 'Tomes, sir?' me, I know for certain that is the word I intended to use... the mot juste as many in France might be heard to say. Yes, tomes, indeed. Hmmm... no, refrain from even disturbing the ether with your thoughts while I cogitate, as cogitating is one of the many things I have been known to do quite brilliantly in a pinch, on the fly, by the seat of the old trousers. Cogitating by trousers and in trousers... ah, hah! Woodhen! P.G. ... Woodhen? Well, as close to Woodhen as one might want to go without the name actually being Woodhen. 'House', you say? Piffle--who would be christened with the moniker House? And what did I say about disturbing the forementioned ether?
  #21  
Old 05-05-2010, 11:46 PM
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I'll second Soon I Will Be Invincible and the works of Bill Bryson. Excellent books and exactly the sort of thing you're looking for.

I'll add The Flashman Papers (any of them), anything by Jeremy Clarkson (try The World According To Clarkson to get you started), The Red Dwarf books (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Better Than Life, Backwards, and Last Human), and finally H. Beam Piper's The Complete Paratime.
  #22  
Old 05-06-2010, 12:13 AM
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Banvard's Folly: Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World by Paul Collins
Conquistador or The Peshawar Lancers by S. M. Stirling
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
The Harvest by Robert Charles Wilson
Kahawa by Donald Westlake
Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore that Shaped Modern America by Martin Smith and Patrick Kiger
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Prisoner's Dilemma by William Poundstone
The Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser
Resurrection Day by Brendan DuBois
Scams, Scandals, and Skulduggery; Cheats, Charlatans, and Chicanery; and Fakes, Frauds, and Flimflammery all by Andreas Schroeder
Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-06-2010 at 12:18 AM.
  #23  
Old 05-06-2010, 08:06 AM
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Any of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels



Any of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries



Robert Heinlein's Juvenile novels



any Frederrick Forsyth thriller, especially the earlier ones like Day of the Jackal

Last edited by CalMeacham; 05-06-2010 at 08:06 AM.
  #24  
Old 05-06-2010, 10:08 PM
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any Frederrick Forsyth thriller, especially the earlier ones like Day of the Jackal
As fond as I am of Mr. Forsyth's work, I don't think any of it qualifies as "light" or even "fun". They're ripping yarns and great stories, but possibly not what the OP is looking for IMHO.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:48 AM
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Fun? Light? Quick? -
Hitchiker's Guide (Most anything by Douglas Adams)

For stupid PUNishment, Piers Anthony, anything in the Xanth series.

Also by Piers, enjoyable, but different, the Incarnations of Immortality series.
  #26  
Old 05-07-2010, 07:32 AM
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As fond as I am of Mr. Forsyth's work, I don't think any of it qualifies as "light" or even "fun". They're ripping yarns and great stories, but possibly not what the OP is looking for IMHO.
Light can mean any book which is readily accessible and not intellectually deep - a Stephen King novel, for example, can be considered light reading even if its subject if horror.
  #27  
Old 05-07-2010, 07:38 AM
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As fond as I am of Mr. Forsyth's work, I don't think any of it qualifies as "light" or even "fun".
Our definitions diverge. I find Forsyths's work easy to pick up and read and get involved in.
  #28  
Old 05-07-2010, 07:43 AM
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Light can mean any book which is readily accessible and not intellectually deep - a Stephen King novel, for example, can be considered light reading even if its subject if horror.
Personally I wouldn't call Stephen King "light" reading either, so it's probably best to just agree to disagree on the subject, I think.
  #29  
Old 05-07-2010, 08:03 AM
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I came into recommend this, too, so I guess I will third it. Fun.

I recommend Top 10 by Alan Moore, Gene Ha, and Xander Cannon (who used to be a regular Doper). It's basically Hill St. Blues set in a world where pretty much everyone has a super-power of some sort. Moore was a huge fan of HSB - where everyday drudgery of work was punctuated by character's personal dramas, relationships and explosive moments of police action. It's not always light - but it is very easy to read and extremely satisfying. I would easily rank it with Watchmen, V, Miracle/Marvelman, etc., for what it is trying to do...
  #30  
Old 05-07-2010, 08:09 AM
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How about my namesake Icerigger by Alan Dean Foster, a very light SF adventure story.
  #31  
Old 05-07-2010, 09:08 AM
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Tanya Huff's Keeper's Chronicles series. Summon the Keeper is first. Very funny.
  #32  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:00 AM
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Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. Just a real fun read.
  #33  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:00 AM
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Bob Harris' "Prisoner of Trebekistan" might fit what you're looking for. Autobiographical story of, as stated on the cover, "one of Jeopardy!'s biggest winners... and losers." You don't have to be a Jeopardy! fan to enjoy it, although it helps. Lots of personal stuff mixed in with the game show stuff. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll !

ETA: Forgot to mention that I tore through this book in a weekend, which is very unusual for me.

Last edited by Shoeless; 05-07-2010 at 10:01 AM.
  #34  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:05 AM
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I also really liked his book Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up, A Woefully Incomplete Guide, but I don’t know if I’d call it light.
  #35  
Old 05-07-2010, 05:38 PM
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How about Dave Barry's Big Trouble
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:52 PM
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Anything by Lewis Grizzard, a Great American, except My Daddy Was a Pistol and I'm a Son of a Gun.

Last edited by Oakminster; 05-07-2010 at 05:53 PM.
  #37  
Old 05-07-2010, 07:44 PM
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  #38  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:10 PM
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Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore.
  #39  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:25 PM
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Anything by Christopher Moore
There I fixed that for you.
  #40  
Old 05-08-2010, 12:55 AM
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The Grasshopper Trap by Patrick McManus. Just silly fun!
  #41  
Old 05-08-2010, 01:04 AM
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Tanya Huff's Keeper's Chronicles series. Summon the Keeper is first. Very funny.
Der Trihs stole mine. She also has a vampire series called the Blood Books. Much better than Twilight.
  #42  
Old 05-08-2010, 07:59 AM
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Anything by Christopher Moore
There I fixed that for you.
True enough, but at least one of his books (The Stupidest Angel) has references to at least two of his previous books, which could get confusing. Actually, just reading Moore's books can be confusing at times. I've thought about changing my username to Raziel, or perhaps Roberto. Too obscure?
  #43  
Old 05-08-2010, 05:49 PM
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True enough, but at least one of his books (The Stupidest Angel) has references to at least two of his previous books, which could get confusing


Naaah -- that's the first book of his I read, without knowing anything about his previous works, and it didn't give me any problems.



Actually, many of his works reference characters or events in the others. Lamb mentions the demon from Practical Demonkeeping, A Dirty Job mentions characters from his vampire trilogy. Apparently the only book that doesn't do this is Fool.
  #44  
Old 05-08-2010, 06:29 PM
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Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. A rip-roaring steampunk adventure...with zombies!
  #45  
Old 05-08-2010, 08:01 PM
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How about this leaflet, Famous Jewish Sports Legends?
  #46  
Old 05-09-2010, 12:02 AM
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Definitely agree on anything by christopher moore and incarnations of immortality by piers anthony... And anything by pratchett...actually there have been lots of great suggestions so far- but I wanted to mention JD robb's series "death in..." Its really nora roberts, futuristic mysteries. Entertaining stuff!
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