Another Thrilling Installment of -- So, What Are You Reading?

Once again, I am without decent reading material. I have come to trust the discerning taste of the Dopers to suggest possible reads by sharing what they (you) are currently reading, and whether they (you) are enjoying it and would recommend it.

I’d start, but I’m really not reading anything now, because the last three of four things I’ve picked up have all been uninspiring (and unentertaining) crap. So help me out here.

Well, it isn’t exactly High Art, but I picked up Laurell Hamilton’s “Narcissus in Chains” at the library, and liked it so much that I went back to the library today to get everything else they had by her (it isn’t a big library, so that amounted to three books, but still).

Coming Soon!!! by John Barth

The man is a genius. He’s often characterized as being overacademic, but I just love his writing. This is (as may be typical for a Barth plot) the story of the novel/play/multimedia presentation Coming Soon!!!. As usual, the story is about the story and the wordplay and connections he draws is breathtaking.

I’ve decided that Barth is my favorite writer (for now).:wink:

I’m alternating between Hugh Laurie’s The Gun Seller and rereading the Simarillion.
The first because I’m going into training as a Foreign Service Officer, the second to nitpick people who’re debating if the Two Towers will be as cool as LOTR: FOTR.

I am currently reading several very good books (English major and all)…

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, very wonderful. I have just started but it is already quite good and I am looking forward to reading it all this weekend. It’s the story of this ascete’s quest for spiritual meaning; he follows Buddha, but he wants to be true to himself. Very typically Eastern European (that’s the class I’m taking) and spare, but delicious so far.

Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams - technically a short play, but really super good, dramatic and entertaining, eerie and disconcerting. And if you read the play, you have to see the 1958 movie version with the great Kate Hepburn as Violet Venable, plus Elizabeth Taylor and a quite sexy Montgomery Clift. It has all the juicy Tennessee stuff - homosexuality, possible incest, cannibalism, and full-frontal lobotomies! Good stuff!

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich - extremely engrossing and amazingly written. I adore this book, and if you take up any of my suggestions, take up this one. It involves a lot of interwoven story lines, but there are some parts that are so beautiful I just read them over and over again. It deals with recent Native American history and a bit with reservation life, but mostly it’s about love and family. Very engrossing plot.

Body & Soul by Frank Conroy, my preferred bed-time reading. I’ve read it many times, but it appeals to me. It’s about this kid Claude growing up poor in NYC after the war, and his discovery of music and how it affects his life. Very lyrical and lush, sometimes overly melodramatic but I really love its themes and layers of language and meaning. Very evocative, and a lot of the stuff about old New York is lovely.

Finally, I just finished While I Was Gone by Sue Miller. (Yes, it is an Oprah Book Club book. Anyone who wants to get pissy, snobby, or self-important about that fact should look up “Oprah” in the Pit. I don’t want to go there again.) It’s a very engrossing novel with a really good murder bit and some cool plot twists, although personally I saw it coming. It drags a little toward the end, but there is great stuff about the late-60s and the themes dealing with forgiveness, elusiveness, and the effect of keeping secrets from people you love are handled well. I found it a very entertaining, quick read. The language was also quite evocative and it definitely struck a few chords with me, made me think about new things.

Hope that helps!

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Before that, it was The Birth Book by Dr. William Sears.

Sheesh, you’d think I was pregnant, or something. :wink:


Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams

Bounced Czech by “Continental Flair.” An absolutely riveting read riddled with typos, so it’s enjoyable on many, many levels.

A Deepness In The Sky by Vernor Vinge. Excellent SF. Recently finished Beach Music by Pat Conroy(Prince of Tides ) Good+, and Hart’s War by John Katzenback, an excellent WW2 POW story.

My modem connection with this website is terrible, so I read while waiting for pages to load. So I’m literally reading Sophomore Slumps by Christopher Golden at the moment.

In a broader sense I’ve been reading and re-reading a lot of WWII history lately. Today it’s been Capturing the Enigma by David Kahn.

I am reading Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King and the latest Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine.

As an aside, I absolutely love the title of King’s new book.

I’m about to finish The Soprano Singer by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Not brilliant, but an acceptably distracting read for the train journey to work…


Just finished Jemima J by Jane Green , and now I’m reading Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl. Soon to be followed by Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. Then I go back to the library for something else.

I’m thirteen pages into Miss Wyoming by Douglas Coupland. Coupland is best known for his breakthrough novel Generation X. He is one author whose books I always read, with the exception of Microserfs.

I am reading The Embarrassment of Riches by Simon Schama, about baroque Holland, vast wealth, and a kind of curious asceticism. Very good read.

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett.

J.A.S. Grenville’s A WORLD HISTORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY, Volume One: Western Dominance.

I found the first volume only at a used bookshop earlier this week, and it only covers 1900-1945, so don’t spoil it for me by telling me how it comes out.

And I’m dipping in and out of the 1954 Modern Library edition of AN ANTHOLOGY OF IRISH LITERATURE, edited by David Greene. The section of Early Lyrics, translated from the Gaelic.

Adventures in Higher Quadratic Equations

or was that Midnight Passions?

I forget…:smiley:

Just picked up “Bias” by Bernard Goldberg

“A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News”

Right now, I’m reading The Keys of Egypt, an account of how Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs.