Find me a good book

I’m on nights this week, and usually order a book from Amazon so that I have something to read in the on-call room, and on my days off.

I can’t think of anything I want to read while I wait for HP7.
Help me find a good one. Preferably a new(ish) book.

Most recent reading which I have enjoyed over the last couple of months:

Bit of a Blur- Alex James
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson
Neverwhere/Anansi Boys/American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak
The Book of Lost Things- John Connolly
The Canterbury tales- Geoffrey Chaucer
Rashomon and 17 other stories - Ryunosuke Akutagawa
My Name Is Red- Orhan Pamuk
I dislike romance and chick-Lit, anything involving spies or ex SAS officers and historical fiction (My Name is Red is just too well written to count as hisotrical fiction), otherwise I am quite catholic in my tastes.

Apart from Pratchett, I tend to avoid bestsellers.

Work away.

The Quincunx by Charles Palliser

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Firelord by Parke Godwin. Like My Name is Red, it’s too well-written to be considered historical fiction.

There you are. Three magnificent books that few have ever heard of. Go, and ask your silly questions no more.

The Chronicle of Battle Abbey - by a bunch of monks who were trying to avoid paying taxes. A gripping primary historical source created by the monks of Battle Abbey who hoped to lean on their supposed connection to William the Conqueror to avoid ever having to cough up loot to a lord or king. Read it in university. Thought it was a blast. I see that it’s a pricey tome at

The Weekend Man or Clara Callan - by Richard B. Wright

If you enjoyed those Gaiman books, try Good Omens, which he co-authored with Terry Pratchett. Marvelous stuff.

Don’t let its bestseller status dissuade you from reading The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig. Independent bookstores all over the U.S. voted it one of the top picks for last year.

Ditto Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea. The writing is okay, but the (true) story it tells is worth reading.

And on a completely different note, I recently reread The Odyssey by Homer. I’d forgotten how good it is, and it reminded me

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” - Richard Feynman.
Even if you have no idea who he was (about as famous as physicists get without being named ‘Einstein’) his anecdotes are hilarious and fascinating.

A History of Pi - Petr Beckmann.
A book about the history of our understanding of pi that’s really a history of intellectual freedom, mainly (but not exclusively) in the Western world. If you like nonfiction historical narrative and cranky, opinionated narrators, this is a book for you.

Down and Out in Paris and London - George Orwell
A wonderful look at Depression-era Paris and London through the eyes of someone at the lowest rung of society.

Uncle Tungsten - Oliver Sacks
Sacks can make stories interesting even when he doesn’t have case histories to flip through. This is autobiographical, but his life story is a framing device for fascinating excursions into chemistry and history.

I’ve read both Good Omens and D&O I P&L and enjoyed them. Will look into the others. Thanks, good job so far.

Also meant for younger readers, but my daughter and I both loved the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. Harry Potterish, but the wizards are not the good guys.

I also read To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis on the recent recommendation of some Dopers and I really enjoyed that, too.

It’s older but An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears is a fascinating Rashomon like story of a murder, told by several different people. Part of the stories involve real people from history.

I’m midway through the second book right now and enjoying myself very much. I took the recommendation from the board, so if you’ve brought it up in the last month or two, thanks!