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.
International postmodern literature? Are you a masochist?
Have you read any of the Dresden Files books? Mystery series with a wizard private investigator.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
It’ll take you about 15 minutes, and you’ll enjoy all of them
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).
Some books I have gobbled like cake:
Top Dog, by Jerry Jay Carroll
Never After, by Dan Elconin
The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, by Jonathan Howard
The Ruins, by Scott Smith
A Simple Plan, by Scott Smith
Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill
Horns, by Joe Hill
The Once and Future King, by T.H. White
I hope you will find something to your taste!
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.
Stiff by Mary Roach. One of the only nonfiction books I’ve ever laughed out loud at.
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse. Especially the Mulliner stories or Jeeves and Wooster, but anything really.
Anything by Douglas Adams
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett … humorous story of the apocalypse
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!
Anything by Terry Pratchett.
If you just want some comedic mind-candy, try any of the MASH 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.
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.
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).
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.
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (and all sequels).
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?