Whatcha Readin' June 2011 Edition

The unofficial start of Summer is here. It is already too hot and muggy where I am! But to those of you who love Summer, happy Summer!

Finished Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 1). This started as a bad urban fantasy, and I was expecting to either put it down or at the very least not read the rest of the series. It took a turn for the better about 1/3 of the way through and while I can’t say it brings much new the genre, I will probably read the rest of the series.

Link to May thread.

I just finished The Algebraist by Iain M Banks and have now started The official DSA Theory Test for car drivers - my partner has decided I finally have to get my drivers license so until I past my written test I won’t be reading anything else

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession which I found remaindered for $5 and it is perfect bedtime reading.

The first user review at the link will tell you all you need to know.

About 4/5 of the way through To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. It’s very good.

I gave this up after a few more stories. None of them were well-done, and the subject matter was just bringing me down.

Next up, Guys Read: Funny Business, short stories by some well-known authors. This is the first of a series aimed at young men to foster more interest in reading. My fourteen year old son liked it and said he would look for more.

Wizard of Lies, Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, is excellent and not too technical so far. The guy cheated so many people and for so long. It makes you want to cash out of every financial instrument you own in favor of gold, canned goods and a shotgun.

I just finished Larry Niven’s Inferno. It was pretty interesting, and a very quick read. I’m starting the sequel today.

I’ve been blazing through the Tess Monaghan books by Laura Lippman, partially because I wanted to reread them and partially because they are available from the library without my ever having to get off my butt. I love ebooks. :smiley:

Separate Lifetimes by Irving Townsend. A collection of short stories about the animals he lived with.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl - Timothy Egan

I just finished e by Matt Beaumont, a book done entirely in the form of E-mails from and to denizens of a London ad agency. A strange and delightful book, the style being totally foreign to aging technophobe me.

Serendipitously, I’m reading (subtitle: New year. New ads. Same sh*t). Some very funny sections, but the voices seem less distinctive to me than they did in e and the humor a bit predictable and brittle. It’s kind of like one very clever smartass emailing himself from 20 different sock accounts. Still, it’s pretty entertaining and a pleasant relief after Before My Helpless Sight: Suffering, Dying and Military Medicine on the Western Front, 1914-1918, which is officially the most depressing book I’ve ever read.

I just finished this and found it fascinating. I had no prior interest in or deep knowledge of the dust bowl prior to reading this, so I was surprised at how the narrative drew me in.

Beginning on a short story collection by Peter S. Beagle called Sleight of Hand.

Almost finished with The Picture of Dorian Grey. A bit darker than I was expecting, what with all the death. But the language is fantastic - the accumulation of images really gives the book a deep and haunting presence. There was one passage, detailing gemstones and fabrics, that was so very vivid I could almost run my hands through it.


Finished To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Very good. One of those books that’s constantly being referenced. Seems like one is never far from a bar or even cocktail named Tequila Mockingbird.

Next up: The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder.

I’m halfway through *Swan Song * by Robert McCammon. It’s a long read but goes by pretty quickly. For a book written with a plot that was very time specific, it doesn’t feel dated.

Next up, *By George * by Wesley Stace.

I’m still working my way through a classic SF binge. I’m currently rereading Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke and Worlds by Joe Haldeman. I also read a bunch of David Brin short stories.

I’m in the middle of The Psychopath Test by Joe Ronson. It’s full title is The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. It’s interesting so far. One case involves a guy who was arrested for GBH and to avoid about 7 years in prison, he claimed to be insane thinking they would send him to a cushy mental hospital. Instead they sent him to Broadmoor! He has admitted that he lied and is actually sane but the doctors don’t believe him. The Scientologists have taken up his case. Apparently they hate psychiatrists (I did not know that) and to them this guy’s case is another example of shrinks playing God.

Yep, I’m about 75% through it now, it’s really a great book. Seriously great, as in I recommend it to anyone who likes non-fiction. As you say, you don’t need to be particularly interested in the dust bowl to find this book fascinating.