Whatcha Readin' May 2012 Edition

Happy May everyone. If you celebrate cinco de mayo, enjoy but be safe!

I’ve started the last of the Heir of Novron (Riyria Revelations)
and so far I’m really enjoying it. It is more traditional fantasy (as opposed to the urban fantasy that I usually read) - and better than the mind candy that I usually read.

Linkto old thread.

i have a new author I’m loving - Gregg Sapp - I just finished “Dollarapalooza - or The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus” and am starting it again. It’s WONDERFUL! I seriously was sad when I finished it the first time and just renewed it from the library to read it again.

I’m reading Christopher Moore’s new book, Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art and am enjoying it greatly. I plan to start reading Tim Powers’ Hide Me Among the Graves this month as well.

I’m also considering reading China Miéville’s Embassytown or re-reading Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny for the Goodreads Beyond Reality group. (I honestly remember nothing about the Zelazny book other than having read it many decades ago. Something about a house?)

I just finished Almost President. Very interesting and frequently timely.

I’ve never even peeked in one of these threads. But about 5 months ago I started reading for the first time since high school…anyways.

I’m in the middle of Around The World in 80 days. Jules uses far too many words. It’s taking me a while to get through this. I actually find myself saying “Yeah, I got it” and skipping the ends of entire paragraphs.

I just started Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane, and it’s fantastic. I picked it up because Mary Roach mentioned in her book Packing for Mars, that if you’re going to read just one astronaut memoir, make it Mike Mullane’s. And here I am.

I am ashamed to say I’m still on the book I started a month ago, The Cider House Rules, by John Irving. I read some on the plane to the US, then we were so much on the go every single day that I did not pick it up again until the return flight this past weekend. And I may be especially busy these next few days getting things in order on our return. It’s actually very good, but I’m only about a third of the way through it.

Since the library started offering books on Kindle, I’ve been reading more than ever. I always knew I was lazy, but I’d underestimated how much my unwillingness to get out of my pajamas and to the library on weekends was limiting my reading!

I recently finished Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward and The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and enjoyed both of them greatly. I’m starting Sunrise With Sea Monster by Neil Jordan now, but I haven’t gotten far enough in to have much of an opinion yet.

I just finished that - I bought it after reading the Mary Roach book, too. It was a really good read, very candid. Mullane flew on three shuttle missions, one before the Challenger disaster and two afterwards. He comes off as a little too proud that he used to be a sexist pig, but the book is enjoyable. Lots of details about the stress of spending hours strapped in at the launch pad only to have the mission scrubbed. Lots of details about going to the bathroom in space.

A Thousand Plateus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

The Grasshopper by Bernard Suits

The Intentional Stance by Daniel Denett

The Deleuze is heavy going. I’m managing about a page a day.

Kind of an odd pairing at the moment…

The poisoner’s handbook : murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum… it’s really interesting, I hate having to put it down.

The American way of eating : undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, farm fields and the dinner table by Tracie McMillan – I haven’t gotten as far into this one.

Heh. I read that as “Riding Rocks” and didn’t really get why that would apply to an astronaut. “Rockets” makes much more sense.

I’m still stuck on Weir’s Henry VIII: The King and His Court. It’s good, but I find myself skipping large swaths of it as I just can’t be bothered to care about who’s spending what at which residence now. The reviewers are correct in that there’s a lot of detail about Tudor court life, not so much about Henry or his wives themselves. (To be fair, that detail is in other books, so there is that.) I agree that Margaret George’s book An Autobiography of Henry VIII is a better biography. It’s been ages since I read it, so I’ll have to pick it up again.

Yes, it’s fun, isn’t it? More so if you’re a fan of A Confederacy of Dunces.
I’m starting Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye, in which Jack meets up with Sherlock Holmes. I loved Faye’s Gods of Gotham, and this is her debut.

I have now read about 80% of the book, and it is amazing. If you have even the least bit of interest in the subject matter, I highly recommend you read this book. As I said earlier, I’ve read a lot of books about disasters, and this one is right up at the top of the list in every way.

I’m not saying that because it’s (for me) a local story. It’s about people, and how a disaster can bring out the absolute best in people, and in that sense it’s universal. It’s also harrowing in its descriptions of what the survivors went through, and in tracing the fates of some who didn’t survive. Really an amazing book, in every way. I don’t give rave reviews very often; when I do, they’re earned. This book earned a rave.

I’m about a fifth of the way through Frank Herbert’s The White Plague, a 1982 novel about a terrorist attack that unleashes a custom-made plague which only kills women. It’s an OK book but not wonderful. Certainly not as good as Dune.

I also picked up Mimi Alford’s Once Upon A Secret, a new memoir by a woman who claims she had an affair with JFK which started when she was a 19-year-old White House intern. Too soon to say how good the book is yet.

I also picked up Riding Rockets after reading/listening to Packing for Mars and really, really enjoyed it. I’d like to buy him a drink & just listen to his stories.

Am (hopefully) wrapping up the Maze Runner series with The Death Cure … more out of stubbornness than anything else. While Dashner has some interesting things going on in his post-apocalyptic world, the story arc is unclear, I never really got into the characters, and the pseudo-swears (“klunk” for “shit”? Really?) are a bit grating.

I’m also not quite sure what to think about Julianna Baggott’s Pure - I’m having a hard time getting beyond having objects/animals/other people permanently grafted on to the survivors of the apocalypse. That said, the characters are relatively engaging and the plot is serviceable. I’ll probably finish the book, but not sure if I’ll continue the series.

On the other hand, I’m still really enjoying the Bloody Jack series: am in the middle of In the Belly of the Bloodhound
For once, Jacky’s disastrous situation is not of her making, and she must take on the leadership role again - this time of the Lawson Peabody girls - yes, including Clarissa!
Can I say once again that I think the narrator, Katharine Kellgren is awesome? :slight_smile:

I’m reading The Gods of Gotham, an excellent mystery novel set in 1845 New York City and based around the newly formed NYC police in an Irish ward of the city.

Its absolutely brilliant…I cannot recommend it enough.


Just so my other book readers are aware, Amazon is running a deal today (while supplies last) for a certified refurbished Kindle Fire with a 1 year warranty for $139. I decided to suck it up, take the plunge, and replace my Kindle 0 (I don’t even know… it was old!)

Disclaimer: I do not work for Amazon although I singlehandedly kept them in business back in '05.

I too found it interesting, though she added some elements that were not necessarily based on research (in one chapter, an investigator wipes his feet before he enters a building – cite?) and, at least in my copy, there was a photo of the Chrysler Building. I like the Chrysler Building, but I could find no meaningful reference to it in the text. I think the editor or publisher just had a nice picture of the Chrysler Building and decided to put it in there. Okay then!

As I said in Post #18, I loved this book too and now am reading her first book.

I am rereading I Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves, and its still excellent.

When it comes to books the word “Classic” is thrown around to easily, but in this case its a true description.