Suggest away…

2 Mar

I will be making a substantial Amazon order very soon… (hey, the package might be for serious things like the mortgage and groceries, but my pittance of a bonus for last year-that’s MINE.)

The only thing I hate about Amazon is that the interface is difficult to browse with-if you aren’t sure what you want, it’s hard to look around. Coupled with a horrid short-term memory, it leaves me knowing that I’m missing oodles of things I want.

So-tell me what I should be reading, stuff that you’ve liked, or at least passionately argued with outloud. I’m very eclectic in my reading habits-lately a lot of science stuff, history, some fantasy/sci-fi, some classics. The to-be read pile (which is deliciously high at the moment) includes Walden, Rise and Shine, The beauty Myth, Home green home, the varieties of scientific experience…I’m usually all over the place, and trying to be less snotty about my selections.

That said, no glittery vampires please.


16 Responses to “Suggest away…”

  1. Laura March 2, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Twi-… oh wait, i just read the last line.

    j/k! lulz!!! πŸ˜‰

  2. Caitlin March 3, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    I’ve been working on the Thursday Next series (by Jasper Fforde), and a few of Jo Clayton’s trilogies (Duel of Sorcery and the Dancer one). They’re my “light” reads right now. I’ve been rereading Godel, Escher, Bach on the rare occasions I have enough time to really get into what I’m reading without interruption.

    David Hartwell’s “A World Treasury of Science Fiction” is one of my favorite books. It has several classic (and mostly out of print/hard to get) short stories. I really liked it because it featured several stories from non English speaking writers, as well as some classic short stories that were published before I was old enough to read. It’s out of print, but I have a few extra copies if you’d like me to send you one.

    I don’t know if you were ever a Ramona fan, but I really enjoyed Beverly Cleary’s memoirs (A Girl from Yamhill and On My Own Two Feet). The first starts a few years before the Great Depression and the second one goes up to the 1950s, but mostly focuses on her 20s.

    Umm, I know there’s more, but those are the first that come to mind :).

  3. Quadelle March 3, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    Recent non-fiction good reads include:

    Books, Baguettes and Bedlamps – a Canadian’s experience of being a writer in residence in Paris’ extremely quirky Shakespeare and Co bookstore;
    The Lucy Family Alphabet – memoirs of an Australian comedienne about her wild family and the discovery as an adult that she had been adopted;
    Look Me in the Eye – interesting memoirs of a person with Aspergers;
    The 100 Mile Diet – great info about sustainable eating / living without being depressingly heavy;
    The Geography of Bliss – interesting info and reflections on happiness, who has it and why;
    Playful Parenting – lots of helpful stuff in here;
    What’s Happening to Our Girls – reporting on research regarding the influence of media/society on girls.

    Good fiction:
    The Time Traveler’s Wife – a riveting concept that is well written;
    Nick & Norah’s Infinite Play List / Naomi & Eli’s No Kiss List – excellent young adults lit by the ever clever David Leviathan;
    Looking for Alaska – a really good fiction book about a final year in high school;
    How to Breathe Underwater – short stories, mostly good, although the first was a bit scary for my taste.

    Hmm, noticing a theme that the adult fiction I’ve read of late is not worth recommending. If I’d not gotten books from my youth services librarian hubby’s pile then there wouldn’t be much in my fiction list at all.

  4. Jenny March 3, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    I’ve just finished Q&A by Vikas Swarup. The book that Slumdog Millionaire is based on.

    It’s amazing and uplifting, sad and funny, emotional and educational, and even my husband enjoyed it.

    I’d also agree with Quadelle, Time Travellers Wife is one of my all time favourites. Think you’d really enjoy it.

  5. Hannah March 3, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Anything by Richard Morgan – I’m not much of a sci-fi reader normally but aside from having a wickedly creative imagination he’s a great wordsmith. I’m currently reading his “Black Man” but “Market Forces” was awesome too.

    On the non-fiction side, “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson is a remarkable book; you get an incredible amount of scientific knowledge written in a very engaging, narrative style. And you know I don’t read non-fiction much, so for me to recommend it you know it MUST be good, right?

  6. bromac March 3, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    Oooh, you’re missing out with Twilight. I have not met one person who was not addicted once they read, men included.

    However I am reading a fantastic feminist book, The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t have the book on me so I can’t check the author. I highly, highly recommend it.

    If you like sci-fi or gory, try any one of Stephen King’s gazillion books and short stories. If you’re into series, the Dark Tower series is great and it is a play on …..Roland to the dark tower comes (not right title but it an epic poem)

  7. thordora March 3, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    I’m Canadian. I read Atwood out of the womb. πŸ˜›

    Maybe I’m a snob, but I get weirded out watching adults getting excited over books written for 13 year olds, especially considering what I’ve heard about the actual writing. Barf.

    and srsly, sparkly vampires? Really?

    Haven’t read The Dark Tower in ages-not really a King fan, not now.

  8. LarryLily March 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    I have been out of college for a full career by now. I went to a liberal arts college but I majored in an engineering field. I had to take typical liberal arts stuff, and while I enjoyed most, I did not read all that I could have, While cleaning out our closets last weekend I came across several old college texts. Two I am keeping. They were my first and second semester American lit books. Some 800 pages each, written in 6 point font (reading glasses will be needed!). Classics, Emerson, Frost, Poe, Thoreau, Hemingway on and on. And while I was a Hemingway fan and have read ALL his novels, short stories and the like, I will re-read the Nick Adams stories, the Michigan UP stories.

  9. Emma March 3, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    HALLELUJAH. I’m glad you included “no sparkly vampires” because otherwise this comments section would be flooded with recommendations of said book. Yuck.

    I’m going to have to politely disagree with the above people. I kind of detested the Time Traveler’s Wife. I didn’t think the characters were realistic at all, and the very concept that a man could visit his wife in the past (when she’s six years old) over a hundred times seems vaguely disturbing.

    Of course, one of my friends brought up the excellent point that TTTW was hardly written for a 14 year old. But STILL.

    Q&A is fantastic, as is The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. Both are about India and mainly concern the servant class and the injustices they go through. You might like Perfume (the book the movie was based on), I Know This Must Be True (by Wally Lamb – it’s about a man with schizophrenia, very good) and perhaps the Interpreter of Maladies (by Jhumpa Lahiri – it’s a collection of short stories, good for light reading).

    Classics! I’m sure you’ve already read them, but I love love LOVE The Good Earth (Pearl S Buck), To Kill A Mockingbird and A Hundred Years Of Solitude. Awesome classics.

    Oh! And if you haven’t already, READ The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. AMAZING STUFF. They ARE kind of depressing though – about Afghanistan, the Talibans and other horrid indignities. Made me cry a few times.

    Also, if you’re ever up for non-fiction, all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books ARE A MUST. SERIOUSLY. The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers (especially especially Outliers).

    Those are all off the top of my head. I suggest reading ALL the one-star Amazon reviews before purchasing ANYTHING. I’ve purchased some books there and regretted it immediately. Or at least research them a bit before purchasing them. In my opinion, books like “The Friday Night Knitting Club” “The Other Boleyn Girl” and of course “Twilight” need to be avoided. LIKE THE PLAGUE.

    You might want to take this with a pinch of salt, though. I’m fourteen – my tastes can be slightly peculiar. πŸ™‚

  10. thordora March 3, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Generally speaking, with few exceptions, anything that the majority of people like, especially people who “don’t read a lot”, I stay away from. I was looking at The White Tiger the other day actually….

    I might pick up the Time TRavelers Wife because it intrigues me…..I tend to stay away from the wanna be soc “life” nbooks though. Too HRish. πŸ˜›

  11. Hannah March 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    Just let me chime back in and say The Time Traveler’s Wife was one of my favourite books of the last several years; I read it before it was cool and every blog written by a woman between the ages and 25 and 40 had read the damn thing.

    I think you’d like it. It’s a strange premise and yes, you have to suspend your disbelief but it’s so beautifully written I forgave it right away.

  12. Eden March 4, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    A friend of mine insisted on foisting these Twlight books on me. They are bad. They are beyond bad. Don’t even think about it.

    The last time I recommended a book to you, you hated it! πŸ˜‰

    Hrm… Well I really loved The Glass Castle.

  13. thordora March 4, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    I have The Glass Castle-tough read, but worth it. I was always amazed that she didn’t drop down to lowbrow pity party-the voice in the book stayed strong and clear.

    I’m always looking for fantasy/sci-fi I can stomach, and it’s so hard. It’s either too earnest, or too crappy. Even my latest like, S.M. Stirling, irritates me in how he writes women, and how his latest series is getting a wee bit…hard to take.

    Why aren’t there more Octavia Butlers? WHY!! Why is this Meyer chick getting all the attention when Butler wrote some absolutely incredible books, and yet half the people I run into have NO idea who she was. (oh that still irks me-dying from hitting her head. Sigh)

  14. thordora March 4, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    And what the hell was the last book you recommended?

  15. Laura March 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Oh, a couple of serious suggestions that I just thought of:

    The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is really wonderful. (If the first section doesn’t grab you right away, please just keep going – it’s like 6 books in one and any one of those is worth reading, but they way they end up fitting together is mind-blowing.)

    And apparently The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian is also amazing. I haven’t read it yet – it’s apparently pretty depressing, so I opted not to bring it as my vacation book. πŸ˜›

  16. Judy March 17, 2009 at 12:13 am #

    The Twilight books are horribly written, but I started reading because my girls (13 yo daughter and 11 yo step-daughter) both love them and I wanted to relate, somehow, to their world. And then I found that I couldn’t put them down. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I’m halfway through the third. But I’m NOT recommeding them to anyone, although there’s something to be said for feeilng like a 12 yo girl again.

    I could recommend my husband’s books – at least the first 2. You might enjoy them, honestly.

    Otherwise, I’ve been reading classics I missed, and I read way too much nonfiction. I’ve been meaning to read “The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart” (small press, but was a nominee for a big award), which sounds promising. And I read “100 Years of Solitude” recently and adored it.

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