The comments that many of my loyal blog readers have left on my blog today remind me that once in awhile, it’s good to take a little break. We’ve now wrapped up a long and quite intense discussion about web sites and blogging and all that techie stuff.
Let’s not forget why we write: Because we LOVE reading, and somehow or other, we all convinced ourselves that we could write something that we’d want to read. We and five billion other readers.
Right now, I’m reading a pretty cool book that I never heard of until a friend gave it to me a few weeks ago. He and his wife and son were staying with us for about a week while they looked around town, because they’re planning to move up here in a year or so. We had a lot of fun talking about lots of stuff, and he gave me a copy of one of his favorite books: DIES THE FIRE, by S.M. Stirling.
The premise of this book is that suddenly (for no clearly explained reason) all electrical systems fail, all explosives no longer explode, and the entire world is knocked back technologically to the early medieval period. Millions of people starve to death. Some turn to cannibalism. Others wander aimlessly, waiting to die or get eaten (hopefully in that order). But some of them organize into tribes for protection (or aggression) and begin primitive farming or hunting/gathering or marauding or whatever it takes to survive.
There are two main Good-Guy groups that the author alternates between–a hunter/gatherer group in Idaho led by a tough but fair ex-marine; and a farmer group mostly made up of Wiccans in Oregon, led by a Gaelic folk musician/witch. The city of Portland (right across the river from me) is taken over by an evil Bad Guy with fantasies of holding an empire built on tribute. Things are heading for a showdown between Good Guys and Bad Guys as I head into the final third of the book.
I’m finding it all extremely interesting. We do live in a pretty darn techie world. What if all that suddenly went away? What if we had no web? No (gasp) blogs? No streaming audio from www.Pandora.com to play us a mix of our favorite music over high-speed DSL? It would be a different world. Makes me want to go learn archery and shoot something. It’s making me think about the world in a different way, which is always good.
So let’s have a little fun for a few days. What are YOU reading right now? (Has to be fiction.) Do you like it? Why? Leave a comment and let’s compare notes.
Christophe Desmecht says
Lately, I’m very deep into a couple of Terry Pratchett books. More precisely Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith. Terry writes amazingly funny fiction. Not only that, but he also manages to tackle current events and philosophy in there, but in such a subtle way you can’t but appreciate his cunning and craft.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict – released in Sept 2007 and written by Laurie Viera Rigler.
Funny. A modern L.A. woman somehow wakes up in Regency period England and finds out in first person, present tense (appropriately) what it was really like in Jane’s day, without a hint of Colin Firth from her beloved, worn out BBC 2-pack DVD set anywhere to be found. Instead, she’s rudely introduced to chamber pots, countless sweating servants to get a decent bath on the third floor, body odors and other gross things that her obsession with all things Jane somehow missed.
I’d like to see this adapted to film. Maybe I’ll give Ang Lee a call, or maybe I’ll write one myself. 🙂
Ann Isik says
I’ve just finished reading Hector Malot’s ‘Sans Famille’ (in French as it’s where I live and need to practice)! I have to confess that I cried when the monkey died. Before that I read Thomas Hardy’s ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’. I’m now reading Deepak Chopra’s ‘The Third Jesus’ – not fiction, I know, but breathtaking!
Needed a jolly good, undemanding romp. Cost me $2. Janet Evanoviche’s Metro Girl. Light hearted read. Funky female protagonist with attitude. Great insight into male/female chemishtry. Some memorable lines.
bonne friesen says
I’m in the first third of Freedom’s Landing by Anne McGaffery, which may turn out to be her best “adult” book. (There will always be a special place in my heart for Pern.)
In Freedom’s Landing, a surprised modern Earth is conquered by the Catteni who, to prove their point and demoralise the rest of the planet, empty several cities and enslave their entire populations.
Our heroine escapes the slave city she’s brought to, but is subsequently recaptured when she helps a Catteni on the run. With spectacularly bad timing, she attempts to return him to the city during a slave riot (the Terrans are more trouble than anticipated) and both heroine and not-so-bad Catteni succumb to gas meant to subdue the rioters.
Heroine awakes in a pen of slaves (human and otherwise) who are all given a meal, a few supplies and after being herded onto a huge spacecraft, another hit of sleeping gas. She wakes some time later in a field of bodies on a strange planet. The majority have survived the flight and, surprise, the Catteni she knows is among them. He is kept alive by the good-hearted Marine who takes charge (they do get around, don’t they?) because he has helpful information and skills. The Catteni explains that they are part of the strategy to colonise and expand the Empire on less “easy” planets. Slaves are left and if they survive for a few years on their own, it’s worth it to put their own people on it.
Currently the former slaves have made mysterious discoveries about their “uninhabited” planet, and found out that there are groups of former slaves in other locations.
I’m enoying it!
I wonder how the people who read 8 books at once will decide to respond…
Parker Haynes says
I suppose that as an an aspiring fiction writer it’s odd that I read more non-fiction than fiction. However, since Randy wants to talk about fiction, I’ll toss in my two most recent fiction reads: Top of the pile was Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD–strangest writing I’ve ever encountered, but also the best and certainly the most powerful! The other was a trip back into the ’50s–ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac. No, I don’t have an obsession with “road” but I appreciate how both these authors (especially McCarthy) have managed to break all the rules and still turn out page turners. Currently I’m reading Edward Abbey’s last (I think) work: THE FOOL’S PROGRESS. Based on the one third I’ve read so far, I’m a bit disappointed with “Cactus Ed” but he is still one of my all time favorite writers (another rule-breaker in both his writing and his life). But, I must ask, aren’t rules made to be broken?
Donald James Parker says
I don’t read 8 books at a time. I’m writing 7 of them, but I only read about 4 at a time. I’m trying to get ready for Mt Hermon and reach THE END on my two unfinished manuscripts so I’m trying to limit my reading to moments when I can’t be at my computer – like at the gym working out on the elliptical machine.
I just finished the Immortal by Angela Hunt. Interesting book. It’s always fun to read the reviews on Amazon after you read something like that. It’s amazing how unperceptive some people can be. This was my first venture in to Hunt land. It won’t be the last.
I’m halfway through Bette Nordberg’s book Pacific Hope and one third of the way through Debra Raney’s In the Still of the Night. I also just finished a self pub book called Days of Peleg which touches on the topic which brought me into the world of writing – evolution. It’s an interesting adventure.
When Mt. Hermon is over I have to choose from a tall stack of TBR books. Terry Burn’s The Shepherd’s Son is at the top. If you like Westerns, you have to check out Terry’s writing (and also Mary Connealy’s Petticoat Ranch which I recently finished).
Let’s face it folks: there are too many books and not enough time to read them all. I want to go read some older books that I’ve recently been introduced to by a Scotsman from the mid 19th century named Ballentyne – when I get a round tuit or even a square tuit.
Carrie Neuman says
Garth Nix’s Abhosen trilogy came highly recommended, and I’m on the second book. My friends were right; the magic is somehow both familiar and completely unique. He really raised the bar for me. (I play D&D, so it can be hard not to fall into that view of magic.) Nix also has a wonderful talent for just doling out information a little at a time. I’m never confused, but there’s always another question to ask about his world.
I had a pretty good guess about who Lirael is and how she got where she did right off the bat, but I’m 3/4ths of the way in and I still haven’t figured out why. There have been a couple surprises in the plot I didn’t see coming, and I’m not sure how the supporting characters are going to get themselves out of trouble.
His best talent, though, is for dialog. The Clayr are a giant family of seers, and they’re all related. When Lirael gets in trouble, her aunt is there to yell at her. Her cousins are there to reproach her. When her aunt goes too far, her cousins are there to rebuff her aunt. The giant family dynamic amuses me to no end.
Carrie Neuman says
Uh, Abhorsen trilogy, that is.
Andrew Cooper says
I’m reading Jim Butcher’s, The Dresden Files, at the moment. Actually, I’ve read them all and I’m re-reading them. I love the books. Butcher does everything right. His main character is likeable and interesting. His supporting characters are memorable. His bad guys are BAD but very cool. The action is intense and the writing well-crafted. I really can’t recommend these novels enough. They’re Harry Potter meets Sam Spade beaten together with an 8 pound sledge-hammer of AWESOME. If you’re interested, I’ve listed the books below….
Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files
Plus, Jim put up a website where he talked about how he writes which is an interesting read. It’s at…
Mark Atteberry says
I am reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Set in the 1100’s, it’s an enthralling, one thousand page book about a boring subject: the building of a cathedral. In that sense alone, it’s a marvel. It took the author over three years to write it. It was a major departure from his spy novels. Many thought it was a risk to his career. But it is now considered his greatest work.
Daan Van der Merwe says
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This is a first for me as I don’t care for fantasy fiction but I decided to read it so that my mate, who forced the book on to me, can stop nagging me.
I enjoy the book very much. The scenes (and sequels) range from fine humor to outright funny and to hilarious.
I also enjoy pages of telling (no showing or pesky MRU’s)but as you once had pointed out Randy, telling is fine, as long as it works.
Carla Stewart says
I’m reading Magic Time by Doug Marlette. It came out last summer right before the author (creator of the Kudzu comic strip and a Pulitzer Winning Political Cartoonist) was killed in a car accident. My local bookstore had autographed copies, and I feel fortunate to have been able to get one.
The story is set in Mississippi and told in two time frames–the 1964-65 era of Freedom Marches, church bombings, and Ku Klux Klan’s terror in the South. It alternates those events with a trial 25 years later in which an aging Klan member is put on trial for past crimes in the sixties.
I enjoy Southern fiction, and this has gripping characters set in a period of our country’s history that was controversial then and now. It’s not a fast or easy book to read with almost 600 pages, but I’m glad I’m taking the time. I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.
Great topic, Randy. It’s fun to see what eclectic tastes your readers have.
I am reading ADAM OF THE ROAD by Elizabeth Jane Gray to my students. For myself I’m reading OCEANS APART by Kingsbury. I’ve never read her before and I hear she’s good. (She certainly is prolific!) I just finished THE RIVER KNOWS by Amanda Quick. I’m also ready to read DUNCAN’S WAR by Donald Bond. The most memorable one I’ve read lately is A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini. Wow. Can that man ever write. If you have never read KITE RUNNER (his first one) I highly recommend it. He is a beautiful writer. (I have found the writers who are bilingual/multi-lingual seem to be the best writers for some reason — they have such a poetic grasp of English.) This IS a fun subject, Randy! Thanks! Now I’m eager to get back to the books. I am also reading many nonfictions, too.
Oops, forgot to leave my “Why.” I love historical fiction, so that’s the why. I’m teaching the Middle Ages to my students this year so that’s why for ADAM OF THE ROAD. I chose DUNCAN’S WAR for the same reason. I am into saturation.
I didn’t think I’d like KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS but I completely fell in love with this writer’s work. I now understand Afghan culture so much better. I had never read Amanda Quick before and she was pretty good. (It was a suspence/mystery novel.)
I like to read different things for different reasons. I read so much nonfiction that if I take the time to read fiction for fun, I want it to take me somewhere else completely. I guess that’s my main why!
The reason I read fiction aloud to my students is that I believe kids remember a lot more about history through fiction than through textbooks and workbooks. I also read very difficult fiction to them (G.A. Henty for example) and they LISTEN. I’m talking about kids from Kindergarten – Twelfth grade (I have a one-room cottage school). They really listen and get so much out of it. They not only learn about the culture and the time, but they develop excellent listening skills. So I read out loud a LOT! I also read the Burgess nature books out loud to them for science. Right now we’re also working our way through THE BURGESS BIRD BOOK FOR CHILDREN. It is a fictional book where the animals converse with one another but they converse about facts of their habitat and their species and how all the animals really do interact with one another in nature. Fiction can be such a great teacher!
I’ve been having an unseeming good time plowing through the works of Jasper Fforde ever since reading his first “Tuesday Next” trilogy. What a hoot! Literary crimes where characters can alter their own plots, rogue commas can take over the page, and only one woman, her pet auk, and her time traveling scofflaw grandfather can stop them!
Despite the somewhat absurd sounding plot(s), Mr. Fforde writes with incredible skill and refreshing creativity. No mere “Good Vs. Evil” uber-theme gussied up with surface changes here. If you like atypical plots and an author who assumes his readers have a good working knowlege of literature (his first title is “The Eyre Affair”, for instance) you owe it to yourself to give his stuff a spin. Or at least visit his website.
Joanna Mallory says
Randy, the technology-gone book you’re reading sounds like the same sort of premise as Terri Blackstock’s Restoration series: Last Light, Night Light etc? I’m about to begin the second in the series, not so much because of the story as because my yet-unpublished novels are Christian women’s fiction with a suspense thread, and that’s usually what she does (and I think does well). So that’s “work” reading although I’ll enjoy it. What I’m reading for fun now is an online serial novel, Annihilation, by Jane Lebak (www.mindflights.com) and it’s very different and very neat. I don’t really like reading online books, but it’s free and I’m hooked.
Christophe–yea, another Terry Pratchett fan! A friend introduced me to his books several years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since. In a way, they were an easy sell as I love fantasy anyway. But what kept me coming back to Terry Pratchett was not his fantastical characters and settings (although they are wonderfully imaginative), but his amazing ability with prose. His imaginary Discworld is full of wizards, witches, trolls, dragons, and carnivorous luggage, but it is somehow so true to real life. I think he pulls this off so effectively because of his way with words. As Christophe mentioned, his references to real-world culture and events are subtle. His writing is so interlaced with humor and poignancy that it manages to deliver many striking truths, yet deftly refrains from hitting the reader over the head with them. But I’m not even thinking about all this when I’m reading his books because on almost every page I’m just trying not to fall out of my chair laughing!
I have to say that my most favorites of his books are the ones you’ve been reading, Christophe, the Tiffany Aching series: “The Wee Free Men,” “A Hat Full of Sky,” and “Wintersmith.” (Though “Wintersmith” seemed a bit weaker than the first two, IMO.) These books, written for YA readers, have all the punch and hilarity of Pratchett’s original Discworld series, but it’s almost like Pratchett has refined his style to its barest essence–which gives more weight to every word. (And I love the Nac Mac Feegles!! Wish I could be friends with them, they’d really come in handy.)
As for what I am reading now…*sigh.* I don’t have much time for “fun reading” now that I’m in graduate school. Most of my reading is, necessarily, non-fiction. Interesting stuff, but it’s not fiction. However, I recently smuggled some study time (which for me these days is any time I’m not sleeping or working) to read C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce,” which I had been wanting to read for a long time. C.S. Lewis is my favorite writer, and this book did not disappoint. Because it’s very short and simply written, “The Great Divorce” is an easy read–however, its message is anything but easy. Lewis’ vision of heaven and hell is a modern allegory that still resonates today.
I love C.S. Lewis because he has the ability to communicate profound truths in very simple, grounded language. I am attracted to writers who can do this. In his own wacky, humorous way, Terry Pratchett does this as well. I look up to these kinds of writers as my inspiration. Though I would never presume that I could even come close to equaling their work, I think it’s good to aim high.
It’s interesting to see such a diversity of interests in reading fiction. Not one of the above comments has mentioned the same author, much less the same book. Good news for the fiction industry.
My daughter gave me The Splitting Storm by Rene Gutteridge. I assume that Rene is female, so it interests me that her protagonist is a male. He’s a storm chaser, and and FBI agent on the trail of his brother’s murderer. I find it interesting to read the way Ms. Gutteridge interrupts a scene with another one. In a sentence or two you find that it is the same scene after all. Very well done. She creates great tension in her heroine who is blind and being stalked by the murderer of her husband who was another police officer. The protagonist suspects a serial killer of police officers is on the loose. All the murders took place off-camera; it is the investigation that is the core of the story.
Before this book I started John Grisham’s newest book, The Appeal. I wasn’t able to finish it because he jumps from one person’s viewpoint to another’s. Each person is important to the working out of the plot, but there were too many for me to follow. Two thirds of the way through the book he is still introducing new characters, who are minor to the plot, but necessary, I guess. Also, I did not enjoy the jaundiced view of the legal system. (That tone infiltrates all of his books, sorry to say. With every one of his books that I’ve read, I close it with a depressed feeling. In each of his books, the guy who has twisted all the legal rules gets away scott free, and usually with millions of dollars.) But who am I to criticize John Grisham. His work sells. Mine hasn’t, YET!
ML Eqatin says
I just finished ‘King’s Ransom’ by Jan Beazly and someone else. About Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. Why? Reading group. Liked the history, but as fiction, they should have taken your course, Randy. Reminded me of some mistakes I made in my first novel. Way too many points-of-view.
Currently reading ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’. The Why is because I loved ‘Kite Runner’, I have Afghani and Pakistani friends, and I’m scheduling a trip to that area as soon as things are safer.
Pamela Cosel says
I’m 3/4 of the way through “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. This is the first “Oprah’s Book Club” selection I’ve ever read. However, I’m doing it by non-traditional means and reading the e-book on my new Amazon Kindle (a Christmas present). Kindle allows a person to download free a sample chapter (usually the first one) before purchase. I was intrigued by what I read and paid for the entire book. Had it in my hands within seconds without having to drive to the bookstore (though I love being in bookstores!).
What drew me in about this book is the history and time period, back in the 12th Century, and its story line about building of cathedrals in England, the monastic characters, the common folk characters and serfdom, etc.
What surprised me are the few scenes scattered here and there that go against what I prefer to read: a rape scene and other references that are not to my liking with the way women are ravaged and people are killed in massacres by a jealous earl. Had I known that was in the book, I wouldn’t have bought it, I suppose. However, as always, I read for style and what I can learn about the craft of writing. Overall, it is a good book. AND I love my Kindle!
Joanna Mallory says
I missed the “why” part for enjoying reading Annihilation: The premise is that Satan has found a way to annihilate angels. As in, more than physical death, they totally cease to be. It’s a fun challenge to learn my way around this large cast set in the spiritual realms, and I’m enjoying both the author’s quiet humour and the way she handles the daunting task of portraying not just angels and demons and humans like Mary, but also God Himself. The chapter I just read, for example, had a deep conversation between the Archangel Michael and Jesus. I’d be afraid to try anything like that, but Jane Lebak makes it ring true.
Ahhh, caught me at a bad time – gratuitous mindless fiction.
It’s “Gideon” by ‘Russell Andrews,’ and called a “national bestseller. Yikes.
Although I will finish it (I tend to finish anything), I dislike that there are large forces hinted at behind the scenes and whole chapters about unidentified people doing unexplained things. This does not heighten the tension, it pee’s me off. I have to invest wayyy to much effort trying to keep up.
The second grouch I have is that the main main character is always “in terror,” “jumping with a scream in his throat,” and all the emotion is flash emotionalism which doesn’t ring true for a young man in this world.
I thought, “A lady is writing this about a man and has put female *over reactions* into him as if they were normal male reactions!” and looked at the cover. The author apparently is a collaboration by two men, which may explain something.
Lynn Squire says
Wow! I’m amazed at the variety of books people read. I just finished reading “Fire” by Bill Bright and Jack Cavanaugh. This book is set in Colonial America during the Great Awakenings (1740-1741). I found it fascinating on two accounts. One, I have a WIP set a hundred years before this in the same area but dealing with similar issues. Two, our church just had a phenomenal revival and I could see so many similarities to what went on in this town and what went on in our own church.
Quite a terrific book, though there were, in my opinion, certain aspects of the Great Awakening excluded in this story that should have been mentioned. However I think I would be one of the few people that would have picked up on the missing pieces. I’d venture to guess these “missing action” pieces were done more because of the publisher/writers’ assumption of the reader’s perspective. More and more I realize that often facts or bits of information are left out or glossed over because the reader will not readily accept them, or views things slightly differently. But again, that is just what I’m observing, and maybe my contacts were put in the wrong way. 🙂
Now I am picking up Francine Rivers “And the Shofar Blew”, expecting to be riding an emotional wave all the way through it.
Andie Mock says
“Total Loss Farm” by Raymond Mungo – as research for my 1970 teen novel. It was a book I read as a hippie teen and admired the writing style, still do. I’m also reading “Home Comfort” a compilation by the comunards of Total Loss Farm. Great for atmosphere, themes and word usage of that bygone era. One of the writers is Alica Bay Laurel, author of “Living On the Earth”, one of the hippie bibles. What is so fun is to see how the anti-war, ecology, black power and women’s liberation movements are coming back composted and recycled in our current election.
Paul D says
I am currently reading Mark’s Story, the second book in the Jesus Chronicles series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins. They know how to make the Bible come alive in these books.
I have a list of authors that I regularly read and check up on to see what’s new from them. I currently have a list of about 20 books in my reading queue. Next is The Void by Mark Mynheir, or The Appeal by John Grisham (I’m on the waiting list at the library for that one).
Pam Halter says
Now that all the costumes are sewn for my daughter’s high school play, I can pick up a book once more. I’m getting ready to read The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen. She usually writes medical thrillers.
I read books from every genre, so I don’t have a typical reading list. It depends on if I’m interested in the premise of the book.
This one is about a Club who’s members devote themselves to the analysis of evil. Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.
I’m curious to see where Tess takes us.
My favorite book by her is Gravity, which is her one and only sci-fi. And her newest release, Bone Garden, promises to be fascinating.
I’ll switch gears next month when I’ll be reading Nancy Rue’s new book, Healing Stones, while on the way to Mt. Hermon.
Lynn Squire says
One of the comments I notice a lot from writers is how they have such disdain for multiple point of views. Yet, I confess I love to read books that give me plenty of different characters’ point of views (though generally not all in the same scene). I find I get such a better sense of what is going on and often find my emotional involvement deepened by seeing the events through the eyes of a number of different people (I often fall in love with more than one character as well). I guess I tend to do this in real life – listening to a lot of people’s opinions and views on something before coming up with my own.
By contrast, I don’t enjoy first person stories. Occasionally I find one that works (like “Cast a Road Before Me” by Brandilyn Collins). Often however I set them down before I get past the first few pages – even with authors I normally enjoy reading.
Sheila Deeth says
I’m reading “Taken” (Thomas Cook) at the moment, ’cause I found it cheap second hand, and ’cause my Mum and my brother love the TV series (which I’ve never seen – easier to read than watch a whole series.)
Before that I read “The Painted Veil” (Maugham) which I loved – excellent writing, and bonus points for short clear scenes, making it a great read for an interrupted life.
Before that was “Shadow of the Wind” (Carlos Ruis Zafon) – fascinating – reminded me of “The Thirteenth Tale” (David Setterfield), and “The Historian” (Elizabeth Kostova), both of which I read recently. I enjoyed the stories, but also enjoyed thinking about the techniques – changing viewpoints, voices etc.- very cleverly done.
Favorite book of last year was “The Book Thief” (Zusak) – incredible implementation of a seemingly impossible premise – that death would write a book. Loved it!
I usually read more than one book at once, but the others are non-fiction at the moment. And I loved “The Kite Runner” ! Looking forward to reading “The Road” soon.
Mark H. says
Just finished GERM by Robert Liparulo, and enjoyed that one quite a bit. After reading your description of the premise of DIES A FIRE, I’m tempted to look back at the survival skills sections of THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS
D.E. Hale says
Camille, I am going to have to read that book. I absolutely LOVE Jane Austin, and actually just finished re-reading Persuasion.
I’m actually about to start reading “Wicked: The Story of the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire. (It should be here in a couple of day). So, I don’t know whether I like it yet or not. I’ll have to get back to you on that. It was a recommendation from a friend, so we’ll see.
I also just started reading “Transgression by someone called Randall Ingermanson”. HA! Yeah, I’ve never read any of your books. So, I downloaded that one about a month ago, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. Last night (at about 2AM) I read the Prologue, and I have to say, that it really hooked me. Action packed and exciting stuff. I can’t wait to read more.
Gerhard J van Vuuren says
Last novel I finished reading:
Dominator by Warren James Palmer. The second in a series self-published by Palmer. I haven’t read the first because I picked the book up on a flea market. Good old fashioned adventure science fiction. Nothing deep, just a story racing along. Some faults, spelling, different characters using the same turn of phrase, consistency etc but still a fun read. Wit a good edit this book would have made it with a bigger publisher but I have an idea that Palmer is a do it yourself kind of guy.
Tried to read but gave up:
Lord Soho by Richard Calder. Great opening line “On my twenty-first birthday I killed a man.” It went downhill and boring from there. Gave up on it on page 36 after spending about twenty pages in the MC’s head with him thinking lowly thoughts of himself. Something else should have happened by now.
Reading now but not sure if I’ll finish:
The Journals of Eleanor Druse by Eleanor Druse. Not supposed to be fiction but I’m taking it with a whole bag of salt. Is written in a novelized form anyway. Started strong with a great first chapter. In the second chapter the MC’s goal is to die and the doctor’s opposes her by bringing her back to life. I’ll read chapter three and then decide if it is worth it to continue. I doubt the authenticity of the Eleanor Druse voice. It seems to well cafted as story to be a true first person account. O maybe the ghost writer got carried away. Some Stephen King connection and apparently there’s a television series: Kingdom Hospital.
Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett. Can;t say anything about the book yet, just about the way. I loved Terry Pratchett through the first three discworld novels. But then I lost track and I read them whenever I come accross them. But nothing seems as good as the first three. Yes, they’re still funny but not in the same way. I don’t know if it’s me that changed or Pratchett but I keep reading hoping he’ll make that special magic he had with Rincewind and the Luggage. I can’t say his plots are predictable, something surprising always happens. But in a way it has become very predictable. I think Pratchett has created his own genre and it is now time for him to write a break-out novel. But I haven’t read this one yet so this might be the magic one.
I love books about reading and writing. My passion began in elementary school when I fell in love with Harriet the Spy. Recently, I just finished reading this:
Tami Meyers says
I am reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, the fifth book in the Outlander series, and listening to A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth book in the series. Yes, it is a bit strange to be reading and listening to sequels at the same time, but also intriquing.
I hated history when I was in school because teachers make it so boring, but then I discovered historical fiction. Now I love history when it’s told from the view point of a person (either real or imaginary works, just so long as it is well told and has a “life”; not just dry facts and dates.
Diana Gabaldon is an amazing story teller. Not many authors can keep a story going through six books, that average over 1000 pages each, without becoming redundant or boring.
Sally Ferguson says
Karen Kingsbury’s “Fame” is a part of the continuing saga of the Baxter series. I feel like they are family now and don’t want to miss a thing, so I will continue with the next book, “Forgiven.” I am amazed at how Karen weaves the characters into my heart and tackles real life issues with clarity. She inspires me to write.
Our women’s group just finished “Tangled Heart” by Linda Evans Shepherd. She tackled the unusual by putting fiction into a daily devotional. I confess that I couldn’t stick with the daily part; I jumped ahead because the action wouldn’t let me put it down! This book actually drew one woman into the homework side of class for the first time ever!
Bryce Beattie says
Just yesterday I finished another Doc Savage novel. It’s what I do when I get sick, because mindless pulp always helps me feel better.
Plus, Doc Savage is like Sherlock Holmes, Batman, and James Bond all rolled into one.
I also just finished reading the Hobbit to my three year old. She slept through most it, but I enjoyed it immensely.
I just finished reading The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. As always, I learnt a lot from it, but it wasn’t as perfect as The Remains of the Day.
It is interesting how he uses the first person to reveal the split in his narrator. But in TU, at some points, especially where action was being shown, I got this feeling that Ishiguro had to compromise on the stature of the narrator. That is one problem with first person.
And also, lengthy dialogues by minor characters throughout the book … well, it slowed the pace a bit. In spite of all that, I loved the book. Ishiguro is a genius, and I’m looking forward to reading Never Let Me Go.
Judith Robl says
Just finished Jill Nelson’s Reluctant Smuggler. You may remember her as the lady who “answered the call” at our Friday night banquent at the CWG conference in Ohio in 2005. Smuggler is the third book of the To Catch a Thief trilogy she sold that night.
Enjoyed the book very much. It’s relatively “light” reading – cozy mystery / romantic suspense. But she’s done all the homework for her exotic settings. Her characters are quite believable. And she has an interesting mix of circumstances which show that virtually no one is irredeemable.
And she has another contract – different publisher – for another series. I’m drooling already.
BTW — Any new word on the City of God? I still miss those people. Ari and Rivka.
Writers’ conferences can be productive.
Judith Robl says
Hi, D. E. Hale.
Once you’ve read Transgression, you’ll need to get Premonition and Retribution. My copies are signed by the author. An audacious young man with a fascinating mind. Wonder what he’s doing now….
Laura Drake says
Wow, writers sure are eclectic readers!
Ok, I’ll stoop – and if you’re smart, you will too. Just finished Stephen King’s latest, Duma Key.
You may not like the genre (I do), but it’s worth reading as a writer to sit at the feet of a master of dialog. The author is so invisible in his writing – sublime. I don’t so much read his books as chew them…ummmm-good! It’s about a painter – and there’s a lot about his craft and how he creates that resonates with me as an author, taught me things about myself – what more could you ask for in a book?
It’s the old King at his best. Do yourself a favor and read it.
Yellow Hat17 says
I’m reading 1984. It’s really very interesting.
Hannah D. says
I’m reading Reaper’s Gale by Steven Erikson for the 20th time. His Malazan Book of the Fallen must be the best fiction I’ve read since I fell in love with Crime and Punishment about 10 years ago. It’s fantasy, I know, but emotionally and intellectually I respond to the books as if they were sci-fi or, whaddayaknow, Crime and Punishment, or why not shakespear, because it’s ultimately a tragedy.