Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Question of the Week: What are you reading?

What are you currently reading, or what is stacked up in your house, waiting to be read? I'm always looking to add titles to my library holds. Have you read anything especially awesome lately? How about anything particularly terrible lately?


Amanda said...

My pile of books to read right now: The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray; Someday this Pain Will be Useful To You by Peter Cameron; The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri; Bowl of Cherries by Millard Kaufman; Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian; a bunch of Carole Matthews books (adult chick lit); and All Shall be Well: And All Shall be Well: And All Manner of Things Shall be Well by Tod Wodicka. Plus the book club books, plus a pile of review books. I have not read anything really spectacular lately. Also, it only took me until about 30 to bring myself to do this, but I now abandon books if they're terrible (unless I'm reviewing them), so I've been spared anything truly bad lately.

Julie said...

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain - so funny! Although the combination of reading that book and watching Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBCAmerica has turned me into a total potty mouth, giving me a new challenge at work! Just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road for another book club - I wasn't blown away but I did like it. I'm also reading Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen, which is a possibility for our freshman reading in common book next fall - so all along I'm asking myself if the kids would actually read it. Such is the fate of reading in common books... Waiting in the massive to-be-read pile is a stash of trashy romance novels to take on vacation. :)

ericalina said...

i am just starting a nonfiction book about the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. I just finished the Alexie book. I thought Thirteen Reasons Why was particularly horrible.

Dawn said...

I loved Kitchen Confidential - also just finished Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone which was wonderful in a very different way. Next up for me is 13 Reasons Why (uh oh), as well as Diablo Cody's Candy Girl which, if I'm not mistaken, Amanda you have also recently read. That happens a LOT. I'm just about finished with Restless Virgins, the book about the Milton Academy Sex scandal. I have a lot of thoughts about this which I will post this week on my blog and maybe here too. My to-read pile is ever growing, but I can't seem to stop adding to it, as 2008 seems to be the year that all my favorite authors have come out with new books.

Amanda said...

You're right, Dawn, I did recently read Candy Girl. It was entertaining and somewhat disgusting. I think I wanted to like it better than I did like it.

Erica, I will be sad if I find Thirteen Reasons Why horrible, but at least it will give us something to post about on the blog. With the Alexie book, we didn't have much to say beyond, it was good!

I don't suppose anyone has galleys for the new books by Rachel Cohn, Jeanne Birdsall, or Hilary McKay? I just read the latest PW and put all of their books on my list. Like Dawn, I feel like 2008 is a good year for new books by favorite authors.

Cassandra Mortmain said...

My stack of to-be-reads is epic in length, because I can't keep myself from buying books despite the fact that I often have no time to read them. Therefore, my list is only going to include books purchased in the last month, and titles I have out from the library. I'm currently re-reading A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg, and my to-read list is:

- Sandman: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman
- North and South and...
- Cranwell by Elizabeth Gaskell
- The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street and...
- Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff
- The View from Saturday also by E.L. Konigsburg (which, shamefully, I've never read)
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael M. Lewis (because I was entertained by the notion that we had it in the business and management library I work in)
- Equal Rites by Terry Prachett (never read him either)
- plus a pile of galleys that I've stolen from the George and have not had an opportunity to read. The highlight from amongst these is The House of Many Doors by Diana Wynne Jones, the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, which is one of my favorite books in the history of ever.

LASTLY, I have managed to read a lot of great stuff lately, the best of which was 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. It's bitsy- just a 100-or-so page collection of real letters between the author and the staff of the British antiquarian bookshop she shopped at between 1949 and 1969. It's a MUST for book lovers of all stripes, by turns both hilarious and poignant, and I just LOVE it. Hence the two Helene Hanff's to-be-read in the list above. I've also had the good luck to read a galley of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (delicious! delightful! buy it in May!)and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (slow start, but overall v. good and I am definitely looking forward to the sequel).

A side note: is it just me, or are my comments always stupidly long?

Amanda said...

margaret, your comments are long but not stupidly long! they are, uh, smartly long? long, but not rambling. so no worries:)

Jess said...

Right now I'm reading Julie & Julia, My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell (it's about a woman who has relatively little cooking experience and decides to cook everything in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking). Next is Hugo Cabret, and our book for next month.

Amanda, I'm with you: I used to force myself to finish every book I started, but lately if I don't like it or can't get into it, I just bring it back to the library unread!

kristin said...

I LOVE this question!

At the moment I'm reading Sense and Sensibility (for my Jane Austen book club); Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore, who is a genius and is helping me accept myself; Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, an adult time travel story that takes place in the Scottish Highlands and is 900+ pages long, which I've put aside for the moment because I think I may have begun to hate it; City and Castle, both by David Macaulay, which I'm using as references for the thing I'm writing; and a book on African philosophy, which is helping me brainstorm for the thing I'm writing.

I recently finished Y: The Last Man, a graphic novel; Extras by Scott Westerfeld; The Prince and the Pilgrim by Mary Stewart (whom I ADORE-- she wrote a King Arthur quartet and also a bunch of thrilling and romantic contemporary adventure stories with female protagonists); and Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse, edited by Michael Langone, which was research for the thing I'm writing.

I have stacked up to read next: Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman, recommended to me by my editor to help me edit the book I just wrote; Tangerine by Edward Bloor, recommended to me by Jess when I was looking for books where you slowly begin to realize something creepy is happening, which is for my work; The Wind off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart, which is just for fun; the Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie-- I'll let you all know what I think; and The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore, who is going to continue to help me to accept myself. :)

Margaret, I definitely win the award for long, stupid, OBNOXIOUS posts!

Basically, what I'm reading depends largely on what I'm writing. I'll read a million things to inform what I'm writing, and then I'll always be reading a few things to help me escape from what I'm writing-- hence, graphic novels, or the Thomas Moore books, or Jane Austen. Incidentally, lest you all think I'm writing a book about cults in Africa, I'm not! I'm writing a YA fantasy that has no cults and exists in a made-up world. :)

Oh! And of course, the book I read most frequently is my thesaurus. I have the most awesome thesaurus, if anyone ever wants a thesaurus recommendation.