Thursday, November 3, 2011

What I've been reading

In the face of shorter days (and a new round of power outages...), I've been reading up a storm.  So I thought I'd share what I've been reading lately.


A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin.  This is the fifth, and most recent, book in Martin's series, A Song of Ice and Fire.  It is a LONG one, too, at just over one thousand pages.  I have to 'fess up here, though.  I didn't finish it.  With so much demand on the title by other readers, I returned my copy after reading only two hundred pages or so.  Don't get me wrong--it's amazing.  I just couldn't read it fast enough!  I'm saving it for my next vacation, though!

Black and White, by Dani Shapiro.  My book club here at the library discussed this book for their October meeting, so while this might not have been one that I would ordinarily pick to read (the subject matter is a little uncomfortable, about parenting and boundaries, among other themes), it made for a fairly quick read and a fabulous book club discussion!

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett.  You know I've already talked about how eager I was to get my hands on this one, and it didn't disappoint.  Not even a tiny bit.  Patchett is a favorite of mine, and I found this to be so character-driven, I thought about it for days after I finished the book.  Really, really stellar--one of the best books I've read in a long time.

Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson.  This is another I've been talking about for awhile, and again, it lived up to expectations and then some.  A psychological thriller of the highest order, the plot on this one keeps you guessing right up to the end.  I loved it.


The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.  This was another book club read, and I lucked out and listened to it on audio during my commute for a week.  I had been looking forward to this for some time, and enjoyed every second of it.  It's what I would call a literary thriller--very referential to Victorian literature, and ultimately, quite timeless.  The narration on the audio version was superb, and I can't recommend it highly enough, and I'm looking forward to the discussion it generates at next week's book club meeting.

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson.  You had to know that with all of the horror recommendations I was handing out last month, I'd have to dip into that candy jar, too.  This was a re-read for me, but I originally read it in college, so it's been awhile.  It was just as good and as twisted as I remembered.

New York to Dallas, by J.D. Robb.  If you haven't read Nora Roberts' Eve Dallas series, written under the pen name of J.D. Robb, you don't know what you're missing.  The series, set in the late 2050's, follows New York detective Eve Dallas as she solves murders, kicks ass, and takes name.  A little romance, a lot of humor, these are fast reads that I find to be great breaks between more serious reads.  If you like Roberts' regular fiction, you might give this series a try.

Seriously, I'm Kidding, by Ellen DeGeneres.  I find Ellen hysterical--I've been a fan of her stand-up comedy for years.  This slim book reads just like a stand-up routine--I spent an evening laughing out loud as I read.  If you're a fan of her humor, go snag this one.

The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides.  This is another release I'd really been looking forward to, as I'm a huge fan of Eugenides other work.  However, with the bar set so high, I think I set myself up for disappointment.  Don't get me wrong, it's excellent.  But if you go into it expecting it to be on par with Middlesex (which won the Pulitzer in 2003), you might find yourself a bit let down.  Sadly, I did.

Snuff, by Terry Pratchett.  Blame it on the shortening days, but I seem to be gravitating toward humor lately.  Pratchett, one of England's most beloved authors (he's a knight, by the way), writes a very accessible brand of fantasy full of wry humor and utter absurdity.  Personally, I adore his work.  This latest entry in the Discworld novels following Commander Samuel Vimes didn't disappoint in the slightest. 

What have you been reading lately?

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