Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hot on the trail of a good read

I know there's one out there. I just can't seem to find it. Now that I've re-shelved my holiday murder mysteries, my nose is to the ground in an effort to track down a good book to dive into. My TBR stack is almost ceiling-high, but none of it's floatin' my boat right now, if you get my drift. (Boat? Drift? Sorry.)

So, Watson - a little help, here. Sherlock's smokin' too much bishop to find a good book on his own.

Here's what I don't like: fantasy/science fiction, westerns, romance (the Barbara Cartland kind), self-help books (well, that should be obvious). I'm wide open for anything else - literary fiction, mysteries, biographies, readable non-fiction (not too academic - I'm still on carb-load, remember, and the brain is a bit soppy). Funny stuff, serious stuff, scary stuff, weird stuff.

Suggestions? Give Shorty Sherlock a little hint, huh?


petercmoore said...

Ooh, book recommendations. Here are some for ya, from several tomes I've read recently...

[I feel a blog entry coming on with this subject!]

You say you don't like science-fiction, but give Iain Banks a try (not Iain M. Banks - same writer, different genre).

It has some SF sensibilities, but not the geeky kind. I just read "The Bridge" which was quite good, but "The Crow Road" was fantastic.

I'm a recent convert to Carl Hiaasen, so if oddball, murder/crime thrillers based in Florida appeal (and I didn't think they would 'til I read one) then give him a bash.

Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories - 'nuff said.

"About A Boy" by Nick Hornby was MUCH better than the film.

Robert Harris does a good line in "alternative-history" type thrillers. Again, not in a Sci-fi way.

William Goldman's "Adventures In The Screen Trade" and "Which Lie Did I Tell Today" are great books about the movie business from a writer's perspective.

Finally, The Wife just finished reading "Memoirs Of A Geisha" (Arthur Golden) which she heartily recommends to everyone she's met recently.

petercmoore said...

[Why can't we edit our comments in Blogger...? Eh? Come one Blogger developers!]

I meant to say that the Carl Hiaasen books are very funny and that (IMO) "Fatherland" is the best place to start with Robert Harris's work.

Oh, and The Wife says I should mention "The Odessa File" - as if everyone hasn't already read it.

Blimey! Now she's found another one - this could run on all night. "The Best Thing That Can Happen To A Croissant" by Pablo Tusset. Bizarre, verging on trashy, mind-bender - apparently.

That's enough now!

Anonymous said...

You don't like fantasy yet are a Narnia and Harry Potter fan? Or do you just take your young friends to those movies but not enjoy them personally?

I'm not sure anything on my nightstand would suit you. Jasper Fforde, children's books (natch), a little chick lit. Sorry, but I'm a walking library of stuff you hate :). Maybe you should get thee back to the classics. Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend. You can never go wrong with Dickens. Or some Du Maurier.

MaryB said...

Ooh, I knew you guys would come to my rescue.

Nobody - I should clarify my sweeping statement about not liking fantasy. I mean the fantasy found in the Fantasy Sections of bookstores - the She-Ra-in-Middle-Earth-with-a-space-alien-thrown-in stuff. Of course I love Potter and Narnia and real Tolkein fantasy stuff. And I love Kiddie Lit.

I've never read Hiaasen (because, like you, the Florida setting doesn't appeal), but I probably need to cut him some slack and give him a try.

The Robert Harris thing sounds interesting - I love alternative history stuff - as do Iain Banks and the Goldman stuff (can't believe I haven't read those).

Read and loved both Hornby's About a Boy (I think I've read all of Hornby) and Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha (still find it jolting that a Chattanooga boy could have written it!).

Thanks for getting me started!

Anonymous said...

If you haven't already, pick up anything by Garrison Keillor. Light, enjoyable reads that will keep you LOL. "Lake Wobegon Summer 1956" and "The Book of Guys" are a couple of favorites.

For something heavier, try "Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent" (forward by Jimmy Carter).

meljoy said...

okay... I really only read one kind of book. Being a Sociology major, you can guess what those are, but these are a few books that I have recently read:

• The Working Poor or A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America by David Shipler
• Class Matters
• Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
• Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
• Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
• The End of Poverty by Jeffery Sachs
• The Overspent American or The Overworked American by Juliet Schor
• Fast Food Nation or Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser

here are a few I am reading now that I find intriguing:

1. Wal-mart: The High Cost of A Low Price
2. Losing The Race: Self Sabotage in Black America
3. Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen

I know some of these books won't jump at you because they are racially motivated, but the books on class and the one about walmart were incredible interesting if you like knowing the quirks and secrets of American government... The Working Poor is one of my FAVORITES.


melinama said...

Hiaasen = I laugh out loud when I'm alone

Westlake = ditto

I liked the curious incident of the dog in the night so much I read it twice in a row