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flutherother's avatar

What book(s) are you reading right now?

Asked by flutherother (28654points) October 29th, 2010

Would you recommend it to others and what do you like about it?

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58 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The Last Stand of Fox Company. Korean war, and very highly recommended.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I just started The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking, and am also working on Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card.

gailcalled's avatar

The Alan Furst novels of espionage, chichanery, derring-do, love on the Orient Express and lots of kafé mit schlag.

Your Day in the Barrel (1976)
The Paris Drop (1980)
Caribbean Account (1981)
Shadow Trade (1983)
Night Soldiers (1988)
Dark Star (1991)
The Polish Officer (1995)
Kingdom Of Shadows (2000)
Blood of Victory (2002)
Dark Voyage (2004)
The Foreign Correspondent (2006)
The Spies of Warsaw (2008)
Spies of the Balkans (2010)
Enchanted Stranger (2012)

troubleinharlem's avatar

‘The Help’: its funny, its tragic, its just a plain good story. I definitely recommend it.
‘The Shining’: kind of creepy, but I like it so far.
and I just finished the HP series.

kevbo's avatar

Currently reading Pygmy and just finished God’s Middle Finger, which is really well done.

Blueroses's avatar

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time highly recommend as everyone can relate to the autistic protagonist
The Interrogative Mood fascinating. The story is about you
Metamagical Themas Oh so difficult but I’ll finish it one day

flutherother's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities I’ve just put a request in to my local library for the Stephen Hawking book. Thanks for the tip :-)

gailcalled's avatar

I would also recommend the novels of Dennis Lehane.

I just finished “The Given Day, ” an epic story that takes place mainly in Boston from 1917 – 1919. The Spanish Influenza pandemic, the racial riots, the emergence of unions, the policemen’s strike, the machinations of J E Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, W E Du Bois, anarchy, terrorist bombing…history does repeat itself.

LeHane wrote also “Mystic River, ” “Gone, Baby, Gone” and “Shutter Island.”

Blueroses's avatar

@gailcalled Lehane is a great writer.
Oh! Can’t believe I forgot the one I recently finished
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Fact based fictionalized account of the architects of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair… and a serial killer.

flutherother's avatar

@gailcalled Loved those films, I must try the books.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’ve got a few on the go but am trying to concentrate on two at the moment: Rescue Me which is the memoirs of someone who has worked at Battersea Dogs Home for years and I, Phoolan Devi.

flutherother's avatar

I am reading “Life in Victorian Britain” by Michael Paterson

Foolaholic's avatar

I am currently re-reading The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones. I would certainly recommend it; DWJ as a way of describing magic in a very biological sense, making it feel more natural than most science fiction I read.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The Complete Book of Clay and Glazes for the Potter.
It is an bodice-ripping romance with Fabio on the cover ;)

Blueroses's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille LMAO… mmmm glazed abs

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Blueroses Glazed abs and a stoneware mind! Woo-hoo! I like ‘em big and dumb! XD

Kardamom's avatar

Right now I’m reading “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher. I had just finished reading her book “Winter Solstice” and I loved it, so now I’m working my way down the list of all of her books.

Other great books that I have read and would recommend are:
The Hot Flash Club series by Nancy Thayer
The Lumby series by Gail Fraser
The Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross
Anything by Fannie Flagg, especially “Standing in the Rainbow” and “Can’t Wait to get to Heaven”
Anything by Amy Tan
“Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden
And the entire series of “All Creatures Great and Small” books by James Herriot
Just about any book by Charles Dickens

Blueroses's avatar

@Kardamom Ooh, have you read Drood by Dan Simmons? Not the best novel ever but it gives a real sense of humanity to Dickens.

@lucillelucillelucille The bigger they come, the harder I fall in love ‘til I’m done then they’re out in the hall.

Kardamom's avatar

@Blueroses no I haven’t, but it sounds like one I’ll put on my list. Thanks!

lemming's avatar

‘The Optomist’, by Laurance Shorter. It’s a good book if you’re worried about the state of the world and are looking for a reason to be optomistic. He speaks to people in power who also happen to be optomists like Richard Branson and Desmond Tutu.

TexasDude's avatar

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
A Common Faith by John Dewey

and

Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous by George Berkely.

I’m enjoying Fountainhead enough. It’s the kind of book that you either love or hate though, and it’s the only of these three that I’m reading voluntarily. A Common Faith is interesting, and Dewey is pretty easy to understand. I’m not too fond of Berkely, though, but I do like his ideas. These are pretty specialized works, and a broad audience probably wouldn’t appreciate them.

faye's avatar

Golde Fool, the 2nd in the Tawny man series by Robin Hobb.

Jeruba's avatar

My current and recent reading (with grades) is always listed on my profile page.

I haven’t yet managed to answer the recent question about why Haruki Murakami is so popular (still thinking about it), but I am reading my fourth of his novels. Afterward they seem to me a bit like my wilder dreams: I know I’ve been through something extraordinary, but I can’t remember much about it.

filmfann's avatar

I am reading the Bible and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Regarding the later, I am 100 pages in and bored. It better get more interesting fast.

Blueroses's avatar

@filmfann It does. Trust me.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s October so I’ve been re-reading some King classics. (exclusively on the toilet)

The Green Mile
From A Buick 8
Cell

I just finished ‘Salem’s Lot and am ready to cleanse my literary palette. Maybe a little Follett or some Palahniuk.

tranquilsea's avatar

Re-reading Lord of Chaos in preparation for reading The Gathering Storm in hopes of finally ending this series.

Lord of Choas is one of the better books in the series.

Blueroses's avatar

Oh, not recently read but if anyone loves cyber-fantasy and has ⅓ of a year to spend reading a series, Otherland has some brilliant moments.
If nothing else, the books are all hefty enough to serve as weapons in case of a break-in.

Jeruba's avatar

@gailcalled, how do you rate the Alan Furst novels?

AmWiser's avatar

ELOHIM – The Archetypical Pattern of the Universe
Smash Cut – Sandra Brown
Chill Factor – Sandra Brown
Girl With the Dragon Tatto – Steig Larrsons
The Girl Who Played with Fire – Steig Larrsons
The Million Dollar Divorce – R.M. Johnson

gailcalled's avatar

@Jeruba: Do you mean in relation to the genre in general or the individual books?

ETpro's avatar

I was churning along in The Arrow of Time: A Voyage Through Science to Solve Time’s Greatest Mystery by Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield, but I had to switch off for now because I’d requested the library find me a copy of The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby and it came in—so I have to read it while it’s on loan.

The Arrow of Time is good and reasonably accessible for theinterested layman, but tends to ramble a bit. I’m just getting into The Age of American Unreason but Jacoby is clearly tocuhing a responsive courd with my own observations. I am really looking forward to completing it.

efritz's avatar

The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh – way more powerful than I expected.

Just finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, might have been life-changing if I’d read it just a few years earlier . . .

gailcalled's avatar

@flutherother: What films are you referring to? Ones taken from Furst’s novels or those of Lehane? I have heard that Mystic River) was made into a movie, but I never saw it.

Blueroses's avatar

@efritz oh yes. Laughing at both of your answers. Waugh, most people only pretend to have read… and Zen, hee hee, it does have to enter your life at exactly the right time. I got more from The People’s Guide to Repairing Your Volkswagen

efritz's avatar

@Blueroses – lol, that sounds just a tad less lofty than Zen . . . usually satire pisses me off, but I do love Evelyn Waugh.

does anyone know when the paperback for the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest comes to the US? Guess I could start my own thread . . .

Jeruba's avatar

Sorry to be vague, @gailcalled. It was a hit-and-run post on my way out. I meant how do they stack up in general against what you might call the competition? Would you recommend them? Seeing you as a discriminating reader, I would give considerable weight to something you’d rate highly. I’m still in withdrawal from Stieg Larsson and looking around for something to answer that particular appetite.

flutherother's avatar

@gailcalled I was thinking of films of the Lehane books. Mystic River is an excellent film, Gone, Baby Gone I liked and I thought Shutter Island was just brilliant. I feel oddly guilty when I enjoy a film without having read the book.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am a real light weight among these lofty selections, but I just finished Janet Evanovitch’s latest, Sizzling Sixteen. I love Stephanie Plum and I think she should stick with Ranger and get rid of Morelli!

ucme's avatar

Little Red Riding Hood! Aha, oh yeah…..... your jealous, you are….you know it…...XD

TexasDude's avatar

@rooeytoo, nothing wrong with reading “lightweight” stuff. I just finished a two week long young adult fiction binge.

flutherother's avatar

I picked up the new biography of Coco Chanel written by Justine Picardie today. It is fascinating account of how a lonely abandoned wee girl turned herself into a fashion legend.

gailcalled's avatar

@jeruba; I have really enjoyed the Furst series (More than the Larsson triligy with its uber-teenaged-heroine). Furst covers all the T-O-O_’s during the beginning of WWII. Paris, London, Warsaw, Prague, the Balkans, the countries around the Baltic sea, USSR, Germany, Greece, the islands in the Mediterranean, North Africa.The love stories are complicated and mature, the characters are multidimensioneal, the history is accurate, the humor is funny.

Try one and see what you think. For the most part, they stand alone. As is my wont, I listeded to all of them on CDs on an old-fashioned Walkman. These were fun because the reader used all the accents to good avail.

Another interesting series is the Gabriel Allon (art restorer and Israeli spy) novels by Daniel Silva. They use Israel as the focus point and again, the history is accurate.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – thanks matey! I do read weightier works occasionally, I switch to Jodi Picoult and Anne Rivers Siddons. :-)

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, Gail. I’ll give Furst a try. I enjoyed Larsson because the stories are so dense, complicated, and unpredictable, the heroine is intelligent, weird, and complex, and the bad guys are so very bad. I enjoy other things for other reasons. All your suggestions sound appealing.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

As of 5 minutes ago, I’ve stopped reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I made it a couple chapters into Part 2, and I had to convince myself every other sentence to keep going. There’s an interesting story in there, albeit with Mary Sue characters, but you have to do sooooo much digging to find it. Even allowing for translation, there’s no excuse for the mind-numbing telling of pointless details, the half-a-chapter of backstory on every single minor character ever 3 paragraphs, or the total lack of flow. This book has convinced me that I should give up all other career aspirations and become an editor so I can make sure nothing this bad ever gets published again. And this is coming from someone who has no problem reading graphic depictions of violence against women or getting a cheap thrill from a stock character.

Blueroses's avatar

@papayalily I felt that way also for the first half of the book (I also disliked Dan Brown and was so far ahead of his characters that it made it unbelievable) Dragon Tattoo redeemed itself more than Brown’s books and Lisbeth made me want to read some more. Do finish it. It isn’t the best, but it’s alright.

If you want a great mystery, well written… I recommend Kate Atkinson Case Histories

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Blueroses I skimmed a few pages from the rest of the book, and it’s just too hard. I like Lisabeth, but not so much I can stand reading “He put on a pot of coffee and made himself two sandwiches. He had not eaten a proper meal all day, but he was strangely uninterested in food. he offered the cat a piece of sausage and some liverwurst. After drinking the coffee, he took the cigarettes out of his jacket pocket and opened the pack.” for even one more minute. Maybe the movie will be good, but this wouldn’t have passed for a C in a high school English class.

Blueroses's avatar

@papayalily I really do agree. It was not my favorite book but I did finish it. It was better than some other books that were recommended to me (Edgar Sawtelle – a weak retelling of Hamlet – springs to mind) I’ll PM you my favorite recent discovery if you’re interested.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Blueroses Having looked at the plot summery on Wikipedia, it sounds like it could be interesting. I’d love for someone to take the essential story and rewrite it, like how they make many novels into kid version except without the dumbing down. Not sure how that would happen, legally, but it’d be nice.
I’d love some recommendations.

tranquilsea's avatar

@papayalily I found both books (Dragon Tatoo and Played With Fire) to be extremely dry for the first 150 to 200 pages. I haven’t read the third one yet.

I’ve become extremely adept at skimming unnecessarily detailed writing and then reading when the plot picks up.

Overall I enjoyed the books once I got beyond that first 150 pages.

filmfann's avatar

Just picked up Squirrel seeks chipmunk. Looks great.

rooeytoo's avatar

Under the Dome – the inside of that man’s head must be an amazing place!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@filmfann It’s really good, but also really weird. I saw him on Stewart, and was totally expecting it to have more of a clear message than it did – but I’ve never read anything of his before, so maybe that’s his thing?

stardust's avatar

I’ve just started to read Dubliners, James Joyce. It’s a required reading for my course, but I’ve been meaning to read it for a while. I’ll come back with recommendations when I’m done.

flutherother's avatar

I have just finished Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. A very enjoyable childrens book. I am now reading The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagan. One of the great works of Japanese literature and a delightfully readable account of court life in 10th Century Japan.

gailcalled's avatar

@stardust: It is a dated but classic collection of short stories. It helps to know something about Irish-Catholic culture in Dublin in the early part of the 20th century. I’ll be interested in your reaction.

I have recently discovered Marlena de Blasi’s series of books about Italy, love, food, cooking, culture shock and architecture. A Thousand Days in Venice, A Thousand Days in Tuscany, and The Lady in the Piazza {Umbria}.

stardust's avatar

@gailcalled My friends have been trumping it up quite a bit. Being Irish, I’m au fait with the historical side of things. I’ll come back with my thoughts on it.

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