Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Are You Reading?

Eyebrows is feeling a bit fidgety trying to find some good fiction to read lately. So tell me what you're reading now, or read lately, that you enjoyed.

I've been on a Jane Austen kick all summer long, so I just finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the 2nd time this summer, and decided to have a go at George Eliot's Middlemarch, which is one of those books I'm always meaning to read but never do. I've also begun Douglas Hofstadter's Pulitzer-Prize winning Gödel, Escher, Bach, but it requires a lot of concentration for someone like me without a ton of math, so it's been pushed a bit to the side while I prepare lectures for my philosophy class.

I had picked up some fiction at the library, which turned out to be a riff on Machiavelli's The Prince (and on Par Lagerkvist's The Dwarf, which is a riff on The Prince, only it's good; you should really read it), only it was AWFUL. Characters walking up to one another and saying things like, "Well, Jane, you've become the wife of a powerful Duke and squeezed lots of money out of your peasants. What's next -- angling for Queen?" Because good Machiavellians always discuss their evil plotting in public, the better to advance the exposition of a weakly-written novel. Just so you know.

I've also recently chugged through The Dangerous Book for Boys (British authors doing American edition not quite clear on meaning of "gerrymandering"), Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, Lois McMaster Bujold's new "Sharing Knife" books (1st is good, 2nd goes nowhere and takes 300 pages to do it, apparently because she decided it'd be a trilogy instead of a pair while in the midst of book 2), and pretty much everything by L.M. Montgomery, because Jane Austen kicks frequently occur in concert with L.M. Montgomery kicks.

So what are you reading? What should I read? Do share.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns!!
Mom

Vieva said...

Orphan's Tales - http://www.orphanstales.com/

AMAZING fiction! It's a series of nested short stories and fairy tales all wound together - it's brilliant. Totally changes your preconceptions of what will happen next. Brilliant.

(and totally disappointed about the Sharing Knife thing. I was really looking forward to the next book. Now I'll library it. ah well).

Kevin Lowe said...

most recent: Steven King's "Hearts in Atlantis" - not my favorite, but I was interested to learn King does more than just scary.

recently: Carl Hiassen "Sick Puppy" - very good. If you like twisted characters, twisted plots, and humorous situations, you'd probably dig Hiassen. His "Skinny Dip" was also good.

Katie said...

Kevin-
I read both of those in the last year. It's just twisted enough to be rather humorous. Though Skinny Dip is a much better read.

Laura-
It's not Austen, but have you read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd? It's a great book.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch is also very good.
Our book club just started Devil in the Details: Scenes From an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig. We're following up with Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I can't wait.
PS-It's not too late to join our club! Let me know if you're interested!!

Jennifer said...

I just finished reading Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" and it was a good, non-traditional mystery.
Now I am reading "The United States of Arugula," a non-fiction book about the advent of gourmet foods in the US and chef culture. It's interesting, covering recent history (mid 1800's to the present) sociology and food.

anon e. mouse said...

Nothing in the fiction category (except HP VII, which I am well aware you read)

If you haven't read "Crazy 08" yet - do so immediately.

"Long Way Gone" - by a former boy soldier in Sierra Leone

And, on a lark, visit you local library and go to the childrens section and find "Junie B. Jones and the Stinky, Smelly Bus". It'll take you 10 minutes to read.

I've been too busy watching serial TV shows (on DVD). Just got hooked on "Dexter".

Josh Harris said...

Read anything by Hiaasen. What awesome stories. You won't be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Dublin has a program called "one city one book" where the whole city is supposed to read the same book to like, foster conversation about literature or something. The current book is "A Long Long Way" by Sebastian Barry and it's supposed to be quite good (I haven't read it yet because I'm currently reading books with titles like "Travel Writing and Empire" and "From Burke to Beckett"). So if you want to read the same book as all of Dublin you should look into it.

And definitely absolutely read "Woodbrook" by David Thomson, I loved it. And I think L.M. would have, too.

Kateo

Eyebrows McGee said...

Thanks for the list. :) I'll be hitting the library with it!

Anonymous said...

Well, if you're willing to try non-fiction and you want to read the only John Keegan book that CJP hasn't read yet, try "Fields of Battle: the Wars for North America." It combines Keegan's usual excellent military history with some fabulous observations on America and Americans. A bit of a modern-day de Tocqueville in parts, but briefer and more humorous and more readable. From a Brit who actually likes us. A lot.

Jimbo 50

BJ Stone said...

Sorry so late on this, but Diane and I have been on a Clive Cussler kick in recent months.

Indiana Jones-type plots done high tech, and at sea, with the fabulous hero, Dirk Pitt.

Dirk has aged gracefully in the Cussler novels, and now has grown twin children in the newer books.

I like "Sahara", "Black Wind", "Treasure", and "Trojan Odyssey" the best. "Sahara" was turned into a movie starring Matthew McConaughey and the scene-stealing Steve Zahn.