Un-Easy Reader, that's my name.

As much of a bookworm as I am, I hate that period of time when I’m in between books. I’m really picky about what I read… I figure I’m not in school anymore, so I shouldn’t have to deal with reading anything I don’t find completely interesting. If it’s boring, it’s out the door and back to the library, or off to Amazon Marketplace or eBay or the Salvation Army without a moment’s hesitation. The upshot is that any book I get through is almost certainly enjoyable, but finding a book that I actually want to finish can be a real chore sometimes.

After finishing Asimov’s Foundation (quick review: decent, but got tiring with all the politics, so I only skimmed the last 50 pages; also, I found that I hate hate HATE “futuristic” character names), I’ve been having an especially hard time trying to find what to read next. I generally enjoy Vonnegut, so I gave Player Piano a shot, but was bored by page 5 (I don’t really enjoy his earlier, more over SF stuff, anyway, but thought I’d give it a shot since it was on my shelf). I got a free copy of Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn at the New York Comic Con, and was willing to give that a try - the idea of a werewolf DJ hosting an Art Bell-like show that was actually legit sounded cool - but it seemed to be a horror novel of the modern, "Anita Blake "variety (read: softcore for monster fans), so I vowed to duck out if there was werewolf sex before page 50. Needless to say, I didn't make it. I was disappointed, but at the same time, I kind of admired Vaughn's restraint... I was impressed she could hold off on the supernatural bootknocking for 26 whole pages.

As you can see by the sidebar, I'm currently giving The Areas of My Expertise by Daily Show correspondent and beleaguered anthropomorphic PC representation John Hodgman a try. It's just as funny as you'd expect, but since it's just a collection of short articles, lists, and charts, it's not the sort of thing you necessarily want to sit down and read for long periods of time, so it's not as satisfying as I'd prefer. It'd be perfect bathroom reading if not for the fact that the current bathroom book, Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 1, is also perfect bathroom reading (say what you will about Silver Age DC, those folks knew how to pace a story just right for the rest room readers out there). So although I'm enjoying it, I can see it being shunted in the very near future, set aside for the time when I'm finally finished reading story after story where Hal Jordan gets knocked out cold by yellow lamps.

While writer's block is a very frustrating thing indeed, I almost think I mind reader's block even more. So I put it to you, blog-reading public: what's good?

2 comments:

Matthew E said...

Well, lots of stuff is good, but I don't know what you like, or what you've already read...

Here are ten of my favourite novels; you can't go wrong with these.

Neal Stephenson - Cryptonomicon
Guy Gavriel Kay - Tigana
Alexandre Dumas - The Three Musketeers
P.G. Wodehouse - Right Ho, Jeeves
Donald E. Westlake - Dancing Aztecs
Will Shetterly - Dogland
Connie Willis - To Say Nothing of the Dog
Rafael Sabatini - Captain Blood
Douglas Adams - Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Arturo Perez-Reverte - The Club Dumas

Jon H said...

Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archive was good.

Imagine a computer hacker type guy who gets drafted into a 007 role for a chronically underfunded agency which defends the UK against Lovecraftian threats.

The concept is interesting - the idea being that mathematics and geometry are what allow the otherdimensional baddies into our space. Thus magic is done with computers, lasers, fractals, etc. The protagonist was drafted when this organization ('The Laundry') noticed him mucking about on his computer with something that could have relandscaped a big chunk of Britain.

I quite liked it. The sequel was also pretty good, but Stross went for some lame Windows/Powerpoint jokes.

Plenty of fun references if you're into tech. The author has a technical background in computer science and Linux, so it sounds reasonable with minimal handwaving.