Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Literary Funk

Nope, not what it sounds like. This is not about the rhyming of book titles with a heavy bass line in the background.

What it is about is the reading malaise I seem to have fallen into these past couple of months. You'd think with all the inside time we've had this February I'd have been reading my ass off. And, well, I have, but many of my choices are books I've read before. Yes, I do that. For me a good murder mystery or techno-thriller is as good the 10th time as it was the first. In fact, it may be a bit better because I don't have to work for the solution since I already know what's coming and I can just enjoy the words.

Example: I first read The Hunt for Red October in the '80s, not sure exactly when, but it was the decade of frosted hair, Dire Straits, shoulder pads in women's garments, The Dream Academy and parachute pants. Between then and now I've probably read HfRO 20 times and I can still pick that book up today and enjoy it just the same. Don't even get me started on Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth (one of my all-time Top 5's) or Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers (an all-time Top 10er).

A particular addiction of mine lately have been the Prey books of John Sandford. I recommend them to everyone, they're good reads and the characters are engaging.
So, Interwebby friends and neighbors, passers-by and strangers, what I'm looking for is some suggestions on books to read. I read just about anything worth reading (take a look at the list on the left): history, politics, mysteries, sci-fi, thrillers. I'm willing to branch out, give something new a chance. What I need is your help.
In the comments tell me what books I should be looking up with the Dewey Decimal System and why they're worth my time.


Titania said...

"Hadrian's Memories" by Marguerite Yourcenar, one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It took her 50 years to finish, after starting it and throwing it away many times.

Titania said...

PS: "Memoirs of Hadrian", actually, I never get it right... http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Hadrian-Marguerite-Yourcenar/dp/0374529264/ref=dp_return_2?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

lacochran said...

If you like Follett, try one of his earlier works: The Eye of the Needle. One of my favorites!

FoggyDew said...

Titania (x2) - I'll look it up. Or you could tell me what it's about.

la - Read it. Years and years ago. Have you ever read Night Over Water? Murder on a Pan Am clipper. Just like Snakes on a Plane.

Lemon Gloria said...

I think I tend to choose books that appeal more to women than men, typically, but have you read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay (set during and after WWII, about the comic industry, Judaism, and 50 million other things) by Michael Chabon? I loved it. Also loved I, Claudius by Robert Graves, which is not my norm, but is excellent, as was the BBC mini-series, which you can get on Netflix.

Lemon Gloria said...

Oh! And the Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, which I think is the only Russian novel I've ever read. Very compelling.

I'll probably keep dropping in with books as I think of them.

Alice said...

while i can't personally vouch for this book yet, a friend of mine just gave me dr strange & mr norrell and said it was FANTASTIC. i'm hoping to crack into it very soon..

magnolia said...

i personally swear by anything chuck klosterman has written. "love is a mix tape" by rob sheffield is an amazing read as well. for a bunch of sarcastic laughs, i suggest david cross's "i drink for a reason." and since you've read nick hornby, try "juliet, naked."

FoggyDew said...

I'll start by saying I looked up all the books you fine lovely folks suggested (that way I don't have to say it three times).

LG (x2) - Both of those look really interesting. Probably wouldn't have picked them up myself, but now they're on the list.

Alice - Interesting, kinda like a grown up Harry Potter maybe?

Mag - LiaMT looks good, but a bit of a downer. Or is it one of those inspirational books? Have to check out Juliet, Naked.

magnolia said...

LIAMT has some deep sadness, no doubt, but it's actually quite inspiring, and not in that treacly "chicken soup for the soul" way. it was genuinely moving, and there's a lot of humor in it, too. (i'm also a music snob par excellence, and there's a lot of music in it.)

Bertinator said...

Foggy, I have a bunch of Klosterman I am planning on bringing to you. Probably not 100% in your wheel house, but I really enjoy it. I also was going to bring you Paul Shirley's "Can I Keep My Jersey," about an NBA journeyman who did a blog while riding the pine for the Suns a few years back. I'll also bring you a bunch of your books back.