On the night table.

The books that I am currently reading tend to pile up on my night table.  If I am having a particularly difficult time getting involved in something, I have another right to hand.  I thought I would give a quick synopsis of what I am currently reading.  I would love to hear from other people about what is on their “night table” right now.

“The Prague Cementary” by Umberto Eco.  Eco is always an interesting challenge.  I enjoy his books because they capture a time and a place in history.  This particular book is set in Italy during the Civil war/revolution.  Thus far I am enjoying the twisting plot line.

“Rameau’s Niece” by Cathleen Schine.  I just started reading this book this morning.  I have already laughed out loud several times.  I find that Schine is a witty and intelligent writer.  Her characters are rich and deeply layered.  I recently read “The Love Letter” by her and really enjoyed it. 

On the pile, but not yet started:

“The Love of the Last Tycoon” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I just re-read “The Great Gatsby” before going to see the movie.  I had forgotten how much I appreicate Fitzgerald’s writing style.  I thought I should read more of him and was hoping to read “Tender is the Night”, but I do not have a copy in the shop.  I decided on this title instead.  I think I will read all of his works as he did not write many books.

“The Recognitions” by William Gaddis.  A tome of a novel that was recently recommended by a customer whose opinion I value.  We shall see!

I just finished reading “Divergent” and “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth.  I usually like to have a young adult novel going as I am always trying to keep up with what is new on that scene, I like to have read books before I recommend them to younger readers.  These two I really enjoyed.  The main character Beatrice or “Tris” is independent in spite of her “love interest”.  I think Roth does a good job of defying conventions and keeping Tris a real character who struggles with who she is and where she belongs in her own society.  I like that she follows her own truth.

I would love to hear what other folks are reading, feel free to comment!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “On the night table.

  1. Tyson

    I just finished a Dance with Dragons by George R Martin, he consistently blows me away, only issue is now I have to pace back and forth for the next 6 years (Sarcasm) to await his next book.

    I also just finished reading The Hunger Games series, and while I was fairly impressed with the first book, I felt extremely let down by the following two. I felt like she rushed to get to the conclusion instead of taking her time. (SPOILER ALERTS, IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOKS I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU SCROLL DOWN UNLESS YOU WANT THEM SPOILED)

    (SCROLL DOWN)

    For example the first book, she took her time describing each thing as it was happening, and took almost 2/3 of the book to help illustrate the barbaric nature of the games. The next books that followed, The Hunger Games took the span of about 2 chapters, everything was rushed to get to the end, characters who had established personalities went off the rails by doing things there previous counterparts from the first books would never ever do. Your now trying to tell me how the now anti-capital Gale, is all right and dandy for working with 13’s government? What the hell, and now Fink has this crazy GF that was explained in two paragraphs and I’m suppose to care? Was Pita even necessary in any of the books? You create this love relationship between them in the first book then, all of sudden Catniss just doesn’t care, or is confused? Anyone who has ever been in love, and especially after traumatic events like that just wouldn’t cease to not be in love, that’s not how it works, she cares enough to attempt to murder the poor guy in the hospital, but just not enough to let him know the extent of her confusion, uhuh, tell me more, maybe if Collins spent a little more time with character development and a little less time describing how Haymitch loves to drink, and how gorgeous Gale is, I might actually understand the dynamic, or be bothered to give a crap. Not to mention the one character she hadn’t bothered to butcher herself with terrible teenage emotion, she kills. Just boom, president could have killed a buncha kids, but were gonna throw her little sister into the mix 20 pages before it ends, just because. You know what Collins, one day I’m gonna write a book, and I’m gonna make sure you fall in love with a specific character, then right before the final conclusion, I’m just gonna forget to write the character back in, you know for closure.

    (SPOILER OVER)

    I’m currently starting on The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie, Book one is titled, The Blade Itself. I’m only about 50% through the book at the moment, but so far its been following the exploits of Logen Ninefingers, a northern barbarian (Think Vikings). The book goes in and out from a point of view of Logen, and several high ranking government officials. The way that the author unfolds the different forms of government, even one that closely relates to our own is pretty amazing, but the books truly shines behind the perspective of Logen. I really feel like I’m seeing the world through Logens eyes, and I can even understand why he does the things he does, its just brilliant character development. It feels different and more polished then other fantasy books I’ve read, you can’t help but picture the world he creates in a sort of steam punk esque, I feel as thou when I’m reading it, that I’m seeing the world through a beautiful water colored painting.

    I’m also about finished with the Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan, I’m sort of struggling to get through with it, at this point in my reading career I’ve read so many damn fantasies novels, that when I read I strive to find something different, the story is there, but it just feels like something I’ve already read before, mainly Tolkein’s “The Hobbit” and Lord of the ring series, both books even start off roughly the same, bad guys come, they mess crap up, and then it starts a race to the end of the journey either running too, or running from. I don’t think Jordan is a bad author, its just I can already tell whats going to happened, and while I’m reading the book I can’t help but feel like I’m just putting myself through the motions.

    Next on my to read list is the Malazan book of the fallen series, I’m not really sure what its about, only that many friends have recommended it to me.

    • I agree with you completely about The Hunger Games. I really enjoyed the first book, but the second and the third were let downs. I know that Katniss was in the throes of teen-age angst, but her indecisiveness overpowered the parts of her character that I liked. I also thought Collins could have done something great with the plot line and just didn’t quite make it. I have to say that I think the Divergent Trilogy, thus far, takes the step that Collins missed. Veronica Roth’s charater Tris is decisive in the face of her angst.

      In terms of really good adult dystopic fiction I loved Nick Harkaway’s book “Angelmaker”. It is a bit of steampunk, a bit of a spy novel, truly lovable characters, the kind of book that when you get to the last 100 pages you slow down because you don’t want it to be over. I also enjoyed “The Wind-up Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi. It takes place in Bangkok and you can smell the smells, and taste the taste. The wet heat of the tropics is palpable. Both of these novels have unique story lines, not the same old thing dressed up in new clothing.

      I liked the George R.R. Martin series, but it is obvious that he doesn’t really have a plan for the way the book is progressing. I think his tactic is shock and awe, although he has some memorable characters and interesting different story lines. Thank goodness for HBO, I think the mini-series means that we shoudn’t have to wait quite so long for the next book in the series, the show will end up catching up to him.

      I really enjoyed the Robert Jordan series when I first started reading it. I want to go back to at least book five and read through to the end, this is a reading project though as it will be about 9,000 pages of reading! I think because you read the Terry Goodkind series prior to reading Robert Jordan it feels trite. I read Robert Jordan first and felt that Terry Goodkind was rehashing something done before…

      I will check out the First Law series sounds interesting. Thanks for all the tips and for your opinion!

  2. Lorrie

    I just finished “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green. Honestly not a book that I would have chosen based on the description, or even if someone had told me about it. I heard the author being interviewed on NPR and my curiosity was piqued. It is, in part, a sweet love story, a sad depiction of the human condition, and a philosophical, pondering of the meaning of life. As it turns out, I really enjoyed it. (I should point out that this one gets filed in the YA section, but is really quite good and could be enjoyed by adults just as easily.)

    I’m also reading “The Guardians of Ga’Hoole” series along with my son. It would be worth perusing the first book so that you can make a solid recommendation for boys (and perhaps some girls!) looking for a good action-packed fantasy. The hero is a male, but he has plenty of excellent female counterparts to make it an enjoyable read for any young adventure seeker.

    Happy reading!

    • I have read other books by John Green and liked them, “Looking for Alaska” and “An Abundance of Katherines”. I am looking forward to reading “The Fault in Our Stars” when it comes out in paperback. I think it is great that you were willing to pick up something new to try even though it isn’t what you usually read. I have found so many great books that way.

      Happy reading to YOU!!

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