Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Suck at Bookclub, Too

Image courtesy of Ian Kahn

I currently can't find my list of 2010 books for Bookclub, but I'm thinking I may have read half. I had the finest intentions this month and was about halfway through the book when I realized I was reading the wrong month. (This month's book appears to be only attainable online and also, abysmal.) I will hopefully finish the second half of next month's book by the meeting. Maybe I can really get it together for the second half of the year. Seriously, I am not reading All the King's Men again and you can't make me.

The problem with sucking at bookclub is that I am in a bit of a reading rut. I am currently working my way through the Aunt Dimity series, which is fun, if a bit silly. I think of these books as a palate cleanser. There isn't much there, but they are a good read after you've been embedded in something heavy for a while.

I also have been eating up Neil Gaiman. (Not in that way, ewww!) For a long time, I thought I didn't like him much, because of Good Omens. See, I love Terry Pratchet and hated Good Omens, so I must hate Neil, right? Or not. Because then I read American Gods and Anansi Boys and I liked them both quite a bit. Later, I got around to reading Neverwhere, which was a book club book like a year and a half ago. (See, I'll read all this crap eventually.) And I loved it.

Someone I worked for had mentioned The Graveyard Book to me, so I picked it up and have been making the great Neil Gaiman YA Fiction tour ever since.

I paused in these endeavors to read the newest Stephen King (well, until Blockade Billy came out, which I will read - eventually) and the newest Joe Hill. Otherwise, I've read a couple of short story books and well... that's been it for a while.

So, here is your mission, should you choose to accept it: I want book recommendations. I want book recommendations coming out my ears. I'll probably never get around to half of them, because I'm very laid back about when I read stuff. But, I've worked through the better part of my "Must Read" list and now, I don't know, I'm floating.

I like:
  • Science Fiction - hard or soft, but I especially love SciFi with religion in it. I'm weird like that.
  • YA Fiction - I'm not going to say that I only like really great stuff, but I don't have any interest in reading bad YA fiction.
  • Horror - But here, I am super picky. I loooove good horror, stay up all night, can't put it down, creepy down in your bones horror. I hate badly done, ho hum horror.
  • Non-horror stories with horror elements - I'm thinking vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. that aren't precisely scary stories. Almost anything supernatural has an automatic "in" for me.
  • Books that change your life - like Wally Lamb. These are especially hard for me to find on my own, because they tend to not be the kind of thing I gravitate towards. For the record, I hated Middlesex.
I hate:
  • Fantasy - This is complex, because I love Harry Potter, which many consider fantasy. What I mean is really that dragons and damsels type of fantasy. Stereotypical fantasy. Happens in another world that is oddly similar to feudal Europe fantasy. Yuck.
  • Mystery - Again, complicated. I read the Dresden books and Aunt Dimity is a mystery series. But, please keep your counting books, and private detective cats to yourself.
  • "Christian" Lit - Now, understand, I love a good book that asks hard questions about faith (which is precisely why I like a little religion in my science (fiction that is). If a book you love comes from a faith-based point of view or explores issues of faith, feel free, but it comes from the Christian Lit section of the bookstore and it's designed to keep people from reading those dangerous secular books, then I really don't need it.
  • Chick Lit - I have nothing to say about this except that I find it deeply insulting that some people believe women should have "different" literature than men. We've always had different tastes. Show me a man who loves Pride and Predjudice and I'll show you... Well, a minority. That's life. But the idea that we should paint books pink and make them primarily about shoe shopping is downright insulting. Enough said. End soapbox rant.
So, watcha got? Give me a list. Brynna currently has more books on her summer reading list than I do. This will not stand!


Amy said...

Jessi don't feel bad--as a fellow book clubber I have sucked this year too... Ok however, I did recently read the Tale of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. It has been the best read I've had in awhile. It's a little Koontzy with some "mystic" happenings. You know my taste and I know yours and I think you'd really dig it. Recently I got sucked into those damn Boelyn books. I hope you get some good suggestions on here so that I can enjoy as well.

Tessa said...

Obviously, I'm going to recommend "My Name is Memory". I think you will like it because it is a little bit fantasy in the sense that the main character is reincarnated over and over. And you also might like the world travel/historical value, albeit mild and non-specific, but nonetheless you go on a time travel. Just a suggestion!! It's written by Ann Brashares.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

1. The Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull. (There are five in the series, and there fifth one is officially the last.)

2. The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night Time or something like that. It's good, it's sort of a mystery, but really it's about the thinking processes of the autistic protagonist.

3. Anything by Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, or Kim Harrison. Really, superb stuff (if you like sex, vampaires and werewolves, that is).

4. Cornelia Funke's "Inkheart" series.

5. "Tithe" and "Ironside" by Holly Black. I think there's a third book, "Valiant", but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Yes, these are modern fairy tales; but, they are set on our world, in our time, in some very neat and interesting ways.

6. If you haven't read Steph's recommendation of "Lonely Werewolf Girl" yet, you must. Awesome!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

And my typing really sux today. I blame the wrist (even if it was my right, uninjured hand doing the typing). The wrist thing has thrown me completely off. THat's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Also the "Werecats" books by Rachel Vincent are good, as is her teen series - "Soulscreamers" about modern day banshees.

Suze said...

I'm reading the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy. Does that count as fantasy? Or YA fiction? Or both. Dunno. Anyway, I'm totally not a fantasy reader but I'm enjoying these. Pullman has a new one out about Jesus (Pullman is atheist and separates Jesus and Christ into two characters) that I haven't read, but am interested in...

Dear me, I can't think of anything else! Born to Run is great, a life-changer (really was for my husband), though it's nonfiction and I'm not sure where you stand on nonfiction :)

I used to be such a voracious reader, but something about motherhood has sucked the will to read right out of me. That is really, really sad.

Steph said...

Well, you kind of saw my list already in my last blog entry, so I'd say, yes, I can see you loving all of those, from what I know of your taste. I should probably warn you that Graceling is sort of feudal in its universe, but I swear, not in any sort of damsel-in-distress way, and there are no dragons or orcs. The main character is a female warrior.

And I have to echo Jenn echoing me: Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar. Fabulous. And the sequel's coming out in August!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

OOOO! Thanks for the head's up, Steph. I'll add it to my wishlist on Amazon!