What are you READING?

I’m contemplating starting a new series of recommendation posts in which we talk about what we’re watching, eating, listening to, etc. We’ll see how this goes. Since I’m going to be spending 24 hours in the air and another 15+ hours in airports in a couple weeks, I’m very interested in getting some book recommendations right now.

So tell us: What are you reading? Or what have you read this year that you think everyone should check out? And what genres do you tend to enjoy most?

I personally tend to read detective fiction, I like following investigators as they track down clues and solve crimes. Last year I read Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series. I also love the Jane Whitefield series – she is a Native American guide who helps people in trouble disappear and start new lives. On the more sci-fi side, I just finished Andy Weir’s sophomore novel, Artemis. If you liked The Martian, give this a shot – don’t read anything about it, just start reading. It’s kind of a mystery/corporate espionage thriller set on a moon colony in the future (obviously).

I’ve also been reading several Japanese authors, and strongly recommend Keigo Higashino. Some of his works are totally nuts, but I still enjoy them. Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami was a meandering slice-of-life novel that totally destroyed me in the end.

Another genre I enjoy is travel memoirs. Torre DeRoche’s Love with a Chance of Drowning and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World are great, and I’m currently #2 on the hold list for To Shake the Sleeping Self.

Which brings me to my final point: if you’re not using the library app to get free ebooks then you gotta get on this STAT! I’m still using Overdrive even though the new version is Libby, so you should probably use that one. I’m signed up with three libraries so I have a constant stream of books coming in for free.

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11 Responses to What are you READING?

  1. Three recent reads that were all very disturbing, but in a good way: The Witch Elm by Tana French, Social Creature by Tara Isabela Burton, and Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller. I’m in a very Unreliable Narrator place right now, I guess!

    • ALSO, BELATEDLY I just realized I completely forgot the Friday Dance Party post, sorry guys. I had yesterday off and plans in the evening and it completely threw my inner scheduling out of whack.

  2. taoreader says:

    Yes, books, please!

    I’m currently reading Radium Girls by Kate Moore. It’s about the women who applied radium paint to watch dials and aeronautical instruments so the numbers would glow in the dark. As you can imagine, this didn’t turn out too well for them. Fascinating read. Everyone thought radium was this great cure-all miracle thing. Rich people drank radium water.

    • The radium craze was BANANAS. I haven’t read that specific book, but it’s also covered in The Poisoner’s Handbook (also a great read), and yikes. “It’s pretty and glows! It must be good for you!” PEOPLE. NO.

  3. hotspur says:

    This year I started using the actual, physical library for the first time since the 90s. It’s a money saver, and it juices my sense that I belong to a community, but it’s also hard for me because I imagine every library book in this town was previously checked out by a homeless man who used it mainly to exfoliate. So I can’t read in bed. Currently I’m reading Dangerous Visions, a 1968 anthology of science fiction edited by Harlan Ellison. Ellison is a jagged pill, but there’re good stories here. Unfortunately, if someone else is on the waitlist for a book, you can’t renew it — so the book is bouncing back and forth between me and some other presumably cool guy with an interest in outdated, maybe adolescent radicalism. Anyway, I read DV while he’s on the waitlist to get it back, then we switch. During my DV downtime, I read Worst. President. Ever., a bio of James Buchanan, published innocently in 2016.

    • actionjackson5 says:

      I have been using our library system MUCH more in the past year, because whoever is in charge of selecting titles to purchase is pretty darn cool. The big coffee table book on the band Garbage? They have it. The new Beastie Boys book? Ditto. Graphic novels? Yep. They also still stock new DVDs, and as a parent of young ones, going to a movie that isn’t Pixar is a luxury, so I’ve seen a lot of relatively recent movies this way (they also have a nice selection of Criterion films on BluRay!). Our system also has an app so you can browse titles on your phone, place them on hold, and have them sent to the library closest to your neighborhood, all during you commute to work.

      Our library system also had a Friday concert series during the summer and movie showings for kids on weekends. They did a Star Wars craft event (the kids made Chewbacca out of lunch bags, construction paper, and googly eyes) and they had a stormtrooper and a backdrop for photos.

      Oh, as for what I’m currently reading, I just finished all four Arthur C. Clarke Space Odyssey books (2001, 2010, 3001, 3061, I think they are). I recently finished Brian Wilson’s autobiography followed by Mike Love’s (the latter out of morbid curiosity: Love spends as much time in the book discussing the TWO lawsuits he brought against Brian as he does about how transcendental meditation changed his life in the 1960s).

      • hotspur says:

        Ages ago I read 2061 (??) or whatever the one is where the they discuss the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and find diamonds out by Jupiter, maybe. I have 2001 ready to go so I can finally understand the movie. ’01 might be the very next book I read, or the next next. Certainly, almost, it will be within the next next next next range. It’s short! But Rendezvous With Rama was so dumb, I’ve been avoiding Clark ever since.

  4. welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

    I am almost done reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. At first, I thought reading it was the equivalent of when you are flipping through the channels on a Sunday afternoon, and find yourself watching a rom com that isn’t really that great. It took a few pretty dark turns, but there is a sense of humor to a lot of the character’s thoughts. Overall, I’m really enjoying how the story unfolds. It’s a pretty quick read too.

    Next on my list is Turtles All the Way Down because my boss recommended it and I think there is supposed to be a character with OCD, and as someone who has OCD, I often like seeing how it’s portrayed.

    Is Strange Weather in Tokyo the same as The Briefcase? I added The Briefcase to my Goodreads list, but the descriptions of both stories sound identical.

    I really liked Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro when I read it years ago.

  5. Tracey says:

    I am currently searching Overdrive for these titles, thanks for the recommendations!

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