Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I did something I don't normally do

Now that I have your attention - But really, I did something I don't normally do. I was reading this book "The Worst Day of My Life So Far", and I didn't finish it. I got about half way through it, and I gave up on it. See, it's a really really bad read. I mean, I'd rather rip my eyelids off with rusty pliers than finish that book. I read all the time. All the time. I've read quite a few books this year so far, I'm keeping track this year just out of curiosity to see how many book I generally read. I was just telling people last weekend how even if I dislike a book, I'll finish it. Nah, not this time. It was that bad. It's basically the story of some ugly skinny middle-aged chick who's marriage is falling apart, her teenage son doesn't talk to her. Her dad died and her mom has Alzheimer's and she's got to take care of her and blah blah blah. Every few pages I found myself flipping to the back to see how many more pages I had to go. I so didn't care at all about this lady, or her husband, or her mom, or her brother Rocky (really? Rocky? bleh!) or any of it. It got so bad that last night on the train home I was actually upset because that's all I had with me to read, and didn't have my iPod. Thankfully, VonSis is a part of this thing, and I just gave it back to her to get rid of. I emailed VonSis this morning and said I hated the book, didn't finish it, please get rid of it. VonSis wrote back 'Stupid book'. I assume it will be off to some unsuspecting fool sooner rather than later. My next read is "The Memory Keeper's Daughter". I'm suspicious about it already because I know they made it a Lifetime movie, but I'll give it a chance. The best book I've read so far this year is "My Boring Ass Life" by Kevin Smith (*sigh*) It's basically his blog put to pen and paper. Admittedly, I was way not digging the parts about him facking his wife, but overall, it's a good read, especially if you're a fan of his. I read all types of books, and am open to any suggestions. Care to share your favorites?


Chuckles said...

A friend of mine wants me to join Librarything. I might just do it.

Boring books are harder for me to stop reading than boring movies are to stop watching. I am currently reading "The Wild Trees" by Richard Preston. I read his book about Ebola in the month before learning that my family was being sent to the Congo. That was a very odd time in my life.

Lauren said...

Von, my dear, I have learned, after 14 years in bookselling, that life is too short to finish books that suck. I used to be the same way - hell, I even finished the first Left Behind book out of a sense of obligation.

But when there's so much out there that is so very good, why waste your time on the junk?

I don't know what you like, so these may be kind of hit or miss for your genre-preferences, but I promise you, they're awesome books.

Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman - fantasy, first in a trilogy (I'm 1/3 of the way through the second one right now). Excellent worldbuilding, characters that aren't cookie-cutter clones of everything that's already been done.

Black Ships by Jo Graham - a retelling of the Aeneid through the eyes of a slave girl-turned-oracle.

Lamb or A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore - one of the nicest authors in the world. If you read on the bus or train, prepare to get funny looks from other passengers because you're laughing.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress - Susan Jane Gilman - non-fiction, part memoir, part exploration of her own views on feminism, wicked funny.

Most of my suggestions are going to skew heavily towards fantasy, so I'll stop there before I bombard you with too many. (Though, you should absolutely ask if Marty or Shannon will lend you A Game of Thrones...)

Von said...

Thanks Lauren! Many suggestions! I will have to print out and make a note of them. I do dig fantasy. Have you read Guy Gavriel Kay? He's my Favorite fantasy writer. Ever. So far.

Brando said...

I agree on ditching bad books. There are some, like The Corrections, where it was worth getting past a shaky start to read something great. But if you get a sense that a book is teh suck all the way through, then fack it. (And I was delighted to see that word appear in your post.)

Whenever this question comes up, I always stump for George Saunders. Terrificly funny absurdist writer, usually setting his stories in a near future dominated by marketing and corporations. Huge influence on my writing. His story collection Pastoralia is one of my favorite books.

I read Joshua Feris's And Then We Came to the End, a brilliant, hilarious, and touching novel set at an ad agency. One of the most realistic looks at white collar life I've ever read.

David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is another one I just finished. It's like a series of interlocking novellas that stretch from the 18th century to far, far into the future. It can be a little tough in spots because of the dialects he uses, but it's an incredible, brilliant book.

And I would be remiss if I didn't stump for my wife's novel, Icebergs by Rebecca Johns. Her stupid publisher decided not to put it in paperback, but you can get it on Amazon or should be able to find it at the library. Just to show I'm not completely biased, the book was a Pen Hemingway finalist (given to first work of fiction).

Happy reading. I'm thinking of tackling Salmon Rushdie's The Satanic Verses next.

Von said...

Brando - So glad you found the *fack*, I borrowed it because I had to!! I've read The Satanic Verses. Let me know if you do decide to read it. Thanks for the suggestions!

Kathleen said...

you can get Icebergs at I have it in my cart, but I am trying to calm down on the voracious book buying and at least wait another month.

I really didn't like Memory Keeper's Daughter. I'll be very interested to hear what you think.

Recent great books I've read:
Atonment - literary
Third Class Superhero - incredible short stories
Magic for Beginners - fantastical short stories
The Zero - suspense satire, literary
Neverwhere - urban fantasy
The Prestige - historical suspense
Gun, with Occasional Music - SciFi Noir
Motherless Brooklyn - literary mystery
Old School - literary
His Majesty's Dragon - fantasy
Sabriel - fantasy

Also, if you haven't read any Jasper Fforde books, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Von said...

K - We have similar interests! I've read a few of your suggestions already! Thanks for the help!

Shannon Erin said...

Black Ships was great. You can borrow mine.

I'm currently listening to Neverwhere. It's also great. If you want, I can burn you the audio book, and you can listen to it on your ipod.

Von said...

Oh Noes S. I do not do books on tape. Thanks though. Don't you have a bunch of books you want me to read?

Kathleen said...

Oooh who is doing the reading for Neverwhere?

Shannon Erin said...

Neverwhere (unabridged) narrated by Neil Gaiman

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Crazy week. Justcoming by to say AG hearts you.

Von said...

I knew you were busy! I heart you too!