Saturday, November 12, 2005

What's in Your Book Bag?

One of the self-renewing tips I picked up from Tom Peters's The Brand You 50 is this (paraphrased): You meet someone interesting. Ask him or her what's the best thing they've read in the last 90 days, then go and order it and read it.

Tom Peters, you see, is a sneaky book tyrant.

Let's assume we're all interesting. I won't pick favorites in fiction, but the best nonfic I've read in the last three months was T.R. Glover's The Ancient World. I'm going shopping in another week or two, so tell me, what's the best book you've read lately?

39 comments:

  1. Quinn of the Fury by Showell Styles. (1958 1st ed)
    I had this as a kid and managed to score a copy off ebay UK last week.
    Good luck finding one ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been reading Spider Dance, it's recommended, but the one that made me stop, and reread it was "Wisdom's Daughter" by India Edgehill. It's about Solomon's Daughter, and the Queen of Sheba. Beautiful, beautiful imagery. And she has a great use of language in the book. (One of the few uses of 'succulent' that didn't immediately make me want to throw the book against the wall....yes, I have issues with how "succulent" is usually used...doesn't everyone?) I'd highly recommend it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been reading Patricia Cornwell's Post Mortem. I had to after your questions about scary books.

    It also fits in nicely with my NaNo novel - call it research. Other than that, in the last ninety days, I've read Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking, Nora's Blue Smoke, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception and The Supernaturalist, Vicky Hinze's Lady Liberty and Lady Justice, Lisa Gardner's Alone, Tess Gerritson's Body Double and Vanish and finally, David Weber's Shadow of Saganami. All of them terrific readers and in my 'keeper' pile.

    I've spent my other non-day-job hours writing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. While staying with a loved one at the hospital for three straight days last month, I found this legal/mystery comedy called Solomon vs. Lord by Paul Levine. I read the first two pages in the hospital gift shop and then I bought the book. I'm glad I did because it was so much fun to read. Great characters, sparkling dialogue, engaging story, tricksy subplots. And, yes, even romantic tension. I'm looking forward to the sequel, The Deep Blue Alibi when it comes out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. BONES & SILENCE - Reginald Hill

    Just 'cos.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Poison Study, by Marisa W. Snyder. It's a fantasy I found at the grocery store, and I read it in one sitting.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dubliners - James Joyce.

    I reread this occasionally, and marvel at Joyce's craft. I learn something from Joyce each time. I'm not sure how well it's working, but if it isn't, it is my fault, not Joyce's.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stuart, I read a Reginald Hill recently. Loved it. I want more, but my TBR stack has to get a lot lower before I can buy more books.

    I'm reading Elizabeth George's In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner. It's great. I love how she balances the ongoing stories about her characters' lives with solving the mystery. The themes in both intertwine, which just floors me. I don't know how she does it, but I intend to study them and find out. :)

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sharon Shinn's The Shape-changer's Wife.

    ReplyDelete
  10. PBW - you either attract a lot of lofty-lit readers or I am just a lower form of reader scum than the average Jane. I am currently reading Private Demon {The official website http://www.darkyn.com/ needs updating, btw} and enjoying the hell out of it. It digs deeply into the darkest pits of humanity and if Valentine(sp) loses the girl to the psycho I think it may just kill me.

    In order to fit in here, though, I will admit to be also currently reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez. It took me about 100 pages of yawning before I finally understood the point the author was trying to make -- and then the book just got irritating after that. I vow to finish it regardless because I'm sure it's good for me -- in a boring "eat your beets!" kind of way.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just finished Tam's Threads of Malice, and loved it. Next novel up will likely be Talyn (gotta wait till Tuesday to buy it), and after that I'm not certain. Also on deck is How to Read a Book by Mortimer Abner (iirc) - just to throw some work in with everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12:30 PM

    The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce. It's about three boys growing up in 1960's England, and one of them is being haunted by a mysterious, sinister supernatural creature.

    It's weird, unsentimental and moving. Very cool.

    Harry Connolly

    ReplyDelete
  13. I found a copy of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle in the remaindered bookstore the other day. God, what a great narrator. I'm not done, but it's one of those books you read a few pages at a time to make it last.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I picked up Nora Robert's Three Sisters Island Trilogy at a secondhand store. I've been hit-or-miss with her, but I really like this trilogy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've just discovered (rediscovered?) Octavia Butler. I'm reading "Mind of My Mind." and it's GREAT. I read her "Lilith's Brood" about 8 years ago and loved it as well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I second Dead Witch Walking....actually the whole Dead Witch Series by Kim Harrison is really good.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've read thirty or so books in the last 90 days. All fiction.

    Two that have stayed with me the most are Elizabeth Moons Deeds of Paksenarrion and A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon.

    Regards DG's books. Love her writing or hate it, I've noticed it gets readers discussing her books. The arguments (good and bad) readers bring to the discussions emphasizes to me how an author can spark a reader's imagination (and emotions) to believe or disbelieve the subject and characters of their books.
    To me, this is a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great idea.

    Best I've read is "The Man With the Iron-On Badge" by Lee Goldberg. Great private-eye novel that's a parody of the genre (the hero's a security guard) as well as a fine story.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You're familiar with my recent fiction list.

    For non-fiction:

    On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins
    Getting Things Done by David Allen
    Ready for Anything by David Allen
    Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos
    The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become A Servant Leader by James C. Hunter

    If it seems too common sense, remember that's a good indicator that there must be something to it. (Specifically applies to the David Allen books)

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Tao of Pooh. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hmm... wow, I've read so many books in the past three months, I can't even remember them all. Some of my favorites have been Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle, Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey, Ghostlight by Marion Zimmer Bradley (this is a reread), The Shadow Runners by Liz Maverick, StarDoc by S.L. Viehl (I think you'd like this one :)), and If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl (this one too).

    Well, I did say I've been reading a lot of books.

    Oh, and FerfeLaBat, I'm not the literary type either, so don't feel bad. I read for fun, pure and simple, and I don't tend to enjoy most literary novels.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm with those who recently read and enjoyed Private Demon. *g*

    I recently read my first Lisa Kleypas historical romance Secrets of a Summer Night and enjoyed it a lot.

    In romantic suspense, I read Cold Truth and Hard Truth by Mariah Stewart and now look forward to the third book in the series.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Cold Granite.

    Stuart MacBride.

    I still can't get Road Kill out of my head.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ok, you wanted the BEST book I've read in the last 90 days. I'll put in a vote for a non-fiction book by Jared Diamond titled GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL, THE FATES OF HUMAN SOCIETIES. It might be non-fiction, but it unlocks so many mysteries, answers so many questions and teaches us so much about humanity, that it is a thrilling read. Very thick on information though, so I've been reading it in chunks. Read a hundred pages, read a novel, read another hundred pages, another novel.

    The best fiction I've read in a long time would be one of Janet Evonovich's numbered series. (ONE FOR THE MONEY, TWO FOR THE DOUGH, THREE TO GET DEADLY...) I know, it's just mind candy, but it's low-cal and totally carb free. Too sweet to read more than one at a time or my frontal lobe will get a cavity (note to self: remember mental-floss), but still, fun and they go by so fast, I can put one away in an afternoon.

    Sorry that I don't have anything else to offer. I've been doing a lot of research on sailing ships and my nose has been buried in things like THE COMPLETE RIGGER'S APPRENTICE, THE SEAWORTHY OFFSHORE SAILBOAT, YACHT DESIGNING AND PLANNING, FROM A BARE HULL and TOTAL LOSS. Not the kind of reading you do when you're just looking for a good time. Are you looking for a good time? {wink, wink, nudge, nudge} Cause if that isn't on top of your agenda, I can hook you up with some sweeeeet research books.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Frank's BEST book is on my TBR pile along with its companion: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed also by Jared Diamond.

    Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century is on the same pile.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I"m with Ferfe...I don't do a lot of literary stuff though I went shopping yeswterday looking for more mainstream fiction and less genre--an experiment only and it failed. I think everything I picked up was genre. I'm reading Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down and it's great..... =)

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Book of Eels by Tom Fort and A History of britain by Simon Schama, in the last two weeks.
    Pleasant research.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The best book I read just now:
    Guy Gavriel Kay, The Last Light of the Sun.

    But I've some promising stuff on my TBR pile:
    Tamara Siler Jones, Threads of Malice
    Wen Spencer, Tainted Trail (finally avaliable via Amazon.de)
    Halldór Laxness, The Great Weaver of Kashmir

    Favourite non fiction:
    The catalogue/essay books to this exhibition.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is a very good conversation gambit when confronted with a famous person. I had a job where I talked with movie people on the phone. I found that "What movie should I rent tonight?" always got a pleasant answer, and often a brief chat.

    To answer the book question, I recently finally tracked down THE TOMB, the first Repairman Jack novel. Very highly recommended. I especially liked how simple yet effective the writing was. Read Herman Hesse's SIDDARTHA for a class. Shorter SIDDHARTHA: "Everything Buddha said, but hot sex too!" No wonder it was so popular in the 60s! But, the lesson learned was that a work can be highly descriptive without adjectives.

    ReplyDelete
  30. For some reason I don't remember any hot sex from when I read Siddhartha in 10th grade. Huh.

    Best things I've read in the last 90 days:

    Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Fudoki by Kij Johnson, and a good 1/3 of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The best book I've read cover-to-cover recently is nonfiction: "Fooled by Randomness" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It's a smart, entertaining book about the role of luck in professional and personal experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous11:19 PM

    C.E. Murphy, "Urban Shaman". Best new author I've read in several years, with a heroine who takes no nonsense from anyone (including Coyote). The sequel novella is now out also in "Winter Moon".

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous10:07 AM

    KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING (George Orwell)

    ReplyDelete
  35. In the last 90 days?

    American Holocaust by D.Stannard, a non fict read for research (which is excellent). Since it can only be read in 50 page increments I doubled it with If Angels Burn nad now Private Demon by L. Viehl. Like others said, you may like those two.

    Siddhartha has sex? I don't remember that from HS either (I can't believe I missed noticing sex in a book in HS), but lemme dust that one off just to make sure.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I haven't read anything lately, that's got me too excited. (And I've read quite a bit in the last 90 days..)

    Probably the best I've read has been, "On Writing" by Stephen King.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hands down the best? The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J.R. Moehringer

    Just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass

    ReplyDelete