Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whatcha Reading?

Now and then I like to do a whatcha reading check and see what books everyone else in the house has going. I do this when they're not home not because I'm sneaky -- well, I guess it's a little sneaky -- but mainly so that so no one tries to plant books they think I think they should be reading. I'm also trying to be sensitive to the fact that apparently it's tough to live with an opinionated writer who will shove a book in their hands without warning (I don't know why these people waste their time whining about getting cool new books when they could be reading them instead, but there you go.)

Mom is visiting for the holidays, and like me she leaves books she's reading everywhere. Today she's working on Carla Cassidy's Rancher Under Cover in her room and Thomas A. Flagel's The History Buff's Guide to the Civil War and the December '11 issue of Woman's Day in the living room. I've noticed she's been reading a lot more Harlequin and Silhouette romances these days, along with her usual nonfic history doorstops. The Civil War is her favorite period, so I'll probably grab Shiloh for her from my Shelby Foote collection. I also want her to read The Icing on the Cake, Alison Kent's reality-based romance, because it's so unique.

Due to an overabundance of school work my daughter has not been reading much at all for pleasure lately, but she's dutifully plowing her way through her latest assignment for advanced English Lit. She's already complained numerous times about how much she dislikes F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (while I try very hard to keep a straight face as I encourage her to keep plowing), so I wasn't surprised to see it thrown on the floor. She was a bit more respectful with her class textbook, which is sitting on her desk. I imagine when she gets home from her latest band competition she'll be diving back into another lit assignment. I might have to make her some sympathy shortbread and pick up the latest volume of her favorite manga to go with them.

My guy reads only for work, and he's been studying this technical manual on energy efficiency controls all week. I know how much he hates to read, so I don't shove books at him. We do discuss local and national news, though, and I might leave a copy of the Sunday newspaper out where he can find it. My college kid is also home, and has started a local job for the holidays. He's been taking extra shifts to beef up his paycheck, and as a result has been coming home exhausted, so I wasn't surprised to see the only reading material in his room was a Shonen Jump magazine. Reading is not his favorite leisure activity, but when he's tired he's more apt to curl up with humor or something light. I'll keep that in mind when I next get to BAM and see if I can find him something short and fun.

As for what I've been reading, we'll head over to my nightstand TBR and have a look. My piles here shift constantly; at the moment I think I've got kind of an interesting assortment, mostly rereads: 11/22/63 by Stephen King; The Secret Life of Houdini by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, The Knife Man by Wendy Moore, A Piece of Heaven by Barbara Samuel, Chimera by Rob Thurman, a collection of e.e. cummings's poetry, Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt . . . and see, I am reading a dragon book; there's Anne McCaffrey right up top (I remembered I was once very fond of The White Dragon, so to keep my promise to read more dragon stuff I thought I'd start there with a reread.)

Of all of them I'm probably not going to finish the only new book (King's latest doorstop); that one I'll pass along to someone who is dying to read it but can't afford the hardcover. Since I've been lending my car to my daughter I haven't any books in there, but Daniel Pool is in my purse. Well, not Daniel, but his wonderful book What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew. I'm expecting a copy of ClothDragon's Zen revenge rec, Bridge of Birds, next week as soon as B& ships my latest order, and have another list of titles to hunt for the next time I get to the brick-and-mortar BAM. I've got to get there soon, as I definitely need some new reads.

So, whatcha reading? Give us a peek in comments.


  1. Rereading Gould's 7th Sigma which I devoured almost non-stop first time through. And starting Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver which has been on my to-be-read stack so long I'm embarrassed, but it's finally starting to click

    Whit in Austin

  2. Just finished Elizabeth Hoyt's Scandalous Desires which I liked and am now onto Kristan Higgin's All I Ever Wanted. Had a bit of a book buying binge lately and bought some Kerry Greenwood's mysteries set in 1920's Melbourne. Looking forward to those.

  3. Been in a dark reading mood lately...finished The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (awesome but not how I thought the trilogy would end), Feed by Mira Grant (zombies + technogeekspeak for uber bloggers + conspiracy=a solid, if extremely LONG urban fantasy), Only Mine by Susan Mallery (just cound not finish this...), and Dukes to the Left, Princes to the Right by Kieran Kramer (a so-so romance that I should have passed over).

    Next up on my TBR pile is Patricia Rice's Magic series and I'd really like to tackle Down these Strange Streets soon if I get any time....

  4. I usually only read one book at a time, but right now I'm reading the first book in the Runelords series by David Farland, and I started Hickory Smoked Homicide by Riley Adams while I was waiting to pick up my daughter for fall break.

  5. I'm currently reading The Nerdist Way and really enjoying it. Husband is re-reading How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Zoe's current fave is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Morgan's is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (a Scholastic lullaby collection with terrific art and falling stars in a gel cover), and Alex is reading Dragons of the Red Dawn. Jointly our night-time book is How to Break a Dragon's Heart, #8 in the How to Train Your Dragon series. If you're looking for dragon recs, I highly recommend the adventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the 3rd, fun for all ages. : )

  6. Recently, I've gotten Brandon Sanderson's Alloy of Law. It's a rollicking steampunk western style story set in his Mistborn world, and it's good stuff.

    I also highly recommend Aliette de Bodard's Obsidian and Blood series. The three books are mystical murder mysteries set in a pseudo-Aztec, pre-Cortez world. She really captures their mentality as well as their reasonings for their culture. Very well done books, and the mysteries are also excellent.

    And the latest in Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra puts poor Kaylin into a situation she really, really doesn't want... (Yes, there are dragons in this series. They aren't quite typical dragons, though.)

    (This may be a duplicate, but I had a bizzare glitch with blogger. Feel free to delete this one if so.)

  7. Just finished the third book in Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles, which I loved and I am anxiously awaiting #4 to come out in April. I am reading the latest issue of Poets & Writers and finding the articles on how lit mags are evolving to be very interesting. Next I may go for a re-read. I've been wanting to re-read Butcher's Codex Alera series or I may re-read one of my favorite Nora Roberts trilogies if I feel like something lighter.

  8. I ordered Bridge of Birds after ClothDragon's comment the other day. After reading a summary about it on the internet--sounded so interesting--I purchased a copy for myself.

    It arrived Friday and I am loving it. Isn't it great when you discover a book that you would probably never otherwise know about?

    Big thanks to both you and ClothDragon...

  9. Fran Kane12:18 PM

    Yesterday morning I finished the 3rd book in Rita Herron's Demonborn series, did an overnight re-read of The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands and this afternoon I've just started Karen Chance's Midnight's Daughter. I've had this on the TBR shelf for nearly 2 years but finally felt in the mood for it. On page 77 and enjoying it very much.

    Still waiting for Nightshine to be delivered by Amazon!

  10. Like your daughter, I have been buried in school work the last three weeks. I have only read three books this month. Ack! Friday I devoured Tricks of the Trade by Laura Anne Gilman.
    Next up is... A bunch of science papers. But the exam is in 10 days, and then I plan to read Dead Iron by Devon Monk, Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend and Robin D Owens latest.

  11. I got all kinds of stuff to read, but apart from the Hollywood books (for my next book), I started Stephen King's "11/22/1963" but set it aside for Beryl Markham's "West With the Night." I had rearranged my shelves after installing new ones in my bedroom, and came across this. "Oh, this belongs in the biography section," I says. "Hemingway liked this book. I wonder if it's any good."

    So I started reading it, and now King's waiting on the bedside table for me to finish.

    Meanwhile, the family's reading "Girl Genius" vol. 10 (Phil and Kaija Foglio's steampunk webcomic collection, which we buy in hardcover), "Make Bread, Buy Butter" (a new cookbook from the library which we ended up ordering, because it's great to read and has some great recipes) and "Retromania" (how pop music eats itself through nostalgia and mashups and other things. Reading it is like drinking with a well-informed music fan with definite opinions who you can argue with).

    No fiction at the moment, though.

  12. Finishing Stoker's Dracula and starting Watership Down by Richard Adams for our very loose classics book club.

    Found out that Irene Radford wrote SF opera under "C.F. Bentley (why do publishers hide SF female authors under andorogynous names? It's silly and insulting) and so am starting Harmony.

    However, am looking for my copy of Bridge of Birds to re-read.

  13. I'm reading Jeanine Frost's, One Grave at a Time and an art book, Michael de Meng' Secrets of Rusty Things. And a WW2 era cookbook that doesn't have a cover but does have a recipe for cooking squirrel.

  14. I love Bridge of Birds! I recently finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Now I'm almost done with Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey.

  15. I'm currently reading the new Stephen King "doorstop" you mentioned, 11/23/63. I think it's going to take a while, but so far, so good. :)

    I recently finished an excellent zombie novel that was recommended to me, and I highly recommend it:
    WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion. This book proves a zombie can be a sympathetic and even romantic lead character. A very good read.

  16. Hi. just finished C Feehan's latest Dark Predator and an old one from Hannah Howell, Beauty and the Beast. During the week I listen to books on my mp3 player at work, and I'm working my way through and loving is Jeanne Frost's Hunter series.

  17. I just finished Meljean Brooks Heart of Steel and really enjoyed it. I have a bunch of tbrs - loaded a bunch to my kindle and am getting ready for some winter reading. I downloaded the Kyndred series (I have been wanting to read them and just went for the series), Jeanienne Frost's latest Kat and Bones book, On Thin Ice by Anne Stuart and a few others in the paranormal range. I am also really looking forward to the most recent Ilona Andrews book being released at the end of the month. Nonfiction is currently several knitting books, a book on Edward Gorey and a reread of Lewis Thomas Medusa and the Snail (some of the science is out of date but he writes so wonderfully.).

  18. Anonymous9:11 AM

    I recently discovered Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and am loving them.

    I looked forward to a book glom to bring me up to speed when I read a movie is being made.............. and Tom Cruise is playing him.

    6 foot 5, mid 30's, sandy haired ex military cop, now hobo Jack Reacher.

    I may never recover.

  19. Just finished Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong and haven't decided what to read next.

    On the short list are Highlander for the Holidays by Janet Chapman,
    Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon, A Quick Bite by Lyndsay Sands, or Nightshine.

  20. Not started reading Robert Jordan's first Wheel of Time book, The Eye of the World.

    Previously I had a break from reading fantasy by having a go at some Sherlock Holmes. And before that, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy.

    BTW, did you see that, sadly, Anne McCaffrey has passed away? I do have a couple of her books that I ended up with, but because they were part way into a series, I've not read them yet.