looking for a book

I've been unsatisfied with the stuff I've had to read recently, and I'm looking for something new to love. I just finished reading Middlesex, and I felt kind of meh about it. I can't decide if my lack of reading excitement is due to other stresses, or if it's due to the material. 

What have you been reading lately? What's your favorite book? What should I read next? 

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May 2, 2006. books for grown-ups.

24 Comments

  1. Jennifer replied:

    I’ve got onto a non fiction kick lately, but for fiction, my favourite lately has been Neal Stephenson’s trilogy about the 17th century – The Baroque Cycle .

    He started out in cyberpunk, but this is thoughtful, fascinating, adult historical fiction.

    And Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is on my bedside table because everyone says it’s by far his best book, but I haven’t opened it yet.

  2. Elizabeth replied:

    Best book I’ve read recently is The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters, set in London just after and during WWII.

    I also really enjoyed His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik, which is best described as a cross between Anne McCaffrey and Patrick O’Brien.

  3. chichimama replied:

    Nothing good over here I must admit…will be interested to gleam ideas from you.

  4. chip replied:

    I liked “Fire in Beulah” by Rilla Askew, a novel that is set at the time of the Tulsa race riots, it’s wonderfully written and very provocative.

  5. Suzanne replied:

    Do you like Margaret Atwood? Blind Assassin is a fabulous book.

    I read On Beauty by Zadie Smith a while ago (something in my memory suggests that you may have gotten this for Christmas, too), and was a little underwhelmed. Better than Autograph Man, not nearly as good as White Teeth. Still worth reading, though, I think.

  6. jackie replied:

    I’ve been reading nonfiction, a great book called “Storming Caesars Palace” about a welfare mothers movement in Las Vegas during the 70s and 80s. It’s amazing, if you’re looking for nonfiction.

    Didn’t like Middlesex, huh? I’ve been trying to slog through Portrait of a Lady, but don’t think I’ll be able to finish it. I couldn’t care less about whether or not Isabel ever gets married, and I’m so tired of hearing about how fascinating and special she is from all the other characters!

  7. jackie replied:

    oooh, yeah, Blind Assassin! Read that, if you haven’t yet.

  8. landismom replied:

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I’m definitely a huge Margaret Atwood fan, and have read the Blind Assasin. On Beauty I liked overall, but found the end kind of tailed off. That welfare mothers’ movement book sounds really interesting.

    I just last night started Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, so we’ll see how that goes.

  9. MetroDad replied:

    Hey LM…you know I love Ishigigro so I hope you enjoy “Never Let Me Go.” It’s certainly a departure in style and subject matter for him but I think you’ll like it.

    I just bought “Absurdistan” (Gary Shteyngart) and “Everyman” (Phillip Roth). They’ve both received great review and I’m looking forward to reading them. I”ll let you know how it goes.

    And for the record? I didn’t enjoy Middlesex much either. Feh….

  10. Amanda replied:

    You should absolutely read The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. The books are called, Black, Red, and White, respectively. Fabulous works of fiction.

  11. Carrie replied:

    I’ve been chowing down on brain candy this month–Jennifer Weiner. Funny stuff, but not very challenging.

  12. Doppelganger replied:

    Weird! I just started Never Let Me Go this morning! So far, I’m really liking it.

    Since we have this book synchronicity going on, perhaps you’ll enjoy the last book I loved, an anthology of women’s non-fiction writing called Dropped Threads 3. (It’s the third anthology in a series, hence the numeral.) I LOOOVED it… so much so that I stayed up till 2 am to finish it, which was not so smart on my part since Sam didn’t get the memo to sleep in. But it was worth it. It totally resparked my reading fire, which is probably why I’m loving Ishiguro’s novel so much.

  13. AML replied:

    “Never Let Me Go” is sooooo good!! Put me to a point even beyond crying, it was that intense. I am currently reading, and utterly adoring for the 2nd time, “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett. Just finished “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and it was fascinating. I could get my s&%t together if I had a year off to go to Italy, India and Indonesia too!

  14. katie replied:

    I just came across your site…
    I love Amy Herricks “At the Sign of the Naked Waiter” A lovely quick read 🙂

  15. christie replied:

    As soon as you said you were looking for a book to read a million popped in my head- unfortunately I can’t remember the title of ANY of them. I’m drawing a blank on every book I’ve ever read.
    As soon as I remember I’ll tell you (ugh)….

    go nominate before it’s too late!

  16. Phil replied:

    I was feeling that way, having recently finished the very disappointing “In The Night Room” by Peter Straub.

    Then last week I picked up an interesting book at the library and it grabbed me from the first page. Sweet And Low by RIch Cohen… It’s the true story of Ben Eisenstadt (inventor of Sweet n’ Low) and his dysfunctional family.

    Here’s the Amazon page with reviews

    It’s funny, informative, and kind of wacky.

  17. Genevieve replied:

    Anything by Laurie Colwin (especially A Big Storm Knocked It Over, Happy All the Time, and Goodbye Without Leaving), Helene Hanff (author of 84 Charing Cross Road, but also Underfoot in Show Business and others), Elinor Lipman (The Inn at the Lake Devine, Then She Found Me), or Caroline Preston (Jackie By Josie, Lucy Crocker 2.0 — sadly these are out of print, but are available in the library, and after her new book Gatsby’s Girl comes out this summer, I’m hoping the others will go back into print).

  18. Comfort Addict replied:

    Where do I begin? You are so much more literate than I, Landismom, but here are a couple of gems you might not have seen:

    – Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo. The protagonist of this largely unsung novel recounts his rambling life story as a part of his psychoanalytic treatment. Through this wonderful tale, Svevo shows us the rationalizations that most of us make to some degree in life. This book is one of my favorites.

    – juneteenth by Ralph Ellison. I loved Ellison’s Invisible Man (I didn’t recommend it because I was sure you had read but, if you haven’t, do). When I heard that he had an unfinished novel newly published, I jumped at it. It’s great. As always, Ellison’s observations on race are pitch perfect and the writing is lyrical.

    Happy reading!

  19. Woman with Kids replied:

    I read Middlesex too, and wasn’t crazy about it. Spent the whole book with the question “Why the hell is her brother named Chapter 11???” running through my head.

    Just finished Marley & Me, and highly recommend it. Also, Biff, Jesus Christ’s Best Friend by Christopher Moore, is incrediably funny.

  20. doth replied:

    I just finished Suite Francaise and it’s a fantastic read — I blogged about it, so go have a look at .H if you have a second. I’ve got Douglas Coupland’s new book, Jpod, on my list next (available May 9), and they’re giving away copies of it at randomhouse.ca…well, you actually have to win a copy, but it’s worth a shot. BUT my most cherished and favourite reads (in order) of the last 6 months were:

    1. An Audience of Chairs — SO GOOD
    2. Memoirs of a Geisha (WAY better than the movie)

    I do have a friend who raves about Never Let Me Go and she loved it.

  21. CroutonBoy replied:

    Does t have to be a new book? I read so slowly that nothing is new by the time I finish it.

    If that’s cool, then some older ones I recommend are Blindness (by Jose Saramago), American Gods (by Neil Gaiman), and if you don’t mind a little sci-fi I can’t say enough good things about Hyperion (by Dan Simmons)

    Oh, and my wife really liked Drop City by T.C. Boyle, and I think she may share your taste…

  22. wally replied:

    try some James Mirchner or my Blog 🙂

  23. HeatherJ replied:

    I read Middlesex before Christmas and I liked it but when it was done it didn’t leave me wanting more. It was one of those books that could have wrapped up the story in about half the time.

    The last book I read was “Wicked” which I did enjoy. Certainly makes you look at the Wizard of Oz in a whole new light.

  24. Twiss replied:

    I, too, have been reading a lot of non-fiction. I finally read “Fast Food Nation.” I also read a collection of essays and profiles called “The Woman at the Washington Zoo,” by a woman named Marjorie Williams. I had never heard of her but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I also read a bio of Marjorie Merriweather Post. Kind of a wacky choice but I couldn’t put it down. I’ve tried to pick up fiction again and can’t get going. All the best.

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