help me read something good

OK, embarrassing truth time. I haven’t read any novels in a long time. A very long time. So long, in fact, that I can’t remember the last one I actually made it through. It’s been at least a year, if not longer.

Reading has started to feel like a chore. I think this is mostly because I keep returning to the same books I am told “I must read” or “I must enjoy,” such as Pratchett. I’ve tried 4 of his books now, and while I appreciate the humour a lot, I just can’t read them. I only made it through about 100 pages of “The News,” and that’s the farthest I’ve made it through any of his books. And my immediate sources of friends with books tend to focus on sci-fi, fantasy, or non-fiction military history.

It’s time for a change. Can you help me? Suggest 1 good book that will get me back into the habit of reading. My criteria are simple: it can’t be anything I’ve read before, it must be in print (or easily obtained from a used book store, not ebook), it must not be pulp fiction or poorly written, and it must be in English.


10 thoughts on “help me read something good

  1. I really liked The Passage by Justin Cronin. Not sure if it’s to your tastes or not, but if you liked Steven King’s The Stand, it’s reasonable to think that you would like The Passage, as it shares some elements.

  2. WMUR just suggested “Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It” by Maile Meloy. He also recommends Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang, and The Pillowman by martin McDonagh

  3. The last light reading novel that I made it through entirely on my own without issues is a bit of an older one… “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I haven’t read any other Pratchett though, so have no other opinion of his stuff…

    If you don’t mind graphic novels, I love Girl Genius to death, have reread the whole run 3 or 4 times at least (seeing more foreshadowing each time through) … full content online. Took me a while to get use to Foglio’s “squash and stretch” style of illustration, but the story is what hooked me.

    I’m currently (slowly) reading through Snow Crash for the first time. My initial assessment: “In the grim year of 2030, after the Great Noun disaster of 1995, in which the first half of every noun is dropped to make hip slang…” … but it’s rather funny how he predicted the future of the Internet would be Second Life. :)

  4. Gabriel Garcia Marques – Love in the Time of Cholera. Bonus points for reading it in Spanish. It’s like eating a rich meal that’s lovingly prepared.

  5. I always enjoy rereading Journey to the East by Hesse. Same author, Glass Bead Game has to be my favorite. Tale of Genji you’ve probably read. Focault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco I thought was a well done version of Dan Brown but with an ironic twist. A good read, as is An Instance of the Fingerpost by Ian Pears. The SciFi Series about the Company that starts with the Children of Iden is light but interesting and China Melville is writing some really strangely compelling steampunk. The late Kage Baker (a loss to sci fi) Company Seris, starting with The Garden of Iden. A little uneven towards the end, but enjoyable.

    Finally, don’t knock pulp. It is said that Bertrand Russell read a mystery novel a day. I recently I’ve started keeping a collection of Dorothy Sayers short stories around for the fun of it.

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