Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Good books?

I was talking with someone tonight and the topic turned to books.

I read all the time. It's rare for me to not be into two or three books at the same time. I love to read. The problem is, the question was "What was the last good book you read?" Good, you see, is a terrible problem.

I'm plowing my way through "The Wheel of Time" again, slowly. I mean, a new book has to be coming out sometime, right? I'm moving through book 2 now, and, you know, I wouldn't say it's a good book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it and I recommend it if you like fantasy literature, but as a "good book," it doesn't measure up.

A lot of the--I hate this term--graphic novels I've been reading recently have been okay, but wouldn't really qualify as "good."

That leaves the tech manuals. Ugh. They come close, I suppose, since they're generally helpful as long as they're from O'Reilly.

So I was in the awkward position of saying that I couldn't remember the last good book I read, even though I read all the time.

How about you?


  • (Matt) Jenny reads about two books a week. As a result of that volume of reading, she can't remember what she read last month. Yet she tells me she enjoys it, so more power to her. I read about one book a month, and I can remember details about all of them. The last good one was Desperation by Stephen King, which I read in October.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:35 AM  

  • (Josh) I don't read nearly as much as I used to, so now I basically read what my wife recommends, and largely it's non-fiction. The last one was "Friday Night Lights," which totally slayed. I don't know anything about the movie, but in the book the author moved to this rotting West Texas oil city where everything revolves around high school football. Very compelling sociological commentary on how people set priorities and the stresses that puts on people who are, in fact, high school kids.

    I read Bill Bryson's "In A Sun-Burned Country" right before going to Australia, and it's freakin' hilarious. I got Penny a few of his other books for Christmas, so I'll find out if they're any good. Also in the loosely-defined travel writing genre, I've really enjoyed "Baghdad Without A Map" and "Confederates in the Attic" by Tony Horowitz.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 AM  

  • Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is really good. Definitely worth a read, even if you're not into science.

    By Blogger Robert, at 1:34 PM  

  • (Savannah) Insofar as I "read" anything (I'm not a real beginning-to-end type of person, I'm what cultural studies types call a "poacher"), I've recently discovered Mary Renault, and she's great. "Fire From Heaven" and "The Persian Boy" are two of her novels, and then there's "The Nature of Alexander," her biography of Alexander the Great, which is like a key to the two novels--your best bet is to read it first, make a list of all the cool stuff, and then find it, fleshed out with imagination, in the two novels.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:53 PM  

  • (dpb) Middlesex by Jeffrey Euginedes. Excellent book. Solid writing. Expansive story. I didn't want it to end, but I couldn't put it down. The story is told from the perspective of a hermaphrodite, and I STILL gave it to my parents for Christmas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 PM  

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