Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Read All About It!

I usually have one or two books in queue for my leisure reading, but suddenly I find myself with a growing list that I haven't been making much progress on. So I thought I would share. In the hopes that it will shame me into finishing a couple of books and just, well, because. I'll report back on how I like the books when I'm done. I'm considering adding a Currently Reading/Recently Read column on blog, so we'll see whether that materializes or not, too.

Currently Reading:

Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris

This book follows the lives of workers at an typical large ad agency during the recession that followed the tech boom. I'm not quite halfway through it so far and my initial reaction of horror to be reading about a culture so similar to BigLaw has been tempered a bit. Joshua Ferris does a good job of putting the reader into the place of these people by using a first person plural voice that (surprisingly) works remarkably well. We don't know which (if any) of the characters the author purports to be, but he makes you feel like you are a part of the group. The only difficulty I've had is following (especially in the early going) which character is which because there are a number of names to try to couple with their plots/stories. That issue seems to have worked itself out at this point though.

Books To Read:

1. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I'm in a newly-formed book club with some internet friends of mine and our first selection is Slaughterhouse Five, in honor of Vonnegut's death this month. I still haven't gotten my hot little hands on a copy yet, and I hear they are hard to come by right now, but I need to get on it already so I can discuss it with the group when I'm done. I guess I should be ashamed to admit one or all of: (a) I have internet friends, (b) I have never read Slaughterhouse Five and (c) I have never been in a book club before, but thankfully I have no shame. How freeing!

Ten Days in the Hills: A Novel by Jane Smiley

I thought this one looked interesting the last time I was randomly perusing, and I was in a bit of a book lull, so I grabbed it. I like reading LA books, so I'm not letting the tepid reviews on stop me. I'm not really a book snob anyway.

3. The Man of my Dreams: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

I'm excited for this one. I really enjoyed her last novel, Prep, so I signed up months ago for the paperback release of her latest one. I've heard from other fans of Prep that this one isn't as good, but I have to see for myself. I'm a fan of Nick Hornby books that others would cast aside (How to be Good and The Long Way Down were both great, in my opinion). Prep is a very poignant coming of age story about a midwestern middle class girl who ends up at an exclusive east coast boarding school for high school and her trials and tribulations with trying to fit in when she feels completely different from those around her. And seriously, who made it through high school without some of those insecurities? I highly recommend it.

4. Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby by Allyson Beatrice

I'm looking forward to reading this one because it was written by a friend of a friend (hi 'stina!) and I trust the recommendation. Also it sounds funny. The internet has introduced me to some wonderful people and I'm looking forward to reading about the adventures of a group of Buffy internet fans (or, uh, geeks). I think it is seriously cool the way the internet can bring like-minded folks who might never meet otherwise together. Amazing.

Hmm. I think that's all for now. If anyone has any good non-fiction books they care to share, I'd love to hear about them. I prefer to have a mix of fiction and non-fiction available to me at all times so I can suit my reading to my mood.

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