Reader Friday: What Are You Reading Now?

Have you discovered any great new books recently? What are you reading this week? Anything you can recommend to the rest of us?


27 thoughts on “Reader Friday: What Are You Reading Now?

  1. I tend to read more than one book at a time: something on paper I can read while soaking in a hot bath, an e-book I can read on the couch, a light hearted story for when the previous two are too overwhelming, and a non-fiction to learn something new. Right now I’m reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Tremblay for a good horror story (eeek, truly), Darkansas by Middleton (OMGosh what a GREAT piece of literary horror with a hillbilly twist), Small Town Trouble by Laura Benedict as a fun and happy read (it’s a cozy with a cat!), and a book on consumerism that’s too dry to mention.

    • I’ve never figured out how to keep my hands dry enough to read in the tub. And since I mostly take showers (I tell people I haven’t had a bath in years), nor books nor tablets work. I wish you lots of hot water and a handy hand towel.

  2. The Brothers Karamazov–second time through. Read it over several months last fall. First reading of something like that is mostly a scouting mission. Now I’m getting into it.

    The Black Ice by Michael Connelly. Second Harry Bosch novel. I’ve read some of the later ones; thought I’d read the series in order. I hope I don’t get tired of his always being in conflict with his LAPD superiors.

    Margery Allingham’s Campion mysteries, in order. Have read them all several times. Lugg is even more fun than Bunter. Neither rises to the level of Jeeves, but then I find Bertie too silly, so I can’t take much of those books.

    Commonweal and NYTimes. Interesting essay in latest Commonweal (by a lit prof who has experienced trauma) on the trigger alerts issue.

  3. Thanks, Priscilla! I have been looking for a good cozy and now have Small Town Trouble on my Kindle and will read it tonight! I’ve recently discovered Lisa Scottoline’s books and loved Betrayed.

  4. I know we mean fiction, but I’m still waiting for my library loan of the next JA Jance book in the Joanna Brady series, “Outlaw Mountain”.

    In non-fic: Just finished and really enjoyed “It Takes Two” by Drew & Jonathan Scott (Property Brothers). A good fun read. In the self-help category, am reading “The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)” by Gretchin Rubin. (in the age old quest to help me understand myself and others).

  5. Since New Year I’ve read two excellent books by English author Tarn Richardson, “The Damned” and “The Fallen.” They are the first two books in his WWI horror fantasy trilogy “THE DARKEST HAND.” I highly recommend them. I’ve just finished reading “The Chalk Man” by CJ Tudor and thoroughly enjoyed it. My latest read is ‘You Will Know Me” by Megan Abbott.

  6. The Best American Mystery Stories (2017), 20 stories by both well-known and not so well-known crime writers, edited by John Sandford and Otto Penzler. So far, my favorite is “The Master of Negwegon” by Jim Allyn.

  7. I just finished All the Little Fires by Celeste Ng. Great story of an artist and her daughter who unsettle a contented gate-community family.

    For non-fic, I did a quick read through of The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. Wow. Interesting.

    And I’m still reading Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper, who has a delightfully sly sense of humor that peeks through the everyday working of a lexicographer!

  8. Just finished a TC Boyle, ‘Harder they Come’ and now enjoying ‘Train To Pakistan’ a historical novel by Khushwant Singh. I’ve been fascinated by the recent history of Afghanistan/Pakistan/India and this novel focuses on a small village in the soon to be Pakistan prior to and soon after the partitioning of India. An extremely fascinating part of the world where actions over the last 60+ years got us into this mess we’re in now over there.

  9. Excellent south African author Deon Meyer’s “Fever”.
    A Post-apocalyptic epic with Deon’s gifted character representations and gripping action/suspense.
    An exciting and intelligent story of coming-of-age, fundamental human nature, and the challenges of man surviving nature and his fellow man.
    Currently on page 375 of 525. I hesitate to select long books due to the reading time opportunity cost (could read almost two shorter books instead). Deon Meyer’s “Fever” has been easily worth the investment – hugely engaging so far 🙂

  10. I’m reading “Saturday,” by Ian McKewan, overly introspective protagonist/narrator, but well done with clever language traits.

    Lisa Bodenheim: I read “The Professor and the Madman,” by Simon Winchester and loved it. It still causes me to laugh every time I think of a couple of the twists that would be considered too unbelievable had it been a fictional story.

  11. I’ve been lucky to have read 3 excellent books in a row by women authors-“Little Fires Everywhere” (mentioned above) by Celeste Ng, and two debut efforts, The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens and The Lost Girls by Heather Young. All veer toward literary noir fiction, yes there is a murder or two, a young girl’s’ disappearance, mysteries from the past, and multiple POV’s (which seems to be the trend nowadays) but it’s the writing itself that makes them such treasures. My only wish is to someday write as well as only one of these authors.

  12. Okay, I’ll admit it in public…am reading “Fire and Fury.” What a hot mess. The guy really needed an editor. I feel like I need a shower every time I put it down but our bathroom is being remodeled. Maybe I’ll just go stand out in the rain with a stiff drink.

    • I just finished that as well, Kris! My 90-year old mother called me in the middle of the night (on the West Coast) to exclaim about it. Any book that causes the “Mimi Effect “ is creating a buzz! It was like listening to a spontaneous book-length rant by one of the more notable “characters”. Definitely entertaining in a putrid kind of way!

  13. I just finished DISPATCHES by Michael Herr. It’s a riveting and deeply disturbing firsthand account of a war correspondent’s experiences during the Vietnam war. Also just finished rereading THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST by David Halberstam. That book eloquently details how we stumbled and shambled our way into that devastating war. Reading the two books back to back was amazing. Also just finished reading PALE RIDER: THE SPANISH FLU OF 1918… , and THE GUNS OF AUGUST by Barbara Tuchman, and A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: KIM PHILBY AND THE GREAT BETRAYAL. (Yes, I’m a nonfiction enthusiast, lol).

  14. Mark Dawson’s THE DRIVER, book 3 in the John Milton series. It’s like a slightly more compassionate British version of Jack Reacher, compassionate in how he chooses who to help…not in how he treats the bad guys.

  15. I started reading YEAR ONE by Nora Roberts. Usually love her stuff and am a huge JD Robb fan, but this is a bit slower going. I just keeping thinking it’s a lukewarm version of THE STAND, but hoping it gets better. I so want to like it.

    Then I read the first chapter of Jordan Dane’s THE LAST VICTIM and had to immediately download. So Nora’s just going to have to wait. ; )

    For non-fiction WIP research, I’m reading GRIMOIRES: A HISTORY OF MAGIC BOOKS by Owen Davies (dense but good), and THE MEDICINE MAN AND THE WITCH DURING THE RENAISSANCE by Gregory Zilboorn.

    All these books have helped me refocus for the New Year. I have deliberately spent less time on social media and random surfing and more time immersed in story, whether via books or even tv. This has done wonders for my writing productivity, even though my time in the chair has remained the same.

    I find immersing in story also helps quiet the doubts and demons. I see that talented writers can pull off all sorts of crazy plots and weird characters and implausible situations — suspension of disbelief as we learned in lit class.

    It’s easier to muffle the voices in my head saying, “no one will ever believe that plot twist,” or “who wants to read about a character who does X, that’s stupid” or “my protag has too much angst in his backstory”, etc, etc, etc.

  16. Good question.

    I just finished up these books:

    Lea: A Novel by Pascal Mercier
    The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
    The Little French Bistro by Nina George
    How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

    Tonight, I’m planing to read (probably cover to cover) Year One by Nora Roberts.

    I also read a bunch of health books this week (mostly books about the brain by Dr. Amen) and several writing books, including Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell (an easy, quick read with some interesting advice about structuring your novel).

  17. In non-fiction, I recently finished HIDDEN FIGURES by Margot Lee Shetterly and am now reading CODE GIRLS by Liza Mundy. They cover similar but not identical subject matter. Both are good reads — well written and extremely interesting.

  18. Just finished “Power and Destiny,” Jon Meacham’s biography of our 41st president. Just started the Robin Moore classic, “The Green Berets.”

  19. I finished The Deep Blue Good-by, by John D. MacDonald two days ago. I’m already fifty pages or so into Nightmare in Pink, the next in his Travis McGee series.

    I’m also a few stories through The Black Lizard, Big Book of Pulps. Some great stuff there.

  20. I just finished reading non-fiction, “Endurance” by Scott Kelly. I was impressed with his 365 days in space in a non-gravitational environment. Thank goodness we still have brave men willing to take chances for our country. I truly enjoyed this book.

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