I am an avid reader and people are always asking me for book recommendations, so I thought I’d post it here for easy access.
Note, I own a Kindle and LOVE IT! I’ve been waiting for good electronic ink readers to surface for many years, and I was an early adopter of the Sony eReader. Electronic readers make a lot of sense for the way I read, therefor I will pretty much only read a book if it comes in this format, harsh but true.
My favorite genres are Sci Fi (Fantasy is generally NOT included in this category), Humor, and Non-Fiction of various types, although I’m known to delve into other lands every now and then.
If you have recommendations of books I might like, feel free to leave a comment.
What I’ve read lately that’s worth mentioning?
Robert J. Sawyer – The first book of his that I read was Flashforward. I was so enthralled with it, and was thrilled to hear that I wasn’t the only one, because it’s being made into a TV series. It’s not surprising because the premise of the book lends it’s self to so many dramatic stories. I’m not going to tell you what it’s all about, just go check it out. After reading Flashforward, I proceeded to read all of his other books and short stories that are sold via the Kindle. My other favorites are the Neanderthal Parallax series, Calculating God and WWW: Wake. Sawyer has now become my third favorite SciFi writer (behind John Varley and Arthur C. Clark). His stories have a base in real science but then he takes it one step further without going too far out into fantasy land. And my favorite part is that he delves deeply into the sociological and psychological repercussions of science and sometimes the religious too. Science, psychology, religion – I love it!
The Host by Stephanie Meyer – I didn’t think I would like this book, but it kept getting recommended to me. Turns out I liked it so much that I totally screwed up my sleep schedule for a few days because I couldn’t stop reading it. The main character is basically two people in one body and it’s sounds very confusing but the author does a really good job of making it easy. But at the same time it constantly forces your brain to think in two different ways at once, which I found challenging but satisfying.
The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon – This is in the Sci Fi genre but it’s not really a Sci Fi book. It’s about an autistic man and it’s set sometime in the near future. The author’s son is autistic so it gives a very deep and unique view into that world, at the same time being entertaining and thought provoking.
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach – Non-Fiction – This author is a science writer, but you almost don’t want to call her that because her style is very humorous and entertaining. Other than the drawn out chapter on artificial pig insemination (don’t be scared), this was a great read for anyone who wants to know more about the science of sex. I think I’m going to read a few more of her books. I think she has one about dead people or something.
The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories by Ben Marcus – I love to read collections of short stories. Particularly when I’m shopping for my next read. But I recommend you pass on this collection. Too many of these stories just left me going “What the Fuck!?!”. For instance, at one point a mother and daughter climb into the daughter’s vaginal canal and a have normal conversation while the family priest spies on them through a key hole. Again I say, “What the Fuck!?!”.
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner – An interesting study about correlations between geography and happiness and why the author thinks the correlations exist (he actually visited each place). While I think the study of happiness still has a long way to go towards being hard science, it’s still interesting to know about the correlations, and hear about the author’s witty and very non-scientific reasons for the causation.
I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloan Crosley – This book sounded right up my alley in the humor genre, but dear god was I wrong. Reading this book felt like being stuck in a room with that annoying girl in high school (you know the one). The only reason I finished it was because I finished a different book on a plane and since you can’t shop with a Kindle on a plane (it uses a cell phone connection) and I didn’t have another back up book already downloaded, it was my only option. But I learned my lesson to always be prepared!
Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson – A Sci Fi trilogoy going into great detail about the colonization of Mars. Not exactly a thrilling read, but the science was fascinating in it’s own right. And I kind of missed the characters when I was done (sniff).
My all-time favorites.
All of Jen Lancaster’s Books – I marvel and envy her writing talent. If there were an official Smart Ass genre, she would lead it. I was so sad when I read her last published book because I knew I’d have to wait a long time for the next one (instead of just downloading it to my Kindle in 30 seconds).
All of Davis Sedaris’s Books – The only author I hold above Jen Lancaster in the humor genre. Warning – You WILL laugh out loud, so don’t read his books anywhere inappropriate. And I recommend his audio books; it’s a different/better experience when he reads it aloud.
Arthur C. Clark – I’m still making my way through all of his work. His writing can be a bit dry at times but his imagination never is. I love his books for their realistic future vision and their die hard need to be scientifically sound. My favorite so far was The City and the Stars, not exactly a realistic future vision because it’s set so far in the future, but a fascinating work, particularly as it pertains to sociology.
John Varley - I’d have to say he is my favorite Sci Fi writer, even above Arthur C. Clarke. I mostly enjoy is recent work, particularly his Mars trilogy. His characters in this trilogy just always seem to say what I’m thinking. And one of the main characters is lovable simple-minded, Cajun genius from south Louisiana, what’s not to love about that!
Lamb by Christopher Moore – I like a lot of Christopher Moore’s books but this is his shinning star. It’s a humor based on what happen during the first 30 years of Christ’s life that are glossed over in the Bible. It’s smart and funny, with a dash of raunchy. So if you’re an easily offended Christian, don’t read it… on second thought, DO read it!
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – I’ll start by saying that a 1600 page philosophical novel isn’t for everyone, but I still think everyone should read it at some point in their lives. I’ve read all of her work and while I can’t say I fully subscribe to all of her belief’s, I do admire them. This book also holds a special place in my heart because it was the first fiction I read after graduating college. While in college, and doing a ton of reading for class, I wouldn’t tease myself with “mind candy” or “fun reading”. So I gorged myself on this book after graduation.