What Are You Reading

I’m slowly working my way through Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I’m almost through with the second book and I’m almost ready to throw in the towel. I know plenty of people who swear by this series but I’m starting to think it’s a love it or hate it thing. I’m just having difficulty with it keeping my attention.

Are you reading anything good at the moment?


  1. ‘The Politically Incorrect History of Latin America’, it’s in Portuguese about some historical events and some characters (like Che Guevara, Simon Bolivar etc) of Latin America history and how they were not what they seem to be. It’s not a very depth historical analysis but it’s OK.

  2. Chicago columinst Neil Steinberg’s book “Drunkard”. It’s about his addiction to alcohol and subsequent arrest. For someone that’s a self-proclaimed atheist… I find it more than a little preachy. I should be done with it shortly. Easy read.

  3. I’m anticipating Neal Stephenson’s Reamde which should be out in a few weeks. I almost don’t want to get too involved with another novel so I can have a clear plate for when my pre-order comes in.

  4. i took 10 months and read 10 King books that contained all the Dark Tower references, then did the DT series. I’ll never do something like that again. I only hate Wizard and Glass. Seems like everyone either loved or hated the DT series. If you know King then you’ll be able to figure out the ending. The last 2 books were phenomenal though.

    I just finished an extremely thorough biography of Dorothy Parker named “What Fresh Hell is this”. It was really fantastic and I’m capping it with the movie “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle”.

  5. Just finished “Great Expectations” and started reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” But I’m about 100 pages in, and so far it’s just a lot of people talking about some English dandy. I hope it picks up soon.

  6. Things really pick up on the 3rd book. But I hated the 4th book, The Wizard and the Glass. Everything else was a good read.

    Currently, I’m reading “The Cheating Culture”

  7. I enjoy a lot of pulp fiction. I just finished re-reading the entire “Prey” series to date, by John Sandford. I generally like Stephen King, but I also had some trouble with the Dark Tower books, just a bit too self-consciously enigmatic or allegorical, maybe. Like “Lost”.

  8. I adore Terry Pratchett. I’ve read the Discworld series as well as his young adult stuff that also contains discworld characters. I tried reading Dark Tower. My husband liked it, but I quit after two books.

  9. I was lucky enough to get a used review copy of a seemingly random short story collection edited by a kid I follow in chicago. If the title “A Brief History of Authoterrorism” doesn’t intrigue, perhaps the contributors shall.

    Southern and Son, Greenman, Codrescu and on and on.


  10. Still working on The Autobiography of Mark Twain. Yeah.

    I’m actually going to put it down for a bit and read some Christopher Moore (bought a copy of Coyote Blue the other day). When I’m done with that, someone just recommended Mawrdew Czgowchwz by James McCourt. Then I might get back to Mark Twain, which I swear I am enjoying.

    1. Moore’s vampire trilogy (“Bloodsucking Fiends”, “You Suck” and “Bite Me!”) is absolutely hilarious. I didn’t much care for “Fluke” and “Fool.”

  11. Cryptonomicon by Stephenson. Just started, so it’ll be a while.

    I also recently reread The Rule of Four by Caldwell and Thompson. I forgot the second surprise ending. This novel is what you’d get if you mixed a Dan Brown book that was actually any good with Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. The Rule of Four is twisty and a little twisted. You won’t be able to put it down.

  12. Just finished ‘Ready Player One,’ a first novel by Ernest Cline. Not as good as I thought it would be based on various reviews. It reads like a Cory Doctor YA novel mashed up with ‘I Love the 80s.’

  13. Just finished Deadline, second in a series that started with Feed by Mira Grant. Really great series, if you’re into bloggers, zombies, and political snark.

  14. I am reading “A Billion Wicked Thoughts”, the book about two neuroscientists who accessed millions of Internet searches for pornography and analyzed the results. It’s quite interesting, especially once they start talking about sexual cues that people develop during adolescence.

    Also, about the Dark Tower series: I read all seven, but you are at the low point(in my opinion.) If you can stick through the second book, everything starts to pick up again. I should really start that series again. Wizard and Glass was my favorite, as it is so different from the other books.

    1. its worth it in the long run. They didn’t all come out at once so don’t kill yourself reading them all at once. Read a couple other books between them. You might find yourself more eager to get to next one that way.
      The Dome by King is awesome Im currently finally reading his book IT. Long but awesome.

  15. James Morrow’s “Blameless in Abaddon” The premise of his earlier work “Towing Jehovah” that the body of God was found & towed to Orlando to be turned into a theme park is extended when a guy from Abaddon PA brings suit against the Corpus Dei for crimes against humanity. The body (two miles long) will be towed to the Hague for the trial.

    It is a bizarre read, bitter, cynical and very subversive.

  16. Stranger in a Strange Land, a book of Vonnegut short stories, and loads of boring stuff for classes (although The Curse of the Self by Mark Leary is pretty good so far). I had about 6 friends recommend Stranger in a Strange Land recently, and with about 100 pages to go I have definitely not been disappointed.

  17. Unfortunately, my next book will be the highly, highly overrated Great Gatsby. What a piece of junk; I would never read it again if it weren’t for my job.

    As for fun reading, I just finished Next by Michael “I’m believe in the supernatural but not global warming” Crichton. Despite its many plot holes, it was an interesting read about the world of genetic manipulation. Probably one of his most thought-provoking books.

    Also just finished Alive, the story about those cannibal rugby players in the Andes. It wasn’t bad, but could have included more recipes.

  18. I recently re-read American Gods by Neil Gaiman (mostly known of Coraline) which is a great book and HBO is supposedly going to make a series out of it so there’s still time to read it before it becomes cool 😉
    “Let Me In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist was quite good, child vampire coming of age type thing. Was also made in a nice movie but the book contains a lot more material.
    “Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks” by Christopher Brookmyre is good crime novel in which scottish detective Parlabane takes on a “psychic.” I’m a big fan of Brookmyre’s, his “The Sacred Art Of Stealing” is also a good read.

    1. Didn’t know HBO was planning an adaptation! That could be really, really great… but I’ve a horrible suspixion it’ll suck ass. Gaiman doesn’t really seem to do too well in screen adaptations (Coraline excepted).

      But isn’t American Gods Gaiman’s best-known work? It’s definitely a perennial recommendation every time Chris runs one of these book threads…

  19. Wow… I’ve just started reading it too! My boyfriend bought me the first 3 books and I’m only at chapter 2 of the first book and am slightly irritated . He’s been telling me to ignore all the extra crap King adds in and over explains. Le sigh..

  20. “Pillars of the Earth” and like the millionth Wheel of Time book.

    Pillars is going okay; I don’t know if I can handle the relentless suckiness for the main characters, though.

    The latest Wheel of Time has actually grabbed my interest, which makes me vaguely feel like a traitor to Robert Jordan (whose mantle was taken up by another author.)

  21. its worth it in the long run. They didn’t all come out at once so don’t kill yourself reading them all at once. Read a couple other books between them. You might find yourself more eager to get to next one that way.
    The Dome by King is awesome Im currently finally reading his book IT. Long but awesome.

  22. “Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn – a mystery book told by the dogs pov. Funny and good so far. Also Lincoln Lawyer, but I’m looking forward to Cold Vengence by Child/Preston and the new Reacher book.

  23. Finished Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart and just picked up a copy of her book Wicked Bugs from the library. Still shuddering over her descriptions of encounters humans have had with stinging trees in Australia.

    Just finished Breath by Martha Mason. Spent most of her life in an iron lung but it didn’t stop her from being first in her class in college. Enjoyed her sense of humor and how she created a happy life out of a situation that I would have seen as anything but.

  24. As someone else mentioned on here: try to hold out through the 3rd book. It really picks up and some good characters pop in. It’s been years since I read them but if I’m remembering right, the 3rd one ends on a helluva cliff hanger, which sucked at the time because it was several years until the 4th book came out. It was a long wait.

    Anyway, currently reading “Why We Believe in God(s)”

  25. Reading Gaiman’s ‘Graveyard Book’ to my kids… and read it to myself last night, which has given me grave (NPI) doubts about its suitability as a bedtime tory for a 4 and 5 year old.

    Just finished Stross’ ‘Rule 34’, which was certainly worth reading but (like a lot of Stross) a bit of a curate’s egg. (Hmm, that’s too harsh. But although I really like Stross, there’s some level on which a lot of his books don’t quite hit the spot and this one’s no exception).

    Also just finished Scalzi’s ‘Old Man’s War’, which… well, see the comment above really.

    I think M. John Harrison’s ‘Light’ is up next, but for some reason I’m finding it hard to pick up…

  26. Currently mostly reading things for my university course, but luckily this means I get to re-read If This Is a Man by Primo Levi, who was such a beautiful and brilliant writer . Have also just started Down and Out in Paris and London by Orwell.

  27. just finished The Listeners by James Gunn.
    I don’t remember where the recommendation came from but I loved it.

    definitely not just a clever story. I think it’s great when I feel connected to an author because of their small observations and little quirks, especially when you’re vastly different ages and don’t have a common cultural reference map.

  28. Rob Tom Smith’s Agent 6. It’s quite entertaining, but a bit messy (all over the place, both literary and geographically speaking) and not nearly as good as his first book, Child 44.

    1. If you liked Child 44, you may want to check out the OTHER Smith, Michael Cruz Smith. His Renko series is similar to Child 44, but the writing is better, the factoids more interesting. Havana Bay is a good one.

  29. Wow – I just finished the first Dark Tower book and was confused by the hype. I actually asked a friend who had read the series (and spoken highly of it), if it is worth continuing onto the second. He said the second is the best, but if I didn’t like that one, then it isn’t worth going on after that. It’s not that I disliked the first book, I just don’t get the fuss.

    I just finished “Fast Food Nation”, which was good and terrifying and I’m about halfway through “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Bradbury. I am REALLY enjoying it – very creepy and engaging. Hopefully the ending holds up, but based on the first 150 pages, I would recommend.

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