A late entry to this kind of philosophical discussion...I'm assuming "limo's" holiday is over at this point.
Alas, my holidays usually involve picking up stuff to read when I get back, usually lighter tomes. I do usually take some old familiar book along to start reading with, then skim through some stuff I've picked up along the way. I wind up with a huge pile when I get back home.
If I were planning a period of leisure time, where I couldn't write, but had enough time to really go over something properly, I might find some solid thick book and go through that. There's lots of things I haven't read that I'd like to...some things I even have copies of.
What comes to my mind first is "War and Peace," which I tried to get through in high school but couldn't get past page twelve. (Cultural barriers, mostly.) From all the good things I've heard about it, it might be worth another attempt...
Tell you what, you read "War and Peace" and I'll read "Les Miserables". I think I would be a lot smarter to read the abridged version, because what turned me off to Les Mis wasn't the story (which I enjoyed) but Victor Hugo's annoying habit of going on for pages about things like Napoleon's fighting tactics, or the sewer systems of Paris. If I had skipped that stuff (or just gotten a version that didn't have it to begin with) I think it would have been a lot more fun to read. Someday, I'm going to finish that book. I swear.
Posts: 437 | Registered: Feb 2005
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My reading tends to focus on certain themes, where I'll run a dozen or more similar books, and then get sick of it after a time and go start on something else.
Last month I was reading Young Adult books, either the ones that I read and liked when I was that age or have heard good things about since. Many of these books are somewhat short (around the 50,000 word mark) which was good since I don't really have very much free time right now.
From that group I highly recommend _Speak_ (which instantly became one of my all time favorite books) to anyone that has every gone to an American high school (and just about anyone that hasn't), and also it's sequel _Catelyst_. In the last few weeks I've read _A Wrinkle in Time_ and half a dozen related books by the same author, which I also really like.
This month I've started on some of the classics. I went and bought the cheap Dover editions of Mark Twain and the like last night, and it's been great. That'll probably last me a while, and I guess when I'm done with that I can always find some interesting suggestions on this thread.
I ran across something the other day, an article about something else (whether rap music was art, I think---I don't have it in front of me right now---the article writer cast a firm "no" vote.)
But one thing struck me. The writer mentioned the Greek playwrights in his discussion, and said something along the lines of "What's being written now, that will still be read and discussed 2500 years from now?"
Appropriate question...I admit I'd be happy to be published in my own lifetime, and let posterity worry about posterity.
I don't think I saw Julie E Czernada or Elizabeth Haydon mentioned. These 2 female authors have been a favorite pick of mine lately. Haydon's series "Symphony of Ages" is terrific fantasy. Anything by Czernada is great sci-fi. Fortunately, there are enough good authors out there to satisfy everyone's taste.
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Was browsing my local library (which I absolutely shouldn't be doing as I've got an unread library at home!) when a cover caught my eye and I picked up the book and impulsively took it up to the counter and checked it out -
- oh, and am I glad I did! It isn't SF, fantasy or horror (it was in the general fiction section) but this chick rocks!!!
- tragi-comedy par excellence! About a guy and his two female friends. David's got a dark past, Katchoo's got and even darker past and poor, adorable Francine hasn't got a clue!
Will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. One of the funniest characters is Francine's ex Freddie. And, boy, when he and over-protective Katchoo come to loggerheads - which is frequently - the result is some of the best high comedy you'll ever read!
Oh, yeah, David's in love with Katchoo - and Katchoo's in love with Francine!
Currently running to 17 graphic novels, with number 18 due in the summer. The whole saga ends May 2007 when the last single issue comes out, with the last collected volume - probably number 20 - coming out a few months after that.
Or, alternatively, you can pick up the Pocket Book editions which collect the first 16 standard sized graphic novels into 5 fat paperbacks about B-format size.
[This message has been edited by Paul-girtbooks (edited February 05, 2006).]
I almost feel foolish replying here because I'm sure that the vacation is over, but reading isn't. One book that I didn't see in any of the responses was "Howls Moving Castle" by Dianna Wynn Jones. It is a fun book to read, and I re-read it every few years, when I don't want to think too much.
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If you relish non-stop action, try Matt Reilly's books. Ice Station is wild. This guy is one author that keeps his characters exhausted -- and his readers as well.
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I strongly suggest "Night" by Elie Weisel. I just finished reading it, it's a very good book. It's about his memoirs of the Holocaust, and it's very powerful. It shows just what desire for survival can do to a person.
By the way, Elie Weisel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
I see the recommendations are mostly about FICTION with occaisional books on craft.
How about some nonfiction? Take a break from fiction once a while and read a book on something that insterests you, or that will inform your writing. Get a book about horses, or sailing, or carpentry, or anything mundane but interesting to you.
It's a good way to pick up some unrecycled dramatic or technical details for your writing.
Theer are some wonderfully narrow histories out there that can be read very quickly but are rich in detail like:
(Both are by the same author, who's name I can't remember except that it's long and Polish)
Walter Van Tilburg Clark's Track of the Cat is a great read. And it's fiction.
I just read a very interesting non-fiction book called Oh What A Slaughter by Larry McMurty--it's about the massacres between whites and Indians during the 1800s, including the Mountain Meadows Massacre.