Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Good Book

I've got a question for you all. If someone were to ask you right now what's a good book to read, what would you answer? (Let's limit this to fiction for now.)

Could you name just one? I suppose in my case, the book I'm most impressed with is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. It has the perfect blend of absolutely gorgeous writing with a wonderfully unique concept in speculative fiction. (Which, by the way, is a secret code word for science fiction and/or fantasy, in case you were wondering. But don't let that scare you. This isn't your typical science fiction. No space ships. No laser guns. Not even any robots.)

Aside from that book, I still have a large list of books I really really really like. And I have yet another list of books that I have yet to read that others have recommended. I'm plugging away at that list as well, slowly but surely. And now that my ensemble concert is over (which, by the way, went quite well, thank you very much!), I can go back to listening to audiobooks again. I was on hiatus in the past couple months so that I could practice the songs we were to perform...fourteen in total, although I only sang in seven of those.

Currently, I'm reading Magician by Raymond Feist, as recommended by a close friend of mine. Okay, okay. I'm not actually reading it yet. He loaned it to me a few days ago. But I'm about to start reading it, so that still counts, doesn't it?

Of course, there are also the books I want to read that are non-fiction. My brother's books, for example. I've read parts of his latest books (which came out a few months ago), but haven't had time to actually sit down and finish them. But if I might make a plug for his books, look for them at your local bookstore (or on-line). I Still Believe by Kurt Bruner, and Finding God in the Land of Narnia by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware. (He's got quite a few other books available as well, by the way.)

Okay. Scratch my first question. Instead, answer these questions:
  1. What is the fiction book you would recommend to someone right now?
  2. What is the fiction book you are currently reading or you just finished reading?
  3. Are you going to buy my brother's book? (Just thought I'd check.)
Thanks.

8 comments:

julia said...

1. What is the fiction book you would recommend to someone right now?

Depends on the person. I know it's classified as chick lit, but Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner is one of my favourite books and one I recommend to nearly every woman I know. Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett is also excellent. THe Alienist by Caleb Carr is a goose-pimply good read.

2. What is the fiction book you are currently reading or you just finished reading?

Hard Times - Charles Dickens and no, I'm not enjoying it, not one little bit. It's for my book group.

2. Are you going to buy my brother's book? (Just thought I'd check.)

Heh.

RyanBruner said...

Julia:

I understand about Dickens. I tried to read one of his books once. Decided to rent the movie instead. Of course, it is one of those choices that make you feel guilty. I mean, Dickens is classic literature, right? I really should read his work. Someday. :-)

Allison said...

What is the fiction book you would recommend to someone right now?

- Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. This is my favorite book in the whole world. I also greatly enjoyed: Life of Pi by Yann Martel and A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (great if you're an Atwood fan).

What is the fiction book you are currently reading or you just finished reading?

- currently reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

Are you going to buy my brother's book? (Just thought I'd check.)

- Um, possibly. I don't know anything about it so I'm not making any promises.

Ronin said...

1- Very subjective and dependent on the person being recommended to and my mood that day but....The Red Lily by Nora Roberts....NOT!!! I would say anyone who has not read Shogun should do so(Clavell's King Rat is also very good)
2-I'm rereading George RR Martin's Game of Thrones right now because I was in the mood for fantacy and those silly Chris Claremont Willow novels were boring me to tears.
3-Well if his own brother can't even find the time to read them....
....maybe

Sandra Miller said...

1. What is the fiction book you would recommend to someone right now?

First book that came to mind as I read your post was Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog (Sci-fi/time travel/historical)-- one of the funniest novels I've ever read.

2. What is the fiction book you are currently reading or you just finished reading?

Just finished Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (can't believe I'd never read this before... really wonderful).

2. Are you going to buy my brother's book? (Just thought I'd check.)

I'm not a big Narnia fan... sorry.

And, on Dickens-- You know, I read Great Expectations in college and loved it-- but I also think that his books can make readers feel as though they must slog through his detail-laden prose.
Martha O'Connor makes a terrific point about this very issue in her Tuesday post when she says that today's readers "have little patience for exhaustive detail." Her explanation -- the instantaneous nature of TV and film.

Makes sense to me.

Martha O'Connor said...

1. What is the fiction book you would recommend to someone right now?

I would recommend Lolita by Nabokov because I believe it's the most important and influential novel of the 20th century. It's also the one novel that's affected me the most as a writer.

2. What is the fiction book you are currently reading or you just finished reading?

I'm reading the new Mary Gaitskill, Veronica. It's incredible. Beautifully written. Thumbs-up.

3. Are you going to buy my brother's book? (Just thought I'd check.)

Um... no, but I'll buy yours. How about that?

Martha O'Connor said...

PS... Thanks, Sandra! :)

RyanBruner said...

Thanks everyone who responded. (Hmm. Not a lot of commitment on my brother's book for some reason. How odd!)

I'll have to check into some of the recommendations here. Add them to my list. (My list grows faster than it shrinks, which is a problem at times.)