Next on my reading list …

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I like to have several books ready to read on my Sony Reader (PRS-500).

In the last two weeks, I’ve finished The Ruins – Scott Smith, Poor Folk – Fydor Dostoevsky, and I always fall back on one of my favorite anthologies, Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors.

I’m currently reading Little Brother – Cory Doctorow (thanks for having a .lrf file!), and just downloaded the Brothers Grimm’s Tales (long-times readers of this blog know of my affinity for the un-tampered unadulterated dark tales of Jacob and Wilhelm), as well as HG Wells’ The Invisible Man. These latter two need to be re-formatted to my reader. Yes, the Sony Reader can handle .txt files, however these have been hard-coded with a Word Wrap which makes resizing pointless as the hard returns screw with the paragraphs.

I think I’m looking towards an Alexandre  Dumas (senior) book, as I’ve never read him.

I’m also doing something I wish I’d started doing a long time ago – reading outside of my genre. This doesn’t mean I’ll start emulating Russian Literature or dabbling in Sci-Fi, but having a well-rounded reading background can only enhance what I’m already doing.

And if I can, I’d like to share a little secret with you – I’m a little bored with Horror. We wont even talk about the movies right now, because that subject just makes me want to throw myself in front of a train, but let’s discuss the books. I don’t hit bookstores like I used to, mostly because I’m broke, but I get a little tired of being assaulted by the same subject matter. I don’t want to read about Supernatural investigators who are having torrid affairs with werewolves and vampires while trying to keep the Apocalypse from happening. I read those with Laurell K. Kamilton years ago, yet it seems to be the latest trend with new books. Sort of like Torture Porn is big in horror movies. *yawn* I find myself falling back on my old favorites – King, Koontz, Gaiman because at least they were entertaining and smart, and dare I say it about King – original.

I can’t recommend Smith’s The Ruins either. It had what I call “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Effect” – lots of screaming, lots of chainsaws, lots of gore, not much else. There weren’t any chainsaws in The Ruins, but I was bored by it. Six people I couldn’t care less about, all unsympathetic in their banality, get trapped in a clearing surrounded by killer vines. They bicker, they have secrets, they begin to die, just not fast enough as far as I was concerned. Lots of potential for more fun than waiting for rain was abandoned for the characters waiting for rain. It would have made a great short story, a la King’s Night Surf in Night Shift, but as a novel, it’s drawn out.

I’m all for stretching the tension out over the course of a book, but like roller coasters – which I used to love before I got old – it’s the ups and downs that make it fun. Give me the turns and the straightaways and then the slow climb before the exhilarating drop, maybe a loop or two, the final climb, the final plunge, then let me off. Roller Coasters aren’t one big climb for a reason – you get bored waiting for the payoff. The Ruins made me bored and then the payoff kinda wasn’t.

As an aside, I wasn’t drawn in by the hype of this book. I knew of Smith vaguely from the movie version of A Simple Plan, and when the movie version of The Ruins was announced I decided to save myself a trip to the theater. I’m thankful for my own foresight.

So I’m wading into other waters. What do others write in other genres about? I’m starting with the classics and working my way forward. I’m reading more reviews and trusting people I’ve known for years who don’t like Horror to recommend me books. I’m enjoying this a lot. I draw the line at Romance, Chick-Lit, and anything by Zane. I have my reasons.

I WANT Odd Hours by Dean Koontz, but unfortunately I don’t have the funds to purchase it, so I’m resigned to free texts for now.

Hence my prowling through PG looking for things that catch my eye. Here are Dumas and Carroll and Wells. Maybe I’ll grab Doyle and Kipling and Bronte (hell, why not all of the girls?). Dunno.

Recommendations on your favorite classics? Recommendations on your current favorites? I’d love to fill this Reader to capacity.

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Just this fox. I'm a writer of horror and dark fantasy. I totally don't brag about it. The latter statement is an utter lie.
  • Ole Blue
    May 25, 2008 - 6:10 pm

    I would love to read more classics but seem to have lost my taste for horror.

    You gave me some good reads to read. Thanks.

  • Kaitlyn
    May 25, 2008 - 11:50 pm

    Oooh classics! I <3 classics. I really dig Dicken’s Great Expectations (though not so much A Tale of Two Cities) even if it is REALLY long. Fielding’s Tom Jones is pretty awesome too.

    But if you want real classics–nab Homer. The Iliad is still one of my favorite books of all time.

    I would have also recommended Gaiman for contemporary, but I knew you had that covered.Terry Brooks is pretty good at Fantasy, if you want to delve into that sometime. Otherwise I’m going to have to go swimming in my book piles to find something really worth recommending.

    Oh, and THANK YOU for pointing that out about Hamilton. I was beginning to think I was the only person who noticed that the vampire is less a predator and a monster and is now a blow-up doll with odd dietary habits.

  • Kaitlyn
    May 25, 2008 - 11:51 pm

    Oh, I lied. Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had the experience to read. Really, any of the guy’s stuff is pretty good, but Fight Club DEFINITELY.

  • Davecat
    May 26, 2008 - 10:04 am

    Don’t look at me. I’d just say ‘practically anything by Salinger and Flann O’Brien’s “The third policeman”‘. It’s like a reflex.

    I’d suggest J.G Ballard, but I know you don’t like Kubrick’s films cos they’re cold and clinical, and you might not like Ballard for the same reasons…

    Maybe I’ll lend you Martin Amis’ ‘Dead babies’. It’s cynical, cynical, cynical.

    And yes, Palahniuk’s ‘Fight club’ is definitely worth checking out…

  • littleblackduck
    May 26, 2008 - 5:32 pm

    Having read both “Haunted” and “Lullaby” by Palahnuik, I’ll pass on “Fight Club”. He skirts dangerously close to Clive Barker in terms of placing gross-out over story.

    In the interest Full Disclosure – I found LKH when I go my first electronic reader on my my Palm platform-based HP Jornada. I devoured the first six of her books formatted for that device. I then realized I couldn’t stand Anita, but couldn’t understand why. I abandoned the Anita books.

    I then moved on to her Merry Gentry series and I discovered something about myself – I have no female friends because I can’t stand the constant self-doubt when it came to decisions. Anita would spend pages and pages on a decision, make her decision, then spend pages and pages kicking herself for making that decision. Sleep with Richard? Sleep with Jean Claude? But what if? And then? He hates me? Oh boo-hoo.

    I used to know women like that and I hated those conversations. “Make your damn decision and live with it” was what I wanted to scream, and when I read Anita’ books, I did scream it. I decided that I could no longer continue that friendship and began hanging with Merry, who really was more my speed. Plus, any chance I could spend with Rhys, Frost, Doyle, and Galen was a super hot bonus. All of them in the same bed – I’ll call when I resurface for air.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions, everyone.

  • ToxicProdigy
    May 31, 2008 - 6:30 pm

    I’m actually bored out of my skull these days and have been looking for something different to read. This helps.

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