Sunday, April 07, 2019

Whatcha reading today?



I'm re-reading Laird Barron's amazing Blood Standard.
What are you reading today?

46 comments:

Lora said...

Happy rainy Sunday (in the NW, anyway).

Currently reading: "Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings" by Shirley Jackson (and edited by two of her children).


Should be reading: my WIP so I can get back to it. I've been revising the project I'm now querying, so need to get back into drafting mode.

Have a great day, All.

Dena Pawling said...


I'm reading my tax return =(

Collectonian said...

Ted Boone's amazing young adult sci-fi novel, Langford's Leap! So good, great writing, compelling story, and it's actually accessible sci-fi for science idiots like me LOL!

MaggieJ said...

I usually have two books on the go: a 19th century choice from Project Gutenberg as informal research for my historical WIP, and a contemporary novel. At present that means Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Barbara Kingsolver's Pigs in Heaven. It was accidental that I chose two books about political/social issues: both very successful, and yet so very different. I'm enjoying the compare and contrast as much as the books themselves.

nightsmusic said...

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. I was going to start it I think, last time you asked this question, but I got involved in another title that was calling me. I watched the movie which was horrendous as far as the editing goes, so I'm reading the book to understand the story.

Claire Bobrow said...

I just finished The Book of Boy, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (excellent) and have launched into Circus Mirandus, by Cassie Beasley.

Happy reading, all.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

Thunderhead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

A team of archaeologists hike through Utah's forbidding canyon country to track down a legendary Anasazi city and perhaps solve the mystery of why the Anasazi suddenly abandoned all their settlements. They are probably going to run in to whatever dark supernatural force finished off the Anasazi ... but I'm only halfway through.

Luralee said...

I don’t read a lot of short stories but A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard caught my eye, and now I’ll be looking for her other books. Fabulous storytelling, beautiful prose. She’s set the bar so high I couldn’t reach it with rocket shoes.

Nightsmusic, I read The Snowman a couple years ago and haven’t picked up a horror book since. Nightmares.

nightsmusic said...

Jennifer, Preston/Child could write a grocery list and I'd read it. I picked up Relic when it first came out in paperback and haven't been able to get enough of FBI Agent Pendergast since then. And of course, that book let not only to the entire Pendergast series but to all of their other collaborations as well as their individual stories.

Can you tell I love them? ;)

nightsmusic said...

Luralee Didn't see your post until after I'd commented to Jennifer but if it gave you nightmares, I can't wait to read it. That's my kind of book! The only one that ever bothered me was 'Salem's Lot. I didn't sleep for weeks after.

Craig F said...

I stumbled upon an e-pub thing called Megapack. Our library has 54 of them. They are compilations of short stories and novellas. They organize them by theme, so if you want to look into any particular genre, this is a good place to start.

The first one I picked is on time travel. They have three volumes on time travel, one on vampires, lady detectives, golden age sci-fi, and a bunch of other stuff.

K. White said...

As suggested, Dreyer's English. I borrowed it from the Library but by page 14 decided I need to buy a copy the next time I go to a bookstore.

julie.weathers said...

I have four things going right now.

The Rain Crow, I'm deep in revision and reading it aloud in color. I act out the dialogue, waving my hands about like a mad woman. It's a good thing Gage the Wonder Dog is deaf.

The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. I needed something to perk me up and Mandino is always uplifting.

A Woman's Wartime Journal; an Account of the Passage Over a Georgia Plantation of Sherman's Army on the March to the sea, as Recorded in the Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt (Mrs. Thomas Burge)--Law, what a title, but it's been good reading.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon re-read. I need to refresh my brain when I'm editing.

Brenda said...

I would read Blood standard except horror scares the mittens off me. Just finished To Kill a Mockingbird, again. Perfection. Also, I’m reading Martha Grimes The Way of all Fish on my kindle and I found a new (to me) mystery author at the library... Harry Bingham. Also reading the terrific entries for the clutch my pearls contest. I can always count on the reef for inspiration and laughter. Oh, and email.

Theresa said...

On this rainy afternoon, I've got two books going: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (so I can stretch myself as a reader)and Sugar Run by Mesha Maren. But I've been doing more writing than reading.

Theresa said...

MaggieJ, I love how your two books got paired up.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

nightsmusic, thanks for the recommendation. I picked up Thunderhead because the setting and theme are sort of similar to my WIP. Sort of. It is definitely better written than some other books I've read in a similar genre.

I tried to read Salem's Lot, but I had to stop. Not because it was too scary, but because it was too sad.

KariV said...

I just finished book 3 of the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas. Finished? I practically devoured it in less than a 12 hr period. It was both riveting and confrontational.

The best books aren't always the books you like, they are the books that make you feel.

Steve Forti said...

Just finished the new Greg Iles, "Cemetery Road." Still my favorite author, but not his finest work. Back into The Expanse with "Persepolis Rising" now.
Although if I'm being literal, it's my grocery list. And sadly it WASN'T the label of the white spray paint before I painted over all the rainbow colored decor in the yard my wife just finished when I thought it was clear sealant. Oops!

nightsmusic said...

Jennifer, I have a confession, sort of. I went on a ride to Florida and my bike was in the shop so I rode on the back of someone else's (a horrible thing once you've had your own!) and to keep myself entertained, I read Carrie on the way down and 'Salem's Lot on the way back. Maybe it's because we camped in the Smoky Mountains down and back, but the noises at night on the way back...Freaked. Me. Out! And I'm a 'camp alone' kind of person. I've never minded going by myself. It still freaks me a bit to this day. But yes, I agree, it was also a very sad story including the ending.

CynthiaMc said...

Loved Salem's Lot!

My current commute book is Cross the Line by James Patterson. Took the pups for a walk in the park and listened to some more of it. Note: if you write about firearms, have a narrator for your audiobook who is conversant with firearms. This one didn't seem to be (but it's still a good book).

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Will MacPhail said...

I'm trying to read my toddlers mood. Book wise I'm reading 2001

Brenda said...

At 16 years of age I was locked in a hotel bathroom overnight with Salem’s Lot. It explains a lot about my damaged psyche.

Sherin Nicole said...

I'm reading The Annotated African American Folktales edited by Bates and Tatar.

CED said...

In general, I'm reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories in preparation for writing my own. In particular, I was at the Muse and the Marketplace conference today, and we read "The Flowers" by Alice Walker, "Charlottesville, 2017" by Angela Pelster, and "I Have Not Pushed Back My Cuticles with an Orange Stick Since the Nixon Administration" by Kathy Fish, which might be of interest to those here, because they were for a flash fiction session.

But that brings me to:

CED's Tidbits from the Muse
* The quotidian things are sacred. You're writing your gospel. (Luis Alberto Urrea)
* Writers feel things for a world that's forgotten how to feel, then report back so everyone can remember the experience. (Urrea, paraphrasing Ursula Le Guin)
* State what's at a stake at the beginning of the story. You don't need to withhold that.
* "Every story is two stories. The one on the surface and the one bubbling beneath. The climax is when they collide." (Grace Paley)
* Useful prompt: Write a story "How I became X" but only use X once in the story.
* It takes time for a piece to grow. Maybe five, ten, twenty revisions. And that's normal!
* Most interesting topic I heard about was "image systems." Too much to go into here (suffice it to say they're like extended metaphors), but I'm happy to talk more if you email me.
* Don't regret anything you've written. Even the "failures" teach you something.
* "I throw a spear into the darkness. That is intuition. Then I must send an army into the darkness to find the spear. That is intellect." (Ingmar Bergman)
* Play your readers' subconscious like an instrument.
* If you've having voice trouble in third person, switch to first person and see what happens.
* The more well-defined your character is in your own mind, the easier it will be to see where the plot has to take them.

That's probably enough. Hope it's not too long and people find something useful in here. Overall, I found the Muse an inspiring and energetic conference and I plan on returning next year.

Being Beth said...

Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink.

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

When Helen is summoned by a former student to view a cache of newly discovered seventeenth-century Jewish documents, she enlists the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph."

Electrifying and ambitious, The Weight of Ink is about women separated by centuries—and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

The Noise In Space said...

I spent the day in Central Park (hooray for the first nice day in NYC!) reading Einstein's Dreams. It's a series of short vignettes that are supposed to be all the dreams Einstein has about the nature of time while inventing his theory of relativity. It isn't what I thought it was going to be, but it's still worth reading. And then when my phone died, I switched to my back-up book (because of course I brought a back-up book), which is The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.

Lora said...

Noise -

I love Einstein's Dreams. I reread it every few years.

Sounds like a lovely day in NYC.

AJ Blythe said...

Yesterday (Sunday) I read my youngest Barbarian's assignment on Japan's natural environment. Right now I'm reading my lecture notes on the use of environmental indicators in determining water quality before I start teaching in an hour. =(

Marie McKay said...

I'm reading 'The Immortalists' by Chloe Benjamin.

MaggieJ said...

Theresa said...

"MaggieJ, I love how your two books got paired up."

Thanks, Theresa. It wasn't intentional, but perhaps my subconscious was at work. I may well pairing themes like that again.

I took a look at your website this afternoon. Lots of interest there! I enjoy reading about scrappy women too.

Mallory Love said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mallory Love said...

I just read My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. It was un-put-down-able. So many twists. Highly recommend.

Just Jan said...

Loved 'Salem's Lot, especially the ending!

I'm in the middle of Jodi Picout's "The Storyteller".

Jennifer Mugrage said...

CED: Good stuff!
I wonder whether image systems are like "cultural metaphors" in Metaphors We Live by.

The Noise In Space said...

Lora - I wish I hadn't had expectations going into it. It was pitched to me as a series of magical realism short stories within the framework of Einstein's dreams, but that's not really accurate. I'm still enjoying it, but it isn't quite what I had pictured. I think I would have appreciated it much more if I had just come across it organically. I'm about a third of the way through now and curious to see how the author will manage to continue this conceit for another 100 (digital) pages.

CED said...

Jennifer, that's actually a really good metaphor (no pun intended) for image systems. The difference is that image systems are of the author's creation to have specific meaning within a work, instead of these underlying metaphors the language is built on. But a similarity is that they're supposed to not be noticed by the reader consciously, but rather create a subconscious resonance. The lecturer used The Handmaid's Tale (livestock and fertility imagery) as an example.

Also, I didn't mention my favorite story above, because I didn't think I could do it justice, but lo, I found it online, so I can copy it! It's another story from Luis Alberto Urrea:

So I was outside taking notes, and one of the workers goes by. Tough guy, black with oil, handkerchief tied in four knots around his skull. He saw me writing in the book and asked what I was writing about. “You’re writing about this place? You’re writing about these people here?” And then he asked, “You writing about me?” I said I probably would. And he smiled and said, “That’s good. You write about me. I was born in the garbage dump, I spent my life picking garbage, and when I die they’re going to bury me in the trash. You tell them I was here.” And then he walked away.

John Davis Frain said...

I'm reading Sophie Hannah's KEEP HER SAFE. I was a little worried because the premise sounded a little like something I'm working on. But nope. Not even close.

And now wait a minute, nightsmusic at 3:44. I must not be reading something right, but it sounds to me that while you were riding on the back of a bike, you were so trusting of your driver, that you were reading Salem's Lot into a 60 mph breeze. I love the picture! Am I right?

Oh, don't even tell me if I'm wrong, the picture is too good.

NLiu said...

I was feeling like some comfort reading so I'm re-reading The Lord of the Rings. Before that I read The Invisible Library which was deeply fun. My favourite was the chapter that *ends*, “Then the alligators burst into the room”.

Mike Hays said...

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney and Physics Demystified by Stan Gibilisco.

nightsmusic said...

John Davis Frain, your picture is safe! Yes, I was reading while riding, but we were going closer to 70 judging by that breeze. It wasn't a question of trusting the owner of the bike as much as trying to take my mind off the fact that I wasn't the one in control! ;) There were a lot of doubletakes by other drivers though...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

SALEM'S LOT terrifies me every single time I read it.

Mallory Love - I am so with you regarding MY LOVELY WIFE.

I just finished an ARC of Joshilyn Jackson's NEVER HAVE I EVER - blew me away. But I'm a huge of Ms. Jackson's so I'm not surprised. :)

Right now, I'm reading THE GOOD DETECTIVE by John McMahon. A dark and disturbing mystery that I'm really enjoying so far.

Richelle Elberg said...

Picked up 5 new library books yesterday. Read and finished a Joe Lansdale book, who I'd never read before. I liked the writing style a lot but found this particular plot rather bland. I think he's one of those 'so well established' authors he can take what he dreamed last night, write a 65k word story and publish. But still--the writing.

And then, after many recommendations from Sharyn, I finally grabbed some Tana French. OMG. I'm hooked and these three novels sitting on my desk are sure to interfere with the day job this week. ;)

Laura S. said...

I'm part way into Liane Moriarty's Three Wishes, which I picked up after stumbling on her Nine Perfect Strangers, which I loved. I'm a sucker for happy endings and Jane Eyre references.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Anything and everything to do with Carl Sagan.

I'm in the middle of the literature review for my Masters thesis.

You'd think there would be lots of useful stuff on Sagan, and it readily available.

You would be wrong.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

Well, I finally finished it. Definitely Really Good. Not sure why Autocorrect made me capitalize that twice.