What are you reading right now?

Continuing with my reader participation streak. There will be time for more single sided rants later on. ;) This time I’m flipping it around and hopefully letting everyone, both tech oriented and non-technical readers to have a chance to contribute. Let’s talk about literature! I hereby designate this as the book recommendation thread.

What are you reading right now? Alternatively what was the last book that you have read that has either profoundly affected you? I’m mostly looking for fiction recommendations, but if you have some good non-fiction titles that are a must-read in your mind, I would love to hear about them as well.

You can usually see what I’m reading at the moment in the little status thing in the sidebar – but I forget to upgrade it half of the time. For example, right now I’m reading The Road by Cormac McArthy but that thing still says Night Watch because I was to lazy to change it. I’m 3/4 through the book, and I can tell you, it is good. Profound, disturbing and thought provoking. And I can’t put it down. Great read. You should see a review of it appearing here very shortly – I just need to finish it and gather my thoughts on it.

I have a few titles on the back burner. I’m around half way through Helstrom’s Hive by Frank Herbert (creator of Dune) but I’m not really feeling it. It’s one of his early novels and it shows. I will trudge through it after I’m done with Cormac out of respect for the author and likely post a review as well.

I have Stranger in Strange Land sitting on my shelf, lined up to be next on the reading list because I’m apparently not allowed to use the word grok until I finish it. After that, I’m open to suggestions. Here is what I got so far from various sources:

  1. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  3. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

I haven’t read any of these yet, but they all seem interesting, each for different reasons. After that, I’m out of reading material. This is where you come in. What should I pick up next? This is the time to pimp your favorite book, or plug your favorite author.

[tags]literature, books, recommendations, hyperion, simmons, cormac mccarthy, the road, life of pi, heinlen, danielewski[/tags]

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16 Responses to What are you reading right now?

  1. Naum UNITED STATES Camino Mac OS Terminalist says:

    Some books I’ve recently read and can recommend:

    1. **Jesus for President** – amazing, powerful book on being the “party of Jesus” and not submit to empire

    2. **Here Comes Everybody** (Clay Shirky) – was really looking forward to this, is a good read, filled with stories on how the internets makes it easy to organize efforts that in pre-internet times, would be impossible w/ simple economics…

    3. **The Age of Unreason** (Susan Jacoby) – the best of “modern culture is dumbed down” books, this one (unlike Andrew Keen’s ridiculous screed and the silliness of Lee Siegel) looks at history and how are current times titillation may have dramatic foreboding for future health of our society… …liked it even if I don’t fully subscribe to author’s contentions…

    4. **Meatball Sundae** (Seth Godin) – anything by marketing guru Seth Godin is interesting and whenever a book by Godin is lying around, somebody will pick it up and be entrhalled…

    5. **Thank You for Arguing** (Jay Heinrichs (sp?)) – the art of Rhetoric, framed in contemporary terms with plentiful Simpsons and other pop culture references

    Blessed to be a speed reader but I don’t read much fiction anymore – most recent fiction book would probably be **What is the What** (Dave Eggers) which is a fantastic book…

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  2. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    Using Samba – Fixing some Active Directory stuff

    Hacking Vim – I want to write some cool color filters for working with various config files that I seem to always break because I forgot the syntax

    I am such a geek . . .

    This also looks like a good place to introduce Shelfari!

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  3. mcmcom CANADA Internet Explorer Windows says:

    i read Life of Pi recently. Wicked book (not to mention my sister in law did the cover art)

    Read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. I found it boring but everyone else who read it was like “OMG this S%%^ is the S$*$. This is the guy who wrote “No Country For Old Men” which was a much better book.

    Also read “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham. Its an account of a true tale – freggin mind blowing man and tragic.

    thats what i’ve read recently. Another couple notable mentions go to
    “The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night” by Mark Haddon.
    “Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk.

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  4. Mirko CROATIA Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I’ve read a ton of nonfiction recently and this one was quite interesting – Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee.

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  5. Dax UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    For the last few years I have been working on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I recently finished up “Jingo” and have just started on “The Last Continent.” After I finish up this series, I intend to start on Ian Fleming’s James Bond books (I’m a James Bond movie nut).

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  6. astine UNITED STATES Konqueror Linux says:

    “Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment” – W. Richard Stevens….


    The last piece of fiction I’ve read was the “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by Lovecraft of course; but that was a while ago. I’ve been a little busy to chase fiction lately though I used to be a real junky.

    I remember when I read “Stranger in a Strange Land” years ago. I remember the use of the word ‘grok’ now but it’s funny that I had no idea what it meant when first saw it used on the web (the same thing that it does in the book.) I don’t know why that was.

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Oh wow. A lot of non-finction recommendations. I didn’t expect that. But then again, I might have figured that the technically minded majority over here will be reading tech related books. :)

    [quote post=”2332″]This also looks like a good place to introduce Shelfari![/quote]

    Cool! I haven’t seen this one. There is a dozen book related services like that but so fat none of them seemed to be the dominant one. Perhaps Shelfari will be better. :)

    [quote post=”2332″]i read Life of Pi recently. Wicked book (not to mention my sister in law did the cover art)[/quote]

    Wow, really? That’s awesome. Small world this. Small world. :P

    [quote comment=”8467″]For the last few years I have been working on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I recently finished up “Jingo” and have just started on “The Last Continent.” After I finish up this series, I intend to start on Ian Fleming’s James Bond books (I’m a James Bond movie nut).[/quote]

    I used to be a huge fan of Discworld Novels. Like you I was reading all of them one after the other. Then at one point I stopped. I think I just got a little bit tired of the setting, the recurring characters and etc…

    I haven’t touched Discworld books in a while now I still remember them fondly, I just don’t feel the urge to get all the ones I didn’t read yet. Maybe I will come back to them at some later time. :)

    [quote post=”2332″]I remember the use of the word ‘grok’ now but it’s funny that I had no idea what it meant when first saw it used on the web[/quote]

    Heh, same here – knew how to grok things way before I picked up the book. :P

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  8. ths GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I just finished “Johnny and the bomb” while sitting on the [censored].
    Before that I finished (of course) “Only you can save mankind” and “Johnny and the dead”. I like the 1st and 3rd book most, the book with ghosts didn’t reach the depth of the others.
    After that time travel story I think I have to go diving for “Thief of time” ;)

    Did I mention I love Pterry?

    In parallel me and my children currently read through the whole collection of “Asterix” comics by Uderzo+Goscinny. I like the stories most where they visit Britannica and Corsica (50 BC everyone speaks latin). This is one example where the german translation is brillant; plus I don’t speak french so good that I can understand all the puns (we did read one Asterix in french lessons and it was very hard).

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  9. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I’m on a bit of a Douglas Coupland kick, recently read: Microserfs, JPod.

    In the technical realm, I’m working through the Definitive Guide to JavaScript, Powershell In Action, and The Old New Thing.

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  10. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    [quote post=”2332″]i read Life of Pi recently. Wicked book (not to mention my sister in law did the cover art)[/quote]

    Wow, really? That’s awesome. Small world this. Small world. :P

    Small-small world, I went to the same University / College as Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi.

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  11. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Anything by Christopher Moore. I recently finished his book “Lamb: The gospel according to Biff, Christ’s childhood pal” :) Very freaking funny. Now I am reading “The Stupidest Angel” – it’s about this kid in Pine Grove, CA, who sees a guy dressed in a Santa suit being killed. He prays that Santa is brought back to life, and the “stupidest angel” does just that…except the guy comes back as a zombie :) Too funny.

    Also, all the repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson – you can check out his books at http://www.repairmanjack.com :) Very cool…

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  12. jambarama UNITED STATES K-Meleon Windows Terminalist says:

    Here’s what I’ve read recently that I’d recommend.

    1. Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri (some of my favorite short stories, easy to read and very recent)
    2. The Long Walk – Slavomir Rawicz (this isn’t strictly fiction, but reads like it, and it the most incredible true story I’ve ever read)
    3. Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut (my favorite Vonnegut book, not as widely read as Cats Cradle or Slaughterhouse 5)
    4. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar And Six More – Roald Dahl (his best short stories in my opinion, easy to read)
    5. Snow – Orhan Pamuk (its won a ton of awards and its very recent)
    6. Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow (the great american novel)

    Of course you’ve read Catch-22 (Heller’s other stuff isn’t as good) and 1984 (better than Brave New World IMHO). I also read the Godfather by Puzo (the movie is about as good – and thats a rare thing to say), and Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. Both good too.

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  13. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Ooo…forgot to mention two of my most favorite books, both by Ayn Rand:

    The Fountainhead
    Atlas Shrugged

    If you want to see someone get all pissy, read Atlas Shrugged in front of a socialist or staunch union supporter.

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  14. I love that see spot run book… its probably my favorite ;)

    I actually read Tom Clancy’s: Net Force series. I am also currently reading:

    Culture Warrior – Bill O’Reilly

    Power of Body Language – Tonya Reiman

    with a few conservative books on the deck.

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  15. Ryan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Anything by William Gibson or Bruce Sterling. These two are considered the fathers of “cyberpunk” and Gibson’s Neuromancer is considered the definitive cyberpunk novel. Gibson has several loose trilogy’s, one set in the distant future and one in the near future. His works deal more with the way people interact and tech is a storytelling tool, IMO. His writing style just sucks me into the world he creates and I just enjoy his works.

    Sterling has a bit of a different approach, his works are also character driven with technology explored in what it could enable people to do and how this can re-shape society . Sterling also wrote The Hacker Crackdown a non-fiction book about the phone phreaks and hackers of the early 90’s, which is outdated but still entertaining. It is a free ebook, http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/101
    Neil Stevenson is also good, Snow Crash is a great book that could be a cool movie if someone like Terry Gilliam were to direct.
    T. C. Boyle is also great, The Road To Wellville is one of my favorite books.

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  16. JuEeHa FINLAND Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Currenly I am reading 1984 by George Orwell. Last three books were Free Culture, Mac OS X Tiger for UNIX geeks and Communistic Manifesto by Carl Marx.

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