Give Me Something Off Your Shelf To Read
Fact: I am merciless with books.
It’s probably not a good thing, but it is a thing, and I’m not sure there’s much I could do about it even if I wanted to.
It goes like this: I start reading a book, and unconsciously I look for just about any reason to put it down. Given my time writing and my time reading non-fiction stuff for research purposes, reading for pleasure is not a wide open free zone where I chew through book after book. It’s a limited window, and I’d rather not waste it on books that don’t really engage the shit out of me. Sure, a book might wait till page 100 till it “starts to get good,” and that’s fine. Me, if that’s true, I’ve probably already put the book down by page 50, so page 100 is mist, vapor, naught but shadow. It might as well not even exist.
I don’t mean to suggest I’m purposefully nit-picky. Editing mistakes won’t necessarily stop me. I don’t get irritated with weird chapter breaks or something like that. “These pages feel weird to my tender fingertips! I am angry! I will now throw the book into a bonfire filled with books!”
It’s mostly when I perceive problems in the big stuff — character, pacing, exposition.
On the one hand, this makes me a bit brutal.
On the other, it means I generally get to better books faster — I’m performing the equivalent of taking a nibble from each of the chocolates in the box until I find the ones I want. “Coconut kiwi cream? Fuck that. Blech. Ptoo! Oh! Oh. Caramel. Yes. Yes. I have to change my pants.”
Y’know, because I made nougat in my trousers.
…anyway, so it’s like this. I’m always looking to up the ratio of books I cannot put down to books that put me to sleep. I want books that make me think about them even when I’m not reading them. I want books that make me sad I’m not reading them right-the-hell-now.
So, once more I turn to the aggregate hive-brain of terrible minds that comprise you crazy creeps.
Recommend a book for me.
A book you could not put down.
Sure, you can recommend Old Classics And Standards, but I may have read them. And some, I already know about — Homicide, or Song Of Ice And Fire, for instance, are already on my radar.
I’m also taking rec’s for graphic novels if you care to offer them. I don’t buy comic books anymore because I can’t really make the trip (and I feel a lot of them aren’t filled with the proper balance of words to images), but collected issues or graphic novels, I’ll still pick up now and again.
But it’s been a while.
So, hop to it.
Fiction, non-fiction, collected or graphic novel.
Qualification: couldn’t put it down.