Poke, Poke, Poke: Whatcha Reading?

It’s that time again where I ask you:

Hey, whatcha reading?

Like, right now. What are you reading?

Are you digging it?

Not digging it?


It’s booktalk, time, folks. Hell, if you feel like it, tell us too what books you’re excited about coming up. Share the sweet, sweet book-love.


  • Just finished up Tana French’s SECRET PLACE and am now in withdrawal from such fantastic writing. Next up I have a collection of short stories called UNNATURAL CREATURES edited by Neil Gaiman on my Kindle. Hopefully they will make the DTs less extreme.

  • So, I’m taking a break between genre words and I’m back on my ‘Old, Dead White Guys’ kick. Hemingway’s ‘Across the River and Into the Trees’. Got to say, it’s not one of Papa’s best. Not bad, as such, certainly better than To Have or Have Not, but just not up to his usual standard. A bit indulgent, honestly. Not ‘thirty pages of bullfighting, jesus so-many-bulls!’ from The Sun Also Sets indulgent, but, yeah… Still, man’s got a beautifully efficient way with words that always makes me sick with envy.

  • Currently reading HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas, the third book in the THRONE OF GLASS series, and I am absolutely LOVING it. It’s an amazing series.

  • I’m reading the Magician King by Lev Grossman, and I’m enjoying it so far. Not as much as Magicians, because all the intrigue with Brakebills and learning magic and of coming of age isn’t there. So i’m waiting to see what the next mystery will be. Also, one thing that made me scratch my head, [SPOILER] at the end of Magicians he spends a year in Fillory and becomes this total Magician Stud. But, at the start of Magician King he seems to be all fumbling bumbling again. Maybe because he hasn’t demonstrated any magic at all, but that one part doesn’t seem to flow yet. I’m still early into the book. But, I’m still enjoying it.

  • Reading for pay this month. Lost of edits and formats to do. Right now, editing an M/M sci-fi erotica that has really complex layers of plot and subplot, and it’s a celebration of all things minority. Unusually high ratio of Native Americans, Arabs, Vietnamese…really, really inclusive. The main character and “ruling” family is of African descent. The scope of the story, it’s landscape, is simply huge. The story delves into gender assignment and orientation in the most matter of fact way I have read. I don’t have permission to quote title or author yet, but I wish I could. Really stellar story. Not the m/m I was expecting.

  • Getting into my genre fiction.
    Looking into the authors who wrote for Star Wars, starting with you, and seeing what they’ve written. Also looking at genre films I enjoyed and if any of them are based on books, I’m reading them.

  • I’m reading two very different things: the Game of Thrones series (on book three) and the Bible (still in Genesis). I’m digging them both for two very different reasons. George R.R. Martin is a genius at story and character development though his writing style is a little rough for me. But I NEEEEEED to find out what happens, and I don’t want to watch another tv series. The Bible is more of a personal challenge to look at a part of my life I left behind, and also to develop my own beliefs and opinions of it. I’m tired of being told what Jesus said and meant. I want to find out for myself.

  • Peter Higgins, “Wolfhound Century.”

    Fictional Soviet-esque totalist spy thriller with ANGELS and OCCULT and hallucinations and the world going mad. Yeah. LOVE IT.

  • I’m reading a Hym Before Battle by John Ringo . Really, its an incredibly problematic novel that is tough sledding for even me. It’s overtly filled with name dropping acronyms, contrived plot, and jargon..not to mention horrid characters that all seem like shallow holes of cheesy whiz. I’t literally blows my mind this book is so regarded in mil sci Fi.

  • I am reading Transformation of America by Cathy O’Brien and Mark Phillips. A must read for everybody who believes in a free world.

  • I’m just now getting around to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which I am enjoying so far. I love the protagonist’s voice and the structure of the series is intriguing.

  • In the midst of reading your book, Aftermath, a new Steven King Novel, several cooking magazines, about a dozen blogs, a book called “Will Write for Food” and unfortunately the time suck they slapped a tiny tie-wasting vaneer called Facebook.

  • Advance Reader Copy of Welcome To Night Vale. It is just as weird and unsettling as one might hope.

    I still don’t understand what the lights above the Arby’s mean.

  • Recently read the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ / ‘The Ask and the Answer’ / ‘Monsters of Men’). Absolutely fantastic. I rarely cry at films or books, and this one made me well up. Up there among the best (older) children’s literature I have ever read. And it’s got loads for adults to ponder, too!

  • Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov. Some crazy surrealist shit right there. I love it so much. Also The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi.

  • Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole, and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I have a deal with myself: If I read a chapter of the parenting book I get to read a chapter of Control Point. I usually end up reading more than one, though.

    I’m not usually a military SFF kind of guy (you know, apart from Heinlein and some of S.M. Stirling’s stuff and space opera and…and…) but this is fun and gripping.

    • ‘How to Talk So Kids Will Listen…’ is a fantastic book. It helps parents see that children are just like us all – with needs, feelings and desires – and should be treated with respect while we help them grow and develop into good people as adults. And this book provides advice on how to do that. I have adapted some of their suggestions – for example, instead of nagging, having my toilet ‘write’ a note to my boys to remind them it likes to be flushed and likes the seat put down after use. These things have worked beautifully with my kids. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who has any contact with children.

  • “One for the Money”. It was a Bookpub special ($1.99), so suck it. The protagonist is fun. I like her and I root for her. The pacing is great. Dialogue’s snappy. About every other page has a laugh. Most of the characters are cliches and there’s very little real suspense (not yet anyway; I’m halfway done) because you know everything’ll turn out, but I just keep turning the pages because I want to find out how she pulls it off. Also, just read “Bridge to Terabithia” to my kids and completely humiliated myself by snorting like a baby during the death reveal (“Dad, what’s wrong”; read “The Water Knife” and was impressed with how vivid his near-future world felt.

    • No looking down here! I thought the first Steph Plum novel was grand fun and turned all my friends onto her back when there were only three of them. Cliche but -enjoyable- cliche. The quality -really- dropped about when the series hit double digits though–be forewarned.

      (I wondered last week whether Ms Bellet’s sorceress being so hard on cellphones was a nod to Steph being so hard on cars, actually….)

  • Re-reading “Grass,” by Sheri S. Tepper, the best damn writer you’re not reading, dammit. This is the book that made me want to start writing fiction (after decades in the non-fiction wars). Brilliant prose, deep characters and worldbuilding that will blow your mind. She was always an expert in these things, and all of her previous and subsequent works prove it, but for me, all of her talents conspired to make this my favorite of her books.

    Next up, that Star Wars novel by That Guy With The Beard. Hoping to make some sad puppies cry.

  • The Last Enemy by Battle Of Britain Pilot Richard Hillary on the last two chapters then onto some odd titled book by some awfully nice chap called Darth Wendig 🙂 AFTERMATH!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I am reading: “Broken” by Megyn Hart, and “Drive Me Crazy” by Eric Jerome Dickey. I started reading Broken first just to get the gist of the Contemporary Romance Genre Rules. And “Drive Me Crazy” is to aide in honing my craft in character description.

  • Started Zeroes last night and stayed up far too late because it’s a real page-turner. Excellent example of the “character driven” and “characters with agency” concepts our Fearless Leader has shared with us on multiple occasions…which makes for a lot of reading fun.

  • Dracula and Eve: The Awakening.
    I am liking the both of them so far, but I put in a little stand by Eve because of Dracula.

  • Those Who Hold Bastogne by Peter Schrivers, WW2 history and probably the single most thoroughly researched book I’ve ever read. I went to Bastogne for the annual memorial perimeter walks several times while stationed in Germany; saw the places, met many of the veterans, drank a toast in McAuliffe’s Cave, even slept in the Beau Jacques in two feet of snow. Love “Battle of the Bulge” history.

  • A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

    Honestly, right now, I’m just excited at what’s to come. I’ve managed not to see any spoilers so I’m hopeful about what’s to come. It’s not bad right now, it’s actually pretty interesting but I just feel that what’s going on is build-up, basically. Let’s see how I like it by the end!

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