I know it’s been quite a while since my last “book recommendations” post, but after posting the chat with George R. R. Martin, I realize that quite a few of you are reading lovers too (or at least love HBO). Either way, here is the second installment of some of my favorite books. The reader comments of the first post were so fun for me to read, as I’m sure they were for others, so please share your thoughts and current favorites!
1. The Redeemer. Jo Nesbo is a really fabulous Norwegian author who writes a detective series starring the tough talking, surly Harry Hole. The style and stories of the Harry Hole series remind me of a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Steig Larsson and if you’re a fan of either, you’ll love Nesbo’s work. Actually if you’re going to pick it up, I’d suggest you start with The Redbreast, which is the first book (available in English anyway) of the series, and go from there.
2. Little Children. About the lives and frustrations of 30-something parents in suburbia. The whole “suburban angst” thing for me is kind of either love or “ehh.” Done right you get something like American Beauty the movie, done poorly you’re just watching napkins and rubbish floating around in the air while an Aimee Mann soundalike croons in the background. But Tom Perrotta did a great job, I found Little Children to be engaging from the start, the characters believable and some sympathetic, and I was happily reading until the end.
3. Valley of the Dolls. I’d never read Jacqueline Susann before until a year or so ago when I bought a few of her books – in my opinion this is her best (though they’re all good beach reads), and the characters here are the most interesting and believable. Plus the Hollywood scenes alone are worth it. It’s little schmaltzy and far from perfect…yet I can’t really think of what I’d want to change. If you’re a woman (or man with the self confidence to display the book jacket in public) pick it up if you haven’t already!
4. Lonesome Dove. The first Western I ever read and I’m kind of afraid to read another, I don’t know how it could possibly hold up. The book starts off a little slow but soon you’ll be totally drawn into it, Gus McCrae is one of my favorite characters in fiction. Larry McMurtry the author did an amazing job and I believe it won him the Pulitzer Prize.
5. Astonishing X-Men Omnibus. Astonishing of my favorite comic series that I’d recommend to everybody. This is a collection of the specific titles done by Joss Whedon (writing) and John Cassaday (art) – both awesome and you may recognize Whedon. I’m probably a little biased about Astonishing as it does feature my favorite X-Men character – Kitty Pryde – quite a lot but the art is fantastic, as is the writing, which is witty and fun. Please read it and don’t worry if you don’t know anything about X-Men as the Omnibus has a great few pages of introduction in the beginning that brings you up to speed.