Monday, June 11, 2007

Taking Requests

You may have noticed that my "what I'm reading" banner has changed, and a new "what I've read" has been added. I should add that "what I've read" is only as of May 2007.

But when "what I'm reading" runs out, what should I read next? I have contemplated Don Quixote as a possibility, but what good suggestions might the blogosphere yield?


The Shark said...

Allison and I are reading "1776" together right now and are really enjoying it. Good book.

If you are looking to expand your horizons as far as genre goes, I suggest "Kingdom Come," either the graphic novel or the novelization of the graphic novel.

Bjorn said...

"Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch," by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett is pretty funny, sort of a fantasy novel. "I, Q," a Star Trek novel is pretty quick reading. Jeannette has finished "Born on a Blue Day," by Autistic Savant Daniel Temment is his story.

Cabeza said...

I'm currently reading Les Miserables. So far it's slow, but good.

I've been recently recommended The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. I would also like to read Dune in the near future.

If you haven't read any Annie Dillard, do yourself a favor and pick up either Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or Holy the Firm. I think you'd like either of those a lot.

If you're looking for hard-boiled detective lit (who isn't) I also recently read Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely. Both good, but I liked the first one better.

For biography, my all-time favorite is The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. I believe we were roommates when I read that. Excellent work.

There're a few ideas. Let us know if you want some more.

JKC said...

This is a pretty good list.

I read 1776 like two years ago (?) it was good, but it seemed a bit rushed. John Adams was a lot better. David McCullogh's speech at BYU in 03(?) was one of the best I heard in the MC. I've read one graphic novel, MAUS, and it was fantastic. I don't know anything about Kingdom Come.

I've never heard of any of the three you mention, but I have heard good things about Terry Pratchet.

Les Mis is ambitious. My Dad read it unabridged (but not in French) when I was younger and I think it took him like 6 months. I've also been recommended Power of Myth. Likewise Annie Dillard. A good Detective novel I recently read is The Seville Communion. The variation is that the detective is a catholic priest on a special investigative mission from the vatican. That book has some awesome characters.

The Shark said...

"Kingdom Come" is geared towards comic fans but I feel like you'd appreciate it. It takes place in the future, where Superman and other "old" heroes have retired, following his example. Superman feels like society has outgrown him and responds to the rejection by leaving crime fighting in the hands of a younger generation of mostly-impulsive, irrational, and irresponsible super-powered beings.

The book focuses a lot on society's response to super-powered beings in general (not just the irresponsible ones) and the tendency that superheroes have in placing themselves above humanity, consciously or not.

Jared has read it more recently than I so he would have other insights. I thought it was very interesting, and the artwork is incredible.

JKC said...

I'm probably not committed enough to be called a comic fan, but I've always been intrigued by the worlds that are created in those stories and how they compare with the other myths in our culture, how they draw on them, and revise them.

I still think Batman the animated series is one of the best series ever produced. I'm probably more into Batman than the other heros.

I think, intentionally or not, stories about super-heros say something about the relationahip that exists between humanity and deity. Too many people discount them as immature or blasphemous.

I've wondered if in some ways, stories of super-heros (and I'm thinking here of Batman types rather than Mutants (a la X-men) or techno-genius-crimefighters (a la Batman)) satisfy the need to think about God's humanity when many Christian religions either deny or de-emphasize his humanity. When Superman thinks about his responsibility to protect the earth and the weight of it, and the gnawing possibility that he might somehow fail, I think it reflects the same thing Jesus expresses in Gethsemane. He probably knew he would succeed, but he still moments of "let this cup pass" and "why has thou forsaken me."

Cabeza said...

I would highly recommend Kingdom Come for you, Cook. The Christ-figure theme and a view of superheroes as sort of fallen deities is very prominent in the story and Batman definitely plays a major role. He's very different in the future, based on the events that Mark Waid scripted into his life, and he remains enigmatic. Go in for the graphic novel, even splurge the $10 or so that it will cost to buy it (any respectable comic book shop will carry it, as will many bookstores that stock graphic novels). I enjoyed the novel as well--you get different insights into some of the characters and more background in some instances--but I really, really love the artwork in the graphic novel. Alex Ross is a master.

Warren said...

"The Secret Life of Chairman Mao" was a great read.
For religious, "Sergeant Nibley PhD" and "The Lost Language of Symbolism."
Recently mostly I read econ like books, which really don't appeal to a general readership.

The Shark said...

I almost forgot! "1,000,000 Random Digits"!!!