Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How do you find what to read?

I read an eclectic mix of things, from science fiction to how to garden. Sometimes it seems that I am always looking for that "next" book though (even when I am currently reading 3 or 4 at the same time). Sometimes will give me suggestions based on books I own or have rated in their system. To find authors that I might like, I look to Novelist (one of Arlington Public Libraries best databases) for suggestions based on books I have already read.

For fiction and non-fiction titles, I have found talk radio to be the best place to find books that I would never have read otherwise. I recently read a profound book that I discovered on the radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge, on their episode about Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. The author of Brief History of the Dead, Kevin Brockmeier, spoke about the inspiration for this strange short fiction book, which was actually a passage about African customs from the book Lies my teacher told me : everything your American history textbook got wrong. For some African tribes, they have three classes of people, the living, the dead but not yet forgotten, and the dead who have slipped out of living memory. This book is about the dead but not yet forgotten, and the one person that remembers them after a global viral attack. At times the book feels like a series of character vignettes in the city of the dead, but comes together into a tapestry of human emotions and actions.

Other books on the program included Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld, and How the Dead Dream, by Lydia Millet. While Uglies is intended for young adult audiences, for those that like a quick read about a cyberpunk-ish society (one where everyone must get plastic surgery at the age of 16), this one is for you. It also has sequels at least as good as the first book. How the Dead Dream just came out in January and is on order for the library. Having read and loved one of Millet's previous books, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, I can't wait for this one to hit our library shelves.


Faye said...


A True-Crime Serial Novel in the Star-Telegram. Don't miss each day's compelling chapter of "To Catch a Killer," the story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who finally brought him to justice. Written by award-winning Star-Telegram reporter Tim Madigan, with additional reporting by Deanna Boyd and Melody McDonald, this is a true story told in novel form, in 24 installments. You won't want to miss a single word of this special series that kicked off Sunday, February 10th. Online, the law officers, friends and families of the victims and even the killer himself describe their roles in video clips.

Paste the link below in your web browser to go directly to the novel:


Linda E said...

I think it is great we have a place to share our love of reading.