Saturday, April 18, 2009

Help! Book Suggestion Needed!

image I felt guilty about feeling like I have nothing to read, when I have a TBR pile that’s fifty or sixty books deep.

But I realized that I read three categories of books simultaneously.

Usually I’m reading some non-fiction. Actually, I usually have about 3-4 non-fiction books going. I’m good with that pile.

The second category is drama or action or something meaty. Or lush. Or rich. Something that I can really sink my teeth into. Long. Deep. Emotional. Gripping.

And finally the last category is something light and comedic and friendly to relax. I’ve read all the Janet Evanovich books, and now I’ve read all the Charlaine Harris books.

Now I have nothing to read from that pile. Any suggestions? I prefer mysteries, prefer series, and I want it light and quick and funny and relaxing. Something like Janet Evanovich or Charlaine Harris.

image It doesn’t have to be a mystery, actually. Just something very easy-reading. Fun.

Any suggestions?

And do you read one book at a time, or do you read several categories at once? What are your categories? Do you prefer series? I confess I prefer my light-reading to be series: it’s like hanging out with a group of friends.

25 bonus scribbles:

Mark Terry 4/18/2009 08:59:00 PM  

All the "Burglar" books by Lawrence Block.

Anything by Jeffrey Cohen. "Some Like It Hot-buttered" for example.

There's one called ""Right From The Gecko" but I don't know the name of it.

You might try "The Android's Dream" or "Agent to the Stars" by John Scalzi for light and humorous SF.

conley730 4/18/2009 09:26:00 PM  

Have you read the Sue Grafton series? Those are good. I also like the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun for light hearted reading. The series by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown is good too.

I generally just read one book at a time. If I have more than one going at a time I confuse myself by thinking something from one book happened in the other!

G 4/18/2009 09:27:00 PM  

My reading preference run the gamut.

If you like mysteries, I would suggest Heather Terrell. Her "The Chrysalis" and "The Map Thief" are very good art world mysteries. Read them both last year.

If you don't mind the self-published route, Susan Hooper has has a good cozy mystery series (totals about 8 right now). She can be found at AuthorHouse.

Nadine 4/18/2009 10:09:00 PM  

I love Sue Grafton - similar to Janet Evanovich. I would recommend the Grafton route. I heart her books.

writtenwyrdd 4/18/2009 10:20:00 PM  

Have you ever read Carl Hiassen? His brand of humor is dark dark dark but he's funny as hell.

Eric Mayer 4/18/2009 10:28:00 PM  

That's a little tough for me. You might try a mystery by M.C. Beaton. The last one I read I found hilarious. Very light too.

More recently I was surprised by Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat. A bit odd but it made me feel good. It wasn't anything like I expected.

Robin 4/18/2009 11:26:00 PM  

Have you read the Diana Gabaldon time traveler/romance books? I know that sounds queer, but they're well written and lots of fun.

I like Alexander McCall's series about Precious Ramotswe, the woman detective in Botswana. It's funny, charming and a cool look into another culture.

Now that you've addicted me to the Kindle, I read at least 3 books at a time. You rat.

Angie 4/19/2009 12:49:00 AM  

Have you read anything by Monica Ferris? Or her earlier pseud, Mary Monica Pulver? She's a mystery writer and both series are great. Her current one, as Ferris, is about a woman who owns a needlework shop and always runs into dead bodies, or people who've been accused of murder, or whatever. :) Her Pulver series is out of print but worth hunting for. The detective is an actual cop, who's a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA thing doesn't really permeate the books (except for the first one she wrote, Murder at the War, which isn't the first chronologically) but it's a fun twist, especially for someone who used to be an SCAer. [cough] She's a good writer and is the only mystery writer I go looking for, since it's really not my genre.

I usually buy books in batches, whatever the top X books I wanted, with the number X depending on how much money I have to spend at the moment. I work through the stack (plus whatever leftovers I might have unread) in order of what I feel like reading next when I finish the previous one.

I also read according to surroundings, for example having a book in the bathroom all the time. Although if a book is really good I'll carry it around and read it on the couch or at bedtime too. And nonfiction is sometimes read as I need, for research, in which case I read it when I feel like sitting someplace with a notepad, and sometimes as recreational reading, in which case I read it just like a novel.

I also get Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and used to get Realms of Fantasy before it quit recently. :( I'm thinking of subscribing to Analog again, another SF mag. The digest-size magazines are handy to carry around, and very light.

I read e-books on my computer. I have a Palm, but don't use it much and don't like reading e-books on it. I don't have a book reader; none of them have had all the features I want (like reading plain .PDF files without making me jump through hoops) while not costing some ridiculous amount. For right now I'm happy just reading right here; it's where I spend most of my day anyway. :)


Susan Helene Gottfried 4/19/2009 08:00:00 AM  

Harley Jane Kozak's Dating series -- it starts with Dead Ex. There are now four books in it.

Have fun!

StarvingWriteNow 4/19/2009 08:36:00 AM  

Have you read the "Cat Who" mysteries yet by Lilian Jackson Braun? They're pretty easy reads; light with some funny stuff.

I could suggest a bunch of juvenile/teen books that are funny if you're interested...?

Anonymous,  4/19/2009 08:40:00 AM  

Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series is awesome. Witty, smart, fun.

Edie 4/19/2009 11:46:00 AM  

Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton is light with a little mystery and romance. And how about YA? I've read a couple (and plan to read Erica's Magickeepers when it's out). I enjoyed The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter.

Charles Gramlich 4/19/2009 12:00:00 PM  

I have no suggestions. Light and comedic is something I almost "never" read.

Kate S 4/19/2009 12:55:00 PM  

Katie Macalister's dragon & vampire series are both really good. I recommend her even if you don't read the series - she has a couple of short story sets that had me laughing til I cried.

RK Keller recommended Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series, which I also like.

In YA, Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" series is entertaining and well-written.

Heather Harper 4/19/2009 08:13:00 PM  

I saw it mentioned in an earlier comment, but I think you would like Alexander Mccall Smith's The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I watch the show and read the first few pages in Walmart. Light, lovely prose.

sue18 4/19/2009 08:21:00 PM  

You have to wait till June 23, but "Mark of the Demon", by Diana Rowland will be out then. She's gotten some nice reviews already.

And you can preorder at almost on-lin bookstore. (I have 2 copieis coming from Amazon.)

Sue Rowland (her mother)

Caryn Caldwell 4/19/2009 10:51:00 PM  

How funny - I do something similar with my books! I always have something meaty, something nonfiction, and something escapist. Usually one of those is an audio book, while the other two are print. As for fun/funny mysteries, ever read Jennifer Crusie or Lani Diane Rich? They often have mystery elements in their books, and they're a lot of fun.

mom2brie,  4/19/2009 10:51:00 PM  

Have you read Susan Elizabeth Phillips? Her plots sounds like they are going to be terrible, BUT somehow the stories entertain and are quite enjoyable :-)

Robin 4/20/2009 11:48:00 AM  

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books are absolutely terrific! I know you will love them! It is probably my favorite series ever (and I love Janet Evanovich). He just came out with the eleventh book in the series and it was awesome! You've got to give him a try!

lainey bancroft 4/20/2009 12:47:00 PM  

Rhonda Pollero's new 'FAT' mystery series is similar to Evanovich.

I think there are 3 books out and another 3 contracted.

And yes, I do the same thing with categorizing. =)

Melanie Avila 4/20/2009 02:10:00 PM  

I cannot read more than one book at a time, unless one is a writing book. Funny that the Evanovich book you posted is the only one I've read so far. I know, don't kill me. :)

Avery DeBow 4/20/2009 11:00:00 PM  

I can't read two of the same categories at the same time. I can do one fiction and one non-fiction, but there can be no intermingling within the classes. I get too distracted.

I'm on the second book of Tad Williams' Otherland series. Definitely meaty--four books of roughly seven hundred pages each. But I'm really enjoying them. Gorgeous prose, great characters and a plot that will take you into all sorts of unimagined places. It's a pleasant mix of sci-fi and fantasy.

Christina 4/21/2009 01:55:00 AM  

Hmm, I think I'll take some of these book suggestions and look for the titles at my library. One can never have too many books on their TBR pile. =^_^=

Speaking of which, I read about 2-3 books, but not in any genre. I just look at the back and say, "Sure, I'll read this for the week." Good luck in finding some books.

spyscribbler 4/21/2009 12:44:00 PM  

Oh wow, guys, this is FANTASTIC! I'm going to compile this into a list and turn it into a blog post. That way if other people are looking for fun Evanovich-like or Harris-like mysteries to read, a quick Google will give them a great list.


And I forgot two: Karen Olsen and Wendy Roberts!

Lauren 4/23/2009 12:05:00 AM  

I don't know...I really don't read books like that...I've been trying to think of a good suggestion, but I just can't. I know, I haven't commented in ages and this is the best I can come up with... :-P

On the plus side, looks like you have gotten lots of good ideas :)