• What Are You Reading & What Should I Read?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 16 comments

    We are finally beginning to consider the idea of beginning to begin the process of beginning to get initially settled into our new apartment. We still have plenty of arranging to do, but if everything works out properly, next to one of our sunny windows we’ll have… a fresh new reading nook!

    Now I’m going to need some recommendations on what to read in it.

    My reading log tells me I’ve read nine books this year. Two of them (Lincoln in the Bardo, Fever Dream) are contemporary novels. Another two (The Coast of Chicago, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt) are story collections from the late 20th century, which I talk about on a recent episode of Yak Babies. The rest are assorted nonfiction, not all of it fun.

    I don’t know what I’m looking for right now. A few days ago, for a flight, I thought of picking up one of those beefy Eliot or Dickens novels I haven’t read. Then I discarded that idea in favor of rereading a recent favorite, Beatlebone. I paged through it on the flight there and paged through it on the flight back. Now it’s back in its place on our shelf, unreread.

    I’m just looking for something good, fiction or non, old or new, in any genre and/or defying all genres.

    What have you been reading in 2018, and what of it do you recommend?

    And if you’re also seeking recommendations, what kind of book are you looking for? Maybe one of your fellow WriteByNighters can help.

    Let us know all this and more in the comments.


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    Barbara A Mealer

    I actually have two. the first is Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette. It is a book set a few years into the future where there is a lot of tech advances.it opens with some drones being used to kill one very nasty badman. Marshal Hail runs the edge of legal to get what he wants done, done. This is a page turner and you get caught up in a wonderful world with characters you want to know more about.It is the first in a series. Another first in a series of The Falau Files. The Fixer by Michael Gomes… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn

    I’ve just started reading and am fascinated by Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything by Philip Ball. It’s this month’s free ebook from Chicago University Press: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/freeEbook.html That comes on the heels of Binti: Home, the second volume in Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series. These are science fiction novellas, each devoured in a night. Gorgeous world-building. Other fiction read this year includes LaRose by Louise Erdrich, which begins on a North Dakota Ojibwa reservation in 1999 and interweaves past generations of characters sharing that name. It is both beautiful and gritty. For politics, I highly recommend Russian Roulette by David… Read more »

    david lemke

    I belong to a writers group. Weekly we chose a prompt. A few weeks ago our prompt was, from a list of title (of your own) chose one. I have a list of around 500 titles, weeded it down chose one but it wasn’t working so I chose another. (trust me here. This is on topic!) No spark so I looked through my library, zeroed in on “The Stories Of John Cheever” read several that clicked, combined the with my title “Psychedelic Radio” inspiration struck and wrote it in about four hours, none stop. I’ve found that sometimes sifting through… Read more »

    david lemke

    I suggest READING not a novel,… (Didn’t know how to edit once posted)

    Jill-Ayn Martin

    Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Very motivating book. We writers have to be more curious than fearful. Listened to some of her You-Tube videos as well.

    Emily K. Martin

    I’m reading “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas because it’s YA contemporary, bestselling, & highly praised for being “honest.” I was curious about authors who used African American dialect without getting criticized for stereotyping; this is supposed to be helping me with my next WIP. But I actually feel less enlightened and more confused. LOL. It’s a very good story, though.

    Jill-Ayn Martin–I have been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic Podcast. It’s great!!!!


    Someone in my writing group mentioned George Saunders, and now I am reading his “Tenth of December” collection of stories. Some are really good, some are ok but could use improvement, and some are good writing prompts.

    Elissa Malcohn

    To answer your question re Binti (I couldn’t call up a Reply box, above) — I haven’t read the third volume yet, but I have a library request in for it.

    Jerry Schwartz

    I was stumbling through the books on my wife’s discarded Kindle and found “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson. The cover intrigued me, so I started reading it on a cross country flight. I had to stop after a few chapters, because the choking sounds I made while trying to stifle outright laughter were annoying everyone. The cabin attendants kept asking if I needed a glass of water. It took several chapters of “A Brief History of Time” to cool me down. The book is a demented memoir. If the first couple of pages don’t grab you, then… Read more »

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