Thursday, November 13, 2008

Because if you don't help me I will be forced to go into great detail about my sex dreams

News Flash! Life with a preschooler and an infant is not conducive to writing.

No, really. I'm not making this up. It's really hard to string together a coherent sentence when you spend most of your days either making baby talk or saying nothing but "No. I said, No. N-O. No. No! NO!!!" to a three year old who obviously has the hearing of an octogenarian. The other precious few hours are spent drooling on my pillow dreaming of hot sex with John Krasinski.

What is it about that guy? Most of my sex dreams involve him or Neil Patrick Harris and nasty acts in barn lofts. Usually with a cow present. But I digress.

I have at least four posts in the hopper, posts I have spent some significant time on. But honestly, at this point I can't stand the sound of my own voice, so the sight of my own words? Please. Reading them makes my eyes itch.

The problem may be that I haven't been reading books lately.

Really? No time for books? Get outta heah.

I know, right?

During the recent move and first few months after C.C. was born I somehow managed to read all four books in the Twilight series - and sadly enough, none of my sex dreams involve hot vampire love with a certain undead named EDWARD. Nom nom nom - but I haven't found a decent book since. It's not for lack of trying, I'm just so out of the loop that when I enter a Barnes and Noble to check out the stacks, the sheer volume makes me run away screaming.

Or maybe because I'm embarrassed someone there will recognize me as the thirty*mumblemumble* year old woman who reads teen lit. Whatever.

The fact of the matter is, I'm a better writer when I'm reading. And this is where you come in.

(You didn't know this was audience participation day, did you?)

I need book recommendations. Preferably new releases so I can find them easily. Something that will make my brain work a little is not a bad thing. Chick lit must be kept to a sane level, so Jodi Picoult and the like will be considered but it won't go to the top of my list. I'm not oppossed to chick lit, I like chick lit as much as the next chick, but some makes me want to throw up in my mouth and, really, the last thing I need is to be known as the woman who reads teen lit, has sex dreams involving gay men and farm animals, and smells like vomit.

So tell me about the book you're reading or have recently read. Tell me about one you've got on your bed side table and haven't gotten to yet but you're dying to dive into. Hell, while you're at it tell me about the last hot sex dream you had and whether or not you think I'm crazy as a shit house rat for thinking Neil Patrick Harris might go straight for me one day.

Hey, it could happen. Bovines are optional.


Anonymous said...

I can never resist a request for book recommendations!!! Not new but all should be available in your standard Borders: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (historical fiction), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon (modern tale told from the perspective of an autistic teenager), The Princess Bride by William Goldman (don't care what you thought of the movie - 90% of the book never made it into the movie and the book is SO FREAKING HILARIOUS it leaves the movie in it's dust), Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (sci-fi, but I swear you'll love it, even if you don't like sci-fi -I did and I don't and I'm not the only one!), The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel (historical fiction from the time of prehistoric man - this author reeeally knows anthropology/archeology/history/science and the whole series is just fantastic). Those are some of my favourites off my shelf that I reread frequently. Hope this helps!

Hannah said...

My favourite new book of the last couple of years is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. So beautifully written, so poignant and sweet. And soon to be a movie which will probably ruin it, so read it before the movie comes out and thank me later. ;)

Oh, and NPH is HOT. I agree completely.

MARY G said...

Yes to Auel and Ender's War, two of my favourites also. The Auel books are long, but you can read them a bit at a time. And the sex is, um, instructive. Especially in the second of the series, Plains of Passage.
This is serendipity, for sure. I was just about to write a post with book recommendations. So, from me, anything by Barbara Hambly. She writes sci fi, historical fiction and historical detective stories. The last of these are her best work, I think. Start with 'A Free Man of Colour', which was in print the last time I looked, but any of the series is stand alone.
Sad but warm story? Marcia Willett, A Week in Winter.

Anonymous said...

The Mistress's Daughter by A.M. Homes
It's a memoir of a woman who was given up for adoption and then, 30 years later her birth parents come looking for her.
Wicked by Gregory Maguire. So complex and fascinating, it makes you look at The Wizard of Oz in a whole new way. And if you haven't seen the musical yet, definitely go!

Sharon said...

Escape by Carolyn Jessup- This is a great true story about a woman who escapes a polygamist cult called the FDLS. It was SO interesting! I am getting ready to read The Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It is supposed to be really good! Hope this helps! If you need a book that is just funny with a little bit of sexual tension there is always Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews! Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the above suggestions. I'm currently reading The Red Tent and loving it. The Time Travelers Wife is also wonderful and while it does fall into the realm of chick lit, it does make your brain work. I also enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl, but hated the movie.

Anonymous said...

I just re-read and enjoyed the 5 People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Now I might go and get a few of the books you commenters recommend. I've been meaning to get The Time Traveller's Wife for ages.

Heather said...

If you haven't read the Time Traveler's Wife yet, do. It was good. I also liked Beneath A Marble Sky by John Shors and A Thousand Splendid Suns. (Liked that one better than The Kite Runner actually.)

Also I like anything by Anita Shreve.

I agree, it's easier to write when you're reading. That may be why I am not writing anything too profound.

I can't believe that you have had time to read anything. I certainly haven't!

Anonymous said...

Two excellent recommendations from my book club. Both were great:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Book of Negroes By Lawrence Hill

Happy reading.

All Things BD said...

I just finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. GREAT book, and really a fast read. I also get behind Ender's Game and Time Traveller's Wife. Both sci-fi, but with great relational storylines.

Backpacking Dad said...

An Instance of the Fingerpost

Anonymous said...

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Just a word of warning though ... and you will have steamy dreams about Jamie Fraser.

I also reccomend the Time Traveler's Wife and another good one is On the Beach, not sure who wrote it, but a really great, depressing book. :)

motherbumper said...

Am I the only one holding out recommendations and demanding more details? Huh? HUH?

Major Bedhead said...

I just finished World Without End by Ken Follet, which is a sort of sequel to Pillars Of The Earth. Both are great, meaty historical fiction.

I'm currently reading Heat by Bill Buford, which isn't fiction, but is about Mario Batali and food, so it's all good. I'm also re-reading, for the umpti-third time, The Fionavar Tapestry series by Guy Gavriel Kay. It's fantasy fiction, which makes a lot of people shudder, but it's great.

I read Water For Elephants a while back and loved it. Another good one is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It was an incredible story, one I will definitely be re-reading.

Julia said...

I think you could go two ways here, Classics or Modern. My favorite classic is Jane Eyre, Austin of course. I think I have read it five times. I am sick that way. But it is a romance.

Then I am in the midst of 1000 White Women, by Jim Fergus. VERY entertaining with government sponsored program to marry white ladies to Cherokee Indians in late 1800's.

Good luck with all your suggestions.

Kizz said...

I'll second Time Traveler's Wife, Water for Elephants & Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

Run by Ann Patchett is very good and set in Boston. It came out about a year ago but recently came out in paperback so it's probably on one of the tables at the front of the B&N.

If you really feel like working a bit one of my favorite series of all time is The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. Swashbuckling historical fiction.

Walking in Circles Before Lying Down might be good for you. It's relatively light but nice.

Someone just gave me a HIGH rec for a YA book called Graceling so that might be good for you too.

Lindsay Jean said...

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters - her prose is so flowing and lyrical. This is one of the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die.

Blog Antagonist said...

Have I not told you about my enduring love of Outlander by Dana Gabaldon? Maybe not your thing...didn't think it was mine either. I thought it was a little too...Harlequin Romanc-y, but really it's not.

It has romance, political intrigue, hot sex, well developed plots and characters, suspense, mystery...what more do you need?

This is a six book series with the seventh slated to be released sometime this year. So, if you get hooked, that gives you 7 books worth of reading.

I've been re-reading the series in preparation for the release of Echo In The Bone, so I have no suggestions on new releases, I'm afraid. I'm a bit out of the loop on those.

Avalon said...

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.

Bright, Shiny Morning by James Frey

Michelle said...

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs autobiography.

On a totally different level - SHOPAHOLIC!!!! Oh gosh I love these books and can fly through them in an afternoon like I did "The Babysitters Club" when I was 12. Sophie Kinsella is wicked funny. It's a good break from life.

ALSO - Jenny McCarthy's BellyLaughs & BabyLaughs - yeah they're prego and 1st year books, but they read like a novel.. and that bitch is just hilarious.

Amy said...

It's not new so you've probably read it, but The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is magnificent.

Also try Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything is completely fascinating, but anything he's written is worth reading - very funny stuff.

Right now I'm reading Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser. So far, very good.

Anna Marie said...

I just finished "Loving Frank" about Frank Lloyd Wright and his affair with a married woman, and I second the suggestions of "Like Water for Elephants" and "The Time Traveler's Wife". All are compulsively readable and will cause you to ignore your children and any housework that may need to be done.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Great recommendations so far! Thanks. Keep them coming.

I have read the Time Traveler's Wife. I did like it. But who knew it had such a following this many years after it was released?

Has anyone read Pope Joan?

Heather said...

I'm with MotherBumper....LOL

LizP said...

Someone already recommended the Red Tent - it was very good. Orson Scott Card has books on the women of Genesis (as in the bible). They're really good, not bible-thumpish but historical novel-ish. Those and O Magazine are all I've had time for (I have a 3+ year old and a 9 month old).

Anonymous said...

I just read the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society and LOVED it. Also, when I get into a reading rut and I can't find anything I can get into I secretly read historical romances. I can get though one even with two kids running around screaming in the background and they are so different from my normal reading material that it seems to jumpstart my brain again. I dont know any authors by name, I usually just go to the library and grab and interesting looking cover. :)

Heather said...

Have you read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series? Very good chick lit and will make you have sex dreams of Scottish men in kilts with no underwear.

Diana is awesome. Outlander is the first book in the series.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Sci Fi, but Ender's Game really was great. And I don't like murder mysteries, but I just finished Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, and that was lots of fun. It's narrated by a fellow with Tourette's, which makes for some funny scenes, and it's tremendously well written.

Also, Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is entertaining, especially given your new proximity to the hiking trails.

Cate said...! Tons of recs on there (and I know you have an account, because you're on my friends list. Unless there's another chicky baby.)

I did enjoy The Other Boleyn Girl recently. Definitely borders on chick lit, but there's some historical stuff, plus it's a big fat book that you can get lost in.

Mary Roach's books are good nonfiction. (Except Spook, I couldn't finish that one. Stiff and Bonk are great.)

Anonymous said...

Two more: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver is one of my all time favorites.

The Romeo Flag by Carolyn Hougan is a great espionage novel. There are a couple of sex scenes that made me laugh out loud, because they were the ultimate female fantasy. The woman is in a frumpy bathrobe, hasn't bathed, hair is a mess... and the guy stops dead in his tracks, completely mesmerized. Priceless.

The catalog Bas Bleu has lots of unusual suggestions.

Cassie said...

Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mystery series. It's the one they made into HBO's True Blood and they are really good. I think you'll like them if you liked Twilight, at least I liked them both.

a li'l bit squishy said...

The Time Traveller's Wife -Audrey Niffenegger
Water For Elephants - Sarah Gruen
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
Stones From the River -Ursula Hegi
The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears - Dinaw Mengestu
Deniro's Game - Rawi Hage
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
The Assasin's Song - MG Vassanji
The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Lost City Radio - Daniel Alarcon
Bahia Blues - Yasmina Trabouli
The Book Thief - Markus Zasuk
Anything by Ian McEwan

None bordering on Chick Lit, all amazing. Haven't read the Twilight series myself but with three daughters I am certain they will enter my house in the next couple of years. Good luck!

Cait said...

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. Absolutely fantastic.
Bill Bryson- except for the one about the Appalacian trail. Really wasn't as good as his others.
The Gravedigger's Daugher, Joyce Carol Oates
Liars and Saints, Maile Maloy
The Problem with Murmur Lee, Connie May Fowler
and, chick-lit-ish, but about books:
Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Anonymous said...

If you haven't read The Red Tent, do. Innocent Traitor is also excellent.

Deborah said...

Yes, the Outlander series! I thought I was alone. I keep checking Diana Gabaldon's website to see if the next book will be released soon. I read them with a book light in bed at night because I can't put them down. They are romancy, and also Sci Fi in that the main character goes back in time by accident.

I also read The Pillars of the Earth and World without End. Couldn't put them down either.

I can't wait to read the books eveyone has recommended!

Amy Urquhart said...

Watching True Blood has renewed my interest in the Vampire Chronicles, which I've just started to reread. I really should give the Twilight series a go, but I'm afraid I'd be cheating on Bill.

Sally HP said...

I just finished The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta and Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, both good. I'm in Joy Luck Club and Poisonwood Bible and also just started Chasin Harry Winston (Lauren Weissberger...yes, it's chick lit, but she also wrote The Devil Wears Prada...), I liked Little Children by Tom Perotta, Like Water for Elephants, My Horizontal Life (Hillarious)...the list could go on, but I'm too tired...I have the same aged kids and the same issue :)

Ericka said...

i need books like i need oxygen and when you go through them like i do, you ready just about anything. some of my favorite authors: mercedes lackey, laurell k hamilton, charlaine harris, naomi novak, jacquelin carey is fantastic, also if you need a laugh, jennifer crusie is laugh out loud funny, p.c. cast and kristin cast do the "a house of night" series, which is also "teen lit."

try some of those and if our tastes are similar, i'll give you more. :-)

Jacquie said...

Oh yes the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is fantastic! It will be tough trying to replace Edward with Jamie, but you could have fun trying!

I'm halfway into the Eclipse right now.

Patois42 said...

I'm positive Neil Patrick Harris has come out with an autobiography. (Pun intended.)

Misa Gracie said...

I'm with everyone that suggested the Outlander series - smokin' book. It's got everything - mystery - romance - comedy - adventure. I think it's one of the best series I've read in quite some time. I did enjoy the Twilight series, but it is teen lit - Gambaldon brings a whole new depth and itelligence to her writing that Meyer has yet to find.

Anonymous said...

Well, thank you for posting this, because now I don't have to. I finished the Twilight series weeks ago and haven't found anything to replace it. After having just read all of these comments, sounds like I'll be going with the Outlander series:)

SciFi Dad said...

I haven't read anything "recent" in quite some time. However, I will recommend The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. It's hillarious and will make you think, especially if you have a cursory knowledge of the three prominent monotheistic faiths.

carrie said...

I had the same problem after finishing the Twilight series so I found my tattered copy of Interview With the Vampire (Anne Rice, duh!) and am rereading it, as a grown-up!

See, just mixing it up a little, reading teen lit as a 35 year old, and rereading adult novels I was reading at 16. Nothing wrong with that!

carrie said...

You could also try Jen Lancaster's books - I could not put them down.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See.

The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan.

The Feast of Love, Charles Baxter.

Jewel, Bret Lott.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late to the game, but I'm currently reading Obama's "The Audacity of Hope." But when I don't want to exercise the old brain quite as much, I'm back to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jodi Picoult, Nicolas Sparks and the like.

Lisa said...

I totally hear you on this. Every since I hopped on the mommy train I'm lucky if I can work my way through ONE book in the time I used to read four. Oy.

Anyway, highly recommend Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. Both good enough to make you go, "sh*t, why can't I write like THAT?"

Sally HP said...

We're reading Pope Joan in our mom's group book could join us and have lots of good books to read :)

Anonymous said...

I second the recs for The Princess Bride by William Goldman and Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. I add Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

Elleoz said...

I'm glad I am not the only one. I like to call it Twilight-itis. I just can't bring myself to read something else. So I am re-vamping them now. I might read The Host next though since I am loving me some Stephenie Meyer.

Sarahviz said...

Right up my alley, T.! Erin Hilderbrand is my newest fave - all her books take place in Nantucket. I currently have "Barefoot" queued up to read next.