Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Biblioholic Withdrawals

Here is something sad, and true: it has been almost a year since I truly lost myself in a book.

I'm talking deaf to the world, so absolutely enveloped by the story that I'm actively angry with who or whatever pulls me out of it.  I used to do it all the time, with every book, every shred of paper.  I went through books like a 3-packs-a-day smoker, end to end. Sometimes I can find the old spark when I re-read favorites like the His Dark Materials series or On the Road, those old old friends that I can fall so easily into, like a perfectly broken-in easy chair.  But the last time I picked up a new (to me) book that thrilled me, woke me in ways that only the written word can was at the beginning of this year, and who knows how long before that, which makes for a long and terrible dry spell for a bibliophile.

So I'm extending my anguish to you in the hopes that you'll help pull me out of this funk. I'll read anything. I'll read everything. Just give me something I can fall into.


Cody G. said...

So let me get this straight. I've been actively reading books? Picking up a new one each week or so, and you're not?

What happened there?

Greg said...


I only read a few books a year, but in the past couple of years I've built up several recommendation I like to make:

A few months ago I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and it was entirely engrossing-- couldn't put it down, even though at the end I was sort of indifferent about the whole thing. But apparently a lot of people do enjoy the reading experience and the book itself, even though I mainly enjoyed just the reading experience.

Another book which is short and you will zoom through and it will blow your mind is Time's Arrow by Martin Amis. I also really enjoyed his novel Money (think sleazyyyy 1980s high life novel), but Time's Arrow is special. A former coworker had recommended it to me as a "total mindfuck."

David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, number9dream, The Thousand Autumns..., Ghostwritten) and Jonathan Lethem (I've only read Motherless Brooklyn, which was fun, but his other work is supposed to be good, too) are worth picking up.

You've read many more books than I have Brittany, but hopefully something I've listed above is new to you.

(actually, I have to thank the aforementioned coworker for recommending/letting me borrow all of the books/authors to me, aside from Never Let Me Go)

jbrinke said...

I read the entire 'millennium', or 'girl who...' trilogy. It needed some editing - but I imagine it became difficult after the author died.
Because of the need for an editor the books are dense - and if you follow along the world can go away.
actually to follow along at times you need the world to go away.

Max Nova said...

Yes to Never Let Me Go. Yes to Motherless Brooklyn. The old back issue of Granta I'm reading currently has an excerpt of Time's Arrow (small world).

Also, Infinite Jest. There aren't many other worlds like that book.

Zadie Smiths work is also amazing and wonderful, I've enjoyed White Teeth and On Beauty.

nevie said...

how much willa cather have you read? all of it is good, but if you haven't yet read 'my antonia' drop whatever you are doing and do it. it's beautiful.

Fellow Eve Audrey said...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. ASAP. You won't regret it.