what are you reading?

(Because one of my favorite things to find out about a person is what they are reading.) Here’s a quick sampling of what we have either recently read, are currently reading, or have sitting on our bedside tables waiting for us to dig into:

Adam Israel:
Recently read:
A MEMORY OF LIGHT, by Brandon Sanderson & Robert Jordan. Last book in the Wheel of Time series. These books have been in my life for more than two decades.
DAILY LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1920-1940 : How Americans Lived Through The “Roaring Twenties” And The Great Depression, by David E. Kyvig.
LETTERS FROM THE DUST BOWL, by Caroline Henderson, edited by Alvin O. Turner.
THE WORST HARD TIME: The Untold Story Of Those Who Survived The Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan. (These last three titles are researching a future story.)

Currently reading:
THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, by Saladin Ahmed. I saw Saladin reading from this at World Fantasy 2010 and it was stunning. Reading it is even better.
A GAME OF THRONES, by George R. R. Martin. A re-read, so I can read (for the first time) the rest of the series.

Want to read soon:
AMERICAN ELSEWHERE, by Robert J. Bennett. It’s been recommended by half of the people I follow on Twitter.
SHIMMER Vol 16. Shimmer is always worth reading, but this issue features a Christie Yant story!
WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN, edited by Holly Black & Ellen Kushner. I am so in love with concept of this shared world. It’s where I’d have run away to as a teen.

 

Andrew Penn-Romine:
Recent reading:
THE BROKEN LAND, by Ian McDonald. Can’t beat Ian’s blend of world-building and the politics of class.
THE FOLLY OF THE WORLD, by Jesse Bullington. Love the two main characters in this book. they aren’t good people but their relationship is so well drawn you really come to care for them.
TO A GOD UNKNOWN, by John Steinbeck. Early Steinbeck with his characteristic sense of place and a touch of magical realism you don’t expect.

Current reading:
PRETTY BOY: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd, by Michael Wallis – a bio of notorious Depression-era outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd. I’m reading this one for research, but it’s also a fun read.
THE LACUNA, by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved Kingsolver’s THE POISONWOOD BIBLE, and Carol just finished this one and highly recommended it to me. Just started, but so far it’s excellent.

Want to read soon:
THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, by Saladin Ahmed. This one’s been on my “to-read” pile for a while, but I keep getting distracted. I’ve heard so many good things, and had many recommendations from friends to read it.
BOUND FOR GLORY — autobiography of Woody Guthrie. Partly for research, but also because Guthrie led a fascinating life and he’s always fascinated me.

 

Caroline Ratajski:
Recently read:
THE TROUPE, by Robert Jackson Bennett
MR SHIVERS, by Robert Jackson Bennett
AMERICAN ELSEWHERE, by Robert Jackson Bennett
THE DIVINERS, by Libba Bray
IMAGINARY GIRLS, by Nova Ren Suma

 

Christie Yant:
Currently reading;
A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, by Peter S. Beagle, who is a genius.
AT THE MOUTH OF RIVER AND BEES, Kij Johnson’s short story collection.
THE POISONER’S HANDBOOK, by Deborah Blum

Want to read soon:
THE LAST UNICORN, by Peter S. Beagle.
INK, by Damien Walters Grintalis.
PHILIPPINE SPECULATIVE FICTION 6, edited by Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias

 

Erika Holt:
Recently read:
THE DROWNED CITIES, by Paolo Bacigalupi – companion book to SHIP BREAKER, which I enjoyed.
THE GIVER, by Lois Lowry – a classic, banned book I had not yet read – arguably a precursor to THE HUNGER GAMES, DIVERGENT, etc.
SOMEONE COMES TO TOWN, SOMEONE LEAVES TOWN, by Cory Doctorow – enjoy Doctorow’s writing and who could resist a story about a man whose father is a mountain, mother is a washing machine, and triplet brothers are a set of nesting dolls?

Currently reading
RED PLANET BLUES, by Robert J. Sawyer  – noir detective tale set on Mars

Want to read soon:
WARBREAKER, by Brandon Sanderson – epic fantasy, which I like.
WISE MAN’S FEAR, by Patrick Rothfuss – more epic fantasy.
THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA, by Toni DiTerlizzi – illustrated young adult fantasy (?) novel (but probably not quite a graphic) that has interactive components – looks very cool!

 

Galen Dara:
Recently read:
SWAMPLANDIA, by Karen Russell. (Audio book from the library.) I listened to an interview with Karen and was smitten. Swamplandia was surreal and fascinating and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
THE OCTOBER COUNTRY, by Ray Bradbury. Paper back. Pursuing the “B” shelves of fiction in the library and there it was. Also reading a larger collection of Bradbury short stories, but October Country was something special.
SAGA vol2, Written by Brian K. Vaughn, Art by Fiona Staples. Because I finally went to my comic store and picked up my pull list after letting it accumulate for a few months. I had all of Saga Volume Two waiting for me in weeklies. It was awesome.

Currently Reading:
TENDER MORSELS, by Margo Lanagan. Ebook, This one was recommended by a friend and I am completely captivated by this dark, gritty fairytale.
BURMESE DAYS by George Orwell. An audio book checked out from the library. Hadn’t read this one before and it called my name as I scrolled through available titles.
BATWOMAN, ELEGY. Written by Greg Rucka, art by J.H. Williams. I read this several years ago, but picked it up again to refresh myself on the storyline and to compare it to J.H. William’s writing in BATWOMAN HYDROLOGY.

Want to read soon:
INK, by Damian Walter Grintalis. Mystical dangerous tattoos? That’s so up my alley.
STIFF: the curious lives of human cadavers, by Mary Roach. Death peaks my interest.
VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE, by Karen Russell. (Yay!)

 

John Nakamura Remy:
Recently read:
THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, by Saladin Ahmed. Just finished this yesterday. Refreshing fantasy set in a Middle-Eastern-inspired setting. Audiobook.
THE TEAM OF RIVALS: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Powerful book, makes a case for Lincoln’s pragmatic idealism and balance of political savvy backed by good human traits: continual forgiveness of those who wronged him, a deep empathy for a wide range of people, the ability to communicate with a wide range of folks, from the intellectual elite and the frontier farmer. I read maybe one book a year that deeply enriches my life, and this one may be it for 2013. Audiobook.
KRAKEN, by China Mieville. A rambling romp full of geek culture riffs (including why the Star Trek transporter freaked the hell out of Mieville). It was fun, but felt lighter than some of his other works. I’d recommend PERDIDO STREET STATION or THE CITY AND THE CITY over KRAKEN.

Currently reading:
I’m in the middle of about a dozen anthologies right now, both specfic and mystery and lit “best of”, trying to level up my short story writing skills. I tend to read only a third to a half of the stories in each. I’m having a lot of fun with the BOOK OF CTHULHU II, THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE (which has Ken Liu’s Hugo-nominated “Mono no Aware”), and QUEEN VICTORIA’S BOOK OF SPELLS (*just* got my hands on this gem!). For novels, I’m reading MINK RIVER by Brian Doyle. A random pick when I was at Powells last month. It grabbed me by the sensitive parts with its prose, and won’t let go. Smell the newsprint kind of book. And finally, I just started the audiobook of Bacigalupi’s THE DROWNED CITIES.

Want to read soon:
There are fifty billion books I’m plan to read soon, but these are the ones I’m almost literally thumbing right now: HEART OF DARKNESS, by Joseph Conrad, and TURN OF THE SCREW, by Henry James. Researching content and style for a couple of stories I’m working on. Conrad is e-text (free, online), and James is a library book. Also really really looking forward to reading Robert’s AMERICAN ELSEWHERE.

 

Sandra Wickham:
Recently read:
FROST BURNED, by Patricia Briggs (hardback)
SNAKE AGENT, by Liz Williams (hardback)
MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE, by Diana Rowland (paper book) *reread for my book club.

Currently reading:
HEXED, by Kevin Hearne. I’m reading this in ebook, love his style, humor and world building. I consider all urban fantasy reading to be writing research. 😉
UNBOUND -Urban Fantasy Anthology paper book including Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeanniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, Jocelynn Drake.
THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN, by George MacDonald, in hardcover from the library. I’m reading this book, written in 1871 because it was the book that made me want to write. After I read it (and the sequel) at the age of nine, I wrote my first novel. I’m hoping to reconnect with that nine year old passion and it *may* have relevance to the new novel I’m outlining. 🙂
I’m also listening to the audiobook SANDMAN SLIM by Richard Kadrey, the first in a series of five. More new novel research.

Want to read soon:
My shelves and ipad are FULL of books I plan to read soon. Next in the line up:
SINS OF THE DEMON, by Diana Rowland (more novel research).
RED PLANET BLUES, by Robert J Sawyer because I’ve heard so much great feedback about it and I love his novels.
ROSEMARY AND RUE, by Seanen McGuire because I haven’t read any of hers yet and I really want to! Also serves as writing research.

 

Wendy N. Wagner:
Recently read:
VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE, by Karen Russell (paper, checked out from the library). Some incredible short stories (and some less incredible).
THE BOOK OF SWORDS, by Hank Reinhardt (paper, checked out from library). Survey of historical development of the sword. [research]
EVEN WHITE TRASH ZOMBIES GET THE BLUES, by Diana Rowland. (paper, checked out from library) Awesome mystery + redemption story, second in a trilogy. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Currently reading:
EMPIRE FALLS by Richard Russo. (Also paper, checked out from the library) I just started this one, and it’s surprisingly entertaining for a Pulitzer prize winner. I grew up in a dying lumber town, and this book is set in a town whose major industries have dried up, so I’m really appreciating this.
DEAD FISH MUSEUM, by Charles D’Ambrosio. (Also paper, checked out from the library) Amazing short stories by a Portland literary writer.

Want to read soon:
LA CONFIDENTIAL, by James Ellroy. His novel THE BLACK DAHLIA was incredible (I plan to re-read it sometime soon), and I’m craving that “neo-noir” flavor.
IRONSKIN, by Tina Connolly. Governesses. Fey curses. What’s not to like? But I rarely plan what I’m going to read next–I usually just grab something droolable I find at the library!

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Well there you go, a bit of what’s on our bookshelves, bedside tables, and digital devices. What are you reading lately?

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  • John Klima

    Recently read: Into the Beautiful North : a Novel by Urrea, Luis Alberto, Close to the Machine : Technophilia and its Discontents by Ellen Ullman, and Silence by Jan Costin Wagner

    Currently reading: THE DROWNING GIRL by Caitlin R. Kiernan, DATURA by Leena Krohn, THE EXPLORER AND OTHER STORIES by
    Jyrki Vainonen, and LIBRARY CAMPS AND UNCONFERENCES by Steve Lawson

    Want to read soon: QUEEN VICTORIA’S BOOK OF SPELLS edited by Ellen Datlow, LIBROMANCER by Jim C. Hines, and DANIEL FIGHTS A HURRICANE by Shane Jones

    Obviously I’ve also recently read GLITTER & MAYHEM, but I can’t count a book I co-edited on no matter how cool it is, can I?

  • I love seeing what my friends are reading or want to read. The best is seeing how we cross-contaminate each other–Sandra introduced me to Diana Rowland and Galen and I have been gushing over Karen Russell this month!

    The weirdest thing is trying to figure out how Galen made all that art for Rigor Amortis without reading Stiff. Her rotting corpses look so well-researched!