Sunday, June 10, 2007

Book recommendations?

I'm looking for some good summer reading: novels, really fabulous short story collections, exceptional nonfiction.

My tastes run toward the literary and U.S., although recently I've been reading outside American borders: Ian McEwan's Saturday (liked it OK) and The Raw Shark Texts (not so much). I'm 50 pages into Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello and I'm enjoying it thus far, though not page-turningly so. Next up: Water for Elephants and possibly Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Fave authors have included Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, Virginia Woolf, E. L. Doctorow, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ruth Ozeki, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Isabel Allende. I'm not a big fan of chick lit, detective novels, or fantasy, though I will read exceptional sci-fi.

I'm especially open to authors with roots in the Middle East and Africa. I've enjoyed pretty much everything I've read that was published by Middle Eastern authors in the past decade, and I'm hungry for more. I need to expand my literary horizons!

Any recommendations?


Anonymous said...

everyone tells me kite runner (khaled Hosseini) is excellent. i own it but have yet to read it. I'm a little too buried in the diss to read for pleasure. His second novel has been reviewed pretty positively, too. Forget the title. Okay, a thousand splendid suns, google tells me.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time, about people on the High Plains who stuck out the Dust Bowl. I picked it up at the new downtown bookstore in Grinnell's old Cunningham's Drug Store. So far, it's been a pretty good read.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Drew, the whole series, makes good summer reading. If you want to see good detective fiction at work, that is. There is also Borges, but you wouldn't care for harsh reading in a summer.



Queen of West Procrastination said...

Since you already have at least two Canadians on there, I'll add a third: Carol Shields. Trust me. Start with The Stone Diaries.

In spite of my heavy reading load this summer, I think I'll still have to find time to squeeze in my traditional summer re-reading of David McFarlane's Summer Gone. I love that book so much.

Anonymous said...

have you read moaveni's lipstick jihad?

also, tahar ben jalloun is a great.

and i LOVED map of love by Ahdaf Soueif.

Anonymous said...

also, leila achmed has some good, non-academic type books

Anonymous said...

last comment i promise. i can't believe i misspelled ahmed. anyway, yah, it's leila ahmed

Scrivener said...

Charles Frazier's newest novel Thirteen Moons is worth reading. Thomas King's novels are all really good (Green Grass, Running Water is my favorite of his).