What We’re Reading

Or, In Which Our New Colleague Daniele Makes His First Appearance.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - Becky ChambersLila - Marilynne RobinsonBurning the Days - James SalterGod Help the Child - Toni MorrisonM. - Shira Keller

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. RowlingOur Endless Numbered Days - Claire FullerThe Girl on the Train - Paula HawkinsStation Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Crooked - Austin GrossmanGould's Book of Fish - Richard FlanaganLet Me Tell You - Shirley JacksonThe Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha PulleyAll the Time in the World - E. L. Doctorow

Doctor Sleep - Stephen KingThe Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas TalebThe Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. HamiltonThinner - Stephen King

Tiemen: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. Immensely fun space opera that doesn’t, for once, revolve around massive space battles and explosions.

Lynn:  Lila by Marilynne Robinson – shades of the book with the same title by Robert Pirsig. Set in Iowa, the story is about hope in spite of better judgement. I see why it was a finalist for the National Book Award. Robinson is set to come here in the fall with the John Adams InstituteBurning the Days by James Salter. Reading this autobiography just before and after he died was a timely experience. In spite of the air force years he seemed a gentle man who can write beautiful sentences. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison – frankly, a disappointment.

Renate:  M. by Shira Keller. A beautiful debut novel by a Dutch writer.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.  I had never read the Harry Potter series and started reading them this year.  Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller.

Nicki:  Just finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – it was good and with an interesting use of perspective shifts. Not earth-shatteringly good, though, and I’m a little surprised that it’s been on Ingram’s top trade paperbacks for AGES! Just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which is another “after-disaster” novel… and rather thrown by the fact that I would probably not make it to year 2 without my medication. We take so much for granted. It’s a haunting read (= good). It’s got me thinking of Bird Box by Josh Malerman which was amazing. And really haunting, too.

(Note: Emily St. John Mandel will be coming to ABC Amsterdam on August 28th! Reserve your spot here!)

JeroenW: Crooked by Austin Grossman, in which Richard Nixon tells us about his battles with beings from beyond (I think; I’ve just started).

Jesse:  Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan.  Also just started on Let Me Tell You, a new publication of Shirley Jackson’s short stories, essays, lectures, letters and drawings, all previously unpublished.

PeterL: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.  This is a debut by Natasha Pulley, who worked for a while at Waterstones (in London?).  It’s set in London at the end of the 19th century, and is about a telegraph operator who finds a watch that saves him from a bomb attack and brings him into contact with an eccentric Japanese watchmaker.  And his mechanical octopus.  There’s also a student who conducts scientific experiments – as she’s female, this was unheard of at the time.  It’s fantasy, but I’m really enjoying it.  I would describe it as steampunk.

Maarten: All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories by E.L.Doctorow. Continuing my habit of reading recently deceased authors… Rather good stories, actually.

Daniele: I’m reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I hadn’t read one of his books in a very long time, so I wanted to see if I still enjoyed this kind of reading. 🙂

Klaartje: I’m reading The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Anything is possible!

Sophie Now reading The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton and just finished Thinner by Stephen-King-writing-as-Richard-Bachman.  I had hoped it would fill the “book that scares you” square of my Reading Bingo Chart, but alas.  Not even a shiver.  Off to find something scarier, it is…

Ebooks are also available for The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Lila, Burning the Days, Our Endless Numbered Days, The Girl on the Train, Station Eleven, Bird Box, Crooked, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, All the Time in the World, Doctor Sleep, The Black Swan, The Reality Dysfunction, and Thinner.