Monday, January 06, 2014

Finding New Books

A teeny-tiny, itty-bitty slice of my 'to read' shelf.
My resolution to read more books written in this century poses a bit of a problem: finding them to read.

I mean, not really, because I know where to look for books, whose recommendations tend to speak to me and my ear is sometimes to the ground listening for the title that will appeal to me. But that begs the question - where do other people find new books? Would there be some books there that I might like, too?

So I'd like to know, really, where you get recommendations from. Is it GoodReads or LibraryThing? I mean, I don't want to be locked into reading only things that my friends recommend though I've read several that came to me that way. This article mentions a couple of websites in comparison to the Los Angeles Review and that's cool. (It's also terribly, terribly dour about the 'state' of books and reading. Bah. Still.)

I remember seeing authors on news programs talking about books that were fiction though I can't recall anyone in particular. It's much more common to hear an author on NPR than anywhere else, I suppose, but where else? (Seriously, though, if you haven't you owe it to yourself to check out their Book Concierge. Whoa.)

My particular desire is to find good, current science fiction but I like to read some non-fiction history-type stuff, too. Sometimes biographies. (The one on my shelf is about T.E. Lawrence and I just finished Peter Biskind's My Lunches with Orson Welles. I highly recommend one about Roald Dahl, too, called The Irregulars. Moving on.) Right now I'm reading Gene Wolfe's latest: The Land Across (so far it's fantastic).

And, despite owning two collections of his short stories, I've never read anything by Wolfe before. Been too steeped in the past trying to get a handle on where SF has been to understand where it should be going. I suspect reading James Gunn's Transcendental will bridge the two.

Also - YA. There's some great stuff there, too. I've got a trilogy on my shelf to read and I'm really looking forward to the follow up to Mark Frost's The Paladin Prophecy. Yep, THAT Mark Frost. As an aside, good YA is as much fun, as entertaining as any comic book written in the last twenty years and often it's better. That's not to say that comics are bad, they aren't. I read some good ones last year.

Let me know in the comments.