Help! I'm in a Reading Rut!


I don't know what it is, but my Kindle is currently littered with half finished books or books I forced myself to finish mainly because I already had so many other half finished books.

Is it that I'm just making bad book choices? Is writing one book while editing another making me sour on reading during my off time?

Whatever it is, I could use some help. I need book picks! I'm open to any genre. I like things with a fresh point of view. I like witty. I like action. I like intensely felt character stuff. I like things that move at a pretty decent clip. Some pre-reading-rut books I've really loved include: Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Super Sad True Love Story, Goth Girl Rising, Wintergirls, Horns, The City & The City....

Any thoughts, guys? Anything you're looking for the rest of us can help you find? 



Jeff Hirsch
The Eleventh Plague
Coming from Scholastic, September 1, 2011



Find me at jeff-hirsch.com and @jeff_hirsch

24 comments:

Theresa @ Fade Into Fantasy said...

A couple of my new favorites are "Danann Frost Falls From Grace" by Joanne Valiukas (you can read the first 100 pages on her website to see if you like it or not http://www.joannevaliukas.com) and "Heartsblood" by Carolyn McCray. Hope that helps!

Sarah said...

(long-time lurker here). Maybe jump out of YA for a little while? I love, LOVE YA (it's what I write!) but I have to periodically read some other genres so I don't stress too much about all the excellent YA authors out there :-)

Anyway, you could go for some classics like Jack London (pretty awesomely exciting, IMO!), and even though he's not dystopian I always thought his stuff kind of had that survival-ey flair. Maybe some other turn-of-the century folks like Stephen Crane, too. And the best part is these are all part of the public domain, so you can download them free! Speaking of... I may have to re-read some of that stuff myself.

(Do keep in mind, though. I am a giant nerd.)

Jenny said...

If you can get a hold of Shine by Lauren Myracle, I think you'd really love it considering the other books you listed as enjoying. If not, pick up her book Bliss. It's just as gritty and fast!

In The Storm by Karen Metcalf was pretty great too.

Jess of All Trades said...

It's Completely out of the sphere, but if you want something totally different (And it might bop some amazing ideas around that will inspire your writing) I really suggest Mark Helprin's "A Winter's Tale."

The writing is amazing. The ideas are phenomenal. Love. Horses. Historic New York. Winter. It's beautiful and epic.

Matthew MacNish said...

For YA if you haven't read Ship Breaker or The Marbury Lens, I can highly recommend those. Both have plenty of action, are well paced, and are a bit more ... manly than a lot of YA.

Outside of YA I'm loving George R.R. Martin right now, but you have to be pretty into fantasy, because he writes very long books.

Cat said...

Hi!

Hmm. Good books. Decent pace. I've read some good ones recently:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan if you haven't read it (and it's sequel The Dead-Tossed Waves. another one comes out on the 22nd) They're some of my new favorites!
I agree with the person above me who said Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi!
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
and Firelight by Sophie Jordan.
Hope you get out of your 'reading rut'! I hate those!

Kelsey Hintzman said...

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is an excellent one, also If I Stay by Gayle Forman is another good one. Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff was a good one as well. I hope you find your way out of your 'reading rut'! I hate those.

Karen Akins said...

The last book I literally could not put down (stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it, but it's a short book) was The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams about a girl in a polygamist sect who falls in love for the first time then finds out she has to marry her 50 y/o uncle. It's actually a thriller.

So good.

Karen Akins said...

Okay, I'm also going to throw out a non-fiction (if you want to exercise a different part of the brain). The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. It reads like a novel in a lot of ways and so fascinating.

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Something completely different and completely shocking is The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. Hard to put down. Good luck!

Martina

Magan said...

The best books that I've read this year are Shine by Lauren Myracle (about a small town hate crime) and Across the Universe by Beth Revis (You may have heard of that one?). Both highly recommended!

B.E. Sanderson said...

I hate when that happens. Try reading Feed by Mira Grant (zombie apocalypse with a twist). Also, I second the recommend for Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Or you could try picking up a biography of someone you are interested in.

Good luck getting out of your rut. =o)

dothutchison said...

When I get in a rut, I generally try something outside of where I normally read, and I'll generally try to make it something connected to what I'm writing. So, if I have a fantasy story with royalty in it, I'll read bios or histories of monarchs. It's fascinating stuff, it's useful to my project, and it gets me out my normal run for a while so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. And, by the time I finish a couple of fat bios, I realize that I miss my YA.
~Dot

LAP said...

I just read "It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini and thought it was pretty great. Strangely I feel like there's less fully realized male characters in YA these days, and I would love to see more "I Am the Cheese" young male protagonists.

Dot said...

Have you read HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER? Also, even though I had geeky science fiction reader quibbles with it, I devoured LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

I was enthusing with Sarah Prineas on Twitter the other day about MOBY DICK and you should totally read it, if you haven't already.

Bittersweet Fountain said...

Fresh..witty...action...amazingly written...I'm going to have to say "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. Yes, it's adult high fantasy. Yes, it's really long. But its AMAZING. Kvothe is a great character and hist story definitely falls under "intensely felt character stuff"

And yes, I'm revealing my weakness for high fantasy here, but anything by Brandon Sanderson is amazing. He has a few standalones (Elantris, Warbreaker) so you don't have to worry about being drawn into an epic book series but his Mistborn Trilogy is also amazing.

Corey Schwartz said...

Ugh, I'm in the same boat. Can't get through anything!

I blame it partially on the fact that i just watched Six Seasons of Lost in two months. (Those characters are so amazing that I have no interest in anyone else!)

Charity Bradford said...

I've felt the same way. It's like I can't turn off my inner editor to enjoy reading the way I used to. I finally finished a book yesterday that I REALLY enjoyed.

I found it on a list of the top 10 sci fi and fantasy books of the last decade as chosen by a poll by Tor books. It's called "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi. I'm going to review it next week on my blog, but lets just say Avatar meets Starship Troopers. It was awesome! The language was a bit rough, but everything else gets an A from me.

Carol Riggs said...

I can relate; the more books I write and read, the more I find I read published book with my inner editor turned on. I'm less willing to spend time on a book I'm not really getting into. Some books I've enjoyed lately:

NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaimon.
THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner.

Good luck finding stuff to read! May you find an enjoyable one. :)

Alex said...

There's a lot of recommendations here, so I shan't belittle my choice by giving more than one.

The Elegance of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Truly, that is my favourite book, has been for two years, though I have read amazing classics and new novels in that time. If you read anything, I implore you to read that.

Jordan said...

Just started Kraken by China Mieville, I also liked The City & the City but I think this one's more fun and easier to read through without having to pause to work through the logic.

Also moving through The Passage, one of the greatest books I've read in a long time.

Stephsco said...

I agree, get outside of your usual genre. Something funny might help, like Christopher Moore's "Bloodsucking Fiends" or "Lamb." Or wacky like Carl Haissen.

Gretchen said...

The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly.

Jeff Hirsch said...

Wow guys! So many amazing picks. Alot of books I know and alot that are totally new to me. Gotta head over to Amazon now and load up the Kindle! Thanks everybody!