PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

OT: Book Recommendation?

In about 2 weeks I’ll be spending a lot of time in a car and a hotel room. I’m looking for something good to read and I’d appreciate any suggestions. Nothing too heavy or too lightweight. If it helps some of my favorites include Pale Fire, At Swim 2 Birds, London Fields, The Mezzanine, Motherless Brooklyn, The Last Samurai, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I generally prefer quirky and humorous but if you have something you found compelling I’d be happy to hear about it. Thanks.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the following two are fun and fast reading, if you haven’t seen the movies.

This year’s Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, LLosa, was highly praised by the WSJ, and they called this book, one of the funniest they ever read. Someone in my office is reading it, and I’ll get it from her when she’s done. Reviews seem pretty consistent. Might be too light, I suppose. Can you list a few more so we get a better feel? :wink:

http://www.amazon.com/Julia-Scriptwriter-Mario-Vargas-Llosa/dp/0312427247/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288917486&sr=8-4

The Stand by Stephen King. Bar none my favorite book.

Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson. Nice bit of dark humor and does a crafty balancing act of being dirty, but not vulgar, and surprisingly moralistic without being preachy, even though several characters are in fact preachers.

Can’t go wrong with Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon. He describes like no other. If you want to learn how to improve your writing, he actually describes how to do it in this book.

http://www.allgreatquotes.com/death_in_the_afternoon_quotes.shtml

Just look at this last one…

There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.
Death in the Afternoon
Chapter 11.

Sounds like you’ll be eating out a lot, too. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (of TV food show fame). I think it’s nine years old, but it catapulted him to fame. If you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry, this is a must read.

Anything by Neal Stephenson, but particularly Snow Crash and The Diamond Age.

His more recent works (The Baroque Cycle trilogy and Anathem) are amazing, but not terribly light. Each book of the Baroque Cycle weighs in around 900-1000 pages.

If you want something sports related, I would recommend Bill Simmons’s Book of Basketball (longer) or Drew Magary’s Men With Balls (shorter). Simmons writes for ESPN.com, and Magary writes for deadspin.com. Magary’s a little vulgar though, so be warned. Both hilarious. Great bathroom books.

“I may be Wrong, but I doubt It” - Charles Barkley

If you’re into history, “The Shoemaker and the Tea Party” is a pretty solid book that I read before - it looks at a real ordinary shoemakers role in the Destruction of Tea In the Boston Harbor (what would eventually be referred to as the “Boston Tea Party”).

If you are interested in reading about real, modern-day slavery that occurs throughout the world, “Disposable People” by Kevin Bales is a great, nonfiction book.

Pretty much anything by Carl Hiaasen (except when co-authored or the teen books.) “Strip Tease” would be a good starting place.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - amazing story of friendship, class, and struggle
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett- long but you’ll fly through it if you like historical novels
Earth: A Visitors Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart - lol funny

P.S.
Let us know what you read and give us a review. :slight_smile:

Hey, I need to be writing some of these down too! Nice work.

I tend to lean hard towards non-fiction…
Stiff by Mary Roach was probably the most interesting thing I’ve read lately. A hilarious and interesting read about all things dead (and decaying).

[quote=“MarkH, post:13, topic:1446”]Hey, I need to be writing some of these down too! Nice work.

I tend to lean hard towards non-fiction…
Stiff by Mary Roach was probably the most interesting thing I’ve read lately. A hilarious and interesting read about all things dead (and decaying).[/quote]

I bought that for my wife (a soon to be nurse practioner) but I don’t think she appreciated it. Personally I can’t stomach that stuff.