When I find myself stuck on what to read next – stuck on similar authors, stuck on only reading newer books, stuck in familiar genres – my reading slows down. Luckily I decided to start seriously exploring our library services such as the “Readers’ Salon” and its “Links” section for inspiration and struck gold. For example check out “Websites for Readers” and go to “Abebooks” which has loads of books ideas, many of which are in our catalogue. For a good laugh check out their “Weird Book Room”, but I digress.
Non- Fiction can be very entertaining, especially travel books which are a great way to preview a destination and get an inside view of places we would not usually be privy to. “Among the Cannibals: Adventures on the Trail of Man’s Darkest Ritual” by Paul Raffaele takes you all over the globe in Raffaele’s search for past and present cannibal culture, with pictures of his travels included.
“The Curse of Lono” by Hunter S. Thompson
details his adventures in Hawaii on an “assignment” done in true H.S.T. style. Illustrated by Ralph Steadman, this book is an entertaining read for fans of Hunter, and a great introduction to his work for others.
“Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach
You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All” by Philip Houston takes you into the covert world of professional interrogation with stories that open your eyes to what is really going on when people are communicating.
“Ceremonial Magic: A Guide to the Mechanisms of Ritual” by Israel Regardie is a straightforward look into the underlying factors that create an effective ritual within different methods and ideologies. One of the pleasures of reading fiction is when the book takes unexpected turns and surprises the reader.
“Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay is a contemporary
novel that highlights “not all is what it seems” on reality television.
“Above” by Isla Morley is a disturbing story about survival and perception of freedom. This one goes down the rabbit hole with the plot developing in unexpected ways.
“Mind of Winter‘” by Laura Kasischke creates the effect of rising tensions right to the end cumulating in a very unexpected turn of events.
“The Boy Who Drew Monsters” by Keith Donohue uses the concept of imagination to create a reality that would not exist otherwise, an action that does not come without consequences in this spooky read.
The human spirit and its struggles shine in some novels, and many authors can really nail down the essence of their characters. “The Death of Jim Loney” by James Welch and “Sin” by Zakhar Prilepin are two novels that left a lasting impression.
Sometimes it is nice to read a book that is silly and fun when you want a break from serious. If you like unorthodox graphic novels check out “Forming Vol. X” by Jesse Moynihan which I found to be a hilarious spin on theology. For a zany sci-fi adventure go with “John Dies at the End” by David Wong which spawned a cult following and feature film.
“Acolytes of Cthulhu: Short Stories Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft” is a collection of 28 authors putting the Cthulhu mythos into words of their own. Giving the reader a taste of different styles, collections like this can be a great way to find a new favorite author.
I am currently reading “Seed to Harvest” by Octavia E. Butler which brings together the science fiction “Patternist Series” into one book. It contains the first title “Wild Seed” that I read recently, and when I saw the library now carries this collection I was excited to continue delving into the rich characters and worlds that Octavia creates.
Books are free here at the library and it’s one of the best ways to find good authors old and new. Since your imagination is an active part of reading I find it lends a timeless quality to books – the story is not limited by practical concerns, so take a chance regardless of the publishing date. Happy trails!