We all know we love mysteries, crime novels, whatever label you prefer. But I'm a girl who likes a little variety in her life so every now and then I have to have something different. Usually it's non-fiction. I'm a science geek, and I just got accepted to nursing school (thank you) so many of the books have to do with science and/or health care. Naturally I'm also interested in true crime-I don't always want a huge change. If I'm really feeling fried, I pull out the tried and true-A Wrinkle in Time, an old Stephen King, anything that is familiar and comfy.

So what about all of you-what do you read when you need a little break from the serial killers and the rapists? What little secrets are hiding at the back of your bookshelf?

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Science fiction works for me, e.g, Richard Morgan, or the occasional true crime, like HOMICIDE, by David Simon. Lately, some of the genre benders have caught my attention, i.e., BAD THOUGHTS, by Dave Zeltserman and CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, by Warren Ellis.
Well, literary fiction is what I read most of the time, but I also like history books, particularly Asian history and American history, but also other things. Last winter I read GULAG by Anne Applebaum which was a good read. I also like science fiction. Right now I'm reading THE TERROR by Dan Simmons, which is an historical horror novel. I'm only 140 pages into it right now, but so far it's really good.
That's the third time I've heard mention of THE TERROR. That would be my cue to read it, I think.
I saw The Terror at B&N last week, hardcover, for like $5. Trying to get rid of it I guess. I don't know if that's the same in all the stores though.
For some reason B&N has been having these massive hardcover sales-not just The Terror. The last few times I've been in there they've had all kinds of half off sales on new hardcovers-if you're a member you can end up getting sixty percent off on a brand new book. I don't know, maybe just the brick and mortar stores trying to compete with online?
You won't regret it Dan-I got from the library and read it but I ended up buying a copy. It's a big book-very good, but I want to re-read it someday (God only knows when) because I feel like I missed little things the first time around.
Thanks for posting this, Norby. :)

I used to be a mad science fiction fiend. All the classics. Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, E. E. Doc Smith, Orson Scott Card, I could go on. Card is someone I still read every so often, perhaps because his work is less about sci-fi than it is about people.

Lately I've been reading fiction by Japanese authors, whether literary or genre. I think I'm a little obsessed with RING by Koji Suzuki. I finally watched the Japanese film of it last night and I'm hoping to work my way through all the versions of films and books in the series.

When it comes to non-fiction, I'm into books that straddle the Eastern and Western philosophies and psychology. I'm thinking DESTRUCTIVE EMOTIONS and EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Daniel Goleman, as well as THOUGHTS WITHOUT A THINKER by Mark Epstein. I've read a number of translated texts on Zen, too.

Sometimes I'm in the mood to get high on popular science and I read stuff on quantum physics and chaos mathematics. I used to be good at the whole maths thing but now I read these topics for the mind bending concepts.
Is Ring good? The novel that is. I've seen the movies. I've almost bought the book about ten times, mainly because I like Japanese authors. I think there's a graphic novel series of Ring too, but I could be wrong. Koji Suzuki I believe also wrote Dark Water.
I think there are four books in the Ring series now, I haven't checked, but I do plan to read them.

The strange thing I find about the few Japanese authors I've read is that the books are almost equal parts tacky and brilliant. There are sections of dialogue that made me cringe, but there are things like the hypnotic, dreamlike description of the videotape in Ring that blow me away. I'd say the Ring was good, but not great, and you'd have to come in with an open mind. What attracts me the most is probably the culture shock, which for Ring is subtle, but still present.

I think I'm turning Japanese. I really think so.
You might like Kenzo Kitakata. He writes hardboiled crime fiction. He has three books translated in English. The only one I've read is The Cage, which I've read is a classic. It was good, definitely worth a read, but classic status perhaps not.

I haven't noticed the dialogue problems you're talking about, but I could be blinded by my love of the culture. But then I never notice translation problems either. I'll hear people talk about how a translation was awkward and I just don't see it. It's understandable thought that there would be translation problems, given how different Japanese is from English (and grammatically it is much different).
Comfort reads...Tom Robbins, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett spring to mind. I LOVED A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid & now that I think about it, I'd like to read it again. I used to read a ton of science fiction, but haven't read much of that lately. I still dig horror, but in small doses.

I love crime fiction, but I need a break from all the murder and mayhem every once in a while. Quirky/humorous books & classics tend to do the trick for me.
Ooh, I forgot to mention Gaiman and Pratchett. Right there with you on them. THIEF OF TIME is one of my recent favourites of Pratchett's. I can't believe a series can be of such high quality for so long (except for HOGFATHER of course).

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