Thursday, June 11, 2009

Best Suggestions?

I have five , no, four days until I start my next book. I just finished a real monster. Can anyone recommend something real good that can be read in a few days. Preferably something light in tone but substantial featuring a smallish cast of well-developed characters. A discernable plot would be appreciated, but isn't required.

Graphic novels, oddly, need not apply. (this time)

13 comments:

Casey said...

Although it is lighter summer reading, I might recommend "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde.

Anonymous said...

Heavy in tone, and nonfiction, but of an appropriate length and thus still recommended: "Ordinary Men" by Christopher Browning.

Tannerama said...

Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston.

It's an awesome crime novel that is very funny and very violent.

Side of Jeffrey said...

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil sounds like its just what you are looking for.

Broek said...

"Born Standing Up"

It's non fiction but easy and pleasant. You may have already read it.

niall said...

Carter Beats The Devil - it's a fictional tale based on MAGIC based in the Vaudeville era and is aces. Written by Glenn David Gold.

Anonymous said...

Señor Barnes,

I am ignoring the request for recommended readings- as I have nothing for you at this moment, unless of course you are interested in theories of intervention strategies and foreign policy initiatives in Central America at the start of this century. Yeah, didn’t think so… Most likely writing this response in the wrong damn place, but still reluctant to dive into the whole information age and figure these things out… On to the point…

On a whim I looked you up on “the” google the other day- and found this and read your article about the famous job search. A few thoughts about that piece… first of all, not entirely surprising. You have never struck me as being any good at bullshit. In fact, you sort of suck at it. I don’t have any experience with the interview process at high-profile New York (that’s that big town due east of california, right?) law firms, but imagine that one of the qualities high up on the list or requirements is the ability to bullshit and kiss asses. Of yeah, I forgot to mention that your ass kissing skills are pathetic. So sorry, but I would not hire you for a high profile east coast law firm either. You don’t really seem to fit the profile…

And that lady who wrote that you were “not smart” or something- remember her? Yeah, well, here’s a question- how many people who really know you think you are anything less than pretty damn clever and perhaps even “smart”? Sorry, but if you are looking for pity with that one- go cry somewhere else. Most of us have a whole host of people and peers lurking about who think that we are raging idiots, and furthermore, are convinced that that condition is fairly stable. And I am not just referring to our peers who only met us for a few minutes in some screwy, artificial and absurdly highly pressured atmosphere such as a job interview. Rather, I am referring to our co-workers, friends, partners, mothers, etc. who seem truly stunned when we manage to figure out complex tasks such as tying our own shoes or locking the door on the way out of the loony bin. So I am not all that impressed or moved to sympathy that one cranky interviewer wrote something mean (that she probably wanted you to see, by the way- seems like some sort of passive-aggressive mechanism to release some of her own anger about being pushed off the sidewalk that day by another even crankier old woman or something).

You are a really good writer. You are pretty damn creative. In all likelihood, you still probably suck at bullshit and ass kissing. Perhaps you better look at the map twice before you head out to that next interview- seems to me like you went to the wrong place the last time…

That is all for now.

Saludos y abrazos desde Buenos Aires,
Laura
(as in, the Laura who once received a shopping cart from you for her birthday, way back in the day)

Brig said...

But Laura (and I doubt you'll return to the scene of the crime) have you forgotten my enthusiasm for self-deprecating humor? It's a 5 year old story told for a chuckle.

savoury toothed tiger said...

This fits your latter requirements perfectly and has gripped my imagination ever since joe penrod bought it for me at the Strand and said "this book is so good i couldn't put it down and i was ANGRY when it was over!" he wasn't even done shopping - he RUSHED to the counter and bought it for me on the spot: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
i doubt you will be sorry.

Anonymous said...

Oops… But let me remind you time is relative south of the equator. Last night while at the lap swim championships of Buenos Aires (yes, there is such a thing)- I could have sworn that I was in some high school gym waiting to be called up for the 50 fly… Moving on, quite right that I tend to avoid that crime scene, as the statue of limitations remains in effect. However, as a diligent student of J. Bond, I have picked up a few tricks and do manage to sneak back for a quick visit (albeit in full disguise), about once a year or so. There is this big birthday party that lots of people tend to celebrate in late December, etc.… Así que avisáme si estás por allá este diciembre y arreglamos un encuentro… Quizás podemos invitar el estimado Don Lucas también… You can always count on that one for a good deportation story or two… And no, it does not matter to me that that happened 8 years ago…

Saludos,
Laura

PS: My recommendation- Marcel Mauss: Ensayo Sobre los Dones

Brig said...

Laura:
brigham.barnes@gmail.com
Or are we going to spend the rest of the year communicating right here?

Bek said...

either of jsf's books: everything is illuminated or extremely loud and incredibly close.

they're exactly what the briggie ordered.

Sean said...

I read the book, The Knife Man, by Wendi Moore a few years ago and proclaimed it my favorite book for nearly a year afterward. Written in a storylike style, it tells the biographical history of one of the first surgeons, John Hunter. It wreaks of tomb robbing, and makeshift surgical procedures, but draws the reader in with the absurd character of this surgeon. I still highly suggest it.