I Love You, Beth Cooper
by Larry Doyle
Okay, so most of us spent at least part of our adolescence pining over That One who was totally out of our league. But most of us didn't declare that love during our graduation Valedictory speech. Denis Cooverman did. And what follows is a romp. Or a caper. Or one of those wildly funny, profane, sad, hopeful coming-of-age comedies that show up every once in awhile. I Love You, Beth Cooper made me laugh out loud several times, and I enjoyed it enormously, though I have a feeling that it'll seem just a bit twee on a re-read. So I'm not going to reread it. Only complaint: I really disliked the line drawings at the beginning of each chapter. I found them distracting, downright ugly, and hard to ignore.
by Neil Gaiman
Here's another coming-of-age story, though this one is a literal fairy tale for adults (or slightly more grown up kids- there is a bit of profanity, and a shade more naughty than you might want to read out loud to your eight year old). Tristran Thorn, another young man in love with someone out of his reach, makes a promise that he can't actually keep, though he tries mightily to do so. It's a lovely adventure, and a delightful and surprising read, by a writer who never disappoints.
by Carl Hiaasen
If you've ever read anything by Carl Hiaasen, then you know pretty much what to expect from Nature Girl, though this book is a little darker and more somber than his others, with heroine Honey Santana suffering from a (treatable) mental illness. You have your odd characters, your beautiful women, your laughs-out-loud, your beleaguered hero(ine), your plucky kid, and your great outdoors, woven into a story that you'll believe even as you're not believing it. The heart of the book, as with nearly all of Hiassen's work, is a love letter to Florida.
The Given Day
by Dennis Lehane
I'm not sure what to say about this book- it's so much easier to be snarky. But I have no snark when it comes to Lehane- he's a flat-out amazing writer, and this long, and sometimes difficult, book is wonderful, and was well worth the wait.
by Peter Straub
I bought my copy of Ghost Story from BOMC, back in '79 when it came out, and I've reread it about once a decade since then. I still think it's overwritten, and a tad overwrought, and the style is fairly dated now, but it's also the second scariest book I've ever read, and the chills translate to this century just fine. I'm not entirely certain that Peter Straub isn't another of Stephen King's many pseudonyms (see what I mean about snark?)
What are you reading these days?