Another request for book recommendations. My snowflakeness? After years of not having a huge reading appetite, I think I understand that I really dig
Books I've enjoyed recently:
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
. Loved the blurring of author as a character and persona, awareness of writing and word choices, and the reader as participant and character. Also enjoyed the setting and playful nature. Only slightly ashamed at reading kids books.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
. Also enjoyed the author as a character (err, sorry, coincidentally having the same name), awareness of readers and unique storytelling. Digging the magical realism.
The Manual of Detection By Jedediah Berry. Liked the quirky riffs off noir style pulp. You might call the writing style cerebral, or literary.
The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine. Was enjoyed, but maybe a bit too maximalist. I could have really used a flow chart or a family tree or three.
Things that will kill a book for me:
Science fiction which feels the need to "prove" or at least make plausible crazy plot devices. I don't care how the human-vaporizer gun works, I want to know the implications of a society that has that technology, what issues you're going to explore with it, etc.
Junk-food books. All respect to my mom's murder mysteries, or dad's sci-fi pulp. I'm not really looking for books solely as entertainment, like Dan Brown books. I'll go watch an episode of Jersey Housewives for shocking plots and outrageous characters. I like books that are literarily written, but enjoyable.
And, as a counter to that last point, I'm not a huge fan of literary grand-standing, or imposing unlikeable works. Hemingway makes me fall asleep, Kafka, gouge my eyes out. I'm not saying I need a happy ending, but I'm not particularly interested in literary masturbation. I don't need to look at how awesome your writing is.
Shallow female characters. 'nuff said.
So, there we have it. I apologize for seeming snobby, but well, thats what these kinds of questions are all about after all. I'd appreciate any help in getting me to love reading again. Thanks!