S.G. Browne

What I Read On My Summer Vacation

Okay. So I didn’t really have a summer vacation. And the list of books that follows includes everything I’ve read in 2009, but it’s just what came into my head first.

The idea to blog about this came about from a comment on one of my posts that suggested I include a link on my web site about what I’m reading. Well, I looked into placing a flash widget from Goodreads on my site, but it turns out WordPress, on which my web site is based, doesn’t accept flash widgets. Seems kind of discriminatory, if you ask me. What’s wrong with flash widgets? What did they ever do to WordPress? Does the ACLU know about this?

So until I figure out the best way to include some kind of link to what I’m reading, I figured I’d just blog about it.

First up is what I’m currently reading, which is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

I’m glad I didn’t know about this book before as at first glance it seems to be at least a cousin to Fated, my next novel, in that God and Death and a number of other immortal entities are characters. Not sure if that’s where the similarities end, but I’m definitely looking forward to finding out.

Although I try to devour a couple of books a month, I’m a little behind, but so far in 2009 I’ve consumed:

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
World War Z by Max Brooks
Fool by Christopher Moore
Jailbait Zombie by Mario Acevedo
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Something Missing by Matthew Dicks
Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard
In the Woods by Tana French

The reads I enjoyed the most were Water for Elephants, Beat the Reaper, and Fool, though both In the Woods and Sharp Objects had such believable characters and page-turning plots that they have to be included in the top five.

The most disappointing reads were Something Missing and Pygmy – the first because I just couldn’t seem to get caught up in the story or the character and the second because, well, the broken English of the protagonist used throughout the entire novel prevented me from enjoying the narrative. I appreciate what Palahniuk was trying to do and applaud the message of the novel, but if it had been any other author, I would have put it down before the fifty-page mark.

If I had to pick a favorite so far this year, it would be Water for Elephants. Great narrative and style, compelling story, wonderful characters and setting, and a protagonist you genuinely cared about.

Favorite book of all time? There’s a handful that would be in the running:

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
The Stand by Stephen King
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

But if I had to choose one book to read over and over, my desert island novel would be, ironically, Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

So long as I had the conch.

Filed under: Just Blogging,The Writing Life — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 8:10 pm


  1. Yay! I’ve read most of these, my favorites being Fool and Good Omens. Christopher Moore’s other novels are really odd and really funny too. Thanks so much for responding to my comment!

    Comment by Sarah Malone — October 25, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  2. I love Fool by Christopher Moore because it’s so wonderfully crazy! Only problem for me thought is that I’m reading King Lear in my British Lit class this semester and I keep wanting to answer questions with scenarios that happened in Fool instead of the actual play! And when I found out that the end of Lear was completely different than Fool it just compounded the whole problem…

    Comment by Sarah Malone — October 29, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

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