Thursday, March 25, 2010


I love to read. A lot. I read as often and as much as possible. And it seems that over the past few months, I've been reading more than I normally do. To be honest, I set aside a lot of the nonfiction I normally read (theology, community development, externally focused church, understand poverty, etc.). That's not to say I haven't ready ANY nonfiction. I have read John Perkins' "Beyond Charity" and "When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself" by Steve Corbett and Briand Fikkert.

However, since Christmas, the rest of my reading has been some great fiction. Here's a breakdown on what I've been in to:

Cemetary Dance
-Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston

Tyrannosaur Canyon
-Douglas Preston

Death Match
Terminal Freeze
Deep Storm
-Lincoln Child

Ham On Rye
-Charles Bukowski

-Chuck Palahniuk

A Dirty Job
Practical Demonkeeping
Bloodsucking Fiends
-Christopher Moore

All of these authors blow me away. But each writes with such different styles, diction, phrasing, descriptions, adjectives, flow, and approaches to telling a story well.

Preston and Child are great writers, but I've found their books to be best when they write together. The "Pendergast" trilogy is certainly their best work. They write murder/mystery novels that incorporate history, archeology, and just enough sci-fi to make it all work.

Christopher Moore and Charles Bukowski were both great finds. Moore came to me at the recommendation of Rob Bell (PS-I try to read everything he recommends as he's always right about good music and books) and Bukowski came to me at the recommendation of Isaac Brock. Moore writes satirical books with questionable humor and a fantastic wit (he falls into the "absurdist fiction" category). My favorite of his, thus far, has been "Lamb." At times, there are jokes that only a perverted 15 year old boy would get; but, in the end, he was writing good vampire stories way before they were cool. Bukowski uses as few words as possible and ends the story where you least expect it. Not only is his poetry great and somewhat depressing, but his novels feel real and gutsy--like he's putting himself out there without being emotional.

Chuck Palahniuk is a genius. Truly--he's a genius. He writes stories like none other. I've never read anything like him. I tell people that his sentences are written at "100 miles an hour." They blast at you. He uses repeated phrases in the most brilliant and effective ways. His plots leave you guessing all the way through. They sometimes end without any real resolution. He hooked me with "Fight Club," and though the movie was horrible, "Choke" was a great book as well. "Haunted" is the darkest story of his that I've read, and "Pygmy" the most difficult. I think that "Lullaby" is my favorite. You just can't communicate how great of a writer he is. He critiques American culture in a way that makes you hate who we've become yet still see the beauty in our lives. I can't wait to get my hands on "Diary" and "Snuff," then "Tell All" (when it comes out).

These words of these people... they run through me. They invade my heart and mind. They remind me of the tragedy and beauty and humor and love and hate within us all. The authors' words change me each time I read them. They use black and white letters to make words to make stories to make art. They do something so well, that it strongly affects me with each chapter I read through.

I love books. I love art. I love story.


Jason said...

I started to get a Chuck P. book at the library the other day. I thought about you. But then I got analysis paralysis and got a book on media, culture, and adolescents instead.