the Little Red Reviewer

what should I read next?

Posted on: December 12, 2010

All of a sudden I’m in a reading slump.  I just finished two books in a row (ok, I’m still slogging through the 2nd one) that didn’t do it for me.  picked up a golden oldie off the bookshelf, and am having trouble getting into it.   Got some stuff from the library, but I’m just not feeling the love. maybe it’s the sudden crappy weather? maybe I just need a nap? or a beer?

Here’s my shortlist of what to read next, have you read any of these or read any compelling reviews of these? what looks the most interesting?

from the library:

 Jeff Vandermeer’s The Third Bear. I adore Jeff Vandermeer, but I don’t so well with short stories. But he tends to do totally wacked out stuff, and whacked out and bizarre is always a plus for me.



 The new Sheri S Tepper – The Waters Rising! Yay! I used to read a ton of her stuff, Sideshow is one of my all time favorites. Anyone know anything about this new one? According to Amazon it’s the 2nd book in a series, but the publisher’s page doesn’t say anything about it. I just kind of grabbed it off the “new” shelf at the library without even reading the inside flap.

 Star Wars The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance, by Sean Williams. Yes, this is a video game tie-in, but can you say brain candy for a lazy afternoon? I haven’t read any Star Wars novels since the old Timothy Zahn stuff, but on a crappy snowy, grey afternoon, some not so challenging Star Wars could be just the ticket.

Stuff that’s been collecting dust on my bookshelves but looks interesting:

Wicked, by Gregory Maguire –  the musical just came through town, so all my friends at work have been humming the music.  More fun brain candy for a lazy afternoon?  I read Maguire’s Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister a while ago, and was suprised at how much I liked it.

Shaman’s Crossing, by Robin Hobb – this is the first book in the Soldier Son Trilogy, and I’ve been hearing great things about this series.  I read her Farseer Series earlier this year, and while the first and second books completely blew me away,  I found the end frustrating. If I start reading this trilogy, am I just setting myself up for more of the same?

The Lions of Al Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay – I read this years and years and years ago and loved it. It’s kind of historical fantasy/political intrigue with a little bit of romance thrown in, sounds good.  Maybe one of these days I’ll catch up enough to read some of Kay’s newer stuff. . .

Ysabel, by Guy Gavriel Kay – speaking of his newer stuff.  I remember this getting a lot of hype when it came out. We bought it maybe a year ago, but I haven’t read it yet.

The Very Best of Charles deLint – you can never go wrong with some DeLint.  The man does urban punk/urban fantasy the way it was meant to be done.

So, what looks good?  what have you read and liked/ not liked?


11 Responses to "what should I read next?"

Wicked is the best thing Maguire has written; if you enjoyed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, I think you’ll particularly enjoy Wicked.


Haven’t read any of those, unfortunately, so I don’t have a recommendation. BUT. If it were me, I’d pick up the Tepper book first. *grin*


I disliked Wicked (found it promising at the start, but tedious, broken and pedantic by the end) but I am in the minority. (I like the musical better; they are rather different in tone. Wicked the book is not brain candy, it’s politics heavy.)

I loved The Lions of Al-Rassan when I read it, although that was a while ago… Recently read Under Heaven (also Kay) and loved it, but haven’t gotten to Ysabel yet.

On Hobb: I read the Liveship Traders series, and found it also promising, but in the end frustrating. I’ve been avoiding her stuff since then, but it might not be a pattern 😉

When I’m in a slump, I usually need to switch genre at least for the length of one book… when I’ve been drowning in fantasy, I switch to sci-fi, or if that’s the problem, I try nonfiction, or romance, or a noir, or a mystery… just switching gears seems to refresh my brain.


I’m also having a similar problem. I have a bookshelf full of books that I’ve been eager to read but now I can’t seem to get into any of the books. I’m currently reading Chabon’s Summerland, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and the short story compilation My mother Killed me and my Father Ate me, though I’m not really in the right mood for any of these books. I think I’m going to take a break with a romance, that usually help me.


I agree with Lindsay, *Wicked* was not up to par. I’d go with The Lions of al-Rassan or the Hobb, which is an excellent series.


I’d go for Sheri Tepper every time cos I love her writing – have you read Grass? amazing book, one of my all-time favourite. As far as I know, The Waters Rising is a standalone novel, not part of a series.

I have just bought the Charles de Lint collection and have several (unread) Guy Gavriel Kay books in the TBR pile, so I’m in a similar position to you… what do I read next?!


I’m gravitating towards Lions of Al Rassan followed by the Sheri S Tepper, followed by. . . DeLint?

I think I’m a little traditional fantasy’d out, so the Hobb might have to wait.


Hm, I love the cover on The Waters Rising, but I have to say if you enjoyed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, you’ll *love* Wicked! It’s a very dark, gritty tale that questions if we’re born bad or made that way.


Keeping in mind that I’ve read none of these, I’d personally go for The Third Bear, the Charles deLint collection, or Ysabel.

I may or may not be saying this ’cause they’re on my own “I need to get to this sooner rather than later” reading list. 😉


here’s the tentative reading list:

Lions of Al Rassan – picked it up yesterday, remembered why I loved it so much

the Sheri S Tepper and then the Vandermeer if only because they are library books from the “New” shelf – only 2 weeks and no renewals


and by the time I get to Wicked I’m sure my I’ll have a whole ‘nother stack of books that are tempting.


Wasn’t impressed at all by Wicked – read it long ago when it first came out. I liked the Hobb trilogy, but it is tough slogging to get through the depression to the final book. Haven’t read any Kay in a long long long time, since his Fionavar(sp?) Tapestry stuff. Tepper is usually quite good – I have some retrospective reviews of her Mavin Manyshaped stuff coming out in January. Of course, you’ve already made your decision by the time I got to this thread, lol.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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