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Wow, folks. All of your suggestions for books for imp are making me feel totally unintellectual in the book department. (Bill Bryson – Walden????)

All the suggested books looked entertaining, intellectual, and thought provoking. I've tried that particular genre for pleasure reading in failed attempt in self improvement. Maybe I just spend too many of my work hours reading and writing.

Anyway, now when I read for fun, I'm looking for brain rot books with happy endings. I don't want to be accidentally forced into any unnecessary growth or paradigm shifts. Those can be killer on the weekend.

I've listed a few of my favorite brain rot books below. If you look through this list and think “sheesh, she's got terrible taste in books…”, my response is “Yep..and if you think that's bad, wait until you find out what I like in music…” ;) My only guarantee about these books is that you will be older and some brain cells will have died by the time you finish.

Murder Mystery

Agatha Christie

If you like murder mystery, she is still the queen. Her stories are well written, and tightly put together. The stories are not particularly dark or scary if you are into that sort of thing. Her best work was between the two world wars. Her worst was at the very end of life. Most of her stuff is pretty good.

Some favs:
The Moving Finger
Murder on The Orient Express
13 at Dinner
The Murder of Roger Acroyd

Johanna Fluke

The Hannah Swensen Mystery Series – first book is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Murders that happen in a small town in Minnesota solved by the resident baker. Recipes included in each book. There's a romantic sub-plot where the baker is stringing along two guys and she's can't decide between the two. It's gotten a little annoying lately, but I'm rooting for the dentist. (Note: these books are not suitable for the Induction phase of a low carb diet.)

Humor

Scott Adams

Dilbert!!! We have books of comic strip collections. My favorite is 7 Years of Highly Defective People. It's a history of Dilbert with notes by Scott Adams.

The Dilbert Principle and Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel

Funny books about work so you don't need to think about your life.

Matt Groening

Before he created the Simpsons, he drew a comic strip with rabbits. The “Life in Hell” series still cracks me up.

Dave Barry

I've read these since I was a teenager. He goes through good and bad periods and it does get dated. That said, I'm usually willing to go back and read the old, good stuff.

Dave Barry in Cyberspace – jokes about dial-up Internet connections and Windows 95. If you're a techie like me, it's still funny.
Dave Barry Slept Here – his take on American History
Dave Barry Does Japan – his trip to Japan while they will still an “economic miracle”.
Dave Barry Turns 50 – I'm not a baby boomer, but this cronicle about the history events of his youth is pretty funny.

I haven't read some of his newer stuff, but it's on the list.

Romance
(or porn you can read in front of the kids)

I'm fussy about the type of romance I'll read. I prefer authors that are entertaining and can write at least semi-believable characters. Also, I like there to be a few laughs and fair amount of sex along the way.

I tend not to read the “supermarket” books – when you publish books by number, I can guarantee that you have to do a lot of reading to find a half decent one. I don't have time for that kind of volume.

Jane Austen

Okay, no sex in these…however I've read Pride and Prejudice enough that it makes the list of brain rot books. Her books can tackle heavy issues and they do, kinda… however, it's usually just fun. The best part is a) you look like an intellectual if you mention that you've read a Jane Austen book and b) several good mini-series and movie productions if you don't actually want to read.

Nora Roberts

She produces enough volume that it can be hit or miss with her books. Books are funny, sexy, and are page turners. Usually has a ghost and/or wealthy, thin, good looking, likable, decent person of some sort in the story.

I usually see grandmothers reading these books…they are not the innocents they are appear to be. Feel free to question the morality of any grandmotherly type with a Nora Roberts book. ;)

Some of the better series

The Chesapeake Bay Series
The “Born In” Series (first two are the best)
“In the Garden” Series – last book in this series just came out.

Vicki Lewis Thompson

The “Nerd” Series – our household is the marriage of two nerds, these books are near and dear to me. More importantly, they are funny and mostly about sex.

Nerd Gone Wild
The Nerd that Loved Me

JustSilly
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I'm fussy about the type of romance I'll read. I prefer authors that are entertaining and can write at least semi-believable characters. Also, I like there to be a few laughs and fair amount of sex along the way.


Check out Suzanne Brockmann's SEAL series (*Flashpoint*, *Gone too Far*, *Over the Edge*, etc...), as well, if you like laughs and adventure and suspence/action. PUblished by Ballentine books. Almost all reocurring characters and plots do connect from one book to the next, so it's like reading a really loooooooooong novel but one that focuses on different people and events.

Also, I love both of Laurel K. Hamilton's series--the vampire hunter one and the faerie one. (Her stuff can be both very explicit AND *very* gory--although not always at the same time, haha.) With both though, there's a LOT of backstory and you really do need to start at the beginning. Otherwise, it's hard to suspend your disbelief.


b
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Anyway, now when I read for fun, I'm looking for brain rot books

OK - these don't always have happy endings, nor do I conider them total brain rot - but I enjoy anything by Tom Robbins or Terry Pratchett.
I would say that Hiassen also falls into this category.

peace & light reading
t
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Anyway, now when I read for fun, I'm looking for brain rot books


Elmore Leonard


RJ
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Anyway, now when I read for fun, I'm looking for brain rot books with happy endings. I don't want to be accidentally forced into any unnecessary growth or paradigm shifts. Those can be killer on the weekend.

Some of the "junky" stuff I read is churned out and found on an endcap at the grocery store. This is the book I'm likely to shove in my purse if I know I have to wait for an appointment. That's okay, since you can't concentrate on Wuthering Heights at the dentist's office.

Stephen King. Namely, The Stand. I have read the unabridged version probably once a year for the last 3 or 4 years. Definite death to a bit of the grey matter.

John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series-Hidden Prey, Certain Prey, and so on.

Lee Child's ex-military cop, Jack Reacher-is a good read. The Persuader and The Killing Floor are 2 titles.

Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas is good. That's my favorite title of his.

Tami Hoag is a good read, too.

James Patterson owes me 8 bucks. I just finished the latest Alex Cross book. Eh.

I am a voracious reader and could go on forever...
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I did pick up Carl Hiaasen's Sick Puppy over the weekend. I read that RJ and Mr. Snarky enjoyed it. Thought I'd try some of his stuff as soon as I finsh my 2 library books.
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James Patterson owes me 8 bucks. I just finished the latest Alex Cross book. Eh.


I am no fan of Patterson either. Check out James Ellroy sometime. I recommend starting with The Black Dahlia or LA Confidential.


RJ
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Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas is good. That's my favorite title of his

I liked Odd Thomas but it didn't read like a Dean Koontz book.
Have you read the sequel? Forever Odd

Favorite James Patterson books- When the Wind Blows and Lake House
much different from his usual Alex Cross (has Nana died yet fer crying out loud).

peace & books
t
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Left to my own devices I'd read practically all brain rot books, thus I joined a book club. It forces me to branch out. Most of the books end up being great in their own right, I just never would have picked them up on my own. But when left to wander the library unsupervised I'm likely to grab:

For medical thriller type stuff you have your old standbys - Michael Palmer and Robin Cook. I've also liked some recent Tess Gerritsen books.

For general techno-thriller stuff there is Michael Crichton (except his latest - ugh - it read like a lecture instead of a novel).

Then you have your political intrigue / spy novels from Robert Ludlum (the ones he wrote by himself - the co-authored ones are not as good), Tom Clancy (ditto, in fact stick with the Jack Ryan series, and not the most recent one with the son), and Helen MacInnes (dated, but still fun, then again, I haven't read any in a while, maybe this was a phase I was going through). Greg Iles doesn't always fit the genre, but I've liked what I've read of his. For a lighter take there are always the Mrs. Polifax books.

I'm picky about romance as well. I like authors who can draw you in and make you care about the characters. I skip the sex scenes, but if the book makes me cry, that is good. (Yes, I am a total girl.) I can do fast and fluffy, but also enjoy the more involved books. Nora Roberts also writes the J.D. Robb futuristic cop books. I prefer her trilogies, but the Robb books are a quick read. Kay Hooper's FBI Special Crimes Unit with the whole psychics thing. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Elizabeth Lowell and Iris Johansen make regular appearances in my library bag.

Love almost anything Dave Barry writes. Read one at a time and spaced out, the Letters from a Nut books are hilarious (they get too repetitive if you read straight through).
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I liked Odd Thomas but it didn't read like a Dean Koontz book.
Have you read the sequel? Forever Odd


Not yet. Have you? I'll wait for the library's copy. I'd hate for him to owe me some $$, also.

When The Wind Blows is a good one. I'd forgotten it.



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I also read Marley and Me. Was good... is also a tear jerker if you are a "dog person". I hid out in the bedroom with a box of kleenex to finish it.

Don't know if I'd buy it. The end made me cry so hard that I can't see re-reading it over and over.
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Favorite James Patterson books- When the Wind Blows and Lake House
much different from his usual Alex Cross (has Nana died yet fer crying out loud).


Yup. I would list these in my top 10 favorites ever. Not because they are literary genius, but I just adored them for some reason. And also, I'm not into literary genius. My brain gets enough of a workout with work and school right now...when I read, it's strictly for pleasure and needs to be mind numbing.

-Sunny
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but I enjoy anything by Tom Robbins or Terry Pratchett.


Small Gods is beginning tonight on Radio 4. It plays at 11 pm UK time which is, um, roughly, a lot earlier your time. It's also replayable on demand for up to a week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/
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Hey all -

Thanks for your replies. (Been on vacation where I've only been able to fit in 1 brain rot book..)

I'm definitely going to look into some of those...

JustSilly
(stopped trying to "self-improve" after realizing that she spent way too much time actually studying in college)
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