2012 Mid-Year Goal Recap: Books! - The Dainty Squid

2012 Mid-Year Goal Recap: Books!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One of my 2012 goals was to read 15 new (to me) books. If you've been a long time reader you may recall me mentioning a few times that I'm a very, very picky reader. I have a hard time getting into books but that certainly doesn't mean I don't love to read. Getting lost in a book is one of my favorite things ever! 

My taste is books is weird-ish, I suppose. I'm a big fan of gritty books that are shocking. I like non-fiction and love to read about about people's lives that are completely different from my own. From time to time I do read fiction, I absolutely adore Chuck Palahniuk and have read (and loved) everything he's had published. I just about peed my pants with excitement last year when I found a new book to obsess over - Geek Love. (You can find my post about it here) That got me on the lookout for other books that I might be interested in because I realized once again how much I truly love reading.
Well, I'm well on my way to reading 14 books this year. I'm starting to realize that maybe I'm not as much of a picky reader as I thought, perhaps I just wasn't reading about subjects that sparked my interest. As of the beginning of June I'd finished 10 books already and had another 12 sitting in my to-read pile. Having 12 in a to-do pile is like a miracle, I have never in my life had that many books that I was excited to read one after another.

Before I share about what I've read I suppose I should start with a bit of a disclaimer. A lot of what I've read I would put in the "adult's only" category. This isn't my normal subject matter and it's not going to become something I blog about often. But I'd like this blog to be an honest place and this is honestly what I've been reading. I'll go ahead and blame my love of "raunchy" books on my mom who can normally be found any evening on the couch with her nose buried in a "romance" novel, you know the kind with the half naked, long haired man on the front and the lady clinging to him! Well apparently the apple didn't fall far from the tree except for the fact this apple likes non-fiction and would prefer not to read about cowboys and their conquests. (Hi Mom!)
So far this year I've read...  
Sex Work edited by Frederique Delacoste & Priscilla Alexander.
The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott.
Curtains by Tom Jokinen.
Tunnel People by Teun Voeten.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.
Mole People by Jennifer Toth.
9 1/2 Years Behind the Green Door by Simone Corday.
Step Right up by Nathaniel Knaebel.
Real Live Nude Girl by Carol A. Queen.
How to Make Love Like a Pornstar by Jenna Jameson

I really enjoyed them all. Some I read a lot faster than others and there were a couple I really had to work to finish. If I had to choose a top three to read from these ten, I'd recommend  How to Make Love Like a Pornstar, Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Curtains. Those were my favorites. 

If you look past the title of Jenna Jameson's book, How to Make Love Like a Pornstar, and just read you might be pleasantly surprised. Amazon had recommended me the book a few times (which I ignored because of the title) before I checked out the reviews and finally bought it. This was a really great book. It's around 600 pages and I tore through this sucker in two days. I could not put it down. If Jenna wrote a sequel I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Amazon also recommended me Let's Pretend This Never Happened - apparently amazon knows what I like better than I do. I adored this book! I spent so much time in the bathtub obsessively reading it. Jenny is one fuuuunny lady. I felt a connection with her writing (yeah, not to sound creepy or anything) but there were so many little thing that I was like "that is soooo me!" about.

Finally, Curtains - I LOVED Curtains! I thought it was an awesome book and I'm really sad it's over! It actually got me started on a whole new subject matter obsession too! I've since bought five or so books about mortuary sciences, funeral directors and the like.
Read anything great you think I'd like lately? I'm always on the look out for something with similar subject matters to those I've read above to add to my queue.
xoxo

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116 thoughts

  1. Another good site to checkout is goodreads.com
    It allows you to create shelves of books you've read and rate them. It will also provide you with recommendations to books similar to those you've liked and let you know when your favorite authors have new books being released!

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    1. me too! :)

      here: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8220475-capucinenskinautik

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  2. I guess I neglect my reading habit. This post kind like reminding me to read more books
    3lin

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  3. Ha, i loved reading this! I love that you and your Mom share a thing for raunchy novels. Amazing. I've just started writting a weekly review of a book i've read/reading, in the hope that i'll break out of my most loved genres, which is pretty narrow!

    Have you read anything by Irvine Welsh? (i'm not sure if he's bit over there!), i hightly recommend Marabou Stork Nightmares.

    chloex

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    1. No, I haven't! I'll definitely look into him though. :)

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    2. i meant 'BIG' not 'bit' -_-

      I just had a quick check and Welsh is definitely on the American Amazon, and Marabou Stork Nightmares is on for 1cent used, no excuse!

      chloex

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    3. I was also going to ask about Irvine Welsh. I reccomend Trainspotting and also the "sequel" called Porno or Porn.

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  4. You have awesome taste! The Jenna Jameson book is one of my favorite reads. And it's cool to see someone taking an interest in the mortuary world - I'm about to start school for it in the fall!

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  5. I absolutely love Chuck Palahniuk too! I don't think it's to everyone's taste but I loved reading Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, it's kind of a black comedy, noir-detective thriller. :)

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  6. Cool!!

    Val
    http://valentinaduracinsky.blogspot.com/

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  7. I have Let's Pretend This Never Happened on my "to read" list! I have to admit the fancy mouse on the cover is what appealed to me intially until I read what it was about and I was like...yes please!
    I just finished reading Gone Girl which may not be "weird enough" for ya but it is twisted with characters that are a mess!! It's twisted but not so much so that it would turn someone off that wasn't prepared for the darnkess of it...I think.

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  8. Thanks for the suggestions- always nice to find new things to read! I recently read Haunted and Invisible Monsters- amazing!

    Rose Eva
    Silhouetted

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  9. I love reading. I mainly stick to Stephen King and Jonathan Kellerman. But, I'm working on expanding my library.

    The Girl Collected

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  10. I definitely need to start reading more. Like you though, I'm very picky. I have several books marked at about chapter 5 and I simply havent been compelled to read any further.
    I'm glad I saw your photos though because I recall reading and enjoy a couple of Chuck Palanuik books so maybe I'll invest in a few more.
    Really glad that you were so honest about what you've read as I might try a couple of your recommendations to get me back into the reading habit!
    N xoxo
    breathebeautyfitness.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. A couple years ago I read "In My Skin: A Memoir" by Kate Holden. It is definitely what I would call "raw." I don't remember how I came across it, but not usually reading this kind of material, I was pleasantly surprised. I love memoirs and this book did not disappoint.

    By the way, your blog has been totally inspiring to me lately. I so look forward to what you post every day. I'd become stuck with my new blog, but I found inspiration this weekend and your blog was definitely part of that. Thanks :)

    http://lodear.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/the-lightning-brought-me-back-16/

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    1. Thank you!

      I'll definitely check out that book! Almost any book described as "raw" is probably my taste! :)

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  12. Great list! We have very similar tastes! Also, if you haven't read them, I would highly recommend any of Mary Roach's books she is a terrific writer and her subject matter is always well....weirdly awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    http://sometimesimakeart.blogspot.com/

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    1. I actually just started reaching Mary Roach and I LOVE her! I finished Stiff a few weeks ago and now I'm currently reading Bonk. I'm looking forward to reading everything of hers.

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  13. I loved Let's Pretend This Never Happened - do you read Jenny Lawson's blog? http://thebloggess.com/ It's pretty awesome!
    Faye x

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  14. I've never been a big reader, but since my mom let me borrow her kindle, I've torn up quite a few books that she had loaded on there. I really loved Russel Brand's 2 books..very funny (and raunchy)His life is/was pretty crazy!! And oddly enough, my mom just gave me the book "lets pretend this never happened" and is pretty much forcing me to read it, so that is next!

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  15. I think you might like Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes. I also recommend Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel.

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    1. Sweet, thanks for the recommendations! :)

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  16. I've read both The Mole People and Real Live Nude Girl, and enjoyed them both mightily. A couple years ago, I went through a phase where I was reading quite a bit of non-fiction on sex, or, "sex-positive culture," as Carol Queen puts it. I thought I'd put that subject to rest for the time being, but the past week I've been reading any (intellectual, of sorts) article I can find on James Deen, which has sort of rekindled my interest in the sex industry and culture. I might have to pick up Jenna Jameson's book as you've so highly recommended it. I love a woman who is in charge of her personhood (which includes sexuality).

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  17. I LOVE Chuck Palahniuk too! One of my all-time favorites. I wrote a couple of your favorites down to add to my own reading list. Excited to check them out!

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  18. Those books look like GREAT books! I love reading about these subjects to, they are very mental stimulating. Much better than reviewing the basic popular ones that are at every airport and store.
    Thanks for sharing these!! I'm going to look for a few of them at my library :)

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  19. I love this post! I love getting lost in books but sometimes it's hard to find books you think you will like. Although I read mostly fiction, we seem to have similar tastes. I also tend to gravitate towards the gritty, shocking, and "adults only" genres. I am also a fan of Chuck Palahniuk and have read several of his books so I trust your "weird-ish" recommendations!I think I will most likely check out Curtains and the Jenna Jameson book. You should check out books by David Sedaris if you haven't already. He is pretty funny.

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  20. You might be interested in "Stiff" by Mary Roach.

    http://www.maryroach.net/stiff.html

    Karen

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  21. Or even "Bonk" by Mary Roach. That one's about sex and it's interesting!

    Karen

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  22. I think you'd like "Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America," by Lily Burana. Now a journalist, the author stripped her way through college. When her boyfriend proposes, Lily decides she wants to do a final farewell stripping tour across the States before settling down. It's a really interesting look at the different laws and environments you can encounter in strip clubs. I actually didn't realize it was non-fiction until after I finished it!

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    1. That's actually already in my pile to read! :)

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  23. I've been reading Tattoo Shop Mystery series by Karen Olsen. They're quick reads.

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  24. Glad to hear your goal is going well. Reading is probably one of my most favourite things to do in the world :) We don't have similar tastes though, otherwise I would have a ridiculous list of recs for you, haha

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  25. It's funny, I just finished reading "Let's Pretend this Never Happened" and have been recommending it like crazy, my first thought was that if it wasn't on your list I would recommend it to you! Haha, it was a great book. Soooo funny!

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  26. Ooooh, I totally got into a 'morbid' phase after reading Curtains too! And I love that it's set my current province of residence, Manitoba! I'd suggest: 'Half a Life' by Darin Strauss, 'Orange is the new Black' by Piper Kerman and 'Does this mean you'll see me naked?' by Robert Webster. 'Orange' is utterly fascinating. The inside of a woman's prison is the last place I'd ever want to visit.

    I know you like your science/nature stuff and a really good read is 'Remarkable Creatures' by Sean Carroll. Every chapter is a biography of a famous scientist. It's a fantastic book.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I just finished "Does this mean you'll see me naked" so I'm sure the other ones will be awesome as well! :)

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  27. Jenna Jameson's book is so great!! Neil Strauss is a great author too, "his" book about Motely Crue is great too, if you havent read that one yet.
    The book with Marilyn Manson is not as good, but worth reading. :)

    Looking forward to more posts about what you have read. I will look up some of the one you have read. :)

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    1. I'm not really a Motely Crue fan but I might be interested since I absolutely loved the Marilyn Manson one! Thanks for the recommendation.
      :)

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  28. You should try some Patricia Cornwell if you like the mortuary / detective vibe - it was too scary for me, I am SUCH a wuss, but her writing is great!!

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    1. Ohhh, that sounds good! I'll certainly check her out.

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  29. Ah, I have the opposite problem and always have a massive stack of books waiting to be read! I'm reading The Submission at the moment (by Amy Waldman) and am really enjoying it. It's quite serious subject matter for me but beautifully written. It focuses on the winner of a competition for a memorial on Ground Zero and the aftermath when it turns out he's Muslim. I'm not explaining it at all well, but it's so interesting and there are so many opinionated characters, it makes for some deep thinking!

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  30. If you are getting into books about the dead and mortuary sciences then the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach is for you. Very interesting, and she is funny. She also has a book called Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife which talks about questions like "what happens to me when I die", "where do souls go" and the like. Very good reads.

    I love that our bookshelves are so similar. I think I have mentioned that in a previous book post that you did. It is nice to know that I have someone who shares common reads, and that I can look to for future reads. :]

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  31. Jenny Lawson is so funny. One of the best books I've read this year.

    You maybe would like "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" by Raymond Carver or "No One Belongs Here More Than You" by Miranda July. Both are books of short stories and are good reading in between novels.

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  32. My good friend wrote Indecent (which I noticed in your pile.) I also love her second book, Sex & Bacon! Some of my recent reads that I've enjoyed are The Psychopath Test, Night Circus, and a lot of Charles Bukowski.

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    1. Oh neat, I loved Indecent! I'll have to check out Sex & Bacon!

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  33. I love your taste in books! I seem to gravitate towards anything sexually explicit or just 'in your face' sort of content. These sound great! I'm so disappointed in myself for STILL not having read anything by Palahniuk. He's been on my 'to read' list for quite a while and it baffles me to no end as to why I havn't bought one of his books yet! As an avid Palahniuk fan, do you have any recommendations for a first-timer?

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    1. Oh goodness, I really have loved everything but if I had to pick I'd say Rant is a good one to start with. (Or Lullaby! Sorry, had to add a second!)
      :)

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  34. Glad you're a member of goodreads, but why all the amazon books? Why not go to your local library? Free books! Real humans to give you recommendations! Of course, I'm biased (worked at a library since 2007), but still.

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    1. I enjoy owning books so I can have my own personal library.

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  35. I just finished reading "A Grown-up Kind of Pretty" by Joshilyn Jackson, and it was a fabulous book with several shocking twists along the way. I higly recommend it!!

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  36. i picked up geek love after you posted about it last year and i LOVED IT! i like kind of dark, weird, raunchy books too, so i hope you keep posting books you like! I just bought curtains, it sounds great! have you read "the last werewolf"? look it up, i bought it on a whim at the airport last month and it was awesome, i read it in two days. it isn't like any of the teen paranormal stuff that is out now. it is brutal and different and i bet you would love it.

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  37. Have you read Running with Sisters? Its the (disputedly) true accounts of Augusten Burroughs as he was growing up and living with his psychologically unstable mom and/or her psychiatrist. It definitely fits with "gritty" and I read it at the same time I went through my major Palahniuk phase. The great thing about the book is that it really captures that time during childhood when you learn about adulthood and have to make these completely uninformed decisions about the kind of person you want to be. Whether true or not, I loved this book. The movie was only okay.

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    1. Oh awesome! That sounds great, I'll definitely check that out.

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    2. Oh this book is freaking awesome

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  38. Oh yeah! And there is a book called House of Leaves that is so bizarre, slightly terrifying, and 100% electrifying to read, but it is a difficult read because the author has set up the material in a way that the form it takes informs the narrative. So as the primary narrator descends into insanity, his prose breaks down. As the family in the story are sucked into their home, the words spiral down the page. It's a real trip and made me terrified of hallways for a week after reading it.

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  39. I might have to check into some of these books soon! Thanks for the recommendations! Speaking of "adult-only" books,have you read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy yet? I just finished the first book in about 3 days! ;)

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    1. No, I haven't! I've been debating whether or not I want to but it certainly does sound interesting.

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    2. I tried to read that book.. the writing was really, reallllly awful. I didn't even make it to the raunchy stuff haha! But it is super popular right now! :)

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  40. I went through a few years where the only thing I read was Palahniuk too... it seemed like anything else I read just wasn't as dark enough or mentally stimulating enough. and THEN I found Anne Rice haha. If you can get past the Tom Cruise image of her vampires from the movies then I think you will love her books. I have a hard time putting her books down. When I'm at work I just want to go home and read them. hah

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  41. I love reading but I seem to have trouble finding things that catch my attention well enough. I'm a slow reader and it has to really grab me. Books that I've read in the past and loved were from Tim Dorsey, his series about a guy named Serge. A. Storms are SO good and thrilling, I fell off the series and need to catch up. I also love Joe R. Lansdale, I've read only a few of his books but they are also thrilling. Both of these authors have quite the ...umm violence and thrilling scenes? Haha very entertaining none the less.

    You've inspired me to try to get my nose back into some books!

    xomando

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  42. My friends at work talked me into reading the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy so we could discuss it. It was my first official romance novel (other than the bits and pieces I sneakily read from my mom's when I was a young teen). I was pretty bored by the 2nd book and still don't quite understand the fuss, but I guess it's a good thing that people with alternative sexual tastes are being showcased in mainstream romance novels and perhaps it prompts people to ask questions about their own tastes.

    I like to read Haruki Murakami novels. They can be odd at times. I'm going to read the Jenna Jameson's book now. =)

    -Jess
    http://wearegypsies.blogspot.com

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  43. Chuck is honestly one of my favorite writers of all time. The only book I wasn't 100% into was Pygmy, but that was just because it was such a strain to read.

    I just started using GoodReads today! The books I find are usually via the Kindle store - if they sound good, I'll pick them up. Either that or going to Half Price Books at least twice a week keeps me in books, personally. :)

    Step Right Up looks awesome - I'll have to remember to check it out!

    Also, just an FYI - I decided to take up organizing my blog posts the same way you do and gave you a shout in my most recent post!

    -Liz
    anepicliz.com

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  44. Yay! I've been waiting to hear about your reads thus far in the year! Hmm, I am very interested in Jenna Jameson's book now. I have heard of it before, but never would have thought to pick it up!

    Great goal, and very inspiring. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Peace <3 & (A)-
    Chey

    Lefties are Lovers

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  45. So intrigued by that sex work book, I just finished a research project on public opinion about the sex work industry and the consensus is that it's just not talked about enough! Thanks for sharing your list!

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  46. Do you like post apocalyptic reads? The Passage by Justin Cronin is really great. Just finished it.

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  47. My GOD you're hilarious! Makes me want to rummage through my small book collection & start reading again! For now, I'll stick to reading your blog though

    ericaslist.blogspot.com

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  48. I read Let's Pretend This Never Happened recently. Loved it. It had me in giggle fits all throughout.

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  49. How to Make Love Like a Pornstar has been on my to read list for so long, and you just reminded me that I really oughta get around to that, haha...

    If you're looking for a book that's easy to get lost in, I'd recommend Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It's a fairy tale-esque story and the writing will suck you in.

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  50. I'll have to check some of these out! I'm a fan of anything by Jodi Picoult!

    xoxo,
    Laura
    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

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  51. some others you might like;

    running with scissors
    the basketball diaries
    the glass castle: a memoir
    Middlesex
    are you there vodka? its me, chelsea
    prozac nation
    loose girl: a memoir of promiscuity

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    1. Sweet, thanks for making me a little list! :D

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    2. loved The Glass Castle. brilliant and terribly sad.

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  52. Palahniuk is one of my favorites. Maybe you would like Bret Easton Ellis novels? Try reading Rules of Attraction. American Psycho is another of his you may be familiar with, very interesting (and very gritty.) There's also Neil Gaiman though his are more fiction.

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  53. If you like kinda gross stuff non fiction one of my favorites is Stiff - The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. It's very detailed and incredibly interesting and Mary Roach is hilarious. She has several other weird funny non fiction but Stiff is my favorite.

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  54. Oh man haha, I just read the above comment so nevermind about Stiff but seriously yes read everything of hers because she's gold!

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  55. I am also a huge Palahniuk fan, though it looks like you have a collection that rivals my own (I haven't read anything of his since Haunted; perhaps I should get on that!) Another fan of his actually recommended a book to me recently that I absolutely adored: Clown Girl, by Monica Drake. (Palahniuk actually wrote the introduction to the book) Read it - you will love it. And since your taste seems to be on par with mine, I'd also recommend Fuckness, by Andersen Prunty. It's dark, and graphic, and wonderful.

    PS. Thank you for this post. I've recently jumped back on the book-reading-wagon after a few years of neglecting to read anything really, and I've been looking for recommendations. Yours certainly top any of the '50 Shades' nonsense everyone else is sputtering about!

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  56. Someone else recommended Jenna's book to me and I haven't read it yet. It's nice to have a second person mention it. I think I'll get it on my nook. :)

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  57. I've just discovered your site and have been badly distracted from work by it (in a good way)! I love reading but haven't found the time lately but you've inspired me to make more effort :)

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  58. Im a super picky ready too, but lucky I have a friend who has great taste in books. Two books that he got me into were Apathy and How To Fail - A Self Hurt Guide. Both are very raunchy and funny, but still have that odd quirkiness that I like in a story. Im excited to give some of your suggestions a try, Im always looking for a good book.

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  59. I read my first two Palahniuk books this year, the first one was Diary and it was sooooo good! I always had a hunch that I would love his works.

    As for recommendations, I don't really read non-fiction but when it comes to fiction I agree with the person who mentioned Irvine Welsh, I've only read Trainspotting but it's one of my favorite novels; it's brilliant and from time to time it makes you feel like you need to go take a shower. My other all time favorites are The Beach by Alex Garland and Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim. I don't know if I'd call them gritty (maybe Mysterious Skin), but I'd recommend The Beach to anyone in the world. Mysterious Skin isn't for everyone but it's so disturbing and heartwrenching and absolutely beautiful and since I first read it four years ago or so, I haven't been able to write anything without ripping it off.

    Also John Ajvide Lindqvist, I don't know which of his books have been translated to english but I would recommend Harbor Let the Right One In. Especially Harbor. I don't know if it's your thing at all but it's horror in a low-key (but at the same time super exciting), dirty, social realist kind of way.

    Sorry for the super long comment, but I love recommending stuff!

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  60. Yay! I'm glad to see that someone mentioned Mary Roach- she's one of my favs. Also, check out Thomas Lynch at http://www.amazon.com/Undertaking-Life-Studies-Dismal-Trade/dp/0099767317

    I'm a bit biased b/c he's a Michigander like me, but still- an undertaker and a poet! Great combination. Also, thanks for the recommendations! I'm a super busy student with limited time for pleasure reading, and it bums me out to no end when I waste time on a book that I end up not liking...

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  61. A lot of these books look really good, I'm going to have to check all of them out! I haven't read anything you have but we do have a lot of the same tastes. Can't wait to hear about the other 12 books! :)

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  62. I really am going to have to check some of these out! I'm always on a look out for new books! Even though I have like a million that I have yet to read (I have a self just for books I bought but haven't read yet) but I'm always willing to add more!

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  63. If you like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (the lead singer) is really good! It is his biography- really interesting and really sad-thought provoking-shocking. I really like that it gives more of an insight into the music too though because you come to better understand him and the lyrics become more than just words.

    And I know everyone else has said it, but I love Palahniuk too! It is funny because I am studying English at college, so I always want to write my papers and do studies on his books when everyone else is doing like Jane Austen. So it is always good see another girl of the like tastes :)

    yeah for women like us!

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  64. Thanks for sharing these book titles! I'm not much of a Palahniuk fan, but I did gush over Geek Love. A LOT. So you bet I'll be looking at these titles and adding them to my to-read list.
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

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  65. I've been meaning to read stuff by Chuck Palahniuk! Looks like you have quite the collection. :P

    Most of the books I read fall into the fantasy/sci-fi category & girly victorian novels. Some that I'd recommend that would probably appeal to many tastes would be Ender's Game, Da Vinci Code, Pride and Prejudice. ^_^

    - Sasha
    www.lacewinged.com

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  66. Hi! I am definitely going to take note of these books. thank you. I'm one of those people who has a very difficult time getting into books. i certainly LOOVE reading though. do you have a goodreads account? i'd love to follow your choices. i have never read chuck, but always wanted to, i love Fight Club (the movie), should i start with that book? which chuck should i read very first?

    i just finished Rob Lowe's "stories I only tell my friends." it was so very good. i finished it very quickly. before that I read "one hundred years of solitude" i didn't love it, it took me a few months to get through. my favorite book, EVER, is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, second to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and matched up with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, I also thoroughly enjoyed The Perks of Being the Wallflower, in high school, I'd like to read it again! Also, Franny and Zooey, ever read that?

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  67. I love your taste in books! I've added a few of these to my far-too-long Amazon wish list, haha. :)

    I second the recommendations for "No One Belongs Here More Than You" by Miranda July and "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski (and also second the comment that it's a difficult read but absolutely unique and worth it). I would also recommend the author Tom Robbins, particularly "Still Life with Woodpecker," he's a very eccentric writer, I think you might like him! And last but not least, you should check out "The Devil in the White City" which is about the murders during the World's Fair in Chicago. It's a fascinating mix of fact and fiction.

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  68. I'd recommend Rich Fulcher. He is HILARIOUS. He's part of the Mighty Boosh/ Snuff Box (which you should also check out)!

    I'm currently reading "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova.

    I am curious about Chuck P., but iffy because of mixed reviews on Amazon.

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  69. Consign Mary Roach "Stiff". She apparently has a book about sex too.

    Also, "Candy Girl" by Diablo Cody. She's the writer of "Juno" and it's about her experiences with stripping and sex work. Interesting!

    And if you've never read any books by Laurie Notaro, RUN don't walk to buy them all. She's HILARIOUS like Jennie Lawson. Me and my girlfriend used to like to read them aloud to each other and laugh so hard we'd cry and punch each other. I met her at a book signing and she was GREAT.

    And this is an obvious recommendation but anything by David Sedaris. He's always the biggest jerk in his books and he makes me cry with laughter. Met him too and he tried to give us a joint saying we maybe looked the type. We refused and he explained that someone gave it to him thinking he was the type. I should've taken it and framed it!

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  70. Irvine Welsh is definately something to look into uf you like Chuck :D

    One thing i'll say though, Trainspotting has loads of chapters written in a very very strong phoenetic scottish accent, it takes a little while to get used to it and if youre not Scottish it can be a bit of a challenge!

    Stick with it though, Trainspotting is amazing and Porno the sequal is just as good 8)

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  71. Have you read 'Geisha' by Liza Dalby? It's her memoir of becoming the first ever white girl to become a proper Geisha in Japan in the 1970s. Amazing.

    If you're really looking for some quite 'out there' slightly uncomfortable reading then I recommend anything JT LeRoy, starting with 'Sarah' and anything Dennis Cooper, starting with 'Closer'.

    L x

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  72. Thanks for this post, I have added a few of these books to my list. You should check out Frances Farmers autobiography, Will There Ever Be a Morning? It's one of my favourite books ever. Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation is great also, much better than the movie. Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel is amazing and The Motley Crue book The Dirt is also worth checking out, a fantastic read even if you don't like the band.

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  73. Neat selection!

    I've read very few non-fiction, so I think it's best to say that as of now I prefer fiction (but I'll read almost anything so my doors are not closed!). I unconsciously lean towards historical and period novels. I adore modern historical crime fiction authors like Matthew Pearl.

    I've also read Palahniuk, Pygmy was hilarious!

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  74. ahh, a girl after my own heart!
    i love reading memoirs the most and read nonfiction pretty exclusively. i'm glad we seem to have such simliar taste! some suggestions:

    -my cousin recently bought me patti smith's "just kids" and i was hesitant to read it, not being a fan of her musically...but once i started i couldn't put it down. its interesting to read about 60s/70s new york, the undercurrent of the punk scene, and the well-known circles she ran in, but mainly its a love story and even though you know from the beginning that its doomed it doesn't change how beautiful it really is.

    -"long past stopping" by oran canfield is a funny/disturbing memoir about his unusual childhood and struggles with drug addiction. really really funny.

    -"playground: a childhood lost inside the playboy mansion" by jennifer saginor...um, doesn't the title say it all?

    -"a piece of cake" by cupcake brown...sometimes seems so unreal that it can't possibly be true. just read this description on amazon's page: "There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness.

    Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she’d even turned twenty.

    And that’s when things got interesting…."

    -"the kiss: a memoir" by kathryn harrison is a memoir about the incestuous relationship with her father, who she didn't know until she was 20 years old. definitely "raw" haha.

    sorry if i went a little crazy there, you hit a nerve with my love for trashy nonfiction ; ) if you want more suggestions, message me and i can go on and on!

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  75. Chuck Palahniuk is my favorite!!! These books look interesting... might check em out... If you like epic fantasy tales, you MUST read the 'Song of Ice and Fire' books (what the show 'Games of Thrones' is based on) by George R. Martin. He's called the American Tolkien. I read 'Lord of the Rings' at least 10 times before I was ten years old, no joke. They are my favorite books besides 'Fight Club.'

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  76. Oh this is a fun post to create a response to! One of my favorite games is coming up with book recommendations, mostly because I'm a book slut who dabbles in every genre I can find. For your genre, I'd say my recommendations are--

    House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski (I second what the others have been saying. It's not the easiest piece you'll read, but it's scary and creepy and dark and interesting)

    Bukowski's poetry (it's pretty good if you're a poetry person. I did a post on my blog a while back about how to read poetry, so that can help if necessary)

    Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami (You said the books above aren't the only style you read, and his books are that weird brand of realistic fantasy, where the fantasy lies in the folds of the everyday world. His work is weird, and is constantly bordering on dark without actually becoming gross or completely morbid)

    Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins (I second the person who recommended him--he's a great author. He's hilarious, and he pushes boundaries. I liked reading him because he wasn't afraid to write what he was thinking. It's not extreme, like Palahniuk leans towards, but it's honest)

    The Contortionist's Handbook, Craig Clevenger (I recommend this to anyone who tells me they're a fan of Palahnuik. His writing is painful and raw and kind of icky, but I think he has a better grasp of writing than Palahniuk does. The story is pretty interesting, and it's written the way I think Palahniuk aspires to write but has yet to achieve.)

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    1. love love LOVE Kafka on the Shore :)

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    2. It was the first one I read, and I love it. His newest, though, 1Q84 is my all-time favorite of his! I think it's some of the best writing he's ever done. The plot and concept and writing style just felt a lot more polished than it usually does.

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  77. I loved Jenna Jameson's book too! Another favorite of mine is And I don't want to Live this Life. Hard-hitting, but I absolutely COULD NOT put it down. My best friend & I each read it within 2 days.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Live-This-Life/dp/0449911411

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    1. i second "and i don't want to live this life" its about nancy spungen (sid vicious' girlfriend) and her troubled life and its written by her mother

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  78. I love reading everyone's recommendations and have started a new list of books to read. One that I would recommend is Whip Smart by Melissa Febos. It is non-fiction about Febos' experience working as a dom in NYC. Really good read.

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  79. I absolutely LOVED Geek Love I went around recommending it to all my co-workers and finally one of them actually read it and then went around spouting off with me! I'm currently in school for a mortuary science degree, and strangely I haven't actually read any books (other than textbooks) on the subject - I'm getting Curtains now to give it go!

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  80. You may enjoy "Bad Behavior" and "Because They Wanted To" by Mary Gaitskill, of "Secretary" fame. Both books are collections of short stories, which I find excellent for summer reading because you can fit a whole story into a brief break in your day.

    amazon linkage:
    http://www.amazon.com/Because-They-Wanted-Mary-Gaitskill/dp/0684841444/ref=pd_sim_b_2
    http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Behavior-Mary-Gaitskill/dp/0679723277

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  81. We definitely have a similar taste in books! I plan on reading Geek Love soon, but Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorites.
    In the vein of Palahniuk sort of shocking/graphic writing, I'd suggest: Bret Easton Ellis & Poppy Z. Brite. However, both of them can be really graphic, the most graphic ones that come to mind are: American Psycho by Ellis & Exquisite Corpse by Brite.

    I'd also highly recommend The Beach by Alex Garland, Party Monster by James St. James, and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

    If you are into fantasy sort of work, I always suggest Ray Bradbury & Neil Gaiman.

    Also, if you aren't opposed to graphic novels: The Sandman Series (Gaiman) is incredible! Watchmen by Alan Moore is good too.

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  82. Haha, I love the raunchy books next to the cutesy kitsch deer and house.

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  83. Hi! I just started reading "Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul" by Karen Abbott. It's nonfiction and fascinating so far. Thought you might like it! :)

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  84. I would highly recommend anything by Will Self (though most particularly My Idea of Fun or How the Dead Live). They definitely have some shock about them. He's got an incredible imagination and a wonderful writing style.

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  85. I actually just purchased chuck's novel 'Invisible Monsters' so I'm excited you're such a fan, the book only seems to get better and better reviews!

    I'm not sure if it's 100% your book type, but 'the virgin suicides' is without a doubt one of my favourite novels. It's so gritty and raw as it talks frequently of suicide and sex (two heavy topics) but the writing makes it work.

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  86. I think you would really like Busy Monsters by William Giraldi. It is a fun and funny quick read, that involves a giant squid and other cool stuff. Your local library probably has a copy, if that helps: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9997906-busy-monsters

    And I second the recommendation for The Virgin Suicides!

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  87. We must have very similar tastes in books, I love love love Chuck P. I've also devoured everything he's put out on market, and I'm regularly checking to see if he's come out with anything new. Geek Love is another favorite. I remember exactly where and when I read that book I love it so much.

    I haven't read any of your "new" books, and I definitely want to check them out now! Thanks for the recommendations. I want to return the favor. Tom Robbins is an amazing author. I've read all the books he's written, and I think you'd enjoy Another Roadside Attraction. There is a lot of mushroom hunting in the book besides the awesome characters and plot. On the mortuary side of things, if you haven't read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers it's a must read. Finally as far as sexy books go Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy is pretty thrilling and shocking! All of those books are pretty quick reads, and AMAZING.

    Thanks again for the book recommendations :) chris

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  88. oh my gosh! i am reading "Let's Pretend This Never Happened"...i can't stop laughing!! it's SO good!!

    I think you would like Tom Robbins too! (Jitterbug Perfume) <so interesting!!

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  89. I downloaded the samples in iBooks for a little more than half of these books... I really like your taste :) I started reading Jenna Jameson's book last night and am already on page 387 o 1245 (iphone size)... it's a really good book and I don't want to stop reading it. Thanks for the recommendations!!
    xo, LA

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