1iconkittenheadphones1. Taoist Biker is hosting his radio show at 10:00 pm EST tonight. Call in, participate, enjoy, become one of the cool kids!

2. I have decided to give Stephen King another try, since the last time I tried to read one of his books I was a teenager, and I just couldn’t get through it. Couldn’t tell you which one it was, now. Anyway, it’s time to try again; plus, the concept of him tying all of his books into the Dark Tower series appeals to me. Jen thinks I should start with The Stand. SK fans out there (Heather and Kim, I’m looking at you), is there a particular order I should go in? Anything I should just skip altogether?

3. Hey, know what? My husband and I are going on a really long road trip, and soon. As such, we need a lot of music to listen to, so I’m going to make a Road Trip 2009 Mix CD. I need your recommendations, please! Kindly leave comments. Many many comments.

  1. Dyskinesia says:

    Totally second The Stand. Kept me up all night, multiple nights. Here’s hoping you didn’t bother watching that ridiculous farce they put on TV. 😛 In general, SK wears me down with the pages and pages (and..) of exposition on basically nothing because, hello, I HAVE ADD!!! But The Stand is one of my favorite books evah. Personally, I wouldn’t read it on vacation though; that would keep me from getting properly immersed in it.

    Song suggestion: Animaniacs soundtracks. 😉 You could learn the 50 states song and all the countries of the world circa whatever year that was!

    • Laura says:

      Okay, The Stand is on the list.

      “It’s time for Animaniacs… And we’re zany to the max! So just sit back and relax, you’ll laugh ’til you collapse… We’re Animaniacs!”

      Um. Yeah. Calvin gets irritated when I sing along to the Big Bang Theory theme (Me – “Theeee… whole universe was in a hot, dense state…” Calvin – :: MUTE ::), I’m pretty sure he’d commit a homicide if I stuck Animaniacs into the CD player.

  2. Megan says:

    I love The Stand. I’ve been meaning to reread it (gone so far as to drive to the bookstore and find it on the shelf) but I chicken out each time. Scary in a too true for comfort (Swine Flu) kind of way.
    Knowing a bit about your literary preferences, I’d recommend the Dark Tower series. I haven’t read any of his new books…like the last ten years, actually, but I’d imagine you can’t go wrong.
    Not that these are exactly the kinds of recommendations you specifically asked for, but…
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini made me cry and I am not an easy tear-dropper. (I could not get into The Kite Runner.)
    March by Geraldine Brooks: Follows the father of Little Women’s March girls as he fights in the Cival War.
    The Bird Artist by Howard Norman: One of the best first paragraphs I’ve ever read. And it doesn’t disappoint after that either.
    As a food blogger, you might enjoy Julie and Julia. There is a movie coming out sometime based partly on that book. It is light reading, couple hours worth. Good vacation read.
    Also, YA section makes for awesome vacation reading and these two fall into the sf/fantasy genre– The Goose Girl and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.
    Have you tried Swaptree yet? I joined after learning about it in a comment on one of your posts. I. love. it. Lots of free books, cds, dvds and video games…

    Um, I have no musical taste of my own, but a certain three year old recommends They Might Be Giants. They have some very fun children’s cds that could provide a bit of levity and early ninties nostalgia to the trip. John Lee Supertaster (from No!) is hilarious.
    Elizabeth Mitchell’s You Are My Little Bird, is also produced for children, but worth listening to even on an adults only trip. The version of Three Little Birds gave me goosebumps when I first heard it. Probably because I love Three Little Birds but had never thought of it as a children’s song. So there, I’ve spoiled your goosebumps for you, but hopefully you’ll get a chance to enjoy it (sans goosebumps).

    • Laura says:

      I want to read the Dark Tower series, but I want to read the other books first so I can get all of the references back to other characters.

      No books that make me cry! I had a hard enough time with The Time Traveller’s Wife.

      Okay, yeah. No kid-themed music, see aforementioned husbandly homicide.

  3. Taoist Biker says:

    A +1 for The Stand. I’m no King expert, but that’s a good book.

    Suckitude – both of my next releases on TB Records (the K-Tel of the blogosphere!) are nearly ready, but I’m not convinced either is great road trip material. Unless you like slower, minor-key stuff, or death metal. 😉 Otherwise most of my best suggestions already appear on Sunny.

  4. Kimmothy says:

    I don’t think there’s any particular order you should go with SK, unless your talking about the Dark Tower series, which I haven’t read yet. He has a bunch of short story collections you might like to start with, just to get a little taste and not commit to one of his VERY LONG WORDY novels. As far as the novels go though, my favorite is The Talisman. Not exactly scary, but an amazing fantasty-type story but with a very human story in there. The reason I love him so much is no matter that he’s always been pegged as a horror writer, his characters are always so likeable and believable that you actually care what happens to them. Oh, Bag of Bones is amazing too. And Lisey’s Story, and, and, and. I think the only ones I’d skip would be Deloris Clayborne (people disagree with this, but I didn’t like it for some reason) and Cell. After I read that, I was convinced he was done for good.

  5. crisitunity says:

    I’ll have to disagree and say to go with the early stuff: Firestarter, Carrie, Christine, Night Shift. They gallop apace, IMHO, where you kind of have to settle in to The Stand. Bag of Bones is my personal favorite but it’s a lot more literary.

  6. jadesymb says:

    And I said to start with the Dark Tower series, but you wanted to read other stuff first. Dark Tower was my fav!!!

  7. iamheatherjo says:

    I really liked Deloris Claiborne a lot and even thought the movie was a well done adaptation for a King story for a change. “An accident can be an unhappy woman’s best friend.”

    IT (my very, very favorite), The Stand, Insomnia, Bag of Bones and Duma Key have been amongst my favorites. I love the short stories too.

    The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Green Mile series, the Bachman books…damn, I guess I just think the man is well worth a read or fifty.

    I think one of the only things I can say that I didn’t like much was Dreamcatcher. Hearts In Atlantis was okay, but I’m glad I read it before the Dark Tower Series.

    The Dark Tower series were not my favorite books. I liked them, but they were definitely not my favorite or at the top of my recommended reading list.

    • Laura says:

      Okay, adding IT and Insomnia, as well as the others mentioned above that were on your list. Obviously, it’s going to take me some time to get all caught up… but I love that. I hate reading an author to the end of their published material, then have to wait six months or a year for their next book.

  8. Amanda says:

    I really liked “Salem’s Lot” and “The Shining”. I couldn’t really get into “The Stand” years ago when I tried, but then, that was years ago.

    For music, one of my favourite songs right now is “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant. Really cool sound. Reminds me a bit of White Stripes.

    • Laura says:

      Right, I couldn’t get into him years ago, either, so I’m wondering if it’s worth another try as an older (feh) adult.

      Cage the Elephant. Check.

  9. Jeanette says:

    I am a great Stephen King fan and have read all of his books..in fact I have all of them in hard cover in my bookcase that I have collected over the years. Anyway, I agree with Jen, start with The Stand..it was his best book, also Cujo, IT, The Green Mile and Duma Key were also very good. The Dark Tower series is good but only for the hardiest SK fans because it’s very involved and hard to get through! Good Luck.

    • Laura says:

      My sister collects them too, and has all the first edition hardbacks, some of them even signed (we see Mr. King around quite a bit in Maine). She never opened the hardbacks, though, because she wanted to keep them pristine. So she has paperback copies of all the books, too, which are all dog-eared and broken spined from being read so much.

  10. Not being a huge Stephen King fan, I would still recommend The Long Walk (Bachman) and Hearts in Atlantis…they were two that I did like.

  11. JoAnn says:

    With your Maine roots, I would definitely start with “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”. It’s also a quick read.

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