I have actually found a way to shoehorn in a little reading recently (although not much). I did pick up Chuck Palahniuk's 2008 novel Snuff, mostly because I knew that I could read it in a short one hour reading session at a coffeeshop. (Well, an hour 15, probably.)
I was right.
This novel takes place at the taping of a porno flick, and is organized in alternating chapters narrated by five different characters. This is a gimmick Palahniuk has used before--to much better effect in Rant (a book about which I have complicated feelings). The plot of the novel is thin--it doesn't take long to figure out what the relationship between the characters is likely to be. Nor is the expected "Palahniuk twist" all that unpredictable. The final scene of the book should only be described as gratuitous, disgusting and (maybe worst of all) highly improbable.
Wait. I just had to interrupt the writing of this because Criminal Intent is on, and I just got very distracted by wondering if Saffron Burrows spends all of her time trying to remember to suck in her cheeks while she is "acting," or if that is just a freak of facial anatomy. Either way, it stresses me out.
Ultimately, this is a disappointing book. I have read most of Palahniuk's books. I'm not sure why. Usually I am left with the feeling that he just didn't really give it much effort. He's a man with a lot of imagination. And he has a good ear for dialog. But he rarely comes up with much more than a sort of interesting, but underdeveloped, concept. I always read him thinking that maybe the novel in my hand will be the one in which he delivers what his potential promises. (Rant did come close. Just because it was, in its own way, a much more ambitious book than most of his others.) To make matters worse, Palahniuk takes sophomoric delight in creating the names of the fictional male porn stars and the films in which they star. It is humor hardly worthy of morning rock station shock jocks, let alone a darling of contemporary fiction.
So. Um. I'm not really recommending this book. Unless you read as quickly as I do, and you are just sort of curious, and you aren't someone who is overly worried with squandering your leisure time.
EXCEPT. The hardcover of this book sports really great thematic endpapers. If you pass the book in a bookstore, pick it up and look. And see if you don't agree that it would be great to have a roll of that in wrapping paper form.