I've been running low on things to read lately. Most of the science fiction and especially the fantasy stuff looks like completely shallow and unoriginal tripe. And while there are plenty of other things to read besides science fiction and fantasy, I don't really know where to start.
Coetzee has been recommended to me, but for some reason I'm loathe to try him out. I don't really know what I am looking for. I just got back from the library where I wandered aimlessly staring at things until I ended up grabbing a couple of books. I'm not really interested in anything that tells a story of the modern world. It needs some sort of secondary creation evident to it, some sort of twist, or at least something foreign enough to seem so. I've been reading a book of literary criticism on Tolkien lately and often I find it pointing out strengths in his works that I find missing in most other fantasy. Which is why I'm looking for other stuff.
I enjoyed Louis Aragon's The Adventures of Telemachus a few months ago, so I grabbed another book of his; called Paris Peasant. I also checked out a book by the Chinese author Yu Hua titled Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, which apparently takes place under Chairman Mao. Hopefully one or the other will provide me with a good tale, which is all I ever really want from a book.