Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs: I was bitterly disappointed in this book. It was described as funny, humorous story of a boy growing up in a dysfunctional family and I was really looking forward to reading it after seeing the author interviewed. I didn't find that to be the case. It was more the sad, depressing story of a boy's abusive childhood. There were very few amusing parts to this book for me.
Next by Michael Crichton: This book was intriguing, interesting, frightening, and one good read. Crichton has never let me down when it comes to taking cutting edge scientific news or current social trends and mixing them into a great work of fiction.... or was it fiction?
Black Order by James Rollins: I enjoyed it very much. It's an action packed adventure full of plot twists. This has reoccurring characters from earlier Rollin's books, but can stand alone. Rollins is very good at what he does and can easily send me back on an adventure book reading jag, so I tempered it with a non-fiction immediately afterwards.
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan: This is an account of the dust bowl that focuses on a hand full of communities. The blurb on the front quotes Walter Cronkite saying, "This is can't-put-it-down history." It's true. This book was excellent, for those of you who enjoy this genre of nonfiction. Even though I knew the ending, historically speaking, it was so compelling that I still stayed up late one night to finish it.
The Rift by Walter J. Williams was exciting escapism. In it there is a huge series of earthquakes along the New Madrid fault in the center of the country. The story follows several characters as they struggle to survive. It's not quite apocalyptic, but it's a good disaster read. Warning: The writing is not the best, so this is just a fun read. Believe me, if I noticed a few problems with the writing, most of you will too. If you are able to read just for the story line, though, it won't bother you. It's also a hefty 944 pages (paperback).
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank was great. It was written in 1959 so it was one of the first apocalyptic, nuclear disaster novels. I enjoyed it and am handing it off for my teens to read. It doesn't go into great detail concerning many of the problems that would naturally occur if there was a world wide nuclear exchange, but it's still a finely crafted novel.