Alright, this was supposed to be a much longer post, but — darn it! — I didn’t save it and it apparently went bye bye. So instead, here’s a short list and
one sentence short overview of the books I’ve plowed through in the past two two weeks.
- Nova by Matt Murchison: Written as just a “let me try it and see what happens” novel by an old friend of mine, this first effort is a page turner that’s fun to read, and should be completed in at most two sittings. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a very fast reading, page turning, fun story and have the attention span of a commercial break. Also, if you like Michael Crichton, you’ll probably like this.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: A look at a future in reading books is illegal and firemen are sent in to burn the houses of those who dare own them, televisions are the new family, kids race up and down the streets killing each other for fun, and wars are sold to us with sound bytes and slogans. Basically, a book describing the world of today if reading books and newspapers was outlawed, instead of just stigmatized like reading and intellect are stigmatized today. Scary part is that it was written about 50 years ago.
- Empire by Orson Scott Card: The story of an second American civil war brought about by Red State vs. Blue State differences. The book seems like a pretend-centrist, right-wing diatribe until about the half way point when mechas invade New York. Then it gets really fun. It’s sort of like reading Tom Clancy, but without the wooden characters and the way-too-in-depth descriptions of everything from facial hair to nuclear submarines. The only big problem I had with this book was that parts were just not believable and had a deus ex machina feel to them. (Why did all the characters, even minor, unrelated ones, start comparing themselves to movies? Is the book trying to make fun of itself?)
- A Secret Atlas by Michael A. Stackpole: A story that takes the idea of China discovering the Incas in the 1400’s and puts it into a fantasy world that was ravaged by wild magic. Great story, very complete characters, but don’t start it unless you’re willing to go through the second and third books: It ends on a cliff hanger. (The second book is Cartomancy and the third is The New World.) Also, the book is full of words no human mouth was ever really meant to utter.
- I, Robot by Issac Asimov: If you’ve seen the movie you still have absolutely no idea what this book is about. Seriously, only a couple of scenes in the movie match the book at all, and those only loosely. This is the story from the future about how robots have been made part of our society, as told by the head of a major “Robotics and Mechanical Men” corporation. Although it shows its age, the book provides a lot of food for thought, in the way only Asimov can. A very complete psychological story of a very real future that’s already happening in the far east.
So that’s about it. Last night I started reading Chris Hazelton’s new graphic novel A Steel Wing Shattered, which I only didn’t finish because I started it pretty late. (I’ll be finishing it today.) On my list next are Orson Wells’s 1984, Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms, Steven Kings’s Bag of Bones, and Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. These, of course, are only the fiction works. Non fiction books include the autobiographies of Gandhi, Mandela, and Malcolm X, as well as some books from Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad series I’ve been wanting to read, some for the first time, some as a review. The order in which all these will be read, however, is yet to be determined, but I’ll likely read these over the next couple of months. (The biographies will take longer. They always do. It’s the only way one can really appreciate them.)
Now what about you, what have you been reading? If you have any recommendations, I encourage you to put them here. And if you’re a new author tell me about your book. I might even end up reviewing it here.