October 2006 - My Reading List - Home
Last year this time, I posted my reading list for that month with the grand idea of posting the list monthly, but it's just such a hassle to get the books input into the post. (Should have used Amazoner, I suppose) However, I remembered, belatedly yesterday that the whole point of writing the Windows Live Writer CueCat/Amazon Plugin (I need a better name) was to make this kind of list. So, here's a partial list of what I've just finished reading, or that I'm in the middle of reading.
- I've just finished reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman and what a fine book it is! I noticed on Amazon that folks who read the kinds of books I read also read Gaiman, so on a whim I just went to my local book store and bought every Gaiman book. I was not disappointed. He definitely has a writing style, while his books can only be described as modern fantasy. Truly a great book by a great author.
- I'm about 300 pages into American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman and it's another that did not disappoint. It's a little more obscure in its references and I've had to look up a few mythological things, but it's a book that is hard to put down. It could be a fantastic movie if someone truly cared enough about doing it right. Do check out his blog as well.
- I'm always trying to Learn Zulu but there's not a lot of books published in the last 10 years on the subject. I keep this one around just to stay frosty.
- Travis has been trying to get me into Vurt by Jeff Noon and it's just not happening. I've been 150 pages into this thing for at least 2 months now and I just can't slog through it. It's so abstract as to be obtuse. I'm hoping it picks up soon.
- I enjoyed The Goal by Eli Goldratt so Chris Brooks recommended Critical Chain. I'm only a few chapters in, but it's already got me thinking.
- As a new Dad, I'm loving John Rosemond's New Parent Power! It's huge, but appropriately broad in scope. I particularly like the "Principle of Benign Deprivation: Give your kids 100% of what they need, and 10% of what they want." That's how I was raised and I think it's a great way to manage things in this tricky American metaculture of acquisition we live in.
- Chris Sells recommended On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington) by David Weber and I'm about 1/4 of the way through but it's just not gripping me. Not sure why, it just reads so old. You have have a paperback read worse than a hardback with bright white paper?
- I finished a re-read of The Forever War by Joe Haldeman and while there's a whole overly weird Free Love section that reeks of the 70s, the message is clear and while it was a thinly veiled Vietnam War protest novel, it could be read as a thinly veiled Iraq War protest novel. The Time Dilation stuff is always fun, with a great ending to get you thinking.
- I'm about done with Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths by Bruce Feiler that explores the relationship that Islam, Judaism and Christianity have with Abraham, and how things seem to hinge on their differing views of him as a biblical and possibly historical figure.
- I'm really enjoying A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It is clearly a history book more than it's a Popular Science book, but the author's zest of the topic(s) and the huge breadth of the book really put a human face on the discoveries (unfortunately largely Western) of the last few hundred years and how they relate to the fullness of time.
- I've got Mo reading Kindred (Bluestreak Black Women Writers) by Octavia E. Butler. This is an alternate history book, but more a Time Travel book where the time travel itself is both glossed over from a technical point of view, but also fundamental to the point. A modern Black woman is pulled back into the late 19th century Baltimore and is enslaved by her Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. Another alternate-universe book by way of racial allegory is The Intuitionist about the theoretical first Black female Elevator Inspector. Also recommended.
- You can never go wrong with anything Philip K. Dick writes, so I fall asleep with a re-reading of any of his great short stories like those in The Eye of The Sibyl and Other Classic Stories (The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick, Vol. 5) by Philip K. Dick.
- I thoroughly enjoy Ursula Le Guin's work, and I was particularly pulled into Rocannon's World in this compilation of three novels in one: Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Philip Dick writes a lot of alternative history - what if Hitler won the war?-type stuff. In The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick Americans live under Japanese occupation and explores the relationship between German and Japanese culture.
- I loved Neverwhere: A Novel by Neil Gaiman. I'm only halfway through American Gods, but so far Neverwhere is my favorite Gaiman book. It's set in the world of London Below, a parallel world in the sewers where those we've forgotten go. I won't ruin it for you, just check it out.
Well, the wife and I are off to dinner, it's our 6th wedding anniversary! (We eloped a year before the white-dress-wedding)