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April 2017

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I am going to digress from my recent whining to say that, in the middle of all this fuss and trouble, I've been startlingly blessed in my reading. This is after a long dry spell of mind-candy novels - my reading seems to go in phases.

I am now going to run through recent past, present, and future books that have been/will be enriching my intellectual life. If I bore you, well, you can just skip this!

Recently read:

The Son of Neptune - How blissed out was I when I saw the release of the newest Percy Jackson? And how much fun was it? Percy continues to be my favorite young hero, maybe my favorite hero ever, and the expansion to the Olympic universe was logical and fun to explore. Most of all, though, I simply enjoyed being with Percy and in the world Riordan creates. If you're a Percy fan, I don't need to say more, and if you're not, I don't have words to describe the happiness of reading a Percy Jackson novel.

Good Omens - The end of the world, done as a romp. Really. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett co-wrote, so what do you expect? The whole thing was pretty silly and completely entertaining, with a large but enjoyable cast of characters and plenty of that dry British humor I love.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - by the same woman who wrote the bio of Seabiscuit. The Seabiscuit story was more interesting, but this one was still absorbing. I learned a lot that I didn't know about the Pacific front in WWII, much of which I wish I didn't know, but it did make that part of the war and subsequent results in Japan more clear to me. I have to admit, however, that the first part of the book was more entertaining - the "hero" was such a bad boy!

Eat, Pray, Love - I tried to avoid this one, but a friend loaned it to me, so I tried it. I enjoyed it, cover to cover, and identified a lot with the author. My only gripe was the recurring muttering in my mind, "Gee, I wish I had enough money to take a year off and travel the world!" However, I tried to ignore my envy and just enjoy the trip, and when I could, it was lovely. She didn't allow her neuroses to interfere with the positive nature of her spiritual journey. Interestingly, she reinforced my philosophy that what you get from an experience, positive or negative, has a lot to do with what you bring to it.

11-22-63 - To anyone of my generation, that date needs no further description to give us an idea of what the book is about. This is a good Stephen King novel, not reaching the sublime heights of some of his books, but as good as most. Most of you know that I consider King the best living prose writer in America, and as with most of his books, I was completely absorbed by this one, loved being in it, and hated when it ended. I really dislike time travel stories, but wow, this was King, so I loved it anyway. With King, it's not the goal, it's the journey. For me, this journey was made a bit weird by the fact that much of it is set on my bus and train route that I take every day, or on streets and places familiar to me, not to mention the trip down memory lane to the time of my middle school years.

Presently reading:

Inheritance - Eragon part IV. Don't roll your eyes, now. Paolini has many faults as a writer, it's true, but he's put together a whopping good epic tale. In this one, he seems to have gone all Peter-Jackson on me and is a bit overboard with the battle and gore, but it's still an absorbing story. I'm delighted at many of the things being done, including his treatment of the "orcs" of his world - who are now good guys?? - and the way he's winding up the plot. Many of the plot threads and character arcs seem to be going exactly as I hoped, so if he doesn't kill off Roran and redeems Murtagh, I'll consider myself totally satisfied.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves - I can't believe it's taken me this long to read this book. I am exactly the sort of nitpicking grammar wacko that it's written for. I've giggled and groaned my way through about half of it now, completely wallowing in the pleasure of the misuse of apostrophes and commas, of which the central panda joke is the banner. At the heart of it is the basic precept I've always believed in, which is, "What good is punctuation? To make the communication clear, you idiot."

Soon to read:

The War That Killed Achilles - I discovered this when trying to find an MP3 version of Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. [Here I shall digress a moment. I read nonfiction often, especially survival stories, and this is one of the best and most amazing stories I've ever read. I highly recommend it.] It turns out that this author also wrote about The Endurance, and glancing at the Amazon list, I saw this. Of course I thought of Brad Pitt and Eric Bana immediately (*slaps self*), but I thought it might be interesting to learn more about the Trojan War. It came highly recommended on Audible.com and Amazon.

Ender's Game - This is another that I can't believe I haven't read yet. It's a classic, and it's time that I found out what all the fuss is about. It doesn't hurt that this is a 20th anniversary edition partly read by Harlan Ellison.

A Game of Thrones - My very good, wonderfully good, friend zora113, who always seems to know the perfect gifts for me, sent me the first episode of the HBO series for Christmas because she knows I'm a Sean Bean fan. I can only compare it to Deadwood, both in the horrible aspects of the visuals and in the absorption it induces in the characters, most of whom are rather horrible as well. [An aside, here - Bean is lovely for me to watch, as always, but the show is being stolen by Peter Dinklage.] I decided that it's time for me to see if I enjoy the books.

Well, if I didn't bore you into going away yet, then I'll be happy to hear any reactions to all this stuff! I'd much rather talk about books than injury, illness and death.


So glad you enjoyed "Game of Thrones". I had little doubt that you would! What's not to love? As for your aside, Tyrion just about steals the entire damn book series as well so with a skilled actor like Dinklage playing him, he becomes a real force to be reckoned with!

You know me though, if the writing and the characters hadn't been so completely absorbing, I never would have made it through such a long series. As it stands: One does not simply stop reading "Game of Thrones". *g* I realized just how thoroughly real all these people had become to me when we watched the TV show and it was absolutely thrilling to finally be able to see them before my eyes. I don't think I've ever gone into an adaptation knowing *so. much.* about the characters ahead of time. Even something like "Lord of the rings" didn't have PoV narrators, so you never heard their innermost thoughts. It's makes for an amazingly emotionally rich viewing experience.

You've got an awesome list of reading there! We only overlap a little, but I've heard great things about may of those books!

Edited at 2012-01-13 03:46 pm (UTC)
Sorry to be so late in commenting. I'm catching up.

I'm glad you enjoyed Good Omens!

I, too, have been leery of Eat, Pray, Love, but might try it now. Did NOT like the movie - couldn't even get past the first half-hour. Maybe it was the Julia Roberts thing.

I am currently reading 11-22-63, and I'm loving it! What's interesting is that I'm having much of the same experience that you had, except that my feeling of "familiarity" comes from the Maine parts of the book.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves has been on my "to read" list for a very long time. Thanks for reminding me. :)
Hooray another Game of Thrones reader!! I am currently on Feast of Crows, it is awesome! I sincerely bow down to George RR Martin's writing prowess and the fact that he has no qualms about killing off main characters to continue a story. I mean I have just about had practically a heart attack every time someone dies! ACK!
The HBO series is very awesome. I loved seeing the books come to life. I am greatly anticipating the 2nd season and eager to see how they'll portray the second book!