Capsule book reviews.
It's spring and I've been trying to get back in shape in anticipation of three months spent coaching my daughter's softball team. This in turn has led to a resurgence of book reading as I download new audio books to listen to while working out at the gym or taking the dog for 45-minute walks.
I made a serious dent in my Summer 2012 Reading List, but as always a few books carried forward, and a few others dropped off as we moved into fall. One book I carried forward was David Brin's Existance, a novel of first contact that occasionally gets too preachy for its own good. Summer book The Way of Kings led me to try Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, which is about a truly epic fantasy heist.
With the holidays long over and the major work rush of January and early February completed, I've had a chance to dive back into fiction. As has been the case for the last few years, science fiction dominates my reading list, but historical fiction and thrillers keep sneaking in.
I've been able to make a serious dent in my summer reading list over the last few months, knocking out four books in two months.
Given how busy work has been, that's not to bad. Of course, it helps that I was on vacation for 10 days, which allowed me to knock out two of the books (Dreadnaught, In Death Ground) and most of a third (The Shiva Option, the sequel to In Death Ground).
The 8-hour road trip to get our vacation spot also allowed me to make a serious dent in the audio version of The Letter of Marque by Patrick O'Brian, one of his Aubrey/Maturin novels about naval warfare in the early 1800s.
After a long hiatus because of too much to do at work, I've finally gotten back to reading fiction ... because of work. Specifically because of the iPad I'm trying out at my day job.
I work at a college, and we're piloting the iPad to see how tablets might be integrated into the academic environment. Part of that is trying out the different e-reading software out there, and that gave me the perfect excuse to get a new book. Or rather two new books: The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton and Realms of Cthulhu, published by Reality Blurs.
I finally finished New Moon by Stephanie Meyers, and I have to say the vampire/werewolf/teenager love triangle left me cold. The main character, Bella, is whiny and unsympathetic, and she's exactly the sort of emotional heatsink that I'll be telling my son to avoid in ten years or so.
Finishing the book allowed me to move on to my proper summer reading list, starting with Century Rain and The Space Opera Renaissance. While both books were already on my bookshelf, I did still find myself buying another book for the list: Peter Hamilton's The Dreaming Void.
After a fiendishly busy January and February, I've finally had a chance to take a deep breath and spend some time reading. First up on my early spring reading list is The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell, a Halo Universe novel involving the quest to prevent the alien Covenant from securing navigation data leading to Earth.
On deck is The Skies of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, one of her last in the classic science fiction setting which features telepathic dragons and their human riders battling the alien, sky-borne menace of Thread, followed by Century Rain, near-future apocalypse/time travel/alternate reality book by Alistair Reynolds.
Over Thanksgiving break, my wife and I made a deal: I'd read Twilight if she read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It took me a month of on and off reading, but I finally did so. Completing that teen romance horror novel let me read the book I've been waiting months for: The Gathering Storm, Book 12 of the Wheel of Time.
In between the two I've been sneaking quick reads of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas, which is sure to become an indespensible reference for my Star Wars RPG campaign.
I'm off to a good start on my Summer 2009 Reading List, having made a considerable dent it during my early summer vacation by reading Alistair Reynolds' Redemption Ark, Peter F. Hamilton's The Dreaming Void and finally finishing the audio version of Patrick O'Brain's The Far Side of the World.