Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book 44: Ready Player One

Ready Player One
I liked this a lot more while reading it than I do know.  Essentially a take-off on the old text adventure games, replete with references to said games, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One grabbed me from the beginning and never let go.  It's a pretty straightforward story without any real depth, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Books 39 Through 43: Wool Omnibus

Okay, so a little cheating on the number of books, but each "chapter" in the Omnibus was published as a novella and it's my thing anyway so screw you. 

Wool by Hugh Howey is fantastic.  It shares a lot with the back half of "The Passage" by Justin Cronin by bringing to life a very dystopian future where post apocalyptic survivors huddle together in limited space.  This time, it's in an underground Silo stretching over 140 feet into the earth.  It's a great page turning read that feels ludcrous at first, but as Howey reveals more about the environment and how it got that way, it starts to become frighteningly real. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Book 38: The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

In keeping with a mini theme of reading books by sci fi masters, this was discounted at Green Apple on Clement so I picked it up.  I saw the movie like 30 years ago and could only remember bald  Rod Steiger's tattooed torso, bleeding from the head, chasing the protaganist.  I didn't realize it was basically 18 short stories only thematically related (future is scary).  Some the shorties were outstanding.  Others were really lame.  Read more like a treatment for the first season of the twilight zone.  Very similar.  Fortunately, it was bit easier to understand in terms of it's time (late fifties, I think) when rocket ships, martian colonization and the great wide open of space still seemed attainable all permeated Bradbury's fiction.  Much better than Simulacra and some truly spooky moments.

Books 37: Simulacra by Philip K Dick

I think I'm a fan of PKD, but haven't read enough to say for sure.  So I picked up a discounted Simulacra at Dog Eared Books on Valencia a few months back and finally got it started.  In a word BORING.  Really, quite lame.  I suppose when it came out in the sixties, it might have provided some sort of parable to cold war, big business, etc.  But now, it's unfocused, too many characters, and just no one interesting enough to care for.  Not one of his best.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Books 35 and 36: Golden Compass and Sublte Knife

So, I nabbed the "His Dark Materials" trilogy in a single book for a song at a used bookstore.  It's been sitting on my shelf for awhile, so I cracked it open.  The first book was amazing.  Great new world, very unpredictable, and setting the tables for some great sequels.  Sure, it was pretty dark for a kids book, but I have this theory that kids are much better at kids being in jeapardy than adults as they seem them as peers rather than the hope that adults view them.  So, the first one ends a bit jarringly, but I race into the second one.  The Sublte Knife is very dark and often quite difficult.  It's focus on children in some really trying situations left me exhausted.  Still, it verges on brilliant, but I've put off the third book for a bit.  Not sure I'm ready to see what happens as it sets up to be even darker than the first two.