5 favorite books

Answering Neil’s Tag. My tastes are a lot eclectic, so that will show in the list to follow, and I’ll keep it short, to just 5 books 🙂

  1. The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming

    The James Bond novel by Fleming, and just about the best book I’ve read to date (it ties with 2 below). It’s wonderfully different from other books by Fleming, and tells a spy-story from a very different perspective.

  2. The Adventures of Me and Martha Jane by S. J. R.

    Erotica, but so wildly different from the other ones found on the net that I’m ashamed to call it that. This e-novel is thought provoking, insightful, and the best first-person coming-of-age story I’ve read to date.

  3. Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind

    The best novel in a series that later degenerated into utter trash, this one holds out as one of the best books I’ve read. I adore its thoughts on love and sex, and how different and same they are 🙂

  4. Evolution by Stephen Baxter

    The mega-saga of evolution on earth. It starts from the most degenerate of life forms and envisions a post-human society. Wonderful, thought-provoking book.

  5. Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold

    I’d rather recommend the whole series, with Miles Vorkosigan and the unique blend of action hero that he is, but Komarr and The Warrior’s Apprentice are especially amazing.

This was a hard list to make and is in no way representative of my reading. I’m so indiscriminate that I’ll have favorites in different genres… the first two or three books though should remain the same. After that, thousands of books vie for my attention 😉

Harry Potter

I read the book awhile back. First online: I downloaded it off the numerous dubious sources for such revered content, and when I’d already finished that, mom got me a hardcopy.

I didn’t (and don’t) feel the same kind of excitement with this book than with others. Have no clue why though: not saying this book is bad, just that there’s not so much magic as last time. The reason probably though is that I was half sick when I read it.

Something to say to lots of people who are being introduced to “reading” through Potter. It’s definitely a great series, more wonderful because people of all ages like it well, but it’s not the be-all end-all of writing that we call “fantasy”. Niether is ‘Lord of the Rings’, in case you were thinking that: try authors like Greg Keyes, Eddings, George R.R. Martin, Anne Rice, and well… lots of others. It’ll be great if Harry helps you step up to better reading. 🙂

We Few

We Few by John Ringo and David Weber

@Amazon

Been ages since I reviewed something; the last book I looked at also turned out to be one of the best I’ve read, so if this post hadn’t come along, it would’ve been a fitting burial. Incidentally, that word could have been used to describe this site till just a month ago, with it’s frequency of updation being somewhere close to zilch, but like this review section getting a new lease of life, I smashed up some revamped kewl links so that even if I’m too lazy to type in huge entries, at least something gets on this site via ze magic of push-button publishing.

I’m deviating. We Few by John Ringo and David Weber is branded Military Scifi. Unlike the earlier books in the series: March Upcountry, March to the Sea and March to the Stars, We Few is not purely mil-fi, it’s more a combo of romance, space fiction, diplomatic theory and like all Ringo books, it force-feeds us a healthy dose of Kipling down our gullets. The story of the series is a pretty formulaic “coming of age” tale. Prince Roger, a sugar dandy and heir tertiary to the Imperial Throne is stranded on a deserted planet, and through a trial of hardships, gore, blood, loss and love becomes the uber king who restores the throne to its former glory. Since I delight in growing up tales, I liked this book the best, because Roger was in his element here. However, because of my immediate dislike of militiary fiction – I’ve read about 9 books of Ringo this past month and still I haven’t gotten over it – I didn’t like this as much.

But I’m not sure it’s mil-fi I hate, or Ringo’s writing, because just as the action seems to heat up, he breaks it up with military/diplomacy theory, and why this plan works or should work, and why something else shouldn’t or didn’t. Or why this situation turned out to be like this. Too much analysis is grating. I have to say though that Weber and Ringo write well together, they are very compatible authors. Perhaps this is too harsh, but I also find them decidedly mediocre. It’s okayish writing, but definitely not a cover-to-cover read.

There are definitely other niggles too: weak female characters, unfunny humor, dragging sub-plots, and some really convoluted name creation that takes some “Oh, this is that guy!” moments to get used to. And when you see “scholar”, “non-combatants” and “Imperial throne” in the same sentence and think nothing of it, you know it’s time to get up and take a long break before you come back to read.