Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The New Year 2009

I'm a little late getting started with my journal this year. I wanted to start the year with a sure-fire hit and so I chose Wilbur Smith's River God. I had read a couple of his other books in past years: Birds of Prey and Monsoon so I knew it would at least be a fun book to read. I wasn't disappointed! It was a great read, a real page turner. This one is the best Wilbur Smith novel I have read yet. It is also the first of his ancient Egypt series so I look forward to others.

From there I went to my fantasy pile. By far the largest genre in my "to-be-read" pile is fantasy so I tend to read more fantasy than any other genre in an effort to catch up. I chose the first book in Naomi Novik's series about dragons fighting in the Napolenonic era, His Majesty's Dragon. I have looked forward to this for over a year; it gets a lot of good press in the forums I visit. I was also a bit worried because it comes close to what my own novel is to be like, at least the concept of dragons fighting alongside humans in a military setting. But after completing Ms Novik's novel I feel comfortable that mine will be sufficiently different. But I did enjoy reading the novel. Good character development and a very interesting plot and setting. I believe the first three novels of her series were all published at the same time so I am wondering if they were originally one novel and the publisher chose to publish them seperately. I know that sort of thing happens. However, this first book was well paced with a definite climax and ending so perhaps that is not the case at all.

I always have other books going as well, reading them over a much longer time period (several weeks or even a month or two). My morning reading (what I read before going to work each day) is All My Best by George Bush. This is a collection of letters by my country's 41st President that covers his life. I received this as a gift about 7 or 8 years ago and it just never seemed to fit what I like to read. But I am enjoying it more than I suspected I would and it fits well into my morning reading time slot when I can only devote 20 minutes or so to reading. This morning's reading saw George end his tenure as chairman of the RNC during the Watergate era and become the US liaison to China.

I also read "while otherwise engaged", also known as WOE reading. I hate to waste time doing anything and so I choose to read while doing my business in the ol' water closet. I tend to read classics this way (because I might not ever get to them otherwise) and in the past have read such greats as The Jungle, The House of Seven Gables, The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, The Complete Works of O. Henry, The Phantom of the Opera, Catch-22, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This isn't really a testament to how much time I spend on the john but to my age (mid 40's). But I do read non classical stuff WOE and currently my WOE reading consists of Joy Hakim's American History set, The History of US, aimed at young adults. We had our home schooled children read these so I felt I ought to as well. I normally read one volume a year WOE and I am up the Civil War volume (6 or 7 I believe).

That all brings me to my current main title selection, a science fiction entry in the Babylon 5 universe. But this post is quite long enough already so I will put that in the next post. Besides, it's lunch time and I'm getting hungry!

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire