I’ve been reading it in short chunks as light relief in between chapters of Jerusalem. It’s clever how it weaves together every scrap of background we have on Kirk (such as spending time on Tarsus IV) and fleshing them out to make a readable story. I haven’t read enough of the spin-off novels to know if it’s using them for additional details or not. But it is using the rest of the TV canon: Admiral Reed teaches at the academy, and Kirk does the… that dangerous thing Wesley did that was banned.
Doc Savage may be half forgotten, but ridiculously capable action men remain popular. Jack Reacher is a more modern version, in the books at least.
I’ve never read any Hemingway I didn’t like. Same with Steinbeck.
I have never read any Steinbeck…Do you have any recommendations about where I should start?
Edit: I ask this question in the knowledge that I have promised my wife that I will cut down on my book buying…Oh well, I could have worse vices.
All you have to do is tell Mrs. Jones that your reading choice of The Old Man and the Sea inspired the new Deadpool short. Then she’ll be all True Romance “You’re so cool” and buy you ALL the books. Problem sorted.
Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.
Combine Of Mice and Men with Stephen King’s Blaze for a double feature. Then you could read The Stand, and then watch the miniseries, and then watch the Of Mice and Men movie – Gary Sinise double feature.
Travels with Charley is another good read - Charley is a very good dog.
Start with Of Mice and Men, it’s a slender read and packs a punch. Also, excellent suggestions by Bernadette.
Me, I feel like I need to read some sci-fi again. But not a big, epic saga or anything; can anyone suggest something recent that’s idea-based and really takes off?
Have you read Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie?
No! What is it?!
It’s about a starship called Justice of Toren, a troopship that belongs to a human empire called the Radch. The bulk of its crew are ancillaries - human bodies with cybernetic implants that replace the body’s personality with that of that of the ship.
The story shifts between two points 19 years apart. In the first Justice of Toren is involved in the annexation of a world into the Radch empire, which ends in tragedy. The second focuses on a single Ancillary, the only survivor of the ship’s destruction on a mission of revenge.
While the plot is kinda standard SF, Leckie’s writing elevates the book in fantastic ways, notably through the use of a few nice tricks.
First, the entire book is written in first person with a clear narrative flow, regardless of whether the chapter is written from the perspective of Justice of Toren the ship, or Breq the surviving Ancillary. They’re the same person regardless of their physicality.
Second, the chapters set in the past timeframe attempt to capture how it feels to be a distributed consciousness. Justice of Toren talks about what’s happening on the ship, on the planet, what different bodies are doing at the same time. It really helped to sell the ship’s perspective, and gave the present timeframe chapters a feeling of loneliness thanks to their absence.
Finally, the book only uses female pronouns, explaining that the Radch language doesn’t use gendered pronouns. There are a handful of moments where a characters sex is noted “She was obviously male” is a line early in the book, for example. This feels weird to begin with, and helps make the Radch feel alien while still biologically human.
It was the first novel to win the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards, blew me away when I read it.
By the way, let me second Lorcan’s recommendation of Ancilliary Justice. It is a great book.
I didn’t love the sequels too much, but Ancilliary Justice is terrific.
That sounds exactly right. Cheers, Lorcan (and Simon), I knew you guys wouldn’t let me down.
God Emperor of Dune - Perhaps the most poorly written novel I’ve read as an adult. It’s basically just a vehicle for dull lectures filled with bad phrasing and impenetrable ideas by Leto II. There is very little plot, which can be a good thing when done right but here feels like it’s so because of laziness.
The worst part about the novel is how snotty and unnatural Leto’s voice has become since the last book. Herbert seems more concerned with getting out his ideas about governance and human society than crafting a believable character with a believable manner of speaking. I’d have given up a hundred pages ago but I want to see the conclusion of Leto’s chapter in the Dune saga, as I liked him so much in the previous book, and it will also add new dimensions to Paul’s character since he turned away from Leto’s Golden Path.
I will definitely not be reading the next two books.
While I did enjoy the sequels, the first one is a step above. For various reasons they couldn’t catch the same lighting in a bottle feeling of the first book.
The first one suggests so much possibility, but the sequels seemed to go smaller and try to get deeper into the culture and relationships. They were interesting, but not as interesting as the first one.
I have Leviathan Wakes ready to go, either after the book I’m reading or the next. I want to get into it and the next one (Cibola Burn?) before the new series of The Expanse hits Netflix.
Caliban’s War is book 2, then Abaddon’s Gate, Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games and Babylon’s Ashes.
Cheers. I bought a bunch of them cheaply in Chapters a while ago, and am only getting around to them now.
Hey, me too!
Well, except Babylon’s Ashes, which was a present from a friend.
I second (third?) the recommendation of Ancillary Justice. I’d also highly recommend the Spin series (Spin, Axis and Vortex). It’s about what happens when the Earth suddenly finds itself within a sphere of slow time and the sun will expand into a white giant in what seems like just a couple of decades.
Even for you, David, 1927 should be a stretch as something “recent”…