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Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

11 April 2007

Books

I am going to start this out by making a bold and perhaps dangerous assumption. That anyone who reads this blog actually reads. Books you know, literature. And by literature I don’t necessarily mean the old classics like say Moby Dick. (This frankly is one of the worst books I have ever read. How in the hell could anyone take such a GOOD story and make such a lousy book out of it? I have been told that if you read it as it was written, one chapter a every week or two it is ok. I have my doubts.) I just mean real books, something that an author has spent some real time working on. (Thus eliminating many romance novels and series like The Executioner.) As an avid reader I expect you probably have a book or two sitting around your house that you can pick up at any time and read it and enjoy it. Over and over. In fact, it is often as good the second, third, or fifteenth, time as it was the first time. When I was in Junior high (that is Middle School for you young folks) and High School Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings filled that spot. (I’m almost ashamed to admit that it has been probably 15 years since I last read them) Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber took over for awhile later in High School and early in college. Now I don’t mean to say that these were all I was reading. I generally have three or four books going at any one time. And I don’t recall who said this first but I have always agreed with the statement that if a book isn’t good enough to read twice it probably isn’t worth reading once. (Samuel Clemons maybe????) (I can think of one real exception to that rule, Stephen Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever I read those when they were first published. I still have the hard back books sitting in my house. They were very good and I cannot bring myself to reread them. I would tell you why but I am getting far enough off topic as it is.)

This whole ramble came up because the day before yesterday I picked a book up from under my couch and began to read it; and stayed up until I had finished it again. What is this book? Wm. Mark Simmons’ One Foot in the Grave. A vampire novel with a bit of a twist. He has some sequels out to it that I haven’t read even though I keep telling myself I need to. I recommend it.

If you are curious as to what other books I am reading at the moment, I am still battering my way through God’s War: A New History of the Crusades by Christopher Tyerman (900 pages of small print), E.E. “Doc” Smith’s The Complete Skylark, (which deserves it’s own post for a variety of reasons), Laszlo Szabo’s Fencing and the Master, and I just finished Terry Prachett’s Small Gods.

16 Comments:

Blogger Stephalupogus said...

You should read Wm. Mark Simmons sequels. I own all but the last & they are pretty good. You should also read Dzur by Brust (if you haven't already) which I finished today.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I liked The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. But its been such a long time ago since I read it..the details are fuzzy...I recall something about a wedding ring and leperosy..

I was thinking as I read this post that most of my reading lately is sadly internet news sites...I dont really sit down and enjoy a book anymore.

Have you ever tried Charles De Lint? Most of his stories have modern urban settings...but all are tied to old folk tales.

For example he has one sort of based on Jack and the Beanstalk..Its called "Jack the Giant Killer and another called Drink Down the Moon". Both really good stories...and good characters..
I know it sounds weird but seriously check it out..you may like it.

3:16 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

Yes, Steph, I should read them and when I get money I will buy them. OR if the local library ever comes out of the dark ages and gets copies.....

Jen, yes, a white gold ring and leprosy as as an excuse for anything he does or doesn't do. I so hated that character.

De Lint is pretty good.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Scott S. said...

I never finished the Covenant series. I got so frustrated with the main character's attitude I threw the book across the room and never picked it up again.

8:42 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

And there is where we differ. I threw the book across the room and cussed at it then picked it up and kept reading.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I threw the book (Lord Foul's Bane) across the room because of the ridiculous pirating of Tolkien. ("Berek Half-hand"? Please.) After about half the first book, though, it started to have some originality.

Covenant sure does whine a lot, though.

Donaldson's always good for the vocabulary. I recall "argent" and "bifurcated" as being extremely common in those books.

And you've got to like ur-viles. Sure, you've got your plain old ordinary mostrous vile, but then there's the UR-vile. That's even worse than a hob-goblin.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous The Zombieslayer said...

It's been about 2 weeks since I finished my last book. Now that Vonnegut has died, I think I need to finally get around to reading Breakfast of Champions. I list him as a fav author, yet I've never read that one, which is supposedly his best.

Anyways, you've been tagged.

3:45 PM  
Blogger gunngirl said...

Ahh, I can always take book suggestions. I LOVE reading. I started Moby Dick and didn't like it either, I never finished it.

I like the classics and I think (me as a wannabe fiction writer) can benefit from all sorts of books, from classics, to biography's to everything in between. Though, my favorites are classics and novels.

I love LKH's "Anita Blake Vampire Hunter" series. I also read "Kite Runner" and "White Teeth" and plenty of vampire novels,and classics like 'The Call of the Wild" (loved it!) and "The Great Gatsby" and Shakespeare and even Stephen King.

and I also enjoy chick lit. If someone recommends it, I'll give it a whirl.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most recently, I've gone through the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. It's also a series on SciFi. The show is worth watching, but the books are a lot better.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

anonymous
I never realised the The Dresden Files were books too. I will have to check that out I love watching the series.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use that Amazon link on exmi's home page and order them up. There's eight Dresden books in paperback, with the ninth just out in hardback.

The books have more depth than the show -- even a hour isn't that much time -- but they're still fast and run reads. Lots of differences in plot and detail, too, so they'll mostly be all new to you.

11:14 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

The Dresden files are very good books.

The most blatant Tolkien ripoff was the Sword of Shanara. I have never read anything else by the author since. It was disgusting.

Gunngirl - I have never cared of the LKH books. The ones I have read or skimmed seemed to have too much sex and not enough plot for my taste. They were VERY popular in prison though. (I wonder why.....)

4:25 PM  
Blogger Stephalupogus said...

For a fun read, try Charlaine Harris. Her main character is a telepath in a world of vampires, shape shifters, and fae. I enjoy it because there is a lot of snark humor.
Some other fantasy options are Rick Riordan, David Drake, Keri Arthur, Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaimon, C. E. Murphy, & Ryk Spoor (kind of).

5:33 AM  
Blogger Stephalupogus said...

PSA -
For those who are on limited financial resources, go to your library and do not just look at the shelves. Look at their online catalogue. It is astonishing how many items are not physically in the building you are in.
For example, exmi has to simply go online, log in using his library card number & pass word helpfully supplied by the local branch, and place a hold on Dzur. It will arrive from 1 of the many libraries in the PINES system.
It might take a while to arrive because it is a reasonably new book, but since the PINES system is 90% of GA, the odds are fairly good he will get the book in a few weeks.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Not a fan of LKH either, but now you have me curious about a few people I've never read. If you like vampire fiction you might try The Historian by Elizabeth Kosova. Its one of the best vampire books I've ever read.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous opit said...

C.J.Cherryh did some lit using Russian folklore after starting off with alien characterizations in space opera sci-fi that were unique and compelling. If you are in a mood for completely over the top whimsical spoof, the Golden Age came back briefly when L.Ron Hubbard tore himself away from the fandom that didn't recognize satire about religion and took over worse than Trekkies - Scientology.
Ladies ? Anne McCaffrey's PERN Dragonriders, Andre (Mary) Norton was my first sci-fi read, Zenna Henderson wrote about The People - which had at least one TV special ,Elizabeth Ann Scarborough - Powers that Be, Katherine Kurtz, Marion Zimmer Bradley. I know everybody rants about Ursula K. LeGuin but not so much for me.
Thomas Covenant, White Gold Wielder : I don't know why I bothered reading most of the series.

6:15 PM  

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