Currently Reading

Now that the New Year has begun once again, it's time to take stock of what's on my reading plate for the coming year. Last week, as my bookstore closed, I bought a pile (literally) of books of all types, which has once again pushed my bookshelves to overflow. This year, one of the things that I'd most like to do is read quite a few of these.

Currently Reading:

The Monuments Men, Robert Edsel Monuments Men is the story of a US Army unit that was put together during the Second World War, where they were tasked with saving and preserving cultural artifacts from what is arguably the most destructive war in history. More than just that, however, is a look at the costs of war beyond just the human lives.

The Last and First Men, Olaf Stapeldon I picked this book up at the fantastic Northfield Bookstore a couple weeks ago, and read a bit of it. I'm still working through this interesting story of the future of man. Despite being written in the 1930s, Stapeldon got a couple details right, and some interesting theories on what would happen to humanity.

Andvari's Ring, Arthur Peterson Another old book that I really, really like. I'm finding that I need to be in the proper mood for this one, as it's an epic poem, but I've really loved what I've read thus far. It's a fantastic story from the Norse, with their crazy gods and heroes.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon I started this a while ago, a story of an autistic child who is attempting to solve a crime. It's been a little while since I've picked it up, but I'm going to finish it at some point in the near future.

How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gill I got this book very, very cheaply a while back, and the best way that I can sum it up is: "Old White Guy discovers humility". It's not a book that I'm terribly thrilled with, and just goes to show that anyone can trump up their story a bit and get a successful book out of it. I don't know when I'll get to it again, but it's not really a priority.

Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides This book I really like, but just haven't gotten around to finishing it. An interesting history between the American expansion into the West, and Kit Carson, it's engrossing and riveting. I need to get back to this one soon.

Next Up:

These books are higher on my priority list - the first tier, so to speak:

The Big Burn, Timothy Egan Race of the Century, Julie Fenster The Dead Hand, David Hoffman

And the rest, in no particular order:

D-Day, Antony Beevor The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes Hot, Flat and Crowded, Thomas Friedman Manhood for Amateurs, Michael Chabon Andrew Carnige, David Nasaw People's Tycoon, Steven Watts Death Masks, Jim Butcher Blood Rites, Jim Butcher Small Favor, Jim Butcher Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris Theodore Rex, Edmund Morris Kindred, Octavia Butler The Forever War, Joe Halderman Echo of Battle, Joseph Linn A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin The Warded Man, Peter Brett The Purpose of the Past, Gordon Wood Geek's Guide to World Domination, Garth Sundem Use of Weapons, Iain M Banks Players of Games, Iain M Banks Makers, Cory Doctorow Alas, Babylon, Pat Frank Coraline, Neil Gaiman The Sheriff of Yrnameer, Michael Rubens Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson Anatham, Neal Stephenson, Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold Johannes Cabal, Necromancer, Jonathan Howard Woken Furies, Richard K Morgan

And, a couple others that I just haven't pulled out or remembered. There's a lot there, and undoubtedly, there'll be quite a few others that will be added on to the list as the year progresses.

Currently Reading

It's been a little while since I've done one of these updates...

Reading Now: Consider Phlebas, Iain M Banks - This is Bank's first book in his Culture Series. It's fast-paced, engaging, and interesting, but it's not making any favorites list for me. The plot's a bit scattered, but it's incredibly rich in the culture (snark) that's inhabited the galaxy. There's epic space warfare, orbital ringworlds, politics on a vast level and a cast of interesting characters. Honestly, this is a very cinematic and fun read. I'm blowing right through it - 200 pages in 2 hours!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon - I started this book a while ago, about an autistic man trying to solve the reasons for a dog's death. How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gates Gills - Old, White guy gets job with black boss in retail after a high powered job, learns about self. Meh, it's nothing that I'd buy full price, but it's interesting. Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides - I've had this book on the reading list for over a year now. It's fantastic, but I'm so burned out on history that I'm not sure when I'll get around to finishing it.

To Read:

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi - This is the next book that I'll pick up after I finish Phlebas. It's gotten a bit of buzz around the SF blog world. It takes place in a future Thailand, involving GMOs, Genetic engineering and Politics. I'll probably begin it tonight. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman - This has been a long recommended read for me, and I've been on a bit of a military SF kick lately, so this is one that I'm really looking forward to tackling. Shadowbridge, Gregory Frost - Gregory Frost came to my attention about a year ago when Borders dropped his books. I complained about it here. This looks like a really fun book, part of a duology. I've got both books, Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet, and I'll likely get to them sometime this fall. They look to be quick reads. Traffic, Tom Vanderbilt - This book has long facinated me - I love driving, and this book porports to talk about why we drive the way we do. It's something that I've given quite a bit of thought to, especially while in traffic. The Power Makers, Maury Klein - This book looks really interesting, about the struggle between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, looking at their work and how they helped to bring about a modern United States with electricity and steam power. Tesla has been a figure in American history that has long facinated me, and this type of history is really interesting, something that I love to read about. The Next 100 Years, George Friedman - This book's popped up on a couple of SF blogs as well - I got it along with The Windup Girl. It's a look at the next 100 years and how the economics, politics and wars of the future will play out. I wonder how much of it will come to pass. The People's Tycoon, Steven Watts - This is another personality/history book that I'm really looking forward to - Henry Ford. I'm going to be ramping up a project that has to do with automotive history, and this is going to be the first step towards that project in background research. Theodore Rex - Edmund Morris - This is a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, one that's been highly acclaimed, and a person that I'd like to learn more about. This has been on the list for a while. Time to actually read it when I can get to history again. The Ghost Brigades, John Scalzi - This is the sequel to Scalzi's Old Man War, which I reviewed here. I really enjoyed the first book, it was a fast-paced, entertaining read, and it really set up for this second book. Tales from a Perilous Realm, JRR Tolkien - A collection of Tolkien's short stories, 5 of them. It looks like a fantastic read.

To Read, Tier 2 - These are books that are on the to-read list, but not a huge priority... yet.

Andvari's Ring, Arthur Peterson A Game of Thrones, George RR Martin The Echo of Battle, Brian Linn Kindred, Octavia Butler The Warded Man, Peter Brett Woken Furies, Richard K Morgan Anathem, Neal Stephenson