SUMMER READING 2015
What I've read so far and what I thought
- •'Old Man's War', John ScalziAs 'willie wheelie' says, 'sometimes you gotta just hit the road.' Classic scifi in the 'starship troopers' vein. I was a little worried scalzi'd go OSC 'Xenocide' on us, but a great read.
- •'The Wind Through The Keyhole', Stephen KingA Dark Tower extension that mixes the bizarre tale of a shape shifting killer, a son avenging his fathers death and the struggles of Roland's ka'tet. Yes, I just wrote that. I love the DT series (a 'gunslingers+the stand+LOTR+salems lot+the road' kinda thing, if you ken it) but it ain't for everyone.
- •'Modern Romance', Aziz Ansari and Eric KlinenbergHad high hopes: finally! Someone other than Turkle or Boyd writing about emergent behaviors in transdigital culture! And with humor! About how we get laid now! But...no. Kinda straightforward. Some research, few surprises and Ansari playing fozzie bear with painful 'wakka wakka's
- •'The Martian', Andy WeirGreat beach read. As soon as I finished, my 9y.o. plowed through it in two days and declared it 'the best thing he'd ever read'. The Martian absolutely, categorically kicks ass, and continued my Shackleton theme (remember the 'endurance' in SEVENEVES'? It's all about taking adversity on the chin until you can't take it anymore, then doubling down, then doubling down again then punching adversity in the nuts)
- •'Armada', Ernest ClineGodawful. What was cute in 'Ready player one' becomes witless and overdone here. And you've read this before. It was called Enders game and it was awesome. Tead that. This isn't. If you accidentally buy this and don't see the ending coming a mile away, shame on you. Here: let me save you the time: the 'invasion' isn't really one, it's a test to see if humanity can stand a likely trilogy of this crap.
- •'SEVENEVES', Neal StephensonOmfg so good. I always half to cowboy up for a Stephenson book, but anyone who can start off a chapter with "five thousand years later" and land it, is working hard for the money. Stephenson's epic was everything Cline's wasn't: thoughtful, entertaining, mind-altering, inspiring. No pandering. One ship in the story is called 'endurance', which is appropriate because Stephenson demands it of his readers, and richly rewards you for it.
- •'All the Light We Cannot See', Anthony DoerrDo yourself a favor: drop everything and read this book. A ten-year-labor of love, this book was worth every day Doerr put into it. With language you can taste and characters so fundamentally human and exquisitely, perfectly flawed, this is a story of blindness and sight told through characters you'll feel in your heart well after you finish the book. Seriously: read it. I'll wait.
- •'Between the World and Me', Ta-Nehisi CoatesGreat read. Important read. I'll give you Toni Morrison's blurb: 'this is required reading'. It is. If you are an American, and want to be proud of your country, we all have a lot of work to do. this is a critical, critical read. Grok it. Now. Please. We all need to help America decide what it wants to be when it grows up, because we ain't got it right yet by a long shot.