Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Read any good books?

My readings habits tend to primarily lean to science fiction and fantasy. I get enough serious reality at work.

Currently I am reading "One Good Knight" by Mercedes Lackey. What is interesting about this book and others in its series, is that it pokes fun of the whole fairytale storytelling tradition.

One reviewer called it a "delightfully twisted fairy tale."

Traditionally, marauding dragons are soothed only by a virgin sacrifice. And so the frightened people of Acadia devise a lottery system to choose the victims. Things are going fairly smoothly - except for the women chosen, of course - until practical-minded Princess Andromeda is picked. She accepts her duty, though she would prefer to defend herself. And so Andromeda faces the dragon alone.

Until a Champion arrives to save her - sort of. Sir George doesn't quite defeat the dragon, but as Andromeda finishes rescuing herself she discovers that beneath the Good Knight's well-meaning though inexperienced heroics lies a further tale.…

Still, Andromeda can't leave her seacoast country in further jeopardy from the dragon's return, and so she and…er… George join to search for the dragon's lair. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, bucking Tradition isn't easy. It takes the strongest of wills, knowledge, quick wits and a refusal to give up, no matter what happens along the way.

Somehow, though, none of this was taught in princess school.…"

I just finished a book outside of my usual reading types, The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

"Bestsellers Preston and Child have come up with another gripping, action-packed page-turner in this concluding volume to a trilogy pitting their Holmesian hero, FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, against his Mycroft-turned-Moriarty—his younger brother, Diogenes. Picking up shortly after the events of 2005's Dance of Death, the book opens with the arrival of a package of fine dust at the Museum of Natural History; Diogenes has returned the diamonds he stole earlier. Meanwhile, Aloysius is in prison, having been framed for a number of murders. As his friends plot to spring him, his adversary lays the groundwork for a crowning criminal achievement. A mysterious benefactor funds the restoration of an ancient Egyptian tomb at the museum, but the work is beset by the mayhem Preston and Child's readers have come to expect—gory murders and suggestions of the supernatural. This entry, tying up many loose ends from its predecessors, is less likely to work as well for first-time readers, but followers of Aloysius Pendergast's previous exploits will find it a satisfying read with a tantalizing, ominous twist at the end."

I enjoy the character Aloysius Pendergast. This book is the third in a sort of a trilogy, starting with Brimstone. The character is in several other books.

What are you reading?

Speaking of books, an email I received:

"Our donations for this years book sale seem a bit shy. Could you get the following out and about? Any suggestions as to how we might attract more contributions?"

Seminole Heights Branch Library

Book Sale

The Seminole Heights branch library is now accepting donations for the 2007 book sale, the lucky 13Th annual book sale. The book sale will be Feb. 9 (5:30-7pm) and Feb. 10 (9 am-2pm). The library is at the corner of Central and Osborne, across from Hillsborough High School.

We need your donations of books, records, DVD’s, CD’s, tapes, quality magazines and software, etc.

All proceeds go to the library. Most of the money is used for children’s programming.

You can take your donations to the library even on the day of the sale.

For more information call Steve Gluckman, 238-9115.


IFly said...

If you like Sci-Fi/Fantasy(my favorite genre as well) one of the best collections of used books of that type can be found at Just Books on Fletcher. It's been too long since I've stopped in there, but it used to be a pilgrimage destination when I was living away from Tampa and returned to visit.

Anonymous said...

I'll be happy to resume donating books to the library when the library resumes gay and lesbian pride (small 'g' small 'p') displays.

My own private boycott.

Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits said...

Check out Mercedes Lackey other novels - there's one loosely based on Sleeping Beauty set in Victorian England that I loved! It's called Gates of Sleep and apparently there's a whole series of Elemental Masters that are based on fairy tales.

I also just finished Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler - very good! It's a tale set about 25 years in the future and the state of the world with changing climate...great read.

Windhaven by George RR Martin is another wonderful sci-fi/fantasy read. It follows one woman through each stage in her life as an aviator messenger.

Anonymous said...

I am reading "Naked" by David Sedaris. (Buy some adult diapers first!) Severely dysfunctional family stories seem to strike a chord in me.

Flyer anon said...

I like the definition used by Niven in one of his novels as being "Speculative fiction".
Fantasy should be left by it's self, Lovecraft being the definition to work from.

Sci-Fi too far ahead is fantasy, Good Sci-Fi should have a possibility of happening.
The best I've ever read so far is John Shirley's Eclipse trilogy. The other stuff I've read by him is total fantasy, not too shabby, but lacking.
This book's are good. Anyone I've lent it to use it to compare all other Sci-Fi/Adventures against.
Also Ann Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"should be considered "Sci-Fi/Fantasy" although she might not agree if ahe were alive.
I read Hubbard's "Battlefield Earth" on a dare (50 pages short of ‘Atlas') and it's not a bad piece of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. (Met a real Marxist women once that wrote and was into Sci-fi and was talking' up Usla Le Guin. and when we found out we'd both read "Battlefield Earth spent the rest of our time talking about it).I'm not a ‘Hubbardite' and your dick won't shrivel and fall off if you read any of his Sci-Fi, it's a lot like Heinlein. As they were both former military intelligence.
Anyway, DON'T read Rand, or Hubbard, but try to read the Eclipse. (And as much Lovecraft as you can).

Flyer anon said...

Also I get on jags for bios. The best ever and one needing a real good doing, if not a movie is ‘Bull's Eye'. "The Assassination and life of supergun inventor Gerald Bull"

Flyer anon said...

Non fiction.
"The secret passion of plants':, "The dancing wu li masters'(dated, but still a good way to rearrange perspective) and an old Greek Mythology text of.Edith Hamilton's where she speaks of the Demi-gods ‘Nemesis and Aidos' The highest of all feelings in Homer and Hesiod. Wherein ones feels guilt over feeling superior over one less fortunate than you.(The closest in judeo-xtain is "by the grace of god there go I") It's said that when that emotion is lost to the world the world ends.

armyBob said...

About 1/2 way through "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini. Good, if you like fantasy.