Category Archives: Reading

Book: Outlander

Outlander (Outlander, #1)Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this book! I love the historical fiction of it. I love the sci-fi aspect. I really love the medicinal/herbal part of the story. But I could really do without the sex. I’m not saying that Diana Gabaldon should change her way of writing. I’m sure many people love this aspect of the book as well. And the argument can be made that it’s an integral part of the story that is being told, but I just don’t like it and I can’t recommend it to younger readers for this reason.

Still, this is the second time I’ve read (listened to) this book. The narrater, Davina Porter is AMAZING! There is no other way to describer her. I would listen to her read a phone book. She brings each character, male and female, young and old, Scottish or English to life.

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Book: The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice

The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and RiceThe Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book seemed to move somewhat slowly, but I really enjoyed the depth of information in the book and the way that the information was wrapped into the story line. I would give the depth of information 5 stars and the story would get 3 stars. I’ll settle on 4 stars as an average, I suppose. A non sushi lover would probably not enjoy this book as much as me. But due to my absolute passion for sushi, I found it a wonderful look into almost every aspect of it.

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Book: Of Dice and Men

Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play ItOf Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It by David Ewalt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a well written history of Dungeons and Dragons AND has some very compelling sections of fantasy story telling weaved it. It works, trust me. I listened to the audio version. The author David M. Ewalt reads the RL portion while Makael Naramore narrates the “story”. Both portions of the book were entertaining.

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Book: Dragon’s Maze

Dragon's Maze: The Secretist, Part ThreeDragon’s Maze: The Secretist, Part Three by Doug Beyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a really fun story. Doug Beyer is a first rate author. The story flow, both action and dialog moved at a great pace. This, along with the preceding two novellas in the series really brought the world of Ravnica to life. Playing Magic the Gathering is made even more interesting with the weaving of story, and this is no exception.

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Book: Wool

Wool Omnibus (Wool, #1-5)Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the plot. It took some twists and turns that I did not expect, although there were parts that were almost too predictable. The writing was a little more flowery than I like, and the I felt the story could have been told more effectively with fewer words or with more detail. I felt the suspense was over the top and needlessly draw out.

I listened to the Audible version. I was not thrilled by the reader, especially the readers male voices. The female voices were good.

With all of that said, the story line was very good and enjoyable. In the end, I wanted to know more about what happened to Silo 18.

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What is reading? A Message From 1965’s Dune

Have you read [insert book title here], someone might ask. If we have listened to the audio version, but not consumed the printed words from the book, we will likely still claim to have ‘read’ the book. Is this accurate? Can we claim to have read a book, even if it the sound waves that represent the words played into our auditory canal without the visual cues of a writing system entering our ocular network for visual processing and decoding?

As far back as 1965 when Dune was published, there is a precedent to use the term reading when referring to the consuming of information aside from the traditional decoding of a given writing system.

“My Lord, before you go, I’ve a filmclip you should read. It’s a first approximation analysis on the Fremen religion. You’ll recall you asked me to report on it.”

In this future world, “filmclips” and “filmbooks” were the mode of retaining and transmitting information, and yet Frank Herbert did not use the work ‘watch’, which is a passive word. He chose the word “read”, and active act.

Listening to music can be actively or passively consumed and enjoyed. Audiobook require active listening in order to truly consume and understand. That is why is ‘read’ audiobooks.

Have you read Dune? Yes. Yes I have.

Top 100 Science Fiction Books

I’ve copied this list of the Top 100 Sci-fi books list from http://scifilists.sffjazz.com/index.html as of July 20, 2012. Since this is a dynamic list that can change based ongoing surveys, I copied it here so I could have a static list from which to work. Regrettably, I can claim to have read only 11 from this list, so I’m starting from the top and working my way down.

Rank Author/Editor Title Year Read
1 Orson Scott Card Ender’s Game [S1] 1985 X
2 Frank Herbert Dune [S1] 1965
3 Isaac Asimov Foundation [S1-3] 1951
4 Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [S1] 1979 X
5 Robert A Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land 1961
6 George Orwell 1984 1949 X
7 Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 1954 X
8 Arthur C Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
9 Isaac Asimov [C] I, Robot 1950
10 Robert A Heinlein Starship Troopers 1959
11 Philip K Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 1968
12 William Gibson Neuromancer 1984 X
13 Larry Niven Ringworld 1970
14 Arthur C Clarke Rendezvous With Rama 1973
15 Dan Simmons Hyperion [S1] 1989
16 H G Wells The Time Machine 1895
17 Aldous Huxley Brave New World 1932 X
18 Arthur C Clarke Childhood’s End 1954
19 H G Wells The War of the Worlds 1898
20 Joe Haldeman The Forever War 1974
21 Robert A Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 1966
22 Ray Bradbury [C] The Martian Chronicles 1950
23 Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five 1969
24 Neal Stephenson Snow Crash 1992 X
25 Niven & Pournelle The Mote in God’s Eye 1975
26 Ursula K Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness 1969
27 Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead [S2] 1986 X
28 Michael Crichton Jurassic Park 1990
29 Philip K Dick The Man in the High Castle 1962
30 Isaac Asimov The Caves of Steel 1954
31 Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination 1956
32 Roger Zelazny Lord of Light 1967
33 Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1870
34 Frederik Pohl Gateway 1977
35 Madeleine L’Engle A Wrinkle In Time 1962
36 Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain 1969
37 Kurt Vonnegut Cat’s Cradle 1963
38 Stanislaw Lem Solaris 1961
39 Carl Sagan Contact 1985
40 Isaac Asimov The Gods Themselves 1972
41 Philip K Dick Ubik 1969
42 Vernor Vinge A Fire Upon the Deep 1991
43 John Wyndham The Day of the Triffids 1951
44 Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange 1962
45 Robert A Heinlein Time Enough For Love 1973
46 Neal Stephenson Cryptonomicon 1999
47 Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars [S1] 1992
48 Mary Shelley Frankenstein 1818 X
49 Walter M Miller A Canticle for Leibowitz 1959
50 Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon 1966
51 Isaac Asimov The End Of Eternity 1955
52 Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth 1864
53 L Ron Hubbard Battlefield Earth 1982
54 Iain M Banks Player Of Games [S2] 1988
55 Peter F Hamilton The Reality Dysfunction [S1] 1996
56 Ursula K Le Guin The Dispossessed 1974
57 Orson Scott Card Ender’s Shadow [S1] 1999 X
58 Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age 1995
59 Greg Bear Eon 1985
60 Philip Jose Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go 1971
61 Kurt Vonnegut The Sirens of Titan 1959
62 David Brin Startide Rising [S2] 1983
63 Philip K Dick A Scanner Darkly 1977
64 Niven & Pournelle Lucifer’s Hammer 1977
65 Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale 1985
66 Arthur C Clarke The City and the Stars 1956
67 Michael Crichton Sphere 1987
68 Harry Harrison The Stainless Steel Rat [S1] 1961
69 Robert A Heinlein The Door Into Summer 1956
70 Alfred Bester The Demolished Man 1953
71 Gene Wolfe The Shadow of the Torturer [S1] 1980
72 H G Wells The Invisible Man 1897
73 Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space [S1] 2000
74 Robert A Heinlein Citizen Of the Galaxy 1957
75 Dan Simmons Ilium 2003
76 Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars [S1] 1912
77 Connie Willis Doomsday Book 1992
78 Robert A Heinlein The Puppet Masters 1951
79 Robert A Heinlein Have Space-Suit – Will Travel 1958
80 C S Lewis Out of the Silent Planet [S1] 1938 X
81 Philip K Dick The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch 1964
82 Cormac McCarthy The Road 2006
83 Richard Morgan Altered Carbon [S1] 2002
84 John Scalzi Old Man’s War 2005
85 Edwin A Abbott Flatland 1884
86 Iain M Banks Use of Weapons [S3] 1990
87 John Wyndham The Chrysalids 1955
88 Ursula K Le Guin The Lathe of Heaven 1971
89 Clifford Simak Way Station 1963
90 Philip K Dick VALIS 1981
91 John Brunner Stand on Zanzibar 1969
92 Stanislaw Lem [C] The Cyberiad 1974
93 Julian May The Many-Colored Land [S1] 1981
94 David Brin The Postman 1985
95 Greg Bear The Forge of God 1987
96 James Blish [C] Cities in Flight 1955
97 Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde 1886
98 Arthur Conan Doyle The Lost World 1912
99 Arkady & Boris Strugatsky Roadside Picnic 1972
100 Clifford Simak [C] City 1952