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Reading List

I received several books for Christmas that should make for good reading this year. I'm not sure how I'll cram them in with things I actually need to read, but I'll definitely continue trying to squeeze them in.

I'm also a bit of a freak: My tastes tend to lean toward non-fiction. There's a world of information out there just waiting to be absorbed, and books are a good way to sponge it up.

Anyway, this year yielded:

  • If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O'Brien. Perhaps the seminal work in a sea of books about Vietnam, O'Brien's book captures the hell that was the war. I read part of it in high school when assigned O'Brien as a paper topic, but it seems even more appropriate to have a copy given our overseas involvements today.
    Not that I'm comparing Iraq or Afghanistan to Vietnam at all. Nope.
  • Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. Marconi invents the radio, a murderer runs rampant in England, and various other asides. Mmm, ancient modern technology.
  • The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. A deadly outbreak of cholera? Count me in. I'm not morbid or death-obsessed, but this is the kind of stuff that just sucks me in.

While these books are new and interesting, I've got several others from last year (both Christmas gifts and codices I purchased myself) that are still sitting in states of partially-completed limbo. Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions is sitting in my dresser, half-completed from a 3 hour flight to Louisville. I saved it lest I need to make another plane flight, but that isn't in the cards at the moment.

Somewhere around here is The Time Traveler's Wife, which I got partway into. There's a Tess Gerritsen mystery sitting on my shelf mostly-completed, plus three more from a Christmas or two ago that I haven't even started. Hell, they're even shelved in the proper order so character development takes place chronologically.

I think my (very) belated resolution for the new year should be to make more time to enjoy a good book. A handful catch my interest every year, but I can't actually remember the last time I read one cover-to-cover.

Short fiction's all I've been able to cram into my schedule, and that must change. Short fiction is great, but sometimes you just want something you can keep coming back to, put all the pieces together, and say "damn that was great."

I want that little literary orgasm you get from finishing a really good book. The last time I got that was when I finished Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams, which was an absolutely beautiful novel. I want that drive again, the one that overrides any planned reading schedule and makes you devour a half dozen chapters at a time because a story is just that enthralling.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 20, 2007 11:56 PM.

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