Monday, January 7, 2008

The Books I'll Read!

I've always enjoyed reading but for whatever reason I've let this activity go largely unpracticed for several years. Perhaps because so much has happened in my personal and professional life I've felt that I really didn't have time to enjoy books like I once did. In recent months, however, I've experienced a renewal of my passion for reading, and somewhat suddenly come to the realization that my life is much more fulfilling when it involves good books. Certainly it behooves me to carve out a portion of my day dedicated to this hobby.

I'd like to post some notes here on the books I read, probably not really reviews, but rather some thoughts on the books and my general impressions. Perhaps I'll get around to highlighting the novels I've read over the last few weeks including The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, Mistress of Mistresses by E.R. Eddison, and The Other Wind by Ursula K. LeGuin.

Although I enjoy a variety of genres, as you can see by the four volumes mentioned above I particularly enjoy Sci Fi and Fantasy, especially High Fantasy, including The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin. I enjoy fantasy enough that even the formulaic stuff often released in recent years can be an enjoyable read. Recently, however, I've placed a focus on finding more rewarding books that are better written and more original, and I've begun to explore some of the other classics of the genre that may have been largely ignored by the mainstream in recent years. That goal is what brought me to E.R. Eddison. His Mistress of Mistresses was a fascinating book that I will absolutely have to write up here shortly.

Despite my interest in more fully exploring the great novels of Sci Fi and Fantasy I also have many books on my list to read from other genres. Most of the books I intend to read next I have chosen simply because I already own them. As other books are recommended to me or otherwise come to my attention, perhaps I will find opportunity to add them to my library and to my reading list. Some titles I intend to read soon: General Literature -- The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, A Dresser of Sycamore Trees by Garret Keizer. Sci Fi/Fantasy -- Brothers of Earth by C.J. Cherryh, The Wind's Twelve Quarters by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, and Star Gate by Andre Norton. Non-Fiction -- Baseball Between the Numbers by Baseball Prospectus (in progress), From Dawn to Decadence, 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun, and What If?, The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been by various authors.

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