Friday, July 08, 2011
It must be said: my library is awesome. As part of the mid-Hudson Library system, I have access to the entire catalog of library materials at more libraries than I can imagine. With all those different libraries it's very unlikely that the latest books aren't available somewhere - and putting a hold on a book so that it gets sent to my local library when it becomes available is as easy as the click of a button on their internet site. This is how I catch up on the latest movies, and oftentimes how I read books or comics that I'm interested in but probably wouldn't purchase outright before trying them first. It should come as no surprise that I highly recommend seeking out your own library and try something new this summer. Did you ever do a "summer reading" program at your local library as a kid? Where you read a certain amount of books and then earn a prize of some kind (maybe a party at the end of the summer or something). My kids are in such a program this year. Likewise, my library has also started a similar program for adults - giving out a Summer Reading Passport and for each 4 books an adult reads, their name is entered into a contest to win various prizes (meals at local restaurants and such). Having just finished reading 3 Star Wars books (which I'm not counting) I was ready to start digging into non-Star Wars books for awhile, and this was the extra push I needed. I started my reading this week with Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught by Jack Campbell (part of The Lost Fleet series), and I should have a review of that up next friday. I've already got my next two books picked for after that, Mark Newton's Nights of Villjamur followed by Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief. So that makes 3 - it's my fourth book that I'm not so sure of right now. It could be Quatrain by Sharon Shinn - a book with four stories set in various worlds she's created (including Archangel and The Twelve Houses). I love her writing and have followed her books for years, though I'm never a big fan of short stories. Still, it's kind of a tradition for me to do one short story collection each summer, so maybe this should be it. There's also The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, a near-future sci-fi thriller about a terrorist plot and the lives of the intertwined people affected by it. This book has been on my reading pile for about a year now, with all the prior press it got being very high praise (it was on many Best of 2010 lists). There's a couple of steampunk novels I've had lingering on my "to be read" pile for some time. The first is The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick. This is an alternate history/steampunk novel taking place in the American West. I've never read anything by Resnick, and even though this is still somewhat outside my normal reading range the concept of this book has me intrigued. Likewise for my possible 4th choice, Camera Obsurca by Lavie Tidhar. This is steampunk murder mystery set in an alternate Paris, and the locale is part of the appeal for me. My tie-in novel love knows no limits, and even though I want to take a break from Star Wars, I do have some other options within this familiar staple. I could read Mike Stackpole's Conan the Barbarian (movie adaptation), Peter David's Transformers: Dark of the Moon adaptation, or Alex Irvine's Iron Man: Virus. Peter David and Mike Stackpole are favorite authors of mine, both are movies I won't likely see until they come out on DVD. I was a big fan of Alex Irvine's Transformers: Exodus novel from last year, and Iron Man hits a sweet spot for me being a novel based on a comic character. So, while I'm undecided, I figured I'd poll the readers a little - see if there's anything above that you'd most like to see me review. I make no gaurantees, reading is a personal thing and by the time I'm done with the first three I mentioned, I may have it firmly in mind what my next will be - but I am curious to know what you're interested in, and I'll be certain to make those a priority on my pile. And while we're at it, feel free to let me know what's on your "to be read" pile for this summer.
Posted by Jim Haley at 7/08/2011