Vacation reading

I did something a little different this trip. Often I bring several hardcovers, some graphic novels, and a couple of paperbacks from the “I’ve got to read this and decide if I want to keepit” pile. That pile kept growing, and I decided to bring the whole thing with me. I did bring one hardcover and some graphic novels as well, and we made a trip to McKay’s before we left as well.

Nick Hornby – A Long Way Down: Author of High Fidelity, he’s coming to talk this month in Reston, and Jill got me his latest. Good read, though I was hoping for more stuff on music since he does it so well. Interesting side note: one of two books to mention the island of Mallorca.

Warren Ellis – Transmetropolitan volumes 1-4, Ocean: I’m a big Ellis fan, but only recently acquired his Transmetropolitan graphic novels. Great gonzo stuff. Ocean is hard sf (with commentary on a certain software company we know and love) that I enjoyed.

Orson Scott Card – Treason, Pastwatch, Songmaster: Card has said some stupid things lately about evolution and homosexuality, but he’s still a good writer. (Ender’s Game is still a classic, and I brought Children Of The Mind, last in that series, but decided not to read it without rereading the earlier ones). Ironically, the first book seems to refute his views on evolution, as the plot would be impossible without it. Songmaster does support some disturbing prejudices about homosexuality, and was the least enjoyable. Best one was Pastwatch, about why Christopher Columbus was so driven to get to the new world. Very enlightening.

Chris Claremont – Firstflight, Grounded, Sundowner: Claremont’s trilogy has some good moments, but I decided there’s nothing there that isn’t better done in his X-Men comics. I also brought Shadow Moon, first book in the Shadow War trilogy co-written with George Lucas, but one look at the cover convinced me otherwise. I’d read the hardcover and never read the last two, but I’d picked up the paperback to take on the trip and the front cover mentioned (that I’d never realized) that the series was a continuation of the story of from the movie Willow, so I need to rewatch that before starting the series.

Peter David – Star Trek:The Next Generation:Strike Zone, Star Trek:The Next Generation:Double Or Nothing, Incredible Hulk:What Savage Beast: David, in addition to writing a number of good comics I read (currently X-Factor, Fallen Angel, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and Spike vs. Dracula – yes, that Spike), writes the best Star Trek books – good combination of action and humor. These were books I was missing and picked up at McKay’s. Good reads, even Jill enjoyed them (after she ran out of her own books). The Incredible Hulk book was good as well (David was a long time Hulk writer), especially with the George Perez interior art.

Robert Sheckley – Star Trek:Deep Space Nine:The Laertian Gamble: A disappointment, but in a weird way. The book ended up being a typical slapstick Sheckley book, but that doesn’t mesh well with Star Trek (think Spielberg vs. Kubrick in AI). Not a bad read, but not a keeper.

Diane Carey – Star Trek:Best Destiny, Vonda N. McIntyre – Star Trek:Enterprise: Two decent early Star Trek novels (about Kirk’s youth and the first time he captained Enterprise, but ultimately disposable.

Robert B. Parker – Stone Cold, Double Play: I’m a big fan of his Spenser novels, but I read everything he does. Stone Cold was a Jesse Stone novel about a small town cop trying to solve a serial killing (not bad, I enjoyed Tom Selleck in the recent TV adaption of the first book in the series more than I thought), but the surprise winner was Double Play, about a ficticious bodyguard to Jackie Robinson in his first year in the majors. Obviously a labor of love and well done.

Tom Holt – Expecting Someone Taller: An English writer not well known here, much in the fantasy humor style of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I aws surprised to find a copy of this at McKay’s, but was pleased as I didn’t have it. Fun read, though I’d wished I had a chance to read the myths it’s based on (Norse) before I read it.

Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder – Buffy the Vampire Slayer:Blooded: Simply awful. I ‘ve enjoyed the comics based on the show, but the characterizations here just grate. None of them ring true, what a waste of time.

Greg Bear – Dead Lines: A mainstream mystery horror book by Bear (I like how nothing in the book lets you know he’s a SF writer, interesting take on the horror of cellphones (though having read the first chapter of Stephen King’s Cell, I think Cell is a lot more scary).

Kate DiCamillo – Because Of Winn-Dixie: A friend gave it to me because Dave Matthews is in the movie version, cute (and quick – think it took me 20 minutes) read.

Janet Evanovich – One For The Money: One of Jill’s books (because I ran out). Not bad, but I don’t know if I’ll keep reading the series. I see why Jill likes it, though.

Also read:
Washington Post – Friday February 10th
International Herald Tribune – Sunday February 19th
Washington Post Magazines December – February (I almost never read them until vacation as they’re great to read while I stretch and exercise)

One thought on “Vacation reading”

  1. Orson Scott Card lost me completely when I found out about his real-life hatred. I just can’t lose myself in stuff he’s written without it hanging over the experience.

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