Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Readings

Each summer I put up a list of books I want to read for the summer. I never do seem to go trough the whole list, it seems to disintegrate before I have time to finish it. Not because I haven't got the time or anything, I simply never can seem to follow my proper list. So I'm there starting reading the first few that I could get my hands on and then suddenly it diverges into some whole new direction.

One little promise I do make every summer is to pick up at least one book that I've never heard of before. I simply ignore the pile of well determined recommendations from friends all while they're gushing about how great it is or what-not, and ask for something as simple as a title and nothing else, but often I end getting something random by my likeness of the title or cover. I known you don't judge a book by its cover, but it simply is something that attracts you at first, cover art is more essential for music I suppose because books you never can tell. Like last summer I got the Black Order by James Rollins, knew nothing about it or the writer in question, still don't know anymore. Anyways, It wasn't a particularly good book nor a bad one either, there was lacking something memorable I suppose. But on the complete flip side of things, that's how I found Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which was one of my life changing finds, I changed my humor, look at life, a lot of things actually. This summer I haven't found anything worthy of my special random book but I'm still looking around.

This summer I started heavily on prose; I bought this giant prose book for a class at university and we barely used it to its full extent, so I decided to read the whole thing. I never realized I had an appreciation for prose, something great in small story that tell a lot, also seeing familiar author names is always fun. Another prose I got trough is a little more geeky; Hellboy Oddest Jobs. I consider myself a Hellboy fan now that I think about it, I loved the films both live action and the animated ones as well, and I enjoyed Oddest jobs as well. They created such an awesome world with the Hellboy mythos. Something that bugged me was how Mike Mignolia sounded so condescending in the opening statement, maybe I don't know him enough or maybe he wanted it that way. Either way it was creative, each story had his unique differences, some with no action at all, yet still as satisfying than the next one.

Moving along trough my prose book I noticed a story from W.E.B. Du Bois, he wrote book of which I also got for a class, which at that point realized that I had used that book but in quite a rush for the project do, so I decided to read it for a second time. The book was The Souls of Black Folk, really is amazing a must read for anyone interested in the subject of African-American history. Kinda weird how he is overshadowed now by other African-American activists like Martin Luther King.

Another small re-read was Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. I simply needed to get some Douglas Adam in my summer, I might not been as well known as the H2G2 series but I don't think it discredits it at all. I very much like the humor and it is on par with H2G2, although I do admit it doesn't have the same appeal. I haven't been able to find The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul yet, still looking around from time to time, I ain't that rushed because I heard it wasn't as good as the first, still I'd like to read it someday. Another related note I found some of the radio show recordings online, I'll eventually listen to that.

Moving away from Adams, I did finish John Steinbeck's East of Eden yesterday. Don't know what happened I should of finished off at least a month ago. Firstly I got to chapter 11 or so, then for a few reasons mostly being busy but I was putting it off for quite some time, then finally re-started from page 1 and finished it in two weeks. As the saying goes, I couldn't put it down. I have unique appreciation for Steinbeck; Of Mice and Men is one of the first books that didn't involve fantasy nor science fiction that I really deeply enjoyed. East of Eden is no exception, it starts slow and it dives in at the same pace I would say, he keeps bombarding you with new characters, but it doesn't feel tiresome, at the same time it doesn't feel completely necessary but for some reason you want to keep hearing about these people. Plus his descriptions really are something to admire; he explains it all from something personal by a small analogy that in a way you completely see that person at full capacity, I even started seeing myself in certain characters. That one amazing thing about reading, seeing something you hold unique to you, yet here it is written by a complete stranger in a book.

Rest for the summer my list as gone awry already, but I'd like to read maybe a classic I missed like Animal Farm or something of like that. Also maybe get into a Zombie story, either Pride Prejudice and Zombies or World War Z. Definitely something by Douglas Coupland not sure what yet but one of my friends has been increasingly interesting me into it. Ah! Another series which I just though of now that's increasingly interests me is A Series of Unfortunates Event, something about it seems so fun. Right now I might go onto a Biography of Robert Gravel, I would like to say an idol of mine, but I only know that he invented improv is that enough? Anyways, there are a bunch of little illustrations inside the book by Gravel himself which is pretty neat, but something that bugs me is that the writer really places Gravel on pedestal, maybe I'm too used to a neutral look at things.


Blanco said...

I'm currently reading World War Z, and it's pretty good. Someone told me that the audio book is really good, because the book is written in an interview format so it fits the medium perfectly and the actor in the audio book are pretty awesome (so I heard).

Anonymous said...

World war Z is an incredible book, especially when paired with the survival guide.