Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Summer Reading

During the spring semester I read functionally nothing other than science books; this summer I've been able to correct that trend. So, in the spirit of a back-to-school "what I did with my summer" post, here's what I read this summer (in chronological order):

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - I actually started this during the semester as reading just before I went to bed; it was decidedly OK (and often was very good at putting me to sleep). I did like the non-cliched start and interesting world Stephenson created, but could have done without all the sex in tubes (among other things).

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury - I didn't like the start of the book (it was a large shift from cyberpunk), but I quickly got into the evocative writing and loved the book. I read this shortly before going to ComicCon and attending a panel that had Ray Bradbury on it.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - A very good story, made even better because I'd recently been to London (where the story is set).

1984 by George Orwell - Still frighteningly realistic; I couldn't help but see some parallels between the Bush administration and the government of Oceania. War is peace.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - I needed a refreshing change from 1984, and this was it. I'd only seen the movie, and was impressed with the book.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling - My SO read this the day after it came out, and I read it within a few days of that. Good as always, but I liked the 5th book better (it felt less cliched).

xxxHolic by CLAMP (volumes 1-5, English translation) - One of the latest manga by CLAMP (whose work both my SO and I love), I've been enjoying the mix of cuteness and seriousness. The translation (by Del Rey) is excellent: it's not flipped (so it reads right to left, like the original), Japanese cultural references have been left in the text (and explained at the back of the book), and the honorifics have also been kept.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny - I've loved Zelazny ever since reading the Amber Chronicles; the guy can say more with one sentence than I do in entire paragraphs. This book took a little while to get into, but I liked the refreshingly different mix of sci-fi and religion. I already want to reread it, and I'm hoping my SO reads it soon so we can discuss it.

From Eroica with Love by Aoike Yasuko (volumes 1-3, English translation) - A classic manga that's only just now being translated into English. This series is a light-hearted spy caper set (and written) in the 1970's that's filled with non-explicit slash and a surprising amount of plot. I'm anxiously awaiting the 4th volume (which was just released in English).

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