I picked up KRAD’s A Singular Destiny from B&N the other day (along with a few other books, as B&N is a very dangerous place). Yesterday I read one passage that was a list of Starfleet casualties from the most recent Encounter of All Encounters with the Borg (said Encounter happened in David Mack’s Destiny Trilogy, which was an epic awesomely made of mother-fucking win. Seriously, if you haven’t, you should read that shit, even if you aren’t a hardcore fan). No, the casualty list wasn’t the laughing matter, because that would be more than fucked up. Instead, it was a “name” in the list. The name?
I had to double and triple check to make sure I read it correctly (I actually just checked again). Yep, Frak was in fact a Starfleet casualty. Yet realizing how long the list was, Frak wasn’t a frakking laughing matter any more. All those dead people. Frak, indeed.
My name is Jamie, and I’m a packrat.
…and I have lots of books. Lots. And a small apartment. And lots of books. But I’m loathe to give any away or sell them or get rid of them in any way. Because they’re, you know, books.
But after searching through my library (this means stacks of books in corners or in the middle of a room, books on various-size shelving units around the apartment), I’ve found three books that I’d like to unload.
Three books I’d love to unload because I loathe them—
- Idiot, Johnny Damon
- Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
- Shamela, Joseph Andrews
As you’ve probably asked yourself why, let me explain.
Idiot is a book written by a traitor. I want nothing more to burn it, but I cannot bring myself to burn any book, no matter how reviled.
Path of Daggers represents the promise of a story gone very, very wrong and never fulfilled.
Shamela represents the most tortuous of eighteen century literature and all my time spent in a level of hell that Dante missed. A level of hell that was Father K’s eighteen century lit class. (I won’t give the full name of the professor, that’s just mean, even for me). I was forced to take the class as a requirement. Already I didn’t like said literature, and the professor’s personality and method of conducting his class beat any appreciation I might have had out of me. Thoroughly.
Sometimes, I run out of reading material, but not really. I just run out of books that I haven’t read and can figure out which ones I haven’t, or if I do figure that bit out, which book to read first. I think it’s because of that charity book-bin compulsion. Or just seeing any used-book bin, or a free book bin. I just have to look and see what looks interesting. If it looks interesting enough, it becomes part of my collection. Once more out of reading material, and apparently bored for no reason, I went through my entire library (this doesn’t mean a room with shelves filled with books, this means books in rooms and sometimes on shelves), and pulled out all the books I’d yet to read.
I don’t know where to start. Actually, that’s a lie. I do. I’ve started with 1984 because I only pretend-read it in high school. See, they told me to read it, and of course, I didn’t. But recently (upon discovering a copy in a used book bin alongside Cliffs notes, Silas Marner, and Animal Farm), I realized that 1984 is exactly the sort of book I’d like—a dystopia. A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of two other books I possessed and hadn’t read—Fool’s Run and The Doomsday Book—and I liked both of them (Doomsday, I loved). So I’ve come to realize, a bit belatedly, that my friends know what I like. So, help me, dear friends, figure out what to read after 1984, and what to read after that. Here’s the book list:
- The Hall of the Mountain King, Judith Tarr
- The Lady of Han-Gilen, Judith Tarr
- Broca’s Brain, Carl Sagan
- Rusalka, C.J. Cherryh
- Ringworld, Larry Niven
- The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
- The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimov (actually, with this one, I just need to be convinced to finish the last five or so pages).
- The Oathbound, Mercedes Lackey
- The Gate to Women’s Country, Sheri S. Tepper
- Star of Danger, Marion Zimmer Bradley
- The City and the Stars, Arthur C. Clarke
- Catspaw, Joan D. Vinge
- Hellspark, Janet Kagan
- 17 Where Do We Go From Here?, Edited by Isaac Asimov
- Tunnel in the Sky, Robert A. Heinlein
- The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
- JOB: A Comedy of Justice, Robert A. Heinlein
- A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin (this is another ‘convince me to finish’ as I made it about halfway through and lost interest)
- American Empire: Blood and Iron, Harry Turtledove
- Magician: Apprentice, Raymond E. Feist (I vaguely recall reading this in middle school)
- Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson (yet again, convince me to finish after I stopped around halfway through)
- Everything’s Eventual, Stephen King
- Lisey’s Story, Stephen King
- The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman (I’ve read The Golden Compass)
- The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
- The Namesake, Jhumpra Lahiri
- Mona in the Promised Land, Gish Jen
- Lancelot, Walker Percy
- Guardian of the Horizon, Elizabeth Peters
- Butterfly Sunday, David Hill
- The Dark Side of Camelot, Seymour M. Hersh
- What If?, Edited by Robery Cowley