Friday, March 11, 2011

A Reading Fantasy

I’m going to start talking about what I like to read by talking about what I’d like to read. During the summer, I try to make a reading list to stay on task. For the most part, I cover the list well, though I do take rabbit trails and find other titles I wasn’t expecting. Last summer, for instance, was taken over by science fiction. This summer, I’ve got a lot of fantasy coming my way.

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie has recently come to my attention, during one of my many browsings on Amazon. The premise sounds cool; the stories of those partaking in a three day battle with all the blood, pain, and heroism that goes with it. One thing I am is a premise guy. I love hearing a great premise. I wish I could come up with better ones, but no such luck. Back to the book, it’s received a lot of great reviews but, as with most of the books on this list, it’s in hardcover only. And hardcover is worth its weight in gold.

One book that has me very excited is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles and I’m ready to be reading it. The first book, The Name of the Wind, blew me away (excuse the pun). It was the first book in a long time to make me tear up and have a near heart attack. The writing was great and the story was as complete as I could have hoped. The biggest problem was that it left me wanting more, which is why there is a second book. It’s also in hardcover only.

Brandon Sanderson leads the Writing Excuses podcast I listen to and his books are pretty good too. This summer I’ve got his Mistborn trilogy to read, and I want to pick up his newest tome, The Way of Kings. Both have received rave reviews and I know, having read Elantris, that Mr. Sanderson is a great writer. This Christmas, my mom gave me the entire Mistbord series, and I can’t wait to crack into them. The Way of Kings is the size of a small car, though, and a time commitment, so I have to wait. The other problem with this book? Hardcover only. It’s as if the stores don’t want me to read these books, penniless pauper that I am.

So, in the world of paperbacks, there are two book series I’m eying with interest. The first is Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series. I’ve been hearing a lot of different things about this one, either highly positive or cautiously interested. It’s about thirteen volumes, and I’ve been lent the first book. I know Jordan has influenced Sanderson quite a bit, with Sanderson taking over writing duties after Jordan died. I’m more excited for this than I think I should be, especially with my fear of overly-long series, but we’ll see how I fair.

I’m also interested in reading The Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I haven’t heard much about this one; mainly that it’s a little grittier and that HBO is making a series based off of it. I’ve had one person tell me they love it and that’s about it. It will probably stay at the bottom of the pile, if only from the lack of information I have. But, since it’s in paperback, it might move up sooner than later.

That’s my reading list for the summer, or, at least the fantasy books. I think next I’ll talk about the sci-fi books I want to check out this break. Either way, I’ve got my reading cut out for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Do I Read?

What do I read? That’s not such a simple question. Most of my time is spent reading comics, especially during the school year. The reason for this is, basically, time. I can finish a trade paperback in one sitting, where a book will take more time. Not to mention the fact that my school’s interlibrary loan system allows for a constant input of comics, with no charge.

During the summer, I try to get my fiction intake, from both the local bookstore and library. Last summer, I had a great time reading all sorts of books, catching up on science fiction, fantasy, and other genres. It’s a lot of fun and I have the time to sit and read at my own pace.

When school is going on, my main reading comes in school books and my Christian literature (the latter I try to read all year long). I find reading my Christian books to be one the more refreshing things to do, helping me grow and keep my faith in mind. However, I can have a problem of reading only the literature and letting my Bible devotions take a hit. Not a good toss-up.

Now, when it comes to comics, I love my superheroes. No question, no argument. There are those, who for whatever reasons, stay away from superheroes and read all the world has to offer in other genres. Not me. I like my costume heroes fighting it out on rooftops. Sure, I have a few titles I follow with those in tights, but not much.

The summer reading, my fiction, is more varied, though I stay true to my geek roots. I love science fiction, my main source. I’ve been getting more and more into fantasy this year, mainly because of certain writers and books. I’m a bit ashamed how little I’ve read in the genre, but we’ll see how I fair after this summer. Michael Crichton isn’t a genre, but I love his stuff and usually read one or two of his books a year, though I’m running out of new stuff. I try to keep up a steady intake of classic literature, but fail more often than not.

This is such a small summary of what I read. Really, it all needs to be analyzed on an individual basis. Reading is very important to me. I stopped after I dropped out of high school and it was a sad, dark time. My vocabulary began to shrink and I couldn’t talk literature unless it had pictures. Over the past five years, I’ve really been making sure I read as much as I can and it feels great. I can’t wait to write more about it.