Monday, October 16, 2006

Well, it has taken me a bit longer than anticipated, but I finished my summer reading trifecta. I started a bit late (August) so finishing 3 weeks after summer is understandable.

I chose three classic science fiction novels for my reading material. Or so I thought. It turns out that the last book I read was less of a sf novel and more of a regular suspense/intrigue novel. Oh well - two out three ain't bad.

So here they are:

Dune by Frank Herbert

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Having a summer reading list is a great idea. It forces you to do something better than watching TV or surfing the net during the summer and, for me at least, it doesn't prevent you from getting some good fresh air. This is the first summer that I gave myself a reading list, but I think I'll do it from now on.

Here are three quick reviews of the books. Synopses can be found following the links

1. Dune. You must read this. Even if you don't like science fiction. It's not a super easy read and there are a lot of things to keep in your head, but the plot lines and character development are well thought out. Again - if you are looking for a book to read, read this one.

2. Stranger in a Strange Land. This was good. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. It has some very hippie undertones (free love and all) and I wouldn't let my 12 year old son or daughter read it, but it was good. It presents humanity in a light that I hadn't considered.

3. Cryptonomicon. Great story - just 700 pages too many (it was a slog just to finish it). Way too much sex - I don't need to read that. It is quite technical at times, in a very mathie sort of way. They cryptography ideas presented were interesting and the tie in to WWII was entertaining, but you had to endure many pages of unneeded narrative to get to the good parts. Every day I read this book, I considered stopping. But I got through it.

Now I'm bookless. Any suggestions on what to read next?


greg said...

By the lack of responses it seems you've stumped the panel with your latest question of what to read. Narrow down the choices with a genre perhaps?

In the wide spectrum of reading material here's my hat tossed into the ring.

The Fionavar Tapestry.

Of course, if you think King Arthur a wimp then this probably isn't for you.

Richard Siemens said...

Maybe my selection has scared people from suggesting something further. I'm not sure how many readers of this actually read sf...

I'll read anything. Well, anything except westerns and romance. But anything else, really...

Deborah said...

I'll chime in and say, yeah, I think you and I have different tastes in reading material! I'm always reading, but lately it seems to be mostly theology or how to live it type books.