Reading Books

Posted by me on Thursday, the 21st day of June, anno domini 2007 at 11:24 PM, local time.

Its interesting to me how a book can grab at you and pull you in. I started reading this newish (ok, I bought it new 5 or 6 months ago and it has sat on my queue since then) novel a couple days ago, but only got about 10-15 pages in, was tired and had a hard time focusing on the book. This was probably around 11:45pm or midnight or so. Not all that late, considering. The book sat there a few more days, unopened. I was just too tired to bother reading.

Last night, however, even though I was feeling a bit droopy-eyed, I thought I should really start reading it again and give it a bit more of a chance. Two hours later, I was wide awake and completely unconcerned that I would likely be a couple of hours late to work the next morning (not that I am usually concerned about such things anyway, as I’m sure many of you know). It was a very very good book. Still is, luckily, as these sorts of books are not short enough to finish in a single 4 or 5 hour stretch like some books not worth mentioning might be.

It is called Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I’m not yet done with it, so I can’t tell if its the first book of a series or not. I have read the author’s only previous work before, and it was also a spectacular work of fantasy. I was quite pleased and recommended it to all my friends (it was Elantris). It was a standalone book, as far as I can tell, though certainly I would be interested in reading more in the same world. I think probably everybody who likes a good fantasy book should read these (and keep an eye on this author. He was brand new to the writing world a mere 2 years ago, I think.)

Uncle Orson reviewed Elantris back way before it even came out, and thats why I picked it up in the first place. For those of you not in the know, Uncle Orson reviews everything at that site, from books to music to plays, movies, boardgames, ice creams, stores, and even toilet paper, if I recall one writeup correctly. He’s been doing this since 2001 and has them all online for your perusal. Sometimes I agree, and sometimes I don’t, but he has gotten me to read books, watch movies, and see television shows I might never have found or bothered with before. And yes, I have mentioned him before. He is also a great science fiction writer, author of Ender’s Game, Prentice Alvin, Homecoming: The call of Earth, and other such gems.

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While I’m on the topic…

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 9:14 PM, local time.

While I’m on the topic of Uncle Orson, I just thought I’d bring up something I realized the other day. Many of you likely will think it foolishness or boring, and rightly so, for it is foolish and boring. That is why it is in this category. If you don’t want to read about foolish and boring things, then move right along.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was recently reading Uncle Orson, whom I have been notorious in the past for agreeing with wholeheartedly, and thought to myself, wow, I really do agree with him on a lot of things. But, then I thought, thats not really all that good, for if he thinks all my thoughts, and I have no new ones of my own, what is the point of my own existence. Why not just hand the whole show over to Orson and let him take it from here? Seems simpler, really. Then I could just sit back and relax and do nothing. But, I realize that that is not a Good Thing.

So, I have decided that I do not always agree with Uncle Orson. By decree. (Note the previous post for an example, if you don’t accept my simple decree.)

So there. I am a different person (with a different name and everything) and thus my existence is partially justified. Now if only I could figure out what to do with the stupid thing…

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My God, what was she thinking???

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 9:00 PM, local time.

So, I have previously read all of the fantastical works of Robin Hobb, a female fantasy writer who only (relatively) recently burst on the scene with three great series, the Liveship series, the Assassin series, and the Tawny Man series. All three were great. A great cast, plots that were worth reading about, and while you might or might not come away from reading them with a new sense of wonder about the world you live in, or feeling closer to the core of your being, at least you got some enjoyment out of it!!

Now, coming off of all that greatness, she has released a new book. Shaman’s Crossing. A standalone novel in a new universe about a boy’s childhood and early adulthood learning to be a soldier. And to do so, he must defeat the evil tree woman. Yes, thats right, the evil tree woman. Now, throughout the entire book, I was hoping for a bit more, and just not finding it. There was a modicum of enjoyment, but the cast was shallow (really just one main character and a few supporters that you actually might give a crap about) and the plot was extremely stationary. The first several chapters were told in what appeared to be flashbacks, and so maybe you would expect to eventually get to the real story, but no, the last flashback just turned into the rest of the book and then you were done. The End.

So, really, I don’t know what she was hoping to achieve in this meager offering. I think she should go back to what she is good at: High Fantasy! Stop experimenting with this tripe and use your talents for good, not for evil!

Ok, just to step back a bit, overall, I didn’t completely hate the book. At no point did I fear that I would keel over for boredom, nor was I made a worse person for reading the book. But it didn’t change me in any good way either. Also, before you just take my word for it, you should probably know that Uncle Orson actually liked it quite a bit, which is saying something. Overall, I placed the book in the “That which need not be read” category (which wasn’t really intended for books to begin with, but here we are) and not in the “That which must be mocked” or “That which must be stomped upon” or “Those books which must be burned” categories.

But, it was also not placed into the “That which should be praised” or “Those books which must be read” categories, so, that says a lot too. It takes a lot for me to not really like a book. (Which very nearly calls into question the very existence of the bad-book and bad-movie categories on this site. They could, quite possibly, be rather empty of content for some time to come.)

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