Currently, er… formerly reading

I’ve managed to blow through 4 books so far this year. I’m a pretty avid reader, but this is impressive, even for me. My goal for the year is 30, so I’m a little ahead of schedule (which is good as my current book Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman, while good, is slow reading).

So to start off the year I finished Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. I actually started this book last November, but I got behind and it was a loan from Libby, so I only got about 40-50 pages in before it was returned. I was able to reborrow it and finish it. I highly enjoyed it. It’s the fictionalized account of Zelda Fitzgerald and her legendary marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald. They had a tumultuous relationship, at best. It was interesting to see the story, fictionalization as it was, from her point of view. A must read for anyone interested in writers in the early 20th century. In many cases it reads as a who’s who of the 1920/30s literary scene.

Up next was Mind Hunter by John Douglas. I like the show, so I figured the book would be an interesting companion piece – the real story straight from the guy that lived it. There was a ton of information about the development of profiling, especially the early days. Some of what’s in the book is in the show, but as a highly fictionalized version. It was interesting to see the truth behind the Hollywood. Anyone with a passing interest in criminal psychology, profiling, or even the Netflix show should read it.

Third read this year was Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I enjoyed his last book, and I’ve enjoyed is specials/podcasts/appearances/etc., so I figured what the heck. This book is a compilation of letters that have been written to him and his responses, copies of his opEds, etc. Seeing his thoughts on the page in such a candid form was interesting and gives an interesting look into the way he thinks. His responses to the letters about religion, God, ethics, flat Earth, etc. are especially eye-opening. He rebutts these beliefs and is able to shut them down succinctly.

Lastly, there was Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I read the first three books in the Red Rising series a few years back, but I never read the fourth, and then the fifth came out last year. I could remember only vague things from the first three so I figured I’d go back and read the first three before tackling books four and five. It was reading this book that made me remember how much I loved this series and why. It’s got so many layers to it. Plots within plots within intricacies. Sci-fi. Fantasy. There’s an slight reminder of A Game of Thrones. It’s a great series, and I’m looking forward to getting to the next three books over the next year. I’ve got no timeline to when I want to have them done, but I have the feeling book six is going to be out sooner rather than later and I’d like to be caught up.

I’m currently reading Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman which is a biography of Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in all it’s iterations. It’s a slow read because of how much story there is to impart, but it’s fantastic. Anyone that’s a fan of Mr. Adams should definitely pick it up, borrow it from the library, etc. It’s got a lot of Gaiman’s humor with a twist of Adams’s. I’m enjoying it immensely.

So that brings us current on my reading situation. I’ve got a few other books that I’m picking at. They’re humongous so I’m really not seriously reading them. I’ll pick one up every so often and read 20-30 pages, but I’m not really in the mood to sit down and read something that big. Notably Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I’m hoping to hit the first Wheel of Time book this year, but we’ll see. Do I really want to start a fourteen book series where each book is 600+ pages? That just sounds like a lot. And I don’t know that I have the mental fortitude to dive into something like that.