Craig's Blog of Destiny » What I’m Reading
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    Folks are basically decent, conventional wisdom would say, but we read about the exceptions in the papers every day.
    - Neil Peart

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    Archive for the 'What I’m Reading' Category

    Next by Michael Crichton

    cover-next-sm.jpgMy father originally introduced me to Michael Crichton way back in the early 70’s.  Dad recommended that I read The Andromeda Strain and I’ve enjoyed reading Crichton ever since.  I do think The Andromeda Strain remains very near the top of the list of his best works; however, I don’t believe I’ve ever been disappointed.  Next is at least consistent in that way.

    I suppose that part of what he is trying to say in Next is that the world of genetic research is mostly unregulated and out of control.  He does that very well, but all that out of control material makes the novel a little scattered.  He does have a tendency to try to tell a number of stories within some of his novels, and thus often leaves me with the thought that I would have liked to have more …

    Isaac Asimov “is perhaps the best known – and certainly the best loved – of all SF authors” says the back of my copy of Foundation and Earth.  Well, not by this reader.  I find his writing to be overly simple and lacking in development.  Foundation and Earth was no exception.isaac-asimov.jpg
    While it may be that I would feel more magnanimous towards this book had I read the four Foundation books that precede it, I doubt it.  I can’t imagine that I would have been able to stay with them.  But I may have been more predisposed to some of the ideas of the book, and that’s about all this book has: ideas.  There is very little story, the characters …

    Orson Scott Card, like Robert Heinlein and Ken Follet, writes at least two very distinct types of books – in Card’s case at least one way they can be categorized is by their quality, some are very good, some not so good.  Hart’s Hope would fall into the very good category.
    While very much a fantasy tale, the style of Hart’s Hope is almost medieval, and the story itself is medieval in nature.  The setting is very much that of the dark ages, but with a feel for something even older in nature.  The brutality of the simple life of slaughter and the elegance of Kings and Queens clash in the tale of the rise of a power greater than our world could contain, and the young peasant type boy that brings about the fall of that power through his own tortured decisions and sacrifices.  This is not a story for …

    A Very Good Piece of Writing

    A few weeks ago I mentioned that one of the things I’m grateful for are good writers and the things they write.  Just after that I came across the following from the introduction to Orson Scott Card’s book, Hart’s Hope.  It’s about as good a piece of writing as I’ve seen in a long, long time.  I’ve edidted some out of the beginning, keeping just a paragraph to set the stage for what I’ve included.


    He came to her in her garden, where her women were draping her with flowers, which they must do every day of the spring.  “What is the name of the girl?” he asked.

    And she smiled at him, for he was a fit king.
    “May I live then?” he asked her.
    She nodded.
    “With my lifelong accoutrements intact?”
    The women giggled, but she did not laugh. She only nodded, gravely, once again.
    “Then may I risk my life again, and tell you that …

    Harry Potter

    Well, I’ve finished the final Harry Potter book and find that I have very little to say about it.  I’m glad it concluded, and in my opinion concluded quite well, though my original assessment of the series remains:  It’s at best a trilogy stretched out to seven books.  At best a trilogy, probably more like two good novels.   So many of the books are the same story told over and over again.  That being said, there is no denying the appeal of taking yourself away to Hogwarts, a place everyone in my family would love to live!  It’s a wonderful place to visit, again and again and again. 
                Although the story started being about Harry, and for the most part was all about Harry, I thought this last book really missed …

    I’m Reading…

    Ok, so here’s what I’ve been reading:

     I just finished Neil Peart’s book “Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times.”  Frankly, I was a little worried about liking it because I had read “Ghost Rider:  Travels on the Healing Road” and wasn’t that excited about it.  It seemed to me a little to much like a simple travelogue.  However, I believe this one, “Traveling Music,” was better written and much more enjoyable to read.  You probably need to be a Rush fan to find it terribly interesting, but of course, I am and I did.  One of my favorite passages is a description of Alex creating a lead solo.  He describes Alex as playing “with total abandon, total surrender, his body nodding and twisting like a puppet to his own fingers, rapt in the physical expression of his soul.”  In addition to the insights into the creation of some …

    What are you reading?

    I’m currently waiting for enough free time to write my first post in this category.  In the meantime, why don’t you tell me what YOU are reading?

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