Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's been a month, part 3: books!

I have WAY TOO MANY books open right now (listed below).  Again, I make no distinction between physical, kindle, and audible books.

  • Dune, by Frank Herbert: I re-read it just prior to the "camping" trip.  It's still great.
  • The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson: The boys and I are reading through this via audible while waiting for the next book in the Stormlight Saga (also by Brandon Sanderson).
  • The Magicians, by Lev Grossman: I made it about halfway through this before putting it down.  I'll probably pick it up again at some point, but there's nothing compelling enough about it currently to keep me reading (aside from the reviewers' assurances that it is great as a series).  You end the first half of this book only really rooting for one of the main characters, and not really caring about any of them.  My hope is that the relative mess that the first half of the book represents is set-up for the rest of the series.
  • Turn Coat (The Dresden Files), by Jim Butcher: I'm a big Jim Butcher fan, and found myself behind in the series by several books.  I made it about 20% into the book when Armada came out, and decided to put it down in favor of that one.
  • Armada, by Ernest Cline: I've been waiting for Ernie's second novel for quite a while now (as have lots of Ready Player One fans).  I'm about 35% into it and am enjoying it quite a bit so far.  I haven't read many reviews, but I hear that they're very mixed.  I'll defer until finishing, then post my own.
  • The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse, by Red Pine: This is a book I picked up on our hiking trip in Utah.  Tanya doesn't understand how it can be classified as poetry (since Russian has a very strict definition).  I find it to be very calming, and read it when I need a bit of centering.
  • Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana: Speaking of centering, this book came highly recommended by several of our coworkers that realize that meditation is good for you.  Honestly, it's hard to get through for me, because I'm so far away from that state of mind typically.  Tanya is very interested though, so that keeps me reading a bit at a time.
  • The Analects of Confucius, translated by Roger T. Ames: Confucianism is one of the oldest and most lasting ethical and philosophical systems on the planet.  A lot of people consider it a religion, but at its roots it is a way of living, not a world view in and of itself.  Some people might call that a semantic difference, but I think there's an ocean of meaning between the rational and dogmatic implications...
  • The Search (Avatar: The Last Airbender): I've been a fan of this series since it first started airing.  The boys were young enough at the time that I could use them as an excuse to watch it.  Then, within the last year, Tanya and I binged the entire series on Netflex.  It turns out that it's compelling to adults (or can be, at least).  It ends with a bit of unfinished business, however.  This book (which is a collection of the first three parts of this "season" of Avatar) resolves that storyline.
  • Hoard of the Dragon Queen (D&D Adventure): This is the first of two D&D adventure books the boys and I are playing through.  As the DM, I'm reading ahead far enough to tell a good story but not so far as to prejudice any of my NPCs.  However, I typically have to read the sections two or three times to make sure I thoroughly understand and can recall the salient facts.  If you're looking for a gateway to the drug that is table-top role-playing games, I recommend picking up this book.
I don't think I've had this many books in flight since I was in college.  Honestly, I'm best if I can focus on a single book at a time.  Having to split my attention too many ways results in me not paying enough dedicated attention to any of them to make the effort worthwhile.  Surely I'm not the only person like this, am I?

Two more posts in this series to go -- Fitness and Work.  Fitness will be done soon!

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