Published March 30, 2009
A lot of fans write to ask what I read for pleasure in my spare time (spare time?). These are the books I’m actively reading, in various formats, at the moment—a fairly diverse assortment.
Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley. The gorgeous cover design is enough to catch your attention immediately. This is an ambitious new fantasy novel with a Norse/Highlander flair. Well-written and engaging, but rather dense and opaque. It would have saved me a great deal of confusion if the author had included a glossary, or simply taken the time to explain the foreign words or concepts when he introduced them.
Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith. This is a vivid, swashbuckling, exciting high-seas adventure—exactly what I was looking for, and I a enjoying it immensely. Colorful historical details, bold heroes and villains, exotic landscapes, action and tragedy, twists and turns on an epic scale. I am definitely going to read more by this author.
Crusades: the Illustrated History by Thomas F. Madden. A thorough and accessible history of a very complex subject. I’m reading up on this period of history as research for the “Terra Incognita” books, and this is one of the best volumes I’ve found. Richly illustrated with maps, photos, and historical relics.
Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card. I have been a fan of Orson Scott Card since his first stories appeared in Omni magazine. I loved boty Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, and this direct sequel fits in between. Very interesting and engaging, and deals with a lot of aftermath concepts, political complexities. I am enjoying the book a lot, though it’s somewhat piecemeal and no really big events have happened . . . yet.
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. On my Kindle, on travel, I am reading an old classic I never picked up when I read a lot of Asimov in high school. Unfortunately, I should have read it when I was much younger and more prone to wonder. This was definitely a genre-changing book in its time, but I’m afraid it feels very dated now.