Friday, June 6, 2014

10 books you should read

As in 10 book that I have read. Don't get mad if your fave isn't on this list. These are going to be very obvious to some. But there are still people who have not read these. I doubt my recommendation will push someone over the top, but maybe it will be another little nudge in the right direction. Besides, TV and film are great, but books give you more detail and insight into the characters. Added bonus, you can join the ranks of those who complain about how the book was better. Consider this my unofficial summer reading list.

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."
 I mean, come on. You are deprived if you have never read this piece of hilarious awesomeness. But don't panic. The world had not been scheduled for demolition as far as we know. Prepare to know what important question is answered by 42 as earth man Arthur Dent tries to survive the universe.

2. The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
It's the Hobbit. I don't think I should have to explain this one. But Tolkien's story of a simple hobbit who lives under a hill is a nice easy read. It's not as intense and dark as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but people love this book and story for a reason. Reading LOTR isn't a bad idea either.

3. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Personally, I think it has one of the best plot twists of all time. Also a great book if you feel like an outsider. Despite Card's seemingly nonacceptance of certain people, his Ender books are all about kids who are different because they were born that way. And their skills and intelligence are all that will stop an alien species from wiping out humanity. Worth noting, this novel is on a few real military recommended reading lists.

4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
Chabon is a great writer and this book eanred him a Pulitzer. It's a great story set against the backdrop of the Golden Age comic books where two Jewish cousins become big players. It's not sci-fi, fantasy, or even about comic book characters. It's just a really good book about a two guys in the industry.

5. Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
Don't let the movie spoil any desire you would have to read this book. The movie did have it's moments, but the book goes further into the social and political themes that the film just touched on. In fact, the movie had more bug killing action. But that is all the film has on the book. There is a reason why Starship Troopers is on the reading lists of most of the U.S. military. It is good and very good and well thought out.

6. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire - Timothy Zahn
Book one in what would also be known as the Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy, Heir to the Empire is considered my many (myself included) as the spark that ignited the expanded universe of Star Wars. The Expanded Universe exploded after Zahn took on Star Wars. If you had to read any Star Wars books, this is where you should start.

7. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
I know some may still consider this a YA novel, and I suppose for marketing purposes it is, but I consider it a good sci-fi novel. There is a reason why the films are so huge. The story of the Girl On Fire is intelligent and entertaining. And while Katniss Everdeen does get the boy in the end, it is not the boy who defines who she is.

8. World War Z - Max Brooks
I'm in the camp that says, "forget the movie." Seriously though. Forget it. The book is not about a hero. It's about a guy collecting the stories of people who survived a global zombie apocalypse. To say this book was well thought out is an understatement. Brooks comes up with convincing ways a zombie virus could actually spread and how a global war on the undead could be won.

9. The Blue Nowhere - Jeffery Deaver
Deaver is a prolific mystery/crime author who you might know as the guy who wrote The Bone Collector, which was then adapted into a movie starring Denzel Washington. This book is about a serial killer who is a hacker. He uses his cyber skills to stalk and trap his victims and the only hope of the investigators is another hacker. It is more crime than sci-fi, but nerds and the tech inclined might get a kick out of this one.

10. First Flight - Chris Claremont
Yes, that Chris Claremont. The guy that made the X-Men huge also wrote a few books. This one is the first in The High Frontier trilogy and it works very well on it's own.  This is the story of Lt. Nicole Shea on her first space mission that seems routine until the crew crosses paths with a band of space pirates. Lt. Shea will also unexpectedly make humanities first contact with an alien race. Chances are you will only find this trilogy online.

Your recommendations are appreciated, but I am backed up on things unread that sit on my bookshelf as it is.

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