Or, What I’ve Been Reading Lately.
It has been some time since I’ve posted anything about the Old Book Pile. A list of the books I’ve been reading is, after all, another great big Exercise in Self-Indulgence, right up there along with my Friday Random Ten.
It doesn’t make for the most exciting reading, these Lists of Miscellaneous Shit - not unless they are witty and humorous, such as the lists over at McSweeney’s - but they can be windows into one’s soul, and isn’t that what all of this Bloggery is all about, anyway? Trying to interest total strangers in the most mundane and useless aspects of our unexceptional lives?
So with that long-winded preface out of the way, let’s take a look at what Old Uncle Elisson has been reading over the last couple of months, shall we?
- A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore
It’s a tough job being the Angel of Death, but somebody’s gotta do it...
- Into The Wild - Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer tells the true story of a young man who wandered off into the primeval forest of Alaska, eventually starving to death.
- No Touch Monkey: and Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late - Ayun Halliday
A collection of Cautionary Tales and reminiscences by a footloose young lady.
- The White City - Alec Michod
A murder mystery set in Chicago during the Great Exposition of 1893.
- Quantico - Greg Bear
Fighting religious terrorism in the (near) future.
- The Day Lincoln Was Shot - Jim Bishop
I first read the Reader’s Digest condensed version of this book when I was about ten years old...an hour-by-hour chronicle of the events leading up to Lincoln’s assassination.
- Tepper Isn’t Going Out - Calvin Trillin
Is Tepper a philosopher, a pundit, a troublemaker, or just a Random Nutcase? Whatever he is, he’s not giving up his parking place.
- One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong’s Stellar American Journey - Leon Wagener
Fascinating biography of the first human to set foot on another planet. Curiously rife with little errors that should have been caught by an astute editor.
- Absurdistan - Gary Shteyngart
Hysterically funny novel about a Russian-American trying to secure a new national identity in the most bizarre of places.
- A World Of Difference - Harry Turtledove
Harry Turtledove, the master of Alternative Reality novels, looks at contact with an inhabited Mars...in an alternative world in which Mars is called Minerva.
- The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai - John Tayman
The subtitle tells it all. For me, light vacation reading.
- Sunstorm - Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
Aliens attempt to sterilize Earth by screwing around with the Sun.
- Time’s Eye - Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
I should have read this one before I read Sunstorm, but what the hell. Aliens create an alternative Earth consisting of intermingled bits from various time periods. Genghis Khan meets astronauts and Alexander the Great! Less ridiculous than it sounds.
- The Founding Fish - John McPhee
- Grease Monkey - Tim Eldred
Graphic novel cobbled together from numerous episodes of the Grease Monkey comic strip of the 1990’s. The adventures of a young man and his intelligent gorilla mentor in an Earth-orbit battlestation.
- The Grapple - Harry Turtledove
The USA and the Confederates duke it out in an alternative World War II.
Enough for now, don’tcha think? It’s certainly a Mixed Bag o’ Books, but for the most part, I enjoyed every one.
I would read more, too...except this damned Bloggery gets in the way!