Currently Reading…

16 11 2010

November SciFi/Fantasy Book Club Selection: Look to Windward, a space opera by Iain M. Banks.

It is available in paperback and e-book form, but not in audio (BUMMER).  I’m reading the e-book version on my Nook.

Jacket Description: The Twin Novae battle had been one of the last of the Idiran war, and one of the most horrific: desperate to avert their inevitable defeat, the Idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds and biospheres teeming with sentient life. They were attacks of incredible proportion — gigadeathcrimes. But the war ended, and life went on.

Now, eight hundred years later, light from the first explosion is about to reach the Masaq’ Orbital, home to the Culture’s most adventurous and decadent souls. There it will fall upon Masaq’s 50 billion inhabitants, gathered to commemorate the deaths of the innocent and to reflect, if only for a moment, on what some call the Culture’s own complicity in the terrible event.

Also journeying to Masaq’ is Major Quilan, an emissary from the war-ravaged world of Chel. In the aftermath of the conflict that split his world apart, most believe he has come to Masaq’ to bring home Chel’s most brilliant star and self-exiled dissident, the honored Composer Ziller.

Ziller claims he will do anything to avoid a meeting with Major Quilan, who he suspects has come to murder him. But the Major’s true assignment will have far greater consequences than the death of a mere political dissident, as part of a conspiracy more ambitious than even he can know — a mission his superiors have buried so deeply in his mind that even he cannot remember it.

Hailed by SFX magazine as “an excellent hopping-on point if you’ve never read a Banks SF novel before,” Look to Windward is an awe-inspiring immersion into the wildly original, vividly realized civilization that Banks calls the Culture.

My Impressions So Far: I am enjoying it, but it is an exhausting read.  It is indeed wildly original and vividly realized, but it uses fictional words to describe fictional beings and there are NUMEROUS different life forms in the book.  I have never wanted one of my books to have pictures in it more in my life!

Status: I am highly unlikely to finish it before club tonight, but that doesn’t mean I won’t finish it.

Also Reading: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book One) by Rick Riordan.

Yay, this one is on audio so I’m listening to this when we trek the ATT and when I’m driving around.

December SciFi/Fantasy Book Club Selection: Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1) by Jim Butcher.

This is also on audio, so it should be easier to complete!


Currently Reading

24 08 2010

For this month’s science fiction selection for our sci-fi/fantasy book club, we are reading To Say Nothing of the Dog OR How We Found The Bishop’s Bird Stump At Last by Connie Willis.

Yes, I broke down and bought a Nook (and I love it), but my convoluted reasoning has totally justified the probably unnecessary purchase. I like to make notes in books when I’m reading (the library frowns on this practice, btw) so I was buying each book we discussed (that’s over 3 years of books). Now I never thought I’d find books that I didn’t like, but *gasp* they are out there and my club has a penchant for selecting them (think dark apocalyptic science fiction and I’ve probably faked my way through a discussion of it). Over time that adds up to quite a collection of books I never want to see again (a box full-holler if you are interested in any otherwise I’ll be donating to the library in our club’s name).

Since this struck me as wasteful (I love a good book, but why kill a tree for Lord Foul’s Bane?), I started getting eBook versions of book club books if they were available. One thing led to another and Friday found me at the local Barnes & Noble laying out for a Nook. Monday found me getting it a screensaver (it has a touchscreen and a groovy no-glare reading screen) and a protective sleeve (gotta protect my investment and points for style). The ease in reading or even browsing for books is amazingly addictive.

I’m sure I’ll gush more about the Nook later, but back to the book IN the Nook!

I don’t think I would have found this book on my own, but I’m glad the club picked it. I’m 55 pages in so far, have only an inkling of a clue as to where this ride is take me, and I’m loving every page of it.

I’ll update later when I’m further along, but right now I want to READ before work calls me back.