Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

Title: Outlander (Outlander series #1)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Paperback: 850 pages
Publisher: Dell/Random House
Published date: 1991
FTC: bought at library book sale

Over the years I've heard a lot of buzz about Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  Sometimes it sounds so appealing: set in the 1700's during Scotland Jacobite Risings  (wanting to return the "rightful" king James II to the throne -- it failed).  That sounds like something I'd love.  Then there's the time travel thing: a WWII nurse gets thrown back in time.  Ok, a bit odd but still sounds intriguing.  But THEN - it's listed as a romance as well.  Hmm.  Not as much up my alley.  But when I saw it listed #89 on NPR's Top Sci-Fi/Fantasy list I thought, ok.  Let's give it a whirl.  I needed something light, fun, and absorbing during my Christmas vacation.  Little did I know I'd be stuck in a massive 850 page book.

Back of the book:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon -- when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British  Isles.  Suddenly she is a Sassenach -- an "outlander" -- in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart.  For here James Fraser, a gallant young warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

My thoughts:

Honestly, for much of the book I kept just wanting to get to the end.  I think I was 400-ish pages into and thinking - really, I have ANOTHER 400 pages to go??  Well, I had already invested so much time that I figured I'd just ride it out.

To be fair though, there were a lot of aspects of the book I enjoyed.  I am so intrigued by the setting.  I've always loved this part of history where, probably had I lived back then and there I too would be part of the Jacobite movement.  Does anyone know of any other books set during this period that they would recommend?

I also enjoyed Claire's medical background and her knowledge and use of herbal remedies.  I am currently reading a non-fiction book, The Discovery of Jeanne Baret, which is also about a woman (disguising as a man) who was knowledgeable of herbs and medicines set in 1765.  So I loved digging more into this aspect of history.

And to be even more fair, when there was action and adventure in the book, it was a fun absorbing tale.  Diana Gabaldon is a good descriptive writer and the story is fun.

My main problems though are 1) the length and 2) the way too many bedroom scenes. While she is great at writing description and setting the scene and making the reader really care about the characters -- it's no great feat when packing it into a huge ol' tome.  Seriously.  I really don't want to read the rest of the books because I just don't think I can spare the time.  Which comes to romps in the hay. (Which there really was one in the book -- which is so unrealistic.  Hay is NOT comfortable.)  Goodness.  I get mentioning their first time or so but I really started skimming the book when every. single. time. they did it was mentioned.  In detail.  Sheesh.

I also thought that it was highly "coincidental" that Claire's loving husband from 1945 just happens to have an ancestor who looks exactly like him and is the most horrible villain in 1743.  Hmm.  And the whole end of the book (I'm talking about what happens to Jaime - no spoilers here) is quite disturbing.

So -- to sum it up:

I get the attraction to the book.  I do like the characters of Claire and Jamie.  I love the Scottish Jacobite setting, and the time travel thing is kind of cool.  BUT -- the length and the amount of skimming I ended up having to do is just not worth my time.

That said, I would totally love to see it made into a movie.  Staring, say, this guy (I know Jamie is a red-head but whatever...)
Photo taken from Fly High's hilarious post

Have you read this book or more of the series?  What are your thoughts?

Also Reviewed by:

Fly High
Literate Housewife
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Historical Tapestry
Age 30+ A Lifetime of Books (on the first three in the series)
Outlandish Dreaming (on visiting Scotland: Loch Ness: Culloden)

Cinder Audiobook Winner!

I'm so excited to announce the winner of the Cinder audiobook by Marissa Meyer.  I absolutely adored this sci-fi fairytale.  You can check out my review.

The winner is:
Dawn M.!!!

Of the upcoming books in the series, Dawn says she's looking forward to reading Scarlet - the take on the Little Red Riding Hood story.  Since I'm loving the show Once Upon a Time, I can't help but picture her like this:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scored - Lauren McLaughlin

Title: Scored
Author: Lauren McLaughlin
Hardcover: 226 pages
Publisher: Random House
Published Date: October 2011
FTC: Won from Random House Teens Random Buzzers

Random House has a cool website for teen and YA books called Random Buzzers.  If you've never checked it out and like that type of book, head on over.  By registering, you can participate in a ton of cool things - contests, chats with authors, cool extras from books.  By participating too, you can chock up buzz bucks and use them to get books.  Very cool idea.  I somehow won a copy of Lauren McLaughlin's dystopian book Scored -- and you know how I love a good dystopian book.

Back of the book:

Forget your family. Forget your friends. You are your score. Score above 90, and you're set for life -- a full college scholarship, the career of your dreams...  Score below 75, and you've got a tough life ahead of you, kid.

Imani LeMonde has worked hard, and one month away from high school graduation, she's a 92.  Unfortunately, her best friend, Cady, is a 71 and falling fast.  And now Diego -- brilliant, iconoclastic, and unscored -- wants Imani for a study partner.  The score-positive choice is clear: Think of your future. Stick with your score gang. Ditch these losers. But something about being scored isn't feeling quite right to Imani anymore.  ScoreCorp - the giant software company whose intelligent, ever-present cameras watch everybody's every move -- says the score is meant to create upward mobility.  But who benefits in ScoreCorp's brave new world?  Is any future worth dumping your best friend for?  Imani will have to decide fast - because once the final score is in, there's no looking back.

In Scored, Lauren McLaughlin builds an insidiously dystopian world, set in a future that's just a little too close for comfort.  What's your score?

My thoughts:

This has to be one of the most realistically possible dystopian books I have read in a long while.  While books like The Hunger Games (my review) and Divergent (my review) are exciting and chock full of action - Scored is disturbing in more realistic ways.

In this future, a huge economic decline called the Second Depression closed down many of the more affordable universities and colleges.  Only the very wealthy get to go to college.  Thus the rise of ScoreCorp.  Imani's hometown of Somerton, a marina town on the decline, is a test town for ScoreCorp.  Almost everywhere she goes, there are eyeball cameras hanging down and watching everything that happens.  Every action is judged and your score is based on that.  Even just being friends with someone who's a "lowbie" or an unscored can damage your score -- which is what happens to Imani.

I thought this was a very interesting and inventive story.  Taking the SAT and ACT score thing to a whole new level, I could actually believe in the eyeball thing too after being in London where virtually everywhere you go in public is being videotaped by CCTV.

Imani is an awesome character to follow.  Her parents struggle to run a bait shop by the marina, she drives her own boat and catches what she can to help out. Her dream is to go to college for marine biology so she can figure out how to help the ecological system of her declining marina.  Struggling with the concept that just by associating with her friend Cady, her score has plummeted, she tries to do the right thing by going to the adults for help: her parents who don't understand at all having never been through the score process, her history teacher who is awesome and rebels against the score but he can because he has tenure, and her creepily score-happy principle.

I loved the character of Diego.  For a reason I don't want to spoil, he is an unscored - either rich enough to not need a score to get into college or some parents and students just don't want to bother with the score for their own reasons.  Diego is very smart and I personally love that he names something (another I don't want to spoil thing) Chaos Foundation - an homage to the Isaac Asimov Foundation Trilogy I'm currently reading.  How cool is that?!  I also loved that Imani - besides having a really cool unique name, is part African-American.  You can sort of tell on the cover.  McLaughlin writes the whole setting and characters so well that I can almost picture it as a movie.  Very cool.

The only thing that might put people off - especially YA audience - is that while there's great characters and a bit of attraction thing between Imani and Diego, the story is mainly about ScorpCorp and the pros and cons of being scored.  In fact Imani and Diego's main interaction is debating about the score - which in the story works but it might not be enough "romance" for the YA audience.  For me, it was a fresh change from some of the Team Edward/Jacob/Peeta/Gale thing.  It's smart.

If you are interested, you can go to Lauren McLaughlin's website and read the first two chapters.

Also Reviewed by:

Becky's Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Freedom from Censorship

I was going to post a review today (and my belated Foundation Part 2 answers) but then I heard of the SOPA Strike.  I know I'm not "striking" by posting this but I wanted to get the word out and if you read about it and agree - you can sign the petition.

I think that the USA is on the cusp of huge decisions right now.  With the absolute head spinning advancements in technology that affect us all everyday, our government is trying to keep up with the times.  However, there is a fine line between trying to keep up with technology and passing laws and bills that actually infringe upon our Constitutional Rights.  Some people may think "No way could the government get away with blatant infringement!"

You only have to look at the Patriot Act (which the American Library Association has been against since it passed*) to see that there ARE blatant un-Constitutional things going on.  It's up to us to challenge it and stand against those infringements.  In years to come, will our children or children's children be reading in history books about this time period and wondering why we didn't step up and stop the stripping away of our Rights?

SOPA Strike Information

Head over to SopaStrike.com tons of information and check out all the websites that are participating - such as Wikipedia, Boing Boing, and more.

Read more about SOPA and PIPA - censor the Web, stifle jobs and innovation, and still won't prevent piracy

Watch this video:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo


 Sign the petition

* Check out the ALA's stance on the Patriot Act

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coming Soon

I thought I'd mention just a few books that have hit my radar recently.  I've been pretty bad blogging about recent book acquisitions but there are also other books I just want to throw out.  It also keeps me from having tons of scraps of paper laying around.  So here we go:

Charles Todd

What hole have I been hiding in that I have not heard of this guy's books before?  I first heard of him a couple days ago over a Book Club Girl where she talks about the movie War Horse, WWI and Charles Todd.  Todd's books center around WWI and it seems he's got two popular series going: Inspector Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse.  A Duty to the Dead is the first in the Bess Crawford series I think I'm going to HAVE to check out.

It seems like with War Horse and with the popular (and yes I'll admit I was watching last Sunday yay!!) Downton Abbey series on PBS, WWI history is IN.  And if you want more Downton Abbey reading stuff, check out this New York Times article.  Fun stuff.

(P.S. - Sad moment for me.  My husband will NOT stop making fun of me because I kept calling the show Downtown Abbey.  I KNOW the Abbey was called Downton but for some reason the title made me think of Upstairs Downstairs, especially after watching the new one that came out last year.  Ok. I know.  I've been duly corrected and feel very silly.)

In February I'm going to have the chance to review Matthew Pearl's new book The Technologists for TLC Book Tours.  Do you remember this post where this book is on my wish-list?  Yay!  A few years ago I reviewed his book The Last Dickens (my review) and will be also reading another book I have on my shelf, The Poe Shadow.

In March I'll be reviewing a couple other books for TLC Book Tours.  How cool do these sound?

Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison
Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution, Rasputin's daughter, the Prince Alyosha -- looks awesome.

The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn
East Texas, a daughter presumed dead and then a phone call, a police dispatcher and a comparison to No Country for Old Men.

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
Aging Russian ballet star puts her antique jewelry up for sale, reminisces about her past and the perhaps secret hidden within her jewels.   Ooooo.

This one isn't for TLC Tours but it's on my bookshelf and has been calling to me to read it.  Then I saw that TLC is hosting and I thought, perfect timing!  I love reading a book and then seeing a lot of different reviews that I can check out.

Veiled in Shadows by Allan Russell
I little while ago I splurged and bought a book that I've been eyeing for a while.  I've been a big fan of Allan's blog Publish or Perish.  He lives in Melbourne, Australia and he posts the coolest photos of Melbourne and his travels around the area.  The book is about WWII and centers around an SS guard and what happens when his love, a half-German heiress disappears.   I definitely love WWII novels.  I also love love the cover he chose.

Ok. That's it for now!  Rocket is rolling around on the floor and keeps eating carpet.  How do you stop a baby from eating carpet?  Here he is on Christmas opening presents.  We gave him another haircut a few days after so he now looks like a little boy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Foundation Group Read Part 1

I am so excited to be participating in Carl's Group Read of Isaac Asimov's The Foundation.  In the email he sent with the questions, he mentioned that he will be hosting group reads of the other two books in the trilogy.  Yay!  I finally get to read this book that I inherited from my dad that has the whole trilogy.  Also, it will knock off #8 on NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy list.  This time (unlike when I listened to The Lantern) I didn't charge ahead past the designated stopping point.  If you are joining along or just want to see what Carl or others are saying about the first half of the book, head over to Stainless Steel Droppings.

1) For the purpose of satisfying curiosity, is this your first time reading Foundation or have you read it before?

I had tried reading The Foundation a few years ago and got probably close to this point when I stopped. I remember liking how it started out and then getting bogged down in the details.

2) For those who have read it before, how has it held up to your memory/feelings about previous reads?

I really enjoy, as I did now, Part One: The Psychohistorians.  Perhaps because I majored in history and love the idea of psychohistorians analyzing and using statistics and mathematics to predict future events.  I am also amazed at how Asimov set up the story with Gaal Dornick going to Trantor and how in just a few short pages a whole world is created. I think I still got bogged down at the same place in Part Three: The Mayors with all the political talk and dealings.  This time, I read The Foundation out loud to Rocket as I fed him a bottle and for some reason reading it out loud helped me get through it much easier.

3) For those reading Foundation for the first time, what expectations did you have going in and has it met them or surprised you in any way?

For me, I am still amazed that even though this was written in 1951, it does not seem dated at all. That and I feel like some modern writers can learn a lot from writers like Asimov. You don't need to write a 800+ page book to get across the point. Asimov can pack a lot in a small punch. I always think The Foundation sounds like a huge chunkster but it isn't.

4) What are your thoughts about the structure of the novel thus far? (I am referring to the brief glimpses of different parts of the history of the Foundation with big time gaps between events in the novel)

I actually am really loving this part. I feel omniscience this way. By jumping the time gap we are able to see how the pieces fit together much better.  I think it takes a little getting used to though because in most novels or books the reader follows a character or protagonist. I guess Hari Seldon could be the main protagonist but he is old and dies in the first part.

5) What are your initial thoughts on the field of psychohistory?

I think it is ingenious.  I really think it could be possible.

6) What, if anything, is holding your interest thus far, what are you enjoying about Foundation?

I think the psychohistory part is fascinating and I want to see how Hari Seldon's predictions come about.  I also love the similarities between the fall of the Galactic Empire and the period of barbarism that is predicted is so similar to the fall of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages.  In my library and information science classes, they are also concerned with a future "dark" age if all of our information is stored on computers and based on a technology to access, what happens if that technology fails?  Anyway.  I am still looking forward to reading more of The Foundation.

7)What, if anything, are you not enjoying about Foundation?

I was pleasantly surprised that the political talk I found in Part Three: The Mayors, wasn't what I remembered and I was interested in that part of the story as well.  Carl had us stop at a pretty good point with the heightened tension as Salvor Hardin is heading towards Anacreaon and possibly his doom.  Oooo.  I am a bit disappointed that there's no female characters, as yet, but Carl mentioned a few strong female characters in the next two books in the trilogy.

8) You may have covered this in answering the other questions, but if not, what are your thoughts/feelings about the Galactic Empire.  Is it a practical thing to have a galaxy spanning government? Can you imagine such a thing and do  you think it would work?

I totally find that believable.  It seems like throughout history, empires are never quite happy with what they have and are continually trying to expand - which often leads to destruction.  It's always harder to control and manage larger populations with different cultures, geographies, religions, etc.  The Greeks, the Romans, the Roman Catholics, the Byzantines, the Greek Orthodox, the Russians, the Germans, the list goes on and on.  Even our own country, I think, is starting to get too Federally run which only makes it harder to manage.  There are benefits as well as drawbacks to having such a large spanning government.

9) What are your thoughts on Hardin's creation of a religious system in which to house scientific ideas and technology while keeping the users of that science and technology in the dark?

I think that it is quite brilliant.  I could absolutely see that happening.  What is harder to imagine is the priests who believe while working behind the scenes.  It's difficult imagining that but I could see it happening at the same time.  I almost see that in some of Earth's history.  Perhaps this is what the Egyptians and other cultures did - set up their kings as gods and coerce the population into submission using "magic."  It's quite fascinating.

Ok that's it!   I'm looking forward to finishing it up and then joining in with Carl's future group reads of the rest of the trilogy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Silent in the Grave - Deanna Raybourn

Title: Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia #1)
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Paperback: 511 pages
Publisher: MIRA
Published date: 2007
FTC: won a contest from Historical Tapestry

I won the first two books in Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia series a while back from Historical Tapestry.  I thought this would be a good vacation book to read in December so I picked it up.  My verdict?  Eh.  It's a good escape book to read on the beach, in a bubble bath, or at a ski resort lodge.  But...it didn't wow me like I was hoping.  I normally do a back of the book summary but I'm not liking it as well.  So here's

My summery:

The book starts out in London in 1886 like this:

"To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate.  Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor."

Lady Julia Grey's husband has always been sickly so his death was not quite unexpected.  However, the mysterious Nicholas Brisbane tells Lady Julia that Edward had been threatened and was afraid for his life.    For instance, this threat was torn from the pages of Psalms:

"Let the wicked be ashamed and let them be silent in the grave." 

At first Lady Julia scoffs at Brisbane's idea that Edward could have been murdered.  But after going through Edward's possessions, she decides that Brisbane might be on to something and hires him.

Lady Julia and Brisbane proceed to solve the mystery and some attraction between the two ensues.

My thoughts:

Ok.  I'll admit it wasn't bad.  I enjoyed the literary quotes at the beginning of each chapter that pertained to the story.  Lady Julia was a pretty good heroine and I enjoyed seeing her start to break out of her conservative shell that she had been stuck in during her, let's say, blasé marriage.  Brisbane is a pretty cool character too and I enjoyed that he wasn't a Sherlock Holmes knockoff or a "deadly handsome" character.  In fact, I really could never quite envision what Lady Julia or Brisbane look like.  Not sure why.

The mystery was ok.  Some red herrings.  I enjoyed the digging into the underbelly of Victorian era London.  If sometimes I thought that Lady Julia's family seemed a little too modern for the time period, it still was entertaining and it worked.  So what do I know?

My problem is that it just didn't hook me.  I kept 500+ pages I kept getting antsy for the story to get going and for it to end.  I also have the second book in the series Silent in the Sanctuary and am not sure when I'm going to get around to reading it.  I will eventually.

I was pleasantly surprised that while this series had been on my to-read list for a long while, I had only recently realized that it's classified under romance - granted historical fiction and mystery as well - but I was nervous it would be too romancy for me.  That wasn't the case. 

Have you read it?  What were your thoughts?  Does the series get better and should I give her other books a chance?

The above cover is the small paperback version I have.  Here's what looks like a more modern version:

Similar to my copy but with a different top:

This one's kind of different:

Also Reviewed By:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cinder Audiobook Giveaway!

After posting my review on Marissa Meyer's new book Cinder, I was contacted by Macmillan and asked if I wanted to do an audiobook giveaway.  O yes I do!

I had a small problem uploading the audio so The Book Pushers (they have a giveaway too!) were nice enough to share their audio link.  Just listen to this:

What do you think?  Awesome, right?

All you have to do is follow these instructions to enter:

1) Enter the form below.
2) You must include the answer to this: What fairy tale character do you think will be your favorite one in the Lunar Chronicle series?  (Hint: Check out my review for a preview of what the characters will be in the next books.)
3) USA mailing address only
4) Contest is open through January 20th

Extra entries
+1  If you are a follower
+1each  Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. (please provide link)

Good luck everyone!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Paperback: 387 pages (ARE version)
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends/ Macmillan
Published date: January 3, 2012
FTC: received from publisher for review

Yippee skippee!  I love books like this.  I got the dreaded cold a couple days ago and stayed in bed and tried not to kiss my little baby boy.  But the good news was that it gave me time to read devour Cinder in one day.  You can read an excerpt here at MacMillan.  The book also just came out today so you can go read it all now if you have a copy.

I first heard of Cinder over at Shelf Awareness.  Head over there because they devoted a whole Maximum Shelf to it back in November.

Let me just say that Cinderella as cyborg = awesome.  I loved her classic fairy tale story mixed with science fiction and fantasy.

Back of the book:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.

My thoughts: 

I thoroughly had fun with this book.  I think the only problem is that I was trying to explain to my husband the plot and he just gave me a blank look. Ok. It IS a lot to pack into a story line.

Cinderella is a cyborg. For those of you who may be confused, Cinder was in an accident when she was little and had to be fitted with a ton of machine and computer parts.  Does this make her any less human? Apparently this society believes cyborgs are second class citizens.

There's a plague. There's a Prince. There's the evil step-mother and the step-sisters. There's a ball. There's a cool spin on the glass slipper. There's an evil queen -- from the moon! See. Quite a bit to pack into a book. I'll admit that the evil queen aspect starts getting a little weird, but it works and I'm curious to see how the story progresses with that.

Most people have given this book an amazing review and loved it - I am among those. I did read one review that there was a lack of Asian culture references even though it was set in New Beijing. Honestly, I didn't really think that was the case. I think this would have to be a much bigger chunkster and possibly a non-YA book if it became that detailed.

I'm already looking forward to the subsequent books. It's definitely one that ends with a "What??!! I want to know what happens next!!" I also want to see this as a movie. I love that it's set in New Beijing and I envisioned the Bladerunner movie when I read about hovercraft and cyborgs being second class citizens.

As for the story, I love Cinder's humanity. She wasn't perfect. She got pissed, annoyed, scared, angry -- I love my heroines to be un-perfect. I also loved the side characters. Often we get to read Prince Kai's perspective which I loved. His struggle to basically man-up, grow up, and become a leader all while going through personal tragedy. My other favorite characters were Peony, one of Cinder's step-sisters, and Iko, Cinder's android friend.

Yay! I just read this on Shelf Awareness:

At this point, Szabla has the manuscript for the second book, Scarlet (inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and scheduled for winter 2013), but has not yet seen a draft of the third book,Cress (based on Rapunzel, slated for winter 2014). Winter, the conclusion rooted in Snow White, will be published in winter 2015. "The intertwining starts right away in book two," Szabla said, referring to the way the other fairytale heroines will enter Cinder's story. Meyer is in complete control of her story, she said: "It's airtight."

I love that Meyer is brining other fairy tale characters into the story.  I'm curious to see how she pulls it off.

Past chronicles:

On Goodreads I found there was a prequel to Cinder's story, Glitches.  Head over to Tor's website for the free short story.  How awesome is the artwork?  There's a whole post on how the artist, Goni Montes, created the artwork.
Glitches artwork by Goni Montes

Alternate cover:

Also while perusing Goodreads, I came across this alternate cover.  While I love the red slipper with the cyborg part showing, this one is super cool too.  You can see she cyborg leg and hand:


Cinder is also available as an audiobook.  Listen to a clip here!

Also Reviewed By:

The Book Pushers
Bookshelves of Doom
So Many Books, So Little Time

Books from Blah to Basically Amazing (History of the Lunars)

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Sci Fi Experience

It's that time again!  Carl V. over at Stainless Steel Droppings is again hosting the 2012 Science Fiction Experience.  I've only joined in once before back in 2009 where I read a whopping 10 books!! You can check out my post and review links here.  The last couple of years were absolutely crazy so I am so excited to be joining in again this year.  I've been perusing library book sales and putting all my science fiction books together on one huge sagging shelf in preparation.

Here's what Carl says about the experience:

A few years back I decided I would like to invite other readers to spend time together to:
a) Continue their love affair with science fiction
b) Return to science fiction after an absence, or
c) Experience for the first time just how exhilarating science fiction can be.
This event was not to be a challenge. It was not a dare nor was it a contest. It was meant to be an experience, a word I did not choose at random. 

I love this idea!

But what made me even more excited is that Carl is doing another book read-a-long with Isaac Asimov's classic book The Foundation.  I almost finished reading it a few years ago but for some reason stopped in the middle.  So I'm looking forward to reading along with Carl and everyone.

Let me take a moment to snap a photo or two of my pile to read.

Scored and Cinder are two review books I've received recently.  I'll be honest and say I've already devoured Cinder.  Cinderella story mixed w/ cyborgs = awesome.

I found John Scalzi's Old Man's War and Russo's Ship of Fools at library book sales and I'm looking forward to reading them.

I'm a huge fan of Margaret Atwood so I was excited to win a copy of In Other Worlds over at Teddy Rose's blog So Many Precious Books, So Little Time.

I'm also a huge fan of Connie Willis and am shocked I've never reviewed any of her books on my blog.  Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog -- man I love her stuff.  My brother found a copy of Futures Imperfect which is a collection of short stories.  Yippee!

The Mists of Avalon.  Ok.  I know it's fantasy - not sci fi but I might try and read it this coming month or two.  I'm trying to check off some books on NPR's 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy list.

These are some of my dad's sci-fi books I inherited.  I've already dug into The Foundation and have read the first two parts of the book.  It really isn't a long book even though the trilogy book makes it look massive.  I've always love Dickson's Dorsai story and while for some reason I can't find my copy of The Spirit of Dorsai, I can always start out with one of the books in the Childe Cycle collection.

Speaking of fun classic sci-fi covers, I've been wanting to dig into some Anne McCaffrey books since I heard the sad news that this classic sci-fi author passed away this past year.  I have a stack of her books but I thought I'd show you some of the fun covers:

I included Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.  I just find old sci-fi covers fun.

Anyway, are you joining in?  Do you have classic favorites or are you a newbie sci-fi fan?  Do you like YA sci-fi or do you stay away from sci-fi books at all costs?  Leave a comment!!