25 September, 2007

Read this...and this

One of my favorite things to do in life is read. I would prefer to sit down with a good book almost more than anything (my wife will attest). As a result, I also like to share with others good books that I have read that perhaps they have either not heard of or not gotten the time to read. My main interests are fantasy and history although I have been known to read other things from time to time. If something is good, I'll likely read it regardless of what genre it belongs to. Thus, I would like to share a few titles I really enjoy. If you are looking for something to read you should try them out. In no particular order...
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. If you are not a "fantasy geek" you likely will find nothing here to whet your appetite. If you are, however, and you have not read any of this series (the Malazan Book of the Fallen) then you really need to jump on the bus. NOW. This series is incredible (I have just finished the 4th book). The world he has created is rich in detail and history, as well as being rather dark but enjoyable. Gardens of the Moon is the first, but for my money the best one(thus far) has been Memories of Ice, the third in the series. Rarely has an author made me care so much for his characters that by the end of the book it felt as if my heart would break (this is kind of a dark series, as I mentioned and I'll say no more so as not to ruin any surprises). Again, if you like fantasy, read these books!!
The Stand by Stephen King. If you think you don't like horror and/or Stephen King, this book will prove you wrong. It is considered by the large majority of King's fans to be his crowning achievement. I can't argue with that. I've read a lot of his books and this is by far the most moving. This book is not so much horror(though parts will keep you up at night) as it is a story of Good vs. Evil. The stakes are real and there is no middle ground. His character development is incredible and the story almost never lags. Check it out. And, by the way, I used to think I didn't like Stephen King either(based on the fact most of his movies suck) until I read Stephen King...
John Adams by David McCullough and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Two books about two of my favorite "founding fathers". In fact, it's largely because of these two books that Adams and Hamilton are two of my favorites. You're probably thinking you would never read a "history book" because they are sooo dry and boring. You would be wrong. These narratives are more intriguing than the majority of fiction I've read in my life. If you didn't like my first two suggestions, try one of these two titles out at least.
I could list many more titles (and probably will in the future) but this will get you started for now. If you read one (or have already) let me know what you think. Enjoy!

5 comments:

Michigan Man said...

Shouldn't you be at Grandma's Birthday party? Over by now probably. Anyway, the book John Adams was indeed a good read, but since we have the same interests for the most part, that shouldn't come as a surprise. What did catch me off guard was how much I enjoyed "America's greatest generation" by Brokaw. Great insight into the heart of the people who fought, without hesitation, to defend our freedom. We know this, by having known our Grandfather. I'll have to see if the library has the book on Hamilton. I personally haven't had the time to read like I'd like to or used to since the boys got older.Now that one is a senior, a junior and a freshman in High School, the countdown has begun to having our life back. Still so much to do with these 3. Cody just made Eagle Scout, so all 3 have achieved that accomplishment, I still devote a lot of time to scouting.Then there's Swim teams and football, and baseball in spring and summer. I do still coach baseball in the summer leagues. I have enjoyed giving my life to my sons, but it is getting time to grab it back and have more time with just my wife.College can have my money and my kids, and I'll settle for a quiet house.

haonmot's woman said...

I have a FANTASTIC book that I have read and suggest anyone to read it especially if you were raised in the south. The title is "The Divine Secrets of the YA YA Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells. Smashing life stories in the book and every family can relate to the book!

John Ward said...

Um... okay. After reading the last comment from haonmot's female property, I've decided that I'm going to have to stop reading this blog.

At my wife's request (and to ensure continued marital bliss) I suffered through the movie adaptation of that terrible storyline and I can tell you that the best part was... well... um, I can't think of a best part. Even the feeling of relief that I felt when the movie ended was punctuated with a sense of sorrow and loss as I realized that I'd just wasted over two hours of my life.

haonmot's woman said...

RIIIGGGHT...but the book was WAAAYYY better then the movie!

John Ward said...

I would reply... honestly, I would; but, as I mentioned above: I have stopped reading this blog... at least until the owner of said blog either does one of two things.

1. He publicly denounces all YA-YA books as being a blight upon the land responsible for the needless deforestation of our precious natural resources (seconded only by the nefarious and worthless drivel written by Ms. Rowling).

2. He writes a post detailing his love, respect and admiration for the wonderful film The English Patient.

John