Some good books
I was at the speaker’s dinner after speaking at the excellent Reaktor conference in Helsinki, chatting about our favorite authors, and rather than just sending an email to the people that were there, I thought I’d instead write a blog post.
Good authors are hard to find.
These are books I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of years, culled from my Audible and Kindle accounts, skipping over many many “meh” books. Bing links brought to you courtesy of Gmail.
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, about a young boy growing up in the Ozarks and his relationship with his dogs, the land and hunting: A great book for kids 10+, but I loved it too. If you are not crying at the end then you have no soul.
- Masters Of Doom by David Kushner, about the people behind Doom. Not so much about technology, a lot about personalities.
- Life Itself by Roger Ebert: Recommended on Macbreak Weekly by Andy Ihnatko: so much more than than a movie reviewer – although the Venice café he describes is likely long gone, its shadow lives on in my mind – a lovely autobiography
- This Immortal by Roger Zelazny: I read it long ago, and it isn’t as good as Lord of Light, but he conjures a believable, flawed, real world.
- 14 by Peter Clines: very well written, a little loose at the end, but a great read.
- The Dangerous Animals Club by Stephen Tobolowsky: very very funny.
- Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson: I’d previously read his autobiography – this is why biographies can do so much more
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George: as with Where the Red Fern Grows, a book you must read to your children when they are 10 or so or older
- Nerd do Well by Simon Pegg: his auto-biography interspersed with wish-fulfillment fiction at its best
- Stories I only tell my Friends, by Rob Lowe: a raw, enjoyable, autobiography.
- Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles. If you’ve not consumed these, do so, now.
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: an older book that I’d somehow not read but should have. Poignant and worth reading.
- The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins
- Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes: I’ve never lived that kind of life, and hope never to do so, but it was an experience that I’ll never forget
- The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon: beautifully written, not sure how I feel about the ending, and that is as it should be.
- Daemon and Freedom ™ by Daniel Suarez: characterization: 6/10, but ideas: 12/10
- The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi: characterization 10/10, ideas: 10/10
- Way Station by Clifford D Simak: another re-read but classic.
- Red Country by Joe Abercrombie: a great story in its own right, but also nice to see what happened to an old “friend”
- Enders Game by Orson Scott Card: I know of the controversy about his beliefs, but this book stands by itself. A re-read, but I still enjoyed it
- Espedair Street by Iain Banks: for me the best of his non sci-fi books.
- The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks: read before his announcement of his imminent death and thoroughly enjoyed it
- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller: a really really really well written book. It is post-apocalypse, but its not just that. Read this.
- Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon: didn’t grab me as much as the Speed of Dark, but far better than almost all sci-fi;
- The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin: more post-apocalypse very well written work
- How to be Black by Thurston Baratunde: uncomfortable reading at times, which says more about me than Thurston, but an insight into his life, what his mother did for him, what he did for himself, and how we should treat others, black or white.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: a walk through both the future and the past
- Room by Emma Donoghue: recommended by Scott Hanselmann on one of his podcasts. Didn’t know what I was in for, but I am so glad I read this. Don’t be put off by the subject matter.