Sunday, August 20, 2006

A book update

As school opens, I have made a commitment to read more books that I want to read. I need a little more escape this year to pace myself on the emotional stress chart.

Well, the current reading is listed below on the Amazon list. I have no intention of begging you to buy books that I read, I just want to spout off about good stuff.

Book one on that list is Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan. Let me preface this by saying that I started reading Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series a year ago. The first few books were excellent. The last book, Fires of Heaven, was a little slow in places, but had some great written scenes. Lord of Chaos, the sixth book in the series, has made the adventure grind to a standstill and I can't seem to get into the book. More and more characters have been introduced to a world of multiple personalities that demand attention from the reader. Only now I'm starting to not care about any of them. Bummer, but that book will remain there until I totally give up on it.

Book two is my attempt at reading something educational. The Lexus and the Olive Tree is by one of my favorite authors, Tom Friedman. The book is his attempt at explaining the ideas behind globalization. The beginning was interesting, but the technical aspects are coming up at this point and I'm starting to bore.

Book three is my totally nerdy side coming out. I'm a Star Wars fan (not a must-see-convention fan) and I decided to follow the novel timeline and read the entire series. Hey, sometimes you just want to know backgrounds, play around in the universe, and just be an overall geek. If you are Star Wars fan, read on. If not, skip down a book. This is a list of the Star Wars books I've read, and a short blurb on if they are worth reading. They are in order.
Jedi Apprentice- A Scholastic book that introduces Yoda, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Mace.
Cloak of Deception- Entertaining book.
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter- Very good book. Enhances the bad ass that Maul was.
Phantom Menance- Just as crappy as the movie.
Rogue Planet- Interesting, but a little confusing. Apparently, it has a lot to do with future novels.
Outbound Flight- Excellent novel that sets up the post-Vader books.
The Approaching Storm- Ok, not great.
Attack of the Clones- Actually much better than the movie. Clicks better.
Labyrinth of Evil- A must read. Sets up Revenge of the Sith.
Revenge of the Sith- Also better than the movie. Makes more sense and doesn't rush it.
Dark Lord- Neat tie-in about Vader, and Chewbacca!
The Paradise Snare- Pretty poor introduction to Han Solo

That brings us to The Hutt Gambit, which is another Han Solo book. It is pretty entertaining with focus coming down more on the "scoundrel" that is Han Solo. The Lando, Jabba, and Boba Fett history is started here. It just jumps around a bit.

Finally, my attempt at reading some Cold War, Tom Clancyesque books is Dale Brown's Hammerheads. The plot is that the U.S. government is setting up make shift oil platforms that serve as first alert combat bases against drug runners. Some of the scenes are interesting, but the characters introduced in this book are borderline annoying. The only thing really keeping me interested is the bad guy, and two characters from Brown's popular Flight of the Old Dog, a novel that precedes this one. Hopefully, it ends good.

So, that's what I'm reading. I've ran into people that are reading really serious stuff that might enlighten you or make your head spin, but I'm into total escapism in my reading lately, with a touch of interesting subject matter.
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