Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What's hump day without the Wednesday Mind Hump?

From Blogdrive Insanity, the Wednesday Mind Hump for today.

1. What are some of your favorite books, and why? I have so many favorite books that it's hard to narrow it down to just "some," but I'll try. Let's see...

  • Every so often, I pull out my now-battered copies of Peter David's "Photon" novels, along with "Photon: Thieves of Light" by Michael Hudson. "Photon" was a laser-tag type game and a short-lived TV series which I loved when I was a kid. By "kid," I mean I was 15 or 16, but probably closer to 16 because I clearly remember buying some of Peter "David Peters" David's series in college. The series, and Hudson's novel (actually written by Michael P. Kube-McDowell), had a lot of elements in it that I had been working on in my own crap at the time, so I was drawn to it. I always said that Hudson's book was Photon as it should have been, and David's books were Photon as it was. The Photon novel series was humorous and filled with a lot of comic-book inside jokes (for example, three guards named Sien, Kie and Wicz, and another pair named Walt and Weezy).

  • "The Rings of the Master" series by Jack L. Chalker is another of my favorites. A ragtag band of humans needs to stop the Master Computer, but to do this, they need to find the keys to shut it down. To get the keys, they need to infiltrate alien civilizations. It's good stuff, but not to everyone's taste.

  • The Ends of the Circle by Paul O. Williams was given to me by a friend, long ago, and it remains one of my favorite books. I never could get through any of the other books in the Pelbar Cycle, but this one held my imagination. I'll always remember two parts: the airplane people throwing up after Stel gives them their first good food in years, and the Shumai who run everywhere.

  • Starborn by John Nelson was another long-ago gift from another friend. Also very good.

  • It's not really a book, but to me Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac remains one of the greatest works of literature ever written.

2. How many books do you read during a typical month? Five or six, of various stripes. That's not counting "graphic novels" or anything, which can number in the double digits depending on what's new at the library.

3. Where do you buy most of your books? Either or Barnes & Noble. Usually Barnes & Noble, because they're right down the street and because I have their discount card.

4. Recommend a good book to me (and your readers). Hmm. Let me think for a second. You know, I just reread The Westing Game, and it's still really good. Unfortunately, because it has such a distinctive solution, you can never discover it twice--but it's still worth reading and re-reading. If you like thrillers, read anything by Lee Child (but especially Persuader). Science fiction, try The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein.


  • 1.) "The Tombs of Atuan" by Ursula K. Le Guin
    "Lost In Place" by Mark Salzman
    "Empire of the Sun" by J.G. Ballard
    "Fire From Heaven" by Mary Renault
    "The Persian Boy" ditto
    "The Mask of Apollo" ditto
    "The Far Side of Evil" by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (an eighth-grade favorite)

    2.) I really don't know. I don't count. I tend to get on one book and re-read it into the ground.

    3.) Borders or Barnes&Noble.

    4.) "Nureyev" by Diane Solway. A really good biography of Rudolf Nureyev which goes beyond its subject to capture a slice of our recent history. It's surprising how alien that world already is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:59 AM  

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