Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ten, eleven ... hey, who's counting?

Without going back and counting for myself, all I'm willing to commit to is that this is AN installment of the Thursday Three®.

1) What book(s) are you reading right now, and what do you think of it (them)? (Not at this particular moment, necessarily--maybe within the past couple of weeks or so.)

Well, to tell you the truth (why start now?), I'm not really reading anything at the moment. I'm usually a big reader (in every sense of the word), but for some reason the last six months or so, I haven't been able to generate the required interest. I have a SF anthology that I've started (using it to read if I have to sit and wait somewhere), but I haven't picked it up in over a month. I'll probably take it along on the trip this weekend. I did read My Name is Asher Lev on Saturday. My brother gave it to me a year ago and it went on several trips to my dad's without being opened. The only reason I started it Saturday is that I donated platelets and needed something to read. Then once begun, I had to finish it. There is a sequel that I'll have to check out from the library and read at some point. I fournd MNiAL to be moving and disturbing. It's one of those books where you feel you know all the characters and empathise with each one, and as a result, you are conflicted whenever they have trouble understanding each other. I'll definitely read it again.

2) What book(s) have you begun reading several times, and never seem to quite finish? Why?

The Ring of Five Dragons - Eric Van Lustbader. I'm a SF kind of guy and as a result, I've read some far out stuff and liked it. I'll usually give books 100 pages to hook me, and almost always after I've invested 100 pages, I'll go ahead and finish the book (some of which I'm still waiting to get better after turning the last page). For some reason this book didn't capture my imagination and so the alien culture remained just that. I made it about a third of the way through and set it down. Very unusual for me. Maybe I'll try again some day. Then again, maybe not.

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein. I've read other Heinlein works before and since, but just couldn't make it through this one. I guess you could say I didn't grok it.

Dune - Frank Herbert. Ok, this one doesn't really belong here, it really belongs under number 3, but I put it here because the first time I tried to read it I only got about 20 pages before I put it down. I was in high school and one of my buddies was ga-ga about this book. Maybe that's what put me off, I don't know, but I finally gave it back to him and told him I just couldn't get into it. THEN, when I was in college, I ran across it again, picked it up and couldn't put it down. (I think somebody in the book store must have used the voice on me.)

Special mention: The Shannara books by Terry Brooks. I read The Sword of Shannara as a teenager and was incensed that it was a BLATANT RIP-OFF of the Lord of the Rings. Refuse to read another one. Period.

3) What book(s) have you read more than once? Why?

Why? Why not? I like a good story and enjoy re-reading quite a bit. I don't think it's any different than watching a movie more than once. I know people that won't re-read a book, but have watched The Wizard of Oz or Gone With the Wind or Star Wars dozens of times.

I tend to re-read series more than stand alone novels.

Novels I've read multiple times

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Cyberiad - Stanislaw Lem
The Space Merchants - Frederick Pohl & Cyril M. Kornbluth
Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Series I've re-read multiple times

Completed series:
The Chronicals of Thomas Covenant - Steven R. Donaldson (6 books)
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien (3 books)
Bio of a Space Tyrant - Piers Anthony (5 books)
Dorsai - Gordon Dickson (at least the first 4 books)
Foundation - Isaac Asimov (I only count the original 4 books)
Pern - Anne McCaffrey (technically not done, but I've reread the first 6 books many times)
Merlin trilogy - Mary Stewart (3 books, oddly enough!)

Series still being written:
The Sword of Truth - Terry Goodkind (8 books so far)
The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan (10 books so far)

I'll usually re-read the whole series at the release of every 2nd new book unless there's a long lag between books, then I might re-read them every time there's a new book. Too many characters to keep straight otherwise.

Ok, now I feel like reading.

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