Visions of Paradise

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer reading

Today is the first day of summer vacation, so after ten months of having virtually no time to read more than a book or two a month, the prospect of reading at least a book a week is positively delightful! Here is my tentative reading list, books which hopefully I will be reviewing in these pages in the weeks ahead:

Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks, a Culture novel
The Dragon’s Nine Sons, part of Chris Roberson’s delightful Celestial Empire series
• Ken Follett’s historical epic Pillars of the Earth
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See’s novel of 19th century China
Roma, Steven Saylor’s fictional history of Rome prior to the founding of the empire
The Last Witchfinder, James Morrow’s secret history of the Scientific Revolution

That is just for starters, after which I am flexible.

I really recommend the most recent post by James Harris at where he discusses exactly what aspects of a story most interest him in it. I’ve always been drawn to fiction seeped in history, whether real or future, but Harris wonders if perhaps the storytelling style is equally or more important than the story itself. As usual, his Auxiliary Memory is one of the most thought-provoking blogs around, particularly for lovers of books and sf, and is always highly-recommended.


  • I envy you for two things: getting summers off, and that reading list - that's an enticing lineup of books to read. Your one line comment about The Last Witchfinder made me jump over to Amazon and buy it. BTW, it had glowing reviews there.

    Thanks for the compliments about Auxiliary Memory.

    By Blogger Jim Harris, At 7:31 AM  

  • Since SF Categories Pt 1 and 2 do not have comment buttons, I'll leave my comments here. What you say in part 2 has strong overlaps with my post, "My Kind of Story." I think we're writing on near frequencies these days.

    I like your category grid of:

    When I was doing my exercises this morning I was thinking about trying to invent a read-out guage for book reviewing where I'd rate different factors that go into story telling. Bringing up history is an interesting aspect to consider, one that I hadn't considered before.

    I'm not sure I'm thinking about history the way you are. I'd have a history guage to rate if a book helps readers understand the time and place covered in the story. To Kill a Mockingbird would get a 10 on the history scale, whereas I'd probably give Stranger in a Strange Land a 0.

    Stay tune to my blog and maybe I'll work out a full-fledged system. I need to figure out how many guages I need, and what they will measure.


    By Blogger Jim Harris, At 7:57 AM  

  • I can't wait to see your gauges. Maybe they'll help me adapt mine a bit.

    By Blogger adamosf, At 4:09 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home