So I took a week off from blogging; come at me! And what was I doing? Well, reading Nausicaä for one thing, and the collected “Forever” storyline of Fantastic Four (review forthcoming). I was also busy compiling this:
~Steven’s to be Read List~
I have never made a point of keeping a ‘to be read’ list, although my list of ‘currently reading’ or ‘#amreading’ is well documented, and so long that it’s running off the page. I think the act of ‘making it official’ in a list is daunting to me. But tonight is the night we shall be dauntless. It’s not like it has to be set in stone, right? Right?
I’ll try not to feel bad if I don’t get to all of these in due course.
All of the books are in my possession, and only wait upon me. Here is a roll call, eight tomes long.
- Endymion by Dan Simmons
I may finally be ready to read book three of the Hyperion Cantos, after stating I would never be able to. Well, that’s the idea anyway. I love this series; the first two books were electric, and the last two books (the fourth is The Rise of Endymion) deserve to be finished. I’m bummed that the events take place long after the lifetimes of beloved characters like Brawne Lamia, and I’m not sure about the level of the Shrike’s involvement, but this simply must be read, and I cannot wait to do it.
- Red Shirts by John Scalzi
I picked this up the same day I collected the rest of the Hyperion Cantos, and have already begun it as a matter of fact. I have never read a Scalzi novel, only short fiction and his blog. Anyway, it’s supposed to be pretty amusing, and nobody loves sci-fi and pop culture allusions more than I, and this should be rife with them. I also need to read more contemporary work because, to look at my book reviews, I’m turning into an historian over here.
- Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en
Easily the biggest classic on my list, and one of the biggest classics of all time, this is the timeless Chinese story of Monkey, or The Monkey God. The extent of my knowledge surrounding Journey to the West stops at that zany 80’s TV show (which does incidentally possess a fantastic opening theme) so this will be an education if nothing else. I have the first two volumes, but I think there are at least four?
- Turning Point by Hayao Miyazaki
I’m not sure I have benefited from anyone’s creative insights as much as the founder of Studio Ghibli himself. This book is the continuation of Starting Point, which dealt with the beginnings of the Japanese animator’s career, and covers the years 1997-2008, dealing with the height of his career. I look forward to learning more, and I have already referenced this book once or twice.
- The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
This is the popular Chinese science fiction novel which might also be remembered as the book that won the Hugo at the famously contested World Con last year. I’ve had my eye on it since then, but I’ve always been interested by the ramifications of alien invasion, which is what, in part, this book concerns. Sometimes, I even write about the very same thing.
- The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Like many science fiction fans across the board, I know Leigh Brackett as the woman who should be given much of the credit for The Empire Strikes Back, considered by many to be the finest Star Wars film. I could not contain my excitement when I discovered a Leigh Brackett book in my collection, as I confess it was lost in a jumble of other reading material. The Long Tomorrow, apart from being sensationally titled, is a book from the fifties about the aftermath of a nuclear war.
- Lonely On the Mountain by Louis L’amour
I’ve wanted to read this book for years, although I’m not much for westerns, not even Jonah Hex. However, it was in Zeitgeist the Movie, I believe, where a quote from this novel appeared, stirred me, and first got me curious about L’amour. It is the first line of the first chapter.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
- The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Finally, a book that I think should be read in celebration of free speech, and in solidarity with those who don’t have it. I may never have finished Midnight’s Children (also by Rushdie) due to its difficult style, but something tells me I will finish this. As the famous quote from the author goes:
‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase for ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and our fearless disrespect.
Happy reading, and all the best,