Monday, November 26, 2012

Ten Authors I Am Most Thankful For

I'm a week behind on Top Ten Tuesdays. Not sure if I'll catch up, but here's the Thanskgiving post.

1. L.M. Montgomery

2. Louisa May Alcott

3. Madeleine L'Engle

4. J.R.R. Tolkien

5. C.S. Lewis

6. Susanna Clarke

7. Jane Austen

8. William Shakespeare

9. Aemilia Lanyer

10. Elizabeth Cary

11. Margaret Cavendish

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ready Player One

42. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Of all the serendipitous books that have been #42 on my annual reading list, this is the most appropriate. Arguably even more so than the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, because this book is all about references.

Ready Player One
is infused with every geeky or nerdy or dorky tidbit that you could possibly conjure. I wish I had more time to do it justice, but this is the book that I'm recommending to every science fiction fan I know. This should have been the theme book for Dragon Con.

Besides the impressive breadth of references, spanning Star Trek to the Whedonverse to Pac-man and Mario, Tolkien to Lewis to Douglas, Hughes to Spielberg to Goldman, the characters are just so darn likable. Wade Watts, the protagonist, is positively adorable. He's a savvy kid in a bleak vision of the future, who is, obviously, up on all of the above geeky types of knowledge, a loyal friend, and charmingly naive as a would-be lover. (Confession: If I were writing my list of top ten literary crushes today, Wade might be number one.)

USA Today described the book as "Willy Wonka meets the Matrix" and that comparison is totally apt. People spend most of their time in a virtual reality called the Oasis. In real life, everyone is poor and the government is falling apart. The creator of the Oasis has passed away and left ownership of the company and his entire fortune to whoever can solve the "Easter egg hunt" he left behind i.e. a series of clues based around those geeky references that mostly stem from the 1980s. An evil company known as the Sixers want to win, so that they can monetize the Oasis. But our trusty Wade is the first to find a clue...and so it goes (see, I can reference too!).

Ultimately, this is a fun adventurous romp with serious geek cred that will make you feel warm and happy inside. Let the reading commence!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Want On a Deserted Island

I'm a little late for Top Ten Tuesday this week.

After this post, I'm taking a medical leave of absence from the blog for an indeterminate period of time in order to catch up from a medical leave of absence in real life.

1. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Complete Works of Shakespeare

3. Harry Potter 1-7 by J.K. Rowling (series are counting as one book because I say so, okay?)

4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the real one and maybe the one by Douglas Adams too)

5. Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, and A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery

6. Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott

7. Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle

8. C.S. Lewis' space trilogy

9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

10. All of Jane Austen's novels

Okay, I cheated, and there are still way too many books I want to bring. Can my deserted island have a library? Pretty please?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beyond Good and Evil

41. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

I read this for a class, but I didn't have the time to devote to it that it clearly deserves. The prose is beautiful, but together, I'm not sure what it all means-and many think that was deliberate on the part of the author.

If you want to find justification for murder here, you can.

If you want to find atheism here, you can.

If you want to find any way of looking at the world differently, of looking at the world the way you've always felt it should be or never realized before now it could be-this is the apple you want to bite.

"You want to live 'according to nature'? O you noble Stoics, what fradulent words! Think of a being such as nature is, prodigal beyond measure, indifferent beyond measure, without aims or intentions, without mercy or justice...think of indifference itself as a power-how could you live according to such indifference?" (Section 9)