So, on Friday, John Scalzi linked to the new blog home of an old column he used to do called “The Weekend Assignment” that gave a weekly topic for writers to blog about over the weekend. This week’s assignment is about our Summer Reading plans, and what we look forward to most. So, I thought: “hey, this is cool, and as a writer it’s a nice challenge that would give me something to write about regularly, and this topic in particular is one I can actually say something about.” So, I’ll be trying to do these “Weekend Assignments” going forward. Assuming I’m able to keep up with it, they’ll usually post on either Mondays or Tuesdays.
So, what am I excited about reading this summer? Well, I’ll surely be spending time reading some textbooks and/or business cases for class. But that’s not what I’m excited about. Actually, it’s kind of sad to admit what I’m excited about: I’m excited about finishing The Gathering Storm over the summer. I say it’s sad because I got this book as a gift from Dear Wife over Christmas 2009 (Thank You Dear Wife!), and I’ve been reading it ever since then.
That’s right: I’ve been reading this book for nearly four months! What has happened to me? When I was a younger man, and still in either High School or College, I used to be able to devour one of the “Wheel of Time” books in a matter of a couple of weeks. I’ll tell you what didn’t happen: it’s not that the book is boring. It’s been an enjoyable read so far (I’m on chapter 20), especially when the book has focused on Egwene.
After I finish The Gathering Storm I have several choices for what book I will read next. The two options I am considering are either A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R. R. Martin‘s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, or Elantris, Brandon Sanderson‘s break-out novel. I’m interested in exploring Sanderson’s own work outside of what he’s done with Robert Jordan’s latest book, so I’m most eager to read one of these books. On the flip side, I’ve been hearing about how great Martin’s books are for ages. I did read the first in his Ice and Fire books already, but it was an odd experience. While well-written, and while his world is interesting and detailed, it was also a very dark world. I found myself lacking any serious rooting interest in the book, because all of the characters were either cold and hard or outright villainous bastards. Even the good-guys (so far as I was able to identify a good guy) had a bit of a nasty streak. Still, I’m curious to find out what happens next, but I don’t think I’ll ever be as big a fan of Martin’s books as I have been of Jordan’s.
That said, I’ll probably pick up the next Ice and Fire book after finishing The Gathering Storm. That will probably take up the rest of Summer and beyond. When I finish that book, I’ll probably put down the Ice and Fire books again and move on to Sanderson with Elantris.
In the future, besides the Sanderson and Martin books, I’ve cued up a hefty list of “To Read” books on my Amazon wishlist. Most of these are books I’ve learned about since I started following the blogs of a few other writers. These include Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan, Mainspring by Jay Lake, The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas, The God Engines by John Scalzi, Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, Spellwright by Blake Charlton and possibly Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
So, that’s not a very short list. Not a short list at all. That is sure to keep me busy and reading well into the foreseeable future, and beyond. What’s on your reading list?