Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Reading Report

Been a while since I delivered a reading report. I'm always reading, even if I don't review all of the stuff I read. I've been steadily reading the stories in the 22 volumes of DAW's The Year's Best Horror Stories, which I acquired recently. I'll probably get around to some comments about that soon. I read a really creepy story the other night by a writer I've never heard of. Always cool.
I read Stalking the Nightmare, a collection of stories by Harlan Ellison. Some good stuff in there.
I read Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal's book about gaming, and while I didn't agree with all of her conclusions about the uses of online gaming as a way to improve society, I did think she made a lot of good points. Definitely a thought provoking book.
Re-read David Gemmell's Legend, but only the chapters that had Druss in them. I've read this book like five times and it occurred to me that if I didn't really want to read the chapters about the other characters, I didn't actually have to. It's not as if I didn't know what was going on. So I just read the parts with Druss, which are the best parts anyway.
Read selected short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harold Lamb, and Joseph Payne Brennan. I'm really enjoying Doyle's Brigadier Gerard stories. They show a different side to Doyle, nothing like Sherlock Holmes but loads of fun. Gerard is his own biggest fan, constantly reminding his readers what a wonderful, handsome, amazing man he is, and yet he manages to stay likable, because he seems completely unaware of his colossal egotism and for the most part he really is as good a swordsman, horseman, and soldier as he claims. Not always the brightest guy around, but definitely the most loyal and brave.
Right now I'm reading a cut down version of the diaries of Samuel Pepys. Pepys kept a very detailed diary for the better part of a decade, starting in January of 1660. If you want to know what life was like in the late 17th century, Pepys is your man. I was put onto his diary by an excerpt in another history book I was reading, in which Pepys gives a long account of the great fire of London in 1666. He basically crosses the city as it burns and reports what he sees. I absolutely love this kind of historical memoir. I've yet to get to the part about the great plague of 1665, but I've heard it too is an amazing account.
I'm also reading a book of interviews with comic book artist/writer, Howard Chaykin. I'll have much to say about that soon. As you can see, my reading is as eclectic as always.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

My favorite thing about Reality is Broken was the attitude. It's really refreshing to read a book with a positive outlook and the willingness to put forward practical ideas for change. Whether or not I agreed with her premises, or had any interest in the described games, I always felt like significant change was within reach. That was something I really liked.

I was cracking up when you described re-reading for the Druss parts. I am constantly re-reading only portions of books so I know exactly what you're talking about.