I’m reposting some of my favorite book reviews on my blog Books Worth Reading. This week, I’m recommending the science fiction classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.
What Makes This Book So Great is a compendium of blog posts about Jo Walton’s rereads of books, not necessarily all science fiction and fantasy. These are blog posts originally published on Tor.com, so they are short, breezy, and quick to read. Walton is such a prodigious reader, averaging a book or more a day (I wonder that she finds time to write!). She shares many interesting insights into the whole act of reading, as well as the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Particularly enlightening for me was the idea that people who grow up reading science fiction and fantasy have internalized over time the special rules of the genre, while primarily mainstream writers may feel at sea when they try these genres; the flip side is authors who try writing genre who haven’t read a lot of it, and fail miserably. All of this content is available free online if you want to hunt it down, but it’s handy to have it in book form, and it’s of special interest to anyone who loves reading, whatever they may read. She’s certainly convinced me that rereading your favorites (and not-so-favorites) is worthwhile.
I don’t often read series. I don’t like commitment, at least when it comes to reading. I like one-night stands with lots of different authors. I don’t want to get tied down.
So I surprised myself by reading not one, but three sequels in the past few couple of weeks–all middle books in a trilogy. And I can recommend all of them!
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie: I read Ancillary Justice way back last fall (here’s my review), and to be honest, I forgot a lot of the details, so I felt a little lost diving back into this complex universe. This could almost be standalone novel, though, except for the mystery left hanging at the ending. I dug the character development and the space station setting, and I’m now eagerly awaiting the final installment, Ancillary Mercy, due in October.
Finders Keepers by Stephen King: I actually liked the follow-up to last summer’s crime novel Mr. Mercedes (review here) even better. That’s because it’s about readers and how obsessed we can get with our favorite books, writers, and characters. It’s also a page-turner — just what you’d expect from King.
Authority by Jeff VanderMeer: Wow! I tore through Annihilation just a month ago (here’s my review), and the sequel did not disappoint me. It’s very different in terms of character and style of book, but just as disquieting, atmospheric and weird. Also, there’s this one part… Well, let’s just say I yelped when I read it. Already got the last book, Acceptance, on hold at the library.