I like to make lists. It’s in complete opposition with the chaotic way in which I live the rest of my life, but perhaps I’m hoping that lists of books to read and blog posts to write will cancel out the fact that I have a pile of shirts next to my bed that will never see the hamper.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)
By Jenny Lawson aka the Bloggess
So I’m cheating and I’ve already read the first two chapters of this book before putting it on the list. Here’s what I know so far: The Bloggess really knows a lot about taxidermy. Oh wait, we know that already.
Can I recommend it? Well, do you like her blog? First impression: it seems to be more of that - with more blood, perhaps.
The good news is that the reviews are top-notch, both from the people who get paid to write them and the people who give you way too much information on Amazon. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing where this memoir goes.
The Magician King: A Novel
By Lev Grossman
This book isn’t new (it came out August 2011), but I never got to it last fall, so it’s on the list.
The first book, The Magicians, included wizards getting high and boinking. I will resist the urge to say it’s Harry Potter meets Weeds, but since I’ve already said it, now you know.
Still here? So the crazy thing about the characters getting busy in the first book is that they can do it as animals (think the animangi from Harry Potter) and be completely aware of what is going on. It really messed with my head because I kept thinking of bad HP fan-fiction. Ok, shit, it’s good and if you haven’t read it, you should. I really don’t want to compare it SO much to HP, so I’ll just stop now.
Imagine: How Creativity Works
By Jonah Lehrer
This is the book that I’ll read because I want to talk with other smart people. Invariably, I will run into several people who I really respect and they will say to me, “did you read Jonah Lehrer’s new book?” Therefore, it’s already been decided. I’ve got to read this one.
His previous book, How We Decide, helped me realize that I do in fact love vanilla ice cream. I know, weird conclusion, but think about it. You would freaking LOVE, perhaps obsess, over vanilla if you didn’t have all the other choices. Because it’s freaking ice cream. I’m still always going to pick some crazy flavor, but as it turns out, most Americans will always pick vanilla - no matter how many choices they have. Now this all seems like one major mind screw, right? Anyway, it’s good to flex your brain muscle with challenging stuff.
What are you reading this summer lovers?
“I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible.”
More than 60K NPR users were surveyed to come up with the Top 100 Sci Fi, Fantasy Books of all time. Here’s the Top 10:
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
I’d like to take one moment to express my bitter frustration that Fahrenheit 451 is not number 1. I know that LOTR is every nerd’s obsession, but I can’t understand why the geeks that voted in this poll didn’t recognize the meta-glory of Bradbury’s masterpiece. Nerds typically LOVE anything meta and here they have a chance to put a book about a world in where books are subject to flame-warring destruction, on the top of a list about the best books in the narrative category of “not real life”… it reeks of fail to me.
Otherwise, I agree with 80% of this list. Either way, it’s great to see sci-fi and fantasy get so much attention lately.