Reading Railroad, Part 3

Walking into Borders for me is like a hypochondriac walking into a pharmacy. So many choices to fill the void. I rarely enter a bookstore and leave empty handed.

Besides all the comic book trade paperbacks on my docket to read, I have five additional books – three novels and two non-fiction books. This is the reason I can’t walk into Borders no mo’.

On the internet, I found and downloaded a PDF copy of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Wil Wheaton likes to talk this novel up, but I was hesitant to delve into a new author and series. When the opportunity to try it for free presented itself, I made the effort.

I was blown away. It was easily one of my favorite books I’ve read in the last few years. What followed suit was handing the PDF pages to my Dad to read and running out to the book store and purchasing a paperback of Old Man’s War and its direct sequel, The Ghost Brigade.

I’m a fan of Kevin J. Anderson’s sprawling Saga of Seven Suns space opera. He took all the coolest ideas from the last 20 years of mainstream space opera and mashed it up into a pretty cool universe. I’m a big fan of universe-building which is why I loved the first Dune novel, A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt (no relation) and Star Trek/Star Wars.

Most of the time, I was picking up the hard back of the novels in the series at my library, reading them and then purchasing the paperback right around the same time as the next hard cover hit the bookstores. I was peddling along swimmingly (to mix my metaphors) until Book 4. Book four, Scattered Suns, took me forever to finish. I have no idea why. I remember keeping the novel well past my allotted time to borrow it from the library because I just couldn’t get through it. I’d read a few pages and then I was done, either falling asleep or not quite compelled enough to turn the page by the words written.

I picked up book 5, Of Fire and Night, in paperback form and then put it down because I just couldn’t get into it. I think I read my free copy of Old Man’s War instead of Of Fire and Night even after toiling through the first few pages. In the meantime, Book 6, Metal Swarm, came out in hard back and I’m a book behind. Much later, I walk into Borders and see the last book, The Ashes of Worlds, is out in hard back. Yet, Of Fire and Night remains on my to read pile right along with The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi.

I haven’t even cracked the cover on TGB. My thinking is to finish the the Seven Suns books first and then tackle the Scalzi books. By then, the next novel (or two) in the series will probably be out in paperback.

Last but not least, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother has been downloaded and printed, but I haven’t even thought about reading it. I’m sure I will like it and it remains collected on my full headboard with all the other books, comics and graphic novels I’m supposed to be reading.

Next time I’ll talk about the non-fiction books and articles I’m reading or have read recently.