Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Books to Read

Been a lot of memes around here of late. I just received another that I suppose I better do, since it comes from the Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog Tour. I could refer it to Grundir, but that would be approximately like giving the Blog Tour the finger. Since I've already done that once, I figure I better be on my best behavior, at least for a few more months.

The meme tag comes from John Otte of The Least Read Blog on the Web. I want all of you to visit so he'll have to change his title. Also visit the origin of the meme at A Christian Worldview of Fiction.

This meme, like many nowadays, has complicated rules I can't grasp at first glance. If I understand aright, it works something like this: the Blog Tour has a list of "must-read" books and a list of "books to keep an eye on." I'm supposed to remove one book from each list and add one.

The next trick is figuring out what it means to "keep an eye" on a book that isn't a "must-read." Does that mean you put it on the coffee table and check up on it every once in a while to make sure it's still there?

Here are the lists. I've bolded my alterations.

My five MUST Reads:

Demon by Tosca Lee (NavPress)
Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer (WaterBrook)
To Dance in the Desert by Kathleen Popa (Cook Communications)
Children in the Night by Harold Myra (Zondervan)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

My five Keep Your Eyes On These:

YOTSUBA&! by Kiyohiko Azuma (ADV Manga)
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook)
Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook)
Winter Haven by Athol Dickson (Bethany House)
Hero, Second Class by Mitchell Bonds (Marcher Lord Press)

My Changes:

From the "must read" list, I deleted Sharon Hinck's Restorer. I considered deleting Sigmund Brouwer's Broken Angel, since it's the only other book on the list I have read, but Broken Angel is a competent novel, though by no means a must-read: it tells a decent story with moderately interesting characters and some real pathos, though it has an entirely predictable story (I knew exactly where it was headed by about page five). However, I strongly disliked The Restorer, so that one had to go.

Since dystopia is going to be a theme on the next Blog Tour (featuring Broken Angel), I have added what I consider the greatest dystopia of all time, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. If you have not yet read it, read it. It is more prophetic than any of the other famous dystopias; you will easily see our modern world reflected in it. Perhaps Huxley's only error is in imagining that the Brave New Worlders, a race of weaklings, could be strong enough to hold a revolution and conquor the world. Much more likely the Brave New Worlders will never see their dreams realized: they will be conquered by the stronger, bolder Savages who are even now at their gates.

The "Keep Your Eye On These" is a tougher list. I assume this list is for series not yet completed, but I'm consistently behind the times (partly by accident, partly by design), so series are usually complete by the time I start reading them. Figuring Snuffles might have a suggestion, I asked him, and he said YOTSUBA&!, a manga by Kiyohiko Azuma, which currently has six volumes in English and has apparently had some bumps getting that far. It appears to be ongoing, but only six of the seven collected volumes are available over here, and some of them may be difficult to track down. I decided to delete Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead, figuring the lack of publicity would harm him the least.


Now I guess I have to tag other bloggers. Choosing them from the Tour, I tag April Erwin, Magma, James Somers, Brandon Barr, and Terri Main.
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