Category Archives: books

According to CNN

The 50 Shades trilogy has sold more than 20 million copies. In five months. It took Stieg Larsson’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 3 years to do the same. What the hell, world? This is what we’re reading? Seriously? Maybe people will read stuff like A Tale of Two Cities now that Christopher Nolan has stated that the Dark Knight Rises was inspired by Dickens? One can hope, right?

50 Shades of AWESOME

I wanna be as awesome as this when I’m in my 80s.

Mary Bartnicki and her twin sisters, Teresa Dahlquist and Josie Cavaluzzi, 72, recite X-rated excerpts from the book and help each other to understand the various sexual descriptions. “I think this was the best way to lose your virginity and then quit,” Josie says.

“Oh, my God, he sounds like a good lover,” Teresa, who is divorced, says.

The three hairdressers were outraged by what they read in the book. Mary says she is “puzzled” by younger women who say they can’t put the book down. After reading a passage about beating, Teresa says, “That’s crazy, nobody can hit me hard.”

A Sequel to The Shining

Stephen King is working on a sequel to his classic book The Shining. And it has vampires of a sort. Now, I’ve never actually read the book, but I’ve seen the fabulous film starring super creepy Jack Nicholson, and, while I know King hated the Kubrick film, I kind of love it. I actually had no idea the film was so radically different from the book. Should I read it, y’all?

Anyone excited for a sequel?

Read a Banned Book

Today marks the start of Banned Books week, in which we all celebrate books that have been banned or challenged. It’s a celebration of the freedom of speech and the right to think on our own. To commemorate it, I’m going to read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five because it’s often banned and I’ve never read it. I’m also going to read It’s So Easy And Other Lies by Duff McKagan because it’s BAND book. Har har. Want to join in? The American Library Association published the list of books most often challenged or banned in 2010-2011. Check it out, it might surprise you. And read a book, banned or not.

List O’ Books Followup

My husband read Fanatical Pupil’s post about the NPR sci-fi/fantasy list and asked if I could do better. Here goes. Books I’ve read are in bold, books I have lying around the house/on my ebook reader in italics.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (all of them)
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert (all of them)
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin (all but the latest which just came out like 2 weeks ago)
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (confession: I don’t think I’ve read any Asimov)
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan (I think I might be a book or two behind?)
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson (I’ve listened to the audiobook in chunks but not the whole thing)
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein (I don’t know that I’ve read any Heinlen)
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King (I read the first book, didn’t love it enough to keep going for the 23 million others)
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut (I don’t think I’ve read any Vonnegut either. Shame.)
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess (Hated the movie, doubt I’ll pick up the book.)
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein (I kinda love the film so I should read the book.)
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys (read it in high school, couldn’t tell you much about it)
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle (love the 80s film)
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind (HATE this series)
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Interesting…)
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist (Childhood classic)
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks (Ditto)
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey (read the 1st one, didn’t love it, need to re-read it)
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire (HATED this book.)
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Pretty good, right?

NPR’s List o’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

NPR asked listeners to submit books for consideration and then open up the list for voting. Here’s what the readers came up with in the way of best sci-fi and fantasy books.

1. Lord of the Rings 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

The list goes to 50 100 and it’s pretty good. I think the top 5 is pretty solid – you?

It’s Bulwer-Lytton Day!

If you’ve been around my blog you know that over the years I’ve loved to celebrate something – Bulwer-Lytton day! It’s a time to celebrate bad writing. And this year’s winner is outstanding.

She had passed the wind farm — spinning air into gold near the improbably, yet somehow appropriately, named Lake Winnebago — on the drive from her golden delicious home in Appleton to the state capital of Wisconsin.

“I always wondered what happens to birds that fly into them,” said Sue Fondrie, attempting to account for her grisly, yet somehow oddly appropriate, winning entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which began at San Jose State 29 years ago. “I’ve looked at the bottom to see if there is a pile there, but there never is one.”
The contest challenges entrants to compose truly awful opening sentences for imaginary novels, and perhaps inevitably, Fondrie’s mind turned to the pile of dead birds she had so often imagined. “Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine,” Fondrie wrote, “chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.”

At 26 words, Fondrie’s submission was the shortest grand prize winner in contest history, proving “that bad writing need not be prolix, or even very wordy,” as the judges noted with repeated redundance. Fondrie said she thought it might work in Twitter’s 140-character format, but at 169 characters, the only tweets coming from her winning entry would be the inchoate chorale of dead birds.

All the winners can be found at the official website.