Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Summer Reading List

I like to read. I think it is a genetic thing. For the past couple of years I have read A LOT. However, that does not really count because it was all assigned reading. That does not mean I did not enjoy some of it, but there is a difference between being told to read something and reading something on ones own free will. This summer, after reading a book my brother let me borrow, I decided that I was going to read a lot of books that I wanted to read and I did. I did not read quite as much as I wanted, but I feel like I got up a fairly decent page count. What follows is a chronological list of the books I read this summer (from first to most recent). These are not really reviews, just my thoughts oh them I guess.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
The book is written in the format of an oral history book documenting the trials and tribulations of a fictional war against Zombies. This may be the single most awesome premise for a book ever written. I imagine writing a fake oral history would be hard, and the author does a decent job, though this is not exactly the material of a literary giant. It is however, very fun to read.

Frank Peretti is one of my favorite authors. His books are supernatural thrillers from a Christian perspective. This book turned out to be a "real page turner" as I read it in one day and stayed up till 3 am to finish it. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let down. The book started off well with a bunch of unanswered questions and head turning moments of curious weirdness, but much like the movie 1409 (which this book has a similar feel to), did not deliver in the end neither did this one. Not bad, but not the best work by Peretti.

Year of Living Biblically
The church librarian pretty much demanded I read this book so I did. The premise of this book is a very liberal, cultural Jew decided to spend a year following all of the rules in the Bible. This included all of the food laws and even the stoning of adulters. It was a fascinating book to read, especially because it was a respectful view of the Bible from Non Christian eyes. I did not care much for the conclusions he drew from his year of living biblically, but overall it was a fascinating read and I would recommend it to everyone .

Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader
You had to know a Star Wars book was coming sooner or later, and honestly it is shocking that there are only two of them. This was a decent read, especially as a Star Wars fan. The book picks up very shortly after the end of Revenge of the Sith, and it goes along way to beginning Darth Vader's transition from Fallen Jedi to certified bad guy.

The List of Seven
This was a $1 purchase from Half Price books, and it turned out to be worth $1. I really liked the setting and theme. The story is basically a supernatural Sherlock Holmes tale. However, instead of using Sherlock Holmes the character is actually Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle. Some parts of the book were unnecessary. Apparently the guy who wrote this was the script writer for Twin Peaks, and it is obvious. Each chapter was very long and basically unfolded like a serial TV show episode. Each chapter had its own introduction, its own rising action, climax, and cliff hanger conclusion which led to the next episode . .. Chapter.

The Irresistable Revolution


I like this book, but at the same time found myself a little troubled, or perhaps challenged by it. It is really hard to summarize what this book is about. I guess the best way to state it is the book is an autobiographical, argumentative essay focusing on living in radical community that embraces solidarity with the poor. I really, really liked a lot of this guys thoughts and I was very much inspired by what he wrote. However, at the same time I did have a nagging pragmatic thought that the guy was basically a hippie, and if everyone truly did like he did then there would be less jobs, electricity, and food in the world.

Tom Clancy's End War

Notice the book has Tom Clancy in the title, but he did not actually write it. It must be nice to get paid for stuff you didn't even make. This book is actually a prequel to an upcoming video game, and it was really good. The book is set in 2020-something and is about World War III. In case you are curious, WWIII begins with Russia invading France and then continues with them invading Canada. This book is about The war in Canada, and it was awesome. The book is paced like a series of 24 minus crazy Jack Baur antics. On top of that it has a lot of military action, so I really felt like a Hans Zimmer soundtrack from a Jerry Bruckhimer film should have been constantly playing in the background.

Who Stole My Church?

So this book was actually required reading, as part of my job. Luckily it was a good book. This is a fictional account based on real life about an elderly group in the church who gets together with a pastor to talk about the changes happening in their church. They come to realize that it is not "their" church and that change is inevitable. There were several chapters about the changes in church music that the author nailed.

Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight
The cover and back of this book made it look and sound like it was going to be an awesome tale that mixed Star Wars with Noir. That was not quite what it was like but it was still a decent Star Wars story. I liked that it took characters from previous Star Wars books and continued using them. In doing so this book fits nicely in the Star Wars expanded Universe. You might noticed that it has a numeral in the title. This made me apprehensive at first because I wanted a self contained story and not a series. However, the book had a preview from the next book and the preview had a completely different character so I thought they were self contained stories with similar themes. Not so apparently. Hopefully, after a semester of reading what I don't want I will be able to finish this series over Christmas break.


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