The October Book Haul

Between watching horror movies for Hail Horror 6, playing Batman: Arkham City until my eyes fell out of my head, helping my grandmother move out of the family home, and being laid out with a respiratory infection for close to two weeks, the fates didn't leave me a lot of time for good old fashioned book readin'.  I made the decision this month to severely cut back on my weekly comic haul - as much as I love my LCS (Grasshoppers Comics in East Williston, and a nicer man than John Riley you'd be hard pressed to find), I've been getting less and less interested in physical copies of comics I'll never read again, preferring to catch up on collected series I can read together, either on my iPad or in a trade.  So going forward there should be a lot more free time to dive into the enormous pile of great books I've either picked up, downloaded, or just plain coveted from afar.

And what a freakin' pile this month.  With less than a week in October remaining, it looks like the only book besides Petrograd (reviewed here) that I'll complete is Neal Stephenson's latest 1,000 page (well, 923 pages to be exact) behemoth, Reamde.  Stephenson's all over the map in terms of genre, getting his start in landmark cyberpunk SF like Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, he's also fearlessly tread into WWII action (Cryptonomicon), political activism (Zodiac), far-future alien/mathematics insanity (Anathem, reviewed here) and, of course, he's perhaps best known for his mammoth 3,000 page Baroque Cycle a trilogy I sheepishly admit having defeated me on three seperate occassions.  And while Reamde seems on the surface to be his most accessible work, a modern action thriller about a computer virus that affects millions of players of a World of Warcraft-like game that spins into real-world terrorism once it crosses paths with Russian mobsters and Islamic jihadists, it still displays all the quirks that make reading Stephenson a delight: massive amounts of details and and explorations into how the building of a MMORPG works, characters that start out as broad sketches, only to slowly deepen and glow with an inner life that makes the action that much more thrilling, and of course the ideas on top of ideas on top of ideas, both technological, philosophical and cultural.

The rest of the virtual haul looks like this:

  • The God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins
  • 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
  • The Night Eternal - Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
  • The Children of the Sky - Vernor Vinge
  • The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Damned - Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Visible Man - Chuck Klosterman

Going forward I plan to have reviews for everything I read, but I'll continue the book haul on a monthly basis.  In the meantime, what are you reading?