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This one time at Writer's Camp…

What’s On Your Bookshelf?

Okay, back to you regularly scheduled programming…

There’s a few books on my wishlist this summer that I can’t wait to get. Normally, I tend to find an author that I really enjoy and stick with them religiously until either 1) They start to suck, or 2) I realize that they already sucked and I’m just slow, or 3) Author (or publisher) discontinues the series. And trust me kids, you really have to suck to earn your way to my donation bin. I can easily count just how few books have made it to the recycle bin over the past ten years. Oddly enough, they’re all by the same guy…

Anyways, my summer wishlist is based on my reading preferences at the moment. Last summer I was all about Harry Turtledove’s alternate history series American Empire, of which there are more books in a collective series. But the trilogy I owned (and read over and over) was American Empire. It’s a gritty, nasty look at how the post WWI would have looked like had the South won the Civil War but lost in the Great War to the US and Germany. It talks about the rise of fascism in the Confederacy after their gut-wrenching loss in WWI and how a simple sergeant in the Confederate Army rises up and creates the same environment that we know of from our own history during the 1930’s in Germany with the rise of Nazism. It was one of those series that I just couldn’t put down.

This summer, though, I’m going more for the fantastic. I’ve been reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and though the last book, The Last Olympian, was released last year I have yet to purchase it. I’m waiting for the paperback, because all the others in the series are in paperback and I’m weird about that. Despite my utter disappointment in The Lightning Thief movie, I’m still looking forward to seeing how Riordan wraps up Percy Jackson.

Another book on the list is Jim Butcher’s Changes, which is the latest Dresden novel. I tend to buy these books as e-books, because they changed the paperback format and my books would look uneven. YES, I have a very mild case of OCD when it comes to my books. So what? I’m sure other people are OCD about their clothes, pets, kids, etc. But Changes comes out this spring. Actually, I think it comes out tomorrow. *makes a mental note*

Prospero Burns, by Dan Abnett, is another book that just misses my summer wish list. It comes out this December, but already my friends are frothing at the bit to get their grubby hands on it. Abnett, by far our favorite author in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, takes the Prospero story during the Horus Heresy and I personally can’t wait to see what he’s done with it.

No, my first book on my summer wishlist is Ragnarok by Patrick Vanner. Unfamiliar with him? Get familiar. Vanner is a up and coming talent who Baen Books locked up a few years ago upon the advice of another Baen author, John Ringo. Ragnarok is set in the future when humanity is at war with an alien race. Now, while this may seem a bit clichéd, I’m still looking forward to reading it. After all, Ragnarok, according to the Norse mythos, is the beginning of the end. That, in itself, doesn’t bode well for humanity.

Another one on my list is Tom Kratman’s The Lotus Eaters. Kratman earned himself somewhat of a bad reputation after writing the controversial The Watch on the Rhine with John Ringo, which followed the exploits of regenerated SS Waffen troops battling to save Germany and the world from aliens. However, The Lotus Eaters is a far different horse. It is the third book in a series (A Desert Called Peace and Carnifex) and shows the continuing inner struggle of a man who is bent on revenge against the murderers of his family. I personally think this series is the best Kratman has ever done, and I’ve been eagerly waiting for this one to be released.

Though I already own one of her books, Oriana Fallaci has been on my mind as of late. I recently was given The Force of Reason and now I really, really want to pick up another one of her books, The Rage and The Pride. Fallaci’s writing is controversial, eye-opening and opinionated. Her own experiences during her long lifetime (she died in 2006) give her more credibility than most historians who write in dull, monotone voices. Fallaci is a rich writer who is not afraid of speaking her piece. She also tears apart the extremism behind Islam, which is something most people are afraid to do these days due to the responses and glaringly obvious lack of “free speech”.

What are you planning on reading this summer? Anything good?

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8 responses to “What’s On Your Bookshelf?

  1. Tom Kratman April 5, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    My reputation – good or bad – stems from a lot more than just Watch on the Rhine, Jason. The right likes me; the left hates me; and that gets more true with each book.

  2. warpcordova April 5, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    It’s undeserved, in my opinion. You touch controversial, non-politically correct subject matter and write about it without the necessary spittle and hate involved and you are immediately assumed to be the worst. I like The Watch on the Rhine myself, but ADCP was much, much better.

  3. Tom Kratman April 5, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Oh, yes, it’s better.

    I had to stop reading Turtledove, by the way. I just could not take so much as one more iteration of, “I ain’t saying you’re wrong,” or any of its overused variants.

  4. warpcordova April 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    I only read this series (I think it’s nine books long now) and “Guns of the South”. Everything else I avoid.

    I really wish someone who wasn’t a utopian would write an alt-history series.

  5. Tom Kratman April 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    That would probably be me.

    And, eventually, I will. For that matter, since ADCP is something of an alternate history, arguably I have.

    It was in that series that “I ain’t saying you’re wrong” began. It has since infected others. There’s nothing wrong with something like that, until it gets overused to the point of nausea.

  6. warpcordova April 5, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Hmm… I’d actually call Caliphate alt-history before ADCP, even though there are far more parallels in ADCP to our current socio climate.

    Looking back, I wonder if it would have made a lot more people pissed off at Turtledove if he had not done the “I ain’t saying you’re wrong”. Think he would have lost readers or gained even more?

  7. Tom Kratman April 5, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Nothing overdone to that degree is likely to gain one readers. It wasn’t just one character, remember, but a series of them all mouthing one or another version of the same thing…over…and over…and over.

  8. warpcordova April 5, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Sounds like a familiar MO… say something a certain way long enough and it must be true. Man, sometimes I feel like politicians read SF for ideas.

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