Friday, April 13, 2007

Books and Binocs

I thought I'd put a little post up here with a couple reviews. I made it a goal of mine to start reading more. And since there is only one more Harry Potter book out there I felt it was time to stop buying all my books out of the back of the Weekly Reader. In all fairness I think I've read more books in the past couple months than I did in the past couple years. What can I say I like TV, and movies. I'm also pretty sure that all bookstores in LA only sell books about screenwriting and how to make it in the biz. (Here's a hint, if you're buying those books...give up.) But now that I'm in Seattle, which I found out was named after the only native american tribe with a written language. Coincidentally their word for book was also the same for coffee. Fascinating stuff. Here is a quick rundown of a couple...

The Forever War: Joe Haldeman

Wow. This thing is the liberal Starship Troopers. This book tells the tale of a man involved in the genesis of an intergalactic war between earth and an alien race. Through the use of wormholes and travel nearing the speed of light he falls prey to relativity and although he will be gone for only a handful of months, every time he returns to earth decades have past. A true work of science fiction, not fantasy, as Haldeman does his best to cram it with amazing theoretical science and sociology. From several month long deceleration periods to avoid crush G's to the rise of Homosexuality as population control. Go get it, you will not be disapointed and you will be amazed that someone hasn't taken this and horribly mangled it on the way to the big screen. Although if Alfonso Cuaron wanted to make a companion piece to Children of Men, this would be it.

World War Z - Max Brooks
If you are remotely interested in any of the following; Zombies, The Apocalypse, War, Sociology, Big Business Corruption, Mangled Foreign Policy, Hubris, Hope, Human Will, Military History, Medical Mysteries, Celebrity News and a ton of other stuff, pick up this book. It is a comprehensive look at the history of a world changing event, from how it happened, why it could of been avoided, how it could have been handled differently, and dozens of other perspectives from the most public to the picayune. It is really a book filled with many different Zombie movies. Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Resident Evil would be mere chapters in this book. This book also goes further and bigger than any movie has (or probably could). All of it written in a non-exploitive, inquisitive and caring way. Please read.

I also have seen that the audio book for this looks all kinds of amazing, with voice talents for each story told from Rob Reiner to Henry Rollins. I may have to get it.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

I chose this illustration rather than the book cover because it was what first made me want to read this book. Its a terrific description of the novel. Reading up on this book online I see two views. One describes it as a novel about a Father and Son running from cannibals in a post apocolyptic world. This makes it sound like an action novel, it's not. The other view is that I see it's in Oprah's book club, which makes it seem like its going to be more a soft touchy feely kind of read, it's not. Set several years after a more or less unexplained catastrophy it is the tale of a Father and Son clinging to life on a road searching for something better. The catastrophy (most likely nuclear) has left the world barren, and these two search for food that doesn't talk. Not so with much of the other remaining population.
Told in a poetic style, with little punctuation aside from periods it conveys the silence of a dead world. Not light Sunday reading, but a fascinating and touching story of hope.

For any fans of the show Jericho, this is what the 10th season should look like if they don't puss out and make the world get better.

There are other books, but for now this will do. Go get them, enjoy them. Next I'm going to finally start reading Dune. I've seen the movies enough times.


Finally, as a quick little note. I have started taking pictures from my window here in Seattle with my digital camera through binoculars as a zoom lens. I like the results.

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