I wanted to share some of my favorite reads so far. Movies and TV are great but they are over in a few hours. Also, they require zero imagination. When I have to conjure up the people, places, and things in my own mind, I feel like I’ve been there. I’m involved. Watching something is too passive. I am a slow reader so it takes me hours to work through a book. The more hours I spend reading, the less hours I have to be bored or freaked out.
Here are a few of my favorite escapes so far.
I’ve worked my way through a huge chunk of IDW’s Transformers, Phase Two series. Over 80 issues so far. This is a world I have wanted to be a part of since 1984. The comics, unlike the movies and TV shows have little to no humans, something I am very grateful for. I’m here for the giant robots. Period.
I recently read both The Night Circus and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Probably the most fantastical novels in this bunch. If I could choose to live in either of those novels I would. They are beautiful and I love them.
In contrast, I just finished Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. It’s pretty grounded in reality, but not as we know it. It’s fast paced and exciting. The idea it plays with throughout is something I think about a lot and it was fun to see someone tackle the notion of the multiverse and all its possibilities.
One of my favorite random discoveries is the The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty. I was in the bookstore and I was stopped in my tracks when I saw the cover of the second book, Kingdom of Copper. I quickly found the first one, City of Brass, and started reading it that day. Growing up one of my favorite books was Arabian Nights. This series is Arabian Nights to the nth degree. The world is vividly rendered in lavish colors and rich detail. The political intrigue and personal relationships are complex and surprising. I love so many of the characters. I have avoided the final book so it can never end but then again, I must know what happens. But Empire of Gold is next read and I have zero doubt that I will cry and be utterly amazed by the time I turn the last page.
I really enjoyed The Golem and the Ginni by Helene Wecker. While set in NYC, a place I have visited a few times, it’s in the past and entrenched in the day to day lives of some really wonderful characters. It’s anchored by the lives of these very normal people who have no idea the magic in their midst.
The Revenger Trilogy by Alastair Reynolds. I read book one, The Revenger, a couple of years again. At the time I was so bummed because I really liked the world he had built. There were some really cool concepts of time and space. When I found out that it was a trilogy, I immediately bought the other two books. Besides, it’s hard to get much cooler than space pirates.
The Prey of the Gods by Nicky Drayden was a little gory but unlike anything I have read in a while. The best word I can think of to describe this one is, unexpected.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia was not at all something I would usually read but I don’t regret it. It is a true gothic novel with giant scary house and a cast of suspicious characters. I admit I was enraptured by the mystery of what was going on that I read it only a few days. It was intense. But it did have an ending I could live with and that is important to me.
I finally read Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. I see why so many people love it. It’s set in a hyper reality we move closer to every day and yet I’m not sure our tech will ever be as cool as it is in the book. It’s fast paced from page one and a lot of fun. I am 100% convinced we would not have Ready Player One without this book.
Stars Wars and Halo novels are good diversions. I have only read a fraction of these, but I am familiar enough with the overall scope of these worlds that I’m not usually too lost. When I am not sure what to read, I resort to my short story collections of Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, both masters in imagination.
Those are few of my humble suggestions. If you have any great escapes to recommend, let me know on FB or Twitter. Stay safe and happy reading!