Books of Awesome

I don’t normally write book reviews, but why not? I’ve been catching up on some great “nerdy” books of late and it seems like something to share.

My favorite recent book purchase by far is Ready Player One by Ernie Cline. As a child of the eighties this book is glorious. All of the pop-culture references left my nerdy little brain “squeeing” with joy. The best part is that all of the eighties trivia matters to the plot and isn’t just there for fun. Although it is totally fun. Certain chapters left me on the edge of my seat, reading as fast I could to get to the next page and the next – the true definition of a page-turner. I had so much fun reading this book, I’ve already read it again – twice. The premise of the story centers around finding a very, VERY, valuable Easter egg in the world’s largest online game, and the lengths people will go to find it including using slavery and murder (these would, of course, be the bad guy’s methods). Crazy, huh? But so much fun! Read it!

I also picked up a copy of The Nerdist Way by nerd overlord Chris Hardwick. This is more of a self-help book and I must admit, it does help if through no other way than by offering positive affirmations for us geekier types. The book is basically Chris saying, “This is how I live my life and it works for me. Take from it what works for you and have fun.” I do recommend this to anyone (especially any nerd) who is feeling stuck in a rut and needs a little direction to help with the unsticking. A lot of what Chris has to say is common sense put into action. He does offer some incredibly helpful advice, including step by step directions on how to fix your credit if you’ve screwed it up. Speaking to this section specifically: I should warn readers to remember that Chris does make at least a six-figure income, so it was easier for him to pay off debts and get his credit back on track in only few years, where it would  take most folks in more typical lower-income brackets twice or even three times as long to do the same. But this aside, the book is a quick-read and full of great ideas and positive affirmations. Highly recommended.

Back in the fiction/fantasy world of literature I have FINALLY started reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (also known as Game of Thrones) and kicking myself for not starting sooner because they are AWESOME. The characters are mostly human, with some supernatural elements interwoven here and there. I have to say, I am really enjoying the lack of magicy-wagicky stuff. (There is some magic, but it doesn’t overwhelm the storyline). Wizards, witches, elves and other magical creatures are fun and all, but they usually serve as allegory or deux ex machina and it’s nice to have a “kingdom fantasy” storyline focused on the foibles and triumphs of humans as humans. There were moments in the first book (Game of Thrones) that left me speechless and others that caused me to react audibly – as in a gasp or actually blurting out, “Holy crap what the EFF just happened?!”

I know that I’m probably just preaching to the choir on this series as I am sooo very late getting to it (the first book was published in 1996). But for those of you who haven’t read them, get thee to a Barnes and Noble (or your local, non-corporate, bookstore) and devour them with your eye-holes! And just in case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t seen the TV series because we don’t get HBO, but I am totally looking forward to getting the DVDs!

So that’s what I’ve been reading recently. What about you?

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