Monday, February 15, 2010

Policy change, and Books 18/19 out of 62

All right, a couple things:

First, I feel the need to add "Happy Presidents Day!" to my previous post.

Second, I want to make clear that my intention is still to read through every book on my 60-book reading list. However, I have decided that I'm just going to go ahead and add to the list whenever I want to. Because it's my list. I can do that. It will make the project longer, but the project is still to read everything on my recommended reading list. As I journey down this path others have helped me set, though, I find my appetite for reading changing. Growing. New tastes arising. For the first time, I'm discovering things I want to read on my own. Things I might not have picked up on my own.

And that's good. That was the point, after all.

So when those things come about, I'm just going to add them to the pile. Cause reading is awesome.

The two books I'm currently reading were not part of the original recommended list. They're not replacing anything on the list. They're just taking us from 60 to 62 for the time being. One is a direct result of something I read earlier that I realized I just didn't want to wait another 43 books before I could get to it. The other, I'll explain in a bit.

Here are the next two books on my plate:

Olympos, by Dan Simmons.

Olympos is the follow-up to Ilium, which has possibly been my favorite among the 17 books I've read so far on this journey. If Ilium was sort of the Iliad meets The Tempest in the future in outer space with literature-buff robots, Olympos appears to be what happens when The Iliad goes off-course and an all-out war against the Olympian gods breaks out.

'Nuff said.

The book is 691 pages long and is published by eos books (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers). It didn't win the Locus Award like its predecessor did, but it did make the shortlist in 2006, so that's something!

Evil: A Primer, by William Hart.

This one I'm reading

Okay, actually, the only reason I picked up this book was because I went to the Library to pick up a New Avengers trade paperback I had reserved and I felt a bit silly walking out of the library with nothing but a comic book, so I went to the philosophy/religion section and thought this might be mildly interesting.

The subtitle on this book is "A History of a Bad Idea from Beelzebub to Bin Laden."

I know my biases. I know I'm probably going to disagree with just about everything William Hart says. But what good is life if you only read opinions you agree with, right?

The inside flap says of this book, "More than an explanation of why bad things happen, Evil: A Primer is a tour through the nether regions in search of what we really know."

Short tour. The book is 192 pages, double-spaced.

Here's the author bio: "William Hart is a former longtime newspaper reporter and editor who specialized in the coverage of criminal justice and mental health. He currently works as a public policy research analyst at Arizona State University and lives in Phoenix. This is his first book."

Good on you, William.

204 pages (with index), St. Martin's Press.

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