I started off the summer with a reading spree, where I read six books in ten days. They were Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson (a collection of okay short stories - great ideas, decent writing), a short story collection by Brian Aldiss, Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (great as a political manifesto, as fiction it suffered the rather fatal flaw of lacking a plot), The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (which I liked so much I started a thread about it), Bill, Galactic Hero and Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers by Harry Harrison (absolutely hilarious science fiction parodies - very surprising to me as the only Harrison book I had previously read was Make Room! Make Room! which can be described as many things but definitely not hilarious) and The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (recommended in the thread I started on The Screwtape Letters - I loved it, but I do have some issues with the generally accepted interpretation of it).
Then I slowed down a bit, but kept reading good stuff for the rest of the summer.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Had me bawling. Indescribable masterpiece from start to finish. A must-read for everybody in the known universe.
Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King. Not bad at all, but strange in that it is epic in tone but not in scope. At the end I was left wondering if that was really it.
K-PAX by Gene Brewer. Clever little book that I read because I liked the movie. Nothing Earth-shattering, but good.
Shardik by Richard Adams. Very unusual story with an original twist that’s not really a twist. I really should start a thread on this one.
The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams. I hadn’t yet read his most famous book - see next entry - so the animal voice thing was new to me. Even though the dogs are clearly smarter than real dogs (they have a mythology for one thing) it felt realistic in that the dogs never appeared to humans to be anything other than animals.
Watership Down by Richard Adams. I preferred The Plague Dogs but will freely admit that the ending had me crying. I’m a sucker.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I was travelling and had finished all the books I brought. I went into a bookstore in Vienna that had a small English-language section, but it was filled with books where the author’s name is bigger than the title, the cover contains any of a rose, a bullet, a crosshair or a woman in a fancy dress, and the title is something like Keyword Platypus. This book was the least offensive one in there, so I bought it. After two pages I asked myself why the hell I had never heard of it before. A great read.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Starts out really creepy (as in really fucking unbelievably creepy), cannot really sustain it, and is a bit short. Still good, though.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I read this in Swedish years ago, never read any other books in the series, but did watch all five movies. After the fifth I wanted to find out what the hell happens next, and I started stumbling across spoilers. I’m not going to work hard to avoid spoilers for the next three years until the last two movies are out, and Dopers advised me to read the first five books instead of going directly to book six, so I reread this one in English. Clearly a book for children, but decent entertainment, and knowing a bit about what happens next it’s fun to enjoy the foreshadowing.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. Got it from the library today and burned through it in a few hours. Not bad, but still a short, easy book for kids. I’m getting Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban tomorrow; I’m told that’s where the series starts to pick up.