My Reading List

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I used to read a lot as a kid and young adult.  Since getting caught up in being an adult, I fell off the band wagon and just didn’t read too often.  In fact, I don’t think I read for pleasure for about ten years.  In 2012, I decided to do something about this and made a plan to read four books for fun.  It turns out that reading four books was pretty easy when I set out to do it and ended up reading quite a bit more than that. After seeing others in the SQL Server community talking and tweeting about the books they’ve read, I figured I could make a list of what I’ve been reading.  Maybe someone out there will be interested in some of these titles.

2014

  1.  Wool: Proper Gauge
  2. Wool: Casting Off

2013

  1. Earthshaker - Science fiction tale that ties the old gods of the Greeks to the current day.  With the story revolving around the Minotaur.  Not a bad book, but was harder to get through that most of what I’ve read recently.
  2. Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warrier – Quick fast post-end of the world story.  About a warrier and his desires to help the towns emerging in the new world. I really enjoyed this from both a story and ease of read perspective.
  3. Indentured - A number of clones wake up on a spaceship and find out that the world they remember has changed dramatically.
  4. Chosen - Thriller about a couple groups of secret society folks chasing down a boy and his mother.  Good story, not sure I read the rest of the series though.
  5. Onslaught Ascension – Decent story about teens abducted by aliens.  The premise was good but there were a number of grammatical issues and holes in the story that made it tough to read at times.  All-in-all I plan to read the sequel when it comes out.
  6. The Spider and the Fly – Story set in the future after humans have conquered and been conquered by alien races.  It focuses on the truth about the past and the legacy of humanity.  One of the best books I’ve read in a while – riveting story that I pretty much couldn’t put down.
  7. Wool – Short story about a sheriff in an apocalyptic future.  It was an interesting book that Brent Ozar (Blog | @BrentO) recommended.  I’m still trying to decide if I like it.  May read it again in a month.
  8. Ender’s Game – A brilliant child tasked with saving humanity.  The story follows his years in school and their repercussions   Wish I had heard of this book when it came out over 20 years ago.  Glad to see there are other books in the series.  Adding them to my future reading list.
  9. Caves of Steel – My first time reading an Isaac Asimov book and I’m sad that I didn’t read more of his books earlier.  Glad that one of my goals for the year is to read through as much of his suggested Robot Series book list as I can.  The story wasn’t so much a robot fantasy story as a detective story with some social commentary, classic true sci-fi.
  10. Sick - I first thought this might be a zombie book when I saw it but then found out it was a thriller on germ warfare and global conspiracies.  Great and well-paced story.  It was hard to put down and I ended up reading it over two days.  There are two sequels to this story and I’m planning to read those now too.
  11. The Fall of the House of Usher – A classic Poe short story.  Good story with an overwhelming sense of dread.  Figured since I hadn’t read it, I should.  So worth it.
  12. The Blockade Runners – Like Asimov, I didn’t read enough (or any) Jules Verne as a kid.  A novella of a voyage to the US during the Civil War.  Interesting the bit of discussion in the book about the purpose of the Civil War, states rights versus slavery.
  13. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – I saw the cartoon for this as a kid and figured I should read the real classic American story.  It was good and brought back some good childhood memories.
  14. Beauty and the Beast – Ok, ok, not the Disney book.  I’m not going all children’s books in my reading list, but I knew there was a story prior to the Disney flick and thought I’d check it out.  It was… mediocre, but quick.
  15. The Land That Time Forgot – The first book in the Caspak series and a story that I’ve known about for years.  It is told from the point of view of a journal recovered in Iceland.  It takes a while to get to “the land” but the story was engaging and a good read.  It tells the story of a group on a submarine stuck on in a “land” that is populated with extinct animals and pre-historic versions of man.
  16. The People That Time Forgot – The second book in the Caspak series.  This one picks up with a rescue mission for the people stuck on the island.  It continues also with an explanation of some of the higher evolution of man on the island.  Another great story.
  17. Out of Time’s Abyss – The third book in the Caspak series.  This book finishes describing the people’s of Caspak with a focus on the Wieroo and the evolution on the island.  It does a great job of tying off the series and wrapping everything up.
  18. The Island of Doctor Moreau – I’ve always heard this was a great story and I’ll have to say it’s just a good story.  Something in either the prose or the formatting to kindle made it hard to get too drawn into.  For those unfamiliar with the story, the main character ends up on the island of Doctor Moreau and he has to deal with the doctors hobby of vivisection.
  19. The Boy at the End of the World – Interesting story that starts in the distant with a boy waking up at a time when it appears that humans are extinct.  I really enjoyed this one and plowed through it in a couple days.  Hard to put down and worth the read.
  20. Breakers (Breakers, Book 1) – Another hard to put down book.  A disease comes through and wipes out nearly everyone.  Those that remain have to deal with a spaceship that arrives a few months later.  The story follows a couple characters as they eventually intersect their stories and work together.  If you are looking a good science-fiction book, this is one to consider.
  21. The Girls From Alcyone – A good sci-fi story with a strong female character driven plot.  In a few of the early chapters, it seemed that there were a lot of plot lines being left unfinished.  By the end of the story, though, the lines were pulled together.  Another science-fiction book that I’d recommend.
  22. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls – I’ve been a Jane Austin fan for a while and wondered if this book would be any good.  Surprisingly, it was a great read.  The characters were fairly true to the original versions of the characters from Austin.  For those unaware, the story is basically a parallel universe where all of the characters live in a world where zombies are making a resurgence.
  23. The Mystic Saga – Earlier this year, I read the first book in this series, Indentured.  I enjoyed that story and picked up the other four stories in this omnibus edition.  The reading was a bit tricky at times because there are a number of interwoven story lines that left me feeling as though the stories were incomplete.  By the end, though, everything wrapped up and pulled together and it was hard to finally put down.
  24. The Tears of Elios – I wanted to read this one since Sarah had read and liked it, and it was a pretty good read.  It’s basically a fantasy adventure in a land of magic and shape-shifters.  There’s some great dynamics between the characters and I was left wanting more.  Hopefully the author decides to write a follow-up that continues the story.
  25. Alien Cradle – I enjoyed this book.  Lots of story lines that were all twisted together and no hanging details when it all wrapped up.  It’s basically a sci-fi adventure about a group of scientists creating aliens since they couldn’t find any.  The one thing that really hurt this book was the lack of editing.  It read as though it hadn’t been edited, in one case the character names were transposed.  It definitely made me want to reconsider reading books published as kindle only editions.
  26. The Chessmen of Mars – Another in the Barsoom series.  This time with John Carter’s daughter, Tara.  For being written 90 years ago, this book stands the test of time and is a good read.  The gist of the story is Tara gets lost on Mars after an intense storm.  She meets a few people and ends up as a slave in a previously unknown country.  In the end, her companions help lead a slave revolt and John Carter sweeps in and rescues everyone.
  27. What Zombie Fear – This book takes zombies in a different direction than usual, there are smart zombies, special abilities and references to parasites as the cause.  The story was compelling to read and hard to put down.  That said, the author got stuck on some details that took away from the story.  Too much gun and bullet counting and too much focus on his kid without really developing the child to the point that we care as much about him as the other characters do.  Not as bad as some others, there were a few spots that
  28. Warm Bodies – The book the movie of the same name was based on.  It was, per the usual, much better than the movie.  The basics are the same, zombie eats boy, zombie meets girl, boy brains and zombie return to life, zombie gets girl.  Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that and it does delve into the ideas of whether we really appreciate the world around us and live in it.
  29. Boba Fett: A Practical Man – A Star Wars short story I picked up a while back.  Definitely young adult reading, but it was fun to read something from the Star Wars universe for a change.  I haven’t read one of these in more than ten years.  It’s a good story for some insight into Boba Fett and the Mandolarians during the Yuuzhan Vongi invasion.
  30. The Naked Sun – The second book in Isaac Asimov’s Robot Series.  This one was more focused on robots and a pretty good read.  Instead of taking place on Earth, it’s another detective story but this time on the planet Solaria.  It was really hard to put this down.  So much so, that I jumped right into the next Asimov book after finishing it, even though I was planning to take a break from reading to work on some writing.
  31. The Robots of Dawn – The third book in Isaac Asimov’s Robot Series.  It’s a bit longer than The Naked Sun but just as spellbinding.  In the third book, Baley is back with a detective story trying to save himself, Earth, and Aurora.  Asimov winds numerous smaller plot lines that all come together in the end making for a great detective story… with robots.
  32. The Dwarves – This is the first book in Markus Heitz’s dwarf books.  The reviews for the book were pretty good so I gave it a whirl.  It was absolutely amazing.  One of the best books I’ve read and completely engrossing and rich with detail.  The story follows the adventures of an orphaned dwarf being reunited with the dwarven kingdoms while on an errand for his adoptive human mage.  Soon war rages the lands and everyone must come together to fight off the evil, only the orphaned dwarf is the only one that realizes this.
  33. The Eye of the World – The first book of the Wheel of Time series, it’s a pretty good story, though a bit long winded at times.  If the story weren’t so comelling, I might not quite finish.  It follows the story of Rand as him and his friends discover that they are meant to save the world.
  34. The Great Hunt – The second book in the Wheel of Time series.  In this one, Rand is coming to terms, though resisting, his role as the savior.  It’s interesting to read a story where the main character resists the opportunity for power and looks for a way back to a simpler life.  Good book and I’ll be picking up the third book in the series soon.
  35. The Stars, Like Dust – Another book by Isaac Asimov.  It took a few pages to get the story going but I really had a hard time putting this one down after getting going.  The story follows Biron Farrill as he is setup to be assassinated after his father’s death and follows the politics of an intergalactic empire.
  36. Shadow of the Hegemon – This is the eighth book in the Ender series (chronologically).  I hadn’t meant to jump ahead but had been incorrectly informed that it would be part of the Ender’s Game movie that just came out.  Regardless, the story was great.  It sets up the path on how Peter becomes the Hegemon and how Bean helped make it all possible.
  37. The Currents of Space – Another book in the Isaac Asimov’s Empire Series.  This one was pretty good, it did take a bit to get going but once the story got going, it was hard to put down.  This story, like many of his others, is a detective style story where the politicians are trying to sort out who is blackmailing who and what is the secret that could end the world.
  38. Pebble in the Sky – The third book in the Empire Series.  It’s interesting how all of these books are connected to each other in the grand scheme of things, but don’t have any character overlaps.  The main connecting theme being the development of the Galactic Empire.  The story was good and, per the usual, Asimov wrapped up a very good detective story into the book and I spent the last half of the book trying to figure out the clues and how it would all work out.
  39. Zombie, Inc. – This is a post zombie apocalypse story that picks up after society has started rebuilding and the corporations that are built to help with the remaining zombies.  The story was decent.  It’s a different look at the post apocalypse.  I’ve read better and worse, it kind of fits right in the middle.
  40. A Thread of Magic – This book is a follow-up to The Tears of Elios.  It includes a number of short stories that help to flush out the characters more provide details on what happens after the events in the main book.  The book was a quick read and was really enjoyable.
  41. Prelude to Foundation – The first prequel in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, the story follows the advent of psychohistory and the struggle to understand how to build the foundation for the science.  I enjoyed this novel quite a bit and am hoping that the core of the Foundation series is just as good.
  42. Forward to Foundation – The second prequel to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.  The book seemed to server as a vehicle by Asimov to tie up loose ends between the first prequel and the start of the Foundation series.  A number of characters were killed off and some of the story lines were set for the start of the series.  Of course, I haven’t read the rest of the series so there is a bit of conjecture there on my part.  It seemed the focus on the stories was making sure readers of Prelude to Foundation wouldn’t wonder about this or that story line and how it should or shouldn’t have impacted the rest of the series.  As with all of Asimov’s books, I’ve read, this was another that was enjoyable.
  43. Reign of Blood – A post apocalyptic vampire story.  The story follows a girl who is trying to figure out where her mother and brother have gone off to.  The book was a little too young adult for me and I ended up skimming through the last 30 or so pages just to get to the end.  If you are a teenager into a more edgy Twilight, this might be the book for you, it really wasn’t my cup of tea.

2012

  1. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War – Great zombie story written from the standpoint of someone reporting on the events of the zombie apocalypse and the recovery after that.
  2. Zomblog – Zombie story written in a blog/journal format.  It follows the journey of the author in the post apocalypse   I really enjoyed this book.
  3. Dead Things – Yet another zombie book.  Written after the apocalypse in the new society.  The story uncovers the source of the zombie plague.  Great book to read following the last one.
  4. Dome Child – Science fiction story in the future after a few more world wars where religion and the end of the world.  The story revolves around a few people that get to decide between the end and hope for the future.
  5. Containment – Cool science fiction story told from the perspective of a colony on Venus.  The main character comes of age and starts to ask questions about whether he wants to be on Venus or go back to Earth.
  6. How Lego Built A Comeback – Interesting story that could have been told much better.  When I finished I really felt like the author ripped me off on my time.  There were some interesting facts but overall no good explanation of what Lego did.
  7. A Princess of Mars – Story of John Carters first trip to Mars.  Basically, it’s the first part of the movie John Carter – but immensely better.  Worth the read if you enjoy sci-fi books.
  8. The Gods of Mars – Follow-up to A Princess of Mars, John Carter returns to rescue the princess.  Great book – you should read it.
  9. The Warlord of Mars – John Carters back and he’s about to unite the entire planet.  Follow his adventures as he travels to the south side of the planet.  Another one to read, as well.
  10. Thuvia, Maid of Mars – No longer a story about John Carter, but now the focus is on his son.  As good as the others, it was as hard to put this down as the others.
  11. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Arhur Dent and company travel the universe after the Earth blows up.  Great book that I read often as a kid.
  12. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Arthur and company on the move again and this time they meet their meat.  Another book that I read as a kid and still enjoy.
  13. Life, the Universe and Everything -
  14. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish – Back on Earth, which suddenly returns, and Arthur runs around saving the universe again.  I barely remembered reading this as a kid and still enjoyed it.
  15. Mostly Harmless – I think I read this as a kid and still didn’t really enjoy.  I want to hear about Arthur and all, but this just wasn’t easy to get through.
  16. Guns of Seneca 6 – Cowboy science fiction in the future on a rim planet.  It was an entertaining and fast read.  Going to be looking for a follow-up for this story.
  17. Vallar – Another science fiction story about the colonies of Mars.  A fast read and very entertaining.  Looking forward to a sequel to this book.
  18. Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 205 – Zombie story about an agoraphobic who finally goes outside for the first time in decades.  A decent, quick book.
  19. The Time Machine – Classic science fiction from Jules Verne.  If you haven’t read this, you are selling yourself short.
  20. 30 Minute Plan – So-so zombie short story.  Good concepts but the story went too quick and something was missing that would have really helped.
  21. The Observer – Sci-fi story set during World War II about an event that changes humankind forever.  Quick pace and interesting subject.  Good for a quick science fiction story.
  22. Jailbreak - A two chapter sampler for the novel The Hunger.  I’m not sure I’ll be reading more than the sample.
  23. Vimana - Cool story about how the Hindu gods are, in fact, aliens.  And their internal battle with the “fallen” alien, otherwise known as Satan (amongst other names.  Great for a new twist on gods as aliens stories and easy to read.

Book Series

I’m always looking for books to read, especially those that are part of a series.  Here are the ones that I’m reading or planning to read.

Planned

Started

  • Baroom Series – I didn’t discover this series until Disney’s John Carter movie.  Fortunately, I saw the movie first because otherwise it would have been a disappointment.  These books are well written and very enjoyable.  So far I’ve read 4 of the 11 books.
  • Dune – Started reading Dune as a kid and continually have read the first book over and over throughput the years.  I finally committed to reading the series all the way through about 10 years ago.  Then read the expanded universe Herbert’s son has worked on.  Not quite the same, but enjoyable.  Right now I’ve read 15 of the 17 books.
  • Ender’s Game – No idea this was a series until I read Ender’s Game and ended the book wanting more.  Fortunately, there is a ton more to the series and I’m looking forward to reading them all.
  • Robot Series (Asimov)
  • Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
  • Traveler Series – I read the first book in the series years and years ago and really enjoyed it.  No idea if it will stand the test of time, but I’m going to pick them up and find out.
  • Wool – Turned onto the series by Brent and Jeremiah.  The first book kind of sits in you and stews and now I’m planning to read everything else in the series.