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Friday, August 26, 2016

Caves of Steel

My latest book was Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov.  Next up are Unbroken, The Sun Also Rises, and The Naked Sun.

I liked this book.  Caves of Steel was the first novel of Isaac Asimov's Robot series, which consists of 5 novels and 38 short stories published over several decades.  Many of these stories, Caves of Steel included, combine the science fiction Asimov is known so well for with a classic whodunit mystery.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An American Tragedy

An American Tragedy was the latest book on my list of classics.  Next up are Caves of Steel, Unbroken, and The Sun Also Rises.

Despite its fairly depressing contents, I really enjoyed this book.  An American Tragedy combines elements of true crime, romance, and legal drama.  It is, at times, fairly dark, with themes touching on class, religion, murder, capital punishment, and abortion, among many others.  At other times, it's like an early twentieth century combination of Trading Places and 10 Things I Hate About You with a little Mean Girls mixed in.   I generally try to avoid spoiling books in my reviews, but I don't feel like I can adequately delve into this novel without revealing a great deal of the plot, which I do below the break.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898

At 1,424 pages, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 was my longest book yet.  I actually split it into two parts so that I wouldn't become too demoralized.  Altogether, it took me 56 days to finish.  I learned a lot.  As for whether I enjoyed it, it varied quite a bit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Robot Dreams and Robot Visions

My latest books were Robot Dreams and Robot Visions by Isaac Asimov.  The next books I'll be posting reviews for are Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, An American Tragedy, and Caves of Steel.

Having read the six Dune books written by Frank Herbert, I'm now moving on to Isaac Asimov.  My plan is to read the 16 books he wrote that deal with robots or are part of the Foundation series. I started off with Robot Dreams and Robot Visions, which are the latest of several compilations of Asimov's short stories.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

1 Year of Reading

Today marks my 365th consecutive day of reading for at least half an hour. Finishing An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser today puts my book total for the year at 27 with a total page count of 16,233. While that puts me at only a little over two books a month for the year, the distribution has definitely not been even. The six books that I spent the most time reading took over six months altogether. That puts me at three and a half books per month for the other half of the year.

Some books were definitely more enjoyable than others. I think I'd have to say that, among the "classic" books that I read, War and Peace was my favorite, with the Count of Monte Cristo in a close second. My favorite non-fiction book was Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. In science fiction I've only just recently moved onto Isaac Asimov's works, starting with his books of short stories about robots. So Dune remains at the top of that list, though I wish I had foregone its many sequels.

 I definitely plan to keep going for the foreseeable future. I still have 91 classics on the list I compiled and I am planning to read all 16 of Isaac Asimov's books that deal with robots or are in his Foundation series. My list of non-fiction books, however, is pretty short, so I am always looking for recommendations there.

 You can see my full book list here. I am still working on posts for Robot Dreams, Robot Visions, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, and An American Tragedy.