Daily Ramble 96: Books of November 2017
I kinda figured I wouldn’t be able to get through 5 books during a busy holiday laden November but I tried. I did manage to get through 4 and I reached my yearly goal of 48 books for 2017 so I was happy.
The Currents of Space
The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov was the first novel I read in November. It was a really good book even though it was more of a standalone than part of the Robot or Empire series. Technically it is part of the Galactic Empire series but it really read like a standalone because there wasn’t much in the way of empire in the book only kinda at the end. Instead, this thriller/detective style novel was a lot of fun and I liked it so much it actually made it up on my top lists for 2017.
The Doomsday Book was the second book I read this time around and while I enjoyed the reading and appreciated the character development and world building, it was really depressing. The plot centered around a researcher who went back to 14th century England to learn about the living styles of the time. Instead of arriving 20 years before the black plague, she landed smack dab in the middle of it. This essentially gave us hundreds of pages of getting to know characters who eventually died horribly. So while I think it was a good book, it was a bit too depressing for me.
The third book I read in November was Magician: Apprentice. I’ve read this book before and I really enjoyed it and I’m glad it’s held up so well over time. I have been waiting for it to come out on the Kindle and on Audible and I’m so glad that it finally has made it to those formats. I actually made this one my 48th book of the year so that I made my yearly goal by finishing this book off.
Similar to Currents of Space, this one also made it onto my lists for 2017 and I’m glad it was as good as I remembered. Since I enjoyed it so much I’m going to go ahead and read the rest of the Rift War saga and the various follow on series by Raymond Feist.
Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among The Sons Of North Korea’s Elite
The final book I read this month was my nonfiction selection – Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among The Sons Of North Korea’s Elite. This was a pretty educational and enlightening book that shed light on North Korea and the goings-on there during Kim Jong-il’s reign.
Suki Kim takes us through the time she spent as an English instructor for some of the sons of the North Korean elites. It’s pretty amazing that even the children of the elites from that country are treated so poorly. I really got a sense of how backwards and not even Third World this country is. It’s just completely outside of the rest of civilization and that’s scary. The book was well written and told a very educational tale but it wasn’t good enough to make it onto my lists – at least my nonfiction lasts.
My 2017 Top
As of November I’ve got 5 books that I’ve rated an A and 10 that have earned an A- this year so I figured it would be good to list them all. These are all books I’d recommend to anyone interested in SciFi or Fantasy as I definitely enjoyed them. I added two books to my A- category this month – Magician: Apprentice and The Currents of Space and I think both are positive additions to my lists.
Rated A (5)
- Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (2007)
- Gateway by Frederick Pohl (1977)
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (2014)
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (1950)
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick (1968)
Rated A- (10)
- Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (2009)
- Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown (2014)
- Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederick Pohl (1980)
- Lock In by John Scalzi (2014)
- Heechee Rendezvous by Frederick Pohl (1985)
- Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (2016)
- Arcadia: A Novel by Iain Pears (2015)
- Magician: Apprentice by Raymond Feist (1982) <- added November 2017
- The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov (1952) <- added November 2017