Summer Re-Reading

I have been on a reading binge this summer, but an odd one, as I see to be re-reading a pile of books on my book shelf.

Certainly this saves some money.  And, after all, the reason these books remained on my bookshelf after I read them previously is that I felt I would read them again.  But still, I am on something of an unusual retro-tear when it comes to my book choices.

First I knocked off all of the Derek Robinson flight related books, sticking to the chronological order of the books based on the events in the books versus their publication date.  Those were, in the ordering I chose:

All of the books except Goshawk Squadron are related in some way, either following the thread of Hornet Squadron through two wars, with a diversion in Damned Good Show where Hornet Squadron’s intelligence officer gets moved over to Bomber Command for a tour.

I quite enjoy the whole series, bleak though it can be at times, with very young men showing up and dying, some times before they’ve even unpacked.  The series has gives me a feeling similar to that which I get when I re-read I, Claudius, in that they are so well set in their period that it I cannot really tell when the book was written.

Then, that complete, I started plucking Martin Cruz Smith novels off the shelf, specifically the Arkady Renko series.  And it has really turned into a series.  The gap between the release of books in this series indicates to me that it did not start out to be a series.  Certainly the author has no other recurring characters like Arkady.  It makes me wonder what made it become a series.  Is the main character enjoyable to write, is the popularity of the series a major factor, was his publisher on the phone begging until he wrote more?

Anyway, the one benefit of going through the first four novels, which I have read before is that there are two new ones out in paperback since I last read the series and another one is scheduled for release next year.  The series so far is:

And somewhere along the line I also managed to read Jennifer Government and Pygmy, both of which were interesting in their ways, but not enough that I think I will ever reread them.  Jennifer Government is sort of Snow Crash light, a similar fractured corporate run modern world, but without the whole metaverse aspect. And Pygmy was… erm… a critical look at Junior Swing Choir?  It is interesting and funny, but grew tiresome for me before I got to the end.

And at some point I have to re-read my copy of the Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle novel Inferno because I see they have a sequel out, only 33 years later, carrying on the tale of Alan Carpenter in Hell called Escape from Hell.

There is always more to read than I have time.  This is why I do audio books in the car during my commute.  I might have to go that route for Inferno and Escape from Hell.

What have you been reading this summer?

8 thoughts on “Summer Re-Reading

  1. Bhagpuss

    Currently reading “Saturn’s Children” by Charles Stross, which is very ambitious and very good.

    Supposed to be reading Anthony Powell’s “A Dance to the Music of Tine” 12 novel sequence, but I find it hard to concentrate on if I read it at work, so it keeps getting postponed for easy-to-read alternatives like Robert Parker’s “Promised Land”, which I re-read for about the 4th or 5th time earlier this week.

    Got a huge collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories that I am currently about two-thirds through. I keep it on top the fridge and tend to read a story while I am having having breakfast.

    Just found out that Thomas Pynchon’s new novel is published this August (I am guessing this is U.S. publication since I’ve seen nothign about it at work and I would have expected to). I didn’t read the last one but this one looks right up my street, so if it is coming out over here soon I might make use of our book-loan scheme to read it for free.

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  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I was going to say that I have “Saturn’s Children” in the audiobook queue, but I took a quick look first and I have “Saturn’s Race” (Niven/Barnes) and “Saturn Returns” (Sean Williams). Too much for a Saturday.

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  3. veksar

    I actually haven’t read anything in quite sometime now. I really need to sit down and read Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan though! It’s been sitting on my desk for like a year, but my gaming addiction keeps getting in the way! >_<

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  4. Jason

    This summer has been way weird for me. It started with Margaret Weis’ ‘Star of the Guardians’. Pretty good books, I liked em well enough, anywho.

    From there, I was recommended ’21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ by John Maxwell. Really thought provoking, and I’ve gone back over parts of it several times since.

    Next up was Skunk Works; Ben Rich’s memoirs from his years at Lockheed-Martin; first as a thermodynamacist and later as the head of the so-called ‘Skunk Works’, their advanced research division. I’m re-reading it now.

    After that was Jarhead, which is indeed a very interesting look into the mind of the US Marines, although perhaps somewhat limited in scope, as it’s just one man’s perspective. Good book all the same, however.

    Following that was ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’, a somewhat chilling look into the events surrounding the CIA support of the Afghani rebellion against the Soviets. Very, very frightening if it’s not embellished.

    Lastly, some light reading; The first two books of ‘Genesis of Shannara’ by Terry Brooks, and a re-reading of the second omnibus about ‘Gaunt’s Ghosts’, which is Warhammer 40k fiction written by Dan Abnett. All were fantastic, and will be read again in the future.

    Next up was a re-read of a few of the Gaunt’s Ghosts novels, in Omnibus form.

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Jason: The frightening part of “Charlie Wilson’s War” for me was how congress behaves. The parable of sausages and the law brought home in detail.

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  6. Max

    I’ve been on a re-reading binge too, except I haven’t found one thing to hold my attention, so I’ve just been popping in and out of different things. Although, I managed to finish the second Harry Potter so perhaps I’ll just stick with those for the rest of the month. It’s been a while since I’ve gone straight through.

    That book, Inferno, that you mentioned sounds interesting so maybe I’ll check the library for that.

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  7. Cj Didge

    Ive been reading a lot of Rogers Profanisaurus from Viz comics in the UK, not sure if anyone has every heard of it, or if its technically a book, its suited for reading on the toilet. Ive also just bought The neutronium Alchemist, second part of Peter Hamilton’s Nights dawn Trilogy, although finding the time to read is tough so im not sure how you got through so many books without anouying the family.

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