As you can see from the photos of my "reading shelf," not much has changed in the 42,000 years since I last showed the shelf's contents. This is somewhat deceptive, as I've obtained a few books that were read without spending much time on the shelf, while others have continued to collect dust as I try to find time to read them.
So here's a quick rundown on the shelf's current inhabitants:
Legacy of the Drow
The Path Between the Seas
The Johnstown Flood
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
His Dark Materials
The Match King
The Red Star
Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
The Bloody Crown of Conan
...and their memory was a bitter tree...
The Knights Templar
Sandman Volume 1
The Illustrated Stardust
The Enchantress of Florence
And Another Thing
The Hitchhiker's Trilogy
The Lost Symbol
The Sword of the Lady
M is for Magic
The Faerie Door
I am a GENIUS of UNSPEAKABLE EVIL and I want to be your CLASS PRESIDENT
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Children of Hurin
Thieves' Work Turning Points
Thieve's World Enemies of Fortune
Men of Mars
The Last Theorem
Trading in Danger
On a third shelf below my two shelves of "to-read" books, I have several hundred comic books that I haven't had time to read yet. I'd list them, but I'm sure nobody cares (and by "nobody," I mean Ms. Clack - who is the only one I imagine cares at all about any of this nonsense).
Here are the books that either made a brief (undocumented) appearance on the shelf or were finally reprieved from their reading shelf purgatory:
The Police 1978-1983 Lynn Goldsmith This oversized coffee table book is a collection of photos with just a few textual comments and photo captions. But...the book's short introduction did clear up a thing or two about the members of The Police that I had been misinformed of years earlier. So I learned something - bonus!
The Kite Runner It's been several months since I read this novel, but it was very well written and a also very informative regarding the downfall of Afghanistan and the rise of the taliban. And once again, I learned something - score!
The Ancient I don't remember much about this Salvatore novel, but I must have liked it because I picked up the sequel, The Dame, soon after finishing it. It now resides forlornly on the reading shelf.
The Orc King I'd been putting this book off for a long time, but when its sequel, The Pirate King, was published, I had to read this one so I could move on to to a pirate story. I'm just a girl who can't say no to pirate stories. It was another good Salvatore romp with Drizzt and his cohorts and I actually found myself making time to read it after work and before bed.
The Pirate King Pirates and dark elves and magic, oh my! This was another good fantasy outing with Drizzt & company.
The Ghost King I was surprised at the number of primary character casualties Salvatore unleashed on his stable of characters in this novel. I guess he's ready to start with some fresh blood. Four of the eleven books I read that were written by RA Slavatore. I guess you could say I'm a fan (but not a big enough fan to actually go to his book signing, which I totally forgot about and missed - I did pick up signed copies of The Ghost King and The Ancient's sequel, The Dame, afterward, though). There were a few passages from the book that I found so meaningful that I had planned to share them here. But...well, I haven't.
Hitchhiker This Douglas Adams biography was one of two non-fiction books I've read in the past few months. A lot of the material had been covered by other biographies or books about Hitchhikers' I've read, but there were a few more in-depth and previously unexplored aspects of Douglas Adams that I came across as I read this recap of DNA's life. If you're going to read only one Douglas Adams biography, this is probably the one you should get (if you can find it - it took me a long time). I dog-eared about a mazillion pages from the book to quote here, but I haven't gotten around to actually taking the time to write them up. One of these days...
The Nantuckett series This is actually 3 books, Island in the Sea of Time, Against the Tide of Years, and On the Oceans of Eternity. They are a series of SM Stirling time-traveling, alternate-ish-past books that really make you wonder "what if." Stirling does a great job of making his characters feel real and building a world that seems as real as...well, the real world (because that's what it is, just a little less civilized). The copy of The Sword of the Lady now sitting on the reading shelf is a signed copy that I got from another Mysterious Galaxy author reading/book signing (this is one that I remembered to attend).
Unseen Academicals I devoured this book within a couple of days of it being released (which seems to be the case for all Terry Pratchett books). For a Terry Pratchett book, this one started a little slow. By the end (or even the middle) I was fully involved in the story, but something about the first chapter or two just left me almost wondering if poor old Pterry had lost it. Thankfully, he has not and I was thoroughly engrossed by the end. I do plan to write more about this later.
The Illustrated Pirate Diaries A remarkable eyewitness account of Captain Morgan and the Bucaneers And so we come to the final book that I've read in the past few months - and only the second of the two non-fiction titles (Hitchhiker being the other). The mostly-fictional and greatly romanticized image of pirates and piracy in the 1600-1800s is something I've always had an interest in. Tim Powers's On Stranger Tides, while just factual enough to be interesting and fictional enough to still be in the "romanticized" category, just helped cement my fascination with pirates. And then there was Disneyland's also semi-factual take on pirates. But The Illustrated Pirate Diaries will clear up any and all romantic notions you might have about pirates (not that they were any worse than so many others of their time - but they were certainly no better). I plan to blather on more about this book and pirates in general at some point in the future.
I'm currently reading The Satanic Verses. It's pretty weird - reminding me at times of either Jack Kerouac's breakneck, rambling prose or the tales of Kurt Vonnegut's unstuck-in-time hero Billy Pilgrim. Every now and then the prose will settle down and be straightforward, but it never seems to last for long. Oh, and I'm not really seeing the problem muslims have with the book (other than maybe the brief reference to their beloved prophet behaving pragmatically to try to establish his new religion), but I'm not finished yet. Maybe the big insult to Islam comes later.