oh books are so hard to find

I’ve been looking lately for a book to read. A single book, and perhaps even twice that or more. It is frightening and frustrating in turns, but occasionally rewarding.

I have read many, many books. It has led me to point where I have become far too picky about those which I’ll like, and not in a way that seems match well with the groupings many seem to make. Worse, I’m not sure how to describe my taste in such a way as to convince the internet to assist me.

My experience has taught me, though perhaps not well.

I enjoy the fantastic, to distract me from a familiar world. I hope for a certain moral ambiguity, not just for itself but for the way it enforces greater believability in characters, especially antagonists. I am so very opposed to the idea of good versus evil.

I strongly dislike prophecies, especially as contrivance to propel the plot as they so often are. In general, I tend away from wars and politics. I find them boring and the sides often unrelateable or unrespectable. An unexpected conclusion can be amazing.

I’m sure many people must share my taste, so maybe I can help them and they can help me in turn. That or better, I can at least provide a list of books I’ve read recently and enjoyed just for something to post.

In no particular order save that which they came to mind (which I suspect may correlate to time elapsed since reading), I present to you:

A book for any occassion (that involves reading one of these books)

Noise: A novel by Darin Bradley

Two friends prepare very rationally for the zombie-less apocolypse. I could respect the reasoning behind every decision they made and every action they took.

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

Zombies flow through the streets with the sun, but at night dream of better days when flesh was abundant and humans were surprised.  This isn’t the average zombie story. The protagonist is a girl  born after their rise, and the zombied world is all she knows.  None of this boring and usual holing up to wait it out, hoping for the world to go back to normal. It is normal to her.
After reading the first page, I thought I would hate this book. It was actually really good.

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

People and jobs and dogs and love. Easy to read and different and good.

Six bad things by Charlie Huston

The second of three or four. I read it first, as I sometimes do, and think it stands best alone. Full of action and crime and even bits of mexico.  Quick and easy to read.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

It took a while to get into, but I was soon captivated. I remember reading it during the night over pizza, after long days spent walking the streets and parks of San Francisco.

Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe

This and all the books that follow. It takes place in a future so far distant. Detailed, and vivid, and surreal at times. Intricate with layers and beauty and characters and stories. I’d like to read it again soon I think. More difficult a read than the former entries, but more rewarding for it.

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

Strange and surreal, but that can be good. More difficult a read than a few of the formers.

So those are the books I’ve enjoyed most recently (ambiguity intended).  There have been many more in the past, but that was long ago.   I’ll leave them but for two that come to mind.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

My favourite.

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

Awesome if you’re down for some noiry science fiction.  Good if you’re not.  One of my favourites.



  1. Kim says:

    Brad, You probably read these a long time ago. What do you think of JRR Martin’s series that have been made into a mini series on HBO?

  2. Brad says:

    I haven’re read them or watched it yet actually! Is it good?