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Heinlein's heir

I just finished a book from last year (I waited for the paperback) -- John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" -- that I highly recommend to science fiction fans. Its the first thing I've read in a long time that reminds me of Robert Heinlein. It starts this way -- "I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife's grave, Then I joined the army." -- and just gets better and better. The protagonist is John Perry, who joins the Colonial Defense Forces because he has nothing left to keep him on Earth.

Posted in: Books

Between the covers

Could there be two books more different than James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" and Elie Wiesel's "Night"? One is a fabricated life story by an American brat meant to cash in on our morbid fascination with the therapeutic culture: I was bad, but I redeemed myself! The other is a gut-wrenching memoir of one family's experience in a Nazi death camp.

Posted in: Books

Catch you later

Indianapolis has picked "Catch Me If You Can" as its latest One Book-One City subject, which seems like a pretty lightweight choice. Here's the list of 25 finalists, which had a few that seem more likely to generate lively discussion.

A novel approach

I should probably lament this development as another sign of civilization's decline -- see, nobody's reading anymore! But it seems like an interesting way to add interest to the magazine. I read a lot of comic books as a kid and graduated to Mad magazine and National Lampoon, checking out a few Classics Illustrated along the way. If I could find a good illustrator, I'd add a graphic novel to this blog.

Let's bring the next one home

The Allen County Public Library has chosen Frankenstein as its third book in its One Community, One Story project. I liked the first two choices -- "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Diary of Anne Frank" -- and I like this one, too. Many of us who are science-fiction fans consider Mary Shelley's book the first true work of science fiction in the way it explores the clash between technology and morality.

Posted in: Books, Our town

Maple Leaf Rag

Never mind not reading the books you shouldn't even have. I'm ordering you right now not even to think about this. And I mean it.

Posted in: Books

One for the history books

Just in case you thought President Bush was spending five weeks in Crawford eating cheeseburgers and watching exhibition football on TV, how does his summer reading list compare with what you took on your last vacation?

Posted in: Books

We don't need no stinkin' books

Virginia Postrel notes one sign that our love of the digital world can go a little too far.

Posted in: Blogroll, Books

And Tom Cruise was not involved

Forget H.G. Wells and all the hype about the special-effects extravaganza that is the latest retelling of "War of the Worlds." If Mary Shelley was the mother of science fiction (and she surely was), Jules Verne was the father.

Posted in: Books, Film