When I got serious about blog reading, Seth Godin’s blog was among the first I added to my reader. While I’ve added and dropped a lot of blogs since I started reading, Seth’s has always been a port of my daily reading routine. What’s impressive is that he has posted every day since I started following him many years ago without missing one. single. day. Even more impressive is the quality of his content. So when Seth Godin says that the best book he read in 2014 was Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer, I figured that I should add it my reading list. It took me a while to get to it, but it finally crested the top of my reading list and was the book I chose to kick-off my reading in 2016.
One of my first forays into hard science fiction, and one of my favorite book(s), was the Daemon/Freedom two-book series by Daniel Suarez. I was a little disappointed in his follow-up novel, Kill Decision, but not enough to keep me away from his latest work, Influx.
The premise of Influx is a little different than Suarez’s first two novels. Where his first two works were heavily based on near-term technologies, Influx takes more of a fictional, borderline fantasy approach to technology. In other words, the technologies explored in Influx aren’t as well developed as those he’s explored previously. I would venture to guess that the technologies are almost a wish list of what Suarez wishes were available to us.
Even though one of my major reading themes for 2015 is to stay close to authors I know and like, it’s important to mix in a new author every now and then. I never know when I might stumble across another author to add to my trusted list. So for my most recent book, I decided to stray off the beaten path and read Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells. It’s a science fiction book that had shown up numerous times through the Amazon recommendation engine since its release last summer. When it showed up on Amazon’s Daily Deal list near the end of last year, I figured I would get it. It only took 8 months, but I finally got around to reading it.
Because I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction, Resurrection by Arwen Elys Dayton was recommended by my nemesis – the Amazon recommendation engine. After reading the synopsis and checking out the reviews, I decided to add it to my never-ending reading list. Shortly thereafter, it was featured as a Kindle Daily Deal. I went ahead and added it my library, and then moved it up in this year’s reading list.
My latest venture into post-apocalyptic science fiction was The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Unlike most post-apocalyptic stories I’ve read where the scenario is created through nuclear attacks, terrorism, or some other human-induced event, an alien invasion is the basis for this one. Well, it’s not a full scale alien invasion, but one which starts in a somewhat innocent fashion and proceeds in waves that are increasingly more destructive and insidious in their methods.
One way that I’ve been building my reading list is through the Amazon recommendation engine, which I lovingly hate. Wired by Douglas E. Richards is a book which had been consistently showing up in the recommendation lists, so I figured it must be worth checking out. The description fit into my science fiction themes, and the reviews were generally positive. It finally popped to the top of my list, and I was eager and excited to dig into it.
In the interest of reading something a little different, I recently picked up Brilliance by Marcus Sakey. It didn’t fit squarely into my recent themes of science fiction and dystopian future visions, but it showed up in the Amazon recommendation engine with strong reviews. I figured it was worth a shot, and it certainly didn’t hurt that it was available through the Amazon Prime lending library.