Sunday, February 06, 2011

Program Notes

Enjoy the Super Bowl.

I'm heading back to the Middle East later this week. So I'm desperate for book recommendations: fiction or non, available as an eBook. Today's purchases include "King Solomon's Mines," Yeats's "Autobiographies," "The Balfour Declaration," and "O: A Presidential Novel" (by Anonymous). Other suggestions?

10 comments:

OBloodyHell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OBloodyHell said...

1) We talking kindle or a more generic form of e-book?

2) You can get a pdf version of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", if you haven't read it. I'd assume that can be read via e-book readers or converted to such.

3) Island in The Sea Of Time is the first book of an interesting SF trilogy by S.M. Stirling. Other books by him which might be a good intro include:
Peshawar Lancers
T2: Infiltrator -- This was the "T3" story that the movie SHOULD have been based on. There are two follow-up books but it seems to me that they were forced in a direction by the studio, not the direction the author was headed.

Some other classic SF available on Kindle:
Mission of Gravity, by Hal Clement (has a sequel)
Dragon's Egg, by Robert L. Forward (has a sequel)
The Man Who Folded Himself

by Poul Andersen:
Brainwave
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The Broken Sword

That's a start. More in a bit.

OBloodyHell said...

Robert Heinlein, on Kindle

Larry Niven on Kindle
Recommended:
Lucifer's Hammer
Inferno
The Draco Tavern

The narrow band of medical SF:
Alan E. Nourse


I assume you're familiar with
Project Gutenberg

My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
More Wodehouse here

H.Beam Piper -- specifically "Little Fuzzy"

Philip K. Dick Can't say as I've read these, but his works have been the most reliably cast into successful movies, more so than any other SF author -- IMDB List

Some of the works of E.E. "Doc" Smith -- Classic SF "Space Opera" -- He invented the genre. Light, easy reading. Pure escapism.
Recommended:
Skylark Series (1st 2 of 4):
Skylark of Space
Skylark Three (yeah, it's the second book)

Lensman series (1st of 5)
Triplanetary

and
Spacehounds of IPC

Pretty sure they have H.G. Wells and Jules Verne there.

Edgar Rice Burroughs:
"At The Earth's Core" (Pellucidar series) --
At the Earth's Core
Pellucidar
Tanar of Pellucidar
More...

ERB only had one single plot**, which is why his works have limited interest overall, but any one is entertaining.

**Plot: Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy sees girl in compromising position. Boy loses girl. Travails occur. Boy gets girl back. Yay!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Albion's Seed. It's got some length, too, so it will do for two books. Joel Garreau's Nine Nations may be out of print but obtainable. PJ O'Rourke and Bill Bryson are reliable.

Carl said...

Thanks for the recommendations! I've got a Nook, not a Kindle, but I've downloaded the "Island in the Sea of Time" series, at OBH's suggestion. I'd read every Heinlein by the time I was 18. Niven, Anderson, "Jeeves" too. And I've read most of P.J. (and downloaded his latest). I'm not a Burroughs or Dick fan, and already read "Little Fuzzy."

I've wanted to read Albion's Seed for some time, but unfortunately it's not on Nook. Any other recommendations in history books?

Whitehall said...

"The Cello Suites" - Bach, Pablo Casals, and their times and the music they shared.

Just finished Keith Richards' autobiography (with after GW Bush's!). A life in rock 'n roll by the Rolling Stones' guitarist. Everything you've ever wanted to know about being a rich and famous junkie but short of useful guidence on groupies.

Carl said...

Whitehall: I actually read the charming "Cello Suites" last year. And I've downloaded W's autobiography. Not sure I could stand reading about sex&drugs&rock&roll when I'm in the Mid-East.

Any other "history of music" suggestions? I've already read Blanning's "The Triumph of Music" (merely ok) and Ross's "The Rest is Noise" (excellent).

OBloodyHell said...

> I'd read every Heinlein by the time I was 18.

Have you read the stuff released since then?

:^D

There are at least 3-5 RAH books that fit that bill.

All the stuff at Project Gutenberg ought to work for the Nook, I'd think. So snag some Wodehouse and EESmith.

Nook:

Nourse

Dragon's Egg

>>>> Any other recommendations in history books?

Harry Turtledove's books are fictional, but he's often just filling in the details of actual historical events with/from a personal background:
Justinian -- a fictionalized account of the life of a Byzantine Emperor named Justinian (the lesser known of the two who bore that name). The Author is Harry Turtledove, who has a PhD in Byzantine History.


The Tale of Krispos Also from Turtledove, a fictional story of the rise of an emperor in Videssos, a thinly veiled Byzantium (reflect the map in a mirror and consider the Mediterranean). It is essentially a re-telling of the tale of an actual Byzantine emperor's rise to power.


The House That George Built -- this is new, haven't read it, but I know you love baseball, so it is likely to be interesting, since the author is a good teller of historical fiction.


Counting Up, Counting Down -- Turtledove again, a collection of shorts for when you want something quicker to read than a novel.


Ruled Brittania -- Suppose the Spanish Armada had won?

Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century

Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century

Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century

The Flying Sorcerors written by David Gerrold and Larry Niven, "starring Isaac Asimov" -- light comic SF.

The Man Who Folded Himself

Poul Anderson Books

Keith Laumer Books

OBloodyHell said...

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War -- if you haven't read this yet, you should.

He's the guy who REALLY came up with Desert Storm, not Stormin' Norman, whose original plan was a massed frontal assault.

Carl said...

OBH: Thanks. I downloaded the "baseball" Turtledove, have read most Poul Anderson, and the "Man Who Folded Himself." I've tried a fiew Laumer without really liking them; is there one or two you can recommend?

And, yes, I read the other Heinleins long ago, and read Boyd the week it came out. Indeed, I sometimes visit Boyd's grave at Arlington.