I had mentioned a while ago I wanted to read all the books on the top 100 sci-fi/fantasy list from NPR. I thought this would be a good opportunity to check in with my progress.
Unfortunately I have been moving very slowly. I normally read before I fall asleep at night, taking 20 minutes or so to wind down from my day and absorb myself into some new world. Unfortunately with a small child and my sleep deprived state those 20 minutes turns in to 30 seconds when I find where I left off and immediately fall asleep. So my progress has been slower than I would like.
When I started this project, I had already read seven of the 100 books. Since then I have read two more, and am half way through a third.
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett was first on my list, mostly because it was sitting on our bookshelf and it gave me easy access. I’ve been recommended this book and Discworld novels many times, since I tend to gravitate to clever writing which apparently Terry Pratchett is known for.
I did enjoy the book, but I can’t say it was amazing. There were a few snicker worthy comments here and there, but on the whole it just didn’t grab me. I find it is an obvious comparison to the state of religion in our own world, which is fine, but it didn’t present any new ideas to me that I haven’t already come across. This is the second Terry Pratchett book I have tried (the first was Going Postal) with similar results. I may have to just find the right one to hook me.
I finished Brave New World by Aldous Huxley next. I have to say, I loved the concept presented with this book. The idea of genetic mutation for the benefit of society is one that is not so far off today, and intriguing. It is a great “what if” idea.
While I enjoyed the concept, I found the story itself lacking. I think the concept could have gone so many better places, but the story just fell flat in my mind. Obviously this is an idea that started with the best of intentions but to have the story end with the way that it did… it’s almost as if the climax was just not well thought out. I would have liked to seen a bigger impact on society from the savage, and how the other characters would react. Instead this thing that should have been a major event became simply, well that was that.
I’m now reading 1984, by George Orwell. Of course this would be the perfect book to follow up the previous one. I can’t believe I’ve never read this book. I’ve heard about the setting of this book of course, and heard the references to Big Brother.
I’m really enjoying this book. Things are just starting to pick up and I’m excited to see where the characters will go with this. I’m surprised at how close to home this book is hitting. So many things we are seeing in today’s world could easily, if taken just those few steps further, fit nicely into this world. It’s a frightening idea, and I find myself wondering that if we were in this position, would we have the strength to fight back?
Have you read these? What are your thoughts?