General thoughts on reading

For the last few years I’ve been mostly reading young adult fiction because I wanted to read more character focused stories than plot focused. Also at times the adult fiction is a bit too dense with information and descriptions. I also get more enjoyment out of being able to follow a series to it’s natural end instead of being left wanting to know more about the characters and their lives. Some recent young adult series I’ve enjoyed are as follows:

Harry Potter – yes I know, everyone has been obsessed with Harry Potter. I really did enjoy it and yes I did love the last book, including the epilogue that everyone seems to hate. The thing is I wasn’t surprised that people died in it. It wasn’t the kind of story that could end well for all involved. I knew going into the last book that there would be many deaths. (I might make a longer post on this later).

The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane – awesome series with a girl as the main character. I love the way the magic is earth based more than anything and it’s all formulas and math! :) I’m not sure when the next book is supposed to be out but I know one is coming at some point. I’ll have to check on it since it’s been a while. (I also love all of the author’s Star Trek books! Which reminds me I need to make a separate post about the Star Trek books I used to read…)

The His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman – By the time I got to the third book I was struggling to get through it. I did like the story being told and I thought it was an interesting idea. I just had a hard time finishing it. There is a LOT of information being told and you really have to pay attention to everything that’s happening or else you lose track of all the different plot threads. At some point I might read this series again to see if it’s easier to get through a second time.

The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper – I read this because I heard about the movie coming out that was best on them, and also all of the complaints being said about the movie because of all the changes they made. I loved the series, but I wasn’t thrilled with one aspect of it that I won’t spoil here. It’s also a rather quick read – all 5 books together probably equal the longest of the Harry Potter books of not less. Also, I never did go see the movie because I agreed that all of the changes made ruined the point of the series.

In an attempt to get into adult fiction again I asked for some recommendations in another community, and got a decent list of books to read out of it. I ended up going out and buying a few books and started reading some of them. Here’s a quick look at the two I’ve read so far – well attempted to read anyway:

First up was The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester – I actually managed to get most of the way through it before having to give up and reading the last chapter just to see what happens in the end. Of course reading the last chapter didn’t make it any clearer. I can’t really say that I didn’t like it but rather that I was having a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on. Of course since most of the narration is in the pov of the main character who is insane it’s not surprising that it was confusing.

Next was The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, which sounded interesting despite the religious overtones. I was told it wasn’t too preachy so I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately I only made it a few chapters in – not because of the religious but because to much time was spent on the backgrounds of the character. I’m sure it was important information to tell us how the character got to where he was in the beginning of the book but at the same time it seemed to be too much. And the background we were getting wasn’t even about the main point of the story – the first contact mission the main character had gone on. Sure it was leading up to telling us about it, but I wanted to know what happened on that mission, not about the years leading up to the mission. I might try this one again at a later date since the premise does sound interesting.

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