Books You Should Read
by MW Cook
Here are some of the best books I’ve read in the past year. Pick them up and love them.
- House of Suns – Alastair Reynolds
This may be my favourite sci-fi. It’s long and kind of hard to get into, but worth the effort it demands. It takes place six million years in the future and is one of the most insightful speculative fictions I’ve seen.
“I was born in a house with a million rooms, built on a small, airless world on the edge of an empire of light and commerce that the adults called the Golden Hour, for a reason I did not yet grasp.”
- A Dance With Dragons – George R.R. Martin
I was reading this series long before the HBO program made it famous. It stands apart from any fantasy series I’ve read. It’s gritty and harsh. Instead of heroes and villains, Martin writes real people. Every hero has a bit of a villain within. And nearly every villain has a spark of good.
“The night was rank with the smell of man. … Only man stripped the skins from other beasts and wore their hides and hair.”
- Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist
This is how vampire novels were meant to be. If you’ve seen the movies, please put them out of your head. The book is so much more special. It’s dark and wonderfully tender at the same time.
“Real love is to offer your life at the feet of another, and that’s what people today are incapable of.”
- The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
The start of a unique fantasy series. Only two books are out right now. A hero tells the tale of how his life went from homeless boy to the most feared mage in the world.
“But for most practical purposes Tarbean had two pieces: Waterside and Hillside. Waterside is where people are poor. That makes them beggards, thieves, and whores. Hillside is where people are rich. That makes them solicitors, politicians and courtesans.”
- The Way of Kings – Brandson Sanderson
Sanderson’s first book in his epic series. It shows a lot of promise and uncovers a hugely complex universe.
“The hallmark of insecurity is bravado.”
- True Love – Thich Nhat Hanh
A non-fiction in which the meditative master unpacks his views of love and how to centre your mental and physical self. A useful point of view for anyone interested in spirituality.
“So you can walk in such a way that the Kingdom of God possible in the here and now, in such a way that peace and hoy are possible today, in such a way that the Pure Land is available under your feet.”
- A New Kind of Christian – Brian McLaren
I was surprised at how closely this book traced my own spiritual journeys over the past four or six years. Insightful and useful, though the storytelling is weak.
“Carol, I’m not sure how long I’ll last. I know this must be scary for
you. I’m sorry.
There. Now I’ve shared with you. What books should I read next?
Thanks! An interesting observation is how many people seem to be not just on a spiritual Christian journey to something “new/better/higher” but that the path is very similar. That fact is as interesting to me as the path itself.