Yesterday I gave notice at my day job. I’ve been flipping books there for seven years and I have a lot of great memories and I now know far more about the book industry than I really wanted to. The real question is what do I do with myself now?
A month has passed since I last posted here. During that time I had one of those milestone birthdays that is supposed to make me feel old. I must say that it worked. About the same time I managed to sprain my ankle while running. This lead to close to a month of pain and weakness. I used a cane for a couple of weeks in concert with a brace. What a way to ring in my new-found old age.
I work in one of those brick and mortar bookstores and read pretty much all of my books in paper, so I’m not always in touch with all of the self-published e-books out there. Honestly, there is so much content being self published these days that it is hard to even begin to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been trying to figure some of this out and I found Wool in my radar. I read a couple of posts from people who loved the book and it was making some waves in the publishing world, with movie rights and a print deal in the UK. I picked up a POD copy and gave it a read.
I’ve been reading David Brin’s books for years. I devoured the Uplift books when I was younger and lately I’ve been following his ramblings on the internet as he talks about technology and transparency and the future. I got my hands on an advance copy of Existence, and I am glad that I did. Brin’s vision of our future selves coming into first contact with aliens resonates with the present in wonderful ways.
I really enjoy gear. I like to spend time comparing the merits of different brands and analyzing the performance of the kit that I take out on the trail. I might be a fetishist, yet I think that many hikers would agree that having good gear can make all the difference between a miserable slog and an invigorating hike. Gear can also be the only thing that stands between an inconvenience and a disaster. As such, I am always on the lookout for good books about gear. Trail Tested was written by Justin Lichter, who probably wears out more gear in a year than most people ever own. He hikes thousands of miles a year and he knows a thing or two.
A couple of years ago I read an amazing debut novel titled Gone Away World. It had an outrageous velveteen cover and a great story that pissed me off so much that I put it down for months when I got to the big twist. When I finally picked it up again, I was treated to such a glorious final act, that all was forgiven. That book was written by Nick Harkaway and I am happy to say that his sophomore effort is equally great.
I’m a big fan of Burroughs’ Mars books. I discovered them in my late twenties and read the snot out of them. I guess that makes me a fan of the nearly extinct sub-genre known as the ‘planetary romance.’ I don’t care that their swashbuckling space operas are full of anachronisms and casual chauvinism. Most of their failings are artifacts of their time, and sometimes I tire of the modern tendency for heroes to be brooding and fallible. Sometimes I just want a rip-roaring adventure with dashing heroes and beautiful damsels.