More great books from this summer and fall

I’ve enjoyed reading a handful of awesome books the last couple of months. The sci-fi ones, in particular, have been greatly enjoyable. I wrote up some books from earlier this year back in June, and this is the next batch.

In fact, I’ve read 3-4 of my top 10 sci-fi books ever during the past couple of months. Wool, Ready Player One, The Forever War, and The Player of Games, all were outstanding.

The entire Wool series / Silo saga by Hugh Howey is excellent. There are 9 books in total, collected into 3 books (Wool, Shift, and Dust in the omnibus editions), all flowing together smoothly. What an amazingly-creative piece of work, a scary possible view of the future.

Ready Player One, by Ernert Cline, was so good that I read it twice, back to back. It also features a scary view of a future where everyone is plugged in to the “Oasis,” a world-wide massive virtual reality game, neglecting their real lives. There are heroes and villains there, naturally, and a battle to control the game, and thus life itself.

Close on its heels I read The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks, which was also superb. It’s one of several books that take place in the same world, Banks’s “Culture” series, but the only one of those I’ve personally read so far.

Just yesterday I finished Joe Haldeman‘s classic novel, The Forever War. Wow, what an excellent book. I literally couldn’t put it down on the train / subway, and while walking around. It’s not a new book, but it was one of the few Hugo + Nebula joint award winners that I hadn’t read. The parallels to Heinlein‘s classic Starship Troopers are so clear, but the books play off each other perfectly.  And it turns out the author is a professor of creative writing at MIT!

Killing Pablo, by Mark Bowden, was a fascinating book as well. It led to a late night reading about Pablo Escobar and other drug figures on Wikipedia. Very detailed but not repetitive, and does a great job of expanding the Colombian context to Pablo’s life.

Lee Child‘s Never Go Back and High Heat, both Jack Reacher novels, were predictably good beach reads. Simple, but entertaining to read and fast-paced.

These are the best books I’ve read the couple of months — there have been a couple of duds, too, but that’s for another day.