What I've Been Reading, December 2020 Edition II
Lately, I've been reading a classic sci-fi and an equally classic thriller. Add to that an enjoyable YA sci-fi, and I must admit, December 2020 has been a good month for reading. Indeed, more time for reading has been one of the silver linings of this seemingly endless pandemic with its many multifaceted waves of destruction. The end might be in sight with multiple vaccines shipping or soon-to-be shipping, but I recently finished Apollo's Arrow in which the author claims life might not return to normal until 2024. I don't think anyone can say with certainty how far we must slog to reach that light at the end of the tunnel, but I suspect we have many arduous miles to go. For now, I plan to keep reading.
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Years ago, while I was still a wee lad, I watched the movie version of this book. Or at least, part of the movie. I don't remember if I finished it. The book is amazing in scope and detail and chilling thrills. Forsyth does a fantastic job laying out the plot to kill Charles de Gaulle and the security forces' efforts to foil the plot. It's a classic and well worth reading by any aspiring author. Incidentally, I picked up this book after reading a recommendation about it in a Sol Stein book.
First off, I don't think Uglies it's quite as good as the magical Westerfeld's Leviathan series. Don't worry. The book is still good. Just like with Leviathan, I had a hard time getting into the book early on, but I remained patient. I remembered Leviathan took me quite a while to get into, and it was one hell of a joyride. Although Uglies isn't at the level of Leviathan, it's still entertaining to read. Scott Westerfeld is truly a master of using carefully selected language to succinctly create an immersive world. His writing is worth studying just for this aspect. I do plan to read the rest of the series.
2061: Odyssey Three by Arthur C. Clarke
Despite its foibles, this quick read is quite enjoyable. One of the most striking aspects of this book is its optimism. Seems like a lot of books nowadays aren't optimistic about the future. Many are hopeful in one way or another, but that's not the same as optimism. In this book, humans are conquering the solar system and still making discoveries that will benefit everyone. Only in the treatment of women does the story seem dated. This issue is typical of the works of the old masters of sci-fi, you either put up with it or don't bother reading their books.
Don't let your guard down while venturing out into the world. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but the path to a bright future is harrowing. Don't let pandemic fatigue spoil your years to come.