What I’ve Been Reading (& hope to read), January 2021 Edition
It's great to see 2020 in the rearview, isn't it? I mean, phew! I'm still wiping my brow. In 2021, I have a bunch of books I'd like to read.
Here are just a few off the top of my head:
· The Witcher Saga - I'd really like to finish the series this year. I keep coming back to it book after book despite pacing often seeming downright glacial.
· The Last Emperox – Scalzi's Collapsing Empire series is hands-down the best stuff he's written since The Ghost Brigades.
· Cyber Shogun Revolution – I find the mash up of alternate history and anime-style mecha freaking awesome.
· The Stand – I've wanted to read this one for a while. I think this might be the year to do it as I suspect 2021 will be a Stephen King kinda year before things get better pandemic-wise.
· The Crazy Rich Asians Series – I have read the first book in the series and watched the movie. The book is waaaaaay better, lah. Enjoyable series, especially if you've experienced some of the destinations.
· More Asimov & Clarke –in some ways, their books are dated. Still, I think there are inherent hopefulness and belief in the positivity of the human spirit that permeates their works that is refreshing during the often turbulent and surreal time we live in.
· There are more… that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
So, without further ado... here's what I've been reading.
This is definitely not a book I'd typically read, but it's tons of fun. Having experienced some of the book's locales, I can say Kwan captures the local flavor. Plus, he certainly captured for me how Singlish sounds. Now, this book has tons of footnotes (at least, the edition I read). Typically, this is a huge turn off for me, but not in this book. The footnotes added to the entertainment value because phrases that show up in Singlish are succinctly defined.
Like I said above, I keep reading these books even though nothing much ever seems to happen. There are some excellent characters in these books that are fun to follow. Also, plenty of sharp dialogue and interpersonal conflict keeps the novels entertaining while the plot plods along.
A fascinating take on the history of the western and eastern world focusing on how the battle for control of trade routes through the Middle East and Asia have shaped the world. The author argues the Middle East and a number of the now-former Soviet republics were the center of the medieval world and are set to become the center of our modern world in the years to come (due to a wealth of natural resources such as natural gas and rare earth metals).