Friday, October 05, 2012

Two New Series

Reading fifty books in a year generates a somewhat unexpected problem - there comes a point where you've read 'everything'. This becomes especially troublesome when you acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of fantasy is unremitting dross, and especially when you take the entirely unreasonable step of discounting any endless series of fantasy novels. (I've noted the problems before, so won't rehash them here.)

There's still "The List", of course, which has 100 books exactly remaining on it (although this includes both "The Complete Works of Shakespeare" and "Hamlet", which is somewhat redundant), and there's also "Appendix N" (the suggested reading from the AD&D 1st Edition DMG). But both of these are somewhat taxing - my ability to just read those books in sequence is rather limited.

The upshot is that I'm always on the lookout for new things to read. And if they come in series, all the better - provided those series are either strictly limited, or if the 'series' is actually made up of standalone stories (as in the Discworld novels).

So, when I had the "Aubrey/Maturin" novels of Patrick O'Brian recommended to me, that proved to be something of a book. These do, indeed, form a single long sequence, but the sequence runs to 21 volumes, and there will be no more (due to the death of the author). And so, I bought "Master and Commander" and gave them a whirl... and then I bought the next three volumes to read in the rest of this year.

Likewise, I saw several recommendations for the "Pathfinder Tales" series. Now, I was obviously wary of these, because game-related fiction is almost universally worthless. On the other hand, I do like Pathfinder, and especially the setting... In the end, I tried out the first volume, and it was quite good (provided you don't mind light-weight easy-reading fantasy dross - this isn't high art, just a well-above-average example of the field). So, I'll be reading those over the next several months as well.

Both of which are rather useful additions. The plan just now is to read one volume from each per month until I run out (in early 2014 for the A/M books, and around August 2013 for the PTs, but with new volumes of the latter being periodically released). I'm also going to spend some time completing my collection of Pratchett novels, and reading (or re-reading) all the 'missing' volumes. And, with the monthly Pathfinder book, and a monthly book from The List, that should stand me in good stead for quite some time.

#37: "Master and Commander", by Patrick O'Brian
#38: "Pathfinder: Curse of the Lady's Light", by Mike Shel


Kezzie said...

You could always read my reviews! Sometimes I read books that aren't girly regency romances! Have you read Jostein Gaarder? He's a genius! Or Alexander McCall Smith? My male friend Alex adores him!
I bought Master and commander books for my boyfriend's dad- poor thing, I found a whole stack of them in the charity shop and he's worked his way through the lot! Also bought him all 12 Sharpe novels!

Steph/ven said...

I do enjoy your reviews.

By the way, there's something like 24 Sharpe novels!

Dave Gross said...

I'm glad you liked Prince and hope you enjoy Master of Devils, which I thought was considerably stronger, and the imminent Queen of Thorns, which is the favorite of my editor.