This post was originally published August 20. 2006.
A Scanner Darkly / Phillip K. Dick
I really enjoyed this one, and it's also recommended by Sean! Yes, it's the book that was recently made into a movie starring Keanu Reeves, about an undercover cop who begins to develop a split personality from the drugs that he's using and dealing. Sean commented that he liked how the book becomes more confused and jumpy the deeper Arctor falls into his addiction and conflicting personalities. There are also some sneaky shadows hiding that clear up by the bittersweet end of the book.
Curious Lives: Adventures from the Ferret Chronicles / by Richard Bach
This is one of the most charming books I've read for a long time. The book a collection of stories about ferrets - yes FERRETS! whee - living in a world where everyone respects and loves each other. I wanted to start singing "Imagine": there are no murders, no ferret harming another, no selfish acts. This doesn't mean there isn't conflict however, and this is what makes the stories interesting. For example, one story is about two ferrets who grow up together but choose different career paths, but how their paths run cross again.
This was a wonderful and refreshing book to read. It made me think how much better the world could be... if only we were like these ferrets.
Bonus points for ferrets wearing hats and scarves, and also the guardian angel ferrets flying helicopters! I couldn't stop laughing.
Tales from Watership Down / by Richard Adams
Watership Down is one of my favourite books of all time: an epic like Dune or Lord of the Rings. Plus the rabbit Fiver is a super cool little dude. This is a collection of mini stories set after the Watership Down story, with some rabbit legends thrown in. (Rabbits are good storytellers, didn't you know?)
Samurai Executioner Vol. 1: When the Demon Knife Weeps / by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima
This series is a kind of prequel sideline to Lone Wolf and Cub (which I totally haven't read), based in Edo period Japan, about the character "Decapitator Asaemon", Kubikiri Asa. Asa tests the swords for the Shogun, but as the "testing" is done on an actual human body, Asa is also an executioner. The book is a series of vignettes about various criminals, leading up to the decapitation of the criminal. Be warned there are a good number of naked boobies in addition to blood and beheadings! It was definitely weird to read this book so soon after reading about cute fluffy animals.
I have also read (and enjoyed more) the graphic novel The Road to Perdition by Max Allen Collins, which apparently is based on Lone Wolf and Cub, but set in the United States during the Depression.
Manifold Time / by Stephen Baxter
When I started reading this book, the only character I liked was Emma Stoney. The other two main characters, Reid Malenfant and Cornelius Taine, were jerks plus Cornelius was an obsessive creepy jerk at that. But just as Emma was pulled along through the story, I was too... and midway through the book I couldn't stop reading. I'll try not to give anything away but it reminded me a little of Space Odyssey 2001 or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, except think blue circles....
I'm now reading the sequel!