Challenge! – Revivisted

In September 2011, I ran across the NPR Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books and I realized that I had only read 8 of the 100 books listed. As an avid reader and a sci fi fan, I was surprised by the low number. I challenged myself to read all of the books on the list. So three years later, how did I do? Not very well! I’ve read a lot during the last three years but most books were not from this list. Now, my total count is 15 books. 15 books in three years! Embarrassing. Some of my favorites from the list was The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin and the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. Ursula Le Guin created such an original world that I was swept up into the story instantly. Is I personally own a lot of the books on the list, but as a book lover, I’m always buying books and I have stacks and stacks of books that I’ve never read. So, I am recommitting myself to reading all of the books on this list.*

Next up: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I started reading this book when it was first released but never finished it. I’m am confident that I can finish it by the end of the month! My goal is to write my review over Labor Day.

If you’re interested in joining me in the challenge, here is the link to the NPR list here

*Caveat – I refuse to read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Given that I find Card’s personal reviews abhorrent, I have no interest in reading anything by him. 84 books to go.

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Challenge Update – Foundation Trilogy

Last September, after discovering that I had read only a fraction of NPR Top 100 Sci Fi/Fantasy, I wanted to read all of the books on the list. How could I call myself a sci fi fan without having read what are consider classics of the genre.  I started with the classic Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov.  It was a great way to kick off this journey. The Foundation Trilogy consists of Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation.  It is a multigenerational story that covers the collapse of a great empire and the race to prepare society for what follows.  Hari Sheldon is a psychohistorian who along with his team uses social, mathematics, and psychology to plot a way to contain the chaos. Sheldon establishes two foundations who work independent of each other to propel the Sheldon Plan along.  The Sheldon plan is never fully explained but the citizens of the foundation believe that its calculations will automatically solve any problems that arise with the implosion of the galactic empire. With a complex plot and a vast number of characters to keep track of, The Foundation series is nonetheless a page turner.

Asimov is a titan in the Science Fiction world and rightfully so.  Although his writings were simplistic in style, his influence can still be felt.  Asimov was recently featured on The Science Channel show The Prophets of Science Fiction.

The Prophets of Science Fiction

Classic interview with Bill Moyers

Next up on the challenge: American Gods by Neil Gaiman