Last year was so busy and so chaotic, I really fell behind on my fiction reading, and when I don’t read, I find I’m not as creative as I can be. The ideas don’t come as quickly, and I don’t write as much. I play a lot less and when it comes to doing artful little things, I never seem to have the time.
This year, I’m changing things around in my life. I’ve come to realize that I need to make the things I want to do a priority. Reading is high on my list, and so it’s one of my four daily intentions (the other three are writing, meditating and creating).
How did I do last week? Not very well, I’m afraid. Not just with the reading, but with each of my other three intentions. But that’s okay. I had the last of the deadlines from my busy work season last week, so it was understandable.
On Monday, I logged onto my library’s ebook lending site, and had a field day. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
Z, by Michael Thomas Ford, is a YA zombie book. I haven’t read very many zombie books, despite the recent zombie-book-craze; as far as I’m concerned, Justin Cronin’s The Passage set the zombie-book bar quite high. But I decided to give Z a try, as it looked like an interesting, quick read, especially since I like books about gamers and gaming:
The First Rule of Torching: Cleanse with fire.
Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around—at least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Josh has quickly risen through the player ranks, relying on the skill, cunning, and agility of a real Torcher.
The Second Rule of Torching: Save all humans.
But luckily for Josh, zombies exist only in the virtual world. The real zombie war is now more than fifteen years in the past, and the battle to defeat the deadly epidemic that devastated his family—and millions of others—is the stuff of history lessons.
The Third Rule of Torching: You can’t bring them back.
Charlie is the top-ranked player in the game. Since all the players are shrouded in anonymity, Josh never expects Charlie to be a girl—and he never expects the offer she makes him: to join the underground gaming league that takes the virtual-reality game off the screen and into the streets. Josh is thrilled. But the more involved he gets, the more he realizes that not everything is what it seems. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there’s the matter of a mysterious drug called Z. . . .
I finished Z last night. An interesting book with an interesting premise. I found the action towards the end a little bit too fast-paced, but for a young reader who’s interested in zombies and gaming, there’s enough thrills and chills to keep those pages turning.
The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly. Confession: this is my first Michael Connelly book. It’s been on my to-read list since forever, or so it seems, so when it showed up as available at my library’s ebook site, I grabbed it.
How am I liking it so far? Very enjoyable. I’m only at the beginning, but I’m already very intrigued by lawyer Mickey Haller.
For defense attorney Mickey Haller, the clock is always running. With two ex-wives, four Lincoln Town Cars that he uses as offices, and dozens of guilty clients, he can’t afford to miss a trick. When he gets picked by a Beverly Hills rich boy arrested for assault, Mickey sees a franchise case: a nice, long, expensive trial with maximum billable hours–until it hurtles him into the last place he wants to be. Suddenly hustling, cynical Mickey Haller is confronted with pure evil and someone who may be truly innocent. Now, for a lawyer who has always gone for the easy score, getting justice means taking the deadliest risk of all.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton. Yes, just call me a crowd follower – everyone was raving about this book last year, so I decided to spend an Audible credit on it. After all, Wil Wheaton’s the narrator! Plus, it’s a book about gaming. How could I resist? Have I mentioned, I love books about gamers and gaming?
I started chapter one last night, and despite feeling quite sleepy, I was enthralled from the very beginning. I listened for as long as I could before the call of sleep proved to be too much for me. I will definitely have to find some wakeful time for listening to the rest of Ready Player One!
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
So this is what I’ve been doing reading-wise so far this year. What about you? What books have you picked up to start the new year off?