Wednesday, May 3, 2017

4 Scifi novels I highly recommend, and 2 others

I'm poor. I used to spend an average of $35 a month on books from Amazon. I have a too many books, I need to get rid of many of them for when we move to a tiny house. It will be hard to have the final winnowing. I have a lot of books I got from other people who I haven't read yet. And I have at least a book case of precious books, college books that rocked my world and my Buddhist texts.

I got a Kindle hoping to use it when I was traveling. One book instead of a big meteor of books. Then I liked it that the Kindle cut down on my hard copies. Now I like it that you can look up a word immediately. You can cut and paste text easily. And there are a zillion free books.

For a while I collected children's books for my baby. Then I collected classics and scifi. Now I have a bunch and don't need to collect any more. But I want to trumpet 4 amazing scifi novels I read.

The first novel is Robinson Crusoe 2244. This is a future dystopia where the son of a ruling elite is escapes into the wild, and survives, and finds many interesting things.

I wanted to read the second one after I read it, but the library doesn't have it. I need to join more libraries to see if they have it. I use OverDrive with the Queens library in New York City. I have read about 15 books that has saved me considerable money, or rather given me access when my poverty would have restricted me. They have seemingly all of Haruki Murakami. There are odd holes in the digital collection. It's a new thing. I end up reading Kindle versions from the Amazon sight. I feel like I'm stealing almost to get free books. The other thing I like about it is that I can take risks, try a book and if I don't like it, just stop reading it.

I've also seen a movie and there are audio books, too. I mostly do Free Audio Book app that streams and downloads books from Librivox. Lately, I've been listening to Ovid, because I'm about to read a historical novel about him. Which I learned about in a course in historical novels on Coursera. I'm going to read the book and then watch a lecture by the author on historical fiction. Amazing.

I got that book through the reserve program. They send the book to my nearest library when it becomes available. Another amazing program. My eyes seem to be going and I prefer Kindle so I can enlarge the text.

But back to amazing scifi. The next one is Prototype D. Another dystopian future where there are insiders and outsiders, and they try to make robots to kill the outsiders. A very interesting novel, and quite prescient for our times when outsiders are demonized and othering is done all the time.

Next novel is The Last Policeman. This is a detective novel at the end of the world. I read all 3 books and the first is good, but reading all 3 isn't bad either. There could even be a 4th one, but all along he doesn't plan for future survival.

The 4th novel I'm reading right now, almost done, and I'm quite enchanted by it. The Star Curiously Singing is still free on Amazon as of 5/3/17 10am!

This novel is a stream of consciousness of a debugger who is tapped into the stream. The debuggers are slaves in a Muslim future. I chose it hoping to learn more about Islam, but aside from learning some terms, I haven't really learned anything about Islam.

Here is what Amazon says about it: "Sandfly is a debugger. He is property, bought and paid for in an Earth under sharia law. All faiths but one have been banned. And the rule of the great Imam is supreme."

I contemplate writing a future Buddhist utopia, that has some dystopian edges. Not sure utopia can exist, but it would be fun to try. I don't think The Star Curiously Singing is pro or con against Islam.

Just to throw in another book I really enjoyed, I really enjoyed The Schopenhauer Cure. I knew Yalom from his textbook on group psychotherapy. He also has a textbook on Existential Psychotherapy I want to read. I read his novel, Lying on the Couch, after reading Love's Executioner and other essays. I really like his essays and fiction, and I read the group book, and I want to read the other textbook. 

Anyway, the book is about a psychotherapy group and it's pretty gripping. The bits about Schopenhauer are as interesting as they can be, though they are the places where the novel drags at points. Learned a lot about S. I have his World As A Will and Representation which I might try reading at some point.

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