Monthly Archives: August 2014

10 Books

Robert Howard asked for my 10 most memorable books. Here are the ones I remember the best:

  1. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein, although I think Starship Troopers was my first Heinlein, and is also good (especially since it was written as juvy fiction). But Stranger is in its own class.

  2. The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell. Again, this book, for me at least, is in a class by itself. Children of God (sequel) was also good.

  3. The Four Pillars of investing, William J  Bernstein. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton G. Malkiel covers the same material, and is the classic reference for this stuff, but I found Bernstein much less dry.

  4. So much less dry, that I also read Bernstein’s Birth of Plenty, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and really made me think about economic/political trends a bit.

  5. Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson. This is one of the first Sci-Fi authors that took it for granted that the reader was already familiar with computers, and general Sci-Fi concepts, which was refreshing. I’ve like a lot of his other stuff. This is just the first one that I read.

  6. Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins. For which, I think you need to also be listening to Maryn Cadell’s Angel Food For Thought, the whole time.

  7. The Many Colored Land, Julian May. I think I read the entire 10+ book series. One of the very few that I’ve done that with – Usually can’t get past book 3 or so in many series.

  8. The Magic of Recluse, L.E. Modesitt Jr. I really liked the philosophical ying/yang thing going on in the magic system.

  9. On a Pale Horse, Piers Anthony. Although A Spell for Chameleon is what got me started on Mr Anthony, and his many other series.

  10. Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut

Honerable Mention

The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey. Even though this is the 3rd book in the series, it was the first one that I read, and this is the first series that I can remember where I read most of them.

Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson. Pretty dense reading for a piece of fiction.

Dune, Frank Herbert. I think this might have been the book that really got me started on science fiction. As a kid, I found a hard copy of it lying on the sidewalk one day. I think it took a couple of years before I got around to reading it.

A Fire Upon The Deep, and Marooned in Realtime, Vernor Vinge. Two very different series.  Marooned is kinda neat in that it is really a detective/mystery story in a sci-fi setting. Fire, I just liked.

The God Engines, John Scalzi. I got this recently as part of a humble (book) bundle.

And may I say, that at this point the recommendations on Good Reads is turning into a giant time suck.


On the way back from Chasm View Lake this morning, I saw this sign:


I don’t know if they didn’t buy flood insurance,  or if they did and Allstate didn’t make them whole. Either way, unfortunate.


It felt good to “make something” in the neighborhood parlance. Just a quick pot lid holder for the new kitchen drawers.