If I sound unbearably giddy during this week’s column know that I haven’t won the lottery, I’m just going on vacation! I love vacations not so much for swimming in the ocean or stomach-churning rides at an amusement park or camping near some beautiful vista with all of nature’s majesty. No, I love going on vacation because it means less work, which means more time for reading! These are four books I whizzed through on my last vacation, and I enjoyed them all immensely. What’s going on your e-reader this summer vacation? And if you don’t have an e-reader, don’t forget that you have a chance to win one through the Library’s Summer Reading Program.
Halting State by Charles Stross
A wild and intelligent cyberthriller that involves a virtual world populated by orcs, trolls and other mystical nasties. However, the actions of some in the virtual world can have very serious consequences in the real world. If you liked Ready Player One, but was a little turned off by the 80s nostalgia overload, this is the book for you!
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman’s classic tale about a bumbling man named Richard Mayhew who gains access to a secret underworld society below the streets of London. The story features Gaiman’s typically outstanding world-building with a suspenseful plot that never lets up. This book elevates escapist fiction to the level of art while never losing track of the characters that make the whole thing pop.
Time’s Eye by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
A masterful science fiction tale that accomplishes the neat trick of balancing a mind-expanding idea with instantly relatable and remarkable characters. The plot involves the stitching together of different time periods in Earth’s history climaxes with a confrontation between the Mongol forges of Genghis Khan and the imperial fleet of Alexander the Great. Plenty of action and brain food makes this a don’t miss. First in a series.
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
The ultimate time travel book that is equal parts hilarious and harrowing. A young history graduate student goes back in time to the Middle Ages to study European inhabitants and finds herself stranded in the time stream during an outbreak of the Black Death. The amount of research and historical details involved in the story are staggering, but it’s the thoughtful portrayal of characters and compelling storytelling that makes this book a modern classic of any genre.