Reading 50 Books in 12 Months‏

It’s generally regarded that the process of reading will improve the quality of one’s writing and feed the creative process through the absorption original ideas that will be reprocessed by the mind into something original*.

I am in the middle of a creative slump.

I also have over thirty unread novels.

So I have challenged myself to read fifty books in the next twelve months. The brain is a muscle that needs to be trained and in doing so I hope to give myself a writing boost whilst simultaneously re-energising my love of reading.

So without further ado, here are the first ten novels I will be reading:

1. Surface Detail – Iain M.Banks

surface detailIt begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.

Lededje Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

It begins in the realm of the Real. It begins with a murder.

And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

 

 

2. Eon – Greg Bear

eonAbove our planet hangs a hollow Stone, vast as the imagination of Man. The inner dimensions are at odds with the outer: there are different chambers to be breached, some even containing deserted cities. The furthest chamber contains the greatest mystery ever to confront the Stone¿s scientists. But tombstone or milestone, the Stone is not an alien structure: it comes from the future of our humanity. And the war that breaks out on Earth seems to bear witness to the Stone¿s prowess as oracle . . .

 

 

 

3. Dark Eden – Chris Beckett

dark edenYou live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of Angela and Tommy. You shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, hunting woollybuck and harvesting tree candy. Beyond the forest lie the treeless mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among you recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross between worlds. One day, the Oldest say, they will come back for you. You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of two marooned explorers. You huddle, slowly starving, beneath the light and warmth of geothermal trees, confined to one barely habitable valley of a startlingly alien, sunless world. After 163 years and six generations of incestuous inbreeding, the Family is riddled with deformity and feeblemindedness. Your culture is a infantile stew of half-remembered fact and devolved ritual that stifles innovation and punishes independent thought. You are John Redlantern. You will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. You will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture in to the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden.

 

4. The Centauri Device – M.John Harrison

centauri deviceJohn Truck was to outward appearances just another lowlife spaceship captain. But he was also the last of the Centaurans ¿ or at least, half of him was ¿ which meant that he was the only person who could operate the Centauri Device, a sentient bomb which might hold the key to settling a vicious space war. M. John Harrison¿s classic novel turns the conventions of space opera on their head, and is written with the precision and brilliance for which is famed.

 

 

 

 

5. The Revenge of the Rose – Michael Moorcock

revenge of the roseAfter the events of “The Vanishing Tower”, Elric’s companion Moonglum elects to stay awhile in Tanelorn, while the albino prince travels to the Valedak Directorates. When Elric meets a woman who is lost, he must embark on a series of adventures which will reveal the secrets of the world’s future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

boy in the striped pyjamasNine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

 

7. The City and the Stars – Arthur C.Clarke

city and the starsMen had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar; for millennia its protective dome shutout the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rules the stars. But then, as legend had it, The invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, A Unique to break through Diaspar¿s stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.

 

 

 

 

8. The Rise of the Iron Moon – Stephen Hunt

rise of the iron moonBorn into captivity as a product of the Royal Breeding House, friendless orphan Purity Drake suddenly finds herself on the run with a foreign vagrant after accidentally killing one of her guards.

Her strange rescuer claims he is on the run himself from terrible forces who mean to enslave the Kingdom of Jackals as they conquered his own nation. Purity doubts his story, until reports begin to filter through from Jackals’ neighbours of the terrible Army of Shadows, marching across the continent and sweeping all before them.

But there’s more to Purity than meets the eye. As Jackals girds itself for war against an army of near-unkillable beasts serving an ancient evil with a terrible secret, it soon becomes clear that their only hope is a strange little royalist girl and the last, desperate plan of an escaped slave.

 

9. The Dispossessed – Ursula K.Le Guin

the dispossessedThe Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres. But Shevek’s work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres’s sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.

 

 

 

 

10. Dodger – Terry Pratchett

dodgerDodger is a tosher – a sewer scavenger living in the squalor of Dickensian London.

Everyone who is nobody knows Dodger. Anyone who is anybody doesn’t.

But when he rescues a young girl from a beating, suddenly everybody wants to know him.

And Dodger’s tale of skulduggery, dark plans and even darker deeds begins . .

 

 

 

 

Goodbye internet procrastination, hello world of literary wonder. I’ve missed you.

*Or so it says in my Complete Idiots Guide to Writing.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: