The guest speaker at my graduation back in December was Texas State Senator Bob Deuell. I still remember when his name was announced, someone behind me said “Wow, they got Bob Dole!” That still cracks me up. That also explains why that person was sitting behind me, they weren’t exactly the “best and brightest.”
Anyway, Mr. Deuell talked for about 20 minutes during the ceremony. I don’t remember most of what he said, but one thing stuck with me that day. He said “Read. Read within your subject and outside your subject. Read fiction and non-fiction. Read everything you can get your hands on. Successful people read all the time.”
I’ve always enjoyed reading. At first it was mostly science fiction and fantasy, but as I got older I moved on to computer books. It got to the point where I was actually purchasing computer science textbooks to study on my own. I’m probably the only person in the world with a calculus book on my Amazon wishlist. After several years of that I started taking classes in Commerce. During school, I read computer science books exclusively to the point that I pretty much got burned out.
Now that I’ve graduated, I find myself getting back into reading again. Earlier this year I flew through Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and Neuromancer by William Gibson. Both of those are really cool sci-fi, Matrix-y books. Most people call these “cyberpunk”. Right now, I’ve just about finished the Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore. After that I’m going to have to read some Dan Brown books since Paige wants to discuss them with me, but she doesn’t want to ruin them for me either. I also have a few recommendations from Geoff.
So what’s the point of all this? Basically, I’m always looking for interesting things to read. I thought if I shared a few of the books I’ve enjoyed with the world, then maybe other people would point out some of their favorites to me. I also want to mention a few websites I’ve found with good reading material:
Read Print – This site is new to me. It looks like what they’ve done is taken some of the more popular books from Project Gutenberg (see below) and cleaned them up for easy online reading. This is a great way to get started reading books online.
Project Gutenberg – As far as I know, this was the first website to make public domain books available for free download online. According to the site, they have over 10,000 books available for download.
I came across one more thing this morning at Kuro5hin.org – an article titled Four Unproduced Screenplays. This article provides links to several different screenplays with writers such as James Cameron and The Wachowski Brothers. The comments that follow also contain some great links such as Alien 3 by William Gibson (not the one that was made into a movie) and Superman Lives by Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith).
I read most of Superman Lives this morning and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. There’s plenty of comic book action mixed with a touch of Kevin Smith’s humor. I’ve never read a screenplay before, but the seperation of dialog and scene descriptions makes it easy to picture it in your head as if you were actually watching the movie.
I guess I could set up a section of the site just for book reviews, or maybe form some kind book club. Until then, let me know if you come across any interesting books and I’ll do the same.