Our intrepid writer checks in with some book recommendations of his own.
Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey
The first installment in The Expanse series, this sci-fi juggernaut commands the reader’s attention. Like political thrillers? This one’s for you. Like murder mysteries? This one’s for you. Like Firefly, Blade Runner, and Star Wars? This one‘s definitely for you.
“James S.A. Corey” is actually a pseudonym for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, each accomplished sci-fi and fantasy authors on their own. Franck is actually an assistant to George R.R. Martin, so expect tons of Game of Thrones-like “Manowar’s leather panties! What the Christ just happened here?” moments.
The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Authority and Deviance in Western Europe 950-1250, by R.I. Moore
This book is a nonfiction book that really changed the way I think about politics. It’s an incredibly well-presented description of Middle Age European tendencies towards acquiring power through fear and distraction rather than striving for a equality. Moore explains that the major targets of fear, and thus the scapegoats for everything that went wrong in society, were heretics and witches, Jews, and lepers. Prepare to read about Inquisitions, torture, intrigue, and propaganda.
Also prepare to realize that things haven’t changed that much.
If you like this one, you need to check out a tome that focuses on the propaganda issues a lot more called Whores of Babylon: Catholicism, Gender, and Seventeenth Century Print Culture, by Frances E. Dolan. It’s mind-bendingly impressive.
Grendel, by John Gardner
Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is technically my fourth book recommendation. Fight me. You’ll win, but I can take a punch and you’ll know about one more sick-ass book. Grendel is an introspective, stream of conscious narrative intimately related from the demented point of view of the oldest monster in recorded English language, Grendel from the epic poem Beowulf.
Read that, too, cause it’s insanely cool. That’s five recs. Okay, I’ll stop.
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