As an adult, reading is something that I never really got into. My wife says I lack imagination, because I could never understand how she could read the same books over and over — or how she could laugh or cry over words written on a page. But I actually read a lot as a child. I started reading early and found a place in the advanced reading groups at school. I remember loving Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham. But once I got into middle school and high school, I always failed book reports and reading tests because I absolutely refused to read — although that might have had to do with being told what to read rather than an actual aversion to the activity (which is a statement on our ridiculous educational system in America, but that’s another argument for another time and another place). If I was able to, I always picked a book with big words and short chapters or something that was a movie novelization. (I once did a book report on Rocky.) The one time I was enthusiastic about a reading assignment was in 11th grade, when we could choose to read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. When I passed the test with flying colors, the teacher was convinced I had cheated and actually quizzed me orally in front of the entire class. I still passed.
Now I can say that I’ve read close to 100 books in the last year, and that can be contributed to two things: 1. The Walking Dead. Now, you may say, “That doesn’t count — it’s a comic.” Fair enough. But to me, that was about as close to reading as I got. I borrowed the first hardcover from James, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I was enthralled, and I thought I’d give further reading a try. 2. The Kindle. I requested a Kindle Fire for Christmas last year mainly because it was a cheap tablet, but once I realized the availability of eBooks and the ease of which you could access them, I became one reading son of a bitch. It was so easy to download a book. With an Amazon Prime account, I could pick from a selection of books to “borrow” for free, and there’s actually a collection of pretty decent books on the cheap.
So with all that being said, I wanted to go over some of the books that I’ve read that I HIGHLY recommend… if you’re into that whole “reading” thing. We’ll post one every few days.
1. The Rising by Brian Keene:
Brian Keene is an author James and I have talked about frequently on the podcast, and he has quickly become my favorite author. The Rising is a bit of a different take on the zombie genre. They are intelligent and able to strategize, which any zombie fan knows is bad news. Not only does the plague infect humans, it also affects animals and birds, which is just horrifying in itself. I really enjoyed the way Keene developed the characters. Right off the bat, you feel for them, which is what makes you invest yourself in a story regardless of the medium — books, movies, TV, etc. The Rising leaves you with a fantastic cliffhanger that made me angry that I had to stop there and hunt down the second book, City of the Dead. Both books are excellent.