A few reading recommendations

Recently I bought a Kindle from a friend and since then I've been reading up a storm.  I've been tweeting a lot about my enjoyment of "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" and it inspired me to put together a list of my all time favourite books as reading recommendations with a small summary.  This list is in no particular order.

"World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" – Max Brooks
The style of this book is the first of it's type that I have written.  The author has made the book to be a compilation of interviews of individuals around the world telling their tale of how they survived the massive Zombie outbreak.  The author does such a wonderful job of writing each section in a way that gives flavour and originality to each character.  Even though the individual stories from each survivor is short, you can get a clear separation of character with each account that is written.  It doesn't just feel like it's coming from the same rehashed character.

"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" – Al Franken
Many of you are probably more familiar with Al Franken's work from Saturday Night Live, but he also has a deeply political side to him.  In 2008, Franken ran in the US Senate election in Minnesota.   Franken's writing is not only hilarious, but his crack team of researchers (dubbed "TeamFranken" a group of 14 Harvard Graduate students) made this book a refreshing look at the major conservative players such as: Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and obviously George W. Bush.  This book highlighted several of the right wing media's talking points and some interesting research with some very wonderful comedy.

"Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" – Al Franken
If you haven't noticed from my previous suggestion, I love Al Franken's writing.  This book in particular had me in stitches, especially in his chapter that he writes a scenario with many of the major conservative players as soldiers during the Vietnam War on patrol under the leadership of Ollie North

"Brave New World" – Aldous Huxley
This one in my opinion, is a classic.  I don't want to give out too many spoilers, but Huxley's brilliant portrayal of this Utopian World State had me enthralled.  Reading the book (without knowing much about the author before hand) gave me a clear insight on the author and who he was.  After researching Aldous Huxley, many of my gut feelings about his own life experiences where solidified.  I could easily see his inspiration for Soma within his pages.

"Memnoch the Devil" – Anne Rice
Anne Rice as an author has left me with mixed feelings. Her Vampire Chronicles in their infancy, were beautifully written.  Her characters were so rich with emotion, depth and development. However, I personally felt that the brilliance of the Vampire Chronicles started to die off following Memnoch the Devil.  I believe that it was the last good book in this series, but by far the most powerful and simply amazing books.  It touches a very controversial topic and brought a depth to her character Lestat that no other book managed to bring.   I remembered reading this book and sitting back in awe as I finished it, never before had a book moved, shocked and held me as spellbound as this one had.

"1984" – George Orwell
After listing "Brave New World", it is probably predictable that I'd be listing Orwell's classic dystopian novel.  I remember being forced to read this in high school, never truly appreciating it until I was an adult and reread it for giggles.  Even if you read this once, for school, I recommend rereading it as an adult.  It's just that good.

"Birdman"  – Mo Hayder
Now we step into the realm of the bizarre, if you're not into the psychological thriller genre or have a low thresh-hold for bizarre – go no further.  Accept this book won't be your style, because I can promise you that on the "messed up scale," this one pushes the edge. 

"Red Dragon" – Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris will live in my mind eternally as the author of the best series ever.  I remember watching "Silence of the Lambs" for the first time, not ever knowing it was inspired by a novel. Then, one day I did my research and came upon these books by Thomas Harris: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal Rising. Of all of these novels, Red Dragon is my all time favourite.  The vivid imagery and depth of the killer, Francis Dolarhyde was what really won it for me. 

"The Jester" – James Patterson and Andrew Gross
James Patterson and Andrew Gross collaborate to bring this historic tale of an ordinary French villager during the times of the Crusades.  I fell in love with the main character in the book, and the subject matter made me want to researc
h again in full details of the Crusades. 

Alex Cross Series, James Patterson
To conclude my book recommendations, I make not one but 14.  I discovered James Patterson after seeing a copy of "Kiss the Girls" on paperback at Borders.  I read the book, fell in love with Alex Cross and have since then, immediately purchased and quickly devoured every novel that Patterson has ever written with Detective Cross in it.  With each book you see a real growth and development of the characters, as you get hooked on the series you learn to feel that same pang of anxiety at the mention of the Mastermind that Alex feels.  Never before have I ever gotten so attached to a literary character.  Each new release that Patterson adds to this collection of stories is received with joy and apprehension as I'm both overjoyed to have another book coming in the series, but also afraid for the day that Patterson writes his final chapter closing Alex's story.  That will be a sad day for me.

Well that finishes up my book recommendations, I hope that if you've read this, you pick up at least one of the many books that I have just recommended.  Drop me a comment about how you feel, I'd love to hear some one else's point of view.

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