A friend of mine suggested I read Ender’s Game, his favorite book. It’s a military science fiction book by Orson Scott Card about Ender Wiggins, a genius little boy, and his two siblings, Valentine and Peter. Ender, and many other children, are being trained by the military to prepare for a third invasion of the “buggers” which are insect-like aliens while his two siblings are back on Earth doing their best to survive.
The book really makes you think about empathy, morals, and strategy. Some of the bullying instances are very disturbing, especially considering the age of the children, but they do make you consider what defense is too far or not far enough. (Not for children, but for anyone.) These children aren’t exactly normal children though. While I think that most children aren’t given enough credit for their intelligence, the children featured in the book are far more intelligent than most children. The military does their best to mold these chosen children into what the military needs to defeat the buggers.They’re treated, for better or worse, like adults.
I also think it speaks well to the pressures that probably face those in the military today. Making not just life or death decisions, but deciding what casualties are worth it take a toll on these characters and on those of us in the real world. While those decisions must be made, I can’t imagine being one who makes them.
After reading it, I can see how many of my military friends have read it and why it’s on the suggested reading list for the Marines. I’m waiting for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead, to become available from the library, so I can read it next.
Have you read it? What do you think?
I just finished North of Here by Laurel Saville.
I loved it. I really couldn’t put it down. There was one point where I was so frustrated with one of the characters that I put it down to go do something else; I promptly picked it right back up because I needed to know what was going to happen.
The story is very real. There’s not much romanticizing of the characters or their traits. I don’t want to spoil the book for you by giving too much away though!
Have you read it? What did you think?
Do you have any books to recommend?
The Silo series by Hugh Howey starts out with Wool. I first read Wool (the Omnibus edition) because a friend at college had talked it up. I borrowed his copy and was completely engrossed.
I loved it. It tells the tale of a group of people living in a silo underground. The outside world is uninhabitable and they are the last of mankind. The top floor of the silo has a window to the outside, so the inhabitants can see what the outside world looks like.
I’d highly recommend the book. I first read it about three years ago and just started to re-read it.
There are two more great books in the series, Shift (Book 2), and Dust (Book 3). Shift is a prequel and gives you a look at how the world came to be in Wool. And Dust finishes up the series. I’d recommend at least starting Wool to see what you think.
What have you been reading lately?
I just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. It’s a book about an astronaut, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars after a storm forces the rest of his team to evacuate. They, and everyone on Earth, believes he died in the storm. But he didn’t.
Watney goes through enormous trials to survive and to contact NASA; we’re shown his ingenuity and creativity in his fight for survival. He’s a botanist and a mechanical engineer, so his skills are fairly well suited to his predicament.
The book is heavy on science, but it’s not a hard read. And Watney has a sense of humor that helps him stay sane through his ordeal, so the reader is entertained by little comments Warney has about his situation and how he reacts to things. I loved reading about Watney, and I wish that there was more to the book. I didn’t want it to end!
The book has been made into a movie, currently in theaters. I’ve heard good things about the movie, though I have not been to see it yet.
The movie trailer is below.
Have you read the book? What did you think?