Books I'm reading/have read that are worth mention.
- The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, 7/10
Fiction, Future history about humanities first attempt at colonizing mars. Packed with lots of technical details, crazy adventures and political allegory.
Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, 9/10
Fiction, About the most fun I've had reading sci-fi, ever. Mostly about nazis demons that feed on the destruction of information and are vanquished by clever algorithms. Really looking forward to reading more of Stross's work.
Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, 9/10
Fiction, Deep, multi-layered space-opera on an epic scale. Super intelligent AI, time travel (or is it redirection? I'm still not sure I get it), religious wars and high-tech space battles, all written exceptionally well. Additionally, the whole book is about the poetry of John Keats. It's the sort of book you wish you could read again for the first time.
Cosmos by Carl Sagan, 8/10
Non-fiction, Like a short version of A Brief History of Nearly Everything from twenty years ago. Carl Sagan is the closest thing an atheist gets to a spiritual leader, and this book is his love-letter to the universe. If you're not familiar with him, the sagan series is a good place to start.
Samurai William: The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan by Giles Milton, 8/10
Non Fiction, The true story of the first Englishman to become a Samurai (and somewhat change the course of Japanese history). Read Shogun for a less dry (but obviously more fantastical, there are ninjas) account.
Shogun: A Novel of Japan by James Clavell, 10/10
Fiction, My absolute favourite book ever, and a big reason for my first adventure to Japan. A story about an English trader that is shipwrecked in Japan and goes from being a prisoner to a hatamoto of the Shogun. Loosely based on the adventures of Will Adams.
The Entire Sharpe Collection by Bernard Cornwell, 7/10
Fiction, Story of a British officer promoted from the ranks, fighting against Napoleon in Spain. Great overview of the history, lot's of pitched battles with all the strategy, tactics and lucky escapes at the last minute that swashbuckling adventures tend to have. Yes, I actually read every book in the series.
The Conquerer Series by Conn Iggulden, 9/10
Fictionalized account of the rise of Genghis Khan. More pitched battles, sieges and political scheming. You also discover that Tsubodai is just about the most righteous badass in history to have ever commanded an army, especially at The Battle of Badgers Pass.
Books in this series: