What I’m consuming

Stranger in a Strange LandIt’s no secret that I like to play games. I play a lot of games. Call it a hobby. But I also consume other types of entertainment. I’ve talked at length here of the TV shows I watch and I mention the occasional movie, but I really haven’t mentioned what else I’m consuming.

As geeks go, I’m not very well read in the “Classics”. Sure, I’ve read The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, I, Robot, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and others, but I haven’t read as much as I’d like to. When I was in high school, I read a lot fantasy books (mostly Dragonlance Novels), but I’ve recently endeavored to broaden my reading horizons. Going off of a few “Top 20/50/100 lists” (here and here and here and here) I’ve been diving right into some of the best Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels I’ve missed out on. I’ve just about finished up Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, and I’ll be moving on to the next book on my list. The next five books on my list are:

Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
Ringworld, Larry Niven
Dune, Frank Herbert
The Foundation Series, Isaac Asimov

In addtion to that, I also started reading the Harry Potter books. (Yes, I am a hypocrite)

I’m also a voracious consumer of music. Recently I’ve been listening to Fort Minor. Fort Minor is a hip-hop/rap side project of Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. If you’ve seen any ABC/ESPN/TNT NBA promo commercials, than you’d recognize their song “Remember the Name“. But there’s more than just that song. The entire album, The Rising Tied is all pretty good stuff; great rhymes and serious beats. I’m digging it.

On top of it all, I’m excited about a lot of movies coming out this summer. We’ll be seeing Spiderman 3 this Friday because I’m a huge fanboy of the Blockbuster/action/blow-stuff-up kind of movie. Can’t wait. I’ve also got a huge list of movies I’m looking forward to this year, but I won’t bore you with that list. At least not yet.

As always, I’d love to hear what you guys are consuming. Any recommendations are also welcome.

(I should mention that this post was inspired by a post over at The Game Chair discussing reading lists of gamers)


  1. Thanks for putting me onto Fort Minor. I’m listening now, and I like them so far.

    May is a huge month for enjoyable movies. Spiderman 3, Shrek the Third, 28 Weeks Later and Pirates. A very nice lineup of movies. Last week’s Hot Fuzz was a great deal of fun as well.

    I’m not sure how Dragonlance became required reading for fans of fantasy. I am surprised how many people have read them. Even my wife, who doesn’t read novels as a general rule, has finished the Chronicles.

  2. I assume the Stranger in a Strange Land you have is the unabridged “uncut” edition.

  3. @Will – Glad you like Fort Minor. I’ve had their album on heavy rotation and am really liking it. As far as why Dragonlance is required reading, I think it’s because it’s the model structure of a fantasy novel: heroes fall from grace and later redeem themselves. Selfless heroes sacrifice themselves which steels the rest of the “party” against Evil. Periods of action followed by periods of rest. It’s all there.

    @Josh – yeah, it’s the unabridged. I wasn’t sure what the difference was but I figured I’d get the whole story.

  4. I was a huge Dragonlance nerd in high school. Dragonlance is what made me want to play D&D.

  5. I read a ton of Robert Heinlein back in high school (a long time ago). Snow crash was also a very fun read (but a pretty piss poor ending). And yeah I like the harry potter books. Also, unabridged audio books are a great way to get through a lot of books if you have a commute. Some other suggestions:

    – Tom Clancy: I’ve read pretty much everything. I love the games and I love the books. The movies? not so much.
    – David Eddings: Start with the Belgariad. This was my favorite fantasy author back in high school. I recently started the series over again but it’s not quite as good as I fondly remember it.
    – Stephen King: Start with the dark tower series but just a warning. The ending was HORRIBLE! Cheap lazy ass author cop-out. Other than that the series is really pretty brilliant.
    – Dean Koontz: Start with the Odd Thomas series which is my favorite.
    – Dean Takahashi: The Xbox 360 Uncloaked. I’m currently reading this. It’s pretty interesting.
    – The halo novels aren’t bad. the first one is great. I’m almost done with the 2nd one. I remember a while back there were some Doom novels too that I enjoyed.
    – Phoenix the rise and fall of videogames. This is an older book (read a long time ago) but I remembered it was interesting.

    – Wheel of Time series: unless you enjoy thousands upon thousands of pages filled with characters that you hope would die because they won’t stop whining.
    – Lord of the rings: I could never make it through the first book. I enjoyed the hobbit but LOTR just drags too much for me. Maybe in this case an abridged version would be better. Too many songs!

  6. I actually just recently read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – think i had a bad Heinlen experience as a child or something. Maybe he was dropped on my head.

    You’re next up list looks pretty solid, although I’d recommend reading Ender’s Game as soon as possible. It’s one of those books that, once you’ve read, you can’t imagine having not read it, if you follow my logic.

    As to further recommendations, I like anything written by Timothy Zahn, and I have read everything he’s written.

    Also, I always like good comedy in my sci-fi, so you could pick up Douglas Adams’ lesser-known but equally-awesome detective masterpieces: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.

    Currently, however, I’m reading Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett, which is more fantasy than Sci-Fi, but definitely an excellent read.


  1. […] least accidentally reading one of his best-sellers, but hey, it wasn’t so long ago that Tony hadn’t read Ender’s Game, either […]

  2. […] Books: I had a pretty good thing going while I was working on my “reading list.” I finished Stranger in a Strange Land and moved on to Ender’s Game, which was superb. […]

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