Saturday, August 20, 2005

What’cha Readin’?

I’m always reading something. Usually, when I’m in a waiting area— a prime time for reading print— someone will either ask or comment on my book’s cover. My latest reads are quite different, but I’ve always had eclectic tastes. They do share one characteristic— they're all rather short.

I just finished The FairTax Book by Neal Boortz and John Lindner. This hardcover book was a bit of a surprise, because I found their treatment of this complex idea just a bit simplistic. However, the authors wanted to make the idea understandable for a general audience, and in that they have succeeded beyond my expectations. Perhaps more importantly, this book could be what the writings of Thomas Paine were to the American Revolution, a means of clarifying a concept so that the general public can more readily embrace it. Despite its short length, or even because of it, this could be one of the most important books of this decade. If you haven’t heard about the FairTax, do yourself a favor and look it up. For the past two weeks, the book has been the number one bestseller on the New York Times list, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

I read Skyfall by Catherine Asaro in a couple of evenings during the past week. Asaro is a physicist by trade, a retired ballerina, and an award winning writer of what some call science fiction romances. Her books are as unusual as her resume, and just as accomplished. Skyfall is a prequel to her Skolian Empire series and is a bit less complex than most of the other novels. While not the best book in the series, this one would make a great starting point for a reader new to the Skolian Empire or for someone new to Asaro's writing.

Hawken’s Heart, by Suzanne Brockman is a reprint of one of her early titles, a contemporary romantic suspense piece. Brockman writes taut thrillers with modern characters and situations which seem to be drawn from current events. Many of them feature Navy Seals as heroes, making them a loosely connected series. Her more recent titles have become increasing more complex, with several story lines, even jumping through generational timelines, but her early tales are direct and plenty of fun. Light reading, perhaps, but never dull. I’ve not finished this one, but thus far I haven’t been disappointed.

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