As I’ve mentioned before, I am a prolific reader and have kept a spreadsheet of my reading over the past several years. In 2018, I read a record (for me) 108 books, most new but many rereads.
People have asked me about what I read, so I thought this year I’d try to post about the books I’ve read. I’ll give my opinions of the new stuff, and some background about the rereads and why I chose to reread them.
So to kick off, I’ve begun this year with an old classic – Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. For those who haven’t read it but only saw the movie, you should find the book a more complete experience. (Although, I must say, casting Alan Rickman as Marvin the Paranoid Android was a brilliant move.)
I stumbled across this series quite by accident. Back when I was dating my wife, I’d stopped by her cousin John’s house to pick him up for something. He was hopping into the shower, so invited me to wait in his room. Now John had a largish bookshelf with many books, so I passed the time inspecting the titles. Adam’s book sort of jumped out at me, complete with the large “Don’t Panic!” graphic on the front. So I grabbed it down and started reading, and I was hooked.
I purchased the three books at once, and added the fourth book of the trilogy (his words, not mine) soon after. I’ve read the fifth book in the trilogy (…) several times, and the sixth book only a couple of times. (The sixth book was written by another author after Adams died, and I didn’t much care for it.)
Adam’s employs his classic British humour masterfully, and takes absurdities to an all new level. His tangents are far more entertaining than Family Guy’s, and highly imaginative. For these reasons, I usually reread the series every couple of years or so. I didn’t last year, so that’s where we are.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- Life, the Universe, and Everything
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
- Mostly Harmless
- And Another Thing…
(I don’t expect I’ll reread the last one.)
P.S. There was a great text computer game in the 1980’s for this. I recall one part where you’re in a room, and when you say “Go West” it tells you there isn’t anything there. If you say again “Go West” it argues with you that there’s nothing interesting that way. If you ask yet again, it finally grudgingly agrees that you can go that way. A nice game, if you can find it.