Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pleasures of a poor memory

One of the benefits of having a good memory is getting to enjoy good novels all over again, years (sometimes not so many) after reading them.

I believe I first read Ender's Game soon after it was first published in paperback, sometime in 1985 or `86. (Almost 25 years ago!) I remember enjoying it, enough to then seek out other books by Orson Scott Card. (I enjoy "binging" on a writer after I discover a good novel. Maybe someday I'll re-enjoy many of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut novels.) I don't remember much of Speaker for the Dead, but I do remember telling my sister that it was great, perhaps my "favorite", and that Card's understanding of human nature and psychology rivals the great Russian novelists. (Not that I had read any of them. And I still haven't.)

Now that I have a longer commute to work (40 minutes going in early, often over an hour coming home), I have time to enjoy my favorite podcasts and listen to audiobooks. I started getting audiobooks from the library, including Ender's Game. Which I enjoyed again. I look forward to when my kids are old enough to enjoy it--it's a "juvenile" novel after all--but I think they should be at least 12 or so.

I wanted to move on to Speaker for the Dead, but I did a little research on the Ender series [spoiler warning] first, and decided this time to "read" Ender in Exile first. I was published only late last year, but takes place chronologically between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. But the library didn't have it.

So I signed up for an membership--I chose the "twit749" deal I'd been hearing about on TWiT and MacBreak Weekly--and downloaded it. I just finished it. I'm not going to turn this into a review. But I recommend it. (One line was worth quoting: "Pacifism only works with an enemy that can't bear to do murder against the innocent. How many times are you lucky enough to get an enemy like that?")

I just downloaded Speaker for the Dead. I'm looking forward to it. (Though I'll listen to my favorite podcasts first.)