Book Slump? Say No More!

I have seen quite a few posts lately about people being in “book slumps” and not having any good books to read at the time. So I thought I’d help out by making a list of 10 of my all-time favorite books to give my slumped friends some ideas.

 

Cleopatra: A Life

Author: Stacy Schiff

“The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.” This is a well-researched, easy to read, in depth biography about Cleopatra. I ate this book up. It was amazing, and very sad that more people don’t know her true story. She was an amazing woman.

 

The Illustrated Man

Author: Ray Bradbury

A young man meets an “The Illustrated Man”, whose enchanted tattoos are filled with the power to tell stories and see the future. Despite the Illustrated Man’s warnings, he looks at the tattoos, which tells him eighteen stories. This book is chocked full of 18 intriguing science fiction stories, by one of the most well-known science fiction authors of our time.


 The Picture of Dorian Grey

Author: Oscar Wilde

Everyone already knows the story of Dorian Grey. He meets a man who shows him the pleasures the world has to offer, Dorian then expresses how he wishes he could sell his soul and never age. A full length portrait painted of himself he keeps locked away, as it ages and records every sin. I love this book because of Oscar Wilde’s writing style. Its beautiful and descriptive, I could read it over and over.


 The Three Musketeers

Author: Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers tell the story of the adventures of d’Artagnan and his three friends: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, serving in the King’s Musketeers. This novel features great humor, adventure and comradery, as well as  one of literature’s most evil and memorable female villains: Milady. A classic adventure story. Everyone should read this.

 

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Author: Baroness Orczy

This has a similar feel to the Three Musketeers, set in the early stages of the French Revolution. This is about a small band of men who rescue aristocrats before they can be beheaded by the French. Its definingly a takes awhile to get going, but the book has an ending that for sure makes it worth it, as well as a really endearing love story.

 

The Sword of Destiny

Author: Andrej Sapowski

A short story collection that recounts the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter. Originally written in Polish, this is part of a large series of books that inspired the Witcher video game series developed by CD Projec Red. All the books in this series are excellent fantasy books, but this short story collection is my favorite. 


 1984

Author: George Orwell

The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. The superstate is under the control of the privileged elite of the Inner Party. This is a terrifying and good classic book. Everyone should pick this up, with situations like this becoming more possible as technology advances. 

 

The Amethyst Heart

Author: Penelope J Stokes

For a hundred and forty years, Noble House has been a place of shelter, hope, and healing in Cambridge, Mississippi. This is a story that spans three generations of the family who built and lived in the house, and their faith and courage during the Civil War. A heartwarming story of family and faith. 

Science Fiction Authors That Were(n’t) Ahead of Their Time

I love science fiction. Its why I play video games. Exploring new worlds, killing aliens, space travel, life on Mars, all the things that may or may not ever be possible to humankind right at my fingertips.

I ran the idea for my blog post of the day: “Sci-Fi Writers That Were Ahead of Their Time” past my husband this morning, and he told me that these authors weren’t AHEAD of their time, that they were ON time, and we wouldn’t have science fiction as it is today without them.

So here is my top four list of science fiction authors that were ON time, and we have sci-fi as we know it because of them:

Jules Verne: This popular author is most well-known for his stories “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” If you haven’t read these books, you have undoubtedly seen one of the numerous movie adaptations. The thing that I think is the most amazing about Jules Verne is that he lived in the late 1800’s, before any of the technology for the ideas in his books would have ever been imagined. He was just curious about what was under the sea, and inside of the earth.

HG Wells: Author of “The Invisible Man,” “War of the Worlds,” and “The First Men in the Moon,” his titles are slightly spooky and I’m sure pretty alarming at the time, before people had ever heard of anything like this! Giant aliens attacking the earth? An invisible man?

George Orwell: I’m not exactly sure if Orwell should be on this list, as I would probably say that his books are more political commentary than actual Science-Fiction. However, his book “1984” is an amazing and terrifying classic. Perhaps not the first of its kind, but I believe it had an influence on Science-Fiction, as well as popular and political culture. Some movies that carry a similar tone to his book are: “12 Monkeys,” “Blade Runner,” and “Total Recall,” not to mention Ray Bradbury wrote his classic story, “Fahrenheit 451,” only four years after Orwell’s “1984” was published, so Bradbury may well have been influenced by Orwell’s writing also.

Ray Bradbury: “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles” are amazing full length books, descriptive and imaginative. The “Martian Chronicles,” written in a journal-like format, is an interesting story about a family’s life on Mars. My all-time favorite book by Bradbury is “The Illustrated Man.” This is a short story collection, based on a man’s enchanted tattoos. The unique idea is intriguing, and every sci-fi story within is captivating. Many people don’t like short story collections because they’re not detailed enough to get pulled into, but each story in this collection is unique and captivating from beginning to end.

Thinking about these creative men being the first to have the science fiction idea is astounding to me. Thank you for your work gentlemen, and creating my favorite genre as it is today.

What do you think? Who are some other great authors that made science fiction what it is today?