Monday, January 9, 2017

Best books 2016: For fun

Why so serious?

I read somewhere, likely in another serious book, that the author exclusively read fiction during the summers, first, for a break from the serious stuff all the time, but two, studies show that people who read fiction are more empathetic. True or not, getting into a good novel is always a nice release from the daily slog. I read these this year.

The Near Abroad
This is not fiction, but it's just as fun. My old buddy, Craig, writes with the wit and humor of a young Bill Bryson. This is about his fun time as an expatriate in frickin Estonia. He invited me to join him over there on a long weekend, but I never made it out, so alas, I am not in this book. Maybe I can make it into his next one. (Craig is a top-notch full service videographer in Florida.)

The Near Abroad, a humorous memoir of an extended stay in Eastern Europe by Craig Kotilinek


I am a Star Wars nerd, and WIRED said, to truly understand how the new movie Rogue One came to be, you should read this one, which is a prequel to Rogue One. My problem with Star Wars books is truly one of epic first world nerd problems. But adults writing books for adults about children's movies need to make things more real. This book goes very realistic in detail, and then the movies, as they must, pull back in less detail and tell a less realistic story. Ok, back to normal person life. This book was long and not very diverse, so it didn't always grab me like a Star Wars movie would. But it did give some interesting nuggets that help you tie the prequels together (Ep. I-III) with the originals (IV-VI), and helped give a ton more weight to the beginning of the movie. Bottom line: I'm a Star Wars nerd, so it was pretty good.

Aurora is set in the not-too-distant future about a modular ship filled with several biomes representing the different climates of earth. The ship was propelled by laser on a multi-generational journey through the universe attempting to settle another planet that appeared as though it could support human life. It's a good book that went a little long, but did a great job telling a realistic story of some of the problems we may face as we try to boldly go where no one has gone before.

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