5 good books Syp’s read lately

Looking for a few good book recommendations to help out with The Long Wait of ’20? Here are five I’ve really enjoyed over the past few months.

We’ll start with Band of Brothers, which I picked up on Audible as my last title before I turned off my subscription. I’ve seen the miniseries several times but never read the book, and as it turns out, audiobooks are an amazing format for historical accounts. It’s a great, fast-moving narrative with a lot of quotes from the soldiers who were there and all of the hard and bizarre things they went through as they fought across Europe in the last year of WWII.

I’ve also been making a concerted effort to chew through the list of Kindle books that I bought or got on sale but threw on a (virtual) pile and never touched. I’m doing a thing where I’m reading the first three chapters to see if it’s hooked me, and if it does, great; if it doesn’t, I’m on to the next one. A Closed and Common Orbit surprised me because I wasn’t really expecting to be that engrossed by this side-sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Instead of focusing on that crew and ship, it follows a newly born artificial intelligence and her quest to find herself as well as the backstory of her mentor/protector. Really good stuff.

Our adult Sunday School class just finished up with JI Packer’s Knowing God. It’s a weighty work, but I mean that in the best of ways. Instead of froo-froo theology, this is a deep examination into the character of God as revealed through holy scripture. My favorite chapter talked about the “good” kind of jealousy and how God is jealous for us as a husband is for his wife.

Ed McDonald’s Raven’s Mark trilogy is perhaps one of the more underrated grimdark weird fantasy series on the market. It’s truly excellent, with a much different kind of fantasy world and one big hulking guy who is on a long, twisty path to redemption. This final book, Crowfall, does a great job wrapping up a lot of the threads from the first two books while arriving at a rather uplifting ending.

I guess it’s the month for crow titles, because The Merciful Crow took me on a whirlwind adventure from start to finish. I love it when a book makes me want to turn the page to find out what happens next, such as in this tale of a caste-based society where the bottom rung — the Crows — are the only ones immune to a plague sweeping the land. The lead character finds herself growing into the role of a chief before her time, all while protecting a snobby prince and his bodyguard from an attempted coup.

2 thoughts on “5 good books Syp’s read lately

  1. scholargipsy March 23, 2020 / 10:35 am

    Have you read Jack Miles’s “God: A Biography”? Miles is not an apologist (he’s a former Jesuit), but rather a scholar interested in the notion of the literary *character* of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. If these scriptures are the work of human authors, sidestepping the question of divine inspiration, then what kind of person does the Bible (either one) reveal God to be?

    I am an agnostic with a keen interest in comparative religion and Biblical philology, and Miles scratched my itches keenly. Highly, highly recommended if you haven’t come across it yet.

  2. bhagpuss March 23, 2020 / 11:49 am

    Interested to hear you found A Close and Common Orbit engrossing. I enjoyed it but it makes the fist one, which was generally considered to be on the slow side, seem like a breakneck thriller. She seems to be carving a niche as the SF writer who writes about nothing much happening to people you vaguely like. I haven’t read the third one yet but I’ve had several reports that even more nothing happens even more often.

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