2016 Reading Diary Part 4!


September became October with Wizard and Glass, the fourth book of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga, on my Kindle. It’s my second time reading it. I don’t often read novels twice, but last reading diary, I decided to revisit The Gunslinger, the first in the series, to refamiliarize myself with the story ahead of the upcoming film adaption. The first book led me to the second, and now here I am enjoying book four:

October 5 Update: I’m at the 77% mark according to my Kindle, and I’m absolutely hooked. I had forgotten that most of the book is backstory – a story within a story. Essentially, that inner prequel story is a novel in its own right entirely worthy of the upcoming TV series based upon it. October 7 Update: I finished it on the train coming back from the airport after seeing off my sister and her family.  I will rejoin the quest for the Dark Tower at a later date.

A Night Without Stars, the sequel to Peter F. Hamilton’s The Abyss Beyond Dreams, was recently released, and I’m quite eager to read it. It’s been almost two years since I read The Abyss Beyond Dreams – I finished it on November 13, 2014 according to my accurate records, so I’m reading it again to familiarize myself with the story as I’ve read a lot since and my earlier memories of the book were a little dim and merged with my memories of Hamilton’s The Void Trilogy which is set in the same universe and void. I might not reread the whole thing, but after a few days of reading, I’m enjoying it and see no reason to stop.

I finished the above in the early hours of Sunday, October 16. Later in the morning I began its new sequel. Although the beginning of the sequel does touch upon the events of the first book, I’m glad I took the time to reread it. While the sequel is mostly set a couple of centuries later, it does begin immediately after the book one ends, so it was helpful beginning book 2 hours after finishing book one instead of years after.

October 17 Update: I’m 23% through the second book, and I’m enjoying it more than the first and more than previous efforts by author Peter F. Hamilton, which I really enjoyed! And I finished it in the early hours of October 23 after a gig.

Jack Reacher is back in Running Blind (2000). I’m flying through it – 75% completed about 30 hours ater starting it. And that’s bad because I have lots of work to do. I finished it during the early hours of October 25. I didn’t see that final twist coming at all, but if I were to read it again, I’d solve the case by page 30.

Jack Reacher is back in Echo Burning (2001). I finished it two days later during the evening of October 27.

Jack Reacher is back in Without Fail (2002). I finished it over coffee in the chilly evening of October 30 three days after starting it. That’s enough Jack Reacher for now as I don’t want to complete the books too quickly. They’d make for excellent plane reading if I can hold off finishing the series before my next flight.

A return to the past with the fifth Outlander novel, The Fiery Cross.

After reading parts one and two of the above, I took a quick break from times past on the evening of Sunday November 6 and read “High Heat”, a Jack Reacher short story.

Incidentally, Scientologist Tom Cruise, who plays Jack Reacher in the films, was in town the next day promoting the second Jack Reacher film. Since I started reading the books after catching the first film, I can’t help but picture Tom while reading the books. I can live with that as I can differentiate my interest in the cult of Scientology and my distaste for Cruise’s willful ignorance and involvement from my enjoyment of films he’s in. But, well, Jack Reacher in the books is … tall. Jim Caviezel, who played the leads in Person of Interest and in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ better resembles the Jack Reacher of the books and would have been my first choice had I been asked (I wasn’t). But I digress; after finishing “High Heat”, I returned to The Fiery Cross.

November 15 Update: According to my trusty Kindle, I’m 71% through The Fiery Cross. I did struggle in the beginning to get into it, but with the finish line in sight, it’s full steam ahead, I’ve been enjoying the book more and more as I’ve progressed through it. I finished it a few days later on the evening of November 18.

Upon finishing it, I first thought that a reading break was in order, but I glanced at the first few pages of Jeffrey Archer’s This Was A Man, the seventh and final book in his Clifton Chronicles series, and was immediately drawn back into the story and its characters who after six books feel like family.

November 28 Update: I’m at the 83% mark according to my Kindle. Normally, this is a book I’d devour in a few days, but I happened to start it just as I started my busiest week at work in a couple of years. I’m loving the book when I do find the time for a few pages, but I’m a little saddened that the end of this seven-book saga is just a couple of days away. And I finished it the next morning. Harry Clifton was indeed a man.

I immediately returned to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character with Persuader, the seventh Jack Reacher novel. I turned the last page at the gym on December 3.

Then I read four Jack Reacher short stories while I await the December 6 release of the latest book in the The Expanse series, specifically “James Penney’s New Identity”, “A Guy Walks Into a Bar”, “Small Wars”, and “Not a Drill”.

And then I bought Babylon’s Ashes on the day of its Kindle release and immediately began reacquainting myself with The Expanse‘s literary universe. December 13 update: Slow progress due to having lots of work to do with the end of the semester fast approaching, but I am enjoying it. I finished it with a flourish on December 20 at around 11:15 pm.

After a few minutes of indecision during which I browsed a few books, I finally settled on The Enemy, the next Jack Reacher book. It took me a few days to make progress due to being busy again, but once Xmas eve arrived, I took my foot off the work pedal and made serious progress, finishing it over a coffee on Christmas day.

I had no intention to reread the entire Dark Tower series when I reread the first book earlier this year to familiarize myself with the story ahead of the upcoming movie, but it’s just such a great story, I found I couldn’t stop. I’m 48% into the fifth book, Wolves of the Calla, after just a few days. The race is now on to finish it before the clock strikes 2017. Succeed or fail, I will definitely revisit the remaining books at some point during 2017.

December 31, 11:20 AM Update: Less progress over the last couple of days due in part to my battery dying yesterday afternoon. Angry note to Kindle developers: include a battery power indicator! Well, I could check it myself more often. One thing’s for sure, my Paper White Kindle’s battery doesn’t have the life of my previous Kindles, alas. Back to Wolves of the Calla, I was at the 70% mark when 2016 became 2017.