Friday, January 15, 2010

5 Books

Emperor: The Field of Swords and The Gods of War

I have really enjoyed these book as they have provided me with some interesting history on a man that has become very much a part of most western culture. I keep thinking that Caesar was adopted by the Russians as the name of their king (Czar) and that term is very much alive today in our own government. Reading a fictionalized account of his and Marcus Brutus life has been fun. The story is fast paced and enjoyable and provides very good history between the two friends. The one difficulty I had with this was the ending of the series (though the end should not be a surprise). The series ended with the assassination. Caesar is dead. His story ends but there is not tie up with the other story lines, Octavian, Marc Antony, Brutus and the other conspirators. I was so curious as to how their stories ended that I spent hours reading encyclopedia article about it. And of course the only other story I new about Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

I took a Shakespeare class in college and kept the text book (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare) so when I wanted more information about Caesar I decided to reread Julius Caesar. I was glad I was able to but I think next time that I read Shakespeare I will borrow it from the library because I do not really want to hold a 2,000 page book while I read. I enjoyed the play again however I realized that these are plays and they are much better watched than read. I don't mind reading them and now that I have read one and am a little more used to the language I might be up for another but nothing beats seeing them on stage.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

I had heard about this book a while ago and had considered reading it but always put it off because I thought there were more enjoyable books on my list. When I came across a copy of it I decided to give it a try. It was okay. A descent book and a quick read but I am not dying to read the next one. Though if it happens to come my way I could spend a day or so reading it.

Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card

The second book in what might be a trilogy(?). This is Card's near future exploration of what will happen if the United States follows the example of Rome and moves from a republic to a empire. I still enjoy Card's writing style and his signature internal moral conflicts however I have found that this story like the first one Empire, did not draw me in as much as I wanted it to. I think that in part it was because of references to real life people who are around now and many of the current situations in the United States. He did not blend these with the fictional element of the story well enough for me to be completely drawn in. I think that in part that I am familiar enough with Card's political views that I could spot them through out the book and tell which political statements he was trying to make. A good book to read and well worth it even if I couldn't get past a few things.

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