I have always enjoyed a good story. There are many, many different types, epic journey, tragedy, comedy, non-fiction, etc., but regardless, I have always enjoyed a good one. It may be the intricate flow, it may be the moral, or it may just be the writing itself, but good stories are always enjoyable. The past few years it has seemed like there haven’t been a lot of good stories, and there certainly haven’t been very many good movies, but recently there have been a number of promising starts on the horizon. Granted, I have a TON of book in my “to read” stack, but there are a few that I wanted to highlight for you in the hopes that you may find something to add to your list.
Fiction – I have recently started re-reading an interesting series about a former special forces agent/UK hitman by the name of John Milton by Mark Dawson. It is the standard “agent tries to retire, agency tries to kill him, he tries to redeem himself from his past” plot line, but it is extremely well written. The protagonist is one of the most well-balanced, flawed heroes I have encountered in these types of series. Sure, I truly enjoy the Mitch Rapp series, the Scott Thor series, and the like, but there is a certain raw, yet refined quality about how Dawson writes about John Milton and how he deals with his past that is both entertaining and engaging. Granted, these will never be pulitzer prize winners, but, then again, neither was Stephen King, but I enjoyed his works as well. A second series worth reading is the Bob Lee Swagger series that the TV series Shooter is based on. The TV series is good and the books are better, however, there are definitely some weak releases in the bunch. Still, the first couple are excellent and worth the time spent reading them. Another book in the fiction realm that I have recently discovered and enjoyed enough to recommend is Change Agent by Daniel Suarez. It is a futurist novel based around genetic editing and ethics. It is an engaging story, much like his others (Daemon, Freedom, Kill Shot, etc.) and it definitely makes you wonder if he is prescient, or just a good writer.
Nonfiction – There are a number of non-fiction books that I have been reading lately, but my top three favorites at the moment are as follows: Spam Nation by Brian Krebs, Scribbling in the Sand by Michael Card, and Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman. Spam Nation gives you a great picture and understanding of the scope and efficacy of how criminal organizations have exploited individuals and processes on the Internet for monetary gain. Future Crimes is somewhat similar in how it describes the darker side of the Internet and social media. Scribbling in the Sand is a great and thought-provoking journey about creativity and Christianity based on the story of Christ writing in the sand. It is compelling and challenging and definitely worth the read, although you may find yourself feeling like your toes are being stepped on. The third, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, is the autobiography of the famed physicist Richard Feynman, which details the colorful history of one of our most famous US physicists. He is part mad scientist, part genius, and part eccentric, but all of it is interesting and engaging.
So, when you finish your current book, take a chance and take a look at one of these and see what you think. You might be surprised at what you find.