Monday, 9 December 2013

2013 Top Ten Best Reads - Number 10

It's that time of year; time to review some of my favourite things. I've made a favourite song list that I'm posting daily on Facebook, have so far made up my Top Ten Books of the Year (the subject of the next few posts) and will take a look at some of the TV shows that I enjoyed this year, etc.

Bonnie and Clyde resting
On a personal level, it's been a quick but a very good year. In the spring, the missus and I enjoyed the Men's World Curling Championships in Victoria. After that we went to Abbotsford and picked up our first of two new Schnauzer puppies. That would be the grey one in the photo; that's Bonnie. A couple of months later, we trekked back to Abbotsford and picked up our second, that would be Clyde of course. Having them around has definitely spiced up our lives; they are lovely, entertaining dogs; still puppies, with all the puppy habits. Bonnie is a digger, loves rooting around in the dirt; hence the mucky pup sobriquet. And Clyde is a barker, loves to bark at people and dogs when we go out for walks. And if you haven't seen them for 3 or 4 minutes, you will be swarmed with excited pouncing from both and nipping from Clyde. It's been great, tiring at times, but great.

The View from our Den
And this year we made a concerted effort to do some work in the yard and garden. There is still lots to do, but the yard on the whole has never looked as good. The photo above shows the space from our Den. For the past few years it basically was sand and stone. But now it's actually got grass and we've planted some creepers that we hope will take and add some greenery to the fence. Next year we'll get a sprinkler system installed and work on the rest of the yard. Actually looking forward to it.

Phillip K. Dick
Anyway, onto the purpose of this specific BLog entry. I have enjoyed this past year of reading. I've had a few duds, but many excellent books as well that have found their way to my Top Ten list. The first selection is actually a reread and I have previously posted about it, when I was listing my Top Ten All-Time Favourite books. The book is by SciFi author Phillip K. Dick and is The Man in the High Castle. If you're interested this is my previous BLog about it. This year I reread a number of Phillip K.Dick's books, The Man in the High Castle, Ubik, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Dr. Bloodmoney or How We Got Along after the Bomb (My Blog about my thoughts on this Challenge). It had probably been 20 years since I read The Man in the High Castle and I had wondered if I would still enjoy the book as much. Well, I did. It's an excellent SciFi story, displaying Dick as one of the unique SciFi/ Alternate Reality authors of all time.

This was the entry I put in my Goodread's review of the book. "Read this for the third or fourth time this past week. As good as ever. It's a story that passes the test of time. Such an interesting concept. It's the first alternate history type story that I ever read. It's an alternate history within an alternate history. The basic premise is that Japan and Germany win WWII and have split up the USA and the rest of the world. However throughout the story is another book within this book which tells the story as if the US and Britain had won the war and the issues this causes. There is so much more to this story; culture, religion, art, love. Highly recommended."

I remember trying to understand the I-Ching after reading this book; didn't quite succeed, I'll admit. But the story is just so fascinating and still touched a chord when I read it again.

So there you go, another Top Ten list started. I must say that I may have to do another Top Ten SciFi/ Fantasy list sometime.. Woo hoo!!

Number 9 will be in the next few days, depending how busy I am at work. Read Phillip K. Dick, you won't be disappointed.

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