Damien's favored books, comics, music, series, etc.
13 March 2006
Nothing here is guaranteed or likely to be complete.
Novels I most often re-read these days: Terry Pratchett, Lois Bujold, P. C.
Hodgell, McKinley's Sunshine, Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome
October. Past frequent re-reads have included Pamela Dean's Tam
Lin, McKinley's The Hero and the Crown and Beauty,
Steven Brust, Gordon Dickson's Soldier, Ask Not. Novels I most often
recommend are Hodgell (the little-heard of cult factor) and Sunshine.
I'm a big Tolkien fan, and have read The Silmarillion and some of Chris
Tolkien's What I Found in my Father's Drawers. Cherryh's Cyteen
affected me a lot, and a lot of her other books are good too: Chanur series,
Morgaine, Serpent's Reach, Voyager in Night, Rider at the
Gate. Oh, and of course, the Hitchhiker books. I've enjoyed all
of Jane Austen's novels and some of her juvenilia. I liked Wilkie Collins,
though haven't re-read him. The Bronte sisters I don't remember much of. For
recent science fiction I'm enthralled by Greg Egan, Iain Banks, Ken MacLeod,
Charles Stross, and Alastair Reynolds. Vernor Vinge, of course. For recent
fantasy Jo Walton and China Mieville rock. For ancient fantasy there's Hope
Non-fiction: I've read all of Douglas Hofstadter and Richard Dawkins, and much
of Daniel Dennett. Richard Conniff has two books of biology essays which I
really like, Spineless Wonders and Every Creeping Thing.
Last Chance to See may be Douglas Adams's best book. Robert Axelrod
has great books on computer models of cooperation. John Holt wrote on what's
wrong with schools, and good about homeschooling/self-learning. Jane Jacobs's
first book is a classic on cities; her economics books are provocative and
alarming, though I don't know how valid their reasoning is. Never seen much
of a review. Berned Heinrich's books were informative both about ravens and
about the science of studying them. Marvin Minsky's Society of Mind
shaped my reasoning; so, in different and earlier ways, did Raymond Smullyan's
books on logic and retrograde chess.
There's always my booklog.
Beyond and before my webomics, I've bought Neil
Gaiman's Sandman and Stardust, Alan Moore's Swamp Thing,
V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen, Mike Carey's Lucifer and Hellblazer, much of
Books of Magic, Phil Foglio's Girl Genius, Carla Speed McNeill's
Finder, Layla Lawlor's Raven's Children, and Kurt Busiek's
Astro City. Series was into for a while but fell away from include
Strangers in Paradise and Bone -- I've read most or all of them,
but wouldn't recommend them so much.
I grew up with classical music radio in the background, which mostly had me
treat classical music as background music, to my mother's disgust. Sometimes
she'd have me try to identify whether a piece was by Bach, Beethoven, or
Mozart; I might have had a better-than-average gut-feeling rate, but I had no
conscious sense of the differences. Late in high school I was introduced to
Steeleye Span and Alan Stivell, and liked them, then right before freshman
year winter break I met a cute friendly girl into Steeleye Span, and I delved
into all the records. By junior year I'd expanded into Irish, then Celtic,
music in general: Clannad, Makem and Clancy, the Dubliners, Silly Wizard, and
whatever I felt like taping off Fiona Ritchie's Thistle and Shamrock public
radio program. I've also got a Count Basie CD (useful for swing!), Chopin,
Bach, Babylon-5 soundtracks, Buffy musical soundtrack, the Jethro Tull songs
Jethro apparently didn't like, Gypsy Kings, Into the Woods, and Tom Lehrer.
Oh, and a bunchof filk.
Babylon-5, Buffy the Vampire Slayers, Angel, Roswell, Simpsons, Futurama,
Robotech (close enough), Record of Lodoss War, Kimagure Orange Road, Scrapped
Princess, Gankutsuo, Witch Hunter Robin, Mai-HiME, Karin. I liked what I saw
of Last Exile and of Maria-sama, but only saw stuff near the end. I liked
Bleach, but it's starting to feel stretched out. Hikaru no Go was fun, and
got me playing Go again for a while, but if I never saw it again I might not
care. Whereas I haven't finished Scrapped Princess yet but will obsess about
it nicely. For movies, Spirited Away, Ghost in the Shell (sequel not so
much), Castle Cagliostro, Tokyo Godfathers, My Neighbors the Yamadas.
Heh, I don't see so many of these, except when I visit my parents. Serenity,
Addams Family Values, Clueless, Cruel Intentions, But I'm a Cheerleader,
Michael Collins, Songcatcher, Catch Me If You Can, Shawshank Redemption, L. A.
Back to me.