Recently, I've come to realize that I need to get back to reading more (and by reading, I mean something other than comic books). I used to be a big book reader, but over the years many other things have distracted me away from my first nerdy love: books, particularly Science Fiction. It also so happens that I subscribe to Scott Johnson's Frogpants Studios Ultra Feed (which you can find out more about at http://frogpants.com). In addition to Scott's many podcasts, the feed also has several other geeky shows from his fellow podcasting friends.
One of these podcasts is the Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy book club/podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. They pick a specific book and then for the next couple of episodes they talk about the book in addition to other science fiction/fantasy news. Last month they finished reading 2 books: T.H. White's "The Once and Future King" and "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman. Over the past couple of weeks, I managed to catch up on these books and read them myself. The Once and Future King I read the paperback version of, but for The Princess Bride I decided to try something new and buy my first ebook for the iPad (technically I've read parts of the ebook version of Frankenstein, but that was on my iPod and it was free). Here are my thoughts on the books:
The Once and Future King - This book is a King Author book thats actually composed of 4 smaller books, the first one being The Sword and the Stone (which the Disney movie is based off of). Honestly, this book was the only part I was actually interested in. The rest of the stories really started to bog down and halfway through reading it I was ready to be done with the book. White goes into detail on some things I don't really care about (like history and why man is the way he is) and not much time is spent on the stuff I really wanted to read about (Arthur being the awesome king of legend, all the stories surrounding Excalibur, etc.).
The Princess Bride - I've only seen about half of the movie, but from what I've seen and heard from others, the movie follows the book rather well; at least about the story between Westley and Buttercup. Instead of the grandfather reading the story to the sick boy, however, in the book William Goldman pretends that he is abridging a older story called "The Princess Bride" by the fictional S. Morgenstern (his abridgement being "the good parts version"). I really like the angle he plays up here, because he makes it seem so real and by the end of the book, you really get the feeling that this fictional person and the fictional setting of Florin (where Morgenstern and the story are supposedly from) actually do exist. It was a very good read and I highly recommend it to any fantasy lovers, especially if you enjoyed the movie.
Now, I think I need to check Netflix to see if The Princess Bride is available streaming....
*Image taken from http://thetorchonline.com