GregHorrorShow: The Books Of 2011

We move on now to books and I made it through a fair few titles this year – one of which was the biggest book I’ve ever read… More on that later 🙂

As usual these aren’t in order but I’d recommend all of them:

  • ‘Worth Dying For’ – Lee Child
  • ’61 Hours’ – Lee Child
  • ‘Dragon Age: Stolen Throne’ – David Gaider
  • ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – Ayn Rand
  • ‘Killzone Ascendency’ – Sam Bradbury
  • ‘The Fall’ – Chuck Hogan & Guillermo Del Toro
  • ‘Shadow’s Edge’ – Brent Weeks
  • ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ – Stieg Larsson
  • ‘An Idiot Abroad’ – Karl Pilkington
  • ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ – Harold Goldberg
The two Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child really moved things up a notch after a couple of good, but not great entries, in the series. ’61 Hours’ was the first part and a real return to form but I felt ‘Worth Dying For’ was superior and one of the best book in the series.

I’m not a massive fan of fantasy style books but I certainly enjoyed the novel based on the Dragon Age game universe by David Gaider, along with the excellent ‘Shadow’s Edge’ by Brent Weeks. Both drew on different areas of the fantasy genre but I thought they were excellent and Brent Weeks does a great job of setting up the reader for the final book in the trilogy.

In terms of factual books I didn’t make it through many but the stand out ones for me were Karl Pilkington’s ‘An Idiot Abroad’ and ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ by Harold Goldberg. The former catalogues Karl’s trips to far flung destinations and the crazy set ups that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant organize for him. The impact was slightly dulled by having seen the accompanying TV series but it’s worth a read. ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ relays the history of videogames but in a well written, almost anecdotal style. If you’re interested in games there is a lot of great info and interviews on subjects from EA in the 1990’s up to GTA in the 2000’s.

The biggest book I’ve ever read was also among the greatest – ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand clocked in at well over 1000 pages but I could not stop reading it. Dagny Taggart and all the other characters felt real and alive which is down to Rand’s strong narrative. While I don’t neccessasarily agree with Objectivism in it’s purist form I certainly believe the world could learn a thing or two from this work. I recommend this whole heartedly, it’s the only book I’ve ever read that gave me goosebumps.

After making my way through Ayn Rand‘s masterpiece I felt like reading something a little less classical so plumped for ‘Killzone Ascendency’ by Sam Bradbury, which retells the story of Killzone 3 but fleshes out some parts in terms of what the characters were thinking and a few parts of back story. If you like the game you could do worse than pick this one up.

The second part of the Strain trilogy, ‘The Fall’ by Chuck Hogan & Guillermo Del Toro, arrived midway through the year and once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The story of a vampiric virus is written in such a frantic style that you find yourself reading and reading until you have to stop.

A book that had a slower start was Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’, the second title in the Millenium triolgy. Like the first book, things took a while to get going but once the rollercoaster started I didn’t want it to end. While the final few chapters of the book were a little disappointing in terms of some of the choices made, I can’t wait to read the final part soon!

So there we go, a busy year for books – let me know what you’ve all been reading in the comments.

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