28 June 2014

Favorite Readings

Yesterday I sat at the dinner table with another couple, good friends both, while our kids and their's had a massive, noisy play date. The Mom is so sweet that she wrangled the kids the WHOLE afternoon, so we Dads were actually able to just sit there and chat about anything and everything for a good four hours. I don't remember the last time I was able to do that withouy being interrupted.

The conversation led through reading for a bit, and it turned out we liked many of the same books The classics, mostly. Both of us used books to escape into as kids. Which got me thinking about what we read as adults to escape. I don't mean the Bible, or personal growth books (like new languages or fields of interests) or self-help books. I'm talking escapism. I'm talking about what you dive into when you have to tell your wife, "They're yours for 30 minutes, I need some peace and quite!"

For myself, when I need escapism, I turn to something fun like military sci-fi. For the last year or so, I've been enjoying the work of an extraordinarily prolific new author, Chris Nuttall. I've never seen a writer who can crank out novels the way this fellow can. He's published at least 45 on Amazon alone. You can find his books with this Chris Nuttall Search.

The thing I like the best about Nuttall is that his characters are real people. They have their flaws, their weaknesses and their strengths. There are realistic relationships and realistic outcomes, or as realistic as you can get in the sci-fi genre. He doesn't build up unbelievable situations, but creates sciences and deals with them well. He's very consistent throughout each book or series, which is unusual in the genre. I get a kick out of the fact that, in many of his books, he creates societal situations which allow him to leave the science out of it and focus instead on the characters and the action.

Of course, with this author, you have to go into his books knowing that most are very political. The viewpoint he packs into his books is pretty Heinlein-ian. Oh, there's a word for you. He appears to be very anti-socialist, very anti-capitalist and very, very anti-entitlement. Personal responsibility is a strong topic, followed closely by societal responsibility. If you read the reviews on his work, you'll always find a few, or more, 1 star ratings given by more left-leaning reviewers. I don't actually understand that, since reading the sample content of his books is always enough to understand that the books are written with political slants.

In any case, if you like gritty action and believable characters, along with a dose of muddy political realism, I can highly recommend his works. Oh, and in the interest of disclosure, I've never met or corresponded with Chris Nuttall. I just like his books enough to recommend.

I'd like to hear from other Dads about what you use for escaping yourselves for a bit. Books, hobbies, etc.