January 2016 Reading List

The winter is always a good time to sit-down and find some books to read. Some people think summer is to time to read, but for me that is the time to get outside and do something active. The winter weather though is a great excuse to read some good books. 

As I previously mentioned, Megan bought me a Kindle Voyage for my birthday and I have had a great time reading some books on it over the past few months. 

I was able to finally polish off "Toll the Hounds" which was the eighth book in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen Series.  As I have noted a few times before, those books are huge. This one in particular was 800+ pages and it took me a better part of 2015 to get through. It was difficult in part because I just wasn't that into the book. I am going to continue to soldier on through though and finish that series here in 2016. There are only two books left to go.

Once I finished that I needed to find something that was a little bit lighter in reading. I picked up "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" from the Kindle Lending Library to read over the Thanksgiving and winter holiday. No surprise, I loved the book as I have with all of the Harry Potter books I have read thus far. At the same time I also picked up an audio book from Librivox to listen to.  That book was "The Double Traitor" by E. Phillips Oppenheim. This was a nice, low key spy novel. It didn't have much action in it, but it was more about deception and double-crossing by the characters. There was a lot of exposition in it, but it worked out in the end as a good book. 

I am now working on another "light" novel and reading the "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". This is a great book so far. Very light stories and this particular novel is a collection of short stories. I didn't realize that it was actually the third Holmes book, so I will have to definitely pickup the other two. These books are all in the public domain so you can get them for free over at Project Gutenberg or on most of your ebook reader stores. 

Music Listening: AAC - Backstar - David Bowie:

The most recent music purchase i picked up over the past week is David Bowie's latest (and last) album titled Blackstar. As most of you probably know by now, David Bowie passed away this past week from an 18 month battle with cancer. There isn't really anything here that I can add to that conversation that hasn't already been said. 

I had this album on my radar for a couple of weeks leading up to its release. David's passing only solidified my purchase and I am certainly glad that i did pick this album up. I don't own any other Bowie albums, but I have always appreciated his songs. This album is very much crafted as a whole piece, a true album. I don't really think there are many radio hits that come off of this album, and perhaps Bowie is not looking for radio hits at this point, but when you sit down and listen to this album from start to finish it really does present a fantastic piece of work and one that is poignant against David's death. 

It is impossible to look at this separate from his death, but the music here stands on its own. There is a beautiful blend of avant-garde jazz and even some elements of electronic music mixed in with the signature Bowie vocal. This is the perfect sort of album that you can both sit-down and listen to, but also put on as a quiet background sound while you want to relax. In fact I find that the impact of the music here is most aptly felt when the album is played quietly. 

This is something I picked up just as a digital download, but also an album I want to now follow up and pickup on vinyl. There is some great music here.