Read pt 1
Cryptonomicon, Stephenson. My first Neal Stephenson book. One of my favorite reads of all time, truly immersive. I read it around the same time as Neuromancer, early in my career as a programmer. Of course, I was a corporate Microsoft programmer, writing software for people to buy computer hardware at MicroWarehouse, or internal sales tools that were so dull I can’t even remember what they did. In Cryptonomicon, the hackers (in both uses of the word) used a new operating system called Finux, a clever fictional turn on Linux. Linux was new and dangerous then (now it silently runs most of the world’s servers and devices); whenever I do something in the command line in Linux, I always picture myself as one of Stephenson’s characters. A long read by most standards, it’s short compared to his more recent books like Seveneves. Another one for the short list of books to re-read.
How the Irish Saved Civilization, Cahill and Great Irish Short Stories, Mercier. Fortune smiled on me (or was it a bit of the ol’ luck?) with these two books. I’ve read a lot of Gaiman lately and was inspired by one of his books (Ocean at the End of the Lane) to re-work my WIP novella, and am listening to his non-fiction Norse Mythology. One of his consistent themes/subjects/approaches had been to take an ancient tale or mythology and use it in a modern setting. American Gods is the most obvious example, but Oceans at the End of the Lane and The Graveyard Book have many characters from legend and myth. I wanted to try this with Irish myths and legends. While my grandparents were from Ireland, they never mentioned faeries or ghosts. And my wife is studying Irish mythology and practices as part of her energy training. Both intersect at learning Irish myths and legends. The Cahill book was mostly the history of Rome and Europe; only the bits on St. Patrick were interesting.
The last book from the pile is one of my all-time favorites. When I was in elementary school, my parents gave me The Celebrated Cases of Sherlock Holmes. I was a big fan of Holmes and wanted to be a detective. The book was amazing; hard cover, bound in green with gold, embossed lettering and painted edges on the pages. I’m thrilled to pull it out of the shadows.