Nightstand Books #11 -

Nightstand Books #11

canticle for leibowitz - dragon riders of pern

Every month I give a little glimpse here on my web site into books I’ve read or plan on reading via a picture from my nightstand. Lately it’s more like a glimpse at my library than my nightstand, since I’m mostly talking about books I’ve read in the past, but these are at least books I hope to re-read some day, so that counts, right? Ah, there are so many wonderful books out there. I wish I was a faster and more dedicated reader because I’ll never get to all of them. If you think about how many books there are in just the English language it boggles the brain matter. Imagine if we counted books from other languages too. I think my poor little nightstand just groaned as I typed this.

But never fear, we just have two books this month, a couple of older ones (relatively speaking). The first book, Canticle for Leibowitz, is probably the best post-apocalyptic story I have ever read. It takes place in three different periods of history, each one after a different “apocalypse” in an imagined future. It is a bleak, grim tale, but the cultures and world are so distinct and fascinating that it makes you want to keep reading, hoping that somehow humanity will find a way to turn things around. Even though the Chronotrace Series is also dystopian, this book is nothing like it. The technology is much more primitive and there is no overarching threat. Think Mad Max, but with catholic priests. It’s definitely a unique tale.

The other book, All the Weyers of Pern, is sort of a blend of science fiction and fantasy. There’s no magic, but there is telepathy and, um, yeah, dragons, so it’s got to be fantasy, right? To be honest I read this one so long ago that I don’t remember much about it. The Pern series is quite well known so you may have heard of it or even read some of the series yourself. I like the special bond the dragons have with their riders and just the whole mystery of the Thread which is attacking the planet. I should definitely revisit this series at some point because I’m sure I’ve forgotten a whole lot more than I remember.

And finally, I don’t know if it showed up very well in the photo, but that’s my book light there as well. Some friends gave it to me recently and I really love it. I must have gone through twenty book marks in my life and I don’t think I’ve ever had a better one than this one. It’s simple and just doesn’t fall out of the book and does its job. Essential gear for the serious book reader so I thought I’d just throw that in the photo at no extra charge.

Hope you get to read a great book today!

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13 thoughts on “Nightstand Books #11”

  1. A book light bookmark? What is this wizardry? I think that might be dangerous in my hands, I would definitely use it to continue reading rather than sleep…

    I have not read either of these, but I feel like perhaps I really ought to give McCaffrey another chance…

    1. Ay, would that my nocturnal beacon might stunt my sleepy pillow enchantments and prolong my bookish ways, but, alas for my own dear self it is to no avail. I cannot long endure the night once horizontal I lay, be there light or nay!

      1. Forsooth, thou speakest the ancient tongue of the dragons most becomingly.

        Would that sleepy pillow enchantments might ensnare me the mere moment my head toucheth the pillow, but alack and alas, I appear to be immune to their fell power… and it cometh not at all if there be a tome in my hand, especially if that tome doth contain marvels of magic and dragonflight. It doth be well that my husband keepeth me accountable to shut off the magical beacon of reading illumination and lay aside my ancient tomes each evening, else I would suffer sleep deprivations to the extreme.

  2. Pingback: Nightstand Books – May Edition | The Road of a Writer

  3. What a cool bookmark! That would be so neat to have… 🙂 (Also I love the ornate table!)

    I’ve never been extremely into dystopian, but oh my goodness, “Canticle for Leibowitz” sounds like an extremely unique book. I haven’t read any Pern yet but have heard a good deal about it… If ever get a hankering for more dragons, I may have to try them.

    Nightstand Books is such a neat thing! I decided to join in this month! 🙂

    Happy reading!

    1. Thanks, Deborah. So glad you decided to join in the fun. Leibowitz is a very unique book, rather bleak, but very thought-provoking. And Pern is also a rather unusual series so I thought they made a good pair.

      You’re the first to comment on the table. It is actually from Japan. My grandfather bought it during WWII so it is definitely a highly prized possession.

      Happy reading to you too!

  4. What, no C.S. Lewis? 😛 Kidding.
    I’ve heard of Anne McCaffrey, but I don’t know where. Both books sound very intriguing! (And your nightstand is beautiful.)

    1. McCaffrey was very popular in the 80s and perhaps the 90s. I’m not sure how well her books stood the test of time as I have not read them in a while, but she’s definitely worth looking into. She was the first author I ever read that really attempted to blend scifi and fantasy.

      And you’re right, how could a month go by without at least a Lewis quote or reference? I must be losing my touch!

  5. Leibowitz, along with Dune and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, is one of my favorite SFF books. Oh, and a book called The Dying of the Light (After the Festival) by a certain G.R.R. Martin.

    A Canticle for Leibowitz is amazing because its theology, both Catholic and the bits of Jewish lore, are solid, real world constructs – taken to full length. I’m Catholic – and it’s packed with believable people and scenes – in unbelievable contexts. The scene in which the novice is told to stop riding the bicycle that powers the generator for the lights in the monastery dungeon – because the guests are planning to steal the technology saved by the monks – has stuck all the years since I first read it. A true classic: it improves every time I read it.

    1. This one is a real gem, isn’t it? Very unique among all the sci-fi I’ve read. From the list of books you mentioned, I am not as well-read when it comes to sci-fi as you. I own a copy of Dune but have yet to crack it open and I’ll have to add those others to my list.

      1. Do not start Dune unless you have time for an immersive experience – it is mind-blowingly beautiful and complete.

        My favorite is the first volume; the second and third are almost as good; the fourth starts to really push the universe Herbert created… I don’t read sequels or completions that come from anyone other than the original author, so I don’t know if his son’s books are any good.

        But every time I pick up certain books – from Dune to The Moon is Harsh Mistress to Gone With the Wind to On the Beach to try to take them apart as a learning experience, I get dragged into the story, and stop caring HOW they are created.

        This doesn’t happen to me often, and almost never lately (I’m very old and have been reading much longer than you’ve been alive), so I treasure it. The right book can still completely transport me somewhere else.

        You are in for a treat with Dune. Don’t be afraid of it.

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