November Writing Challenge Day 5: Resistance Reborn

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

On Day 3 of my writing challenge I wrote about The Rise of Skywalker and yesterday I found Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse in my mailbox.

I immediately dove into it and I hope to finish it this weekend. Resistance Reborn takes place after The Last Jedi and early on it feels like it’s setting up The Rise of Skywalker. General Leia, Rey, and Poe are all dealing with being the last of the Resistance. Where are their allies? What can be done about the First Order?

While I’ve read a bunch of Star Wars books, I’ve never read one in anticipation of an upcoming film. It’s usually been as a way to enjoy the Star Wars universe when no movies are planned. It’s exciting to see these characters come to life through the written word (and, yes, John Williams’ iconic music plays through my head more often than not while reading).

I’ve got a few pitches out to various websites for coverage on Resistance Reborn, so hopefully I’ll be able to write a bit more about it soon. Thanks to my friends at Random House for the advanced copy, which I’m enjoying so far.

If you’ve never read a Star Wars book, I’d highly recommend Timothy Zahn’s classic Thrawn trilogy. Published way back in 1991 during the dead time between the original trilogy and the first prequel, it’s still a fantastic series of books well worth reading. After Disney acquired the property it became part of the non-canon Legends series, which was a shame since Grand Admiral Thrawn is the best bad guy outside of Darth Vader and all of the books featuring him have been awesome. Thrawn-some, if you will.

Thankfully, Thrawn is officially part of the Star Wars universe again, thanks to a new series of books by Zahn and as part of the animated Rebels series. Although I’m not aware of any plans of making a feature film or television series about Thrawn, I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney eventually does. He’s too good of a character not to be up on the big screen.

My 2016 Reading Goal


I set my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge goal at 26 books and I’m using the above chart to choose a few of them. I’ve already got one book picked out, thanks to my wife: Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451.

I met my reading goal in 2015, beating my 26-book goal by 3 books, and I hope to do it again, thus giving me a three-peat for my yearly reading challenge.

One other book-related note: Gene Luen Yang was named the Library of Congress’ national ambassador for young people’s literature. He’s the first graphic novelist to be named to the post and if you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading his brilliant and thought-provoking American Born Chinese.

Day 277: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings

I’m one book away from reaching my goal of reading 26 books in 2015. This will mark my second consecutive year of doing this, after three years of missing the mark. You can see the books I’ve read on Goodreads, where I also review everything I’ve read for the year.

The book I’m reading to reach my goal is A Clash of Kings, the second of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Most know it as the second season of Game of Thrones.

I checked out the book from my library at the start of the summer and got through 442 pages before returning it. Last week I borrowed it again so I could finish it.

I stopped watching Game of Thrones after the second season so I could get caught up with the written version, but it’s been slow going. As much as I’ve enjoyed the series so far, there’s part of me that wishes the books were shorter. Much shorter.

I know there’s a good Tyrion Lannister joke here, but I can’t think of anything clever.

Day 275: Star Wars Reads Day

Star Wars Reads Day

Star Wars Reads Day

What’s not to love about Star Wars Reads Day? It’s Star Wars, it’s books … it’s two of my favorite things rolled into one ball of awesomeness.

Star Wars Reads Day is set for October 10th this year and libraries, bookstores, and other retailers will be celebrating with author signings and all kinds of festivities.

I’m fortunate to live in a town that still has a Barnes & Noble, something I did not think would still be possible in this day and age. I’ve got a few unread Star Wars books on my nightstand so I was able to resist the temptation of the store’s display shown above.

Then again, there’s still a week left to go … hopefully my wallet will resist any and all of B&N’s Jedi Mind Tricks.

Day 230: Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental

I ran across the photo above via my Google Photos. It’s from a few years ago, on a cold winter day when my wife and I were reading in bed. She’s reading on her tablet while I was reading an actual printed book.

We both agreed that books are still our preferred method of reading, but we’re not anti-technology, either. Any reading is better than none.

As the old saying goes, Reading Is Fundamental.

Day 218: Bill Simmons

Now I Can Die in Peace by Bill Simmons

Now I Can Die in Peace by Bill Simmons

I scored a copy of Bill Simmons’ Now I Can Die in Peace at my local used bookstore tonight. I’ve read it before, but didn’t own a copy, so one dollar made me the proud owner of a hardcover in excellent condition.

I read the first two chapters again and it was like seeing Jordan in his prime. You know how great Simmons was back then? Even a diehard Angeleno like myself would actually read and buy a book about a fan’s love for the Red Sox (and Celtics and Bruins). Simmons’ writing was brilliant, funny, and witty. Within those first two chapters are pop culture and political references that only he could pull off.

He was at the top of his game, back before his writing went downhill, thanks to his forays into television, podcasting, and documentary films. His television work was terrible; for as great a writer as he was, he was extremely bland on air. I liked some of his podcasts, but listening to him figure out NFL lines wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as reading his weekly NFL picks column.

Without a doubt, his 30 for 30 documentary series for ESPN was the best non-writing work he did. I’ve loved so many of those films, from Michael Jodan’s minor league baseball career to  Vlade Divac making amends with Drazen Petrovic’s parents.

It was quality television, which is why HBO snatched him up. I have my doubts about a weekly talk show featuring Simmons, but if he can contribute behind the camera like he did on 30 for 30, then he’ll continue to have a successful career.

It’s just too bad that one of my favorite writers is no longer known for his writing.

Day 196: Go Set A Watchman

Harper Lee

Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s highly anticipated sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird was released yesterday and there’s a lot of buzz about Atticus Finch. The hero of the first novel, Atticus has not aged gracefully, becoming a bigot and the antithesis of who he was. I’m looking forward to reading the book, but I’m not sure how I’ll react to the older Atticus.

The true hero of the real-life drama behind this book? Lee’s editor, Tay Hohoff, who saw the potential in the flashbacks to Lee’s youth and encouraged her to focus on those aspects, which led to the Pulitzer-Prize winning To Kill A Mockingbird. Imagine if Hohoff isn’t around? We lose one of, if not the, great books of American literature.

While there was no doubt that this sequel could not have lived up to its hype, it’s nice to see a book dominate the news headlines.