Beat the cold with some hot lit­er­a­ture

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - — Trevor Pross is the CEO of Belleville Pub­lic Li­brary and John M. Par­rott Art Gallery TREVOR PROSS

As the weather turns cold and it gets dark be­fore din­ner time, what bet­ter way to stay cozy and warm than curl­ing up with a thick blan­ket and a good book? Here are some read­ing rec­om­men­da­tions that you may en­joy.

If you en­joy science fic­tion, or have an interest in the­o­ret­i­cal physics, as­tron­omy, or Chi­nese his­tory, check out The Three Body Prob­lem by Cixin Liu. Even if you are not in­ter­ested in those top­ics don’t let that dis­suade you: this is a fun, fast read that will leave you want­ing more. The Three Body Prob­lem is the first science fic­tion novel by a Chi­nese writer to have wide­spread pop­u­lar­ity in­ter­na­tion­ally. It is the win­ner of the Hugo award, an­other first for a Chi­nese writer, and it has won sev­eral awards in China. This book is amaz­ing and unique: I have never read a book quite like it. I won’t give away the story but this is a hid­den gem you won’t re­gret try­ing out.

An­other great science fic­tion book, the first in the Seeds of Earth tril­ogy, is called Hu­man­ity’s Fire by Michael Cob­ley. This is an ex­cel­lent space opera type saga with plenty of like­able char­ac­ters, sweep­ing po­lit­i­cal drama, and epic ac­tion. It be­gins with a small space colony of hu­mans that have lost all con­tact with Earth, which they as­sume to be de­stroyed af­ter the dis­as­trous alien in­va­sion that led them to flee their home more than 100 years be­fore. The se­ries has a ma­jor theme of Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence run­ning through it, with fas­ci­nat­ing im­pli­ca­tions for the cul­tures af­fected by this technology. I highly rec­om­mend this ti­tle to any­one who likes clas­sic science fic­tion or has an interest in A. I.

An­other se­ries I highly rec­om­mend is the R. Da­neel Oli­vaw se­ries by Isaac Asi­mov. The Caves of Steel, fol­lowed by the The Naked Sun, and then The Ro­bots of Dawn, are science fic­tion mys­ter­ies. The main char­ac­ter is a bril­liant de­tec­tive named Eli­jah Bai­ley, who much to his dis­may gets as­signed a robot part­ner named R. Da­neel Oli­vaw. Tasked with a se­ries of seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble mur­der mys­ter­ies to solve, Eli­jah must pull out all the stops, and ques­tion ev­ery­thing his ter­res­trial up­bring­ing has taught him, in or­der to not only solve the mys­ter­ies but ul­ti­mately to save Earth from de­struc­tion. The re­ally great thing about these books is the his­tory and the uni­verse they de­scribe are con­sis­tent and con­tinue on right through to the epic Foun­da­tion se­ries that takes place thou­sands of years af­ter them. It is an amaz­ing achieve­ment that earned Asi­mov the right­ful ti­tle of the Grand Mas­ter of Science Fic­tion.

These books along with the Foun­da­tion se­ries are avail­able as eBooks on Over­drive.

There are some ti­tles that were wildly pop­u­lar as both books and movies, which I was late in dis­cov­er­ing. If you have not read the Hunger Games se­ries by Suzanne Collins, it is well worth check­ing them out and see­ing what all the fuss was about. With a strong, like­able lead char­ac­ter in Kat­niss Everdeen, and plenty of ac­tion and sus­pense, these are en­joy­able books. In ad­di­tion to print copies at the li­brary, our hoopla dig­i­tal down­load ser­vice has all three au­dio­books avail­able for instant down­load ( no wait­ing lists), and Over­drive has the e- Books and the au­dio­books avail­able as well.

An­other book that be­came a block­buster movie is the Bourne Iden­tity by Robert Lud­lum. This is an ac­tion- packed book about a mys­te­ri­ous man who washes up half- dead on the shores of a small Euro­pean vil­lage, with no mem­ory of who he is. It quickly be­comes ap­par­ent he is some kind of spy or as­sas­sin as the man be­gins to dis­cover the lethal abil­i­ties he car­ries in­side of him. With plenty of twists and turns, this thriller is sure to please ac­tion and ad­ven­ture fans.

Try these ti­tles or ask our staff for more rec­om­mended reads avail­able at Belleville Pub­lic Li­brary.

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