Reflection on Foundation’s Edge

So the fourth book in Isaac Asimov’s series was just as good as the third. I am enjoying how he tied it into his previous series about Robots. I’m actually starting to wonder what it will be like to go back and reread the first two books.

The characters and twists are interesting and basically the lore of the series continues to expand. I also like how the various factions are constantly second guessing everything and the central gimmick (predicting the future with math) is used fully throughout.

I have already moved on to book five, which is the last chronologically. I have begun reading Shakespeare already but am doing so slowly so that I can finish the Foundation series first.

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Reflections on Second Foundation

A few days ago I finished the original Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov. The first two books were pretty good and Sinai was caught off guard by the excellent finish in the third book. It was easily my favorite of the three, mainly for how well it tied back to the prior works and also for the new additions brought up in it.

I find myself wrestling with where to fit Asimov into my ranking of favorite authors. I don’t think he is in the top ten, but he is not someone whose writing I dislike. This makes sense, I suppose, or I would not have read him for this long. This also reminds me, that after I finish the Foundation books, I also have one or two books of collections of Asimov I could look into.

Compared with the two preceding collections of books I agree with what I read before starting them all; that the Foundation books are his best works. I also enjoyed the Robot books but not nearly as much. In fact, I didn’t write this post until now because I was caught up immediately into the fourth book, Foundations Edge, and will be finishing it soon. A testament to the quality of this series.

The New Testament and Bird Box

One of my goals for 2018 had been to read through the entire Bible, a goal I did not complete. However, this morning I finished my NT read through with the book of Revelation.

It was interesting timing because yesterday I watched Bird Box, a recent Netflix movie set in an apocalypse. The main idea is that there is some sort of evil demon monster that causes people to commit suicide if they see it. Quite graphic, disturbing, and the characters spend much of the movie blindfolded.

So as I was reading about the end of time in the Bible I was making these connections between plagues, Satan run amok, angelic hosts and the woe to those humans unfortunate enough to live through the terrible end of Earth as we know it. Mildly amusing and entirely unexpected.

This reminds me that our current experiences in life, with art, and other factors can influence the lens with which we approach other arts, in this case my Bible reading. I’ll revisit this goal again in 2019 and should meet it this time.

Reflections on Foundation and Empire

I finished the second book in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. The style of relating a story across generations continues and I’m growing more accustomed to it and the newness of the idea has worn off, so to speak.

The unique thing in this book is that an individual antagonist is used more heavily throughout and also there is a surprise ending which I rather enjoyed. In fact, I had a nice mental segue where I set the book down on a few occasions to think through some of the happenings of the narrative.

I am continually tackling this stigma I have about reading novels. They seem daunting, and in the case of A Song of Ice and Fire and Tolkien I think that this holds true. However, in the case of Asimov his novels are a very quick read. It has made it nice to quickly read through a large chunk of his writings.

To wrap up, the second book was as good as the first and the third book picks up with a new mystery and a search for a hidden thing. It has been a nice read so far and not what I would describe as hard sci-fi, but rather pretty approachable and science concept light.

Reflections on Generation Me

I’ve finished my second book by Dr. Jean Twenge about generations. The title Generation Me is another name for Millenials, also known as Gen Y. The short version is that Gen Me is at its core very focused on the self. Believe in yourself. You can do anything and essentially narcissistic, even compared to other American generations.

I found it to also be a quick and compelling read. This generation is now roughly the age of 22-37 and makes up the majority of young adults in America now, including a significant part of the workforce. I’m still mentally transitioning to the fact that students these days are no longer Millennials but are the younger iGen, AKA Gen Z.

I think a key difference between the two generations (Y & Z) are that the older ones (Y) believe in themselves and are self-focused, while the younger generation (Z) are distracted and living primarily through digital-based social media. They both are missing out on real community and personal relationships compared to older generations, but for different reasons. My personal opinion is that this is one of the few key factors contributing to their disenchantments.

This wraps up my generational book reading for this year and I’ll be focused on finishing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation heptalogy. After that it will be 2019 and I can focus on my main reading goal for next year: establish a foundation of modern English literature by reading the works of Shakespeare, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 1611 KJV bible.