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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

WC Books That Pleasantly Surprised Me


Books that pleasantly surprised me.

I had seen this book at Hastings a few times and wondered about it, but I was into Sci-fi at the time. First year teaching and I was doing summer school hoping to land a full-time position. The room I was teaching in had a bookcase of SSR books. APS set aside 15 minutes every day for Sustained Silent Reading. While the students were silently reading, I found this book in the SSR bookcase. I really enjoyed it. There are now 55 and counting of Casca books. Barry Sadler died, and other writers picked up the Casca series. Over half of them by Tony Roberts and he churns out one or two a year. The first 22 books are available in audio format, I listen to them all the time. When teaching 7th grade, I found there was little boys of that age wanted to read. I got a bunch of the books at used bookstores and they ate them up.

After reading a number of Tony Roberts Casca books, in his author's page he also has a fantasy series. 
After LOTR I tried Lord Fowls Bane by Santa Fe author Stephen R. Donaldson, Shanara and other sword and sorcery stories. They didn't quite grab my attention. 
I tried, Dark Blade a fantasy quest series and have been hooked on everyone since. He can't come out with them fast enough.

I was reading an anthology from the Science Fiction book club, and there was a short story about Dragon riders. When the book which the short story begins came out, I liked it and got the first three books combined from Sci fi book club. 

I read them to my wife when we were first married and she loved them, so have my children and grandchildren. I got a classroom set of Dragon Flight and had my 7th grade literature students read them.

 I read the Thorn Birds and watched the mini-series. 
At Hastings I found The First Man in Rome by Collene McCullough and was intrigued. It was quite different than her other books. Ancient and Biblical history has always been my forte (history major), Rome in particular. 
I read the glossary first. It was a good thing I read it first. It helped me with all the Latin words, the culture, the society, politics, she even had modern names for the Roman names of cities and provinces, even drawing of the shape of a toga, stola and chiton. I learned more about Rome in that glossary than all my knowledge of Roman history to that time. I would never have been able write Optimus: Praetorian Guard without these books.

The first book got me hooked and luckily Hastings always carried the hard backs that didn't sell well at reduced prices until the last one. It covers from the rise of Marius to Octavian becoming Augustus. I've read the whole series three times.   


Lydia said...

I’ve heard good things about the Pern books!

George said...

I've tried hard to get into fantasy as a genre but I always feel as if there's always too much going on. I keep trying, though! I love history and ancient Rome, too.

P M Prescott said...

Lydia, they're great.

P M Prescott said...

George, these are the best books on Rome you'll ever find.

Priscilla King said...

I remember reading "Dragonriders of Pern" in high school. A lot of bad and stressful things were going on, and those feel-good novels were surprisingly cheering to read at the time.

P M Prescott said...

I'm glad they helped you through tough times.