I’ve read a few interesting books in the last month:
I, Robot, Isaac Asimov. Asimov’s collection of short stories about artificial intelligence is more than 60 years old at this point. He created 3 Laws of Robotics that govern all robot interactions with humans–laws that are programmed into the robots, I mean–and most of the stories in the book are concerned with how those laws interact with each other and the quirks that result. Out of the 9 stories, I’d say 4 or 5 really worked for me. It was often too hard to get past where he had guessed about the future so badly. Reading Ray Bradbury this never bugged me, but it did for Asimov, perhaps every story is pretty much about the same general idea–the 3 Laws.
Carrie, Stephen King. I think the movie’s great, and I’d never read the book. Turns out, it’s not as good as the movie. I read somewhere that King himself thinks it’s pretty rough. Its narrative is split between third person narration and excerpts from “documents” about what happened. Because of it, you learn the general outline of what happens at Carrie’s prom night earlier than I would have guessed. Maybe it would have built suspense if I hadn’t seen the movie. Interestingly, I felt the same way about another Stephen King book/movie combo: The Shawshank Redemption. The great thing about the movie is that you just don’t see the ending coming. But you know it’s coming from the second or third page of the novella.
True Grit, Charles Portis. I really enjoyed this read. It was fun, funny, and compelling, very much like the Coen Brothers adaption. In fact, they were remarkably faithful to the book. At the same time, they added some good choices too. Out of the 3 books here, this is the one I would definitely recommend.