This year I wanted to change my reading around a little. I wanted to expand the range of what it was I read and was entertained by. As a result, I decided to attempt one classic, one non-ficiton, and one book by an author I’ve not read before each month. Here are this past month’s results:

Busy month in reading: a first in a series, a ninth in a series, a non-fiction, a new author, and a classic.

Let’s start from the beginning. The first book was the first chronologically in Neal Asher’s Polity series. I have read many of the author’s hard science fiction novels. Incredibly fast-paced and action-oriented. I loved his Owner Trilogy so much, that I went out and bought what books of his that were on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble bookstore. The tagline on the back of Prador Moon is “Will humanity survive first contact?” All the way through this book, I was sitting on the edge of my chair, wondering that very same thought. To date, I have read seven of the 19 Neal Asher books I have in my library.

The second book on the list is the ninth book in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series of thrillers. First thing I have to say is that Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Jack Reacher movies, but the books take the action and adventure and excitement and intrigue and “jack” it up about 300% from what was portrayed in the movies.

My non-fiction book for the month of May was recommended to me several years ago. I went out and bought it the next day, but didn’t open it up until this past month. What an incredible story of faith, courage, overcoing, brotherhood, sacrifice, love, and bravery. Talk about a phoenix. Adam Brown was that and then some.

My selection for a book by an author I’ve never read before was Peter Tieryas’s United States of Japan. An alternative history story in the vein of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in a High Castle. What if the Empire of Japan had turned its attention to the west rather than poking the bear that was the United States of America? This is the scenario presented by the author. The Axis powers defeated the Allies and controlled the US. I thought it was great. At its core, it was a revenge story.

The post-apocalyptic classic Earth Abides by George R. Stewart rounds out my reading for last month. And I finished on the last day of the month after a long day. The world is devastated by a virus that kills off the majority of the population. Ish Williams is one of the survivors. Without going into any spoilers, I just want to say that I was astonished at the parallels with an aritcle I read on a scientific study that occured during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The article title was “The Doomed Mouse Utopia that Inspired the ‘Rats of NIMH.'” Parallels between a study on a utopia and a novel on a post-apocalyptic United States? Trust me. It’s there.

I have yet to pick out the three entries for June, but I started W. Michael Gear’s Adrift this morning. It is the fifth in his Donovan series about the discovery of an “earth-like” planet where “people don’t grow old.” It is the first book published in 2021 that I will have read in the year it came out. Still too many good books I haven’t read that I am attempting to catch up on.