Science fiction classics


Later this month I will be having a presentation on the topic of science fiction classics. This will be a part of World Book Night promotion this year and I will be doing a demonstration and a short quiz afterwards at my former high school.

My goal was to pick out and present ten works of science fiction to the high school children. Trough my inquiry in the school library I have found out that the library does not hold many speculative fiction books if any at all. This and the fact that gymnasium high school I am to have my presentation in has an otherwise diverse and full learning programme for the children has given me incentive to make my presentation brief and as interesting as possible for young adults with more important things to worry about.

As I was going trough many top lists of most influential science fiction books all across the Internet I had few titles I already held high in regard and was looking to fill in my top ten list with most interesting titles and authors I could find.

This is where my troubles began…


As an avid reader and lover of out of this world literature in general I had certain favorites and then there were many influential authors and works that I have yet to read. Picking out just ten became a problem since I wanted to cover a genre where diversity is sometimes the focus point and the only limits were those set by the authors imagination.

After much deliberation I set on these ten titles:

Foundation (Foundation  #1) by Isaac Asimov

Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

Dangerous Visions by Harlan Ellison

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

1984  by George Orwell

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

I have yet to put these titles in order. While some have certain themes and motives in common I think I’ve covered the basics. There were some other titles I wanted to include but the lack of time needed for my presentation and inability to acquire the actual book copies for a little show and tell during the presentation were also deciding factors.


World Book Night was first celebrated in 2011. This year World Book Night falls on UNESCOs  International Day of the Book and the birth and death date of William Shakespeare – Monday April 23.

Do you have any plans for World Book Night? What do you think on my ten science fiction picks?

Book series I started…


I love book series of all kinds. There are historical romance book series I enjoy. There are urban fantasy book series I cant get enough of. I have a few favorite manga and graphic novel series as well. It was only after I tried to keep track of the book series I started but for some reason never continued after reading only the first book did I realize how many of them are on my reading lists. It took whole two pages just to write the titles of the firsts books of the series I started reading. Now that I look at them all I see some I’ve totally forgotten about and some I keep meaning to continue but never actually do. I managed to put them all in three rough categories:

#1 First books of a series that I will not continue

#2 First books of a series I even forgot about

#3 First books of a series I want to continue


First I had to weed out many of the historical romances I read out of order and had no desire to follow from the beginning. There were also quite the number of graphic novel series I tried out because I wanted to learn an origin story of this or that character and never actually meaning to continue reading them. Also there were a few first books of a series I read and then switched to some prequel first book series and then everything got complicated and I just let them go. Those above mentioned I’m keeping totally out of this discussion.


#1 First books of a series that I will not continue

These are the books that for some reason did not appeal to me enough to consider to continue reading the rest of the series. As happened with Anne Bishop Ephemera book series. I expected to like the enough to continue reading and bought first two books right away. It has been years since I read the first and will probably never read the second. Demonica series from Larissa Ione was a sort of gamble when I bought it. For some reason it did not blew me away and I did not feel like buying or reading the rest of the series. On Dublin Street book series I just joined in on the hype on the first book when it was translated to Croatian. I never felt motivated enough to read beyond that first book.

jedan pano 1

Some of them I did not like and was disappointed after reading them. My biggest disappointment was by far Hellsing manga by Khota Hirano. I loved anime adaptations and had high expectations from the original manga. I even felt cheated on it and was later glad I did not start buying the whole series. Wrinkle in Time I read this year as a book club assignment and was not impressed at all. Beautiful Disaster was one of those books in the YA genre everybody was suddenly talking about. I found it to be shallow and boring.

jedan pano 2

And then there were some book series in this category that I just decided they were not for me and just made a decision not to continue reading the rest of the books in the series. How to Train your Dragon and The Penderwicks were both funny and lovely but I could feel they were intended for much younger audience. I’m glad I’ve read them both but will not be reading the rest. Homeland by R.A. Salvatore is the most famous Dungeons and Dragons novelization and first book in a very long book series about the legendary elf drow Drizzt. I tried it out since I was curious about the character and since I’m an avid RPG player. After reading the first book I realized that the author had decided to keep the PG rating for the mostly American market and availability. I am not a fan of books where author ends a scene with a simple curtains down and a morning after routine. I decided to give it up altogether for lack of sex scenes. I find it hypocritical how violence is OK but sex is not OK for the readers. The last book series in this segment is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The violence and brutality of the book kept me on edge most of the reading. I decided to let it go since it bothered me too much. With the book series I even stopped watching the TV show. Now I’m having second thoughts and I’m continuing watching the TV show so I might go back to the books as well

jedan pano 3

There are a few I was happy about reading and did not feel the need to continue it as a series. One of the books I was impressed with and was actually surprised at how much I liked it was Foundation by Isaac Asimov. After reading it and getting the general feel to the ideas behind the book I did not feel like reading the other books from the series. Same was with the Wallbanger series by Alice Clayton. I enjoyed the book and even bought it as a present for other but never felt the need to read the rest of the books from the series. The Shadow of the Wind was a book club reading assignment. I enjoyed the writing style and have read few other books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon before. The story for me felt complete enough and I haven’t searched out the rest of the books from the series

jedan pano 4

#2 First books of a series I even forgot about

These books I read long ago and I forgot about reading them. With Blake Crouch‘s Wayward Pines thriller I was intrigued and picked it up even though it was not my favorite genre. I remember being immersed in the book. I even watched the TV show and enjoyed it. And I seem to forgot about it later on. I enjoyed reading YA novel Matched by Ally Condie. I even liked the book covers for all three books and how they actually made sense with the plot of the books. I never continued the series though…

dva pano 2

Some books and series were not actually memorable and nothing about them set them apart from similar books in their genre. I found Julia Quinn‘s Bridgertons book series not particularly memorable. The plot and the characters just seemed to blend in with many others I’ve read at the time. Down to You by M. Leighton also got lost in the sea of other similar books in the genre. I remember plot having potential but not actually delivering more than simple erotic fiction. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich is a first in a rather long book series that even got a movie. I remember enjoying the funny parts of the book. After watching the movie I was confused about the stupid plot holes that came over from the book and just forgot about the rest of the series altogether.

dva pano 1

When I first read these series I did not have other books of the series available for reading. Later on I just simply forgot about them. Love is Darkness was a freebie first book from Valerie Dearborn book series on Kindle. I enjoyed it quite a bit. At the time I was unsure weather to buy the other books or not. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was another book club assignment. In Croatian translation all five books are hard to come by since they are mostly sold out. I have a first one from my boyfriend and I for some reason I did not want to read the library copies.

dva pano 3

#3 First books of a series I want to continue

Here I have sorted book series that I want to continue and have the books ready. All I need is to start reading them, but for some reason I hesitate. Interview with the Vampire I’ve read only recently. While I have most of the other books in this series available I still hesitate to read them. I think I want to like them and have a feeling I won’t. Howl’s Moving Castle was a book I was hyped about. I loved both of the anime versions – Japanese and English voiceovers. I expected the book to blow me away but it did not. I’m still hoping to read other books of the series and keep them close by. I liked all the books by Cassandra Clare I’ve read so far. Earlier this year I’ve read Clockwork Angel. I like it despite its steampunkish traits. While the characters are quite charming I feel a bit apprehensive toward reading next books from this series. Of Saints and Shadows is an older UF book from the Shadow Saga book series by Christopher Golden. I remember it being creepy and downright scary. I always thought of picking it up again one day. I have next tree books already waiting. I think since it has been years I’ve read the first book that I might have some problems into getting into the second one now.

treci pano 1

And for the end I have books that I want to read but have problems with getting the actual books from the series. Some like Log Horizon manga I have issues with identifying the second volume manga edition. I keep coming up with light novelization and I’m not interested in those at all. supposedly the author Mamare Touno had some legal issues and even the anime series has stopped. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was an absolute pleasure to read. I really loved Croatian translation edition in hardcover. I’m thinking on getting a hardcover copy for sure. Not sure yet will it be in English or Croatian though.The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams was a part of a reading challenge from my boyfriend. It is one of his favorite book series. He used to have them and borrowed them to someone who never returned them. I’m planing to get the whole series for him someday in a nice package with the new books coming out this year.

treci pano 2

It has been a while since I made a post this long. Hopefully you did not find it too boring.

Monthly reading review – May 2016


Monthly reading review – May 2016

This May I have read:

Foundation (Foundation #1) by Isaac Asimov  ★★★★

Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns ★★★★

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison ★★★★

How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon #1) by Cressida Cowell ★★★

Defending Jacob by William Landay ★★★

Dead Ice (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #24) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★

The Chamber by John Grisham  ★★★


1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

In May I’ve read only seven books. But to be fair the whole last third of the month I’ve been reading The Chamber by John Grisham. I was intimidated by it and it made all the time for other books disappear. I’m not happy with the amount.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in May? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I did not have any high expectations from any of the books in May. Therefore, I got nicely surprised by few. Batman: Earth One was filled with good and developed characters. It hit me with believable construction of Batman and Alfred. There were some really cool scenes with young Bruce trying and failing. For once Anita Blake was a good surprise. The 24th book was more about crime and detective work than the heroines sex life. It was a very enjoyable read.


3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The mandatory 500+ pages book kinda ruined the whole month for me. I was a bit stressed out for needing to read it that it made me avoid reading in the last ten days of the month. In May I’ve read two (!) crime drama novels. I usually tend to go for more lighter reads, or more fun any way…They were both good but not what I wanted or needed. 

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

It was nice finishing all started reading and reading the big book for RL book club ahead of time. I am still going easy on myself in terms of reading plans. It seems to work for me.


5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

Finally got up to date Anita Blake series. Foundation and How to train your dragon were nice but I doubt I will continue them any time soon. 

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Goeff Johns’s version of Batman was awesome. I hope to get my hands on some more of his graphic novel works. I think of Foundation as one of the best works of speculative fiction and strongly recommend it to everyone.


Final thoughts on May reading:

My library membership ending few days ago has put a stop on a few books I’ve been wanting to read in May. This might give me more time to read more owned books especially book series. Even with two 500+ pages books this month I’m not really happy with the general amount of reading I’ve done in May.

Needs more fun and romance for June!


Foundation – Book Review


Finished reading:

Foundation (Foundation book 1)

by Isaac Asimov



This book is part of a reading challenge I was given by my boyfriend this year. Each year we challenge each other to read books one of us likes and the other one has never read before. We clash a lot since we generally don’t like same genres and themes. You can see what we chose for this year challenge HERE.  This being said I did not expect much of this book. I picked it up to get something done on my list of reading challenges.



This book is a perfect example of speculative fiction at its finest. After I read it I had to do a bit research on it as well. First time it was published as a set of stories in a magazine from 1942 to 1950. These stories were latter published and edited as a first three books of the Foundation series. This series was in 1966. given the Hugo Award for a “Best All-Time Series”. Never before or after has any book series won this award! One of the runner ups for this award was Lord of the Rings trilogy. All other books in the series were written and added much latter in the 1980-ties.

1966This is what the design for Hugo in 1966. looked like. Each year design changes but it is always a rocket ship.

At first I was amazed at how much I actually enjoyed the story. The premise of mathematical calculation used as a way of predicting future thousands of years in advance was much more engaging read than I expected it to be.


The concept of Hari Seldon’s Crises was startlingly thought provoking. It is very comforting to think that a crisis of social and political situation would eventually leave only one possible, inevitable, course of action. In the today world of palpable panic and stress provoking environment added by media this is a calming way of thinking indeed.


Taking into consideration the time these stories were written I enjoyed them more for it. I could not help but have a critical approach and some might call it splitting hairs but I must mention some things that made me stop with four stars rating instead of five.

I couldn’t help but notice that even in the thousands of years distant future one of the most popular things would be smoking cigars and enjoying fine tobacco. As the time passes in the book; characters that were decades and more apart kept indulging in smoking some kind of cigars.



For now I will not be reading other books in the Foundation series. I will be happy and pleased with this one I’ve read and satisfied with how much I liked it. I have new found appreciation for reading classics of the SF genre from now on. And if the talks of HBO series based on the books is true I might even give it a try!