AAQ: Reading on the Road and Fantasy/Sci-fi Book List

Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva

Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva

While working at Amazon this holiday season, I’m running a weekly “Ask A Question” post since I’m not sightseeing much and have limited time to write. Have a question you’d like answered? Read more about AAQ here.

Today Pshorten asks: “I’m an avid reader and would like to know what sort of books you read as you have a bit of reading time in your day. Maybe a list of your favorites?”

Sure! I read mostly fantasy and sci-fi books, of which a list will probably be interesting to only a subset of IO’s readers. I’ll get to in just a moment, but first I’ll also mention the two books that helped me start my blog and get on the road as they’ll always hold a special place in my heart. No, they aren’t books about RVing, how-to RVing books for people in my age-group were pretty much nonexistent back then.

(Clicking on the title links to the Kindle edition of each book, and yes I’ve inserted my affiliate link in there – it earns me a slight kickback which helps fund this blog and doesn’t cost you a penny more. If you’re really opposed to affiliate links, you can search for these books on Amazon yourself without clicking through these links.)

Which brings me to the next question I’m sure I’ll get asked if I don’t address it now, paper or electronic?

I had a collection of physical books before I hit the road, but I got rid of all of them as hard copies take up space and weight that is limited in my small trailer. I do know RVers who carry paper books with them though, preferring the feel of a real book. If you’re really set on paper books and have the space, go for it! For me it just wasn’t going to be worth the sacrifice of storage space. These days I do all my reading on my Kindle, an older generation of the black-and-white model that is a true e-reader instead of a tablet. (Mine is gen 3, I think they’re up to gen 7 or 8 now?)

I prefer the black-and white to the Kindle Fire for three reasons: 1. The battery lasts a lot longer which is good for limited power when boondocking. Even reading several hours a day I can go a week or longer between charging. 2. Not having a light up screen makes it easy to read outside in bright sunlight, you all know how much I enjoy spending time outdoors. 3. Price. The black-and-white is cheaper.

For some people though, the tablet version might make more sense, as you can do almost everything on it that you can do on a laptop. In fact I know RVers who only have a tablet and don’t bother with a computer at all. Since I do a lot of writing and work online, I prefer having a real laptop with a comfortable keyboard for getting online, and my Kindle is solely for reading.

Hmm, I’ve kind of gotten off-topic. Where was I? Oh yes, the book list. Here’s what I’ve been reading (and enjoying) the past couple years, in no particular order. Not all of these are new, a lot are older books that I’m just finally getting around to reading.

Series/Trilogies:

Authors (I’ve read multiple books/trilogies/series by these authors and enjoyed them all):

Books (stand-alones, or I haven’t read the whole series and can’t comment on it):

This is not an exhaustive list and does not include favorites discovered years ago. I’m also a fan of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books for instance, among others.

What about you? Read anything good lately?

* * *

And as long as we’re talking about books, did you know I’ve written two myself? Since there were no books about how to go RVing for someone in my situation (working age, single, and on a budget) I wrote my own after I’d been on a road for a couple years:

I also wrote a book about deliberate living and how to lead a happier life by following your dreams:

And one last note for those who don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, IO turned five years old on Monday! Thanks everyone for following along on this amazing journey and being part of the community here.

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Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

32 Comments

  1. Cinn on November 23, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Wow, I just looked at my local library system’s online application and saw this: “Failure to return items borrowed from a public library is considered a misdemeanor”
    !!! That’s a high price for losing track of time or materials… I don’t think I want to risk that just for reading books!



    • Becky on November 23, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Seems a bit extreme Clinn, haha. But if you’re borrowing online books that should never be an issue, as those just disappear from your reading device after the rental period is over, no need to “return” them, at least not the system I use.



  2. Jodee Gravel on November 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Every person in our family has read the Kingkiller Chronicles and are waiting impatiently for the third book. Loved Ready Player One!
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..I’m Fine But the Laptop Isn’tMy Profile



    • Becky on November 22, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Agh! There’s nothing quite like the frustration of waiting for the last book in a series Jodee, haha.



  3. JonTanOsb on November 21, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I have a skull named Bob, and my two cats are Molly and Murphy. Yeah, I like The Dresden Files. And did you know, they’re on audio, too.

    Jon



    • Becky on November 21, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Haha, nice Jon.



  4. Gregor on November 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I really enjoyed The Blade Itself. If you enjoyed that, I have to recommend “The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One” by Patrick Rothfuss. Also, “The Lies of Locke Lamora” by Scott Lynch, and all subsequent volumes by these authors!



    • Becky on November 19, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      I’ll add them to the list Gregor, thanks!



      • John Perz on November 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

        Hmmn, Seems like you lean more to fantasy than sci-fi, at least as I use the terms. I run more to the military sci-fi subset, myself, but if you are looking for strong female protagonists, you want:

        David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. Start with On Basilisk Station.

        Mike Shephard’s Kris Longknife series.

        Also recommend Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga



        • Becky on November 21, 2016 at 8:13 pm

          Recently John, yeah. In years past it’s been the other way – tends to go in phases. I’ll add those to the list!



  5. Gina on November 17, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Have you read Rachel Bach’s trilogy? First is Fortunes Pawn. If you like a strong female lead in sci-fi, you will love this one. She is a mercenary in outer space!
    I really liked them, my husband even read them and found them entertaining.
    Gina



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Nope I haven’t Gina but I’ll add them to the list. 🙂



  6. Curt Welling on November 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Anybody who visits an American desert will enhance their experience by Reading Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey

    Life changing book for me



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Other people have recommended that book Curt, seems to come well-recommended by boondockers.



  7. Angelack on November 17, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Star Wars books are great. I’ve read over 50 of them. Love learning about new characters, species, and worlds. The old characters are in many of the books also.



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      I read one a while ago and liked it well enough but there were so many other things on my list that I kind of forgot about them Angelack, I’ll have to get back to them someday.



  8. Joe Mann on November 17, 2016 at 10:52 am

    If you like fantasy book try “Like Wing Through Hollow Bones” by Michael Phillips Mann. It is his first novel and very well written. Available on Amazon.



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks for sharing Joe.



  9. Misty on November 17, 2016 at 9:48 am

    lol, it’s funny how much our reading lists overlap. 😀

    BTW, I’ve started reading “A Discovery of Witches” recently and I’m really liking it so far. I have high hopes that it’s going to be a good one.
    Misty recently posted..HallelujahMy Profile



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Because we’re awesome like that? ;P

      Haven’t heard of that one before but I’ll look into it!



  10. PShorten on November 17, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for replying to my question. I also read on a Kindle – the Paperwhite – and I love it. I turn down books when folks offer them as I like carrying just the Kindle, I can read it at night or outside; at the beach I always put a ziplock around it. I don’t know if you have a library card but many libraries have extensive collections of Ebooks. My favorite is the Philadelphia Free Library. Anyone in Pennsylvania can get a card there as we are all members, even if we don’t live in Philly proper. Anyone else can get a card from them for a 50.00 charge I believe. If you are interested we can talk off-line and I can walk you through the process. It’s a bit like eating an elephant (one bite at a time).

    I enjoy a lot of Sci-Fi and have read many that you suggested. Love the Wool series! Have you read the Madd-Addam series by Atwood, Station Eleven by Mandel, and Dog Stars by Heller. All good reads. Are you OK with zombies? If so, World War Z by Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft), Feed by Grant, Zone One (great twist) by Whitehead and Soft Apocalypse by McIntosh were fun reads.

    OK, enough? Sorry I really do enjoy a good book! I keep my book list on Goodreads and I recommend that too.



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      You’re welcome PShorten!

      I do have a library membership, I’ve read Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood, but didn’t enjoy the second as much and if there are more Madd-Addam I haven’t read those. I’ve also read World War Z (totally different from the movie and much better). The rest I haven’t heard of but I’ll look into them. 🙂



  11. Alan Belisle on November 17, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I have a Kindle that I read quite often, but I like to pick up books occasionally too. I shop at thrift stores and check out the titles when I am there. I’ll buy a couple of books and then donate them to the next place. Currently reading “The Handmaiden’s Tale” on Kindle.
    Alan Belisle recently posted..New Bern, North Carolina 11/5 – 11/11My Profile



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      I obtained a copy of “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” at an RVer gathering (for free) after hearing good things about it, and now that I’ve finished it I’ve dropped it off at the little book collection in the laundry room of my current RV park. It’s always worth checking in campgrounds for book shares because you never know what you’ll find.



  12. Meg on November 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Have you read Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books? Best SF *ever.* The books are space opera, and here’s a link to reading order on Bujold’s website: http://www.dendarii.com/book_info.html The hero has been described as the the sexiest, most charismatic man in this or any galaxy — under five feet tall. Which does not do him justice.



    • Rod on November 17, 2016 at 4:08 am

      OMG! That sounds like me! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself… Meg!



    • Linda Sand on November 17, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      I don’t normally read this genre but our daughter got me hooked on this series. A very fun read.



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Haven’t heard of it Meg but I’ll look into it. Thanks for sharing!



  13. Kevin on November 16, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for the book ideas. Do you have a library card? My local library system offers all sorts of ebooks, audiobooks, and even movies that can be virtually “checked out” and downloaded to your device. Many of the ebook apps support different formats including Kindle (Amazon manages the checkout. I play audiobooks from my iPhone while driving and it makes long trips enjoyable.

    For those who haven’t hit the road, yet, getting a library card should be on your to do list.



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, obtaining a library card as a nomad can be a challenging thing (aspiring nomads – see if you can keep your current library membership even after you hit the road to save the hassle) but yes I managed it and that’s where most my books come from. The Kindle store also has hundreds of older titles that are free to download and there are also book clubs out there that offer discounts and such – all this helps to keep costs down.



  14. Vanholio! on November 16, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    OMG! Your reading list! Will you marry me? LOL

    I’m just about to restart The Wheel of Time on my B&W Nook.

    You mentioned Jim Butcher. Read the Dresden series? I’ve gone through them 3-4 times, which is a rarity for me. Sooooo looking forward to book 16.
    Vanholio! recently posted..Considering Van Life? Take the Goddamn Plunge Already!My Profile



    • Becky on November 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      It took me about four and a half months to read Wheel of Time, started just before Amazon last year and finished early this year. I thought the middle was pretty slow but it picked back up near the end which was good.

      Yep, I’ve read Dresden. My favorite was Changes because it shook things up so much.



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