Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lore noob.

Back before I used to read quest logs and WoW Insider, I read books. Lots and lots of books. People who tell me they hate to read have only revealed to me that they don't really know how. Deep understanding of a good writer's craft doesn't come easily for most folks, and they tend to blame their boredom on what is really confusion*. Oh well. Perhaps this will help. This is a short list, an incredibly short list, of some books that I think a WoW gamer might like:

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons, and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe
I read this years ago, and it reminded me of the boy in the high school D&D club who was confused by me, simply because I was a female. There are two types of boys, perhaps: those who hide their Playboys and Penthouses behind their math books, and those who hide their math books with their porn. The writer has been criticized for being overly lamentable of his D&D obsession, but overall, think his coming of age thesis is something we can all relate to.

I am currently reading: The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Books like these just make me say, "Damn, I wish I could write like that." I am only in the beginning, and so far, the exposition of the main character is thoroughly heartbreaking and wonderful.

And: anything by Neil Gaiman. I went on a Neil Gaiman bender a few years ago, and his exploration of the "unseen worlds" theme never fails to satisfy. Start off with the painful fairy tale, The Dream Hunters, and read "Chivalry" out of the Smoke and Mirrors collection. Work your way up to American Gods, and be sure to gather some mythology background knowledge with Mythology by Edith Hamilton, Bulfinch's Mythology, (especially those illustrated by Giovanni Caselli) and Norse mythology. When you're feeling fairly Tier 12 in your reading, look to the writings of Joseph Campbell.

On my list: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Never heard of these before the HBO series came out, but I suspect, and according to guild chat, that the books are better than the series, which is often the case.

For you more gritty souls, perhaps novels and short stories by Chuck Palahniuk. Some of his writing makes me wish I had brain soap, but you might like it. Because you know, the first rule of...

Now, any self-respecting WoW gamer has read Tolkien, Rowling, Homer, and Stan Lee. The scene from The Hobbit where the dwarfs invade the cupboard is worth the price of admission right there. You can't help but think of this scene when pounding down a few with the Wildhammers.

My love of books and reading is only as good as I can share it: please--if you have a book recommendation or comment, please add your ideas to this. No one need know who you are, comments can be anonymous.

*Consider getting a Kindle or Nook. There is no shame in clicking on a word as you read it to look up its meaning.


  1. Isabeaux8.5.11

    There are so many...but if I were to recommend a book or author, it would probably be Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon ( or his later, related series, The Baroque Cycle ( Truly geek material there.

  2. Looking forward to getting my geek on!


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