BLOG: Laura Bush checks in, and a great science fiction novel

Tom Jackson
Dec 15, 2011


An update to my recent book posts: former "first librarian" Laura Bush wants to recommend a book, and I want to recommend the best science fiction novel I read this year.

I wrote to Mrs. Bush asking her to recommend something she read this year and heard back this week from Anne McDonald, "She is recommending Texas author Stephen Harrigan’s Remember Ben Clayton."

Kirkus Reviews says that Harrigan is a "great American novelist" and that his latest book "carries readers from the battlefields of World War I to the Texas frontier."

Although I finished it too late for my round-up of book recommendations for 2011 from authors and readers, I want to put in a word for Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, a fast moving novel about gaming and 1980s pop culture that's the best science fiction novel of 2011. It's a very well-reviewed novel; in this case, I have to say I agree with the received opinion.

 UPDATE: In an email, Harrigan says he's pleased Mrs. Bush endorsed his book.

"I'm extremely gratified that Laura Bush chose my book, particularly so because she's a reader whose judgement other readers have learned to trust," he wrote.




Let's fiction...hmm...  I'm going to take a wild guess. She's recommending her husband's biography? 

How else to describe the Bush presidency? (And for years, I'd thought that her vacuous smile meant that nobody was "renting the penthouse").  Classic!

6079 Smith W

@ coasterfan:

Engage brain first. See what she recommended - it wasn't SF.





So you are one of them there highly educated dems, right?
Oh reading comprehension how you elude coasterfan!



I didn't read the article. I simply glanced at the title and it presented the perfect opportunity to lampoon Bush. :)  The Bushes may be nice people, but they're both rather clueless...


Everyone on this site says the same thing about you


------> in my opinion, the greatest science fiction novel ever written is "Schismatrix Plus" by Bruce Sterling.. it contains his original book "The Schismatrix".. but then, at the end of that story, it also includes all short story works he ever wrote that are related to the Shaper-Mechanist universe found in the Schismatrix..

i consider this book to be the true guide to the universe.. but there is far too much to say about it to be able to fit it into one comment.. even the Wikipedia on this book is somewhat lacking, in my opinion.. while it does give a very detailed overview of the story (which i do applaud), it does not capture the magic of it all but i guess that is impossible anyway unless you read the book itself..


------> also i read another sci-fi book by Bruce Sterling called "The Caryatids".. which i could easily call my second favorite sci-fi book out of the ones i have read so far.. however the wikipedia on this one is worthless.. one short paragraph that tells you right next to nothing about the story.. maybe it is a wiki that was only recently started..