Christmas and the time thereafter is always a great time for reading for me.  I always get new books as presents, and I usually have oodles of times during the holidays to read, plus more than ordinary in January and February since workouts are usually less involved and nothing much is going on.

As usual, I got some good presents, two of which I read during the break.  Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, is a book about a boy surviving alone in the Canadian northwoods after a plane crash.  I’m on a real kick around self-reliance lately, so this was a great read for that; plus, it was just a great read.  I finished it on Christmas Day — but it’s not a long book, being aimed at young readers.

Then I read Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, which I’ve intended to read for years.  (I can never think about it without hearing the song “Starship Trooper” by Yes, which appears to have nothing else in common with the book.)  It is a fantastic story of a future time when earth is at war with a interstellar aliens, told in the voice of an infantryman who rises through the ranks during the conflict.  Not only is it a top-notch sci-fi tale, but it has trenchant messages for our day about leadership, politics and society.

Since then, a few more books.  But that’s for next time.