I read a lot. But I've decided to combine my reading with a desire to read a selection of books in the genres I prefer. Each book set is compiled of books I might or might not have read, but I have an interest in. They are well considered by critics. Each set is meant to expand my knowledge and appreciation, and as I read them as a group I will gain an awareness of the conventions of each genre, and the strengths and weaknesses of the stories, by being able to compare them.
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Why these books? I like the Cyberpunk, and believe it is, more than any prior time, a vision of the future. I very much appreciate the Cthulhu Mythos. Both the writers of it, and the wide offerings of it as horror entertain me, and make me want to evoke such darkness. I am a historian, and reading historical books in the area of my highest interest gives me a deeper ability to understand the context of any event. Also, I believe humans resort to war much too quickly. Learning the causes of military action from the deepest past allows insight into future acts.
Reading the epic poetry of the past allows me to grow as a poet, and, it deeply moves me. Poetry was the language of the past, and it will return to such vitality. The works of King Arthur myth and legend are an area of literature and entertainment that moves me, makes me wish to write my own, and allows me some context in my poetic works in the same area.