Author Topic: Reading List Thread  (Read 14062 times)

Wren

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Reading List Thread
« on: May 18, 2010, 02:10:33 PM »
So...read any good books lately?

Before we get started let's just all assume that everyone has already suggested
GRR Martin, David Eddings, Tad Williams, Terry Goodkind, Steven Erikson and Robert Jordan, Mercedes Lackey, Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, Tolkein, CS Lewis, Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card and Raymond Feist

There are other books out there and I want to hear about them :)

I just finished recently:
Shades of Grey, the road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde
quick summary: sort of a post-apocalyptic version of our world, hundreds of years later where your place in society is based on how much color you can see. Very fun read.

The Warded Man
The Desert Spear
by Peter V. Brett
Every night demons rise from the ground and terrorize humanity "For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards–symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and mystery, and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile."

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Sort of a grown-up version of Harry Potter mixed with Narnia

Marco

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 02:26:10 PM »
In the urban fantasy realm, Jim Butcher is popular for the Harry Dresden series, Charlaine Harris is popular for the Sookie series (which inspired an HBO series called Trueblood), and Tanya Huff is popular for her vampire series.

For space opera, Bujold's Vorkosigan series is a perennial favorite.

For high fantasy, Brust is well-known for his books about Draegera, a world right up there with Tamriel (from Elder Scrolls) in richness and depth.

I also read Shades of Grey recently and recommend it.  It starts out feeling kind of cartoonish but gets much less so over time.  That series only has one book so far and it's only out in hardcover, but it's got great potential.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 02:30:49 PM by Marco »

Vienne

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 02:47:40 PM »
I thought Outliers - The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell was an interesting read and nicely blended real-world stories with analysis.  As far as fiction books, I have no idea, since I don't think I've read one of them since high school.

Uan

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 03:01:36 PM »
I'm reading another Elizabeth Bear science fiction book, Chill.  It's the second in a series that's vaguely Ann McCaffrey-esque fantasy/science fiction crossover world, but more original than Pern.  Not as good as her Hammered series, or her urban fantasy, but still fun.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin was interesting and had some original ideas, though it read more like a novella than a novel.  Monotheism came about in this world when one god enslaved the other gods to the ruling class.  An outsider to that ruling class gets brought into its politics from a "backwards" part of the world and has to deal with the bored elite of the world while unraveling the theology.

The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust was a fun cross-over between fan culture and the magical realism genre, though probably less interesting if you aren't familiar with both.  Drug trade and science tinkering and ancient prophecy and humor. 

I'm about to start reading a new urban fantasy author, Kynship: The Way of Thorn and Thunder by Daniel Heath Justice.  Can't recommend it yet, but I have hopes :)

I've been reading some non-sf/f, like Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and non-fiction, like This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, but those are less "entertainment" and more just "interesting".
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 03:11:24 PM by Uan »

Danrith

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 03:17:49 PM »
In the epic fantasy genre, I highly recommend JV Jones Sword of Shadows series if you haven't read it.  Imagine if some of the well-known fantasy authors narrowed their focus to just a handful of characters, while maintaining the epic scope of the story, and you'll have an idea what her writing is like.  She also has a keen sense of how to portray some of the inner doubt and turmoil that exists in all of us, making her protagonists and antagonists deeper as characters than a lot of other more popular authors in the genre.  I'm more looking forward to her next book than either the Martin or Jordan series.

For a different, more down to earth flavor of fantasy, try the Black Company series by Glen Cook.  The series has recently been re-released in several omnibus volumes encompassing 3 or 4 books each.

CS Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy is also a personal favorite, though somewhat hard for me to describe.

nurgh

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 03:42:00 PM »
I'm reading another Elizabeth Bear science fiction book, Chill.  It's the second in a series that's vaguely Ann McCaffrey-esque fantasy/science fiction crossover world, but more original than Pern.  Not as good as her Hammered series, or her urban fantasy, but still fun.
Isn't Chill the sequel to Dust?

Aviel

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 03:54:40 PM »
Brandon Sanderson is a really good young author. He is the one doing the last book of Roboert Jordon, no haven't read that I stopped reading those at book 6. But "Mistborn" trilogy and several of his stand alone books are really good.

My dad, who is the one who gets me hooked on all this fantasy, also gave me Jim Butchers book 1 of the Codex Alera. He really likes it.

Edalia

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 04:00:28 PM »
The books I suggest are:

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene - the first half is the best explanation of relativity I've ever read, the second half is some neat explanation of modern physics topics (probably outdated or simple for Andraax and Winston, but good for the layman!)

Perdido Street Station and The Scar by China Mieville - Urban/Modern fantasy by a dude with a ridiculous vocabulary. Perdido's main character is sort of an Arthur Dentish-everyman scientist thrust into a terrible situation involving an exiled birdman, a crime lord, and a horrible psychotropic moth. The Scar is a story of a floating pirate city called Armada. There's also Iron Council set in the same world, but I didn't like it as much.

Finally, I always suggest people read The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. The main character joins the army in 2007, assigned to an elite squad piloting a mech-like battle suit. They are to serve a 2-year tour going to battle aliens in the Taurus constellation, and return in 2017 due to time dilation. Each time the squad goes out to farther reaches ff the galaxy for another sortie, they return further and further in the future. Each subsequent trip back to Earth shows them a world more alien. Definitely my favorite hard scifi book.
o/\o

Wren

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 04:39:06 PM »
Brandon Sanderson is a really good young author. He is the one doing the last book of Roboert Jordon, no haven't read that I stopped reading those at book 6. But "Mistborn" trilogy and several of his stand alone books are really good.

My dad, who is the one who gets me hooked on all this fantasy, also gave me Jim Butchers book 1 of the Codex Alera. He really likes it.

If you like Brandon Sanderson you would probably like the Brent Weeks trilogy he's in with that group of recent authors that I associate with Sanderson, Pat Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch etc.

Wren

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 04:49:24 PM »

Perdido Street Station and The Scar by China Mieville

I really liked Perdido Street Station, oddly I really just couldn't enjoy his YA book Un Lun Dun maybe because I couldn't stop comparing it to Neverwhere. I should pick up another of his books to break the tie.

Winston

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 05:04:11 PM »
I'll recommend my usual: "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart, and "Little, Big" by John Crowley. Both are remarkable fantasies from the 1980's, but very different in tone.
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Thanamira

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 07:12:14 PM »
Per Uan's suggestion, I'm plowing through Perdido Street Station.  I'm quite enjoying it.

For non-fiction, I've yet to read the latest book of essays from Malcolm Gladwell; I greatly enjoyed The Tipping Point and especially Blink.
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Uan

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 08:13:17 PM »
I found Sanderson annoying.  His characters talk like modern people in a fantasy world, which reminds me of bad roleplayers.   I do like the Mistborn magic system. I just wish I found the writing more compelling

Which reminds me, Joe Abercrombie is the counter example I found lately. The Blade Itself is the first book of the trilogy. He writes deep, interesting characters who respond logically to the world they are in. Though none of them are especially like-able, probably because they respond logically to the world around them.

.   

Wren

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2010, 08:22:08 PM »
I found Sanderson annoying.  His characters talk like modern people in a fantasy world, which reminds me of bad roleplayers.   I do like the Mistborn magic system. I just wish I found the writing more compelling

Which reminds me, Joe Abercrombie is the counter example I found lately. The Blade Itself is the first book of the trilogy. He writes deep, interesting characters who respond logically to the world they are in. Though none of them are especially like-able, probably because they respond logically to the world around them.

.   

Abbi and I have talked about Sanderson a few times. I sort of concluded his biggest problem is he likes his characters a little too much so he tends to preserve them at the expense of the overall story. Still for lighter reads I like his stories and the magic system in the Mistborn series is one of my favorites.

I agree with you about Abercrombie, I really enjoyed the trilogy and I have Best Served Cold on my to read list. Fans of Tyrion Lannister will find a lot to enjoy with San dan Glotka.


jsoh

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Re: Reading List Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 08:41:17 PM »
I just completed my yearly reading of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I enjoy the man, but some people may agree with Pvt. Wintergreen in that he's a tad too prolix.

Cryptonomicon/Baroque Cycle/Snow Crash are his most famous, but if you see a copy of Diamond Age lying about, then I urge you to give it a go.