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  • Books worth Reading

    Just because there hasn't been one compiled yet, and we have two video threads going.
    Also because I need some decent suggestions. This pretty much means you shouldn't mention anything by Dan Brown, Harry Potter novels, and god forbid any fang banger fiction.

    I'm also going to mention the Book Depository, because I've never seen it mentioned here. It's a cheap book store with free delivery worldwide, takes a couple weeks to arrive (in my experience).

    Free delivery worldwide on all books from The Book Depository

    To clarify some of my reading decisions, I will explain my reading rule #1: I do not read incomplete series of books, I began this about 8 books into WoT and three books later the fucker died, completely vindicating my rule. Sometimes I get tricked by authors who write a "series" that is TO BE CONTINUED in another "series", these authors are motherfuckers, I'm looking at you Raymond E.

    Here's my short list.

    • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: I bought the first one on holiday because i'd seen the TV show and thought I'd give it a shot. I bought all the rest of the novels and I read all of them in under a month. It's an execellent series, magic, demons etc. in a contemporary setting based around a private detective mystery plot, with a decent dash of humour and good characterisation. The plot of each book is self contained but it does have overarching plotlines that lead to the plots in following novels. I mention this one first because it's fresh in my mind.

    • Everything by Peter F. Hamilton: As a rule, I didn't read science fiction until I was introduced to the Night's Dawn Trilogy, since then I've read everything he's written that I could get my hands on (excluding items covered by rule #1). The Night's Dawn Trilogy and The Commonwealth Saga are some seriously large books, written in "Space Opera" style, far future, and are excellent value for money. The Commonwealth universe is also home to the void Trilogy (incomplete, rule #1). The Greg Mandell series is a Psychic Detective "trilogy" of sorts, but each novel has a self contained plotline. Set in the near future, the society is dystopian but hopeful, I quite enjoyed it. Fallen Dragon is a stand alone novel, full dystopian future all about evil corporations running galaxy wide colonisation and trying to realise profit from it, it's great.

    • Terry Pratchett: Discworld + Others. I don't understand people who don't like Terry Pratchett, so you should like his writing, or I'm going to assume you don't get the joke. Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman) is a non-discworld novel, but definitely a highlight, i've read it at least 5 times, and it's always funny.

    • Raymond E. Feist: The Magician and other Midkemian Universe novels that followed are like a standard for fantasy. Some of the more recent offerings are a bit questionable, but I'm willing to keep buying the books on faith.

    • Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash. It's a story about a samurai hacker, called HIRO PROTAGONIST who delivers pizza for the mob, and a computer virus that kills you. It was written in the very early nineties and it's quite shocking the amount of stuff he predicted. It's also very funny.

    • Dexter Novels: Jeff Lindsay. Normally I'd never have read these, but someone gave me the omnibus, it's very good, even if you've seen the show, it's a whole lot darker, and the third book (as far as I've read) goes apeshit nuts and brings in a whole fantastical supernatural theme. The one downside was that it may have ruined the show for me a bit, because I see what the show COULD have been. Although to be fair, it may be the shitty soap opera drama going on in the fourth season that's ruining the show for me.

    I also have a long commute, so I listen to audiobooks, the following are some that I have only listened to.

    • Clive Cussler: Dirk Pitt Novels. Marine Engineer saves the world, like 20 times. James Bond-esque adventure novels, reasonably humourous, and they come in BULK. One of the novels got made into Sahara (the film), and after reading the book, I can see why the author sued the production studio. The text was infinitely better... and I quite liked Sahara (the film).

    • Neil Gaiman - American Gods, Anansi Boys, Neverwhere These books are good, read them. Supernaturally themed and comedy lined.

    • Jasper Fforde: The Thursday Next series (thursday next is the name of the main character). These are easily the most absurdist books I've ever experienced. I was hunting for something Pratchett-esque, and I don't think it's quite there, but they are quite funny nonetheless. In a contemporary setting with a very very very alternative history, Thursday Next is a literary detective who ends up with the ability to travel within books. It's worth reading just for the dementedness. (British Author)
  • #2

    Excellent thread, Harb. Will post more after carving Chips' arse up in Coda.

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    • #3

      I'd like to give an honourable mention to Robert Jordan - anyone who fell off the Wheel of Time bandwagon, or who gave up when they heard he died - go read the latest book. No seriously, it's the best since the first five.

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      • #4

        If you are up for some religion bashing Philip Pullman's series "Northern Lights" is quite deep in its religious references.

        I have enjoyed the deepth of JRR Tolkein's Lord of the Rings books. Not just the three books but also the Hobbit, The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales.

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        • #5

          seconding the terry pratchett and neil gaiman sentiments - both fucking excellent authors. and Peter F Hamilton is a sci-fi godz0r.

          George R R Martin's epic Song of Ice and Fire series is well worth a read - a fantasy world where mythical creatures exist but very few people have seen them now. masses upon masses of intrigue backed by characters (and a fuckton at that) with their own drives. a very rich series. His collected short stories (like Gaiman's) are awesome.

          Bernard Cornwell, who writes mainly historical fiction. his books are researched to hell and back and it shows in the settings he picks to play out his latest epic. If you're into medieval check him out - start with Vagabond and read that series. He writes a lot of US Civil War stuff too, but i hate that era in history so haven't read those. he's done a few other books dealing with king arthur and stone henge as well - also really enjoyable. I'm currently loving his latest book, The Burning Land, which is part of a series that covers the period the Danes arse-raped England.

          Orson Scott Card has written some timeless classics too - Ender's Game (fuck you harry potter!) and it's sequels as well as the Tales of Alvin Maker were/are both definitive collections for their genres. this is the man that coined the term Xenocide.

          if you like fantasy at all - you REALLY have to have these books:
          Amazon.com: Legends: Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy (9780765300355): Robert Silverberg, Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey: Books
          Amazon.com: Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy (9780345456441): Robert Silverberg, Raymond E. Feist Robert Silverbert, Elizabeth Haydon Tad Williams, Megan Lindholm as Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Neil Gaim
          Amazon.com: Legends-Vol. 3 Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy (Legends (Tor)) (9780812566642): Robert Silverberg, Terry Pratchett, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tad Williams, Robert Jordan: Books
          they're an absolute must. there isn't one author in those books that I haven't added to my must read list.

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          • #6

            Loved the tip from you guys a while back about Hamilton - loved the Greg Mandell series.

            Loved Magician when I first read it - went on to read all plus the Empire series.

            May I be the first to mention Douglas Adams - a cliche for this audience I know, but I'd like to especially get people onto the Dirk Gently books - so good ("the fundamental interconnectedness of all things" - awesome stuff).

            Oh, and a good audiobook series is the Red Dwarf books read by Chris Barrie (Rimmer).

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            • #7

              Dont limit Feist to the Midkemia based books - Faerie Tale was awesome also For a good, easy and enjoyable read, David Eddings Elenium and Tamuli are good.

              I'd also heavily recommend some Steven King - The Dark Tower series is quite good, IT is a fantastic book and The Tommyknockers is hands down the creepiest book I have ever read (okay so it was 20 years ago, my opinion may change if i were to read it again, but it was still an awesome, awesome book)

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              • #8

                What about the Twi.. just kidding.

                I've enjoyed the books I've read so far by Matthew Reilly, and my wife bought me Ben Elton's latest "Meltdown" for Christmas which I'm about half way through. I'm enjoying that also so I may give his earlier ones a look once I'm done.

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                • #9

                  found an engine for recommending authors based on other authors.

                  Gnooks - Welcome to the World of Literature

                  and the literature map.

                  Literature-Map - The tourist map of literature

                  Haven't got a clue whether they're any good, but they're worthwhile for providing something in the realm of what you're after I suppose.

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                  • #10

                    There are only two books that I suggest anybody read, and they're both by Eiji Yoshikawa. They are "Musashi" and "Taiko". Both are massively fucking epic.

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                    • #11

                      half way through reading the new Ender book (Ender in Exile) by Orson Scott Card - loving it so far, set directly after the events of Ender's Game, it's interesting to watch the characters growing towards those in the sequels.

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                      • #12

                        Anything by Jack Higgins is a good read; particularly the eagle has landed and the eagle has flown.

                        If you like star trek, anything by michael jan friedman or Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens are stand outs among the masses of trek fiction

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                        • #13

                          Originally posted by paladin View Post
                          I'd also heavily recommend some Steven King - The Dark Tower series is quite good, IT is a fantastic book and The Tommyknockers is hands down the creepiest book I have ever read (okay so it was 20 years ago, my opinion may change if i were to read it again, but it was still an awesome, awesome book)
                          Just ordered the seven books in the Dark tower series, will give an update when I've read them

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                          • #14

                            allow me harb: awesome fucking awesomeness. there was talk of the dark tower becoming a tv show awhile back - shame it didnt pan out :/

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                            • #15

                              no mention of david gemmel yet? I was always fond of the jerusalem man chronicles. Also Brandon Sanderson Mistborn is really great so no surprise they got him to finish off the wheel of time

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