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Postby Pennergy on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:48 am

All righty, I need to get in on this...I've been a bookworm since before my earliest memories! These are some of my favorites, with descriptions so you can see if it's something you're into.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Need I say more? I've read the whole series, but the first is my favorite.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
A comedy about a demon and an angel who misplace the antichrist. I adore this book!

Ender's Game and Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
I read these when I was fairly young and enjoyed them. I'm sure you must know what Ender's Game is about. Enchantment is an interesting take on Sleeping Beauty, involving Russian mythology and time travel. I guess I should warn that it does have a sex scene, so you might not want to read it if that bothers you.

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Some of my favorites were Small Gods, Soul Music, and Reaper Man.
Death is definitely my favorite character in the series. I like the witches as well. So I'd be most likely to recommend books involving those characters.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
This one is not for everybody...it's a dark book full of its own slang, set in a crime-filled future. If you read it, make sure to get a copy with all 21 chapters. Apparently, most of the copies released in America cut off the last chapter, as did the movie.

Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut's writing is definitely unusual. It's been a while since I read these, but I remember enjoying them. Cat's Cradle is pure fiction, but Slaughterhouse Five is a combination of bizarre sci-fi and Vonnegut's experiences as a prisoner of war and the firebombing of Dresden. Definitely not a happy book, but I think it's worth a read.

Okay, I could go on recommending books for ages, but I think I'll stop there...FOR NOW!
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Postby Malachy19 on Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:37 pm

Just because I have to mention them in every single book thread I walk into:

1: Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. Quite long (7 books, but the latter books reacj upowards of 600 pages) but fracking amazing.

2: The Illuminati Trilogy. Just plain ol weird
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Postby Conina on Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:23 am

Pennergy wrote:Ender's Game and Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
I read these when I was fairly young and enjoyed them. I'm sure you must know what Ender's Game is about.

Um... I don't, I've never heard of it before.
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A brief description would be nice. :)
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Postby Sqauto on Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:41 am

Conina wrote:
Pennergy wrote:Ender's Game and Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
I read these when I was fairly young and enjoyed them. I'm sure you must know what Ender's Game is about.

Um... I don't, I've never heard of it before.
Pleasedon'tshootme! Unless it's with a TF gun, I wouldn't mind that

A brief description would be nice. :)


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Postby Blue_Cherry on Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:32 pm

Hmmm... I don't know anything about Sci-Fi novels...

I could recommend you Classical Spanish Literature, though, I don't think you'll be interested... not something young kida would like... (look at me, talking like an old lady)

...

*Jedi mind trick* Read Don Quixote...
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Postby BinaryWraith on Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:55 pm

Erm. Having been a staffer and player on Ansible MOO for the last... ye gods, 6 years, I can definately say I second the love of Ender's Game. I don't always agree with Card's idealisim some times, but he writes an interesting story.

With a couple small exceptions, most of my favorite authors have allready been reccommended. I can't reccommend Gaiman and Pratchett enough, but there are others that are interesting as well.

Mercedes Lackey is one I -always- reccommend to people just starting in the field of Fantasy. She writes fun stuff with excellent character development, including some Victorian-era rewrites of classical fairy tales that are great fun. Her style is easy to read as well, if not massively challenging. I consider these brain-candy for times that I'm too stressed to concentrate on the convoluted stuff that Martin writes.
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Postby Conina on Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:26 pm

Blue_Cherry wrote:Hmmm... I don't know anything about Sci-Fi novels...

I could recommend you Classical Spanish Literature, though, I don't think you'll be interested... not something young kida would like... (look at me, talking like an old lady)

...

*Jedi mind trick* Read Don Quixote...

Don't assume people won't like something (or that you know their age) - you never know who'll like what.

Oh, and Binary, I like the term 'brain candy'. I know exactly what you mean too. :D

And now! I shall follow Blue Cherry's lead and promote something non-SF/Fantasy! Read Jane Austin's novels, all of you, they are so damn funny. She had such a nasty sense of humour (and you have to read 'Emma' at least twice to get the double meanings - very cleverly written). :D
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Postby Blue_Cherry on Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:35 pm

I wasn't being serious, hell, I might not be the youngest here, but I'm definitely not the oldest...

And hey, if people here like Spanish Literature, I'll be happy... Unfortunately, most don't. Even people whose first language is Spanish don't like their Literature. They tell me: "Ugh! Are you really studying that? Boring!".

So, yeah, if I find people with my same interests, I'll be more than happy...

I might even give away cookies...
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Postby ravenb on Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:08 pm

In the "non-sci-fi" vein, I'm also going to recommend The Alienist by Caleb Carr. It's the story of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a [i]fin de si
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Postby VOR on Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:50 am

Hmm...I'd read The Alienist, (loved it) but the other is new to me. I shall check it out when next I get the chance. Your taste in books so far has been similar enough to mine that I trust your judgement. To the LIBRARY!
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Postby Conina on Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:08 pm

Raven: 'The Alienist' sounds pretty good, I'll have to remember that one.

Blue Cherry: So... the books you were recommending ('Don Quixote' and any unnamed others) are in Spanish? I was going to ask for a synopsis (or several), but I can't read Spanish. :(
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Postby DeaExMachina on Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:29 pm

I find it facinating to hear people discuss books that I have read and found empty. I read "Stranger in a Strange Land" at the age of 13 and found most of it to be old news. The only only thing original thought I found in it was when, I think it was the old man in the book (I totally forget his name), suggested some very defamatory things about Lot and the gang raping of his daughters. Of course it was a bady researched viewpoint on the part of the character, but it did prompt me to peal back the cover on something I had ignored. That I consider to be a good thing.

Beyond that I find it facinating that any of the criticisms of the book were new to anyone in their teens.

I'll recomend "Dark Dreams" by Roy Hazelwood & Steven G. Michaud. Hazelwood spend 22 years in the FBI and Micaud is a writer of true crime books. The book gives a tour of the modern understanding of the thought process of the worst killers.
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Postby NumberFourtyThree on Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:35 pm

I have two favorite authors who have written a lot of books:

one is Harry Turtledove. He has written some fantasy and science fiction, but the majority of his books are in some way an alternate history, exploring how history could have played out differently. For instance, he wrote a long series (4 books, then 2 or 3 set a few decades later, then 1 more set still more later), where in the middle of WWII, some aliens invaded trying to conquer the Earth (unfortunately for them they plannned for the invasion based on a 400 year old probe, and didn't think a civilization could advance much in that time). He also wrote a couple of curious series where a war in some fantasy universe strongly parallells a war from real history (imagine WWII with dragons instead of airplanes, giant creatures carrying catapults launching magical explosives instead of tanks, and instead of simply slaughtering members of an innocent ethnicity, the side that resembles the Germans sacrifices a people as fuel for hugely destructive combat spells).

Secondly is Larry Niven. His work is less unique, being mostly hard science fiction, but is mostly quite entertaining. One interesting thing is that he has written dozens of storys set in the same universe, chronicling important events of hundreds of years of future history.
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Postby Lomgren on Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:08 pm

I wouldn't say Niven's stuff is less unique, perse. It's got some interesting stuff in it, like the idea of ringworlds (a partial dyson sphere) and inhabitable "smoke rings" where life is adapted to live in freefall.
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Postby HamHam on Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:55 pm

If we're going to broaden the topic:

Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Avoid anything by Hemmingway like the plague (especially The Sun also Rises).

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

to name a few.
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Postby Grim Atescu on Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:44 pm

I found Austen to be extremely distasteful. I can't say much more without dipping into mindless rant territory; suffice it to say that I once compared its tempo to that of Dante's Paradisio - and Paradisio came out far faster. The only reason I finished that book is because it was assigned reading for class.

Speaking of which... Dante's Inferno and to some extent Purgatorio are great reads. I've yet to finish the end of the Divine Comedy. Most of Poe's work is also good, especially his Dupin stories.
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Postby Conina on Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:54 pm

Grim Atescu wrote:I found Austen to be extremely distasteful. I can't say much more without dipping into mindless rant territory; suffice it to say that I once compared its tempo to that of Dante's Paradisio - and Paradisio came out far faster. The only reason I finished that book is because it was assigned reading for class.

Which book? :-?
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Postby Grim Atescu on Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:55 pm

The one HamHam mentioned; I refuse to speak its name.
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Postby Pennergy on Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:51 pm

HamHam wrote:If we're going to broaden the topic:

Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Avoid anything by Hemmingway like the plague (especially The Sun also Rises).

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

to name a few.


Oddly enough, I've never read Cannery Row, but I did read the sequel, Sweet Thursday. It was the most enjoyable Steinbeck I'd ever read, and I definitely want to read Cannery Row some day!
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Postby Random_Sage on Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:03 pm

I'll throw in some more books as well.

Grendel by John Gardner (It makes more sense if you've actually read Beowulf)

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

And since I forgot to mention it before, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
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Postby Diatone on Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:06 pm

My two cents...The Inheritence Trilogy by Christopher Paolini is excellent fantasy. Two of the three books are published, Eregon and Eldest, with the third set to come out sometime this fall, i believe.

Another book I enjoyed was The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks. It describes everything from the best weapons against undead hordes, to how to set up your own island government, should zombies take over the world. Best thing about it is how seriously it takes itself. Definately a worthwhile read.
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Postby Raging Mouse on Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:26 pm

Oh dear, most of the ones I'd like to recommend have already been mentioned. However;

I'd like to second Isaac Asimov. His foundation series and robot stories are fascinating.

Also, Arthur C. Clarke. 2001 and 2010 are hopelessly out of date, but still a good read -and see the films while you're at it. 2061 and 3001 are also real nice.

Then, for something truly controversial and thought-evoking, I suggest The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. Approach his work with caution!
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Postby Blue_Cherry on Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:15 am

Conina wrote:Blue Cherry: So... the books you were recommending ('Don Quixote' and any unnamed others) are in Spanish? I was going to ask for a synopsis (or several), but I can't read Spanish. :(


Yes, it is. But you can easily find it in English, since that book is has been the most translated one after the Bible.

If William Shakespeare is the max representation of English Literature, so is Miguel de Cervantes in the Spanish one.

Fun fact: Many historians say they both died the same day: April 23, 1615, though many also say Shakespeare died 10 days later... Still pretty close, huh?

Anyways, this link will explain a lot of the book, as well as the importance to literatue.

But I'll say a bit. Alonso Quijano(or Quijada, or Quesada) is a man that read a lot of knight's novels, and becomes 'insane' (this insanity is being interrogated by critics still today) and believes he's a knight. Mind you, he's in a time where knights don't exist anymore. He goes on adventures with his thin and old horse Rocinante, and Sancho, his squire, imagining things, usually ending pretty bad in them...

It's a great novel, but a bit long. But if you read all Harry Potter's books, you won't have that much of a problem.
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Postby Pennergy on Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:20 am

HamHam wrote:As for Wheel of Time, I think that no one should buy this without first reading two or three pages. If you can get through those without burning the book in frustration, you will enjoy it a lot. Normal people however, just can't read it.


I read the first 3 or 4 books before I gave up, actually. I think they just dragged on after a while, and I got bored. I had better luck with the Sword of Truth series, though it's been a while since I read them, and I haven't read the latest to come out in that series. I don't know why, but Sword of Truth and Wheel of Time are sort of stowed away in the same section of my mind...
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Postby BinaryWraith on Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:41 am

In the "Must... choke... author" section? :wink:
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