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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:20 pm
by Pennergy
Hee hee! Perhaps.

Oh, and if you don't want to spend money on books and aren't too terribly picky about what you might end up reading, check out and go hunting!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:23 pm
by Ambi
I've just completed Andreas Eschbach's "Der Letzte seiner Art" ("The last of his kind") about an American cyborg soldier. Long after he was pensioned early because his robotic parts malfunctioned so he couldn't be used in a war, suddenly suspicious people seem to have found him. As he tries to find out what's going on, we also find out from his memories how he grew up and joined the cyborg project.

It says it's a thriller but it's also very psychological. If you dislike the latter, you shouldn't try the book. The strongest part of the book is exploring the possibility of such a cyborg soldier project. Eschbach is generally a good read, but I've enjoyed his "Hair Carpet Makers" or "Jesus Video" or "Kelwitt's Star" more than his more psychological newer books (this one and his newest, "The Nobel Prize"). Still, I will probably try to find his past books that I don't have yet and get his next book as well...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:58 pm
by Conina
Blue_Cherry wrote: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.

Please tell me you're not seriously using Harry Potter books as an example of 'long' stories? If it's as long as a Harry Potter book I think I can manage. (yeah, I know the latter ones are kinda long - too long in my opinion - but they're not long enough to warrant a 'warning: long book!')

Thanks for the info. :)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:17 am
by Blue_Cherry
Well, you can easily find part I and II in one book... I don't remember how long where them... 1000 pages each? Hmm... no, probably less... I'm really not sure... But it probably takes longer than Harry Potter books, since the language can be a little difficult... It not only uses 17th century words, and phrases, but also 10th and all... and it imitates various types of novels.... so yeah... it can get complicated at times...

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:16 pm
by Xiroth
HamHam wrote: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...

Hehehe, if you thought the first 4 books dragged on, it is a very good thing that you didn't continue - in that regard they get worse and worse and worse...
I'm not sure why I'm still reading the series (although I haven't read the latest yet), other than simply seeking a sense of closure.

I read the first book of the Sword of Truth series and, to be honest, found myself laughing my way through it. No offence to fans of the series, but it just came across as "The Big Book of Fantasy Cliches". There were parts which were genuinely inventive, but the majority of it seemed to be slammed together parts of the most famous fantasy stories. Perhaps I was just in a cynical mood at the time.

I feel bad about not adding my own suggestions, but my memory for names is terrible, I'm thousands of kilometres from my bookshelves, and the best-known names have already been mentioned.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:20 pm
by Conina
Xiroth wrote:I read the first book of the Sword of Truth series and, to be honest, found myself laughing my way through it. No offence to fans of the series, but it just came across as "The Big Book of Fantasy Cliches". There were parts which were genuinely inventive, but the majority of it seemed to be slammed together parts of the most famous fantasy stories. Perhaps I was just in a cynical mood at the time.

Come across a book (or movie come to that) like that in the right frame of mind and the very fact that it's 'so bad it's funny' can make it one of the best books (or movies) you've ever read (watched, whatever). I've done that before, and returned to the thing again and again just to have a chuckle.

Incidentally, that wasn't my reaction to the first Sword of Truth book - I quite liked it, immediately recommended it to a friend and nver read another of them. My friend on the other hand started getting each new one as they were released. Go figure. :okthen:

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:50 am
by Eupho Guy Steve
I've read all the books in the "Sword of Truth" series that have made it to Australia, and i think that its getting too drawn out. aparently there is another 2 books until the end of the whole thing, but I feel that the whole thing has already gone on too long. I'm not really sure if I'll buy the last two, as its getting to the point where the care factor is just not up there to read another 2 books of some 600 pages each, for a series i dont really care about anymore...

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:02 am
by Arxilius
I suggest the Ring trilogy by Koji Suzuki, Xenocide by Orson Scott Card, and damn near anything by Iain M. Banks (though especially Player Of Games).

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:49 pm
by kalikajira
Yay! Author and book recommendation! I can finally give back to Dan, if he still reads this thread. Anywho, I read voraciously, and mainly for fun, though some for self improvement and just to make me think. Here's the list:

David & Leigh Eddings: If you like fun characters, a good story, fun dialogue, and don't mind a few cliches, pick up anything by them.

Mercedes Lackey: She writes fairly intelligent fantasy, without letting her messages get in the way of the story. It might just be brain candy compared to some other books, but when I read a novel, I want a story, not just a plot littered with someone's agenda and philosophy. (As I've said elsewhere, there's a big difference between good writing and good storytelling. Others may have better writing, but for storytelling, she's one of the best.)

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: I love all his stuff. He has a good bit of philosophical stuff in his books, but it doesn't get in the way of the story, and it's the kind that makes you question, not just vomits up the authors opinions.

Orson Scott Card: Loved Ender's Game and Treason. Most of his other stuff I just couldn't get that interested in. *Puts on Flame-absorbing armor*

Robert Heinlein: He had some good stuff, but I haven't read SiaSL. Friday I liked, and The Number of the Beast was interesting. So was The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Cat That Walks Through Walls. He does throw sex in a bit in some of his books, however, just a heads up.

Dennis McKiernon: Awesome storyteller. Take the characters of the Eddings and Lackey, the world building of Tolkien, and the philosophical depth of Modesitt (actually, more like double that, but anywho), add great storytelling, stir, and present in a unique style all his own, and you get McKiernon. IMO, he doesn't get nearly the attention he deserves. I especially recommend his Caverns of Socrates book.

R.A. Salvatore: A good fun read for when you just want to read a good story. My version of brain candy.

Fred Saberhagen: His characters aren't that memorable, but he's a good storyteller. His Berserker short stories are very good.

Tad Williams: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. 'Nuff said.

Steven Erikson: Only three books out that I know of. An epic story teller, on the level of Jordan, but more casual reader friendly. He also doesn't do the "overdescribe to fill space" thing that I find annoying about Jordan. The books are, in reverse order: Memories of Ice, Deadhouse Gates, and Gardens of the Moon.

Anne McCaffrey: Not her Pern books. They were okay, but started getting weak towards the 5th IMO. I recommend the Brainship Series, and the T&T series. Also, the Generation Warriors series is fun.

Terry Brooks: Good storyteller, memorable characters. The Sword of Shannara series and Magic Kingdom of Landover series are my favorites, though I enjoy the Knight of The Word trilogy.

Curt Benjamin: The only books I know about are his Seven Brothers trilogy and one other set in the same world. He's a very good storyteller, and writes good characters.

Brian Jacques: Fun, fairly lighthearted, fantasy about a world with only talking animals. Good always wins, though some of the good guys may die. You can pick up any one of them, since, although they do reference back (or forward), they are not written in any kind of sequence. A good enjoyable read.

Michelle West: Memorable characters and good storytelling. The Sunsword Series is the only one I've read so far, but since it is done in six books, you're not too likely to get bogged down in it.

Jordan & Goodkind are good writers, but they really need to learn how to end it. Stretch any series beyond 6 books, and you're asking people to lose interest. Really, trilogies are ideal.

Okay, that's pretty much it for SF & F, so on to other styles!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The master of the the detective novel. Dupin, and any other detective you can think of was nothing compared to Sherlock Holmes. And boy, could he write a story!

Louis L'Amour: He writes westerns, probably the best storyteller I've ever read. Very memorable and enjoyable characters. He literally walked the ground his characters walk. I especially recommend his Sackett Family series. One of the cleanest modern writers I've ever read. Also, the heroes are always very principled, though they may sometimes be only loosely acquainted with the finer points of property ownership. :wink:

J.T.Edson: Fun reads. Full of cliches and misinformation about the west, but still fun to read. Memorable characters. If you are a powergamer, you'd probably like his books. (If you don't understand what I mean, read some, you'll get it.)

James Patterson: Very good storyteller, writes good thriller and detective novels. An enjoyable writer.

Jack Higgins: Memorable characters, well paced, excellent storytelling. What more could you ask? Especially recommend anything with Sean Dillon. I just like his style.

Robert Ludlum: If you saw the Bourne movies, please read the books. The movies were good, but the books are so much better. All of his other books are good too.

Tom Clancy: He writes well, and his characters are memorable. He just as a bit of trouble writing books that aren't 500+ pages long.

Morris West: Especially recommend his books The Devil's Advocate and The Shoes of the Fisherman. He's a very good storyteller.

I'll add more if I think of them. Now for non-fiction:

C.S. Lewis: Whether or not you're a Christian, he's the foremost Christian appologist for a reason, he is an incredible writer. Also, his novel The Great Divorce is wonderful.

Superlearning 2000

Lee Strobel: He presents a fairly balanced view of Christianity, his first book, The Case For Christ, details his journey from atheism to Christianity. He was a highly regarded reporter, and he goes after the facts first, the interpretations second.

Bruce Lee's Striking Thoughts

Okay, I have more, I'll just have to dig for them. For now, that's it.

Re: Books

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:11 pm
by Nightranger
I'd strongly recommend David and Leigh Eddings, their probably my favorite authors. The Belgariad and all the related books are very good, especially Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. Although they're know for fantasy, I'd also suggest the mystery/psychological novel they worked on, Regina's Song.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is always a good bet. It's what I'd like to call "intelligently absurd".

The Series of Unfortunate Events is also something of a favorite of mine. The early books are very short, but they get longer as the series progresses. All of the series is funny, and worth reading for that alone. And, while plot starts out simple and uninspiring, once you get a few books into it it becomes much more complex and mysterious. It actually begins to get somewhat philosophical as the series progresses. It definitely is one that will leave you thinking.

I'd also recommend the classic Battletech novels. As far as technology and physics and all that, Battletech may be one of (if not) the most realistic sci-fi universe I've seen. The only aspect that would detract from this realism would be the absence of things like artificial intelligence and nanotech, which would certainly exist this far in the future (although these things could be at least somewhat explained in the context of the fiction). Battletech creates an awsome blend of high-tech warfare with complex and engrossing political intrigues. Classic Battletech is much better than the newer Mechwarrior: Dark Age stuff. Hard to find though--you'll have to go looking in second-hand stores, or perhaps over the internet. In particular I'd suggest the works of Michael Stackpole.

The Halo novels are sometimes discounted because they're based on a video game, but their actually very good reads. I know people who have never played a single one of the Halo games but are fanatical about the books. The vast pages of speculations that go on at sites such as should be an indication of how great the Halo universe is, and it's these books that flush out most of the details.

I read a book a year of so ago called Bitten, but I can't remember the author. It was a great read though, and definitely the best werewolf novel I've read.

The Star Wars: Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss is another good one. If you think of the clone troopers as identical, unthinking little soldier drones, think again. These novels give a compelling look at what it's like within the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic). They have wonderful characters, and one of the best plots you'll find. You won't look at the Clone Wars the same way again--yes, I know saying that is about as cliche as I could get, but it's true.

I read the novel Sophie's World for school several years back, and if there's one word to sum it up, it's weird. But, then again, it's the history of western philosophy in novel format, so weirdness is pretty much a given. If you want something to make you think, you might want to consider finding it.

I'd also suggest the works of H.P. Lovecraft. I haven't read anything of his that hasn't been good. Except perhaps the short story The Terrible Old Man. But, to be fair, it's not even two full pages long, so you can't really expect a masterpiece. The Call of Cthulhu, and to a lesser extent, The Dunwich Horror are his most famous works, but not his best, IMHO. That said, they're still very good. My favorite of his is The Shadow Out of Time. Some of the runners up include The Rats in the Walls, The Wisperer in Darkness, and Pickman's Model.

The Inheritance trilogy, by Christopher Paolini, is, along with the Belgariad, the zeneth of modern fantasy, in my opinion. If you've seen the movie Eragon, don't let that sway you away from the books! That movie is the worst film adaptation of a book I've ever seen of heard of. I could rant on and on about that abomination. These books are worth reading even if you're not a big fan of the fantasy genre. On the other hand, if you do like fantasy, and, beyond that, are particularly fond of dragons, then not reading these books should not be an option for you.