1. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Recommendations?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Kratos, Jul 19, 2010.

    Hi everyone, I'm looking for some new books to read in between my senior year of high school summer reading (Frankenstein, Angela's Ashes, Wuthering Heights, Things Fall Apart, Richard II, and Sons and Lovers). I've typically stuck to the fantasy/sci-fi genre, but I'd like to branch out. My favorite books are:

    A Song of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R. Martin
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    The Shining by Stephen King
    The Stand by Stephen King
    The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
    Harry Potter by JK Rowling
    The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
    and others (Ender's series, Death Gate Cycle, Watchmen)

    Some "classics" I've enjoyed are: The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Wuthering Heights, Fahrenheit 451

    I've found that I enjoy books with some of these aspects:
    -Many characters
    -"Epic" (the stakes are high)
    -"morally gray" characters

    Do you have any recommendations? I'd like to branch out of fantasy/sci-fi, although if you have good recommendations in those genres I wouldn't mind that either

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Im going to recommed Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Lots of different characters. The stakes are quite high, life and death kind of stuff. Several morally grey characters. The book is set in Spain in the Fascist regime and deals with a boy who finds parallels between him life and a book written by a mysterious man.

    I would also recommend The Book Thief which deals with a young German girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Story is told from their perspective and its interesting - you forget that there were just people growing up and trying to live their lives in Germany at the time. Really good read.
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a writer and reader who would like to branch out I would like to recommend Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and his books set in a once vivid and realistic and at the same time dreamlike and nightmarelike Barcelona in the 1920s. The tell is masterfully told, epic yet not epic in a big explosions kind of way. Poetic, warm, light, dark, scary, mysterious, romantic etc.

    And that the writer is Spanish is an extra bonus if you like to branch put.

    Edit:*Highfives Donal*
     
  4. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    W176, thats pretty scary stuff. Great minds think alike. Or is it that fools seldom differ :)
     
  5. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Well, I am obviously gonna recommend mine, aren't I? LOL

    Mine is scifi based though, but is comedic in tale - the sort of book you can read without having to think too much. It isn't ever going to challenge the literary greats of this World, but that was never the point, it's a book to have fun with.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    I am going to recommend if you can get hold of it Mist Over Pendle by Robert Neill and Gervaise Phinn anything he has ever written.

    Robert Neill I think is a seriously underrated author, his ability to write a character is something I just love. And as an historical fiction about witches its not a million miles away from sci-fi/fantasy. Mist Over Pendle answers all of you list.

    Gervaise Phinn is a school inspector in Yorkshire and the books have me laughing so much I struggle to read them (so if you can advise audio book lol)

    I am currently reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell which I am enjoying but its a little bizarre.

    The Great Divorce by CS Lewis is just wonderful its about a journey through the levels of hell

    Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters (medieval detective monk)

    Oh and I love Kathy Reichs she is better storyteller than Patricia Cornwell in my opinion

    And have you read any Agatha Christie? She wrote some wonderful sci-fi/fantasy/horror stories as well as her detective novels
     
  7. Sonata
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    Nightwatch, Daywatch and twilightwatch. If you haven't read them already - russian vampire books basically. Sort of.
     
  8. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    I really liked that book. Theres something for everyone - adventure, humor, sci-fi, mystery, historical and fantasy all in one book. Thought the structure was really fascinating.
     
  9. Sabreur
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    If you like George RR Martin, try out Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy. The first book, The Blade Itself is amazing. Haven't read the others but the characterization is perfect, the plot is enjoyable and the action is (for once) well-written.
     
  10. Sonata
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    I'm waiting to borrow cloud atlas from a friend, it looks amazing. She's a ateacher so taking forever to read it but this is the last week of term so hopefully she'll be able to finish it soon.
     
  11. jacklondonsghost
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    I third The Shadow of the Wind. Beautifully written book.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson.
     
  13. HeinleinFan
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    The Book of Taltos by Steven Brust. Fantasy (actually a series although each book is self-contained). The main character is a human assassin in a world where humans are the minority. He works for the mob. Nicely gray-moraled characters, shiny magic system, gods who can and will muck about with your memories because, well, you're a mere mortal, it's not like your protests actually mean anything.

    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Fantasy. Someone already mentioned it, but I have to second this. It is a fantasy epic set more or less during the Thirty Years' War. Well... I mean, not the historical time period, but similar in that there are numerous countries who hate each other, travel is dangerous, there are class and social and language divides, war is a mix of siege weapons, large numbers of hired mercenaries (which was a huge feature in the Thirty Years War), a "religious conflict" between the powerful bankers and the powerful religious zealots. I could go on. It's great, and I don't know whether anyone in there is a genuinely good guy. My favorite character is probably the torturer, so... yeah.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Fantasy. Saying that it is "Oceans Eleven" set in 14th Century Venice is not quite true, and entirely inadequate, but it gives you an idea about the story. Locke Lamora grows up to be a conman - a Gentleman Bastard - but when powerful political enemies disrupt the black market and the criminals' daily lives, one of his cons is threatened and he and his friends have to deal with it, opposed by a mysterious Gray King, the city spymaster, the noblemen he's conned before, and restricted by his "public persona," which is obviously not "Joe the Conman."

    Transformation by Carol Berg. Fantasy. There was once a group of people whose magic system and culture revolved around demon-slaying. When an expansionist empire as brutal as Rome came through, that people was destroyed, driven underground or killed or enslaved, their magic brutally taken from them. Now Seyonne, once one of the most promising demon-hunters of his people, is little more than rubbish in the eyes of the vain and cruel prince who owns him. Unfortunately, the demons are working in the world once more -- and Seyonne finds himself compelled to help his arrogant master, a monster in his own right, lest worse monsters gain a foothold in the world. Note that this book is as brutal as anything Martin has written -- you'll know what I mean within the first twenty-five pages -- and I guess you can argue that Seyonne is more "good" than "gray," but Prince Aleksander is still a man I love to hate.

    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. A fantasy epic contained in one book. Some of the main characters are the wizards who violently invaded (and who now rule) the Peninsula of the Palm, a concubine of one of the wizards, the exiled Prince of Tigana who is trying to overthrow the wizards and free his people, and a professional religious singer whose parents fled Tigana before that country was invaded and destroyed. This book has many violently gray-moraled characters, a couple really neat magic systems, and a neat religious set-up.
     
  14. RedRaven
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    Try some Cormac McCarthy.. maybe you've seen No Country for Old Men. The book is equally splendid and The Road is a gem too.

    For more poetic reads, try Blindness by Jose Saramago, depicting humans interacting in the most vile fashion.

    The Millennium trilogy is excellent beach reading material and hosts a kick-ass female lead.

    The Dark Tower series by Stephen King is good too.

    Classic reads, I'd recommend One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Lord of the Flies or maybe some Agatha Christie when you want to try a closed room mystery novel.

    With War literature you won't go wrong with Herman Wouk.

    Happy reading :)
     
  15. MissLotty
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    I would recommed Dennis Potter's 'Ticket to Ride'. Its quiet hard to get in to but once in to it you cant put it down. Its a real page turner.
     
  16. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Started reading The Shadow of the Wind; I'm really enjoying it so far. The prose itself is fantastic.

    I also read Catch-22 and loved it.
     
  17. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Thanks for everyone who recommended Shadow of the Wind; it was awesome and exactly the type of book I was looking for. :D
     
  18. jacklondonsghost
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    Fantastic, isn't it? I was assigned it for a college course.
     
  19. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Really? What course was that?
     

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