The 'recommend me a book' thread

Discussion in 'Discussion of Published Works' started by Lemex, Apr 30, 2015.

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  1. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Assertive Neophyte Contributor

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    I'm in the market for an easy-to-read (non-academic) book on historical healing practices. In specifics of just how historical, it could cover early man up to the Renaissance. It needn't take that wide of view though; a quality book on medicine in the Middle Ages would also serve.

    Also, I'd like a nice copy for my bookshelf, so no ebooks please. :)

    Edit: I should mention that I found the following book yesterday while hunting through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Untold-History-Healing-Medicinal-Present/dp/1623170931

    Unless I find something better I'll probably pick up copy. It appears to focus on healing with plants though, so I'm still on the lookout for a book that cover other medical treatments.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  2. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Any Weird/Horror fiction with... heart?

    I need to preface my post by saying I have nothing against the author I'm about to mention other than that he's a good example of everything I dislike, in terms of style, about Weird fiction today. This is a suggestion thread so I need to contrast and compare. It's just my opinion.

    Laird Barron. I prefer Weird/Horror stories to have a kind of heart to them. By this I don't mean that they can't be nihilistic and brutal--that'd be absurd considering the foundations of the genre--instead I'm talking about the characters and the language. I find it almost impossible to care for hardboiled types who constantly swear and make witty quips. Most of the characters in Occultation and Other Stories were rendered like this, at least I felt they were. It's not even just Laird Barron though. I really enjoyed Padgett, but I didn't like The Infusorium because of this exact reason. The detectives in that story are a good example of what I don't like. I don't remember Ligotti having such characters, but for me he's still extremely sombre, almost to a fault.

    In case you're unsure what I really mean, I can encapsulate this by saying I'm a fan of Tolkien, Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith and Mervyn Peake. I like heart and redemption in darker stories. I'm from the UK and like an older, "quieter" style of fiction. I simply cannot connect with hardcore one-eyed American truckers and noir-style detectives. The absolute antithesis of what I enjoy in fiction? The story 'Occultation'. I do not enjoy reading about young people having sex and having "cute" back and forths with each other, smoking and talking about taking drugs.

    I notice a lot of new Weird stuff is like this. Slatsky, etc. "[...] the first time they’d fucked, sweaty and fumbling in the college dorm room..."

    I realise I probably look ridiculous for asking about Weird/Horror fiction that has heart to it. In fact, it's not even heart. I just mean characters that aren't like those I've described above. I should probably give some examples. All of these, to me, have a kind of underlying warmth of character:

    The Last Incantation - Clark Ashton Smith

    Boy in Darkness - Mervyn Peake

    The Other Side - Alfred Kubin

    The Dark Domain - Stefan Grabinski

    The Sisters - Brian Evenson

    The Fall of the House of Usher - Poe

    The Man Whom the Trees Loved - Blackwood

    Thank you.
     
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  3. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    Try "Experimental Film" by Gemma Files and "House of Leaves" by Danielewski. Though those have very bleak bits in them. House of Leaves is the darker of the two.
    I'm betting you already read Vandermeer's "Annihilation?"

    What I would really suggest is Ted Chiang's short stories. "Stories of Your Life and Others" and "Exhalation." I know those are sci-fi, but they are so trippy that they really fit the New Weird mold. Exhalation was on a lot of people's long list for a Pulitzer. It's that good. If you like the feel of New Weird and don't mind it being otherworldly in a different way, I'm sure you'll like those a lot. His emphasis on aspiration and character is exactly what you're asking for.
     
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  4. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    What about The Girl With All The Gifts by Mike Carey. It’s your classic science-fiction sort of horror. And it’s got the “weird” factor too.. in a strange “this is a dystopian society” sort of way. The author gave a reading of his book at a local branch of my library and I was fortunate enough to go and see it and find out the inspiration behind the story. It cites actual locations so if you’ve been to the spots cited in the story it would feel kinda spooky. I have. So the story had a little more of the “creepy” factor for me.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The Library at Mount Char.
     
  6. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    It's an odd one, that. I've thought about getting it multiple times, but I can't find it cheap anywhere. Even used book sites ask for c.£20 delivery since shipping is from the USA.

    @Everyone else: thanks for the suggestions. I will consider all of these.
     
  7. Luis Thompson

    Luis Thompson Member

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    Great book. I read it in one breath over several evenings. It was very scary, of course, because I am a very impressionable person, but incredibly interesting.
     

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