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Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:04 am
by Tundra
I need some book suggestions.
I need to a) suggest books to get me for my birthday
b) go to the library.

And I'm drawing a blank. I had a list once but I've lost it!

I do not like books that are overly violent, depressing, scary or sad, (doesn't have to be full on comedy though), or that have too much romance in them (but a bit is fine).
I like interesting characters and plots, and stories that aren't a struggle to read (... like The Hobbit. I haven't been able to force myself to finish), but aren't badly written.

They are the 'must haves'

I do enjoy fantasy and sci fi (doesn't have to be high or hard), and I looove the Jasper Fforde books. I like historical fiction, and things to do with time travel, and comedic writing styles. But I am open to other things as well (as long as it doesn't clash with the must haves.)

Does anything come to mind?

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:15 am
by freako104
Wheel of Time series
Ayn Rand's the Fountainhead; Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:23 am
by smiley_cow
The Larklight series by Philip Reeve is probably the best steampunk I've ever read.

Also The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is pretty good.

And it's semi historical in the sense it was written during the interwar periods, but the Jeeves series by P.G. Wodehouse is a lot of fun, and quite funny at times.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:26 am
by davoid
Tundra wrote:I do enjoy ...sci fi. I like historical fiction, and things to do with time travel, and comedic writing styles.
All those things perfectly describe "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:29 am
by Tundra
Oh I love the Jeeves series! The only problem is I'm confused about what order the books go in. I have one that I got in a second hand shop.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:42 am
by smiley_cow
Tundra wrote:Oh I love the Jeeves series! The only problem is I'm confused about what order the books go in. I have one that I got in a second hand shop.
Yeah it's tricky, especially since there's a lot of short stories running around too that supposedly fit in somewhere.

But I believe the order the full length books go is, Thank you, Jeeves, Right Ho, Jeeves, The code of the Woosters, Joy in the Morning, The Mating Season, Ring for Jeeves(this one doesn't have Bertie, but it's still quite good, I think), Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, Jeeves in the Offing, Stiff upper lip, Jeeves, Much Obliged, Jeeves and Aunts aren't gentlemen.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:39 am
by LordRetard
I don't really read fantasy novels, so you might end up ignoring everything I say. Most of what I read is "magical realism," which is like fantasy's younger and weirder cousin that never got into fantasy novels. They don't really read the same but you might like it nonetheless.

Gabriel García Márquez has very interesting characters and plots. His style is a bit rambling, but I like it. His books also tend to vary a lot in terms of subject matter; some of them are funny, some of them are violent, some of them are very romantic, some of them are very depressing. I do know a short story that is just funny, though. I don't know a lot of his work beyond One Hundred Years of Solitude, Memories of my Melancholy Whores and various short stories. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a very good book but it may not be exactly what you're looking for. Memories of my Melancholy Whores is almost certainly not what you want.

Murakami is a good author but I dislike his overt and rather tactless sexuality. It seems like all of his main characters end up fucking the first lady they see, including one particularly bizarre book where he ends up sleeping with his sister and mother, but only after he realises who they are (what?). Also, a lot of it tends to be confusing. So maybe he's not a very good recommendation.

I'll recommend Albert Camus if you're into more philosophical stuff. If you look at a book like The Plague, the characters are all very thought out; particularly, everyone seems to have their own goals, which I thought played out very well. The Stranger is a very famous novella, though I doubt it's what you're looking for. The Fall I only mention as an example of a very clever novel told in a very clever way; the entire story is one side of a dialogue (though it reads as a monologue) spread out over several days, between "judge-penitent" Jean-Baptiste Clamence and an unnamed stranger, who speaks but is never "heard" in the dialogue.

Everybody loves Harry Potter! But then again everyone has already read it or has made up their mind not to. So I guess that's not important.

Everybody loves Terry Pratchett but I'll confess to not having read a single thing by him.

I doubt you'd go for Franz Kafka but I have an obligation to say his name.

Anyway I don't read a lot, so I can't give very good advice. Also I scratched my back trying to get to my unfortunately placed bookcase, so that's kind of a dealbreaker.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:59 am
by Edminster
All by Heinlein, in order from what I think you would like most to slightly-less-most from what I have learned about you.

Glory Road
Have Space Suit, Will Travel
Space Cadet
Citizen of the Galaxy
The Door into Summer
Tunnel in the Sky
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:55 am
by mountainmage
My favorite Fantasy series evar.

The Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb:
Assassin's Apprentice
Royal Assassin
Assassin's Quest

Followed by a trilogy that is indirectly related, but tied into the main series, called The Liveship Traders:
Ship of Magic
The Mad Ship
Ship of Destiny

Followed by a trilogy set some years after the events of the first trilogy, involving the same main characters, The Tawny Man trilogy:
Fool's Errand
Golden Fool
Fool's Fate

Also, pretty much any Magic: The Gathering Novel, but the longest running story is the story of Urza, Gerrard, and the events of Dominaria. Although they weren't released in chronological order, here's their storyline order:

The Thran
The Brother's War (probably the best one of the whole storyline)
Bloodlines: The Story of Urza's Destiny
Rath and Storm
Mercadian Masques

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:56 am
by Phoenix
Have you read any of Anne McCaffrey's books? She writes both fantasy and science fiction, her "Dragonriders of Pern" is a very, VERY good series, IMO, and is definitely not your standard take on dragons, and feudal-ish life. I highly recommend reading it, or at least giving it a chance. Her "Talent" (describes a group of people called "Talents" not "her talent") series was also very good, but people have mixed feelings about the later books. Still worth a read, IMO.

Also, I approve of Ed's book list and order. You might add Red Planet in there too, although your list is based on what you think she will read, so I dunno if it belongs on there or not. I liked it, though.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:37 am
by rustypup
You should also add Robert Rankin and Neil Gaiman to the list, if you haven't already...

<edit>Tom Sharpe and Tom Holt probably fit the bill as well...</edit>

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:03 pm
by Lethal Interjection
If you like historical fiction, I would highly recommend Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I chose it as the historical fiction I had to read in Grade 11 (1998-9). It's a pretty sizable book, with the softcover clocking in at just under 1000 pages, based over the life of a family during the 12th Century in England (during extensive Civil War, with actual historical characters being semi-involved in the plot). Don't let the fact that it was chosen as Oprah's book of the month in 2007 dissuade you.
If you like it, go ahead and read its sequel World Without End. It isn't as good as Pillars, but it is a decent read too. And longer, I believe. Based in the same town as Pillars (Kingsbridge), and around the descendants of some of the characters.

I also have to mention Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. Probably my favourite book (Pillars being second). It is kind of sci-fi, kind of distopian, with some time travel and a fair bit of humour, too. And written in a unique style, especially for fiction. The style being collected oral biography.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:50 pm
by Sahan
Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction is also a really riveting read, if you can stomach the blood-and-guts type detail he includes in his writing. He puts a lot of research into his story amd makes it seem so plausible it feels like a dramatised but credible archaeological hypothesis of what happened. Stonehenge is a really great example of this, I watched a documentary on Stonehenge a year or so after reading it and I wanted to scream at the TV that of course they transported the stones by boat, Carnaban ordered them to do so, tell me something I don't know! and then remembered it was all from a novel.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:31 pm
by GirlsDontDoThat
Anything by Tom Robbins is as good as gold. My personal favorite Jitterbug Perfume (don't let the name fool you) is incredible. Its sort of fantasy, sort of epic. Its one of my all time favorites.

This dude Alobar is a king in ancient Bohemia and it is their custom to kill the king when he starts to age. So Alobar and his favorite concubine devise a plan to help him escape. So he escapes and goes off and eventually learns how to live forever. Meanwhile in modern times a group od people are trying to find thr base note to an ancient perfume that all ties in with extended life.

Beautiful book. Seriously, its the greatest.

Re: Book Suggestions

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:00 pm
by LordRetard
Oh right, The General in his Labyrinth by Márquez is historical fiction. Haven't read it yet, though.