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 Book recommendations?

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Kynale



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PostSubject: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:56 am

Figured I'd ask this here because it kind of relates to writing! Hopefully some of you guys read, too. XD

I'm looking for more good novels to get into but am overwhelmed by the endless selection, haha. Since I've been so busy with school I've been "cheating" and listening to a lot of audiobooks lately. Helps keep me sane on my long daily commute, but I do prefer physically reading and look forward to doing that again when I'm less busy.

So I was wondering if anyone has any novels or series they would recommend. What are your favourite books and why do you like them? Personally I can get into just about any genre if the characters are well written. Having boring or flat characters is the only major thing that will turn me off a story.

If you know of any great novels, please do share. Very Happy

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varethane

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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:39 am

Weelllllllll what kinda books are you looking for? 8D

Here are my general recommendations (leaning heavily towards fantasy and soft sci-fi):

-The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold-- amazingly intricate sci-fi/space opera, featuring some unbelievable worldbuilding and great characters. Lots of focus on crazy space politics, science, and military shenanigans. Bujold also has some fantasy novels out

-The Discworld series, by Terry Pratchett (fantasy)-- personally my favourite of his books are the City Watch books about the problems of policemen in a wild and bustling fantasy-genre city (among other things), because Sam Vimes is awesome, but he's got a lot of other sub-series within the Discworld opus and just about all of them are good fun. Don't feel obligated to start with the earliest published stuff; the books are written to be read in any order, really (and the first two or three are not his best).

-I really like Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series (urban fantasy)-- they're a little repetitive until book 4 or so, and Harry Dresden is without a doubt a very flawed narrator (which some might like and some might not), but the mythology is strong and some incredibly badass stuff starts happening further down the line. The same author has another series out called The Codex Alera (fantasy) which is also really good, and also complete; might be worth reading it first to see if you like the author's current style.

-The Court of the Air, by Stephen Hunt (steampunk)-- it's hard to find good steampunk (which is bizarre, because it's basically the coolest genre)-- these books are great though. Fast-paced adventures through some crazy places! :B

-If you haven't read them already, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass).

-I recently read a book by Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) and Christopher Golden, called Joe Golem and the Drowning City-- it was good, although a little eerily prescient, since it came out I think just this summer and it's about a post-apocalyptic flooded New York (though with 40s- or 50s- era technology and with a steampunkish vibe)-- I read it only a month or so after Sandy, which is why I mention the eeriness XD;;

-Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve. Here is the first line of book 1:

"It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea."

I... I don't have anything else to say about it.


Last edited by varethane on Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:39 am

Gassspp! I LOVE books! But seldom do I make time to read them haha.

Lately though I HAVE been trying to make time for reading a new series I've fallen in love with. It's called "Little Fur", about a little half troll half elf girl named - you guessed it "Little Fur" ehehe. It's adorable and pretty simple, but something about it just really perks my interests and I find it really enjoyable! She's just her own little troll/elf little self hanging out in the woods healing up her animal friends, wonderin' whats up with all them humans and what even humans is theys so weird, gonna talk to my animal friends about them haha.

I'm the worst at descriptions, I will just leave it as "super cute book about forest animals and little elf/troll girl living in forest with animals"

My number one favorite series of books though is Howl's Moving Castle. (Not the ghibli movie though - not too much ANYthing at all like the ghibli movie either, they basically just took the basic idea of the book and then completely changed it for their own way of seeing things fit XD)

It's really great though, I love the characters in it and even though it's a technically a romance/adventure story, the romance is never really spoken right out. It's one of those "it's just known and you can feel it there" type things and I really love it.

The sequels are great too! Castle in the Air, and the House of Many Ways. Each sequel has new protagonists that are equally interesting and go on their own adventures, and then Howl and Sophie show up later on and it's a pretty neat way of handling a sequel because after making you fall in love with NEW characters first, you are then rewarded at the end being able to reunite with the characters you fell in love with in the first book hehehe.

I WISH THERE WERE MORE! And that the author was still alive. It makes me sad, I love the series so much siiggghhh~

But yes! Those are my biggest series recommendations. The only other series I've read (and actually own the whole set to) is A Series of Unfortunate Events. Which I haven't read since middle/high school, but from what I remembered generally enjoyed reading them as well! :3
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Kynale



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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:18 am

Wow you guys are fast! Already you've given me so many to look into, thank you!

varethane: I do love fantasy stuff myself, though sometimes I can be picky... I feel like that's the only genre where I often find myself getting bored and not finishing a book. ^^;; But it might just be that I have bad luck and happen to pick up a lot of poorly written ones. But when they're done right, they tend to be my favourites.

Out of your list, the only ones I've read are the His Dark Materials trilogy. Oh, and I am pretty sure I own some of the Discworld series too (just looked it up and wow there are a lot of books in that series!)

The rest you listed I hadn't heard of, but they all sound interesting to me. I enjoy those genres so I will definitely look into them, thanks!

sky: Yeah I have the same problem. XD That's why I'm trying to make more time for reading.

The Little Fur book sounds adorable. XD Oh, and Howl's Moving Castle, I think I read that several years ago. Actually I think I picked it up because of the ghibli film. But it's been so long I don't remember it well, so I must look into that again. I didn't know there were sequels. That's awesome. Oh and that probably is my favourite type of romance too hehe. x3 Must look into those again, thanks!

You guys are awesome, thank you! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:25 am

Hmmm! well, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke is still one of my all-time favourites... it's about magicians in early 19th-century England (during the Napoleonic Wars); it's beautifully written, and I find it quite funny as well!

I've also recently been reading the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik, which takes place in the same time period as S&N and is an alt-history-- the world is essentially the same as ours, but with dragons! (The way that the dragons and aviators are portrayed is really interesting.)

...I guess I really like Napoleonic War-era alt-history? xD

Also seconding some of the other recs! Shephen Hunt's worldbuilding is stunning and extremely detailed and original. I've only read the first Vorkosigan book, but it's a really excellent series and I can't wait to read the rest! (The pacing is really excellent; it's the type of book that you just can't put down because every time things seem like they are finally working out, some new development makes everything worse xD ) And I've really enjoyed everything I've read by DWJ (who wrote Howl's Moving Castle); I'd also reccommend her Chrestomanci books (Charmed Life and the Lives of Christopher Chant are my favourites of that series).

...And I'll just say one thing about Series of Unfortunate Events-- I really enjoyed those books as well when I was young, but I've found that they... didn't hold up so well for me as I got older? I never actually finished the series because I grew out of the writing style and started to find some of its quirks distracting instead of fun and enjoyable. But the stories are still good; give it a try and see if you like it! I may just be weird/picky xD
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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:33 am

Ah yeah! I too actually remember how the Series of Unfortunate Events grew on it started getting... tedious? Drawn out? Like too much of the same sort of occurrences over and over. Even though he even jokes about it throughout and like constantly telling you I TOLD you this is that type of story you were getting into I was like hrrmmph well.. ok XD I think by that point I was already so far into the series you just kind of felt like "might as weell keep going with it"

The it starts off really strong! I think the first three to four books are probably the best ones. And there's small things like new characters they meet that make it worth it in the long run! ((I still remember one of the circus 'freaks' who was ambidextrous and just thought that was the WORST THING EVER XD And everyone was like hey uhm, that's actually common and not a big deal and he was like NOOOOO THE HORRORS! Hahaha. Always a precious and dear to my heart character that sir was, hee))
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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:47 am

I am trying to read more, because I miss it a lot.... I reread a bunch of Pratchett books lately, and now I have a book called The Lies of Locke Lamora (by Scott Lynch) that I've heard is really good (and I'm planning to start on the Temeraire series shortly after I finish it, hoho).

Definitely boosting the recs for Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell as well as for anything by Dianna Wynne-Jones! My personal favourites of Jones's books are The Lives of Christopher Chant and some of her one-offs, like Hexwood, A Tale of Time City, and Fire and Hemlock-- she has some really inventive concepts and they're pulled off marvelously.

Aahhhh I know what you mean about A Tale of Unfortunate Events, Dusk. :C I haven't tried to reread those in a long time, but there's another series from my childhood that I really liked (and still do, really), which I can't really give a wholehearted recommendation to anymore because the writing style is definitely aimed at kids aged 13 and under XD;;

The world concepts are so wild and unique, though, I'll give it a mention here anyway: The Edge Chronicles, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. It's this amazing mashup of straight fantasy, steampunk, and horror-- some of the stuff that happens in it is surprisingly dark, despite the writing style, and the world really feels feral and quirky and unpredictable in a way I don't see in many other books. I recommend the books on those grounds-- where it falls down a little is in the simplistic writing style, sometimes contrived dialogue, and black-and-white character archetypes (that sometimes repeat from book to book). However, the premise is something I really haven't seen anywhere else before or since, and the books have some marvellously intricate lineart illustrations in them besides, so it could be worth checking out one or two to see how you like them! I think The Curse of the Gloamglozer and the Twig trilogy (Beyond the Deepwoods, Stormchaser, and Midnight over Sanctaphras) are my favourites.
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Kynale



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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:06 am

Those are all really interesting-sounding recommendations, thank you! Can't wait to give some of these a go.

About a Series of Unfortunate Events, I've heard of that series though I've never read it. But your discussion reminds me, I almost posted this but one thing I've been kind of trying to avoid is those series that start out really good but just sort of fizzle out, or become repetitive, so that the books seem to decline in quality as the series progresses. It is as though the author just burned out, or tried to stretch out a series into more books when it didn't need to be. It just sucks having that happen when you were invested in the characters! Then I feel like I need to force myself to keep reading because I do need to know what happens to them, and that's never very fun.

A feel like a series should get more interesting as it progresses, not less. Or at least retain the same level. XD And it seems like something I have been encountering a bit recently (in fact a series I am reading right now kind of did that. I'm trying to force myself to finish the most recent book. Sigh.) So I'm trying to avoid ones like that. x.x

So your discussion makes me think maybe I should avoid that particular series, haha... but the others all sound really great still!
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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:13 pm

Alright, I'll quit the lurking and post my thoughts ._.

I'm not good at explaining books, I can only express how they make me feel, and hopefully that will be something you take into consideration when deciding on books. xD HOW DOES AAAWHYME FEEL WHILE READING THIS?

Animorphs - most intense freak'n so called 'children's' books ever. ;_; The epicness of this series knows no bounds! Ah!! It is my all time favorite book series, for it's shear amazing and well thought out story, to it's creative characters, and darn right emotion.

Legend of Drizzt: Homeland - I dunno man, this is an amazing book (and series) if you've ever read anything by R.A Salvatore, you'll know what I mean when I say EPIC, and very well written and descriptive stories of a lot of misfortune and epic battles. It's like a book about badguys and villains, and this one guy who is stuck in it all, it's awesome.

Silverwing series - Bats. Man. Bats. And Goth and Throbb. Make my life a happy place. Just go, and read. READ AND GO. I can't explain it. This series makes me KDJSFHSKDJFH.

Inkheart - Such a great plot and sexeh characters. It's pretty much what every fan dreams to happen - their favorite characters (or in some cases, least favorite characters) get pulled out of a book, and start making people's live's miserable! Very Happy yayyy! Every fan wants this!

The Hand Of The Devil - Because I'm weird and twisted, I like books about psychotic science men, who live on a secluded island and invite an unsuspecting journalist writer to come write a story about their giant demonic pet mosquitos. - read this book in a day, it was glorious.

The spiral Maze - to be honest, I can't quite remember a lot about this book, only that I bought it for a dollar at the library, for a school's silent reading, not knowing what it was about, and then BAM it quickly became one of my favorite books ever. ... BUT NOW I NEED TO READ IT AGAIN, so um... READ IT BECAUSE IT WAS AWESOME AT THE TIME! I doubt the words have changed since then. xD

Harry Potter - everybody knows harry potter. xD

Charlie Bone - sort of like harry potter, where the kid goes to a school for gifted people, except, unlike harry potter, I find there is more mention of actual 'magic' and an ancient mystery that is slowly unraveled'.

those are my books. I luff them. :3 hope you find at least one of them to your liking! Sorry I can't describe books, that's what's wiki is for... but AT LEAST I DEPICTED THE EMOTION OF ZEH BOOKS!
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PostSubject: Re: Book recommendations?   Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:18 pm

Thank you so much for all those suggestions, aaawhyme! Wow somehow I didn't expect everyone to have so many suggestions. Now I need to figure out where to start, just with these. So many interesting ones! I suppose I'll make a list and pick at random. Thanks guys <3

And haha, I remember animorphs. They were absolutely everywhere when I was a kid. (Along with goosebumps, that's what everyone was reading haha.) I don't actually remember much more than that though.
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