Must-Read Books

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Must-Read Books

Post by Oblivion on Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:40 pm

Counterpart to the Must See TV.

My current list:
> The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, obviously. Cold Days just came out. It's... it's a thing.
> Vorkosigan Saga by Lois Bujold. Read up to Labyrinth, but stopped to double back to read Cordelia's Honor before continuing on with the Miles Train(wreck).
> The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Get it on Kindle/whatever if you can - the print copy is a doorstopper.
> Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. Best non-evil Assassin ever.
> Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Best Bard. Haven't yet read the second of the trilogy, Wise Man's Fear, but Lady has I think.
> Anything by Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman. Including the one they did together, Good Omens.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Swifto on Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Ooo, good thread!



Pretty much anything Isaac Asimov; though I particularly enjoy his autobiographies. He has a really interesting mindset that I quite agree with.

It's also hard to go wrong with Arthur C. Clarke, though I do admit that some of his things can be a bit.... Hopeful? (there's no way humanity could ever figure itself out like his books of the future predict) His books also tend to be a bit dry on the character side of things; though the absolutely fantastic and majestic set pieces and inventive scenario's make up for it. (to me at least)


Also this book. Got a pesky good mood that you just can't get rid of? This'll take care of it. It's not a happy book, VERY far from it, it doesn't have much of a plot, nor any kind of villain, it's just... A story of a guy in New Jersey just trying to live his life from the year 2000 and up. The best mood-piece I've ever read.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by belladonna on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:23 pm

Rebel Angels, Sweet Far Thing, and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: Historical drama centered on a young woman who finds out about a land of magic (equivalent of Faerie in many ways). More than that spoils the trilogy.

The Axis Trilogy, The Wayfarer's Redemption Trilogy (which is far better than the Axis trilogy imho), Threshold, and the Darkglass Mountain series by Sara Douglass

The Kane Chronicles, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan--I cannot recommend these books enough. The Kane Chronicles is based in Egyptian lore and their magicians and pharaohs. The magic used in those books is how Words of Power SHOULD work in Pathfinder.

The Nikki Heat series of books that are companion pieces to the TV show Castle. The author uses the pen name Rick Castle, even.

Legends of Wolves series and the Guinevere Tales series by Alice Borchardt

Anything by Elaine Cunningham so far

Seconding the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks--he now has a prequel novella that goes with it, Perfect Shadow.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Ladybug on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:28 pm

This isn't fair - half of Obliv's list is stuff I told him to read. =P

  • The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
  • The Codex Alera - also Butcher
  • The Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold. Also her Chalion and Sharing Knife books.
  • Anything by Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn, Stormlight Archive, Elantris
  • Discworld. We all know who wrote that. I hope.
  • Good Omens, all the way
  • The Chronicles of Chrestomanci - Diana Wynne Jones
  • Tamora Pierce's Tortall books
  • Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  • Harry Potter
  • Percy Jackson - Rick Riordan


>_> YA fantasy is my crack.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Oblivion on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:35 pm

Just reminded of more...

* Dark Tower series by Steven King. Gets a bit wonky at the end, but everything but the last two (Song of Susannah, which I consider the worst of the series, and The Dark Tower, which has lots of little moments of awesomeness amidst other moments of "wat" or "augh why"; and admittedly Drawing of the Three is a little on the slow side, as it's mostly character-building) is sheer brilliance and the perfect inspiration for the Gunslinger class.
* The Hollows series by Kim Harrisson, thank Journey for introducing me to these. Not quite on par with Dresden, but in the same venue.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Ladybug on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:45 pm

*scribbles down titles from thread*

Excellent, new things to try.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by belladonna on Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:37 pm

I love YA fiction, it tends to be less pretentious than adult sci-fi. Lady, I get the feeling you would adore the Libba Bray books.
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Ladybug on Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:51 pm

I like YA fantasy because they're so creative. A lot of adult stuff tends to fall into standard plots.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by belladonna on Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:53 pm

Author, series is called the Gemma Doyle series.

(Yes, I know, we chatted and I answered, but this is for everyone else reading.)
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Journeyman on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:28 pm

The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
The Codex Alera - also Butcher
The Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold.
Discworld. We all know who wrote that. I hope.
Tamora Pierce's Tortall books
The Hollows series - Kim Harrison
Anything D&D by Elaine Cunningham, R.A. Salvatore, or Mel Odom

Now that the overlap is out of the way...

The Honor Harrington series - David Weber (Military SciFi: The first two, On Basilisk Station and Honor of the Queen, available through the Baen Free Library)
Through Wolf's Eyes (and all following books in the series) - Jane Lindskold (Medieval Fantasy, highly recommended to fans of Tamora Pierce)
The Ciaphas Cain Series - Sandy Mitchel (Warhammer 40k dark comedy/action adventure. IMHO one of the most entertaining scoundrels in print.)
Gaunts Ghosts Series - Dan Abnett (WarHammer 40k. Gritty infantry books, but outstanding writing. Recommended for anyone who enjoys rangers or scouts.)
The X-Wing Series - Michael A. Stackpole (The Rogues and Wraiths are great, haven't read the newest stuff, also has some great BattleTech novels)
The Raine Benares Series - Lisa Shearin (High magic medieval urban fantasy. More lighthearted than Butcher or Harrison's work)
All Things Great and Small (and all other memoirs by) James Herriot (I'm not usually a fan of non-fiction, but I greatly enjoy these vet stories)
The Cat Who... series - Lilian Jackson Braun (My favorite mystery books.)
Any and all Pathfinder Tales - various (I own most of them and every last one has been a satisfying read. I even met three of the authors at GenCon, very nice people happy to sign my books and chat for a bit.)

Honorable Mention:

The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch (Best Picturesque Novel I've read. I wish I wrote this well. A must read for conman rogues.)
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card (Haven't read all the rest of the series or I would probably recommend them too)

For the YA set

My Teacher is an Alien (and all following books, heck, anything written by) - Bruce Coville
A Beautiful Friendship (and any following books, currently just Fire Season) - David Weber (New YA prequel series to the Honorverse)
Any book by Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are his best known, but not IMHO his best works. I like the BFG best.)
The Last Apprentice (aka Spook's Apprentice or Wardstone Chronicles) by Joseph Delany (I've only read the first few, but they're good low-magic fairy tales)

While I'm a great fan of the LotR and Narnia books, they do fall into the YMMV category for enough people that I don't recommend them to everyone.


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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by PIE! on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:44 pm

WELL, THAT POST GOT EATEN.
I'll rewrite what I can remember. Badly, no doubt. Both the writing and the remembering.

First off, I second lots of books mentioned so far. Third, moving on to new books:

Lady! You forgot Scott Westerfeld!
*tuts at you*

He's written books both for YA and adults. YA is mostly series: Midnighters, Uglies, and Leviathan. The Midnighters trilogy is loosely fantasy, Uglies is loosely sci-fi, and Leviathan is kinda straight-up steampunk sci-fi. Another couple YA books are So Yesterday and Peeps, the latter might be the best vampire book I've read. The adult books I've read are Polymorph, Evolution's Darling (sapient AIs!), and the Succession series (The Risen Empire, The Killing of Worlds) (AIs and dead people!)

Diana Wynne Jones also wrote both adult and YA books - I basically like everything she's written. The Tough Guide To Fantasyland is hilarious, especially if you've read enough old and/or bad fantasy.

Um, who else did I have...

Garth Nix, in particular his Abhorsen series. (Necromancers who make sure the dead stay dead). (YA)

Steven Gould: Jumper and Wildside. Good books of the "young man gains super power, still has to deal with life" type. Jumper is gonna have a trilogy early next year, woo! Once, looking up things on Amazon, I found out they had Jumper classified as YA, which does work, unless you're a parent who thinks YA means "for kids". Lots of angry reviews. Now that I've typed this out, I'm curious if any of the Hunger Games books have angry "How dare you call this YA?!" reviews. Check later, finish this first!

Juliet Marillier's retelling of the Six Swans fairy tale Daughter of the Forest. (adult)

The excellent Tam Lin retelling The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. (YA)

Lloyd Alexander wrote the Chronicles of Prydain which is what most people hear about, but I would recommend his Westmark trilogy. Has an excellent bit about why one of the main characters isn't cut out to be a lawyer. (YA)

Elizabeth Moon has no YA books, but does write both sci-fi and fantasy. I like both her Familias Regnant and Paksenarrion series, though I think the former has stuff I don't really get because I'm not from a military family? Ah, well, it's still fun space opera.

Lev Grossman's The Magicians. One of the few books where I didn't like anybody. I've seen it described as "Harry Potter for grown-ups" but it's like Microserfs-era Douglas Coupland got really, really depressed and decided to do a book about magic. However, the beginning bit, with how magic WORKS is interesting.

Ernie Cline's Ready Player One reminded me a lot of Snow Crash. It's mostly superficial (both books have some kind of WoW/Second Life VR that most of the world participates in and is vitally important to the main characters). Ready Player One is a about game-like quest for the key to the online kingdom. Fun read. (Might be adult, but feels like YA and I don't feel like looking it up.)

Arg, I had so much typed out! What else...

Karl Schroeder's books explore a very definite sci-fi place. His Virga books are more stealthy about it, but he really likes exploring humanity and consciousness and sapience and post-humanism. I particularly like Lady of Mazes and his Virga series. New Virga book soon, woo! (I feel like his wiki page should get an award for being more confusing than his books - a line for Lady of Mazes is "By constructing a potentially solipsistic world of privately-constructed virtual realities, Schroeder is able again to create ambiguities in the relationship of subject to object that undermine both categories" People. This is Wikipedia, not a peer-reviewed journal. Stop that.) (adult)

Ursula Vernon has a fantastic kids' series, Dragonbreath. I've only read the first three (there are seven now! soon to be eight!) but they're about a young dragon who can't breathe fire yet. It being Ursula Vernon, you get lines like "A school of potato salad can skeletonize a cow in under two weeks, assuming that the cow doesn't get bored and move" plus good art! She also did the webcomic Digger which everyone should take a look at and see if they like it.

Okay. I think that was everybody.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by PIE! on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:45 pm

Journeyman wrote:All Things Great and Small
Did you ever see the show they made from the books?

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Ladybug on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:47 pm

PIE! wrote:Lady! You forgot Scott Westerfeld!
*tuts at you*
Yeah, yeah, I also forgot Locke Lamora. Hush, you. =P

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by PIE! on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:57 pm

Journeyman wrote:The Last Apprentice (aka Spook's Apprentice or Wardstone Chronicles) by Joseph Delany (I've only read the first few, but they're good low-magic fairy tales)
Ohhey, I remembered more books.

Angie Sage's Septimus Heap books - kids' series about the seventh son of a seventh son and his learning of magic. If you've read and enjoyed the Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, you might like the Septimus Heap books even though they're for a younger crowd than the Edge Chronicles.

And the Hunchback Assignments series by Arthur Slade about a young boy who can limitedly shapeshift and is trained as a spy. The books are odd in that I couldn't finish the first book, but I was curious to read the second and was able to finish it as well as the third.

Ladybug wrote:
PIE! wrote:Lady! You forgot Scott Westerfeld!
*tuts at you*
Yeah, yeah, I also forgot Locke Lamora. Hush, you. =P
I have yet to read that one, actually. Sad I'm a terrible reader.


Last edited by PIE! on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Ladybug on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:58 pm

Oh, and Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Journeyman on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:59 pm

Oh, my bad memory.

Forgot to second the Night Angel Trilogy but more importantly:

Chronicles of the Necromancer (Series) - Gail Z. Martin (Best Dark Fantasy/white necromancer books around, bar none.)

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Journeyman on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:00 pm

Wait...

They made a show from James Harriot's books? Nobody told me! I WANT Smile

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by PIE! on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:38 pm

Journeyman wrote:Wait...

They made a show from James Harriot's books? Nobody told me! I WANT Smile
Well, the show's old - I only know about it because my parents really liked it! (And they couldn't get used to Tristan being the Fifth Doctor.)

Wiki link

It was on Netflix streaming...damn, isn't streaming anymore. Amazon Prime has it for streaming if you know anyone with Prime. Also appears to be up piecemeal on Youtube. I think what most impressed me is that they didn't take many shortcuts with the vet bits. Brave actors!

There are also a few dogs...


TRISTAN VS BORIS THE CAT

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Ladybug on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:52 pm

AUGH I FORGOT LLOYD ALEXANDER, TOO. My brain hath deserted me.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by PIE! on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:35 pm

That's ok, I forgot about Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. (Sci-fi book about the night the stars disappear, or rather, when Earth gets put into a kind of bag of holding made of time.)

And another Garth Nix series The Keys to the Kingdom. I actually started reading Rick Riordan's YA series because of Nix's series.

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by belladonna on Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:00 am

The Sevenwater series by Juliet Marillier goes beyond the original seven swans story. It's a well-told series of fairytales in a new light. I haven't read the latest additions, but the original trilogy is great.
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by PIE! on Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:09 am

Yeah, but I only liked the first book, so that's the one I mentioned. Smile

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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Oblivion on Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:10 pm

Since we got onto talking books last night, seems a good time to bump this.

Recommended to me by Lady: Promise of Blood: The Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 1 by Brian McClellan. Not for those who don't like guns in their fantasy, but awesome for those who do. Book 2, The Crimson Campaign, comes out May 6th.

And from Bella: Tears of Rage and Dead Weight series by M. Todd Gallowglas. ToR already has four books out: First Chosen, Once We Were Like Wolves, Arms of the Storm, and Judge of Dooms, in that order. Very interesting take on seeing a Cleric or Oracle in action first-hand, their interactions with their deity/patron, and how they work their "miracles" as their spells are termed in-universe.
Dead Weight is set in the aftermath of a modern-day Faerie War, and the prequel novella - The Tombs - is all that's out right now; the first book Paladin is en route. Modern military bards and knights, changeling sorcerers, intercourt/mortal crime bosses, and faerie hitmen abound. Very much the same sorts of themes as Dresden, when Dresden is focused on Fey anyway, but a very different perspective and style.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by belladonna on Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:45 pm

Also by M. Todd Gallowglas: Halloween Jack series. Young adult, steam-punk-ish fantasy. Smile
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Re: Must-Read Books

Post by Oblivion on Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:25 pm

Over the past few weeks I've read:

Mistborn trilogy books 1 and 2
Warbreaker
Elantris
The Crimson Campaign

All recommended.

And according to USPS tracker, Mistborn Book 3 and Skin Game of the Dresden Files arrived today =D

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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