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The 7 - Print - Ye Olde Holiday Book Recommendation Thread
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Lise
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#1 Posted on 10.12.11 1602.28
Reposted on: 10.12.18 1602.34
It has been pointed out that we haven't had one of these in awhile and I have gotten really good recommendations out of these in the past.

Fantasy Series You Might Not Be Aware Of:

Blake Charlton's Spellwright Series:
Spellwright (The W at Amazon)
and
Spellbound

This is the coolest magic system I've seen in any fantasy book in a very very long time. Magic is literally written out into words and spellwrights can only see the words of languages they know (though they have physical reactions to magic used around them that they don't know. Nicodemus is a wizard with a disability-- he's dyslexic and in this world misplacing a few letters can have dire consequences. Not only does he cause problems in spells he himself casts, but just touching the spells of others causes them to misspell. Nicodemus appears to be the subject of a prophecy and the target of a demon, but how can any of this be true because of his disability?

It starts out a little slow, but it builds interest quickly as Charlton takes what at first glance seems to be a typical prophecy fantasy in totally different directions in a world with fantasy touchstones but unlike others you've seen.

In Spellbound the wind mages are introduced who write wind magic with their hearts (other magic uses all the muscles of the body to write, this uses only one muscle) one breath at a time into the voluminous robes and turbans they wear for the purposes of storing their slow written magic. The events of Spellwright have caused turmoil and upheaval in the world. We're introduced to more of an ensemble cast as the healer Francesca and wind warden Cyrus are pulled into Nicodemus's plight.

I'm still reading this one because I don't want it to end. I keep stopping to think "This is so cool!" as new aspects of the world and characters are revealed. It also has the scariest monster (The Savannah Monster) which causes aphasia as it approaches. As it gets closer then you lose the ability hear, then see, then feel... until you lose all your senses entirely.

(edited by Lise on 14.12.11 2042)
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Lise
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#2 Posted on 14.12.11 1238.48
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1238.54
Well, that didn't really work...

Yo! Literate People. Put your "I enjoyed this book this year" and "I plan to read this soon" recommendations here. Don't make me go to Good Reads... that place scares me.

Also don't make me get all self-promotional and such out of desperation to get a thread going (no, really I am saving up your mockery for an upcoming thing).
samoflange
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#3 Posted on 14.12.11 1251.09
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1251.11
I read a lot of books but none of them are new so my thoughts on them are not very interesting. Here they are anyway.

This fall I have been working my way through all the Michael Crichton and Stephen King books that fell through the cracks. I most recently read Crichton's Next and King's Needful Things.

Next was pretty bad, but Crichton still made it a blast to read as always. I have quite a bit more training in genetics than the average Joe, so most of the Crichton technobabble didn't work for me the same way it does when it's on a topic I am unfamiliar with. Next up for Crichton will probably be Prey.

Needful Things was amazing, and now I have to go back and read the other Castle Rock books. I was disappointed when the angry Polish woman was offed only a third of the way through since she was a fun little sub-villain. I never care that much about King's protagonists, but he writes the best villains out there, minor or major. Next up for King will be either Black House or The Stand, depending on which one the library has at the time.

I am currently in the middle of the 3rd of Arthur C Clarke's Rama books. It's pretty great so far, and I am psyched to read more tonight because I ended it on a pretty huge plot point this morning.

(edited by samoflange on 14.12.11 1400)
geemoney
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#4 Posted on 14.12.11 1254.34
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1255.56
I just finished reading Stieg Larsson's "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest," the third in the Millenium Series trilogy (the thread is here if you care to discuss: http://the-w.com/millenium-series-by-stieg-larsson). I'm not a huge fiction fan, but I liked the series.

Up next, I plan on reading The Hunger Games. My girlfriend swears by that series, and like the above mentioned series, I'm trying to read it in time for the movie.
The King of Keith
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#5 Posted on 14.12.11 1307.08
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1307.48
    Originally posted by samoflange
    Next up for King will be either Black House or The Stand, depending on which one the library has at the time.


    (edited by samoflange on 14.12.11 1400)


Don't read Black House unless you've read The Talisman first. If you have then go for it. Black House is one of my favorites.

I'm currently reading Those Guys Have All The Fun. It's really interesting to me because I love all of the behind the scenes stuff about getting ESPN up and running and the early days of cable.
Lise
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#6 Posted on 14.12.11 1414.29
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1419.21
    Originally posted by The King of Keith
      Originally posted by samoflange
      Next up for King will be either Black House or The Stand, depending on which one the library has at the time.


      (edited by samoflange on 14.12.11 1400)


    Don't read Black House unless you've read The Talisman first. If you have then go for it. Black House is one of my favorites.

    I'm currently reading Those Guys Have All The Fun. It's really interesting to me because I love all of the behind the scenes stuff about getting ESPN up and running and the early days of cable.


I really need to go read the Talisman and then all the King books afterward. Maybe those are on Audible? I am going pretty slowly through my "to read" pile between research books, but I manage at least one audio book a month while doing household chores and things.
Scottyflamingo
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#7 Posted on 14.12.11 1439.14
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1440.22
What about Dark Tower? If you haven't read it yet, I'd suggest reading Talisman, Black House, Insomnia, and The Stand first.

I was recommended The Devil in the White City on a thread here a few months ago and it is great.
samoflange
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#8 Posted on 14.12.11 1511.01
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1512.25
My first experience with King was the Dark Tower series. Going back to fill in the pieces has been fascinating. And I'd say he is even better when writing characters in the 'real world.' I have never been more emotionally manipulated than when I was reading Under the Dome.

I'm also a big fan of James Rollins, who writes ridiculous adventure thrillers filled with wacky pseudo-science and implausible romances. They are the literary equivalent to those straight-to-TV movies on the Sci-Fi network, but they really do it for me when I want something brainless and engaging, especially while traveling. They are also easy to find at thrift stores because it seems nobody would be caught dead owning more than one at a time.

(edited by samoflange on 14.12.11 1655)
Niki
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#9 Posted on 14.12.11 1858.45
Reposted on: 14.12.18 1859.01
Thanks for the thread, Lise! Your fantasy recommendation sounds neat.

In terms of fantasy, I have to give an obvious plug for the Dresden Files (jim-butcher.com). The author generally gives out the first chapter or two for each book. The main character is a wizard/private investigator in Chicago, where I grew up. It's amusing to hear about suburbs quite close to where I lived. My favorite thing is he is pretty sarcastic, and includes a lot of jokes even during the battle scenes. There's 17 books so far, and they are starting to get pretty heavy in the last two. Still each is a pretty light read -- easy to get into, hard to put down, and quick to finish.

Other authors I like:
Paul Auster, a NY author. Favorite book: In the country of last things (The W at Amazon). A post apocalyptic novel, it's set in a world where society has crumbled, and all that is left of the city is the homeless and the street dwellers. Most of them make money be searching for valuable trash. It's basically written as a book length letter.

Haruki Murakami, a Japanese author. Favorite book: Kafka on the shore. There are two narrators in this book -- a runaway 15 year old and an elderly man who commits a murder. Told in separate stories, both are drawn to the same city. Like the previous book, this one is set in a library in a least part of the book. Go librarians!

Hermann Hesse, a German author. Favorite book: Steppenwolf. The narrator struggles with his inner self, feeling himself torn between his inner 'wolf' and his rational mind. It's a blend of east and west. My other favorite book by him is the Glass Bead Game. Another book set in the future, this one is set in Castalia, a society where the elite intellectuals are sent to thrive and work on The Glass Bead game -- but the divide between Castalia and the outside world is growing.

{ Java'd up the links - hover for Amazon info! - Ed. }}

(edited by CRZ on 14.12.11 2243)
The King of Keith
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#10 Posted on 14.12.11 2040.05
Reposted on: 14.12.18 2040.18
    Originally posted by Lise
      Originally posted by The King of Keith
        Originally posted by samoflange
        Next up for King will be either Black House or The Stand, depending on which one the library has at the time.


        (edited by samoflange on 14.12.11 1400)


      Don't read Black House unless you've read The Talisman first. If you have then go for it. Black House is one of my favorites.

      I'm currently reading Those Guys Have All The Fun. It's really interesting to me because I love all of the behind the scenes stuff about getting ESPN up and running and the early days of cable.


    I really need to go read the Talisman and then all the King books afterward. Maybe those are on Audible? I am going pretty slowly through my "to read" pile between research books, but I manage at least one audio book a month while doing household chores and things.


You should absolutely read The Talisman. It's such a good book. Also mentioned here was Insomnia, which is my favorite King book ever. Also if you've never read any of his others, The Dead Zone and Salem's Lot are very good. Salem's Lot is possibly one of the scariest books I've ever read.

And in non-King books I always recommend The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
Lise
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#11 Posted on 14.12.11 2210.03
Reposted on: 14.12.18 2210.07
I've read the first three books of the Dresden Files so far. It seemed like a good stopping point for a bit otherwise I'd spend all my time getting caught up (I hate being caught up on a series if it isn't finished-- I've still got Feast of Crows to read in the Fire and Ice Series because of this personality quirk)

I know I had to read Siddhartha for a class but I don't seem to remember too much about Hesse's style.

I keep hearing good things about Murakami.
dMp
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#12 Posted on 15.12.11 0516.15
Reposted on: 15.12.18 0516.59
    Originally posted by Lise
    I've read the first three books of the Dresden Files so far. It seemed like a good stopping point for a bit otherwise I'd spend all my time getting caught up


Yeah, that's exactly what happened with me.
I read 2-3 of them and then got all of the other (available paperbacks) in a short period and read them all.

So now I'm waiting for the one after Changes to come out in paperback.
It does make for great holiday reading though, as you can race through them.

Beyond those and Dance of Dragons which I'm finally getting into, I don't have any recommendations that aren't comic books. But damnit, I am looking forward to the Wintersoldier series.

AWArulz
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Y!:
#13 Posted on 15.12.11 0930.15
Reposted on: 15.12.18 0931.36
I'm reading spy books - devoured most of Brad Thor's books this year - have American Assassin to read yet. Am reading Joel Roselberg's Last Jihad now.
Scottyflamingo
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#14 Posted on 15.12.11 1239.42
Reposted on: 15.12.18 1240.43
Anyone read any Brad Meltzer stuff? Any good?
samoflange
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#15 Posted on 15.12.11 1308.01
Reposted on: 15.12.18 1308.29
    Originally posted by Scottyflamingo
    Anyone read any Brad Meltzer stuff? Any good?


I started reading The Book of Lies a few years ago. It was awful and I brought it back to the library after getting about halfway through. Brad Meltzer was gold when he wrote for DC Comics, and he should have probably stuck with that gig fulltime.
lotjx
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#16 Posted on 15.12.11 1409.38
Reposted on: 15.12.18 1413.43
I liked the idea behind Book of Lies and the reveal. Everything in between was a bit dodgy. Its not the greatest book, I read, but its not that terrible. He does go a bit far with how bad off certain real life family members are though. I will say I thought his work on Identity Crisis was a lot better. I'd recommend that.
rinberg
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#17 Posted on 15.12.11 1527.24
Reposted on: 15.12.18 1529.01
For discussions like this, I always feel like I should write something about each book and then I don't feel that I put enough into it, so I end up not posting because it would just take too long to do it right. This time I'm just going to make a list of authors and the book series that I've enjoyed the most and you can rely on Google & Wikipedia for more details:
  • Fantasy
    • Brandon Sanderson
      • Mistborn trilogy (Alloy of Law is a separate story and I haven't read it, so I'm not recommending for or against that particular novel until I *have* read it)
      • Warbreaker
      • The Wheel of Time (completing the series started by Robert Jordan)
    • Robin Hobb
      • The Farseer Trilogy
      • The Tawny Man Trilogy
    • L.E. Modesitt
      • The Magic of Recluse
    • Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
      • The Deathgate Cycle
      • The Darksword series, except the last one which was a huge disappointment
      • The Dragonlance Chronicles
      • The Dragonlance Legends
    • David Eddings
      • The Tamuli
      • The Redemption of Althalus (a one-off novel, which is kind of unusual for him...)
    • Patrick Rothfuss
      • The Kingkiller Chronicles
    • Elizabeth Haydon
      • Rhapsody
    • Stephen R. Donaldson
      • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (two trilogies and a tetralogy, to be completed in 2013 maybe)
    • Raymond Feist
      • The Riftwar Saga
      • The Empire Trilogy
      • Krondor's Sons
    • Anne McCaffrey
      • The Dragonriders of Pern (original trilogy)
    • Frank Herbert
      • Dune, but only the ones by Frank. His son, Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson wrote some books in Frank's Dune universe, but I haven't read any of those.
  • Sci-Fi
    • Isaac Asimov
      • The Robot Series
      • Galactic Empire
      • The Foundation Series
      • Several one-shots and short-story collections
    • Larry Niven
      • Ringworld
    • Ray Bradbury
      • Fahrenheit 451 (one-shot)
      • The Martian Chronicles (short-story collection)
      • I Sing The Body Electric (short-story collection)
    • Arthur C. Clarke
      • 2001: A Space Odyssey and it's sequels
      • Rendezvous With Rama
      • The Songs of Distant Earth (one-shot)


    All of these books are good for one reason or another, but I couldn't pick just one or even just one series. Look 'em up and see if they interest you. I enjoyed them very much.
Toast Jr
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#18 Posted on 20.12.11 0614.59
Reposted on: 20.12.18 0616.03
Typicialy, I only read books intended for 13-year-olds. If you are looking to get that special little gal on your list some books and are sick of all the Twilight-esque crud, I recommend Francesca Lia Block. Her Weetzie Bat books (The W at Amazon) are fun and touching and Girl Goddess #9 is still one of my all-time favorite books.
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