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Author Topic: Book suggestions?
Kylie K
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I loved The Ender's shadow books (or as I like to call them "the bean books"). My question is where can I find other books like them? I love the politics and strategy in them. Yet I want the books to have a personal side to them too. Please help!
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Corwin
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I don't have any book suggestions for you right now, but you should consider changing the title to include your question, and maybe posting this thread on the other side. You might get more answers.

Also, welcome to Hatrack! [Big Grin]

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Kylie K
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Thank you very much.
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Orson Scott Card
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May I modestly suggest that my forthcoming book Empire meets your search criteria. Unfortunately, it won't be out till the end of November.

It's a problem to find books that do politics and strategy well. Lots of books do tactics. Lots of books do the personalities of politics - the culture of it - but few show understanding of how it actually works, of why people vote as they do and how power is manipulated at a high level.

Truth to tell, if you want a book of how POLITICS works, I think Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson is fascinating - a deeply interesting, complicated, difficult man, from childhood up, who changed our culture through his superb manipulation of political power - changed us for the better, accomplishing legislation that Kennedy never even dared attempt (Kennedy was only good at getting elected, NOT at politics); and yet LBJ was perfectly dreadful in person, from all accounts - including those of people who adored him.

Of course, it's a biography, and three volumes long, to boot. But it's brilliant.

Or let me suggest William Shirer's brilliant, moving, powerful The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It's devastating, but it also tracks how terrible power was acquired and brutally misused in the lifetime of people who are alive today. Full of fascinating characters, unforgettable events, "clever" maneuvering that went very, very badly for some people who thought they were smart.

Or Bruce Catton's unforgettable Army of the Potomac, which tracks this hapless Union Army that was constantly thwarted and humiliated by Lee, while cycling through a series of inept or hapless commanders; yet these soldiers performed magnificently when defending their own territory - Antietam and Gettysburg - and finally got their commander in Grant, who bloodied them but did not retreat and eventually ground down Lee's resistance until they finally won.

I guess my point is: If you are fascinated by the politics and strategy in the Shadow books, the best place to turn is actual history. When it's done by someone who's also a great writer - like Caro and Shirer - you'll find it's as compelling as fiction. Only it means even more because it's true.

If you MUST go for fiction of politics and strategy, however, then you really need to turn to fantasy, where we have two writers who have mastered how politics and strategy work, but within the boundaries of fictional kingdoms. Kate Elliott's astonishingly good Hidden Warrior series and George R.R. Martin's ongoing masterwork do it better than ANY of the so-called political novels OR military novels I've read.

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Corwin
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Huh, I really should have remembered Martin's books. [Big Grin] And good point about real history. There's got to be something interesting in there, though we managed to avoid almost anything like that in school. [Wink]
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LibbieM
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Holy cow - the biography of Johnson is one of my all-time favorites, and one of the few nonfiction books that's ever totally engrossed me. Of course, I adore Lyndon Johnson, so it would.

Also seconding Mr. Card's recommendation for A Song of Ice and Fire. If you like political books with personable characters, you will be hooked from about the second chapter of the first book. It's one of my all-time favorites, for sure.

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Kent
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OSC, did you mean Lynn Flewelling as the author of the Hidden Warrior series?
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Kylie K
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Thank you for the suggestions. I haven't read a whole lot of non-fiction other than a few actual text books from school. Of course they tell history but not the motives behind what people in history did. Those books sound like a great place to start.
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DDDaysh
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Ugh, I've never been able to abide LBJ, so I don't think I could read a whole BOOK on him (of course, part of that is the shame of him being a Texan)

On the other hand, Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" will probably be your best bet. I'm listening to them on CD instead of reading them (I have an hours drive each way to work, and I tire of radio - plus I have alot of boring data entry tasks at work as well that go faster if I can listen to something that occupies my THINKING brain). Part of the majesty may just be the fact that the readers are quite good. At firt it seemed to me to start slow, but a few chapters into the first book it started getting much better. Now I'm nearly finished with the second book and I must say it is AMAZING.

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DDDaysh
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Ugh, I've never been able to abide LBJ, so I don't think I could read a whole BOOK on him (of course, part of that is the shame of him being a Texan)

On the other hand, Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" will probably be your best bet. I'm listening to them on CD instead of reading them (I have an hours drive each way to work, and I tire of radio - plus I have alot of boring data entry tasks at work as well that go faster if I can listen to something that occupies my THINKING brain). Part of the majesty may just be the fact that the readers are quite good. At firt it seemed to me to start slow, but a few chapters into the first book it started getting much better. Now I'm nearly finished with the second book and I must say it is AMAZING.

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RunningBear
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You can say that again...

hee hee.

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TheLastGunra
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Don't know if these count as your interests, but here's a list of great books I like...

:1984 (Should be read by all)
:A Brave New World (Much like 1984)
:I Am Legend (Just like the whole end of the world message)
:Starship Troopers (Enjoyable read but very depressing)
:Lord of the Flies (Good message that power corrupts)

Granted you have probably already read all of these, but still some to consider...

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:


On the other hand, Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" will probably be your best bet. I'm listening to them on CD instead of reading them (I have an hours drive each way to work, and I tire of radio - plus I have alot of boring data entry tasks at work as well that go faster if I can listen to something that occupies my THINKING brain). Part of the majesty may just be the fact that the readers are quite good. At firt it seemed to me to start slow, but a few chapters into the first book it started getting much better. Now I'm nearly finished with the second book and I must say it is AMAZING.

Oh my gosh, don't you LOVE that reader? Roy Dotrice is his name. He doesn't read A Feast for Crows. Another very good reader performs that book, but it's quite a shock after listening to Roy's beautiful voice and incredible characterizations for roughly 95 hours on the other three books.

I hope they're able to bring Mr. Dotrice back for A Dance With Dragons and the following book! He's amazing.

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DDDaysh
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He IS a very good reader. It amazes me how he can put so much emphasis into such a wide variety of characters. I'm so upset that I'm going to have to wait WEEKS to get a Fest of Crows, though now you worry me saying it's not the same reader. Still... I can't wait.
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