Dear bibliophiles: My schedule is wide open for the next few months, and I want to keep somewhat productive over the summer to keep myself from falling into my normal depression when there’s nothing for me to do. I’d love to do some writing and try to make some progress in that field, but I’d also like to expand my literary horizons. That being said, could you recommend a novel or two (or even series) of any genre that have resonated with you above any others? Thanks for your time. Posts: 30 | Registered: Dec 2010
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The Rogue Agent series by K. E. Mills. First one is kinda light hearted but yet very serious real fast. It's about a wizard in a 1800s English type of environment, not England though.
The Walker Papers by C.E. Murphy she has a couple of series out.
If you haven't read them yet the Honor Harrington books(Space Opera) by David Weber, and his newer series..I think it's called Safehold...a completely different type of story from his earlier ones. Well, not completely, there is still a lot of fighting but not in space or in a far land with wizards and none human MCs .
Of course there's the two series by Jim Butcher; one Urban Fantasy and one regular fantasy. You may have read or heard the name Harry Dresden (for his fans quick what are his other names?) .
If you like something that is light hearted while kind dark at the same time there's the series by Anton Strout
Oh one last one The Dog Days novels by John Levit another UF series. He has a band with a new CD out too.
There's a bunch more but that will keep you busy along with some of the fine suggestions you will be receiving.
Right now I'm reading Brainiac by Ken Jennings and I'm loving it, it's nonfiction, half memoir half trivia book.
Then I'll just hit my usual list of recommendations: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The Siege of Mt. Nevermind by Furgus Ryan. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. (There are five of them) Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by OSC. (Here it's kind of superfluous but they still belong on my usual list.) Schlock Mercenary (It's a webcomic free on the internet, there are 11 books up so far. My favorite is number 10 The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse.) http://www.schlockmercenary.com/
Well, most everybody interested in fantasy has read The Lord of the Rings---and if you haven't, why haven't you?---so I'll try for something else in the fantasy genre, something just a little more obscure.
Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy, reprinted in the 1960s in the wake of the great success of The Lord of the Rings, proved to be influential in its own right. The saga of...well, it's difficult to say just what it is the saga of, but a lot of it stays with you. If Charles Dickens wrote outright fantasy, this would be it.
(There's a report of a new volume in the series coming out shortly---but as Peake died quite a while ago, and had been very ill for a long while before that, I can't say for sure just what's involved here, or if it lives up to the heights (or depths) of the other books.)
A critic once said of Gilligan's Island, "Right from the first five minutes, I knew I would hate this show." But the first five minutes of Gilligan's Island was funny.
What I said stands. Even if you hate the whole thing, you can't come to any appreciation of modern fantasy if you haven't read The Lord of the Rings. And maybe you'll like it once you get past the part you didn't like.
I should add...there are classics of this and that that I've never read, life being short, and there are those that I'd read if I could just locate a copy.
But I passed on The Lord of the Rings until I was, oh, fifteen or sixteen---I think it was the off-puttingly ugly early Ballantine Books covers---and I regret not reading it when I had the chance to, much earlier in my life.
quote:any genre that have resonated with you above any others?
You asked for it, but here are a few books I simply cannot forget reading, in no particular order:
_The Fountainhead_, by Ayn Rand (alternate: _Atlas Shrugged_) _Quartet in Autumn_, by Barbara Pym (alternate: _Excellent Women_) _The Third Policeman_, by Flann O'Brien (alternate: _At Swim Two Birds_) _Devil in a Blue Dress_, by Walter Mosely (alternate: any of the Easy Rawlins mysteries) _The Barrytown Trilogy_, by Roddy Doyle (includes _The Commitments_, _The Snapper_, and _The Van_) _Catch 22_, by Joseph Heller
I can't forget reading _Ullyses_, by James Joyce, either, but I'm not recommending it as a self directed reading, unless you also want to approach it as a cultural artifact for study.
In SF and Fantasy my list is longer, and it would help to know what you've read already. Here's a partial list, leaving off titles others have mentioned:
_The Hobbit_, by J.R.R. Tolkien _Nine Princes in Amber_, by Roger Zelazny (and subsequent series) _Sargasso of Space_, by Andre Norton (any of the Free Trader novels specifically, and any Andre Norton in general) _The Deed of Paksenarrion_, by Elizabeth Moon (and related titles) _The Pride of Chanur_, by C.J. Cherryh (and subsequent series) _Foreigner_, by C.J. Cherryh (and subsequent series) _Swords and Deviltry_, by Fritz Leiber (and any of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories) _Elric of Melnibóne_, by Michael Moorcock (and subsequent series) _Dune_, by Frank Herbert _The Snow Queen_, by Joan D. Vinge _Non-Stop_, by Brian Aldiss (I think it is called _Starship_ in the States) _Man Plus_, by Frederik Pohl
I could go on, but those are the ones that come to mind first. I think a lot of the 'stick with you' nature of stories depends upon when in your life you read them. I've left off folks like Lois McMasters Bujold, William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Jack McDevitt, David Weber, Charlie Stross, etc. that others are likely to recommend as well.
Ach. Typos fixed (I think).
[This message has been edited by posulliv (edited June 07, 2011).]
Trying to think of some SF that's (1) important work, (2) off the beaten path, yet (3) readily available to someone who wants a look at it.
H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy series was mentioned above...I'll throw in his novels Space Viking, The Cosmic Computer, the fix-up novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, and his short story "Omnilingual," but, really, anything he wrote.
And I'm told his stuff, or at least his stuff printed in his lifetime, is now in the public domain, and available online and in various e-book formats. (I haven't gone after it 'cause I bought his stuff when Ace Books reprinted it from the 1970s on.) Check it out.
AGYAR by Steven Brust Full of daring literary techniques that worked.
ANATHEM by Neal Stephenson Fascinating for those of us who enjoy history, architecture, philosophy, mathematics, sociology, geology, astronomy, and space exploration. It also helps if you thought your calculus textbooks were entertaining. Advice: Read quickly and treat as an adventure for maximum enjoyment.
DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey The first PERN novel that I read, and it's still my favorite. An entire human population in peril creates dragons to survive.
THE GIVER by Lois "Needs Her Butt Kicked" Lowry A lesson to all spec-fic writers. The author decided that world building was optional and destroyed her own potentially-perfect story.
HYPERION and THE FALL OF HYPERION by Dan Simmons Effectively mixed Mystery, Horror, Romance, hard sci-fi concepts, and spiritual issues (conflicts between humanity and its gods and between religions).
KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and KITTY GOES TO WASHINGTON by Carrie Vaughn The first two books and my current favorites in a continuing series. They're deftly-created sociological fiction despite being chick lit about werewolves.
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden A gorgeous re-imagining of the harsh lives of a historic Japanese sub-culture.
ROGUE PLANET by Greg Bear A STAR WARS novel that's more sci-fi than fantasy (of course). It made me even more frustrated about the failures of EPISODES 1-3 but shows how Anakin Skywalker began to sacrifice his innocence for innocent reasons.
STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert A. Heinlein A thought-provoking classic that I think is on par with 1984.
WHEN I WAS FIVE I KILLED MYSELF by Howard Buten Presents a message that is unfortunately still relevant with a haunting writing style.
WHERE THE HEART IS by Billie Letts ...You said any genre. I think this is considered Southern (U.S.) fiction. What the movie of the same name couldn't capture was the novel's poetic prose, and it failed to show the eccentricities of archetypes in the impoverished South, which was the most fascinating part of the novel for me (and what possibly made my later experiences in small Southern towns bearable).
WILD SEED by Octavia E. Butler Brutal, spec-fic romance. It's difficult not to love its antagonist--and that's the point.
Any Terry Pratchett. I love the genre of Fantasy more because of the DISCWORLD novels.
I've been reading through this year's Hugo nominees so I can vote next month, and so far they are all outstanding (and I haven't seen them mentioned yet).
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by N. K. Jemisin FEED by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) BLACKOUT/ALL CLEAR by Connie Willis (it's published as two books, but you really have to read both of them to get the story)