Books

Submitted 3 years, 5 months ago by

Hey guys and gals, I figured it might be cool to talk about our favorite books, recommend each other hidden gems and keep up to date with promising releases.

For starters, I'd like to let you know that I'm rooting for Science Fiction and Fantasy (big surprise) and everything in between since I've been given the Lord of the Rings as a present on my 10th birthday. Here are some of the titles I'd like to recommend to anyone with a similar taste:

Dan Simmons: The Hyperion Cantos (4 books)
My favorite Sci-Fi books. Don't be fooled by the first book, it's  primarily a set up for the main story which takes place in books 2-4. There's space craft, there's AI, there's an epic love story and if you feel rather sceptic about religion, this is a great book for you.

Eliezer Yudkowsky a.k.a Less Wrong: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Yes, this is a fan fiction. But please hear me out: This is probably the best book I've ever read. The basic question of the book is what Harry Potter would have acted like if he was a (very) intelligent, grown up, modern person. At times it's hillarious, all of it is exciting, and last but not least: it's free. You can read or download the book at www.hpmor.com - I actually went to the lenghts of taking this to a copy shop and having it bound for 80 € because it is so, so great.

David Mack - Dark Arts series (currently 3 books)
This is another series about magicians, but with an interesting twist to the usual pattern: the magicians are yoking demons to perform magic for them. The storys of the first and the second book are taking place during the Second Wolrd War with magic users on both sides. It's way darker than HP in all kind of ways. A good example is the yoking of demons which is mentally exhausting to the point that all major magic users are addicted to alcohol, cocaine or other drugs because they'd lose their mind otherwise.

Terry Goodkind - The Sword of Truth series (main plot ends after book 11)
One of my favorite fantasy series, The Sword of Truth is a great story about ethics and morale, set in a world full of magic and magical creatures. It has its lengths but never lost its relevance for me, since it colorfully describes what happens if narrowminded, intolerant people gain the upper hand with the help of a very powerful leader. This is adult material as well - there's quite some cruelty and while the sex scenes themselves are scarce and not detailed at all, the teasing which leads to them certainly isn't.
[In my personal opinion, you should start with "Wizard's first rule" and most importantly stop after "Confessor". All the other sequels were just an attempt to milk the cow to death.]

I have chosen to showcase those 4 because my other favorites are rather well known and don't need to be promoted very much imho. Among them are the "Foundation" series by Asimov, the "Ender" series by Orson Scott Card, "The Forever War" by Haldeman and "The Parafaith War" by Modesitt Jr.

High places on my next to read list are taken by "To sleep in a sea of stars" by Paolini and "The Name of the Wind" by Rothfuss (if he ever manages to finish book 3 of the series). I am entertaining the thought to try Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series for a third (or fourth?) time. I've never managed to get past book 4 because he's all about character development and I prefer faster plots.

What are your favorites? Is there anything you'd like to advertice in particular? Something you're looking forward to? Please tell!

  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 3 years, 5 months ago

    Hey guys and gals, I figured it might be cool to talk about our favorite books, recommend each other hidden gems and keep up to date with promising releases.

    For starters, I'd like to let you know that I'm rooting for Science Fiction and Fantasy (big surprise) and everything in between since I've been given the Lord of the Rings as a present on my 10th birthday. Here are some of the titles I'd like to recommend to anyone with a similar taste:

    Dan Simmons: The Hyperion Cantos (4 books)
    My favorite Sci-Fi books. Don't be fooled by the first book, it's  primarily a set up for the main story which takes place in books 2-4. There's space craft, there's AI, there's an epic love story and if you feel rather sceptic about religion, this is a great book for you.

    Eliezer Yudkowsky a.k.a Less Wrong: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
    Yes, this is a fan fiction. But please hear me out: This is probably the best book I've ever read. The basic question of the book is what Harry Potter would have acted like if he was a (very) intelligent, grown up, modern person. At times it's hillarious, all of it is exciting, and last but not least: it's free. You can read or download the book at www.hpmor.com - I actually went to the lenghts of taking this to a copy shop and having it bound for 80 € because it is so, so great.

    David Mack - Dark Arts series (currently 3 books)
    This is another series about magicians, but with an interesting twist to the usual pattern: the magicians are yoking demons to perform magic for them. The storys of the first and the second book are taking place during the Second Wolrd War with magic users on both sides. It's way darker than HP in all kind of ways. A good example is the yoking of demons which is mentally exhausting to the point that all major magic users are addicted to alcohol, cocaine or other drugs because they'd lose their mind otherwise.

    Terry Goodkind - The Sword of Truth series (main plot ends after book 11)
    One of my favorite fantasy series, The Sword of Truth is a great story about ethics and morale, set in a world full of magic and magical creatures. It has its lengths but never lost its relevance for me, since it colorfully describes what happens if narrowminded, intolerant people gain the upper hand with the help of a very powerful leader. This is adult material as well - there's quite some cruelty and while the sex scenes themselves are scarce and not detailed at all, the teasing which leads to them certainly isn't.
    [In my personal opinion, you should start with "Wizard's first rule" and most importantly stop after "Confessor". All the other sequels were just an attempt to milk the cow to death.]

    I have chosen to showcase those 4 because my other favorites are rather well known and don't need to be promoted very much imho. Among them are the "Foundation" series by Asimov, the "Ender" series by Orson Scott Card, "The Forever War" by Haldeman and "The Parafaith War" by Modesitt Jr.

    High places on my next to read list are taken by "To sleep in a sea of stars" by Paolini and "The Name of the Wind" by Rothfuss (if he ever manages to finish book 3 of the series). I am entertaining the thought to try Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series for a third (or fourth?) time. I've never managed to get past book 4 because he's all about character development and I prefer faster plots.

    What are your favorites? Is there anything you'd like to advertice in particular? Something you're looking forward to? Please tell!

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • Alfi's Avatar
    Devoted Academic 1790 1375 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    You may like Ian Tregillis - Milkweed Triptych Series  sci fi trilogy, where the nazi discovered how to create superhuman soldiers during WW2 and  the british had only one chance how to fight back - starting to summon demons. The three book are closed, very dark and very sofisticated.

    -=alfi=-

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    Thanks, that sounds very interesting. Closed has become a hard criterion for me. What are your favorites?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • KANSAS's Avatar
    Old God Fanatic 1745 2912 Posts Joined 03/25/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    I don't read a whole lot, and usually I don't finish books when I start them. But I have read The Hobbit all the way through at least five times. It is exactly the kind of fantasy I love. All of the characters are very well thought out, the adventure is fun and exciting, Bilbo is just awesome. If you haven't read The Hobbit yet, then stop reading whatever it is you are reading now and start reading it. Personally, I think it is better than The Lord of the Rings.

    Carrion, my wayward grub.

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  • griffior's Avatar
    925 330 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar
    1705 1735 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago
    Quote From KANSAS

    I don't read a whole lot, and usually I don't finish books when I start them. But I have read The Hobbit all the way through at least five times. It is exactly the kind of fantasy I love. All of the characters are very well thought out, the adventure is fun and exciting, Bilbo is just awesome. If you haven't read The Hobbit yet, then stop reading whatever it is you are reading now and start reading it. Personally, I think it is better than The Lord of the Rings.

    Personally I think there's a few too many dwarves in The Hobbit, which is my one gripe with the book. You could probably cut out 3 or 4 of them and do no real harm to the story. Regardless, I am a big fan of Tolkien's books, and I appreciate everything from the The Hobbit to the much more dense The Silmarillion.

    The latter is a brilliant read if you're a big fantasy lore nerd, and probably frightfully dull and difficult to follow otherwise. I recommend it to anyone who liked Lord of the Rings if they haven't (tried to) read it already, especially as there's a lot in LotR that is mentioned in passing but only explained in The Silmarillion.

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  • OldManSanns's Avatar
    Azir 1040 924 Posts Joined 08/05/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    I am entertaining the thought to try Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series for a third (or fourth?) time. I've never managed to get past book 4 because he's all about character development and I prefer faster plots.

    I highly enjoyed Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, but you are absolutely right that it is a sprawling story (the entire saga is 13 extremely large books). If you have the means, I recommend listening to the audio book version -- Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do a fantastic job, and its carried by many local libraries.

    Other standout recommendations:

    • Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series (Final Empire is the first book) - story in a feudal / aristocratic world where certain people with magical powers plot to overthrow a tyrannical dictator.
    • Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series (Furies of Calderon is the first book) - honestly my synopsis is almost the same as above except now everything except the main character has magical powers, the ruler is good, and the bad guys are plotting to overthrow him
    • Robin Hobb's Fitz series (Assassin's Apprentice is the first book) - young boy grows up to discover he's a royal bastard and that the king wants to raise him to be an assassin for the crown
    • Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher series (The Last Wish is officially the first book, but you could also start at Blood of Elves) - These books often get overshadowed by the video game and Netflix show, but honestly they are utterly fantastic in their own right
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  • PLANETCRUNCH's Avatar
    E.V.I.L. Dragon 820 1248 Posts Joined 07/19/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    I'm very keen on art books, I got Art and Arcana, a visual history of Dungeons and Dragons last week that I need to find time to sit down and read. 

    I also recently got the art of Diablo, and one of Bruce Timm's latest books of pinup drawings. 

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  • linkblade91's Avatar
    Senior Writer Serra Angel 1690 2683 Posts Joined 02/09/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    There were three book series that really shaped me as a kid, all three of which are some form of sci-fi and/or fantasy:

    • Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. You might have seen the (rubbish) movie, or more recently seen the (much better) TV show on HBO. It's got a multiverse, people living alongside their spirit animals, talking armored polar bears, and a knife that can cut through the fabric of reality. The main antagonists are The Church, so if you have a problem with that I would steer clear. Pullman recently began a new trilogy where the main character Lyra is in her 20s, and it's more like "His Darker Materials" lol. Patiently awaiting the third book.
    • R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt series, which spans 35 books as-of last year! I've only read like half of them, but I really attached to the main character. In between each chapter there's usually a little journal entry from Drizzt about how he feels in the given situation, or his thoughts on a particular moral topic; those are what pulled me in and helped shape my world-view into being (what I think to be) a good person. Being from The Forgotten Realms universe of Dungeons & Dragons, this is fantasy through-and-through.
    • Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and the parallel novel "Ender's Shadow". The movie was pretty good, I think, so if you have an opportunity I would check that out first and see if you'd like to further delve into the world with the books. While the main sequels to Ender's Game get a little...out there, it's the "Shadow" books about the side-character Bean that I really enjoyed, exploring what happens to these genius military-academy children after the war with the aliens is over. I would say the main sequels are straight hardcore sci-fi, while the Shadow books are political sci-fi thrillers.
      • Edit: Did not notice you had already mentioned Ender's Game at the bottom of the main post. All well.
    2
  • Conduit's Avatar
    Eldritch Horror 420 138 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    I’m sure some of you haveread these, but my favourite fantasy series of all time are

    The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist 

    and The Belgariad by David Eddings

    Everything else recommended here is also really good - at least that I’ve read... hopefully this thread blows up so I can find more stuff to read :)

     

    :)

    1
  • Alfi's Avatar
    Devoted Academic 1790 1375 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    I would add from newer books my suggestions:

    Joe Abercrombie - basically anything from him. He wrote a First law dark fantasy trilogy with some solitary books from the same world (The Heroes and Red Country being my favourites). 
    Red Country is fantasy western, where a big scarred old man named Lamb needs to save a kidnapped girl.. and you can guess, that before he become Lamb he was not the peaceful type. 
    The Heroes is a book about one battle with very interesting twist. Each chapter have one main character, who is killed in the battle and the next chapter continues the story with his killer... who is killed by the end of chapter... and so on. Bloody but very well written book.

    And I love his Half a ... trilogy (Half a king, Half a world, Half a war), very dark and realistic viking.. postapo?

    -=alfi=-

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    Thanks a lot! I've added the Ender's Shadow and the First Law series to my wish list for the time being. So much to read, so little time.

    I cannot stress enough how great hpmor is - just try the first chapter, it's free and only two clicks away ;-) 

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • economicaooc's Avatar
    460 464 Posts Joined 03/04/2020
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago

    I feel obliged to recommend Pratchett in any book related discussion.


    Always a fun read. Currently making my way through The science of discworld for the third, maybe fourth time.

    This post is discussing the wild format.

    2
  • OldManSanns's Avatar
    Azir 1040 924 Posts Joined 08/05/2019
    Posted 3 years, 4 months ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    So much to read, so little time.

    Granted the following advice might not be as applicable in the current state of the world, but before the pandemic I made huge progress with my reading lists by downloading free audio books from my local library and then listening to them on my daily commute. It's only 30 minutes round trip, but being able to do that every single work day really adds up over time. I can clear even massive novels in 2 months, which is really good when you consider that that commute time was otherwise "going to waste".

    If you want to look into that, try downloading either Overdrive or Libby to your phone and then look up your local library. Hoopla Digital is the other great online repository, but I think its fees are more expensive so fewer libraries participate.

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 3 years ago

    Short update:

    The Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card was a great read, thank you for your suggestion, linkblade! For everyone interested, linkblade's summary of "political sci-fi thrillers" fits like a glove.

    To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Paolini is one monster of a book. I'm grateful they didn't decide to split it up in several volumes, even though the 900+ pages were hard to handle sometimes. I've very much enjoyed the book, it's of similar quality as Eragon was back in the day but with a Sci-Fi setting. There's at least one direct crossover gem included and several patterns Paolini revisits in a different style.

    I'm currently about 200 pages deep into the First Law trilogy by Abercrombie which I like very much. Thanks for the recommendation, Alfi!

    The newest additons to my wishlist are The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a classic by Robert A. Heinlein and The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins which sounds a bit crazy.

     

    Any news from your side? What was your last book? Did you like it? Is there anything coming up you're looking forward to?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • Koetti's Avatar
    1095 863 Posts Joined 11/21/2019
    Posted 3 years ago

    Do comic books count?

    If so, then I'd suggest Blacksad, one of the most successful european comics of the last two decades. It's a classic noir series: 1940s/50s America, private detective, and all that good old crime stuff. Juan Diaz Canales' writing is pretty good, but the real reason you'd want these books are Juanjo Guarnido's illustrations. His characters are just so full of life and expression, and he's a master at painting with watercolor!

    1
  • NerdyMcNerd's Avatar
    Peon 1225 196 Posts Joined 04/13/2020
    Posted 3 years ago

    @anchorm4n I recently read To Sleep in a Sea of Stars too and it's probably my favourite book of all time. The level of depth is just amazing. I can't wait for Paoloni's next book :)

    Disclaimer: if the above is factually incorrect or complete rubbish it is definitely both intentional and  comedy genius.

    1
  • Fedrion's Avatar
    Zombie 1675 733 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 3 years ago

    The Horus Heresy, especially the first four books: Horus RisingFalse GodsGalaxy in Flames, and The Flight of the Eisenstein.

    You can also read the other 48 books of the series, but those 4 are the starters in a big... BIG universe that's Warhammer 40k.

     

    My personal favourite is the trilogy of Fabius BilePrimogenitorClonelordManflayer.

    Papa Nurgle wants to share his gifts.

    1
  • OmarComing's Avatar
    790 530 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 3 years ago
    1
  • Alfi's Avatar
    Devoted Academic 1790 1375 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 3 years ago
    Quote From Koetti

    Do comic books count?

    If so, then I'd suggest Blacksad, one of the most successful european comics of the last two decades. It's a classic noir series: 1940s/50s America, private detective, and all that good old crime stuff. Juan Diaz Canales' writing is pretty good, but the real reason you'd want these books are Juanjo Guarnido's illustrations. His characters are just so full of life and expression, and he's a master at painting with watercolor!

    Just to add, all characters are anthropomorphic characters - animals, with each character having a character you assiociate with an animal - so the detective is black panter, informant is a rat, etc. 

    -=alfi=-

    2
  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    Thanks to Alfi again for recommending the First Law trilogy, it was a great read. The ending was especially interesting and reminded me a bit of Eragon - it felt a little disappointing at first, but when you think about it, anything else wouldn't have fit the characters at all.

    Right now I'm halfway through The Warded Man, first volume of the 5 book Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett. It's a super exciting read with a very interesting setting. In short, Demons come up from the Core every night and humankind has no chance but to hide behind wards in their homes. When one of those fails, they get slaughtered. The protagonist(s) grow(s) up in that world and begin(s) to question certain behavioural patterns of their elders. It's one of those books I just can't stop reading.

    If you haven't tried yet, I also can't help but repeat my recommendation of To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars by Paolini.

    What are you reading at the moment? 

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

    1
  • Fedrion's Avatar
    Zombie 1675 733 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    Second and third books are like a totally different series, which although makes you scratch your head, are really good books! I ended preferring the books than the second and third games.

     

    Anybody read the "World of Watches" series, by Sergei Lukyanenko?

    I just finished the last book, and got to say... Wow.

    Really well explained story, incredible ambiance, really cool characters, and as almost everything in Russian novels, a lot of philosophical and political background. 

    If anyone wants to read a mix of sci-fi/fantasy they are really good.

    Papa Nurgle wants to share his gifts.

    2
  • R's Avatar
    Design Champion 1000 743 Posts Joined 04/23/2020
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    Well, I don't like to read at all. But in childhood, when the father forced me to read some books, I finded a "The Stainless Steel Rat" series of sci-fi novels by Harry Harrison. Books tell about life of James Bolivar diGriz. He goes by many aliases, including "Slippery Jim" and "The Stainless Steel Rat". He is a futuristic con man, thief, and all-round rascal. I read them in one breath.

    Now going to read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality...

    1
  • Demonxz95's Avatar
    Senior Writer 2225 2460 Posts Joined 03/19/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    I'm not currently reading anything right now, but I have a question for you guys. How many of you here know about this book?

    1
  • PopeNeia's Avatar
    Darkmaster 640 841 Posts Joined 07/06/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    Gonna recommend The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson of course. The books all start off really slowly but have great pay offs at the end

    This ain't no place for a hero

    1
  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    @doingtheobvious: Thanks for the recommendation of Earth Abides, I've bookmarked that one 

    @Fedrion: I didn't like the first Watch movie very much, is that an indicator for the books?

    @R: I hope you enjoy hpmor as much as I did, have fun!

    @Demonxz95: Had not heard about it yet, the descriptions I've seen so far a pretty vague. What is it about? Would you recommend it?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

    0
  • Alfi's Avatar
    Devoted Academic 1790 1375 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    If you like World of Warcraft or other MMORPGs try The Way of Shaman series by Vasily Mahanenko (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25342750-survival-quest)

    The genre is LitRPG - Literature RPG, and basically this is a science fiction book about a guy, who is forced to play an RPG in virtual reality. Great fun, starting from level 1 as a Shaman Jeweller and working his way up until owning his own guild. 

    I really love this style - this really is like watching a very good twitch gameplay, reading about a shaman who is for example as a low level charecter grinding killing rats to get a +2 pickaxe instead of his regular one and using the knowledge of game to get a faster leveling experience.

    Highly recommend.  

    -=alfi=-

    0
  • Alfi's Avatar
    Devoted Academic 1790 1375 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago
    Quote From PopeNeia

    Gonna recommend The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson of course. The books all start off really slowly but have great pay offs at the end

    Great books and the author should finish the first cycle in 2023 (he plans to write two cycles of 5 books each roughly 1000 pages). But I would recommend basically anything from Brandon Sanderson. 

    -=alfi=-

    1
  • Demonxz95's Avatar
    Senior Writer 2225 2460 Posts Joined 03/19/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    @Demonxz95: Had not heard about it yet, the descriptions I've seen so far a pretty vague. What is it about? Would you recommend it?

    It's kinda hard to explain without spoiling a lot of it, but (and I'm going to try here) the book's main themes are about love of education and love of life. It's about a boy named Milo who feels constantly bored all the time. One day he finds a mysterious package shipped to him containing a map and a tollbooth. This leads to him going on a grand adventure through the lands in his map in which he learns to love the life that previously bored him.

    It's a very interesting book that I loved as a kid (which is tough for me because I tend to not like very many books). Even though it's often classified as a "children's book", it's arguably just as relevant and thought-provoking to read as an adult.

    1
  • Fedrion's Avatar
    Zombie 1675 733 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    ...

    @Fedrion: I didn't like the first Watch movie very much, is that an indicator for the books?

    ...

    No, the movies (Both of them.. and the second worse...) differ a lot, and I really mean a LOT of the books, the books are better connected and have more coherence.
    The movie tries to summarize 3 different stories and mixes the plot on which it should be based a lot... a shame, because I personally really liked both of them.

    To be more direct, no, they are nothing like the movies. The books are better 100%.

    Papa Nurgle wants to share his gifts.

    1
  • CrystalMaiden's Avatar
    60 6 Posts Joined 10/24/2021
    Posted 2 years, 4 months ago

    I like Isaac Asimov and his novel Academy, also Stanislav Lem and Charles Bukovsky

    1
  • Maxxx17's Avatar
    Banned 35 3 Posts Joined 11/22/2021
    Posted 2 years, 3 months ago

    I'm reading The Witcher Saga right now. There are eight books in it. On the game.

    1
  • cristymoo's Avatar
    60 5 Posts Joined 12/17/2021
    Posted 2 years, 1 month ago

    I read the book The Richest Man in Babylon today. A friend gave me this book with a request to read it. Actually this book is a great instruction on how you can save money.

    1
  • Crusader2010's Avatar
    Garrosh 690 265 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 2 years, 1 month ago

    Hi folks! Just found this thread (again, lol). I'm not currently reading any books but I would love to start again.

    My issue with most of them is how long they are and the abundance of useless sections. I've tried reading The Foundation in the past, but it got boring after some hundreds of pages. If the essential action could be put together, i would gladly read it and have fun doing it. I simply don't have the desire/time to skim through pages to search for 1-2 paragraphs that evolve the main plot or such.

    So, this is my question to you guys: what do you recommend that is action-packed and having very few filler/useless sections? 

    I know i've read quite a bit of short stories (few dozen pages at most) on the web and really enjoyed them. Are there any real books that are even close to this in terms of plot presentation?

    As for the genre, i love sci-fi, post-apocaliptics, fantasy, magic stuff, nazis,  anything out of the ordinary really.

    Thanks!

    1
  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 2 years, 1 month ago

    Hmmm... I'd say hpmor.com is pretty fast paced :)

    I'm also currently reading the 5 books Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett which is just awesome. There are some cutbacks now and then to explain the protagonists' origins as well as slower parts where changes in society take place, but it never gets boring, there's always some action going on. Big recommendation for everyone who likes to read magical fantasy away from the usual spell casting stuff.

    Next in line, I've finally given in and gifted myself with the Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. A colleague convinced me it was worth it to read them even without much hope for the last volume to be released soon. 

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

    1
  • linkblade91's Avatar
    Senior Writer Serra Angel 1690 2683 Posts Joined 02/09/2019
    Posted 2 years, 1 month ago

    I should take a picture of my shelf: there's a stack of Firefly books just sitting there collecting dust. Somebody ought to read them lel

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  • DragonDraena's Avatar
    640 433 Posts Joined 08/10/2021
    Posted 2 years, 1 month ago

    Cru, if you're looking to try something without much filler, try a book of short stories, like Neil Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples. 

    I've also enjoyed Tolkien and the Pullman series mentioned above. 

    For those of you who enjoy sci-fi, I recommend The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K LeGuin. Parts of that book wandered around my brain for months after reading it. 

    Other books that lingered (in a good way) include:

    The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (I could smell these scenes, the writing is that perfect)

    The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas (this book may be old, but boring it is not!) 

    The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (the movie is fun, and the book is a whole nother level) 

     

    Winter is a great time for reading, thanks for all the recommendations. Will be lining them up against what my local library has available at the moment. 

     

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  • Sammy00's Avatar
    70 5 Posts Joined 01/05/2022
    Posted 2 years, 1 month ago

    The last my book was Flowers for Algernon. The book is written in the diary genre. It is easy to read, in one breath. Affects very subtle levels of the human psyche. Things are rising that many of us have thought and are thinking about ... I was surprised in one place by the description of the hero, which looks like he is in a meditative state: the body expands, merges almost with the universe, etc. I liked the book very much, because I am very interested in the psychology of the human soul and this kind of work: the description of the sensations of the most experimented is amazing and unusual.

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  • thewishmonster's Avatar
    475 7 Posts Joined 06/12/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    I can't believe I've never saw this topic before, hahaha. 

    I've been reading a lot of sci fi and fantasy lately and there are some I'd really like to reccomend.

    - Baudolino, by Umberto Eco; Baudolino, a peasant-born boy, has a gift for learning languages and telling lies, and these talents made him "create" some of the most powerful motifs of the Medieval Era, like the Holy Grail, Presbyter Johannes etc.;

    - "Tigana", by Guy-Gavriel Kay: a fantasy clearly inspired by the principles exposed by Machiavel in "The Prince";

    - "The Girl With All the Gifts", by M. R. Carey (there's a prequel, The Boy on the Bridge, but I didn't read it yet): zombie apocapypse sci fi never was a favorite of mine, but this book is amazing;

    - the "Temeraire" series (9 books, closed), by Naomi Novik: imagine the Napoleonic Wars, add dragons to the plot and voilà! 

    - "Gather the Daughters", Jenny Melamed: in my opinion this one makes "The Handmaid's Tale" weep in silence in a dark corner.

     

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

    Nice to see the thread alive and kickin! 

    I can second the recommendation of The Girl With All The Gifts, it's a very original take on the zombie genre with a very cool ending. I think they even made a movie based on the book but I haven't seen that one yet. 

    I've finished The Demon Cycle by Brett which I can't recommend enough. Rarely a series managed to increase in complexity so much without it feeling forced like this one did. Next in line is The Name of the Wind which has been waiting for its turn for far too long already.

    For my fellow Sci-Fi lovers: Don't miss out on Paolini's To Sleep in a Sea of Stars! 

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • sto650's Avatar
    Santa Braum 635 738 Posts Joined 03/30/2019
    Posted 1 year, 11 months ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    Nice to see the thread alive and kickin! 

    I can second the recommendation of The Girl With All The Gifts, it's a very original take on the zombie genre with a very cool ending. I think they even made a movie based on the book but I haven't seen that one yet. 

    I've finished The Demon Cycle by Brett which I can't recommend enough. Rarely a series managed to increase in complexity so much without it feeling forced like this one did. Next in line is The Name of the Wind which has been waiting for its turn for far too long already.

    For my fellow Sci-Fi lovers: Don't miss out on Paolini's To Sleep in a Sea of Stars! 

    I've read The Name of the Wind and the second book, The Wise Man's Fear, twice through. The story is very good. I have literally no idea how he can finish the series in one more book. Maybe he also has no idea how he can do that, so maybe that's why it's taking so long for the third book to arrive.

    Realistically, there should be a book 3 to finish the backstory, and then there should be a book 4 to continue the plot in the "present" time. (The books are written as a man telling his own past story .. but they also include some small chunks of what is happening in the "present" as well. Book 1 is Day 1 of him telling his story. Book 2 is Day 2 of the story telling. Book 3 will be Day 3, and he promised 3 days. But there could easily be a book 4 that breaks out of the story-telling about the past and moves forward with the present, into the future.)

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  • linkblade91's Avatar
    Senior Writer Serra Angel 1690 2683 Posts Joined 02/09/2019
    Posted 1 year, 5 months ago

    Got around to reading the Firefly books I mentioned eight months ago: had them for when work laid me up. Now I'm just waiting on the third book of the His Dark Materials sequel trilogy to arrive.

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  • DragonDraena's Avatar
    640 433 Posts Joined 08/10/2021
    Posted 1 year, 5 months ago

    I just finished Timefulness, by M Bjornerud, and it was well worth the hours. Part geology textbook, part meditation on the human relationship with time, and plenty entertaining. 

    Linkblade, I thought His Dark Materials was pretty great (so much better than any of the TV/film adaptations), though the third one was not the strongest of the set. Curious to hear what you think. 

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  • Richard69's Avatar
    40 2 Posts Joined 10/07/2022
    Posted 1 year, 4 months ago

    I love reading Remark. I enjoyed all of his books incredibly.

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  • linkblade91's Avatar
    Senior Writer Serra Angel 1690 2683 Posts Joined 02/09/2019
    Posted 1 year, 4 months ago
    Quote From DragonDraena

    Linkblade, I thought His Dark Materials was pretty great (so much better than any of the TV/film adaptations), though the third one was not the strongest of the set. Curious to hear what you think. 

    I can agree with that assessment: The Amber Spyglass fridges Lyra for a bit, which is annoying, and possibly spends too much time with Mary (in my opinion). It's not bad at all...it's just not as good as the first two.

    Still, I am excited to see how HBO tackles the last book; premiere is December 5th! Only 8 episodes, but at least we'll get to see the ending. I was worried Covid had derailed that opportunity completely D:

    Sorry I never responded to your comment sooner!

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  • Lemushki's Avatar
    Squirtle 1035 853 Posts Joined 03/22/2019
    Posted 1 year, 4 months ago

    Have to reccommend: "Child 44" from Tom Rob Smith, it is a really good book in my opinion and it does not get as much love as it should (at least from hispanic culture). It is about an investigation on Child murders set in the Soviet Union.

    While recommending this, I found out it is part of a Trilogy involving the same main character but more in the "Dan Brown" or "Agatha Christie" way rather than "J.K. Rowling" with Harry Potter, or more serialised books.

    Also there is a movie made about it, but I have not seen it, so I can´t comment on it.

    Also, "Funny Dirty Little War" by Osvaldo Soriano is really good, it packs some irony and black humor, and perfectly explains Argentina´s political landscape and civil conflicts during the 70's. It is a really interesting and light read.

    Also took some recommendations from this post and have to thank you as the ones I read were great :D

    Lemushki - The one and only since the 2006 rebranding.

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 1 year, 4 months ago

    The Kingkiller Chronicles have been just as great as everyone told me they were. Fingers crossed the author will release book 3 one day.

    Recently I've overcome a (very minor) childhood trauma: Dune. I saw the 90's movie when I defintely wasn't old enough for it and while it wasn't gorey or scary per se, the worms creeped me out majorly at the time. Somehow this kept me from reading the series even years later when I discovered my love for SciFi books... But now I very much enjoyed the new movie and finally got the books as well. Volume 1 has been a blast so far. It's fast paced and easy to read but still has its philosophical insights. Lots of sociology and psychology in there as well, in that regard it kinda reminds me of the Ender's Game series (books 2-4). I'm very much looking forward to exploring where the story goes :))

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • CuddlyCactus's Avatar
    Mankrik's Wife 335 59 Posts Joined 10/04/2020
    Posted 1 year, 4 months ago

    probably a well-known fan-favorite apart from fantasy, but I dig any medical thriller that Tess Gerritsen writes. with her medical background, it's always bound to get bloody and gory right into the details of the murders, but hell, she's creative with her stories. super +1 recommendation for crime gore fans! :)

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  • DragonDraena's Avatar
    640 433 Posts Joined 08/10/2021
    Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

    Oh, anchorm4n, I can totally relate to the childhood monster fears, but it was Jaws for me. I can't even enjoy a Shark Week thanks to seeing that movie when I was too young. 

    Do I recall that you are a Tolkien fan? What did you think about the new Amazon series? 

    And to get myself back on the books topic, I finished The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, and it is every bit as good as all the book club ladies in your life say that it is. 

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

    Sorry to hear that, now I'm even more grateful it wasn't that bad for me so I can enjoy the new movies and the books now.

    I indeed am a Tolkien fan but I've skipped on the new series so far because 1) my wife isn't into it and 2) I don't like starting unfinished series. Did you watch and enjoy it?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • DragonDraena's Avatar
    640 433 Posts Joined 08/10/2021
    Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

    I did watch Rings of Power, and it had some highlights for sure. Elven cities! Hobbit songs! 

    My spouse made the unilateral decision that we would watch it (he got at least one "you un-cancelled our Prime subscription for ~THIS~?!?!??" out of me) but by the halfway point I was on board. 

    The timeline is jolting and jarring, though, and there are definitely some bits that feel like they exist to meet a fight scene quota. 

    Your concern about an unfinished series is a very reasonable one. While season 1 does not end on a cliffhanger, it's very much setting up the next chapter. Which will arrive first: Rings of Power season 2 or GRRM's The Winds of Winter? 

     

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  • KSTRxLKSHOT's Avatar
    Champion of Runeterra 270 67 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 1 year, 1 month ago

    1. Liao Yiwu // For a Song and a Hundred Songs
    2. Yu Hua // Brothers
    3. James Clavell / Tai Pan

    “What monstrosities would walk the streets,
    were people's faces as unfinished as their minds."

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 4 months ago

    Just finished "All the birds in the sky" by Charlie Jane Anders (Winner of the 2017 Nebula Award, Finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award). It's kind of a dystopian Fantasy / Sci-Fi mix that takes a little too long to build up but gets better (that is more exciting) in the second half. I would have liked it to be somewhat more flashy about the magic and the science but the way it is written certainly feels quite realistic (if you can accept magic being a thing in the first place, that is). The main characters are studied closely and there's some romance going on as well. I'd rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars, it was a nice relaxing read of 320 sites.

    I think I'll continue with the stormlight archives part 3 next. What are you guys and gals reading these days? Any hidden Sci-Fi gems I haven't heard of yet?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • sto650's Avatar
    Santa Braum 635 738 Posts Joined 03/30/2019
    Posted 4 months ago

    @anchorm4n 

    Stormlight is a VERY good series. Kaladin is probably my favorite hero figure from any book series ever. No joke. He just IS the hero. Even when he doesn't want to be, he is THE hero. He gets the most incredible moments.

    As far as Scifi you might not know about - are you familiar with Timothy Zahn? One of my favorites by him is the Quadrail Series (5 books, starting with "Night Train to Rigel"). It's a sort of "film noir" type of series - dark mystery, detective, hidden secrets that could destroy the galaxy - that sort of thing.

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 4 months ago

    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have a look at it! Mystery / detective usually isn't down my alley but you got me at potential destruction of the galaxy :D

    Kaladin is a cool hero and I'm looking forward to seeing his character develop now he's embraced being a knight and no longer sulking and suffering. That got a bit too much for my taste to be honest.

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • sto650's Avatar
    Santa Braum 635 738 Posts Joined 03/30/2019
    Posted 4 months ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    Kaladin is a cool hero and I'm looking forward to seeing his character develop now he's embraced being a knight and no longer sulking and suffering. That got a bit too much for my taste to be honest.

    You might need to have a little more patience with him - he's not entirely done with his sulking. But by the end of book 4, it has become more clear the biggest reason why he has been so depressed - and it gets resolved.

    Hopefully that's not a spoiler. I was as vague as possible, to say what I wanted to say.

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 4 months ago

    Thanks for the hint! I'm really looking forward to diving back into the story. I've decided to skip through book 1 and 2 to refresh my memory before I start the third volume and I've spent like 2 hours + with the first one alone! There's just so much going on, so many cool scenes I wanted to revisit :-)

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • Daowen's Avatar
    Hero of Warcraft 990 252 Posts Joined 03/19/2019
    Posted 4 months ago

    Just bought the ebook Steve Frech - Dark Hollows, in dutch though.
    the title doesn't match lol, in dutch it's " ik kan niet slapen"  (I cannot sleep). 

    How they came up with that....
    Now gotta find some time to read it haha

    I'm not online       cat          it's just your imagination

     

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar
    The Cake Is A Lie 1845 2134 Posts Joined 03/13/2019
    Posted 1 month, 1 week ago

    So after having finished Stormlight 3 (awesome!!) I got a very cool surprise in the form of hardcover copies of the Skyward series as my Christmas presents! Guess I'm a Sanderson fanboy now :D And what can I say - I've finished the first volume in only 3 days! It's way easier to read and way more fast paced than Stormlight which is totally fine for me. I generally like switching between Sci-Fi and Fantasy as well as slower and faster plots and those two series really hit the sweet spot for me. Big recommendation!

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • DragonDraena's Avatar
    640 433 Posts Joined 08/10/2021
    Posted 1 month, 1 week ago

    I read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C Wrede, and those are some charming books, y'all. Dragon politics, wizard scheming, and magic swords tumbled together in a fairytale setting. These books are written for young people, so a very nice choice to read with your nieces/nephews/etc and then chat about later. 

    I'm also continuing to enjoy a wander through Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Here's to many interesting books in 2024!

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  • linkblade91's Avatar
    Senior Writer Serra Angel 1690 2683 Posts Joined 02/09/2019
    Posted 1 month, 1 week ago

    I'll admit I haven't done much in the way of reading lately, but in the interest of contributing I will share that "What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers To Absurd Hypothetical Questions" is a great read. And the first one too, of course. It's by Randall Munroe, the guy behind the "xkcd" website (which has amusing jokes, diagrams, and scenarios, as well; updated three times a week).

    If you enjoy his brand of learning-through-humor, he also wrote "How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems". I have all three: they are quite fun and funny, and hey, you just might learn something! Something useless, but still...something lol.

    You can get all three in hardcover on Amazon for like $46 total.

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  • Echo's Avatar
    Staff Writer Cupcake 860 318 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    Recently been reading through the Silo Series by Hugh Howey and it's been really good. Haven't gotten much into the third book since I just got it today, but read the first two in like, 3~ days and couldn't put them down for the life of me. Lots of suspense, great world building, unique world, big recommend if you are a fan of like, sci-fi/dystopian. It's also being turned into a TV show but don't know anything about it.

    Also got around to reading the newest book from Sylvain Neuvel, 'For the First Time, Again' and it's a pretty weird situation. It's the classic "3rd book in a series that ended pretty well in the 2nd book" situation, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I can never tell if I love Neuvel's stuff because it's genuinely really good or if it's just because he somehow became my comfort author, but both I enjoyed both the Themis Files and the "Take Them to the Stars" quite a bit. More standard Sci-Fi stuff, though bit of alternate history mixed in and a whole lot more grounded compared to Silo.

    Oh and on a completely different angle, recently also finished 'The Elephant Vanishes' by Haruki Murakami. I don't understand this guys writing and why its so enthralling because, to put it simply, he talks about the most painfully mundane stuff imaginable but at the same time you just cannot put it down. Its a collection of a bunch of short stories that are all really nice, but I don't think I can ever like explain them in a way that does his writing style justice. For example

    Show Spoiler
    One of the stories in Elephant Vanishes is this guy who mows lawns, but wants to retire. He takes one last request from the of his boss and mows this lawn of an old widow. The widow makes a comment about how he did a great job and reminded her of her diseased husband. She shows her daughters bedroom and asks what the guy thinks about her daughter. Thats it, that's the story.
    I've loved all of Murakami's writing but I don't think I can ever do them any justice by just talking. HUGE recommendation, for Elephant Vanishes I'd just recommend reading like, 3-4 of the stories and you should be able to tell if Murakami's writing will be able to stick its claws in you the same way it has for me.

    Cardboard wizard and dog haver.

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