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!