Books you think are good.

happyninja42

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May 13, 2010
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So, been listening to an audio book I bought recently, and I just love it. So much that I've listened to it 3 times now. So I figured, hey, I'd make a thread for people to pimp the books they think are awesome, and want other people to read.

The Never Hero: It's a modern day take on the superhero story, but with a very interesting twist. It's kind of a deconstruction of the superhero/heroic genre of our culture in our stories, but at the same time, it's telling a story about that very type thing. It's a very smartly written book, and very enjoyable. The thing I like about it most, is the author seems to have put a lot of effort into accurately portraying how people would react to certain situations, and explaining it from an emotional level. The motivations of the characters, and why they do what they do, feels very real, and relateable to the reader. He's only published the first book of the series so far, and as best as I can tell, this is his first novel ever. If that's the case, then he's got a real talent, as for a starting book, it's spot on awesome.

The Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. Yeah, I mentioned this in a different thread, but I felt it warranted repeating. If you like Urban Fantasy, and like London stories, then you'll enjoy this series I think. It's sort of, and I stress "sort of" like a cross between the Dresden Files, and Harry Potter. I say this only in that it's got the dark, gritty, magical mystery feel of the Dresden Files, but also a lot of the whimsy and humor of the Brits, with that little flavor of Harry Potter. At least at first, the series goes in a very surprising direction later on. One that I actually loved, but one that you don't see very often with main characters. The first few books took a bit to warm up to, mainly because of one personally annoying character, but as his writing talent improved, that character became less annoying.

Let's see, that's about all I can think of to really mention specifically, other than the typical Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, etc etc that we gamer nerds usually proclaim. But yeah, those two series, highly worth your time.

So what books do you like and think others would enjoy to read?
 

Elfgore

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Ex-Heroes and the following novels. Taking the superhero genre into the zombie apocalypse. You've got some awesome powers and action scenes. I'd also say there is some pretty good deconstruction going on if heroes. Characters are quite likable and diverse. That bastard pulls the same card twice with a character's race. The last one released is pretty bad, but mostly due to the deus ex machina. You'll have to ignore a few plot holes as well.

The Chronicles of the Black Company. Actually, just go read everything by Glen Cook. Start with this series though. It's just awesome and not written in the same way as the countless other fantasy series.
 

Queen Michael

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A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem. It's a collection of reviews of books that don't actually exist. Instead of writing the entire books, Lem just wrote extensive reviews instead.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Uh, so many? Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Ubik, Blood Meridian, Kwaidan, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym...
 

Fox12

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The Lord of the Flies was certainly brilliant.

I also loved To Kill a Mockinbird. By the way, did you know Harper Lee is coming out with her first book in decades? And that I'm going to shamelessly pimp it? It's true!
 

WhiteFangofWhoa

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The Acts of Caine, at least the first two. I ended up trying to start on the fourth due to liking for other books by Matthew Stover, but wasn't able to follow much of anything without reading its predecessors first, and even then the first two have a much tighter narrative and less 'bragging' about past events.

What's amusingly meta about it is that the main character's 'job' is basically to make himself the main character in a fantasy world and get into as many brutal fights and killings as possible for the entertainment of audiences on Earth. He gets criticism for a lack of action, getting too political and a lot of other common complaints that get levelled at most works of fiction.

Old ones, but it wasn't the Godfather that got me into crime novels, but instead one of my all-time favourites, the Sicilian. I would recommend everything else Mario Puzo wrote except for the Last Don and the Godfather's Revenge.
 

Funyahns

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Pretty much the entire Disc World series by Terry Pratchett. Dresden Files from Jim Butcher is also really good if you like a little pulp fiction in an urban setting.
 

kitsunefather

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Boneshaker and the Clockwork Century Series by Cherie Priest are pretty good; zombie outbreak in steampunk Seattle.

I'm generally, though, a fan of older works. Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer books are pretty good if you like noir-style mysteries, though.
 

Rebel_Raven

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the Art of war (a copy with commentary is recommended), the Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, Shogun, the Phoenix Guard, just about any D&D lore book (especially ravenloft), Scary Stories to tell in the dark, More Scary Stories to tell in the dark, More tales to chill your bones, and the rest of the Scary Stories series that'll prolly keep you from sleeping.
That's about all the book naming momentum I have right now.
 

09philj

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (although the radio plays are better.), Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (Urban fantasy based on the idea that novels have power), Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (Noir at it's best), The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson (Hilarious travelogue of the US), Xenos by Dan Abnett (Space Opera), Stalin Ate my Homework by Alexei Sayle (His memoir.), and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.
 

Fractral

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I really enjoyed Hyperion when I read it recently. The way it's set out enhances the mystery of what turns out to be a fairly mundane universe populated by a few interesting characters. The sequel is unfortunately just generic space opera, and not worth reading IMO.

Likewise the first two Zones of Thought novels by Vernor Vinge were pretty good. The first, A Fire Upon the Deep, works largely through describing a very unique universe undergoing a period of profound change as well as a few utterly unique alien races. The second, A Deepness in the Sky, tells the story of human interference in the development of a pre-spaceflight alien civilization and is again made great by it's compelling alien characters and unique setup.

Those are the two books that I've read recently that I would recommend to any Science Fiction fan.

Elfgore said:
The Chronicles of the Black Company. Actually, just go read everything by Glen Cook. Start with this series though. It's just awesome and not written in the same way as the countless other fantasy series.
I loved the first two Chronicles of the Black Company books, but the third didn't feel as good to me. I think it was the way that the Lady is shown. Her romance with Chronicler seemed to undermine her power as a character, along with a few other events that weaken her.
 

Mister K

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Far too many to name, so I'll name only 2: Going Postal and Making Money by late Terry Pratchett. Both those books deal with a conman Moist von Lipwig who was aved from hanging to run postal office and, in a second book, national bank and royal mint. They are clever, funny, have great characters and story, basically everything you'd expect from sir Pratchett.

Oh, I also recommend all and any of his other books.
 
Oct 12, 2011
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There's just too damn many to list, but I do have a few favorites that I can suggest.

In fiction:
Eric Flint - the Ring of Fire series. There's quite a few of them now, but I would still recommend starting with 1632 and giving them a go.
Dennis L. McKiernan - Mithgar series. While he starts off as a basic Tolkien rip-off, he quickly developed his own voice and got better with each book he wrote.
Clive Barker - Pretty much anything he's written. Imajica and the Great and Secret Show are some of my favorites, though.
Steven Brust - Any book from the Vlad Taltos series is wonderful. Agyar is also great and I won't spoil it by telling you anything about it :D
Dave Barry - Big Trouble. What do an ad man, a homeless vagrant, a corporate ass, a bored housewife, Russian weapon brokers, mafia hitmen and a nuclear bomb have to do with one another? A great deal and it is all hilarious!
Michael Crichton - Eaters of the Dead Was made into the Antonio Bandaras movie, 13th Warrior. It's just good.

And for non-fiction (some of these are probably out of print, sorry)
Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell messed with my mind. Excellent works.
Len Dieghton - Blood, Tears, and Folly Wars are won by those who make the fewest mistakes. WWII from a new perspective.
Charles C. Mann - 1491 and 1493. Both take a very interesting look at North and South America both before and after teh Europeans arrived.
Benson Bobrick - Angel in the Whirlwind One of the best histories of the American Revolution I've read.
James McPherson - Pretty much anything he's written on the American Civil War.
Francis Stoner Saunders - The Cultural Cold War Just fascinating in how it exposes certain aspects of European Cold War activity.
Max Hastings - Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War The first year of the "Great War" and the mess that it turned out to be.
Thomas Friedman - From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat Both are older works, but they still put a great deal into perspective.
R.V. Jones - The Wizard War How the British fought the technological battles of WWII.
David McCullough - While I would recommend anything he's written, The Path Between Seas beautifully explains how the Panama Canal really came about.
Taylor Branch - Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, and At Canaan's Edge make up a trilogy about the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
Eri Hotta - Japan 1941 The lead-up to the Pacific part of WWII from the Japanese perspective.

OK, I have to stop now. I have waaaaaaaaay to many books on my favorites list.
 

Lil_Rimmy

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Not gonna lie, I entirely read that title as "Boobs you think are good". I was very confused when I started reading.

OT:

Well, the Eragon series will always be dear to be, despite how bullshit the final part of the ending was. It was a lovely long story across four books that was probably known to most people as an absolutely terrible movie.

But my favourite books of all time come from the Warhammer universe, and while I've read a few of the fantasy books and they have been alright, the real meat of the booky goodness comes in the 40k form. There's the Ravenor (Spelling?) Omnibus that took me for bloody ever to read, but was a great set of books. There's Titanicus, which I love for showing the great distinction between a very literal giant Titan battle and a bunch of useless PDF on the ground. There's all of the Space Marine stories, especially Rynn's World.

However, the one that takes the cake as my favourite series of all times has to be Dan Abbnet's Gaunt's Ghosts, a great bloody set of books about an Imperial Guard regiment. I think one of my favourite reasons I love it is apart from all of the great writing, character's, etc. etc. it shows the Imperial Guard as exactly what they are - humans. Compared to the Space Marines in books, where each and every one of them are literal gods. It's just interesting to see the human aspect of being the hammer in 40k.

Honourable mentions go to: Skulldugery Pleasant, Watership Down, Holes, the Wolf Brother series, the Golden Compass series (I believe it's called His Dark Materials) and the Gone series.

Books, yo. Just as good as boobs.
maybe not doe boobs be pretty good
 

bauke67

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I've just finished reading The secret history, and I must say it's probably one of my favourite books now. It's about a student who takes ancient Greek with a teacher that will only accept very select students and only on the condition that they take all his classes with him. He has 5 classmates who form a very close group and the protagonist slowly becomes part of the group. However, from the first page we already know that the group will eventually murder one of it's members and that there might be some sort of cult going on.
An excellent read, many plottwists and very well written. A book full of secrets.
 

Halla Burrica

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I don't read a lot of books anymore, I read much more as a kid, I was especially hooked on Harry Potter, read that shit almost religiously. Not really sure what happened, but eventually I started favoring mediums that used pictures and not just text to tell the story, like comics, film or video games (mostly), though of course there is nothing wrong with books as a medium.

Still, I can strongly recommend Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, it is a definitive classic that absolutely deserves the status it has gotten.

Mao. The untold story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, is also a great work. It's a really long book about Mao Zedongs life and death, how he came to power and all the horrors he inflicted upon China. It is a great book to pick up if you want to understand not only who and what Mao was (a real ************ on the same line as Hitler, but with more lives on his repulsive conscience in my opinion), but also China's history in the 20th century. The amount of research put into this thing is staggering as well, 14 years it took them to make it. It has about 800 pages, and more than 100 of those pages give up sources to it all. I can't recommend it if you demand a happy ending though, because there isn't really one. Mao held power until his death and died at an old age, unpunished for his many crimes.
 

Weresquirrel

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I always recommend these ones when a book thread comes up, and I will keep doing so until people get fed up of me doing it:

The Watergiver Trilogy by Glenda Larke. It's kinda like Game of Thrones in a fantasy desert environment. Well written and paced, big cast of interesting characters, very cool and well developed setting.
 

Ihateregistering1

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I can't recommend "Altered Carbon" by Richard K. Morgan enough. Extremely inventive and very well-done cyberpunk-esque sci-fi book. Why no one has made this into a movie yet is beyond me, one of my favorite sci-fi books ever.

The first "Dune" book. If you can wrap your head around it (and I'd recommend the assistance of a Wiki) it's a pretty incredible book, and the sheer level of imagination that went into it is just crazy. The other books are sort of mixed bag, with some pretty convinced Frank Herbert was going crazy by the end of book 5.

I'm only on the first book right now, but so far I am loving "Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori". It takes place in a fantasy feudal Japan. Exceptionally well done book.