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Favorite Books/Book series (Top 20 format, sequel to Favorite Characters)

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Here's the "sequel" to my "Favorite Characters in Fantasy Literature" topic! This time it is Favorite (Top 20) Books or Book Series (not necessarily Fantasy or Science Fiction, or even Fiction for that matter if you are so inclined).

 

Again, I did this in Top 20 format, with five Honorable Mentions (which are in no particular order). I will note which entries are for just a single book, and unless specified as such the rest are for a series. Hope you enjoy and share your own, and have some interesting discussion, and potentially find some new TBRs!

 

1) Commonwealth Saga (the full series, including the Void Trilogy & Chronicles of the Fallers series) -- Peter F Hamilton*
2) Lord of the Rings (including The Hobbit and The Silmarillion) -- JRR Tolkien
3) A Song of Ice and Fire -- George RR Martin
4) The Wheel of Time -- Robert Jordan
5) Riftwar Cycle` (this includes the Empire Trilogy with Janny Wurts) -- Raymond E Feist
6) Memory, Sorrow and Thorn -- Tad Williams**
7) Stranger in a Strange Land (novel, Uncut Edition in particular) -- Robert A Heinlein
8 ) Mars Trilogy -- Kim Stanley Robinson
9) The Deed of Paksennarion -- Elizabeth Moon
10) Dune (just the book, not the series) -- Frank Herbert***
11) Night's Dawn Trilogy -- Peter F Hamilton
12) Masters of Rome -- Colleen McCullough
13) The Pern series -- Anne McCaffrey (and Todd McCaffrey)**
14) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (first trilogy only) -- Stephen R Donaldson
15) Foundation -- Isaac Asimov
16) Thrawn trilogy (aka Heir to the Empire trilogy) (Star Wars) -- Timothy Zahn****
17) The Baroque Cycle -- Neal Stephenson
18) Time Enough for Love (novel) -- Robert A Heinlein
19) God Emperor of Dune (novel) -- Frank Herbert***
20) Mistborn (Era I) -- Brandon Sanderson


Honorable Mentions (again, in no particular order)

 

Dragonlance Chronicles -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman
Dragonlance Legends -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman
The Stormlight Archive -- Brandon Sanderson (even though it is unfinished)
The Incarnations of Immortality -- Piers Anthony**
I, Jedi (novel) -- Michael A Stackpole


* This setting is my favorite all time fictional setting, and the one I would most want to live in if I ever found the Genie's Lamp and had three wishes. I would just have to decide which time period, as the three separate series are each a different time period in the overall saga.

 

** There are newer books in these series that I have not read, books that have come out since I last paid any attention to those worlds and moved on to other pastures. I plan to go back to these realms soon and see what the authors have cooked up.

 

*** You will note that I only included Dune and God Emperor of Dune here from Frank Herbert's oeuvre, and that's because I personally find the rest of the Dune books to be rather weak, both those written by Frank and those written by his son and Kevin J Anderson. Not that I didn't enjoy them for themselves, I just didn't think that they were on par with these two nor were they as good as anything else I listed here. There are a handful of books by Brian and Kevin that I haven't yet read that might be good, I just don't know yet.

 

**** This is the original, now non-canon, trilogy from back in the mid 1990s, not the newer Disney-canon Thrawn books that Zahn has recently written.

 

Edited by imlad

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I am always up for a good sequel!  ?

 

I will stick to fantasy literature in my ranking below (will add a few of my non-fantasy favourites below the list).

 

Favourite fantasy-fiction

 

1.     The Lord of the Rings - J RR Tolkien

2.     The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan

3.     A Song of Ice and Fire - George RR Martin

4.     The Elenium - David Eddings

5.     The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 series) - Stephen R Donaldson

6.     The Riftwar Saga (trilogy) - Raymond E Feist

7.      Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - Tad Williams

8.     The Sword of Truth - Terry Goodkind

9.     The Sword of Shannara (trilogy) - Terry Brooks

10.   The Heritage of Shannara (4 books) - Terry Brooks

11.    Exile (book 1+2) - Melanie Rawn

12.   Mordant’s Need (2 books) - Stephen R Donaldson

13.   The Tamuli - David Eddings

14.   The Belgariad - David Eddings

15.   The Liveship Traders - Robin Hobb

16.   Dragonlance Chronicles - Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman

17.    Dragonlance Legends - Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman

18.   The Voyage of Jerle Shannara (trilogy) - Terry Brooks

19.   Silmarillion* - J RR Tolkien

20.  Empire trilogy - Janny Wurts

 

 

*Silmarillion: oh what grandness in mythology but also oh what a struggle to get through ? It is masterful without doubt but I just cannot bring myself to read it over and over again. Even so, it deserved a place on my top 20 list.

 

 

Non-fantasy fiction favourites:

 

-        Shogun - James Clavell  (a masterpiece imo, possibly my second favourite novel of all time)

-        Noble House - James Clavell (another monumental piece of writing imo)

-        Masters of Rome (series) - Colleen McCullough (fascinating stuff about ancient Rome, esp bits about Caesar)

-        The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley (wonderful well-written Arthurian saga)

-        Earth’s Children saga - Jean M Auel (the wonderful story of Ayla; someone make a grand tv-series of this please)

Edited by Elessar

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16 hours ago, Elessar said:

Non-fantasy fiction favourites:

 

-        Shogun - James Clavell  (a masterpiece imo, possibly my second favourite novel of all time)

-        Noble House - James Clavell (another monumental piece of writing imo)

 

 

YES! Oh my word, I loved those. Even the TV adaptations were great. Richard Chamberlain was epic in Shogun. I also enjoyed Whirlwind, which was set in Iran. Very emotional book.

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10 hours ago, Taymist said:

 

YES! Oh my word, I loved those. Even the TV adaptations were great. Richard Chamberlain was epic in Shogun. I also enjoyed Whirlwind, which was set in Iran. Very emotional book.

 

Yeah, they were really excellent! I enjoyed the tv-series adaptations too. To have covered all the incredible detail and intricacies of the brick-size novels the tv-adaptations would have had to have been much longer and more detailed, but I too thought they made a good job of it, presenting the essence of the books. 

 

I have also read Whirlwind (another 'brick') and enjoyed that too, as you say emotional stuff in the middle of Iranian turmoil and revolution. I also read another of his novels, Tai Pan back in the day (a kind of 'prequel' to Noble House). James Clavell was a very accomplished writer I would say, among the best out there.

 

Of all these Shogun has meant most to me though, in part because I thought that book was particularly impressive and brilliantly written but also in part because of my special interest in Japanese culture- and history (incl. Japanese martial arts, the history of Ninjas, Geisha and more). I have read that ca 1200 page 'monster' of a book about 8 times through the years and I enjoy it just as much every time.

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On 8/23/2019 at 8:26 AM, Elessar said:

I am always up for a good sequel!  ?

 

I will stick to fantasy literature in my ranking below (will add a few of my non-fantasy favourites below the list).

 

Favourite fantasy-fiction

 

1.     The Lord of the Rings - J RR Tolkien

2.     The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan

3.     A Song of Ice and Fire - George RR Martin

4.     The Elenium - David Eddings

5.     The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 series) - Stephen R Donaldson

6.     The Riftwar Saga (trilogy) - Raymond E Feist

7.      Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - Tad Williams

8.     The Sword of Truth - Terry Goodkind

9.     The Sword of Shannara (trilogy) - Terry Brooks

10.   The Heritage of Shannara (4 books) - Terry Brooks

11.    Exile (book 1+2) - Melanie Rawn

12.   Mordant’s Need (2 books) - Stephen R Donaldson

13.   The Tamuli - David Eddings

14.   The Belgariad - David Eddings

15.   The Liveship Traders - Robin Hobb

16.   Dragonlance Chronicles - Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman

17.    Dragonlance Legends - Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman

18.   The Voyage of Jerle Shannara (trilogy) - Terry Brooks

19.   Silmarillion* - J RR Tolkien

20.  Empire trilogy - Janny Wurts

 

 

*Silmarillion: oh what grandness in mythology but also oh what a struggle to get through ? It is masterful without doubt but I just cannot bring myself to read it over and over again. Even so, it deserved a place on my top 20 list.

 

 

Non-fantasy fiction favourites:

 

-        Shogun - James Clavell  (a masterpiece imo, possibly my second favourite novel of all time)

-        Noble House - James Clavell (another monumental piece of writing imo)

-        Masters of Rome (series) - Colleen McCullough (fascinating stuff about ancient Rome, esp bits about Caesar)

-        The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley (wonderful well-written Arthurian saga)

-        Earth’s Children saga - Jean M Auel (the wonderful story of Ayla; someone make a grand tv-series of this please)

 

I've read most of your list, with a few exceptions. Namely the last two Covenant books, any of the Sword of Truth books past Wizard's First Rule (did not enjoy the first one at all, found it to be more derivative than the first Shannara book ever got), anything Shannara past the first trilogy (planning on reading the later books though, have them on my Kindle ready to read), Rawn's Exile books (only read Dragon Prince of hers), Hobb's Liveship Traders, Donaldson's Mordant's Need (always meant to get around to this one), the Clavell stuff and Jean Auel. Clavell and Auel are two authors I've always had on my "eventually I'll read them" list, but there's just always been something shinier to catch my attention.

 

On 8/24/2019 at 12:36 AM, Taymist said:

 

YES! Oh my word, I loved those. Even the TV adaptations were great. Richard Chamberlain was epic in Shogun. I also enjoyed Whirlwind, which was set in Iran. Very emotional book.

 

My goodness they don't make miniseries like this anymore. Well, okay, maybe they do, they just call them "limited series." But yeah, Shogun was an amazing miniseries event, something I binge watched a few years ago, over the course of one day (started in the morning). I was fairly annoying to my friends and family for about a week as I would pepper my speech with Japanese words I'd picked up from the show. Unfortunately, the only one I can actually remember now is "hai." Dang that side effect from that South Farthing "pipe-weed" I've been smoking all these years!? (Of course, I had some memory issues before I started smoking it, so I can't entirely blame that stuff).  

 

I think my next Historical Fiction plunge will probably be Clavell. Although the first serious* plunge I took was Stephenson with the Baroque Cycle (which he actually considers Science Fiction, and has a very good case for), I wasn't actually hooked by the genre until reading McCullough's masterpiece the Masters of Rome. Damn, thinking about it, I'm not sure which series is more densely packed between those two. It's pretty close, but it probably has to go to McCullough, because Stephenson has more blatantly fictional characters and plotlines than she does.

 

* I'm sure over the course of my 46 years I've read other Historical Fiction books that I'm just not recalling off hand (one just popped into my mind: The Fallon Blood by Robert Jordan Reagan O'Neal).

 

Edited by imlad
typo

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18 minutes ago, imlad said:

* I'm sure over the course of my 46 years I've read other Historical Fiction books that I'm just not recalling off hand (one just popped into my mind: The Fallon Blood by Robert Jordan Reagan O'Neal).

 

'72 or '73? Even reading someone else say that makes me feel old lol. 47 in a couple of months...scary. 18 still feels like yesterday.

 

Historical fiction covers an awful lot of writing in as much as it criss crosses a variety of other genres. I wouldn't normally put a Dickens novel and a story about World War II together but both could be classed as historical fiction.

 

Probably why I haven't done this one yet. How you narrow it to just 25 I don't know. I almost want to do one for stand alone novels and one for book series.

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On 8/23/2019 at 5:54 AM, imlad said:

Here's the "sequel" to my "Favorite Characters in Fantasy Literature" topic! This time it is Favorite (Top 20) Books or Book Series (not necessarily Fantasy or Science Fiction, or even Fiction for that matter if you are so inclined).

 

Again, I did this in Top 20 format, with five Honorable Mentions (which are in no particular order). I will note which entries are for just a single book, and unless specified as such the rest are for a series. Hope you enjoy and share your own, and have some interesting discussion, and potentially find some new TBRs!

 

1) Commonwealth Saga (the full series, including the Void Trilogy & Chronicles of the Fallers series) -- Peter F Hamilton*
2) Lord of the Rings (including The Hobbit and The Silmarillion) -- JRR Tolkien
3) A Song of Ice and Fire -- George RR Martin
4) The Wheel of Time -- Robert Jordan
5) Riftwar Cycle` (this includes the Empire Trilogy with Janny Wurts) -- Raymond E Feist
6) Memory, Sorrow and Thorn -- Tad Williams**
7) Stranger in a Strange Land (novel, Uncut Edition in particular) -- Robert A Heinlein
8 ) Mars Trilogy -- Kim Stanley Robinson
9) The Deed of Paksennarion -- Elizabeth Moon
10) Dune (just the book, not the series) -- Frank Herbert***
11) Night's Dawn Trilogy -- Peter F Hamilton
12) Masters of Rome -- Colleen McCullough
13) The Pern series -- Anne McCaffrey (and Todd McCaffrey)**
14) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (first trilogy only) -- Stephen R Donaldson
15) Foundation -- Isaac Asimov
16) Thrawn trilogy (aka Heir to the Empire trilogy) (Star Wars) -- Timothy Zahn****
17) The Baroque Cycle -- Neal Stephenson
18) Time Enough for Love (novel) -- Robert A Heinlein
19) God Emperor of Dune (novel) -- Frank Herbert***
20) Mistborn (Era I) -- Brandon Sanderson


Honorable Mentions (again, in no particular order)

 

Dragonlance Chronicles -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman
Dragonlance Legends -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman
The Stormlight Archive -- Brandon Sanderson (even though it is unfinished)
The Incarnations of Immortality -- Piers Anthony**
I, Jedi (novel) -- Michael A Stackpole


* This setting is my favorite all time fictional setting, and the one I would most want to live in if I ever found the Genie's Lamp and had three wishes. I would just have to decide which time period, as the three separate series are each a different time period in the overall saga.

 

** There are newer books in these series that I have not read, books that have come out since I last paid any attention to those worlds and moved on to other pastures. I plan to go back to these realms soon and see what the authors have cooked up.

 

*** You will note that I only included Dune and God Emperor of Dune here from Frank Herbert's oeuvre, and that's because I personally find the rest of the Dune books to be rather weak, both those written by Frank and those written by his son and Kevin J Anderson. Not that I didn't enjoy them for themselves, I just didn't think that they were on par with these two nor were they as good as anything else I listed here. There are a handful of books by Brian and Kevin that I haven't yet read that might be good, I just don't know yet.

 

**** This is the original, now non-canon, trilogy from back in the mid 1990s, not the newer Disney-canon Thrawn books that Zahn has recently written.

 

 

There are many books on your list I have not read, some I have heard of, some not.  What kind of books are the Commonwealth Saga which is your top favourite? I see some sci fi-authors on your list as well. I am a huge fan of sci fi in film/movies/tv-series, but have never read any sci fi books. Fantasy has been my main book-interest through the years (besides some other fiction as mentioned before, political biographies and similar).  Aforementioned Stephen R Donaldson has actually written a dark sci fi book series called The Gap Cycle which some of his fans rave about, while others find not to their liking. I haven't read much about them, but the little I have grasped makes me somewhat uncertain if those book are my cup of tea.

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44 minutes ago, imlad said:

 

I've read most of your list, with a few exceptions. Namely the last two Covenant books, any of the Sword of Truth books past Wizard's First Rule (did not enjoy the first one at all, found it to be more derivative than the first Shannara book ever got), anything Shannara past the first trilogy (planning on reading the later books though, have them on my Kindle ready to read), Rawn's Exile books (only read Dragon Prince of hers), Hobb's Liveship Traders, Donaldson's Mordant's Need (always meant to get around to this one), the Clavell stuff and Jean Auel. Clavell and Auel are two authors I've always had on my "eventually I'll read them" list, but there's just always been something shinier to catch my attention.

 

 

My goodness they don't make miniseries like this anymore. Well, okay, maybe they do, they just call them "limited series." But yeah, Shogun was an amazing miniseries event, something I binge watched a few years ago, over the course of one day (started in the morning). I was fairly annoying to my friends and family for about a week as I would pepper my speech with Japanese words I'd picked up from the show. Unfortunately, the only one I can actually remember now is "hai." Dang that side effect from that South Farthing "pipe-weed" I've been smoking all these years!? (Of course, I had some memory issues before I started smoking it, so I can't entirely blame that stuff).  

 

I think my next Historical Fiction plunge will probably be Clavell. Although the first serious* plunge I took was Stephenson with the Baroque Cycle (which he actually considers Science Fiction, and has a very good case for), I wasn't actually hooked by the genre until reading McCullough's masterpiece the Masters of Rome. Damn, thinking about it, I'm not sure which series is more densely packed between those two. It's pretty close, but it probably has to go to McCullough, because Stephenson has more blatantly fictional characters and plotlines than she does.

 

* I'm sure over the course of my 46 years I've read other Historical Fiction books that I'm just not recalling off hand (one just popped into my mind: The Fallon Blood by Robert Jordan Reagan O'Neal).

 

 

Reg. The Sword of Truth, as always it comes down to personal taste. I mentioned in the sister-thread ('characters') some of my objections to that series, but on the whole I enjoyed it (ref. place in my top 10).

 

As for Mordant's Need, I really enjoyed that too. It consists of 2 books: The Mirror of her Dreams and A Man Rides Through. It is different in style and topic from Stephen R Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books, smaller in scope and shorter, not at all as dark and gloomy, lighter in style and more based on political intrigue and drama but inside a fantasy-world setting with some magic and also a few parallels to his other books elsewhere. Very well written, I thought and made for very interesting reading.

 

As mentioned, James Clavell was a very accomplished writer. Shogun the novel I have mentioned several times. Awesome, I thought. Only thing in that monumental book I missed was a final chapter when Lord Toranaga went to war. I would have loved to have had a 30 page final chapter describing the battles and successes after all the build-up earlier in the book, ending with Toranaga being crowned Shogun and Military Dictator of Japan by the Emperor in Kyoto, but I can imagine it myself. Superb piece of historical fiction imo! He also wrote a novel called Gai-Jin (a kind of sequel to his earlier books) which is the last of his Asian saga books, I think. I have not read it yet but it is on my 'to read' list (when I get around to it). 

 

Jean M Auel is a very good writer too I think (though she does sometimes get lost in endless nature-descriptions..), but it has to be said that the final novel and conclusion to the Earth's Children saga (book 6, released in 2011, 9 years after her previous one) was a major disappointment in my (and lots of other fans') view. Like many others I think she simply got tired of her own story and books, prefering to spend her life visiting pre-historic caves and doing similar research, and after many years writing she just felt she had to get it over with and release a practically un-edited mess of a book which had many shortcomings indeed (structure-wise and plot-wise). So even though her fans (and I) were happy to get a conclusion to the story of pre-historic Ayla and the Cro-Magnon people, it was one of the most disappointing endings ever in an epic book-series for many (including yours truly).

 

I included the Masters of Rome books on my general fiction shortlist. As I said there, they were fascinating to read - another accomplished writer! - and I especially loved the parts about Julius Caesar ('Caesar's Women', one of the books, I recall being particularly in love with). I know some critics and readers felt she went overboard in her love and admiration for Caesar in her books (he was 'perfection incarnate' as some critiqued) but I just loved it and grinned widely every time he got the better of his many (often envious) enemies.

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2 hours ago, Taymist said:

 

'72 or '73? Even reading someone else say that makes me feel old lol. 47 in a couple of months...scary. 18 still feels like yesterday.

 

Historical fiction covers an awful lot of writing in as much as it criss crosses a variety of other genres. I wouldn't normally put a Dickens novel and a story about World War II together but both could be classed as historical fiction.

 

Probably why I haven't done this one yet. How you narrow it to just 25 I don't know. I almost want to do one for stand alone novels and one for book series.

 

July 1973. For me it isn't 18 that feels like yesterday, it's more like 25, when I felt the most thriving and alive.

 

I consider Historical Fiction to be something an author writes that happened decades before their time. The number of decades it requires, well, that is a bit looser to define. Dumas wrote stories that took place long before his time, but from what I understand, didn't most of Dickens tales take place during his own era? If so, I wouldn't consider it Historical Fiction. And if a book about WWII was written at the time, or within say 10-20 years, I wouldn't call that Historical. Perhaps a litmus test could be "is the time period covered in the story during the lifetime of the author?" and if so, then it is not Historical Fiction (that literally just came to me as I typed).

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2 hours ago, Elessar said:

 

There are many books on your list I have not read, some I have heard of, some not.  What kind of books are the Commonwealth Saga which is your top favourite? I see some sci fi-authors on your list as well. I am a huge fan of sci fi in film/movies/tv-series, but have never read any sci fi books. Fantasy has been my main book-interest through the years (besides some other fiction as mentioned before, political biographies and similar).  Aforementioned Stephen R Donaldson has actually written a dark sci fi book series called The Gap Cycle which some of his fans rave about, while others find not to their liking. I haven't read much about them, but the little I have grasped makes me somewhat uncertain if those book are my cup of tea.

 

The Commonwealth Saga is a Space Opera (a Science Fiction sub-genre) series by Peter F Hamilton. It started with two books, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, which technically are all that is in the Saga itself. But then a few years later Hamilton started publishing The Void Trilogy, which takes place in the same setting, but about 1200 years later. After he concluded that trilogy he wrote a couple of standalone books before coming back to the Commonwealth and writing the Chronicles of the Fallers duology, which takes place sometime between the Saga and the Void Trilogy (I'm not sure exactly at what point between them, sorry).

 

I seem to find a lot of people who love Science Fiction in their games, movies and television, just not in their reading habits, but read tons of Fantasy. Myself, I've always read both for about as long as I can remember (but to be honest I can't recall what my first SF book was; I know my first Fantasy book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). Do you know why you never got into reading Science Fiction instead of just watching or playing it? I am honestly curious what leads to that behavioral mindset. Not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just trying to comprehend it, because for me the two genres are so inextricably intertwined I cannot imagine the one without the other, especially since the libraries in my hometown always had them either shelved together in the same area (like all the bookstores do), or labelled with the same special sticker, showing to me (or at least my impressionable young mind when I was a kid) that the two were "supposed" to be together.

 

If you want to read some good SF, let me know I can get you started right, especially if you let me know your tastes in film/telly SF, and your tastes in Fantasy reading (well, I can already see that LOL). But a good start would actually be Pandora's Star, since in many ways that series almost feels like Fantasy. It isn't SF where it is all about the technology and science and the author gets into the nitty gritty of how stuff works. Instead, you're just introduced to the different technologies as the story progresses and they are just... there. It is like how George Lucas introduced us to lightsabers, and never bothered to tell us how they worked, we just knew they were there and that they did work. A lot of modern SF, especially Space Opera, is like that. But if you do happen to like techno-babble (like you get on Star Trek), I can probably find you some authors for that as well.

 

I read the Gap Cycle years ago when it was being published, and it was pretty good. It had its darkness at times (especially the first book: TRIGGER WARNINGS!!), but was a solid SF series, with good politics and spacefaring adventure combined from what I recall. It has been a long time, 23 years since the last book, and I only read each one once.

 

1 hour ago, Elessar said:

 

I included the Masters of Rome books on my general fiction shortlist. As I said there, they were fascinating to read - another accomplished writer! - and I especially loved the parts about Julius Caesar ('Caesar's Women', one of the books, I recall being particularly in love with). I know some critics and readers felt she went overboard in her love and admiration for Caesar in her books (he was 'perfection incarnate' as some critiqued) but I just loved it and grinned widely every time he got the better of his many (often envious) enemies.

 

Yeah, if people want to talk about a Mary Sue character.... LOL

 

I loved Caesar in these books too though. I had the same reaction as you throughout.

 

I'd love to see a telly series done of these books, and stick to the history, not that bastardisation that was Rome on HBO (as much as I loved the show!). And with some serious Amazon money put into it you could do something groundbreaking: use all of those lifelike busts we have of the ancient Roman patriarchs like Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, etc and do the whole Tarkin-in-Rogue-One thing (or Gemini Man thing) and map those faces onto actors so that what we see on screen is the actual faces of the real Roman personages. I dunno, just a pipe-dream. We are pretty much at such a level of technology right now that we could do that. It would be expensive, but Bezos could afford it with what he makes in the course of one week (and that to cover the budget of the show for a couple of seasons at that I wager!).

 

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10 hours ago, imlad said:

 

The Commonwealth Saga is a Space Opera (a Science Fiction sub-genre) series by Peter F Hamilton. It started with two books, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, which technically are all that is in the Saga itself. But then a few years later Hamilton started publishing The Void Trilogy, which takes place in the same setting, but about 1200 years later. After he concluded that trilogy he wrote a couple of standalone books before coming back to the Commonwealth and writing the Chronicles of the Fallers duology, which takes place sometime between the Saga and the Void Trilogy (I'm not sure exactly at what point between them, sorry).

 

I seem to find a lot of people who love Science Fiction in their games, movies and television, just not in their reading habits, but read tons of Fantasy. Myself, I've always read both for about as long as I can remember (but to be honest I can't recall what my first SF book was; I know my first Fantasy book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). Do you know why you never got into reading Science Fiction instead of just watching or playing it? I am honestly curious what leads to that behavioral mindset. Not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just trying to comprehend it, because for me the two genres are so inextricably intertwined I cannot imagine the one without the other, especially since the libraries in my hometown always had them either shelved together in the same area (like all the bookstores do), or labelled with the same special sticker, showing to me (or at least my impressionable young mind when I was a kid) that the two were "supposed" to be together.

 

If you want to read some good SF, let me know I can get you started right, especially if you let me know your tastes in film/telly SF, and your tastes in Fantasy reading (well, I can already see that LOL). But a good start would actually be Pandora's Star, since in many ways that series almost feels like Fantasy. It isn't SF where it is all about the technology and science and the author gets into the nitty gritty of how stuff works. Instead, you're just introduced to the different technologies as the story progresses and they are just... there. It is like how George Lucas introduced us to lightsabers, and never bothered to tell us how they worked, we just knew they were there and that they did work. A lot of modern SF, especially Space Opera, is like that. But if you do happen to like techno-babble (like you get on Star Trek), I can probably find you some authors for that as well.

 

I read the Gap Cycle years ago when it was being published, and it was pretty good. It had its darkness at times (especially the first book: TRIGGER WARNINGS!!), but was a solid SF series, with good politics and spacefaring adventure combined from what I recall. It has been a long time, 23 years since the last book, and I only read each one once.

 

 

Yeah, if people want to talk about a Mary Sue character.... LOL

 

I loved Caesar in these books too though. I had the same reaction as you throughout.

 

I'd love to see a telly series done of these books, and stick to the history, not that bastardisation that was Rome on HBO (as much as I loved the show!). And with some serious Amazon money put into it you could do something groundbreaking: use all of those lifelike busts we have of the ancient Roman patriarchs like Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, etc and do the whole Tarkin-in-Rogue-One thing (or Gemini Man thing) and map those faces onto actors so that what we see on screen is the actual faces of the real Roman personages. I dunno, just a pipe-dream. We are pretty much at such a level of technology right now that we could do that. It would be expensive, but Bezos could afford it with what he makes in the course of one week (and that to cover the budget of the show for a couple of seasons at that I wager!).

 

 

Thanks for the info about those Commonwealth books.

 

Why I never got into reading sci fi? I think it is just happenchance really. The first Star Wars movie opened the doors to sci fi for me forever, but it was fantasy fiction which caught my attention bookwise (beginning with The Lord of the Rings). Had I at the time instead/also begun to read sci fi books the story might have been different. When I became older I kept the interest in sci fi movies/tv-series (and astronomy besides) but though I, of course, saw the sci fi book section beside the fantasy section in bookstores, I was never curious enough to check it out, heading instead over to check out the new fantasy book releases.

 

We are, it is said, creatures of habit and often keep to what we know, like and are comfortable with.  If we have enough books on our 'to read' list, there is little chance we will look elsewhere. Let me add that I have on occasion wondered if I would enjoy reading a sci fi book, but I have ended up thinking that they might be too theoretical/scientific for my taste, too analytical and 'out there', though I am sure there are several styles of sci fi writing as you also indicate above. I can't speak for others, but this is the way it has been for me.

 

Interesting with the 'Mary Sue' word often used in English (describing an idealized perfect fictional character who can do nothing wrong), we don't have a similar word we use in my language. Talking of 'Mary Sue', aforementioned Ayla in the Jean M Auel Earth Children's books is certainly in that category too as has been remarked on by critics and some readers (not that I care.. I love Ayla *big grin*). Yeah, Caesar rocked in those books! A quality tv-series of the Masters of Rome would have been awesome indeed. I enjoyed Rome too but I did not love it as much as I thought I would. My favourite movie from the time period is Gladiator which I love.

 

Let me add a few thoughts about A Song of Ice and Fire which we both love and have high on our favourite books list. As George RR Martin struggles to finish The Winds of Winter (even after 8 years of writing) the question becomes, will he ever be able to finish the book series? Some joked about it in earlier years, but now I am beginning to wonder seeing as the guy is about 70 now and still has a huge novel (A Dream of Spring) to finish after his current one. He has said himself that he works best when he juggles several projects and so cannot only work on A Song Of Ice and Fire, and that has to be respected of course, but I am sure I have others behind me when I say I wish he would put other projects aside for the moment and also spend a little time with a structured, efficient fantasy author like f.ex. Brandon Sanderson and get a move on with his story. We are a patient lot, but come on..

 

Some of his fans don't care anymore and have given up on him, some are happy with the Game of Thrones tv-series and are indifferent if he finishes his books or not, while others are loyal and will wait eagerly however long it takes him to finish the books. I hope to see the books released in time, but am very happy we got Game of Thrones* which I have enjoyed a lot (*I could say a lot about that tv-series, both good and bad, but will leave that topic for the moment; on the whole I thought that was a great tv-adaptation) and which has given us an ending to this epic story (even if, perhaps, a slightly slanted ending compared to what will be the case in the books).

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1. The Bible -- Various (Cliché, I know.)

2. Ranger's Apprentice/Brotherband Chronicles -- John Flanagan

3. Wheel of Time -- Robert Jordan

 

After this it become nonranked. I'm not very good at ranking.

 

Harry Potter -- J.K. Rowling

Inheritance Cycle -- Christopher Paolini

Books of Umber -- P.W. Catanese

Wingfeather Saga -- Andrew Petersen

Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit -- J.R.R. Tolkien (not including works published after Tolkien's death.)

Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy -- Edmund Morris

Black Hawk Down -- Mark Bowden

Beyonders -- Brandon Mull

Case for Christ series -- Lee Strobel

Kingdom Series/Knights of Arrethtrae -- Chuck Black

Jeeves and Wooster books -- P.G. Wodehouse

Psmith books -- P.G. Wodehouse

Chronicles of Narnia -- C.S. Lewis

Crispin -- Avi

Chronicles of Prydain -- Lloyd Alexander

The King's Fifth -- Scott O'Dell

Let the People Rule -- Geoffrey Cowan

The Chosen -- Chaim Potok

 

Hon. Mentions: Anything I forgot. And anything by Jane Austen. And The Martian by Andy Weir. And The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis ... OK, I'll stop. After this it mostly becomes various biographies and histories.

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20 hours ago, Elessar said:

 

Thanks for the info about those Commonwealth books.

 

Why I never got into reading sci fi? I think it is just happenchance really. The first Star Wars movie opened the doors to sci fi for me forever, but it was fantasy fiction which caught my attention bookwise (beginning with The Lord of the Rings). Had I at the time instead/also begun to read sci fi books the story might have been different. When I became older I kept the interest in sci fi movies/tv-series (and astronomy besides) but though I, of course, saw the sci fi book section beside the fantasy section in bookstores, I was never curious enough to check it out, heading instead over to check out the new fantasy book releases.

 

We are, it is said, creatures of habit and often keep to what we know, like and are comfortable with.  If we have enough books on our 'to read' list, there is little chance we will look elsewhere. Let me add that I have on occasion wondered if I would enjoy reading a sci fi book, but I have ended up thinking that they might be too theoretical/scientific for my taste, too analytical and 'out there', though I am sure there are several styles of sci fi writing as you also indicate above. I can't speak for others, but this is the way it has been for me.

 

Interesting with the 'Mary Sue' word often used in English (describing an idealized perfect fictional character who can do nothing wrong), we don't have a similar word we use in my language. Talking of 'Mary Sue', aforementioned Ayla in the Jean M Auel Earth Children's books is certainly in that category too as has been remarked on by critics and some readers (not that I care.. I love Ayla *big grin*). Yeah, Caesar rocked in those books! A quality tv-series of the Masters of Rome would have been awesome indeed. I enjoyed Rome too but I did not love it as much as I thought I would. My favourite movie from the time period is Gladiator which I love.

 

Let me add a few thoughts about A Song of Ice and Fire which we both love and have high on our favourite books list. As George RR Martin struggles to finish The Winds of Winter (even after 8 years of writing) the question becomes, will he ever be able to finish the book series? Some joked about it in earlier years, but now I am beginning to wonder seeing as the guy is about 70 now and still has a huge novel (A Dream of Spring) to finish after his current one. He has said himself that he works best when he juggles several projects and so cannot only work on A Song Of Ice and Fire, and that has to be respected of course, but I am sure I have others behind me when I say I wish he would put other projects aside for the moment and also spend a little time with a structured, efficient fantasy author like f.ex. Brandon Sanderson and get a move on with his story. We are a patient lot, but come on..

 

Some of his fans don't care anymore and have given up on him, some are happy with the Game of Thrones tv-series and are indifferent if he finishes his books or not, while others are loyal and will wait eagerly however long it takes him to finish the books. I hope to see the books released in time, but am very happy we got Game of Thrones* which I have enjoyed a lot (*I could say a lot about that tv-series, both good and bad, but will leave that topic for the moment; on the whole I thought that was a great tv-adaptation) and which has given us an ending to this epic story (even if, perhaps, a slightly slanted ending compared to what will be the case in the books).

 

I don't know about the rest of the U.S., but here in Michigan (or at least my hometown), the bookstores, and even one library, put all the Science Fiction, Fantasy and even Horror into one section (I'm not one for Horror at al, whether on screen or on the page; I do not like to be scared). It never occurred to me that other places might not bunch them together, as I've only ever seen them in the same section (or marked with the same stickers in the case of most of the libraries here in my city). Do you mind if I ask where you are from and what your native language is (not asking for town or city)? If you don't want to say, that's no problem, I'm just curious. Obviously I'm in the United States, Michigan being my state (we're the state that is the two peninsulas jutting into the Great Lakes, the southern peninsula, where I'm at, looking like a glove). I'm only asking so I can put what you're saying into better context.

 

Even though you have never read Science Fiction, I would still highly recommend the Commonewealth Saga. In many ways it sort of feels like Fantasy; think of it almost like you would a novel set during the Age of Legends from The Wheel of Time. How the devices (ter'angreal) they have work doesn't matter, they just do work. Nobody really concerns themselves in their day to day lives with the how or why (sort of like how the vast majority of the populace today in the real world couldn't care less how their smartphones or laptops work). In Hamilton's setting we have instantaneous transportation from one world to another, the tech equivalent to the Fountain of Youth (people are able to rejuvenate their bodies from old age back down to somewhere between 18-25 or so). People can even be brought back from the dead thanks to a "magical implant" that essentially records your memories and thoughts (your "essence" or "soul" in more Fantastical terms), and when your body dies this implant can be put into a clone of your body giving it your "essence," making It, You. People now live hundreds of years, if not longer. Even the poor have access to rejuvenation ("Fountain of Youth") and re-life technology (resurrection via clone and implant). Everyone essentially has telepathy (what else you call it when you can mentally think a text or "voice" message to a computer chip in your brain and have it sent to another person who will then read it in a augmented reality display or "hear" it via their own chip?) and mental connection to the Internet-On-Super-Steroids. Basically, your smartphone is in your head now, with an augmented reality/heads up display overlayed on  your vision. None of this is ever explained; you just see the characters using it, like you would see a character using a telephone, refridgerator or car in a novel set in 2019.

 

It is the most accessible Science Fiction series I can think of for someone who doesn't actually read SF. And it does help that you at least enjoy the genre in TV, film and games; some concepts won't be entirely foreign to you (like, I'm pretty sure you know what "cybernetics" means, or what AI is). I introduced a buddy of mine to it, and he couldn't put it down (and all he ever seemed to be reading was Stephen King or Terry Goodkind).

 

I'm one of those fans that is indifferent as to whether George RR Martin finishes aSoIaF. I still love the series, but I'm not actually counting on seeing it completed. I'm also one of those rare individuals (at least rare online, not so much offline in my personal interactions with fans of the show) that was happy with Season 8 and how Game of Thrones ended. Yes, I acknowledge that there was some rushing; Season 7 should have been 1 or 2 episodes longer, and Season 8 probably could have used 1 more episode. I'm don't think Season 8 was perfect, not by a longshot, but I'm still happy with it. And I consider it good enough of a conclusion for me to the story so that if we never actually see A Dream of Spring published, I can be satisfied. I know many won't be though, which is a shame. I do hope GRRM finishes these books, but I'm not holding my breath. And to be honest, right now I'm not even in the mood to read anything in that tone of Fantasy. The next book could arrive at my doorstep tomorrow and I doubt I would even start it for a while. Just not in the mood for that sort of Fantasy, so no GRRM, Erikson, Abercrombie, Bakker...

 

12 hours ago, KingRodel said:

1. The Bible -- Various (Cliché, I know.)

2. Ranger's Apprentice/Brotherband Chronicles -- John Flanagan

3. Wheel of Time -- Robert Jordan

 

After this it become nonranked. I'm not very good at ranking.

 

Harry Potter -- J.K. Rowling

Inheritance Cycle -- Christopher Paolini

Books of Umber -- P.W. Catanese

Wingfeather Saga -- Andrew Petersen

Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit -- J.R.R. Tolkien (not including works published after Tolkien's death.)

Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy -- Edmund Morris

Black Hawk Down -- Mark Bowden

Beyonders -- Brandon Mull

Case for Christ series -- Lee Strobel

Kingdom Series/Knights of Arrethtrae -- Chuck Black

Jeeves and Wooster books -- P.G. Wodehouse

Psmith books -- P.G. Wodehouse

Chronicles of Narnia -- C.S. Lewis

Crispin -- Avi

Chronicles of Prydain -- Lloyd Alexander

The King's Fifth -- Scott O'Dell

Let the People Rule -- Geoffrey Cowan

The Chosen -- Chaim Potok

 

Hon. Mentions: Anything I forgot. And anything by Jane Austen. And The Martian by Andy Weir. And The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis ... OK, I'll stop. After this it mostly becomes various biographies and histories.

 

I see a certain theological theme running through your selections. I want to suggest an author and series: Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksennarion. It has similar themes I think, and I feel is the best embodiment of what the Paladin character class is (rarely I think do people ever actually play Paladins properly, they always seem to be represented poorly). There are a couple trilogies involved in that series, so I hope you have some fun with it; I've read most of them, just haven't gotten around to the rest. Someday soon I hope.

 

Edited by imlad

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20 minutes ago, imlad said:

 

I don't know about the rest of the U.S., but here in Michigan (or at least my hometown), the bookstores, and even one library, put all the Science Fiction, Fantasy and even Horror into one section (I'm not one for Horror at al, whether on screen or on the page; I do not like to be scared). It never occurred to me that other places might not bunch them together, as I've only ever seen them in the same section (or marked with the same stickers in the case of most of the libraries here in my city). Do you mind if I ask where you are from and what your native language is (not asking for town or city)? If you don't want to say, that's no problem, I'm just curious. Obviously I'm in the United States, Michigan being my state (we're the state that is the two peninsulas jutting into the Great Lakes, the southern peninsula, where I'm at, looking like a glove). I'm only asking so I can put what you're saying into better context.

 

I come from Norway in Northern Europe. My native language is Norwegian but I lived several years in the UK and kept reading and writing in English after my return to my native homeland and have since. I used to live in Oslo, our capital, back in the day and though many bookstores over here did indeed bunch fantasy and sci fi together like you describe in Michigan, one bookstore - the largest one - did not. It had the grandest book selection in every category (fiction, non-fiction, biographies, books in Norwegian etc), including separate sections for sci fi and fantasy in English (next to one another) and since this bookstore had a lot more English books in these genres than any others around, that was the place I always went to search for new books. And so I always ended up in the fantasy book section of this large bookstore, eagerly going through the selection of books there, skipping the sci fi section and horror-section (I have never either been keen on reading horror-novels) that were next to it. 

 

20 minutes ago, imlad said:

 

Even though you have never read Science Fiction, I would still highly recommend the Commonewealth Saga. In many ways it sort of feels like Fantasy; think of it almost like you would a novel set during the Age of Legends from The Wheel of Time. How the devices (ter'angreal) they have work doesn't matter, they just do work. Nobody really concerns themselves in their day to day lives with the how or why (sort of like how the vast majority of the populace today in the real world couldn't care less how their smartphones or laptops work). In Hamilton's setting we have instantaneous transportation from one world to another, the tech equivalent to the Fountain of Youth (people are able to rejuvenate their bodies from old age back down to somewhere between 18-25 or so). People can even be brought back from the dead thanks to a "magical implant" that essentially records your memories and thoughts (your "essence" or "soul" in more Fantastical terms), and when your body dies this implant can be put into a clone of your body giving it your "essence," making It, You. People now live hundreds of years, if not longer. Even the poor have access to rejuvenation ("Fountain of Youth") and re-life technology (resurrection via clone and implant). Everyone essentially has telepathy (what else you call it when you can mentally think a text or "voice" message to a computer chip in your brain and have it sent to another person who will then read it in a augmented reality display or "hear" it via their own chip?) and mental connection to the Internet-On-Super-Steroids. Basically, your smartphone is in your head now, with an augmented reality/heads up display overlayed on  your vision. None of this is ever explained; you just see the characters using it, like you would see a character using a telephone, refridgerator or car in a novel set in 2019.

 

Thanks again for the recommendation. It sounds interesting in a way though very different as well. I have watched some sci fi movies that touch upon some of these subjects (AI, cybernetics, clones etc) but never read any books with these themes. I will keep what you have said in mind.

 

20 minutes ago, imlad said:

 

It is the most accessible Science Fiction series I can think of for someone who doesn't actually read SF. And it does help that you at least enjoy the genre in TV, film and games; some concepts won't be entirely foreign to you (like, I'm pretty sure you know what "cybernetics" means, or what AI is). I introduced a buddy of mine to it, and he couldn't put it down (and all he ever seemed to be reading was Stephen King or Terry Goodkind).

 

I know several people who are big fans of Stephen King novels. I haven't ready any of them myself though I have enjoyed some of the films that are based on some of his work, especially 'The Shawshank Redemption' which I consider a classic, but also 'The Green Mile' which also was a very good movie. I remember 'Misery' as well from back in the day. Much of the rest of his work is horror-based, I think, though I also believe he has dabbled in fantasy-like fiction on occasion (perhaps crossover).

 

20 minutes ago, imlad said:

 

I'm one of those fans that is indifferent as to whether George RR Martin finishes aSoIaF. I still love the series, but I'm not actually counting on seeing it completed. I'm also one of those rare individuals (at least rare online, not so much offline in my personal interactions with fans of the show) that was happy with Season 8 and how Game of Thrones ended. Yes, I acknowledge that there was some rushing; Season 7 should have been 1 or 2 episodes longer, and Season 8 probably could have used 1 more episode. I'm don't think Season 8 was perfect, not by a longshot, but I'm still happy with it. And I consider it good enough of a conclusion for me to the story so that if we never actually see A Dream of Spring published, I can be satisfied. I know many won't be though, which is a shame. I do hope GRRM finishes these books, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

 

I have, sadly, become one of the more indifferent ones as well. As I mentioned, I do hope to see his final novels released at some point (but he certainly should get a move on as I emphasized) but I don't either feel confident he will complete the book series, and so will enjoy whatever we do get. Glad the Game of Thrones tv-series could give a kind of conclusion to the epic story (even if parts were different due to some changes from the books earlier on). As for Season 8, I am one of those who was pretty unhappy with it, to be honest, and how it ended for several reasons (among them the things you mention, structure, plot-choices and resolutions). And so it was a disappointment for me. But I can live with it, since the series adaptation on the whole was great in my opinion with far more highlights than general disappointments.

 

20 minutes ago, imlad said:

 

And to be honest, right now I'm not even in the mood to read anything in that tone of Fantasy. The next book could arrive at my doorstep tomorrow and I doubt I would even start it for a while. Just not in the mood for that sort of Fantasy, so no GRRM, Erikson, Abercrombie, Bakker...

 

 

I too have to be in the right mood to read a certain type of book. Sometimes I know I am ready to read something 'heavier' (I have a few quality political biographies in this category), other times I am just after pure escapism.

 

By the way, all my books are of the traditional paper variety. I know many people enjoy audio books these days, but I like sitting with the book(s) in my hands and reading and turning the pages. Guess I am old-fashioned that way but there goes.

 

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6 hours ago, Elessar said:

 

I come from Norway in Northern Europe. My native language is Norwegian but I lived several years in the UK and kept reading and writing in English after my return to my native homeland and have since. I used to live in Oslo, our capital, back in the day and though many bookstores over here did indeed bunch fantasy and sci fi together like you describe in Michigan, one bookstore - the largest one - did not. It had the grandest book selection in every category (fiction, non-fiction, biographies, books in Norwegian etc), including separate sections for sci fi and fantasy in English (next to one another) and since this bookstore had a lot more English books in these genres than any others around, that was the place I always went to search for new books. And so I always ended up in the fantasy book section of this large bookstore, eagerly going through the selection of books there, skipping the sci fi section and horror-section (I have never either been keen on reading horror-novels) that were next to it. 

 

 

Thanks again for the recommendation. It sounds interesting in a way though very different as well. I have watched some sci fi movies that touch upon some of these subjects (AI, cybernetics, clones etc) but never read any books with these themes. I will keep what you have said in mind.

 

 

I know several people who are big fans of Stephen King novels. I haven't ready any of them myself though I have enjoyed some of the films that are based on some of his work, especially 'The Shawshank Redemption' which I consider a classic, but also 'The Green Mile' which also was a very good movie. I remember 'Misery' as well from back in the day. Much of the rest of his work is horror-based, I think, though I also believe he has dabbled in fantasy-like fiction on occasion (perhaps crossover).

....

.....

By the way, all my books are of the traditional paper variety. I know many people enjoy audio books these days, but I like sitting with the book(s) in my hands and reading and turning the pages. Guess I am old-fashioned that way but there goes.

 

 

I don't quite have any direct connections to Norway, but I have two "older brothers" from Finland (exchange students that lived with us when I was 10-12 years old) as well as a Danish exchange student we had around that same time. I'm also of a large percentage Danish ancestry, although apparently one of the towns a Danish ancestor was from is now part of Germany. So while not Norwegian myself, my distant ancestors had distant, distant, distant kinfolk there LOL. ?

 

I'm not much of a fan of Stephen King's books. I've tried a couple and wasn't thrilled. I was enjoying The Stand a lot (I'm kind of a sucker for post-apocalyptic tales, or have been), but then I saw the ending the the TV miniseries that was done here in the States and thought the ending was Trolloc excrement. So I skimmed through the last quarter of the book that I hadn't finished yet, and sure enough, that's how the book ended. Pfft! Put that book down in disappointment. What I do like of King's are the movies that are adapted from some of his short works; like you I love Shawshank (such an amazing movie, Top 50 for me), and I also liked The Green Mile and Stand by Me. His horror stuff, of course, I avoid typically. I have considered trying his The Dark Tower series, but it is way down my list of stuff to read, and most new stuff goes on the list above it. Part of my problem with King is he has a problem ending his stories (the aforementioned movies aside).

 

I love hardcopy books, actual paper books. I love them. But for the past decade or so I have done almost all of my reading either on a laptop or on my Kindle or no Amazon Fire. A large part of this reason is that I can change the size of the text, change the color of the "paper" (I go with the sepia tone), adjust all the margins and spacing, etc. You also don't need a light to read by, the device itself is the light. There is also the fact it costs less in trees (although I am sure there is a trade off in some other way environmentally).

 

But then, I can also carry around in one hand literally thousands of books. I can't do that with harcopy books. Right now my old Kindle Fire, which I use only for reading, has over 4000 books on it, mostly thanks to one of my best friends. He told me to loan it to him for the weekend a couple months ago, and said I'd be happy with him when I got it back (I have an Amazon Fire and a laptop, so I was able to get by without the Kindle for that time). When I got it back it was chocked full of books, tons and tons of Science Fiction and Fantasy. As well as a lot of science books (he knows my preferences in reading). I didn't ask where he got all those books, or how. I don't want to know (I can make some guesses, and probably pretty accurate ones). I was not about to refuse the gift (the way I see it, if I delete my copy of the book file after reading it, it is essentially no different that if I had borrowed a hard copy book from a friend or the library and then returned it, assuming the original copy was acquired legitimately, which I have chosen to do as that is more convenient than deleting nearly 4000 books that I might actually want to read).

 

I know that's a slippery slope, and probably a weak argument, but I'm simply not going to delete those files at this point. But this isn't the forum discussing digital copyright laws and the ethics surrounding them. Just suffice it to say, I don't see myself reading many physical bound books in the near future, unless they are new releases, or otherwise something my mate didn't find (he's told me to let him know what I'm looking for, but I haven't given him any titles yet, since I think I have enough to read for the next 20 years LOL). And for the record, there is a good number of books on my Kindle that were acquired by me totally legitimately, either by me purchasing them for myself, or family or friends purchasing them for me; not everything I'm reading is from my (presumably) pirating friend.

 

As to audiobooks, I've only ever tried it once, back when they were still called, and literally were, "Books on Tape." I had, just for the heck of it, picked up a copy of The Shadow Rising (my #2 favorite WoT book) on on tape (actual tape cassettes!!) and listened to it while reading along. I soon discovered that it was seriously abridged, which was disappointing. I don't remember if I actually finished listening to the whole thing. But that is my one and only experience with an audiobook. I'm not good with audio; I don't follow along well to audio-only formats, I tend to get distracted by things I see, or by my own mind. I need my eyes to be pulling in the information along with my ears (which is why I love television and film so much, they are, IMO, the epitome of the storytelling art, well, telly is at least). I have a couple of podcasts I do listen to, but it takes an immense amount of mental energy to focus on them, to the point where the only things I can do is something so mindless as to be rote, like doing the dishes or mowing the lawn, or cooking (well, certain dishes that I can make without thinking about it). I couldn't possibly drive while listening to a podcast or audiobook, I would lose my place in the story/'cast or get into an accident.

Edited by imlad

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1. The Keltiad (Trilogy 1&2) - Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
2. A Song of Ice and Fire - G. R. R. Martin
3. Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson
4. Pern Series - Anne McCaffrey/Todd McCaffrey
5. Discworld - Terry Pratchett
6. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - Tad Williams
7. Deverry Cycle - Katherine Kerr

--------------------------------------- In no particular order after this
8. Talent Series - Anne McCaffrey
9. The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
10. Farseer Trilogy - Robin Hobb
11. The Liveship Traders - Robin Hobb
12. Malazan Book of the Fallen 1-4 - Steven Erikson
13. The Fionavar Tapestry - Guy Gavriel Kaye
14. A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
15. The Legend of Drizzt series, Forgotten Realms - R.A. Salvatore
16. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
17. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

Non Fantasy

18. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

19. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

20. Whirlwind - James Clavell

 

Honourable Mentions

Falco series - Lindsay Davis

Any one of his books - John Grisham

Rhanna series - Christine Marion Fraser

The Crystal Cave series - Mary Stewart

The Camulod Chronicles - Jack Whyte

 

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6 hours ago, Taymist said:

1. The Keltiad (Trilogy 1&2) - Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
2. A Song of Ice and Fire - G. R. R. Martin
3. Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson
4. Pern Series - Anne McCaffrey/Todd McCaffrey
5. Discworld - Terry Pratchett
6. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - Tad Williams
7. Deverry Cycle - Katherine Kerr

--------------------------------------- In no particular order after this
8. Talent Series - Anne McCaffrey
9. The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
10. Farseer Trilogy - Robin Hobb
11. The Liveship Traders - Robin Hobb
12. Malazan Book of the Fallen 1-4 - Steven Erikson
13. The Fionavar Tapestry - Guy Gavriel Kaye
14. A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
15. The Legend of Drizzt series, Forgotten Realms - R.A. Salvatore
16. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
17. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

Non Fantasy

18. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

19. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

20. Whirlwind - James Clavell

 

Honourable Mentions

Falco series - Lindsay Davis

Any one of his books - John Grisham

Rhanna series - Christine Marion Fraser

The Crystal Cave series - Mary Stewart

The Camulod Chronicles - Jack Whyte

 

 

 

A lot there that I don't know, which is good, part of the whole point of this: to find authors you don't know. Some of what you list I've read (the obvious ones from my own list aside) I liked but barely remember, but I do know I read Hobb during the year my buddy and I basically celebrated St Patricks Day for a year and a half (we started drinking one year on the holiday, but had nothing to do with it, and drank every night from then on until like six months after the following St Patrick's Day; not a healthy or a good idea, and not my proudest moment(s) for sure).

 

It just occurred to me, it's been so long since I read a new Pern novel or story that I don't think I've even ever read one co-written by Todd McCaffreu.. I still plan on getting around to reading them (like so many other books!) but I need to cut some more time I spend watching crap on YouTube (mostl history and science stuff, with  larger helping of entertainment news added in; it's how I keep up to date on stuff as much as possible). And when I go to read those new novels and short stories (if there are new short stories) I plan on rereading the entire series all over again as a refresher course.

 

What do you think of the adaptation to television of A Discovery of Witches so far?Is it worth watching for someone who has zero knowledge of the show or the books?

 

 

Edited by imlad

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6 hours ago, imlad said:

It just occurred to me, it's been so long since I read a new Pern novel or story that I don't think I've even ever read one co-written by Todd McCaffreu.. [...] And when I go to read those new novels and short stories (if there are new short stories) I plan on rereading the entire series all over again as a refresher course.

 

I was wary when their collab was first made official but Todd's clearly been immersed in the universe all of his life. It's literally seamless. I didn't feel any disconnect in the newest novels that he was involved with or that he wrote alone.

 

6 hours ago, imlad said:

What do you think of the adaptation to television of A Discovery of Witches so far?Is it worth watching for someone who has zero knowledge of the show or the books?

 

Yes, I think so. I've found it highly enjoyable so far. Largely due to the incredible casting. Matthew Goode (from Downton Abbey) and Teresa Palmer (an Australian who was unknown to me) have the most insane chemistry in the lead roles which was pretty vital to carry their relationship off. Owen Teale, Greg McHugh and Trevor Eve are all probably better known in Britain but any ER fans will certainly know Alex Kingston. Lindsay Davis is an icon of British TV. It's a typical BBC adaptation, top notch quality drama. Plenty of tension, lots of hints and teasers to keep you hooked and, as far as the vampires go, nothing like Twilight, thank the Lord. Sure there are some minor changes but you're always going to get that as we all know. None of them detract from the original Books in my opinion. I actually watched the TV series and then read the books and I was pleasantly surprised at how true it had stayed.

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1 hour ago, Taymist said:

I was wary when their collab was first made official but Todd's clearly been immersed in the universe all of his life. It's literally seamless. I didn't feel any disconnect in the newest novels that he was involved with or that he wrote alone

 

That's good news, then. So I'm guessing their style is pretty close as well, which is good too. Gracias Thank you (hey, don't know what languages I can count on native English speaking Europeans being "quasi-polylinguistic" in like most Americans are; we all seem to know a handful of words in like a handful of languages LOL, but I figure everyone does know "gracias" right?/EndTangent).

 

1 hour ago, Taymist said:

Yes, I think so. I've found it highly enjoyable so far. Largely due to the incredible casting. Matthew Goode (from Downton Abbey) and Teresa Palmer (an Australian who was unknown to me) have the most insane chemistry in the lead roles which was pretty vital to carry their relationship off. Owen Teale, Greg McHugh and Trevor Eve are all probably better known in Britain but any ER fans will certainly know Alex Kingston. Lindsay Davis is an icon of British TV. It's a typical BBC adaptation, top notch quality drama. Plenty of tension, lots of hints and teasers to keep you hooked and, as far as the vampires go, nothing like Twilight, thank the Lord. Sure there are some minor changes but you're always going to get that as we all know. None of them detract from the original Books in my opinion. I actually watched the TV series and then read the books and I was pleasantly surprised at how true it had stayed.

 

I'm a (tie)dyed*-in-the-wool geek, so I definitely better know who River Song Alex Kingston is ? (but yeah, I also knew her back in her ER days as well). Owen Teale was a recurring character on Game of Thrones for a number of seasons, so I knew his name on sight (and I've seen in him some other minor roles, I've watched a number of British TV shows over the past decade, shows the same friend who gets me books gets me, and probably in the same manner, I just don't ask). I didn't recognize the name Lindsay Davis, but when I looked up the imdb for the show I saw Lindsay Duncan's name, and she has been in just about everything ever made on telly from The LeftoversSherlockMerlin, Doctor Who, Rome, Spooks (aka MI-5 for my fellow Americans) to Black Mirror just to name the titles I have actually seen her in, or at least remember her in. She was exceptional on Rome as Servilia, but pretty much everyone on that show was exceptional, yet she did stand out. This scene (strong language warning kiddos!) stands out in my memory of her on Rome. She's a truly remarkable force to be reckoned with when it comes to acting over there in the UK, I would say. One of your artistic "national treasures," who I am surprised has not yet actually won a BAFTA.

 

As to the other names you mentioned, Trevor Eve I have apparently seen in two projects (Death at Pemberly and Troy but he didn't stand out in either, even seeing his face: chalk that up to him being "random older British dude #1"). Teresa Palmer I only know from her role in Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond Doss' (Andrew Garfield) wife. The rest are unknown to me, even after checking their imdb pages to see if they had been in anything I had seen.

 

I think I might add this show to my TBW list. Thanks for the info ?

 

(*The majority of my t-shirts are tie-dye shirts, and almost all of my tops are t-shirts, thus the "Geeky Hippie" appellation. I might include some pics of some of my favorite shirts sometime if people are interested; some I dyed myself, others I bought.)

Edited by imlad

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1 hour ago, imlad said:

(hey, don't know what languages I can count on native English speaking Europeans being "quasi-polylinguistic" in like most Americans are; we all seem to know a handful of words in like a handful of languages LOL, but I figure everyone does know "gracias" right?/EndTangent).

Yeah. I think most of us will know what gracias means lol. Brits do like their Spanish holidays. Most European mainland countries tend to be at least bi-lingual by default because they're all fairly fluent English speakers on top of their native tongue. In the UK pretty much everyone's taken either French or German, at least up to 16 years/first set of exams. I also took Latin which gives me a kind of "recognise the root of the word and can surmise what the meaning is" understanding of the Latin based European languages.

 

1 hour ago, imlad said:

I'm a (tie)dyed*-in-the-wool geek, so I definitely better know who River Song Alex Kingston is ? (but yeah, I also knew her back in her ER days as well).

 

I actually can't remember what I saw her in first, there was definitely something before she went to ER, but she will always be Moll Flanders to me. Don't know if you'd have seen that one but she starred as Moll alongside Daniel Craig and Keeley Hawes, 1996-ish iirc.

 

1 hour ago, imlad said:

Owen Teale was a recurring character on Game of Thrones for a number of seasons, so I knew his name on sight

 

I have no idea why that escaped my mind, of course he was.

 

1 hour ago, imlad said:

I didn't recognize the name Lindsay Davis, but when I looked up the imdb for the show I saw Lindsay Duncan's name, and she has been in just about everything ever made on telly from The LeftoversSherlockMerlin, Doctor Who, Rome, Spooks (aka MI-5 for my fellow Americans) to Black Mirror just to name the titles I have actually seen her in, or at least remember her in. She was exceptional on Rome as Servilia, but pretty much everyone on that show was exceptional, yet she did stand out. This scene (strong language warning kiddos!) stands out in my memory of her on Rome. She's a truly remarkable force to be reckoned with when it comes to acting over there in the UK, I would say. One of your artistic "national treasures," who I am surprised has not yet actually won a BAFTA.

 

Yes, Duncan... I have no idea how that became Davies. :rolleyes: And she's most definitely a national treasure. I rate her as much as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. Which is the highest compliment I can give her.

 

1 hour ago, imlad said:

I think I might add this show to my TBW list. Thanks for the info ?

 

Most welcome, if you do see it, let me know what you think.

 

1 hour ago, imlad said:

 

(*The majority of my t-shirts are tie-dye shirts, and almost all of my tops are t-shirts, thus the "Geeky Hippie" appellation. I might include some pics of some of my favorite shirts sometime if people are interested; some I dyed myself, others I bought.)

 

Show away. I love seeing what crafty/maker thing people get up to.

 

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42 minutes ago, Taymist said:

Yeah. I think most of us will know what gracias means lol. Brits do like their Spanish holidays. Most European mainland countries tend to be at least bi-lingual by default because they're all fairly fluent English speakers on top of their native tongue. In the UK pretty much everyone's taken either French or German, at least up to 16 years/first set of exams. I also took Latin which gives me a kind of "recognise the root of the word and can surmise what the meaning is" understanding of the Latin based European languages.

 

I was half joking with that gracias thing, but only half: I have no idea the percentage of Spanish speakers in the UK. Here in the States it is pretty high, so Spanish is a fairly common second language, and one everyone grows up knowing bits of it culturally, even the most backwoods racist person's kids are going to grow up knowing bits of Spanish, its just part of our culture. And I didn't know if that was in any way the case with the UK or any of the other English speaking countries.

 

I've never taken Latin, although I have picked up a bit of Latin through stuff I have read and/or watched over the years, and also from learning bits and pieces of Romance languages (especially Spanish, the only one I spent more than a semester "studying") I can puzzle out the meaning or at least the general topic of a sentence. Sometimes. If I'm lucky. I'd say my Read Languages Skill Check is at like maybe a 6 in D&D terms (3/3.5 ed). Basically low, but at least I can do it better than most people who can't even try LOL. At least that's what I tell myself. ?

 

42 minutes ago, Taymist said:

I rate her as much as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. Which is the highest compliment I can give her.

 

That surely is high praise, and well deserved I would say.

 

42 minutes ago, Taymist said:

Show away. I love seeing what crafty/maker thing people get up to.

 

 

Once the good ones are out of the wash and off the line I'll take some pics and share them with ya. ? 

 

Tie-dye is basically my trademark, I'm almost always wearing it. I do have monochromatic shirts as well (a large number of them red, as that's the color of the volunteer shirts I get at a music festival I attend and volunteer at every year since 2003), but I don't wear them as often, and when I do (weather permitting) I will tend to wear a long-sleeved tie-dye underneath the monochromatic t-shirt just to have some tie-dye showing. I even have tie-dye pillow cases and blanket LOL! If I had the money I would be ridiculous and have a three-piece suit made in tie-dye fabric with a tie-dye dress shirt and tie. Beyond silly, I know but I just love the idea. Add in the long hair (a little over half the way down my back at this point) and everyone just started calling me "hippie" around town, And cops always wanted to search cars I was in that they pulled over... (but not anymore, 'cuz we legalized it on our last ballot).

 

Edited by imlad

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1. Stormlight Archive - Brandon Sanderson

2. Wheel of Time

3. Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss

4. Dresden Files - Jim Butcher

5. Mistborn Era 2 - Brandon Sanderson

6. Dragonlance: Legends - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

7. Mistborn Era 1 - Brandon Sanderson

8. Chronicles of Thomas Covenant - Stephen R. Donaldson

9. Dragonlance: Chronicles - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

10. Dark Tower - Stephen King

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Posted (edited)

My top 20 but in no particular order

1/ Wheel of Time

2/ The Elenium/Tamuli saga by Eddings

3/ Nights Dawn trilogy by Peter F Hamilton

4/ Belgariad/Mallorean saga by Eddings

5/ Riftwar Saga by Raymond E Feist

6/ Deverry* cycle by Katherine Kerr

7/ Foundation Series by Asimov
8/ LOTR

9/ First 2 books of the Commonwealth saga by Hamilton, couldn’t get into the rest

10/ Memory, Sorrow, Thorne by Tad Williams

11/ Dune series by Herbert

12/ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

13/ A Song of Ice and Fire by Martin

14/ Dragonlance by Hickman and Weise

15/ Shannara Series (pity about the absolute cluster that was the show) by Brooks

16/ The 2001 series of books by Clarke

17/ Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

18/ The Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter

19/ The Heliconia trilogy by Brian Aldiss

20/ The Uplift War series by David Brin

*The Deverry series is one that from seems to be unknown in the US and that is a real pity as i think a lot of WOT, ASOIF and LOTR fans would enjoy it. It has Celtic culture at its heart and is superbly written 

 

Edited by Harldin
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