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What have you been reading and what do you suggest?


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As we wait for the conlusion to WoT, or George RR Martin to stop writing trash and get back to his bread and butter, gotta read something.  I'm looking for some suggestions.  During the last 6 or so  months Ive read the following fiction:

 

Steven King: The Dark Tower 1-7  (Great start, limp finish)

Stephen Baxter: Manifold Trilogy  (Hurt my brain with physics, but ok)

Greg Baer: The Eon Trilogy  (Good, but to Ben Bova)

Ken Follett: World Without End  (OK, but not Pillars of the Earth)

Robert Ludlum: The Prometheus Deception (Spy meets world....the same as all his books)

Jeffery Deaver: The Twelfth Card  (Bone Collector minus 20 bones)

John Grisham:  The Last Juror (Great for sitting on the toilet, not the mind)

Charles Dickens: Bleak House (Fantastic, if you like him)

Cormac McCarthy: No Country For Old Men and The Road (Wow)

Khaled Hosseini: Kite Runner (Wow)

Clive Cussler: Trojan Odyssey (Sounds like something that happened in college, and book no better)

More drivel that I have forgotten, etc..

 

The winners are:  1) The Road- Pulitzer winner and Sci Fi?  No, it's literature.  The best book Ive read in the last 2-3 years. 2) Kite Runner. Just a good read. 3) World Without End.  If you can actually finish it, you can brag just like after reading the first one. Good fun too. 4) Tie between Bleak House and No Country for Old Men.  I like Dickens, but a super evil dude popping a noggin with a cattlegun is cool too. and 5) Steven King's Dark Tower 1-3. After that, make up your own ending.

 

Any good suggestions?

 

 

 

 

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Not sure what genre since you are all over the board... but I loved the Road, too.  Did you cry at the end??

 

Anyway, some books I'm recommending lately

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (just don't look at the pic of the author)

 

Octavia Butler. African American Feminist author.  Amazing.  One trilogy is Dawn, Adulthood Rites and Imago.  Complete and excellent.  Fledgling and Kindred are stand alone books that were also great.

 

I am also currently recommending Lois McMasters Bujold.  She has some good fantasy and some excellent hard core sci fi.  If you like space opera stuff, look at her Miles Vorkosigan (sp) series.  I really, really

enjoyed it.

 

I know I've read other good stuff lately, but I can't think of it.  Check the other (numerous) threads on this topic on this board, too, though.

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Not entirely sure what 'trash' GRRM has been writing recently. Hmm.

 

Currently reading Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles Trilogy, basically a 'realistic' retelling of the Arthur legend (with proper 5th Century weapons, armour and the historically accurate religious strife of the period). It is excellent.

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, I'm back. After 15 years of talking smack, I got taken down with a very lovely virus that was an incorporated worm/trojan.  Within 2 days, my PC was $%^&&*.  Anyway, Werthead, how was "Warlord Chronicles Trilogy"?  should I pick it up?  As for GRRM trash, read Shadow Twin.  Very average. It's what I hate. An author writes a good book. Then another. It takes off, so he writes a something else trying to bank on his/her name.  There are very few writers who can switch it up in the fan/sf genre.

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i actually haven't been reading that many novels lately...  after 25 years of having no interest in them, i got into comics in the last year or so.  i won't go into that cuz i don't think that's what your looking for. 

 

i'm reading the soldier son trilogy now, by robin hobb.  while i am liking it, i am a diehard hobb fan, and i don't know that it's something that i'd recommend to most people.   it's good, but...  i can see the arguments on why someone wouldn't like it. 

 

if you haven't read any of her other stuff, i'd highly recommend the farseer trilogy and its sequels.  liveship trilogy isn't as gripping, to me, but it's integral to the series.  9 books in all.  i've seen basically 2 reactions to robin hobb:  (1)  awesome, or (2)  it sucks because there's no fireballs.  :P

 

in the last year, i've read a lot of older stuff, mainly robert e. howard (straightforward sword-and-sorcery, one of the prototypes, conan.  get past the racism and sexism and it's good testosterone dosage; also, solomon kane kicks ass - puritan vigilante is an awesome character concept), and hp lovecraft.  'nough said, on that second one.

 

branching out a little, a good book i read a while back was "i, lucifer" by glenn duncan.  pretty racy, but very good if you like that and if you can get around the slightly rambling narrative.  i liked it a lot, but racy has never been a problem for me.  it's worth mentioning though, if that stuff matters to you.

 

"hell's angels" by hunter s. thompson, or "fear and loathing in las vegas" are good, again a bit rambling.  scratch that.  VERY rambling.  but good.  i have yet to read anything else of his but it's on the list.

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OK, I'm back. Anyway, Werthead, how was "Warlord Chronicles Trilogy"?  should I pick it up?  As for GRRM trash, read Shadow Twin.  Very average. It's what I hate. An author writes a good book. Then another. It takes off, so he writes a something else trying to bank on his/her name.  There are very few writers who can switch it up in the fan/sf genre.

 

It would be difficult for George to cash in on his success with A Song of Ice and Fire with Shadow Twin/Hunter's Run, as he wrote his part of that story in 1981, fifteen years before A Game of Thrones came out...

 

The Warlords Chronicles Trilogy was pretty good. The Arthurian legend but with proper 6th Century technology (no full plate and massed ranks of cavalry in full plate here) and sociology (the clash between Christianity and Paganism is in full force). Great battle sequences, interesting politics and some nice character-reversals compared to the legend.

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I'm reading Pride and Prejudice, which is always recommended *nodnod*

 

I'm also reading a book by a norwegian author called Positive Angst. Great book, and if its translated I highly recommend it.

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I'll shamelessly plug our Guest Author Q&A in the Illuminators Org. His series is "The Winds of the Forelands" by David B. Coe. Come check out the Q&A (which is still active) and then check out his books if you like. I've read the Winds of the Forelands and found them to be a great read.

 

Otherwise, I am reading "I, Robot" right now by Asminov. You could try "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury. Good classic sci-fi stuff there.

 

Agree with you about The Dark Tower series. Started off good but then went wacko. From Blaine the Psycho-Train onward is where it started to fall (with the exception of Wizards and Glass [the Susan Delgado story]).

 

 

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Right now I'm reading Tintin in French to practice the language.

 

I've also been reading a bunch of Danish authors, Jan Sonnergaard, Peter Hoeg, Jakob Ejersbo for Danish practice.

 

All good stuff.

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Guest Dashara

I was sure George R.R. Martin hadn't published anything since "Feast of Crows".. and that was not trash, it was excellent!  What are you talking about?  I really hope he is not writing anything else, you are starting to worry me, it's bad enough the next book will have all my favourite characters cut out of it...

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He published Hunter's Run, which is an update of his short story Shadow Twin, which was co-written with Gardner Dozois back in the early 1980s. However, the novel Hunter's Run only contains the stuff that GRRM wrote back in 1981. All the new material was written by Daniel Abraham (himself a very good fantasy author).

 

The only other thing GRRM has done since A Feast For Crows came out was a short story in the new Wild Cards book. He also edited the two latest Wild Cards books, but he's been doing that for the last twenty years and it only takes a few weeks at a time. He also finished (or nearly finished) the third Dunk 'n' Egg story, which I know a lot of SoIaF fans have been looking forward to. That should be published next year.

 

As for Dance with Dragons, it's nearly done. Bantam have begun ramping up for its release at the end of 2008: they released the cover blurb a few weeks ago and their new magazine will have a big excerpt in it from a character we haven't seen in a long time...

 

it's bad enough the next book will have all my favourite characters cut out of it...

 

Interesting. The next book will have Arya, Asha, Jon, Bran, Davos, Tyrion and Daenerys as well as two new POV characters and one old one. Most people I know would say that those are the most interesting characters in the series (although I do like Jaime, or at least his chapters, as well).

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Guest Dashara

Oh I wanted to read Dunk 'n Egg.  I'll have to look for those.  Thanks for the info. I have never seen any of his older stuff in the bookstore, so I guess I could order it online.  Have you read his other work?   

 

I find Jaime's character the most interesting. I started out hating him, but at some point I just became enthralled by his downward spiral and redemption (almost) along with Brienne.  At one point I was nearly speedreading to get to his chapters.  So really, everyone I know who has read the books, is grieving with me.  A whole book without Jaime and Brienne?  I will miss them.  And I actually thought Arya was cut out of the next one!  She is the next most interesting character for me.  So I am so glad she is in 'Dance with Dragons'.  And Bran as well.  I thought he was cut out as well.  Someone told me it was mostly going to be Daenerys and some new characters from, um, that other land.. see I can't even remember where Daenerys lives.. for some reason I just didn't like the chapters of Daenerys very much and found her story difficult to keep track of.  Hopefully it will get a bit more interesting if she gets to Westeros.  I don't mean to hate on the other world too much.. I do think Arya's new home there is interesting and I hope Jaqen returns.  Do you know any news of his character in the next book?  Or if Danerys will reach Westeros?

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GRRM's other work is mostly excellent. Dying of the Light is an SF novel set on a dying planet. It's pretty dark and quite slow to get going, but the end is great. I haven't read Windhaven or Tuf Voyaging. Fevre Dream, set on the Mississippi River in the post-Civil War period, is the best vampire novel I've ever read. Absolutely superb. The Armageddon Rag is also great, a supernatural story about a reformed rock band. What I've read of Wild Cards (a 'realistic' take on superheroes) has been very interesting. There's something like twenty books now available in the series. However, GRRM's real talent lies in short stories, most of which are collected in Dreamsongs (one huge volume in the UK, two in the USA). There's some great stuff in there, like 'Sandkings', 'The Ice Dragon', 'The Way of Cross and Dragon' and the first Dunk 'n' Egg story, 'The Hedge Knight'.

 

Daenerys probably won't reach Westeros, but I imagine she'll set out for it before the end of the book. With only two more books after ADWD, the general guess is that Dany's invasion will happen in Book 6 and the confrontation with the Others will be in Book 7. Jaqen was actually in AFFC. Hint: he's in the prologue and the very last Sam chapter. See if you can spot him ;) Bran also doesn't have very many chapters, maybe three or four, and GRRM has said that he's the hardest character to write. He sometimes leaves Bran's chapters until last, and the fact that he's now well into writing Bran's part of the book is a clue that he's nearly done.

 

Book 5 mostly takes place in the North, the Free Cities and Slaver's Bay. The story in the North picks up where Storm of Swords ended, with Jon as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Stannis forcing the wildlings to serve him and the threat from the Others growing. The story in the Free Cities focuses on Arya continuing her training as an assassin and what happened to Tyrion after he fled across the sea at the end of Storm of Swords, as well as a new character (previously mentioned in AFFC though) who is making his way to see Dany. Then in Meereen the story focuses on Dany's efforts to control the city in the face of rebellion and the opposition of Yunkai and possibly some cheesed-off Dothraki.

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I thought about this today, and realised I can actually remember a lot of the books I've read since two years ago  :o :D

 

Trudi Canavan- Black Magician Trilogy. (Fantasy)

Trudi Canavan- Age of the five. not five books, three (Fantasy)

Peter Kay- The sound of laughter. (Biography) Very funny book

Victoria Hislop- The Island (Erm...Drama?) Interesting book

Terry Goodkind- Sword Of Truth (Fantasy, no matter what he claims)

 

Ok..that's all I can remember at the moment. But that really is a lot, for me.  :D

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Guest leebarr

eragon is a good book but stay away from the movie it is nothing like the book

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I just went on a big kick... read Fevre Dream, Dreamsongs Vol I and Vol II.  Every bit of all of them was excellent.  Although, I think I liked some of the more obscure stories... Sandkings I only found so so.  I loved the one about the guy working at the wormhole...I can't think what it was called.  I will probably end up buying those to read over and over again.

 

I also can't recommend Octavia Butler enough.  Everything I have ever read by her is excellent!

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I guess I should reply.  JrrrrrMartin has made more off his last 3-4 books than he has ever has before.  I guess that affords the freedom to experiment with other topics. (yes, I know he's been around for 30 years).  But when you hit your bread and butter, lotsa fans, demand, you should run with it.  RJ sat on one series, obviously lived and breathed it, and here we are 12 books later. But we still love him.

 

Its hard to believe but Game of Thrones came out in 1996. Clash of Kings in 1998. Storm of Swords in 2000. Feast of Crows in 2005. And now we are looking at 2009-10 for the next?  Exponentially it should be when I am 50 when we/if it finishes.  Good Luck Mr. Martin, I'll probably be as shit crazy/non able to read as my dad is now.  Keep on writing the interim crap.

 

There has only been 1 author to finish the long series.  It was Stephen King on the Gun Slinger series over 7 books.  I understand if you are going to build with 3-4 books, it takes that many to diffuse.  Too bad he took 1 year to write the last 3. So much potential.

 

The other 2 are Martin and Jordan.  Hmmm. One can still write. Let's hope.

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Forgot J.K. Rowling.  The first writer to ever profit a billion off her writings.  7 books, and if there was an eighth, would have been called Harry Potter and Ralph Loves His Chambers of Secrets.

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Its hard to believe but Game of Thrones came out in 1996. Clash of Kings in 1998. Storm of Swords in 2000. Feast of Crows in 2005. And now we are looking at 2009-10 for the next?

 

October 2008, according to his publishers. He hasn't finished it yet, so it could slide into earliy 2009, but his publishers are setting up print runs and other publication stuff for autumn this year, which indicates he's pretty confident of getting it out for then..

 

Keep on writing the interim crap.

 

We established previously that GRRM hasn't written any 'interim crap', so I'm not sure what you are referring to here.

 

There has only been 1 author to finish the long series.  It was Stephen King on the Gun Slinger series over 7 books.  I understand if you are going to build with 3-4 books, it takes that many to diffuse.  Too bad he took 1 year to write the last 3. So much potential.

 

Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series (7 books) is also complete. So is CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia (another 7 books). Steven Erikson has nearly completed his ten-volume Malazan Book of the Fallen series (Book 8 comes out this year; he's already halfway through writing Book 9) as well.

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Good call on the Narnia series. I did forget that.  One of the best ever book series.

 

I guess my gripe is so many authors are trying to to the Robert Jordan thing.  Write as as many books

as you can all in one series.  It cant be done.  If you read J. Martins original tag with his books,

he said it would be a trilogy.  Now its going to be 6,8, who knows?  Gotta give Tolkien his props.

He wrote 1 (one) big ass book and let them break it up into 3.  So the trilogy was actually an editors choice.

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I haven't started with Martin yet, so I won't comment on any of that stuff.

 

I'm currently hooked on Raymond Feist, and I'm reading The Empire Trilogy, co-written with Janny Wurts.  Excellent books.  I plan on finishing what Feist has written after that, and then we'll see...

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