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Paul H

Favorite non-fantasy novels?

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Jack Reacher series by Lee Child

Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy - only up the The Bear and the Dragon, after that they became awful

Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbø

Patrik Hedstrom series by Camilla Läckberg

Kurt Wallender series by Henning Mankell

Nina Wilder & Eddie Chase series by Andy McDermott

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Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper is really good, but the ending is sad.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

I also like the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, but those may be considered fantasy based on the later books.

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About a year ago, I posted here asking for recommendations for fantasy novels (besides the Wheel of Time, of course), and I received many helpful recommendations.  While I still haven't gotten far on those fantasy recommendations, right now I am in more of a mood for a non-fantasy book, and I thought I might get some good suggestions here.


So, what are some of your favorite non-fantasy novels?  Please feel free to list one or more novels in any genre besides fantasy, and optionally tell why you liked them. 


I'll add my own list of favorite non-fantasy novels in a separate post.



Anything Asimov (Science Fiction, non-fantasy)


Then there's a new series I read recently, Emberverse.(S.M Stirling) Alt-History.. Think tv series Revolution, only guns don't work either. Though, the later books start devling into more fantasy parts... But hell. G.R.R Martin's wife helped the author with some details regarding certain Factions... and I'm pretty damned sure, Robert Jordan made a cameo as the personification of Odin. 


Aside from all of that..

It's kind of a trashy-fast-read-yet-fun-airport-travel series-that-is-oddly-addicting

Pretty much anything by Clive Cussler. 

The novel Sahara (no, not movie.. which is the worst book-to-movie adaptation ever!) is probably his magnum opus.

It goes straight out survival, horror, natural disaster, james bond & villianesque, detective, action/adventure, all wrapped up into one condense, fast, fun novel! It's kind of in the middle of the series, but its easily a pick up and read in the middle of the series type of book.



Anathem is a good one-off science fiction novel, and has an interesting theory about how alternate realities interact and develop.


Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are a good read too, though they're short and each book can be burned through in an hour or two at most if you read as fast as I do.


L.E. Modesitt has a variety of good sci-fi books as well, such as The Parafaith War.


Mother of Demons is another great one.


I also second Ishmael's Ayn Rand recommendations, she's an incredible author.


Nice to see another Asimov fan around!

<3 the Mule.



Some authors: Zoran Drvenkar, Clive Cussler, Neal Stephenson, Peter F Hamilton, Robert Harris, Henning Mankell.



I didn't expect to see cussler mentioned anywhere else here. :wink:

So yea, thorum and Zhon beat me on asimov and cussler.

Edited by SinisterDeath

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Dune is a book I read over and over and over, though I could never get passed how...odd the sequels get.

Treasure Island is INCREDIBLE, and blew me away the first time I read it.

Lord of the Flies messed with my brain, in the best of ways.

M.T. Anderson is a YA writer, but he's got a great grasp on the loneliness and darkness of being a teenager.  Burger Wuss makes me tear up every time, Thirsty is the BEST VAMPIRE NOVEL EVER, and Feed makes me want to unplug my ethernet cable and never touch the internet again (unfortunately, I work in IT, so that's not an option).

Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire series for the Star Wars EU is pretty dog-eared around my house, too.

Is Phantom Tollbooth fantasy?  I don't care: it's still incredible.

Of Mice and Men is one of the few books that my teachers forced me to read that I would ever re-read.

The Time Machine and War of the Worlds are still some of the best Sci-fi ever written.

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Ayn Rand is my favorite non-fantasy author. She's just absolutely amazing. Also gotta grin that she choose Rand as a last name. :)


It's a bit of a girly book but What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty kind of changed my life. East of Eden by Steinbeck was another one that always stuck with me.


Oddly enough those are the only ones I can think of at the moment. :( Need caffeine!!



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David Weber, Safehold Series. It's nominally Sci-fi, but reads more like Elizabethan England ship battles, with overtures of Henry VIII and the Reformation.

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