Book recommendations

I’m looking for book recommendations. I enjoy most fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction. In the past I have liked fantasy such as (in no particular order)

1. Sabriel, by Garth Nix
2. The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, by Ursula K. LeGuin
3. His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman
4. A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin
5. The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien
6. The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper
7. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
8. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

I’m having a hard time remembering science fiction that I’ve read, but I enjoyed authors like Vernor Vinge, Dan Simmons, and David Brin.

Other fiction (dunno how to classify these) that I like includes:
1. Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson
2. Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
3. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
4. Kite Runner, by a guy whose name I can’t remember
5. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
6. The Solitaire Mystery, by Jostein Gaarder
7. Memoirs of a Geisha, by some other guy whose name I don’t know

By the way, I’d recommend any of these books if anyone’s looking for something to read. I’m not terribly discriminating; I don’t really read non-fiction, but if there’s a book you’ve liked, chances are I’ll probably enjoy it too.

Comments 9

  1. onetruedavid wrote:

    Books that I’ve greatly enjoyed recently are the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons (sci-fi), the first 5 of the Amber books by Roger Zelazny (fantasy), and Idlewild by Nick Sagan (other). You should also read some of Gibson’s other stuff – namely Neuromancer, his best. You could also try Philip K. Dick’s wacky sci-fi stuff. The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov is really good, as is everything else he ever wrote. Lessee… some of Terry Pratchett’s comedy-fantasy stuff is great. The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Interesting Times, and Small Gods were my favorite. The sci-fi Ringworld series by Larry Niven is also good. The first three books of The Wayfarer Redemption (fantasy) by Sara Douglass were good, but don’t read the last three. Similarly, Wizard’s First Rule (fantasy) by Terry Goodkind is good, though the sequels are all garbage.

    And of course everyone should read all of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.

    Can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Hope this helps!

    Posted 24 Dec 2005 at 07:03
  2. zaldreon wrote:

    I second Black’s recommendation of Idlewild. I think you would enjoy that, based on your enjoyment of His Dark Materials and Ender’s Game. It’s not an easy book to put down. I’ll also second the recommendation of Larry Niven’s “Ringworld” and Terry Goodkind’s “Wizard’s First Rule.”

    As for some recommendations of my own:

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – classic sci-fi humor, deserving of its reputation
    Dune – sci-fi with the same sort of interpersonal and plotting elements used by George R.R. Martin
      (In fact, I’d be surprised if Dune didn’t directly influence Martin in many ways.)
    Perdido Street Station – a good adventure story set in a fascinating, unique world
    Ready, Okay! – Peter first recommended this book to me. It concerns kids in high school. The closest match on your list is probably “The God of Small Things.”

    Posted 24 Dec 2005 at 07:49
  3. xftin wrote:

    I also highly recommend Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. He’s a fantastic storyteller and you don’t get bogged down in the technology as one sometimes can with sci-fi. Another author (fantasy) whom I enjoy is Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series. Think Douglas Adams writing fantasy. The books are hilarious and a great read. Hope this helps, and Merry Christmas!

    Posted 24 Dec 2005 at 10:17
  4. spamchang wrote:

    no one’s said anything about eric flint and david drake’s Belisarius series. you’ll find the first three books for free in Baen books’ online library. (heck, the whole library is free–they just don’t put everything in there). http://www.baen.com

    start with “An Oblique Approach.” it’s a great series :)

    Posted 24 Dec 2005 at 11:28
  5. troglodyteking wrote:

    Ready, Okay! is pretty darn good, I second the recommendation. It is weird, though, and a little troubling. Not the happiest book out there, although it is very funny at times.

    Posted 24 Dec 2005 at 15:15
  6. troglodyteking wrote:

    A few things come to mind:

    *Neil Gaiman writes really great stuff: American Gods, Neverwhere, and Stardust are all great. The first is the best of those, about gods wandering around modern America and something of a war between them. The second is pretty good too (and was first a BBC mini-series, which is also good) about a parallelly existent world in London, called London Below, which most people do not even realize exists; a normal guy gets sucked into it and becomes something of a hero. The last is pretty light, neat stuff: a guy crosses over into a fairy realm and has adventures.

    *Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter – very ethereal, but beautifully so, about a guy who goes into Elfland and takes an elf princess to be his wife, then the aftermath of that, with all sorts of neat stuff with the differences in how they perceive time, etc.

    *Orson Scott Card has some neat stuff beyond the Ender series. I really loved Enchantment, one of his more recent ones, about a guy who, when researching for a dissertation about folktales, falls into the fairy tale of sleeping beauty (well, sort of), and must help her defend her kingdom against Babba Yaga, the witch of Russian folktales. It, surprisingly, has at times qualities that I would call ‘literary’ – some insightful comments about human nature, etc. Also, his ‘Alvin Maker’ series (starting with Seventh’s Son) is good – it is about an alterate colonial America in which there is magic, and about the growing up and adventures of the seventh son of a seventh son.

    I would definitely recommend reading any more Le Guin you can get your hands on: The Left Hand of Darkness is great, if sober like most of her stuff. The Dispossessed is really quite good, but can be a bit slow (even for her) and deep on the contemplation of the nature of anarchism (it is sort of like Le Guin’s version of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in many ways, manifesting a political/social vision). Her short stories are particularly good: The Wind’s Twelve Quarters is her first and probably best collection, although The Compass Rose is also good. Orsinian Tales is sort of like quasi-historical fiction – they are short stories that take place in a fictional Eastern European country, always seeming almost historical and real enough, but never quite able-to-be-placed. Her early science fiction is also good: Rocannon’s World, The Eye of the Heron, Planet of Exile, and particularly City of Illusions.

    Raymond E. Feist’s Magician (sometimes published in two volumes, Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master) is a good, fun read. I have not read any more of his stuff so cannot say about that.

    Robert Heinlein is a really good science fiction author, although a bit hit-and-miss. Stranger in a Strange Land is probably his most famous, and good . . . but weird. And it starts to drag. And get really, really weird. A friend of mine called it ‘geek porn’ . . . and it sort of is. Some of his stuff is pretty mediocre and pulp. But some other stuff is good. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is particularly good, as is Starship Troopers (NOTHING like the movie, if you have seen it) and Time Enough for Love.

    Barbara Hambly writes some really neat fantasy. Here Darwath Trilogy is particularly good (starts with The Time of the Dark) – in it a wizard crosses over the Void between worlds to flee from an attack of these creatures called the Dark with the heir to a kingdom from a fantasy world to our our world, where he recruits two modern people to help him save his home kingdom. The way she describes magic makes a lot of sense, and there is a really neat old enchanted keep where the people go to try to wait out the Dark. She has some other neat books that I could tell you about if you were interested in her.

    Bah, so many books! I could ramble more, especially as right now I am sitting in my room with my books all around me, so I just glance at titles to remind me of wonderful reads.

    Posted 24 Dec 2005 at 15:36
  7. jencallisto wrote:

    hmm. did you like the Emma Bull? if not, then that’ll probably shift around what i would recommend quite a bit.

    i would say that if you have a reasonable level of interest in philosophy and haven’t yet read it, Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder might be worth picking up. i liked The Solitaire Mystery more, but i did enjoy Sophie’s World.

    Posted 26 Dec 2005 at 16:57
  8. anonymous wrote:

    And you can refer to my “Gaming Society Library” thread on the SGS forums for books I’ve enjoyed (many of which I have and can loan)

    Marc-Etienne

    Posted 27 Dec 2005 at 08:44
  9. concrete_stain wrote:

    SciFi:
    Ringworld
    The black cloud
    Neutron Star
    *** Neuromancer ***
    Do androids dream of electric sheep?

    Fantasy:
    Sword of Shanara (sp)
    The little prince
    Ronia the robber’s daughter
    The Alchemist

    Serious:
    Tell me that you love me, Junie Moon
    Crime and Punishment
    The unbearable lightness of being
    Notes from underground
    Catch-22
    The Stranger

    If you want descriptions of any, or the reason why I recomend them, just ask.

    Posted 01 Jan 2006 at 06:50

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