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Offline Starrakatt

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Your best/preferred books
« on: October 26, 2018, 07:55:51 AM »
Yeah, there are old threads about it (shrug), they are years old.

What are your (say 10, arbitrarily) best or preferred books or series (or authors), and why are they your best (if you can bother to write it).

My own why is this: I like dramatic stories with realistic characters, with or without humour. Also dark stories and epics. Medium dense to very dense. I found that well built stories and characters can imerse one far enough to bring up tears or pain or frustration to the reader, if one accepts to get involved in the writing.

My top 10 right now, not necessarily in order, as things changes:

1. Lord of Light from Roger Zelazny (and the Amber books)
2. Fallen Dragon from Peter F Hamilton (and his Commonwealth and Night's Dawn series)
3. The Malazan Book of the Fallen from Steven Erikson
4. The Chalion series from Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan series)
5. Blindsight from Peter Watts
6. Name of the Wind series from Patrick Rothfuss (He IS making of himself another GRR Martin)and if you read that, you should read is short book, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, that got me tears.
7. Armor from John Steakley
8. The Praxis series by Walter Jon Williams
9. The Faded Sun trilogy from CJ Cherryh (and much of her other works)
10. The Corona world series from RA Salvatore
11. The Silmarillion from Tolkien, because I like epics

All of these I've read multiple times and will re-read, because I consider them that good. It ism of course, alist that is always a work in progress.

Care to share your experiences and tastes?

o7

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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 09:56:03 AM »
I have a hard time identifying my taste, per se, since I like a lot of different things. I will say this: I prefer gritty over pollyanna naivete, but I don't like dismal or hopeless (so, most post-apocalyptica is a no-go for me). I like books that know how to tell a good joke in the midst of terror. I can't stand anything written in second person.

Series/books that I love (fantasy genre):

1. The Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch
2. The Name of the Wind series by Rothfuss (and yes, I think at this point the guy's early success with his first two books is getting into his head).
3. The Band series by Nicholas Eames (The Kings of the Wyld is his first, and boy-howdy is it a GOOD time)
4. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. Arguably the best fantasy novel of the 21st century, by my assessment.
5. The Chalion Series by Bujold--a hearty second there.
6. The Wizard of Earthsea and its sequels, by Ursula K. LeGuin
7. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (the anti-LoTR)
8. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (even though I never wound up finishing them all, those were formative reads for me. Loved them).

Series/books I love (sci-fi genre):

1. Neuromancer by William Gibson
2. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
3. Anything and everything by Philip K. Dick
4. The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
5. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
6. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel
7. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
8. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (not sure whether this goes in scifi or fantasy, but here it is)

Series/Books I love (mainstream):

1. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (everybody hates this book because they read it in high school, which is about ten years too early. Read it as an adult and have your mind blown)
2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
3. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (it's *kinda* scifi, but also not really)
4. In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh
5. Grendel by John Gardner (Beowulf from the POV of the monster)
6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
7. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
8. Pretty much anything by David Sedaris

There, that ought to do... ;)

Offline TagniK'ZuR

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 04:32:57 PM »
Starrakatt! There's a name I haven't heard in years.

My list
1. Faerie Tale - Raymond E. Feist
   Fantastic contemporary fantasy story that build on A Midsummernight's dream
2. Wheel of Time series - Robert Jordan (which also means only up to book 11)
   Loved almost all of these books (Book 8 is somewhat of an outlier) Didn't like when Sanderson took over.
3. Riftwar Saga - Raymond E. Feist
   This is the series Feist is mostly known for, and it's a really good series bourne out of playing D&D
4. Empire series - Raymond E. Feist / Janny Wurts
   Sister series to the Riftwar Saga (my girlfriend likes it much more than Riftwar, incidentally)
5. Warbreaker - Brandon Sanderson
   After the last 3 books of Wheel of Time, I was skeptical of Sanderson, but man is Warbreaker a good read!
6. Battle Circle - Piers Anthony
   Post Apocalyptic fantasy, not usually my thing, but quite good. I also like his Xanth and Apprentice/Adept books, but they feel very methodical after a while.
7. Pern series - Anne McCafferey
   McCafferey had some very interesting concepts in her books, most are pretty good, but all her series also start to feel the same after a while, but Pern had dragon riders!
8. Balgarion - David Eddings
   Really good series, never read the follow up series (Mallorean) it's garbage.
9. Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
   Read it when I was 13 and it basically introduced me to fantasy, I didn't enjoy the Lord of the Rings as much.
10. Seaward - Susan Cooper
   I don't advise reading this as an adult, but as a kid, this was a really good book.
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Offline Starrakatt

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 05:51:57 PM »
Mmm. there's few that I read on your list, more that I didn't, will likely taste some when I run out of reading.

Wheel of Time gets bogged down after the first half, at a point I was getting desperate to see anything happening concerning the main plotline, but Sanderson put it back on track when he finished the series.

Speaking of Brandon Sanderson, his books are generally quite good, I have read his Stormlight Archives books, good stuff.

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 06:19:48 PM »

Speaking of Brandon Sanderson, his books are generally quite good, I have read his Stormlight Archives books, good stuff.

I've been beslubbering devouring his books. Stormlight Archive is my #1 favourite series from any author. I also really enjoyed the first Mistborn Trilogy, and the Reckoners trilogy. Also, some characters from Warbreaker make appearances in the Stormlight archive. Wit, makes appearances in all of his cosmere books.

I also couldn't get into wheel of time. I've gotten up to "The great hunt for the Horn" book twice, and just lost interest.


In no particular order

1) Stormlight Archive (Brandon Sanderson) - Best series ever. Great characters, amazing world building. Just wow.

2) American Gods (Neil Gaimen) Fantasy beyond words. Travel story, horror, humour, drama, love, just an amazing experience overall.

3) Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson) After the battle between good and evil, evil won. The Lord Ruler, rules the world. A small band of criminals decide to try and rob him. Very interesting magic system.

4)Reckoners (Brandon Sanderson) What if people gained super powers? What if everyone who gained superpowers became villians? These are the guys who hunt them.

5) The Licanius trilogy (James Islington) - Epic Fantasy, bigger than name characters, lots of cool stuff.

6) The Great Way Trology (Henry Conolly) - Super cool premise, and very interesting take on magic. These books were way to short. My second most enoyed series after the Stormlight Archive. Just so refreshing and unique story.

7) Kings of the Wyld (Nicholas Eames) Nothing terribly game changing, or revolutionary, but a damned fun romp. A bunch of old (cranky) adventures get the band back together for one more job.

8) House of Leaves (Mark Z. Danielewski) A book which will never be an audiobook, and can't read digitally. You need to read this book physically. A book, about a book, about a documentary. Nothing is like this book. Hard to describe, and it really defies genre.

9) First Law Trilogy (Joe Abercrombie). Fun fantasy series, interesting world. Very interesting and (sometimes hilarious) characters. A book I loved to read, and laughed a lot reading.

10) Expanse series (James S. A. Corey) Great Sci-Fi series. Very grounded.
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Offline Starrakatt

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 06:31:40 PM »
@TagniK'ZuR: Hey mate, sure haven't been active for years! You got some nice books on your list, I need to read more of Feist. :)

@Killersqid: I watched the first 2 seasons of The Expanse, then realized it was from a book, need to read those.

Keep 'em coming guys, I think I will elaborate on some of the books I read, and ad more as I think about it, along with links. I don't see myself ever stop reading, so may as well keep this as an ongoing process.

Cya later ladies o7

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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 07:08:38 PM »
I'm really behind on my reading list  :-[.

I've just bought a digital copy of The Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook, since my physical omnibus was effectively destroyed before I could finish it :P. So this time I'm going to finish the sucker (at least omnibus one!). Good stuff if you like a really down-to-earth, grittier version of fantasy. If you like reading about Tyrannical Empresses and well-documented campaigns presented in journal form, I would recommend it!

I also need to finish A Time of Contempt, by Andrzej Sapkowski, which is either the third or fourth book in the Witcher Series. Once again, if you historical-esque dark fantasy, presented in a world of Eastern European Mythology, you can't really go wrong with the Witcher.

By the way, The Last Wish is the first book in the series and is actually a collection of short stories that flesh out important events in Geralt's life, awesome stories in this book from front to back.

Prince / King / Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, is an anti-hero novel about a young prince, long presumed dead after his family was ambushed and killed by soldiers paid by his own father to get rid of them. This series actually has some brutal scenes in it, so it might not be to your preference. I've read both Prince and King, and have gotten halfway through Emperor twice and stopped for reasons I cannot remember.

Path of the Dark Eldar Trilogy by Andy Chambers is still hands-down my absolute favorite Warhammer 40k series. I think Andy Chambers has inspired me no small amount with his immaculate depictions of the Drukhari, and how they thrive on the razor's edge between immortality and damnation, constantly thrust upon the precipice of infamy or ruin. And the plot of the entire series itself is one of the most epic tragedies I've seen from an eldar novel in a long time.

Currently, I've picked up an AoS short story that features the Nyreids (?), which I thought werre Idoneth Deepkin, but they're actually Sea-Nymphs, despite my disappointment, it's still an interesting read.

Second, I've picked up another AoS about two Witch Hunters, who happen to be lovers, hunting some plaguies and heretics across the mortal realms. From what I've read of the demo chapter, it looks like it'll be a great read.

Series that I might plan on picking up are:

Heirs of Empire (The Scourwind Legacy)

Mistborn Trilogy

Fatemarked Series


Anyone know of the Fatemarked series at all?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 10:47:27 PM by Myen'Tal »
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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2018, 11:20:32 PM »
I hate lists as generally I only remember recent releases rather than older times.

Here's my Goodreads list for things recently. Sontaranpr (216 books)

Honor Harrington series by David Weber. Nelson in space that then goes off the rails as Nelson lives. Defined tech, much political. Can get dreary at times.

The Expanse series Whole lot of fun and mayhem in this one. TV show, defined nine book series so they've chartered out how it rolls.

The Murderbot Diaries. Security Bot does something bad, hacks it's own governor module, then tries to just get damn well doing its job without being bothered.

The Sacred Throne series by Myke Cole. Fantasy rather than his prior urban fantasy. Somewhat steampunk but bloody brutal to read.

Kings of the Wyld pure bloody fun. Straight fantasy but with shout outs *everywhere*.

The Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee. Somewhat 40K. Belief shapes reality. Advanced technologies can be used in certain areas of belief. beslubber with that and...

The Polity series by Neal Asher. Also The Owner series by same. World building done well.

Joe Abercromie can't do wrong. Shattered Sea and First Law

Frontlines series by Marko Kloos. Aliens invade, right, but they're 30 metres tall...

Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey. Heaven and Hell with everything between. Pure snark combat all the way.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 10:24:59 AM »
Oh, I should throw The Dresden Files on the list, by Jim Butcher.

The only wizard in the Chicago phonebook (series began when people used phonebooks), consults with the police for matters magical. He has a wizard parole officer with a magic sword, a horny pet demon as a research assistant, and on and on--it's awesome. Haven't read them all, but read the first 5 or 6 and enjoyed every one.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 02:22:47 PM »
The Thousand Names series by Django Wexler. Flintlock fantasy with daemons. Starts with an insurrection in a desert province and soon turns to political intrigue, revolution, and war.

Powder Mage stories by Brian McClellan. Two series and numerous novellas. Mages come in three varieties - the usual waving hands and making people explode style; gun powder mages who can enhance their physical abilities and senses, cause gun power to explode by range, guide their projectiles; and people with passive abilities such as not needing sleep, living lie detectors, and the like. This one has the Gods turn up here and there.

amphetamine parrot, how could I forget The Laundry Files series by Charles Stross. Contemporary horror/snarkfest where there are essentially Lovecraftian nasties out there and we're very tasty indeed. Magic is merely an advanced form of mathematics which makes clever bastards very dangerous indeed if not controlled. The Laundry is the British agency tasked with making sure said clever bastards are taken care of by giving them a job in a bureaucratic nightmare and life long oath of silence. Yet the Earth is heading into an area of space where the walls of reality are thin and we're making them thinner with our thinking machines and tasty population - CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. The books cover many tropes and aspects. One is a wonderful James Bond caper, the Elves invade in another. Can not recommend them enough.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 02:40:42 PM by The GrimSqueaker »
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Offline Lord of Winter and War

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 03:27:20 PM »
The powder mage series is great. I am not as much of a fan of the next series he did, which takes place after the events of the first series of books, but I read them all too.
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Offline TagniK'ZuR

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 06:10:26 AM »

Speaking of Brandon Sanderson, his books are generally quite good, I have read his Stormlight Archives books, good stuff.

I've been beslubbering devouring his books. Stormlight Archive is my #1 favourite series from any author. I also really enjoyed the first Mistborn Trilogy, and the Reckoners trilogy. Also, some characters from Warbreaker make appearances in the Stormlight archive. Wit, makes appearances in all of his cosmere books.

I also couldn't get into wheel of time. I've gotten up to "The great hunt for the Horn" book twice, and just lost interest.

I'm struggling through the Mistborn series at the moment. The Final Empire was good (not as good as Warbreaker, imo), the other two books just seem to drag on and the only reason I'm still going, is to find out more about the kandra and koloss.

I'll give Stormlight a try next  :)

Wheel of Time is not for everyone, and if you find yourself losing interest in the first 3 books, I don't recommend going on. Whatever part is getting you down, I guarantee there will only be more of that in the coming books, and even die-hard fans tend to moan about Book 8 for being slow and boring. (Personally, I believe it's because Mat is absent)
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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 11:32:10 AM »
I'm struggling through the Mistborn series at the moment. The Final Empire was good (not as good as Warbreaker, imo), the other two books just seem to drag on and the only reason I'm still going, is to find out more about the kandra and koloss.

I'll give Stormlight a try next  :)

I've tried really hard to get into Sanderson (he and I share the same agent, so, like, he's sort of a colleague), but there's something that just keeps me out. I couldn't even tell you what. I tried Stormlight and didn't get too far, did the first two Mistborn books and then sort of lost interest. I dunno. There's nothing objectively wrong with them, I just can't connect.

Quote
Wheel of Time is not for everyone, and if you find yourself losing interest in the first 3 books, I don't recommend going on. Whatever part is getting you down, I guarantee there will only be more of that in the coming books, and even die-hard fans tend to moan about Book 8 for being slow and boring. (Personally, I believe it's because Mat is absent)

Seconded and yeah, Book 8 sucks. I made it as far as 10 (9 and 10 sucked, too). I loved all of them until 6 (6 was the best), 7 was just okay, then I got tired of waiting for the next one and moved on. Then he died and Sanderson took over (see my above discussion) and I haven't felt the need to go back.

Offline magenb

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 04:13:05 PM »
Within the 40k universe.
Horus Heresy series
Path of the xxx Gav Thorpe books
Farseer
Asurmen and Jain Zar.
Valedor.

Outside of GW.
Mary Shelley's - Frankenstein
Bram stoker's - Dracula
Shannara series - Terry Brooks

Offline Starrakatt

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #14 on: November 1, 2018, 02:35:31 PM »
I hate lists as generally I only remember recent releases rather than older times.
Indeed, should have used anotehr format from the start, lists tend not to be exhaustives and are mostly always a WIP anyway. Ohwell.

I kind of also struggled to finish The Wheel of Time, the last third of the series felt like dragging on and on and on and nothing much happened. French edition books were lent to me by a friend, except teh last 3 by Sanderson were never published, I guess as it was a different author/contract and possibly couldn't deal with teh french editor for whatever reason. Ended up buying the mass market paperbacks in english to finish the series, gave these up to anotehr friends who was getting the series himself.

o7

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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #15 on: November 1, 2018, 10:38:43 PM »
4. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. Arguably the best fantasy novel of the 21st century, by my assessment.

Thought I'd bought that in the past few months since the sequel is out. Couldn't find it. Amazon says I bought it and it was delivered. Ended up finding in right in the middle of one of the to-read piles dead centre at eye level. Been a few topple incidents so must have restacked and forgotten about it. On the list to read with all the others coming out.
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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2018, 01:11:14 PM »
Got myself a taste of the Laundry Files, finishing reading The Atrocity Files, quite a good read.

o7

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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2018, 05:15:18 PM »
I love those things. Finished the most recent one a couple of weeks ago. They get darker as you go along but still with the suitable level of snark and commentary.
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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2019, 04:50:28 PM »
Anyone else read the Nevernight books? Fantasy world, three suns in eccentric orbits so the place only really gets total dark every 4-5 years. First book is a girl whose family gets trampled after a failed coup attempt led by her father. Ends up with her going to a teen assassin school like Hogworts but where some of the professors will actively try and kill their students as part of the lesson. Second book is her infiltrating a gladiator school so expecting Spartacus feelings.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Your best/preferred books
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2019, 09:35:17 PM »
Anyone else read the Nevernight books? Fantasy world, three suns in eccentric orbits so the place only really gets total dark every 4-5 years. First book is a girl whose family gets trampled after a failed coup attempt led by her father. Ends up with her going to a teen assassin school like Hogworts but where some of the professors will actively try and kill their students as part of the lesson. Second book is her infiltrating a gladiator school so expecting Spartacus feelings.

Haven't heard of it; sounds interesting.

Two most recent reads of note:

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: About as close to 40K you're going to get outside of the black library. Far future empire based on necromancy. It's got cool swordfights, snarky protagonists, creepy demonic entities, and a giant, unspeakably ancient fortress full of secret doors and stuff. Wild fun.

Circe by Madeline Miller: Greek Mythology from the POV of the famous witch of the Odyssey. Great, great book. Reminds me of Gardner's Grendel, except less self-involved and maudlin (largely because the POV character is less of a morose dope). If you like Greek Mythology, it's a must-read.

 


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