Book Recommendations

Hedon

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#1
Speaking of books, that is another new hobby of mine. I NEVER read a single book since high school. Met my wife 4 years ago and now I can't put books down. I love it. Read them every day, on travel, at work during lunch, etc. I love finding a good series and reading them in order.

Mod edit: Let's use this thread to discuss books and make recommendations.
 
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Hedon

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What sort of stuff? I started out reading sf as a kid, then for most of my life read non-fiction. Now, since I shut off the TV, I've gotten back into reading fiction (general and some fantasy).
Not a SF fan, but I just read a book called Steelheart from Brandon Sanderson. It was ok. I guess they don't resonate with me that much. Are you on Goodreads?

I am big into non-fiction military books (like 13 Hours, War, etc), as well as fiction book series like the Mitch Rapp Series from Vince Flynn, murder mystery books like The Target from David Baldacci and cheesy Stone Barrington series from Stuart Woods. Also looking for more books like A Man Called Ove, which I loved. And working on the Bill Hodges Trilogy (Mr. Mercedes is the first) from Stephen King.
 

Frozpot

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#3
Speaking of books, that is another new hobby of mine. I NEVER read a single book since high school. Met my wife 4 years ago and now I can't put books down. I love it. Read them every day, on travel, at work during lunch, etc. I love finding a good series and reading them in order.

Did you remarry? Where do you live?
I had to STOP reading just to get anything done. If I'm in a book, I read it ALL THE TIME. Eating, walking, cooking, even taking a shower. I'll burn through a book, then slide on to the next. I typically just read fantasy novels with a dash of Sci-Fi which works great because there lots of Series'. I read Steven Erikson's "Malazan book of the Fallen" series. That was like, eleven books at over a thousand pages a pop.

I get enough real life during the day. Any non-fiction I stick to Wiki type reads. I have a hard time getting into long-winded reality.
 

Frozpot

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#4
Not a SF fan, but I just read a book called Steelheart from Brandon Sanderson. It was ok. I guess they don't resonate with me that much. Are you on Goodreads?

I am big into non-fiction military books (like 13 Hours, War, etc), as well as fiction book series like the Mitch Rapp Series from Vince Flynn, murder mystery books like The Target from David Baldacci and cheesy Stone Barrington series from Stuart Woods. Also looking for more books like A Man Called Ove, which I loved. And working on the Bill Hodges Trilogy (Mr. Mercedes is the first) from Stephen King.
Sanderson is probably the most creative fantasy writer I can think of. I haven't read Steel Heart (i think that's a super hero one, and I wasn't interested in reading a super hero book). The Mistborn books are great, as well as the Way of Kings. Best part about Sanderson is that he really is original, and writes a TON if you like his stuff.
 

Hedon

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Sanderson is probably the most creative fantasy writer I can think of. I haven't read Steel Heart (i think that's a super hero one, and I wasn't interested in reading a super hero book). The Mistborn books are great, as well as the Way of Kings. Best part about Sanderson is that he really is original, and writes a TON if you like his stuff.
I am willing to give Sanderson another try. I am not big into super hero's. This was indeed like a Marvel movie. Steelheart (bad guy), kills a boys father, boy turns 18 and wants to join a rogue team where each person had different super powers, to avenge his fathers death. It was the story line that didn't interest me, not that Sanderson can't write. Then again, who am I to say, as I have only started reading in the past 4 years.
 

Hedon

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#6
I had to STOP reading just to get anything done. If I'm in a book, I read it ALL THE TIME. Eating, walking, cooking, even taking a shower. I'll burn through a book, then slide on to the next. I typically just read fantasy novels with a dash of Sci-Fi which works great because there lots of Series'. I read Steven Erikson's "Malazan book of the Fallen" series. That was like, eleven books at over a thousand pages a pop.

I get enough real life during the day. Any non-fiction I stick to Wiki type reads. I have a hard time getting into long-winded reality.
1000 pages a pop??? I think my biggest is 600, and that is pretty much my max, at least as of now. I read before bed, I read before work at my desk, I read at lunch, and I read on the treadmill at the gym. But not so much so that I read more than a book every week and a half or so. Not enough time as I am busying doing other things.

I made a goal in Goodreads each year for the past 4 years and I keep increasing my goal and obtaining my goal. I am already about AT my goal for 2017, so I will blow by that.
 

Frozpot

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#7
I am willing to give Sanderson another try. I am not big into super hero's. This was indeed like a Marvel movie. Steelheart (bad guy), kills a boys father, boy turns 18 and wants to join a rogue team where each person had different super powers, to avenge his fathers death. It was the story line that didn't interest me, not that Sanderson can't write. Then again, who am I to say, as I have only started reading in the past 4 years.
Sanderson was hand-picked by Robert Jordan's wife to finish the Wheel of Time (a Fantastic, Renowned fantasy series). He did a great job.
 

Andy

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#8
Not a SF fan, but I just read a book called Steelheart from Brandon Sanderson. It was ok. I guess they don't resonate with me that much. Are you on Goodreads?

I am big into non-fiction military books (like 13 Hours, War, etc), as well as fiction book series like the Mitch Rapp Series from Vince Flynn, murder mystery books like The Target from David Baldacci and cheesy Stone Barrington series from Stuart Woods. Also looking for more books like A Man Called Ove, which I loved. And working on the Bill Hodges Trilogy (Mr. Mercedes is the first) from Stephen King.
I read A Man Called Ove. That was good. You might check out The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It's similar in some ways. I learned about it on Goodreads -- I'm not a member, but I do google searches for good books about X or Y, and Goodreads usually pops up.

I've tried lots of different types of fiction lately -- serious Literature, science fiction, fantasy, middle-brow novels, even a western. I really liked Ken Folette's Pillars of the Earth and Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. Both were excellent, but also 900 pages or so.

In the fantasy realm, I have enjoyed some of Terry Brooks' novels, although they get pretty formulaic after a while. I tried a bunch of other fantasy authors but haven't found one I really jived with. I had a similar reaction as you to Brandon Sanderson -- just didn't resonate with me. I think it was too "thieves' guild" and intrigue-based for me, too much talk about his magic system. The main character was interesting but the others weren't, and I didn't find that I cared about the world much. Like a lot of fantasy and sf (and detective/crime fiction), there was too much focus on action/plot and not enough talk about the characters and what was going on with them -- at least for me.

One of the things I learned lately is that I really need good characters in a book, characters I find interesting or relatable or likeable or funny. If it doesn't have that -- no matter how exciting the action is, how twisty the plot is -- I usually just lose interest. So based on that, I've been trying to find good character-driven novels lately.

The first one I found like that was Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, which I'm just finishing up. It was really great for the first three-quarters -- lots of interesting characters and funny dialog from a cranky old guy -- but then it started to drag a bit, because it felt like it was too much bumping around the same small town, without a whole lot going on except little stuff. I've enjoyed it enough to try another of his, though.
 

Hedon

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#9
I read A Man Called Ove. That was good. You might check out The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It's similar in some ways. I learned about it on Goodreads -- I'm not a member, but I do google searches for good books about X or Y, and Goodreads usually pops up.

I've tried lots of different types of fiction lately -- serious Literature, science fiction, fantasy, middle-brow novels, even a western. I really liked Ken Folette's Pillars of the Earth and Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. Both were excellent, but also 900 pages or so.

In the fantasy realm, I have enjoyed some of Terry Brooks' novels, although they get pretty formulaic after a while. I tried a bunch of other fantasy authors but haven't found one I really jived with. I had a similar reaction as you to Brandon Sanderson -- just didn't resonate with me. I think it was too "thieves' guild" and intrigue-based for me, too much talk about his magic system. The main character was interesting but the others weren't, and I didn't find that I cared about the world much. Like a lot of fantasy and sf (and detective/crime fiction), there was too much focus on action/plot and not enough talk about the characters and what was going on with them -- at least for me.

One of the things I learned lately is that I really need good characters in a book, characters I find interesting or relatable or likeable or funny. If it doesn't have that -- no matter how exciting the action is, how twisty the plot is -- I usually just lose interest. So based on that, I've been trying to find good character-driven novels lately.

The first one I found like that was Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, which I'm just finishing up. It was really great for the first three-quarters -- lots of interesting characters and funny dialog from a cranky old guy -- but then it started to drag a bit, because it felt like it was too much bumping around the same small town, without a whole lot going on except little stuff. I've enjoyed it enough to try another of his, though.
Thanks Andy. I have added Fry to my Goodreads just now. You also have me intiuged with Nobody's Fool so I will look into that one.

This is a great thread idea. I will post about the two new books I just got when I finish those. 13 Hours and Alcatraz.
 

CFogle21

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#10
Swan Song by Robert Mccammon is one of my favorites.
 

Kerosene31

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Some of my recent favorites:

The Takeshi Kovacs series starting with Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (soon to be a netflix series)
The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (only downside is book 3 is still not done yet)
I am reading American Gods now by Gaiman.
The Expanse series by James Corey (great show on sci-fi right now)

Older stuff - anything by Asimov, especially the Foundation Trilogy.

I read every day, even if it is just a chapter or two. I highly recommend getting a Kindle Paperwhite. Amazing for reading and better than a tablet. I read at least a few chapters before bed rather than watching TV.
 

Hedon

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#12
Some of my recent favorites:

The Takeshi Kovacs series starting with Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (soon to be a netflix series)
The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (only downside is book 3 is still not done yet)
I am reading American Gods now by Gaiman.
The Expanse series by James Corey (great show on sci-fi right now)

Older stuff - anything by Asimov, especially the Foundation Trilogy.

I read every day, even if it is just a chapter or two. I highly recommend getting a Kindle Paperwhite. Amazing for reading and better than a tablet. I read at least a few chapters before bed rather than watching TV.
I bought one of those Kindles and tried two books. It's collecting dust now. Nothing like a good book in my hand.
 
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Someone into military non-fiction might flip through The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Not exactly entertainment like a story, but I appreciate it as a strong mindset of strategy.

Unfortunately, I also feel we are doing most of the things Sun Tzu says not to do.

 

Registered User 1

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The first author to make me fall in love with books, was Isobelle Carmody, and the Obernewtyn Chronicles.

I was 11 when I read the first book, and the selfish b**** took 25 years to finally finish the story, baiting me time and time again. But I was hooked, and became the biggest book addict after reading the initial two books. I used to struggle to watch commercial TV because I find ads infuriating (to the extent my mum would record tv shows and cut the ads out, so as I wouldn't scream at the tv) and having books to read on the side were placating.

Matthew Reilly is an author that I consider the most brilliant man to get "Boys" to read. His writing is clever, graphical and nuanced enough to make every part of his stories to feel like Tom Clancy cum Indiana Jones. I've given his books to blokes that think they aren't 'book people' and all of them have surprisingly loved it. Seven Ancient Warriors is a brilliant entry into his writing, and the rest of the series addictive, and if you have an interest in survival, hook in!

For some fun horror stuff, The Morganville books from Rachel Cain are literary bubbles of Joss Whedon inspired magic.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott is an amazing melding of lore from countless religions, and is as addictive as the Harry Potter Books, with an inspiring amount of history thrown into the mix.

And for the spank bank side, 'Grey' from the 50 Shades of Grey books, is BY FAR the hottest book in the series. Hearing how much he wants to choke/beat someone rocks my socks.

Oh, and the best author ever? TORI SPELLING! Her books are Uncharted TerriTORI, CelebraTORI, Spelling It Like It Is, sTori Telling, and Mommy Wood.
 

Viktor

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Only book I've read since high school is Shutter Island. Prior to the movie coming out the synopsis sounded great so decided it was a good book to read prior. I've thought about reading The Expanse but the show has spoiled me with the visuals. Saw an ad on Facebook for a new book called The Last War which is a sci-fi space book as well. On the realistic side Neil deGrasse Tyson has a new book out that I want to grab.
 

Viktor

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I read A Man Called Ove. That was good. You might check out The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It's similar in some ways. I learned about it on Goodreads -- I'm not a member, but I do google searches for good books about X or Y, and Goodreads usually pops up.

I've tried lots of different types of fiction lately -- serious Literature, science fiction, fantasy, middle-brow novels, even a western. I really liked Ken Folette's Pillars of the Earth and Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. Both were excellent, but also 900 pages or so.

In the fantasy realm, I have enjoyed some of Terry Brooks' novels, although they get pretty formulaic after a while. I tried a bunch of other fantasy authors but haven't found one I really jived with. I had a similar reaction as you to Brandon Sanderson -- just didn't resonate with me. I think it was too "thieves' guild" and intrigue-based for me, too much talk about his magic system. The main character was interesting but the others weren't, and I didn't find that I cared about the world much. Like a lot of fantasy and sf (and detective/crime fiction), there was too much focus on action/plot and not enough talk about the characters and what was going on with them -- at least for me.

One of the things I learned lately is that I really need good characters in a book, characters I find interesting or relatable or likeable or funny. If it doesn't have that -- no matter how exciting the action is, how twisty the plot is -- I usually just lose interest. So based on that, I've been trying to find good character-driven novels lately.

The first one I found like that was Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, which I'm just finishing up. It was really great for the first three-quarters -- lots of interesting characters and funny dialog from a cranky old guy -- but then it started to drag a bit, because it felt like it was too much bumping around the same small town, without a whole lot going on except little stuff. I've enjoyed it enough to try another of his, though.
Didn't read the books but I enjoyed the Pillars of the Earth miniseries on Starz.
 

Andy

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Didn't read the books but I enjoyed the Pillars of the Earth miniseries on Starz.
I'll have to check that out eventually. I usually prefer the book version to the movie/series version, because novels can get you inside the characters' heads in a way movies/series can't. But the setting of that novel (middle ages), the characters, and the plot would probably be interesting enough to carry a series.

I was really impressed by the book. When I started it, I figured I was in for 100 pages of warm up before it really got rolling -- but no, it took right off and held my attention the whole way. That's saying a lot, for a 900 page novel. I want to read more of Folette's stuff, but he seems to always write these massive tomes that require a huge time commitment. I want to sample some other authors first.
 

cmstophe

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Well, I'm a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire...that's a go-to that you may not have read if you're just now getting into reading. You may know it by 'Game of Thrones' on HBO (the title of the first book). When it comes to epic, gritty fantasy it doesn't really get any better in my opinion, to the point that after I finished the 5th and latest book in the series, I stopped reading for several years because nothing else captured my interest like that world.

But, if that doesn't interest you, or if by some chance you're already familiar with it, a couple sci-fi recommendations I've got are The Forever War and Hyperion. Don't feel like writing synopsis of them but Google them, they may interest you.

I actually just picked up the first book in The Expanse, haven't seen the show but I hear these are good. I don't have a lot of time to read anymore though so it could be a while before I get through it.
 

WithGravy

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Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

Short but amazing and funny read.
 

Viktor

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Well, I'm a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire...that's a go-to that you may not have read if you're just now getting into reading. You may know it by 'Game of Thrones' on HBO (the title of the first book). When it comes to epic, gritty fantasy it doesn't really get any better in my opinion, to the point that after I finished the 5th and latest book in the series, I stopped reading for several years because nothing else captured my interest like that world.

But, if that doesn't interest you, or if by some chance you're already familiar with it, a couple sci-fi recommendations I've got are The Forever War and Hyperion. Don't feel like writing synopsis of them but Google them, they may interest you.

I actually just picked up the first book in The Expanse, haven't seen the show but I hear these are good. I don't have a lot of time to read anymore though so it could be a while before I get through it.
I see Hyperion is coming to SyFy.
 

scrubsr1

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I listen to audio books all of the time while working in the Dental Lab.
A few that I STRONGLY recommend:

"11-22-63" by Stephen King( I've listened to this three times now!)
"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak
"Night" by Elie Wiesel
"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand
 
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These are two crazy horror stories that were the basis for the films Nightbreed and HELLRAISER.

I actually think Cabal was more interesting. It tries to flip horror around having the 'Monsters' as mostly benign creatures trying to hide away from the world until discovered by humans who mercilessly hunt them down while lead by the psycho killer Dr. Decker.



 
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Possibly my favorite author is Philip K. Dick who wrote very surreal science fiction stories that over time have been adapted to film, though usually dumbed down in the script.

For example, I was surprised to see how different the short story The Minority Report was from Steven Spielberg's film. The same goes for The Adjustment Bureau based on the very surreal short story The Adjustment Team. What happens to the character in this story reminds me of being in a game that is wall glitching badly, except it's happened to him in reality.

The movie Blade Runner was based on Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. In that case, I'm not sure I'd say the story was dumbed down, but really stripped down.

The best book to film adaption was A Scanner Darkly which is a strange look at a world with an escalating War on Drugs and Surveillance State and the very odd life of Bob Arctor who is both a drug addict and narcotics officer.

For trying out this author, I do think a good first story would be The Minority Report, especially if you can find it as a stand-alone story on Kindle followed by Paycheck.









 

Andy

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I listen to audio books all of the time while working in the Dental Lab.
A few that I STRONGLY recommend:

"11-22-63" by Stephen King( I've listened to this three times now!)
"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak
"Night" by Elie Wiesel
"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand
I second the recommendation for "Night." I've heard good things about The Book Thief, too, but haven't read it. You like books about WWII, I see. Rather serious stuff, all of those (from what I know, anyhow).

I've never read a Stephen King novel, but I'll put that on my list to check out.
 

Andy

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Older stuff - anything by Asimov, especially the Foundation Trilogy.
I read a lot of Asimov, back in the day (Foundation series, I Robot, the robot detective series). Arthur C. Clarke, too. I revisited Clarke recently (Rama, Childhood's End), and it just didn't hold up. Way too much goo-gah about science and technology. I know, I know -- "It's hard SF, what do you expect." I just remember a lot more "sense of wonder" when I first read it. Of course, I was 13 at the time...

I wonder how Asimov would hold up. I'm guessing no better, but I might give Isaac another try someday, for old time's sake.
 
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Another book with a borked movie adaption, but may have some appeal to military readers. This was turned into the movie SHOOTER with Bob Lee Swagger absurdly cast with Mark Wahlberg. He's an older character and I always pictured him more like Sam Elliot.

Bob Lee from the book is an older guy and also a Vietnam Vet where he got his nickname Bob The Nailer for numerous sniper kills. He gets framed for an assassination attempt, must clear his name, comes out of retirement and bodies pile up.

I believe the author himself is a veteran and I think the story is informed by that in terms of the use and presentation of weapons.

 

Kerosene31

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I read a lot of Asimov, back in the day (Foundation series, I Robot, the robot detective series). Arthur C. Clarke, too. I revisited Clarke recently (Rama, Childhood's End), and it just didn't hold up. Way too much goo-gah about science and technology. I know, I know -- "It's hard SF, what do you expect." I just remember a lot more "sense of wonder" when I first read it. Of course, I was 13 at the time...

I wonder how Asimov would hold up. I'm guessing no better, but I might give Isaac another try someday, for old time's sake.
Yeah Clarke doesn't hold up as well. You have to put yourself in a different mindset to read that. Asimov usually holds up a lot better, much of his stuff deals with robots and AI and such, which is still a common theme today. Definitely a different vibe. I still like Asimov because even all these years later his stuff can still blow my mind. Obviously if you're looking for more action, something more contemporary is the way to go.

That's why I love the Expanse books so much, they kind of modernize that old feel.
 
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Videodrome

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Only book I've read since high school is Shutter Island. Prior to the movie coming out the synopsis sounded great so decided it was a good book to read prior. I've thought about reading The Expanse but the show has spoiled me with the visuals. Saw an ad on Facebook for a new book called The Last War which is a sci-fi space book as well. On the realistic side Neil deGrasse Tyson has a new book out that I want to grab.
Since I have this ridiculously boring job as a truck driver, I got Tyson's Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on audible.
 

D-V-ANT

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Some of my recent favorites:

The Takeshi Kovacs series starting with Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (soon to be a netflix series)
The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (only downside is book 3 is still not done yet)
I am reading American Gods now by Gaiman.
The Expanse series by James Corey (great show on sci-fi right now)

Older stuff - anything by Asimov, especially the Foundation Trilogy.

I read every day, even if it is just a chapter or two. I highly recommend getting a Kindle Paperwhite. Amazing for reading and better than a tablet. I read at least a few chapters before bed rather than watching TV.
The Takeshi Kovacs Series and the Expanse series are really really good. Check out Neal Asher (the polity series) if you want to seriously crazy sci-fi. It has everything, genoicdial aliens, AI, cyborgs, sentient machines, the works. Peter F Hamilton is another good author. The Nights Dawn series is a good read and Pandora star / Judas Unchained are excellent as well.
 
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D-V-ANT

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#30
I see Hyperion is coming to SyFy.
What? That makes me a sad panda. I can't imagine them doing any kind of justice to a book as complex as that.