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The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Thu 18 Mar 2010, 10:26

I noticed a few people who are passionate about reading here, so here's a thread dedicated to reading materials. And I'll start it off.

I'm an avid -and fast- reader. I love the written word. In fact both Colt and I do, and a spare bedroom floor is heaving with the weight of the books we have. We both love fantasy, sci-fi, and the unusual. I also love classics, having been influenced by some amazing English Literature teachers. One of them made us keep a reading list, and would regularly show her approval. I very quickly learned to tailor my reading to suit, though I still disagree with her on Heinlein! On the plus side, it meant I could introduce Colt to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

I'm a sucker for Ian M Banks - and indeed Ian Banks. I read Gaiman, I adore Alan Moore's work, they're far too good to be dismissed as comics. In the past I've done the whole fantasy thing from the Dragonlance Series, some of David Eddings, and a lot of Gemmell. I'm not looking at fantasy fiction at the moment, as I'm more in a fairytale and myths mode. I tend to veer away from the formulaic these days. Oh, and I don't do Dan Brown.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Dywen on Thu 18 Mar 2010, 17:31

Oooh a reading room thats a great idea! Anyway generally i stick to fantasy books but willing to try anything.

Just recently finished the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb which i did enjoy took me a while to get into but its a great trilogy don from the frist person perspective which was a refreshing change. Anyway please recomend books ive ran out, although the bone doll twins does look very interesting.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Malicht on Fri 19 Mar 2010, 00:33

Ooh, good idea Alquiel. Sorry for hijacking an unrelated thread for this Embarassed

I'm ashamed to say it, but my reading tastes reflect that of the stereotypical WoW nerd. I haven't read and enjoyed a book that wasn't either fantasy or science fiction in years!

Anyway, it sounds like you're off to a good start with the Farseer Trilogy. Sadly Coppelia didn't enjoy the last book and eventually gave up before the end, but I still think Hobb's work is excellent (yes, even the Soldier Son trilogy)! Now you may not realise it, but the Farseer Trilogy is actually the first in a three part series with an over-arching plot. If you haven't already, I'd definitely suggest reading them too:

Liveship Traders:
  • The Ship of Magic
  • The Mad Ship
  • The Ship of Destiny

The Tawny Man:
  • Fool's Errand
  • Golden Fool
  • Fool's Fate

Other than that, Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Trilogy books are really very good (a cunning mix of horror/fantasy - especially good in the first book). I won't flood you with ideas right now though. These are definitely worth reading, and should keep you going for a while Wink
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Dywen on Fri 19 Mar 2010, 06:14

Oh right i wasn't aware it was a three part series i'll have to get the other books at some point.

Whats everybody else reding at the minute then?
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Fri 19 Mar 2010, 06:17

No fantasy for me, I'm afraid. I'm reading "Lord of Misrule", Christopher Lee's autobiography, which I'm finding fascinating.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Colt on Fri 19 Mar 2010, 07:10

Just finished William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition". Great ideas, great characters, slightly too neat an ending.
...and most importantly containing the wonderful recurring phrase: "He took a duck in the face at 250 knots".

To continue the Gibson theme I am currently trying to find where our copy of "Virtual Light" has gone. One of those I started years ago, and then put to one side, probably as a result of a Pratchett distraction. Now I want to finish it and it's hiding.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Tam on Fri 19 Mar 2010, 08:06

I tried to read Pattern Recognition and failed ... I think I ... just ... I don't know ... I mean, I did read it, but I didn't *get* it. I found it rather cold and un-engaging.

Although towards the end there's a paragraph that has *haunted* me, absolutely haunted me for ... well ... since I read it. Let me dig it out and quote it:

"And then she hears the sound of a helicopter, from somewhere behind her and, turning, sees the long white beam of light sweeping the dead ground as it comes, like a lighthouse gone mad from loneliness, and searching that barren ground as foolishly, as randomly, as any grieving heart ever has."

God, even typing it out...

Re Robin Hobb, I really loved the Assassin Trilogy and really really really loved the Liveship Traders ... but I found the second trilogy (Tawny Man etc.) didn't quite live up to the first, so I got disappointed...
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Aeranduil on Mon 29 Mar 2010, 15:04

Ooh, where to begin... I've read some truly amazing books over the years, I've been a passionate reader for as long as I can remember.

Obviously I have to begin with Tolkien. I've had a lifelong obsession, although I don't like to call it that (!), with his life and works. He really has inspired me more than anyone, or anything, in the world. I cannot begin to explain the affinity I have with the Lord of the Rings trilogy in particular, but I'm a huge fan of all his texts. Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, Roverandom, Letters from Father Christmas, and even his lesser-known works like his essay On Fairy-Stories and his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (wonderful poem in Middle English). Even took an amazing trip down to Oxford after I discovered a lot of the key places in his life. I've seen his house (the main one that is, he moved house about 10 times as a child!), his university (Oxford, Exeter college), his favourite tree (no, really!) and, to end a touching day in Oxford, his final resting place. Without his works, I wouldn't have such a fervent interest in fantasy, in reading and in writing (I'm also a keen writer of my own legendarium!)

But that isn't to say I limit myself to his outstanding novels. I love Philip K. Dick's works (most notably 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', known to most as Blade Runner), and any other dystopic science fiction such as George Orwell's 1984, and I'm also a sucker for Dan Brown's books.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Dywen on Sun 11 Apr 2010, 12:43

Was leant a copy of Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind, i thought it wasn't bad and have just finished it.

However there was one quote that i liked "wizards first rule: people are stupid". I think this sums up for me pugging in Wow.

(Resurecting the thread a little Razz)
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Mon 12 Apr 2010, 09:59

I actually read up to book 6 of the series the other month. I'd read them before, and was discussing the television series with a friend, and ended up going back to visit as there were a few differences.

I didn't find it bad either. There were a lot of rather good concepts in there....and the way it suddenly went from fairly straight fantasy to several chapters of sheer Mord Sith kink was a bit of a mind boggle first time I read it, and still amused me the second time around. Those Mord Sith are hawt in such a wrong, wrong way!

And I'm with you on the First Rule! The pleasant thing about this series is that there's a rule for each book, and the plot sort of revolves around it. And the rules themselves are actually quite sensible, even if the books do often drift off into fantasy cliche at times. Not to mention Goodkind managed to surprise me sometimes with some of the characters' actions.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Dywen on Mon 12 Apr 2010, 12:10

I'm not so sure i'll pursue the rest of the series i found some of it quite difficult to read and felt it was almost put there for no other reason then to shock. Some ideas i did like but overall i think i'll leave that series there!.

On another night just started reading a book called "The Anvil Of Ice" and its been promising book 1 of a series called winter of the worlds.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Fri 27 Aug 2010, 17:05

I thought I'd post this link. It's to the online version of a book called For The Win by Cory Doctorow. It's a book aimed at young adults, but I thought people might enjoy having a look at it. It's based around 3 youngsters who are gold farmers in online games and looks at economics, reasons people play, all sorts.

http://craphound.com/ftw/Cory_Doctorow_-_For_the_Win.htm

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Joe on Fri 27 Aug 2010, 17:51

although maybe not everyones taste, i'm a huge Terry Prachett fan.

Read everything he's done, and Ian Banks is cool too!
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Asayanka on Fri 27 Aug 2010, 22:57

I used to read a lot more than I read now. Ever since I moved to Germany I don't commute by public transportation anymore and that's where I got most of my reading time. However, we've discovered Audiobooks for ourselves. And for me playing WoW and listening to an Audiobook is just perfect.

Latest Discovery was Neil Gaimans "Anansi Boys" and I loved it. Currently listening to his "American Gods". Current Bedtime reading is "Killer Pancake" by Diane Mott Davidson. It's a so-called culinary mystery. A nice, old-fashioned murder mystery with a caterer as heroine. And she shares her cooking and baking recipes throughout the book, which I really like. It's easy and cozy reading, I need that sometimes.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Sat 28 Aug 2010, 03:38

Mmm. Will check out "Killer Pancake"! That sounds like my sort of book. I loved "Like Water For Chocolate" for that reason too, but I should warn you, it's a book that managed to make me cry!

Ooh, Anka, while I remember, you might enjoy "The Food of Love" by Anthony Capella. I loved it. Think Cyrano De Bergerac, but with Italian chefs! I don't normally do pure romances, but this one I loved. Made me desperately want to visit Italy! And I've got my sights on his latest novel.

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Asayanka on Mon 30 Aug 2010, 00:57

Actually Alq, I would recommend starting with the first book in the series, Catering to Nobody . Eventhough the books are independent, it helps understanding the characters better.

"Like Water for Chocolate" does ring a bell... but I don't think I've read it.

I will have to look into "The Food of Love", though. I'm usually not at all for romances, me likes some action and gory details. But every once in awhile, I can handle romance. Razz
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Mon 30 Aug 2010, 09:17

Right, that's now on my to read list, Anka! Oh, while I remember, talking mysteries, and fun ones at that, I loved The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It's set in a parallel universe, and the heroine is Thursday Next, a literary detective. It's very silly in places and there's lots of action - and plenty of tie ins with the original classic Jane Eyre.

I've got to admit, I was surprised by liking a romance so much, I think it was the description of food and the passion towards food that got me hooked, rather than the soppy bits! It wasn't one I'd have chosen for myself, or had even heard about, but it was a present from Colt and he got it spot on.

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  faithless on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 03:55

Alquiel wrote:I actually read up to book 6 of the series the other month. I'd read them before, and was discussing the television series with a friend, and ended up going back to visit as there were a few differences.

I didn't find it bad either. There were a lot of rather good concepts in there....and the way it suddenly went from fairly straight fantasy to several chapters of sheer Mord Sith kink was a bit of a mind boggle first time I read it, and still amused me the second time around. Those Mord Sith are hawt in such a wrong, wrong way!

And I'm with you on the First Rule! The pleasant thing about this series is that there's a rule for each book, and the plot sort of revolves around it. And the rules themselves are actually quite sensible, even if the books do often drift off into fantasy cliche at times. Not to mention Goodkind managed to surprise me sometimes with some of the characters' actions.

What annoyed me with the whole series is that he felt the need to rant a lot 'in character'. I bought it as a fantasy book, if i wanted to know the author's political beliefs i'd have asked him :s


BTW:
For fantasy/sci fi books, theres quite a lot available free online - check out:
http://www.baen.com/
http://www.webscription.net/

I'd recommend the march upcountry series by john ringo, and the earlier honor harrington series by david weber.

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  theanorak on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 04:41

There's a whole bunch of stuff I like to read already covered in this thread (Banks, Gibson, Pratchett etc) so I'll throw another couple of names into the hat

There's a chap called Richard Morgan (http://www.richardkmorgan.com/) who's mostly written a bunch of hard sci-fi. There's a series-of-sorts about a future where consciousness can be moved from host body to host body (even synthetics) featuring a guy called Takeshi Kovacs, some interesting stuff about genetic diddling and the nature of man in Black Man, and a rather vicious parody of investment banking in Market Forces. He's also done a couple of graphic novels (I've not read) and his most recent book was The Steel Remains, an interesting take on classic fantasy, in which most of the leading characters are gay. Worth reading the synopses for further info.

If you fancy a (longish) break from all the scifi and fantasy, try reading Any Human Heart by William Boyd. It's the life story of one man, beginning with some early diaries from childhood and following his (eventful) life through world war II up to modern times. It encompasses all the highs and lows of a long and varied life, and left me feeling alternatively delighted and heartbroken.


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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Elphane on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 05:00

I have just started reading Wizards First Rule as I have had it recommended to me a few times, and I remembered to pick it up over the weekend. So far so good! I didn't need to know about Darken Rahl scarred wangle though.

I am also a fan of Robin Hobb, though I haven't read all hers. I loved the Farseer Trilogy, and the Tawny Man Trilogy were good up to the very end, where I feel they tacked on a happy ending that it didn't really need. Won't go into it here and spoil it for anyone.

I ama massive, MASSIVE fan of Jim Butcher and his Dresden Files series. Its up to book 12 so far, and its still got pace, and still gives you something new every time. And what I like about it is Harry Dresden is just a run of the mill type of guy. Sure, he is a wizard, but unlike some novels you read he isn't slowly turning into an all powerful uber wizard, he has talent but he is still outclassed and sometimes wings it by the seat of his pants. And he still makes mistakes. I like that. I like my heroes my believable sometimes. I have tried Jim Butchers Codex Alera series as well, which is fantasy, and I have to say its good too, and he manages to write just as well in a different style. I bow down to the man Smile

I have to say there are a few authors I loathe with a passion. I could say there is an entire genre I loath, but then I do like some books in the genre, just most of them are.. Meh. I talk about the new 'Dark Fantasy' section I now see in the local bookshops. Give me good old fashioned horror over vampire/werewolf/faerie soft porn any day. The worst I have read have to be by Laurell K Hamiltons Anita Blake series, and Keri Arthurs Riley Jensen series. In the first instance, i used to quite like Anita Blake. Now don't get me wrong, a bit of sex in a book is fine and dandy. But slowly Anita Blake became more about her shagging any supernatural being that offered and less about actual plot. And Keri Arthur... Here, the quote on the back of the first books says it all:

More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming...Luckily Riley has two willing partners to satisfy her every need.

Yep, that's right guys, werewolves HAVE to screw multiple partners the week before the full moon for their own wellbeing! *sigh* I made it to book two, but when it came to the part where she and a werestallion were on the run from killer enemies and they STILL found time to have sex I gave up.

But I do have to say I like Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels, which are a lot less sex filled than the True Blood TV Series (which I have never watched tbh), and Kelley Armstrong is very good, especially if you like strong female leads.

And I do actually read stuff other than horror and fantasy! I am a big fan of Kathy Reichs, and I love Jame's Patterson Womans Murder Club series (the solve murders, not do them!). So yes, I like crime thrillers as well.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Asayanka on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 05:36

@Elphane: I so agree with you there! I like the Dresden Files, too - but have only read two or three books in the series yet. I used to be such a huge Anita Blake fan. The first novels in the series were awesome but as you already said, it became only about Anita and her Harem and how much sex in what variation they have. Boooooring... Same with the Meredith Gentry series, btw.

I like Kelley Armstrongs "Women of the Otherworld" series and I absolutely love the Charlaine Harris' Sookie books. I've watched season 1 of True Blood and it wasn't bad. I've seen parts of season two and it is bad. The books are SO much better! Also, Mrs. Harries wrote the "Grave..." series, heroine is Harper Conelly. Nice concept and an easy read. Ever since Harper got hit by lightning as a child, she is now able to feel the dead and travels around the country to help the police locate dead bodies.
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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 06:14

I was given a copy of the first Lilith Saintcrow books about Dante Valentine a while back, "Working for the Devil"- I found it fun, sort of thinking role-player woman's chick lit, if you'd like, quite predictable in places, and with a tendancy to repeat the odd phrase. She had this thing about black molecule drip nail polish. The author obviously liked the idea (or forgot she used it) and there wasn't that much sex. The follow ups weren't TOO bad....

One book I do love and keep going back to is "The Case of the Toxic Spelldump" by Harry Turtledove. It's nothing like any of his others.

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Rem on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 08:35

I haz The Complete Chronicles of Conan. Delivered today. Just saying!

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  theanorak on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 09:10

^^ Warriors, what can you do with 'em? Wink

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Re: The Reading Room

Post  Alquiel on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 09:18

Well, Ano, with a little thought, care and some stickybacked plastic......

We're not our characters you know! I mean, I certainly wouldn't have any books whatsoever on herbalism, alchemy and druidry in my library at home. *coughs*


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