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Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:02 am UTC
by dbsmith
The Magus - John Fowles

A brilliant psycho-sexual mystery. I got lost in this book. My thoughts and arrogant youthfulness seemed to mirror that of the protagonist as did the bewilderment at the situation as it escalated. Especially towards the end where he made some damning choices, I felt so in tune with that character the whole time. When it all tipped up on its head at the end, I felt the same shock and "its not fair" emotions that he did. It made me question myself more than any other book I've read.

The Gone Away World - Nick Harkaway

This was just so so much fun to read. It has an awesome "what the holy fuck is going on" twist around the halfway mark. This had so many strands and balls in the air that the way they all came together in the end was incredibly satisfying.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:03 am UTC
by Magnanimous
Sandry wrote:So it was said before, but with no actual information, so I'll say it again: Cory Doctorow - Little Brother. I just picked this up yesterday. It took a little while to hook me because it seemed a little bit trying too hard, at first, but once you get into the thick of things, it's a totally enjoyable and slightly painful experience. It's a quick read, but puts freedom, technology and politics in a different perspective, or at least makes you think about them for a moment.
So much win. You can definitely tell someone like Cory Doctorow wrote this: I'm only about halfway through, and so far the book's mentioned Python/C/PHP, LiveJournal, Fark, three Linux distros, rootkits, MediaWiki, l33t, MAME, GIMP, public/private keys, and most of the encryption algorithms I learned about in Network Security. And it actually explains everything pretty well, for the less computer-inclined.

The only thing I hate about this book is that a lot of the chapter breaks occur mid-scene... It's really hard to stop reading. :)

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:21 pm UTC
by Jorpho
Little Brother (and Doctorow's other works) is available for free, is it not?

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:10 pm UTC
by Magnanimous
Yep. I bought the paperback, but knock yourself out.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:53 am UTC
by RainingOnYourParade
I would recommend "The Contortionist's Handbook" by Craig Clevenger. It's the story of a master forger forced to reinvent himself throughout life, or be faced with being thrown into a mental institution (they were still happily lobotomizing people in the story's time frame). Clevenger's style is what really brings it all together; the whole thing is a little... Haphazard? but masterfully connected. One of my favorite books.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:15 pm UTC
by Euphonium
Dave_Wise wrote:Candide by voltaire. Just finished it. Awesome short book. If anything deserves to be a Terry Gilliam film, it's this.


It's already a Leonard Bernstein opera. Quite entertaining.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:13 pm UTC
by PhilipXV
I looked over the list and I'm surprised that nobody has recommended Terry Pratchett's Discworld series yet.

Great author just, beware the footnotes*




*Yes really

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:33 am UTC
by jano
PhilipXV wrote:I looked over the list and I'm surprised that nobody has recommended Terry Pratchett's Discworld series yet.

Great author just, beware the footnotes*




*Yes really


Seems to have been already recommended:
Switch31 wrote:I highly recommend the works of Terry Pratchett. I've read some of his more recent books and they are outstanding. They're humorous, but with a compelling plot.


My recommendation: Letters Back to Ancient China, by Herbert Rosendorfer (http://www.amazon.com/Letters-Ancient-C ... 1903517397)

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:21 am UTC
by existentialpanda
These may have been mentioned already, but...

World War Z by Max Brooks. It's basically the zombie apocalypse as told by the survivors. It goes into every aspect imaginable - how it started, how it spread, what they did about it, the economic impacts, the political impacts, everything you can think of, incredibly detailed. Definitely worth reading. And zombies!

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This one's kind of hard to describe. Six short stories that on the surface seem completely different, set in the same universe but different times (one set in the 1500s, one in the early 1900s, two around the present, one in a future dystopia, one post-apocalyptic) but they have some common threads linking them. Their arrangement in the novel is also rather unusual. They're sort of nested within each other, and each one is read or watched or told to the main character of the next story - what I'm trying to say is that they seem completely different but they're really closely interwoven. I'm doing a very bad job of describing this, but it's a fantastic book.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:55 pm UTC
by slimcognito
I would suggest the Dresden files by Jim Butcher. While the first two novels aren't his greatest, after that the series really picks up speed.
Failing that, i would suggest the Shannara books by Terry Brooks, the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, or The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:35 pm UTC
by Hummer
Time on a Cross by Fogel and Engerman

The book's central hypothesis, that American slavery in the nineteenth century was both relatively productive and beneficial to the African-American minority in the South (compared to the decades preceding their emancipation and northern farm labourers) gives a unique insight into economic study. I think all economic students, and those interested in American history, should read it (and also the rebuttals and firestorm it created).

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:44 pm UTC
by Manticorehunter
I'm pretty sure this has been mentioned before, but anyone who hasn't read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell needs to go do that now. It's over 800 pages, and yet it still feels short.

Dracula by Bram Stoker is another very good read. Don't think it's boring just because it's a classic.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:00 am UTC
by Chuff
Boring, because it's a classic? Classic, because it isn't boring, more like! On that note, read Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:52 am UTC
by Mark_Muller
Kitchen Confidential is a fantastic tell-all about the restaurant industry.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:36 am UTC
by Pasgen
Necromonicon, by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, A multitude of short, sci-fi/fantasy horror tales set in the early 20th century, where the protagonists tend to be learned men of science, instead of the commonplace worldsaving heroes or dimwitted sheeple you can enjoy watching get pushed around.
The way of writing is indeed something special. Mostly the main characters of the stories have left behind letters of their experiences, often adressed to family, friends or collegues to tell them about the horrors they have lived through!

H. P. Lovecraft started writing, as far as I know, in 1917, at least some of the stories in this book date back to that time, and I would say he kept writing until his death in 1937. I would keep this in mind as your read the book, as the style of writing naturally is rather old-fashioned in our time, and might deter some readers.
This book, Necromonicon, is a rather new edition. It is fully possible to find the stories elsewhere.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:01 pm UTC
by minkis
The Chronicles of Amber - Robert Zelazny

Also, anything by Robert Heinlein

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:16 am UTC
by socialcharlotte
Nutcase by Charlotte Hughes;
Its a mystery and a comedy. You wont be able to stop reading it, its both tense and funny through and through. Best way I can think of to take your mind off the shooting of the Congresswoman. The lady who is the protagnoist is a psychologist

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:16 pm UTC
by CombustibleLemons
Anything by Micheal Crihton. I've read most of his books and loved them all.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:39 pm UTC
by Fedechiar
Thanks for the suggestions, they'll keep me occupied for a while :)
However, I'm startled no one suggested Harry Turtledove's World War Series...
To sum up four 600-page books in a sentence, what if aliens chose the middle of WW2 to try and conquer Earth?.
I'm reading the sequels right now (Colonization Series), and they're also good, though not quite as good as the first ones were

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:10 pm UTC
by TheGrammarBolshevik
The Odyssey, Robert Fagles translation. Read it for my English class two weeks ago and it's soooooooooooo good.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:45 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
The Arabian Nights.

There is just so much content in that book that it can satisfy one for years on end.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:07 pm UTC
by markkat
Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.

Engrossing account about the first months of WWI.

I haven't read a history book like it.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:32 am UTC
by anna james
Jesse wrote:'Hope and Memory' by Tzvetan Todorov.

A look back on Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century that is written beautifully, and isn't ashamed to be critical of Soviet Russia as well as Nazi Germany, while not trying to demonise them either. It is a open and honest attempt to understand why this occurred, and how to prevent it ever happening again and again. a amazing book.


Hope and Memory' by Tzvetan Todorov is surely an awesome book to go out for and read for sure, thanks a lot for sharing a review and recommending this book.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:40 am UTC
by stevenf
The book 'Little Missions' (1932) by Septimus Despencer is chiefly famous for being the first to contain the phrase: "Oh dear! Our postillion has been struck by lightning!" It is on page 42.

However, it is also an interesting read too.

It is a true account of the investigative travels of a group of diplomats in central Europe in the ruins of the Hapsburg Empire - the Succession States. Sacher's restaurant in Vienna was essentially the hub of statesmanship, intrigue, influence and general skullduggery - SD's account of his hours there is fascinating.

At one stage the group, who had no language in common except alcohol, had to hijack a train to escape from a battle. What looks like antisemitism in places is no more than a frank description of the prevailing sentiments.

Modern diplomats look like pallid milquetoasts by comparison.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:30 pm UTC
by Memorantix
Hi, Im new to these forums but this book is amazing, made me quite emotional and is the only book to do so!

The Railway Man
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0099582317/?tag=googhydr-21&hvadid=4435893033&ref=pd_sl_8bztjfr6yk_

Its a story of a British PoW in Japan during WWII, his story is amazing and true. Best book ive read for years, possibly of all time.

Also recommend (but these are probably obvious) - papillon, the long walk and world war z :)

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:18 am UTC
by McHeezy
I would like to suggest a new found favorite of mine,"THE FOUNTAINHEAD," by Aynn Rand. I really enjoyed the protragonist character Howard Roark, and his devotion to his own style and ego. Also, the novel impels a sense of personal responsibilty and self-respect. Another, great aspect to the novel is that intelligence is highly respected, and the fools in the novel are clowns of amusement to the educationally wealthy characters. And although it seems harsh towards the fools who amount to nothing in their craft, they do live pretty swank lives as a consolation prize.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu May 19, 2011 8:47 pm UTC
by CombustibleLemons
Fedechiar wrote:Thanks for the suggestions, they'll keep me occupied for a while :)
However, I'm startled no one suggested Harry Turtledove's World War Series...
To sum up four 600-page books in a sentence, what if aliens chose the middle of WW2 to try and conquer Earth?.
I'm reading the sequels right now (Colonization Series), and they're also good, though not quite as good as the first ones were

have youu read the southern victory series?

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:06 pm UTC
by TheLonelyScribe
The Monster Blood Tattoo Series by DM Cornish (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monster-Blood-Tattoo-1-Foundling/dp/0552555878/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306162507&sr=1-2) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monster-Blood-Tattoo-2-Lamplighter/dp/0552556254/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306162507&sr=1-3) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monster-Blood-Tattoo-3-Factotum/dp/0385611978/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306162507&sr=1-1) (http://www.dmcornish.com/).

Although it has a somewhat unfortunate title, it is an amazing, amazing series. The first two books are of perhaps only good writing quality, but the details and subtleties of the world make everything come alive. Each book has an explicarium at the back, explaining the things, people, places and events all over the Half-Continent. However, the best thing about the first two books is that they prepare you to fully enjoy the third: definitely the most absorbing experience I have ever had. The descriptions of hob-rousing nearly made me sick, and I'm sure I cried (which I never do with books). The third book of the MBT series is one of the best things that ever happened to me, and i would certainly recommend that you let it happen to you.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:24 am UTC
by Drakohel
Anything by China Mieville. His books are technically fantasy/science fiction but they feel more steampunk-esque than anything else. His writing style can be a little hard to adjust to at first but it's worth working through it; he's a great writer. I'd recommend starting with Perdido Street Station as it introduces the universe used in a few of his subsequent books.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:00 pm UTC
by The Utilitarian
The Dreaming Dark series, by Kieth Baker. Fantastic.

If you like D&D and specifically the Eberron campaign setting this series of books is for you. The setting is just amazingly well done, and well it should be considering they're written by the guy who made the freaking campaign world!

Fabulous story and characters that's just close enough to a D&D campaign for you to imagine it but not so close that you can't see it as anything but.

Well worth a read.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:04 pm UTC
by matt198992
The Talisman + The Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub (they wrote both together, i like The Talisman far more than it's continuation).

The Talisman is less of a horror, as you'd expect from Stephen King co-writing it, and more of a suspense I guess. Without saying too much, It is about

A boy's journey to save his mother By travelling across this world and an alternate.

It truly is interesting, And never before have I been so attached to characters. There is plenty to keep you flipping the pages, and enough twists to blindside you quite often. It is definitely one of my favorites.

Besides that, i have to recommend Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. some may remember the HORRIBLE show adaptation (that got rightfully axed midway through season 1), but trust me when I say the book series is really enjoyable.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:20 am UTC
by AvatarIII
i have just read Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock, and i totally recommend it, it is essentially the story of the life of a young Polish (i think) Jew-turned-Christian named Karl Glogauer living in England having left poland before the start of WW2, growing up in the 40s, 50s and 60s. He's attention seeking "suicidal", unlucky in love, sexually confused, confused about religion, and everyothing else pretty much, until he meets a man who claims to have discovered time travel, and on the spur of the moment goes back in time to AD28 to witness the end of the life of Jesus, only what he finds is very different to what the bible has led him to expect.
at only 124 pages, it is a short read, but very powerful, and well written, some of the attitudes and themes are a little old fasioned, being written in '69, but you can't expect anything less reading a book like that.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:03 am UTC
by omgryebread
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick is a ridiculously good book. It's narrative non-fiction, and I think it's honestly the best story I've ever read. It follows six North Koreans through the famine in the 1990s, and each of their escapes into China and eventually South Korea where the author interviewed them. Before now, I've always thought of North Korea differently than any other country. It's always thinking of the country as either Kim Jong-il, as if the whole country is a joke about an absurd dictator, or as nuclear weapons, as if the whole country is nothing but a rogue warhead. Now I can't stop thinking about its people. It's not just a horror story of human rights and starvation like you sometimes get in news articles. It's not a book about North Korea, but a book about North Koreans. I've never been this attached to characters in a book, and it really might have changed the way I look at the world more than any other book. Can't recommend it highly enough. Read it. Even if you're not normally into non-fiction or don't care about Korea in the least, it's a fantastic book.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:51 pm UTC
by mind404
I don't know if anyone has mentioned it specifically yet, but Stranger In A Strange Land Unabridged is an awesome novel by Robert A. Heinlein. I know people have mentioned Heinlein and I did like Starship Troopers but Stranger was by far my fav.

EDIT: Ok, i just finally figured out how to search a single thread and yes it has been mentioned, but still my fav of his.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:19 am UTC
by Jorpho
mind404 wrote:EDIT: Ok, i just finally figured out how to search a single thread
o rly? How?

I found Stranger to be quite the slog. Thumbs down.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:32 am UTC
by adrianhon
I was very much taken with Mira Grant's 'Feed', which is a slightly more realistic and scientific take on a post-zombie world. I'm not much of a zombie fan myself, but this did a great job of depicting the sorts of measures a rich country like the US would take after zombies were more or less 'manageable' if not completely 'solved'.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:41 pm UTC
by no-genius
The Incomplete Tim Key.

If you don't know who he is, he writes weirdly funny poems, and this is an anthology collection of nearly 300 of them (I haven't counted), most with footnotes that are only barely about the poem. You'll laugh, you'll - no, laughing is mainly it. But I laughed a lot.

My only complaint is that with so much of the text in footnotes, it could've been a larger font size - gets a bit hard to read after a while (and I'm a young'un).

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:47 pm UTC
by casualevils
Paper Towns by John Green

Basic Plot: Margo Roth Spiegelman, the most popular girl in school, leads the main character Quentin on a midnight prank run. After that night, she has disappeared. Q and his group of friends try to find her and realize that Margo isn't the person she seems to be.

I'm 16, so I'm squarely in the Young Adult genre, but I hate most of it. John Green manages to create a story for highschoolers that isn't all romance, with truly interesting characters. He has a very witty style of writing which he uses to great effect in the situations he puts his characters in.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:27 am UTC
by tomandlu
"Soon I Will be Invincible" by Austin Grossman

‎I was building another science, my science, wild science, robots and lasers and disembodied brains. A science that buzzed and glowed; it wanted to do things. It could get up and walk, fly, fight, sprout garish glowing creations in the remotest parts of the world, domes and towers and architectural fever dreams. And it was angry. It was mad science.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:28 pm UTC
by Amelie
"Homo Faber" by Max Frisch.
"The Idiot" by Dostoevsky.
I also recommend to read stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.