Reading Suggestions

Since I read voraciously, and Mei is already overworked keeping us fans satiated, I thought it wouldn't be out of place to ask for some reading suggestions. This is an intersting group of folks, so I might get some excellent ideas here.
I've run out of things to read. I've gone through every Heinlein I can lay hands on, I've gone through all the Asimov, I've read and re-read the Spellsinger series and Callahan chronicles. I've perused the Draco Tavern, roamed Pern, and mapped the Discworld. I've wandered Chicago with Harry Dresden, and swapped sleeves with Takeshi Kovacs. I've crossed swords with Scaramouche, captured the Scarlet Pimpernel, out-sailed Captain Blood, and bested Fezzik. And I'm at a loss. So, with that in mind: What else is out there? What do you re-read, when you feel like an old favorite is called for? I'm pretty diverse, and I'm willing to be even more so. Hit me.

Forums: 
Tigger's picture

I am currently reading the Anita Blake series, by Laurel K Hamilton. I am absolutely fascinated! I also just got done re-reading the Oathbreaker series by Mercedes Lackey. There's also the Magic of Recluse series, by L.E. Modesitt Jr - I suggest figuring out the chronological order and reading it that way, instead of the order in which it was written. If you want something to really take up your time - try Wheel of Time. Hopefully the last book will be released soon...

For online reading, try Tales of MU and More Tales of MU. Those might keep you occupied for a few days, at least.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

I already tried the Anita Blake series; started out good, but it kinda went downhill (too much sex, not enough story). Got bored with ToMU, after about 280-300 chapters (I picked it up back at chapter 20). The other two sound very promising, though. I'm a huge fan of the "Urban Magic" stuff that's gotten popular lately, so I'll have to look into 'em. Thanks!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Neil Gaiman. Smile

Not sci-fi/fantasy but incredibly terrific are the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian. I'm an Aubrey-ite myself. Can't go far wrong with them.

Neal Stephenson, anything he's written. I'm particularly fond of "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond Age" (HUGE fan of the latter).

Clive Barker's "Imagica." Don't care for the rest of his stuff, but "Imagica" is gold.

The classics: Dickens; Austen; the Brontes.

Hm. As I think of things I'll add them.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Read everything by Gaiman and by Stephenson already, and everything by Dickens, and I refuse to read Austen or the Bronte sisters. The rest go on the list, though. Thanks Mei!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Austen is not a young man's read (young woman's, yes, but women generally mature faster). But the most passionate Austenites I know are male. At some point you may get around to her. Her wit is razor-sharp, and quite subtle; you don't realize a character has been cut to ribbons sometimes until much later. I'm due for a re-read myself--it's been a couple of decades--but I can't find my giant Austen omnibus. Must rectify.

Bravo for having read Dickens! I meet very few people who've actually bothered these days. If you like Dickens, you might like Trollope. And everyone should read Twain.

sigh. I'm so 19th century sometimes it hurts.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

I've enjoyed every Neil Gaiman book I've picked up so far, though Stardust I would not recommend as highly as the rest. American Gods and Anansi Boys are fantastic, especially if you like characters from classic mythology. Neverwhere is wonderful, and my personal favorite so far.

For short stories, try the Thieves' World series, edited by Robert Lynn Aspirin or Changing Planes by Ursula K Le Guin. (Or Birthday of the World, or anything else by her.) Roald Dahl also wrote some incredibly strange, twisted, and sometimes terrifying short stories for adults.

If you like fantasy/sci-fi/romance hybrids, try Mercedes Lackey (Bardic Voices series in particular), or Sharon Shinn. The first Bardic Voices book and the novel Archangel are my literary version of comfort food.

Frankly, you seem to have a bit of flair for writing yourself, so perhaps you should start writing and share it with the rest of us! It would keep you busy, and keep us entertained.

Nye's picture

Supplicant

Anyone who likes this story would probably love Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series.

I like Steven Brust's books, also often in series

I'm currently going through some of Neil Gaiman that I'd missed.

Lothran B's picture

I know this is a bit much... Most of the second half are discontinued or very slow, but they entertained me...

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End of webcomics, start of web novels...

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Yeti's picture

Devotee

Since you mentioned Heinlein and Asimov I would recommend anything by Vernor Vinge. The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem is also great.

Some one has probably already mentioned George R. R. Martin, who I would recommend to any one who likes IHotGK. [I'm pretty sure I've seen his name pop up in the other book threads].

I love anything by Dostoevsky, especially if you are looking for an author that will take a while to read through, but I might also be crazy.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Problem with having a reading list like mine is that you always get a ton of suggestions that you've already read, but you managed to hand me a couple good names I've never heard. Dostoevsky's out, as I already tried and couldn't, but the rest go to the front of the list!

balunr's picture

Jacqueline Carey, Steven Brust, Neil Gaiman. I still read the Anita Blake books - I seem to have similar kinks to the author, although my fantasy life is largely in my head. Wink

More Tales of MU is more interesting to me than Tales of MU at the moment. I think it's because the characters are new, and I don't yet know all of their annoying habits Smile

In non-urban magic fantasy, Anne Bishop's Daughter of the Blood is excellent. I've re-read the whole thing multiple times. I also love Sharon Green's "The Blending" series - they may be out of print.

In more of the urban magic setting, I like Tanya Huff's "Blood" series, and Patricia Briggs "Moon Called" and "Blood Bound" - hopefully there will be more to come with these charaters.

e.wolfsbane's picture

Try Christopher Moore!

I recently finished "A Dirty Job" and "You Suck." Funny, funny stuff.

Vayshe's picture

Petitioner

if youre going to throw mercedes lackey out there, its a disservice not to mention the heralds of valdemar series. its grown in to quite the monster but its oh-so engaging. at 26 books i think ive read the whole thing about 5 times

also one i just ran across is John C. Wright's Children of Chaos, Fugitives of Chaos and Titans of Chaos i'd definately give it a read. im at a loss for a way to explain it that doesnt make it sound way less interesting than it is. and without spoiling.

Phillip Pullmans His Dark Materials series. for all that hollywood did a decent job with the film it deserves to be read too.

i could go on forever

V's picture

Embodiment

Anything by Morgan Llywelyn, but particularly "Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish", "On Raven's Wing", or "Druids". Very nice Celtic historical fantasy.

Ender's Game, or Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card. If you like those, be prepared--the rest of the Ender's series is in a decidedly different tone, but I enjoyed all of them for different reasons. "Hart's Hope" by him is also good. First ones are sci-fi, the latter fantasy.

My interests are quite diverse, but those are some good ones in the same sort of fantasy/sci-fi theme.

OH!! Dune, by Frank Herbert. Get the original series, not the commercialized ripoffs his son's helping to put out.

raecchi's picture

Devotee

Ooh, I completely forgot the Stainless Steel Rat series, by Harry Harrison. Fantastically fun, those.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Ender's Game, anything by Phillip Pullman (when I finished "His Dark Materials" I put the book down and cried for about an hour, just overwhelmed with both how good it is and how badly I wanted to write), the Honor Harrington series by David Weber (which is quite uneven towards the end). If you like post-apocalyptic, and really, who doesn't love the end of the world as we know it, SM Stirling's "Dies the Fire" series is good for disposable reading. HORRENDOUSLY bad prose and characterization, but a compelling premise and plot, pulls you right along, and it's set where I live with some of the characters based on people I vaguely know, so I find the whole thing vastly entertaining.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Read everything by Orson Scott Card and Philip Pullman, but the other ones seem like possibilities. I'll have to go check out some editor's summaries and see how they look. Weee new books!

Andrea's picture

Magician's Merger by Xenophon Hendrix (webnovel)
http://magiciansmerger.blogspot.com/2008/04/chapter-1.html

Webcomics:
xkcd.com
http://www.khaoskomix.com/cgi-bin/comic.cgi?chp=1

Also, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is AMAZING, and the rest of the Ender series is really good too.

Nye's picture

Supplicant

oh, and Amber & Chaos serieses by the father and son Zelazney

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Look in the Good Stuff section here for links I've made to comics and stories online that I like. (Most recent addition: Winter's Mercenary. Pretty good, and plenty snarky.) And remember, when you don't buy books using MLM's Amazon link (see the sidebar for the bookmarklet), you make Ellika cry.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... namely Phillip Pullman, Orson Scott Card's Enders series up to Speaker for the Dead, which just blew me away, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, and Frank Herbert's Dune et al.

My own recommendation is Janny Wurts: high fantasy, awesome character building, beautiful if occasionally somewhat sprawling prose, huge, twisted story lines.

ETA: Shinjinarenai reminded me: Douglas Adam's Dirk Gently books, which I think are actually better than the Hitchhiker's Guide series, and anything by Jules Verne.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Doug Adams' overlooked masterpieces. I've read them both repeatedly. Also read most of Verne. Kudos.

Shinjinarenai's picture

Postulant

about anything by Orson Scott Card- his books that don't have anything to do with Ender are often just as good- and a hundred times over, Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'. It is my all-time favorite trilogy, I've read it countless times and it's ideas of theology and it's characters move me to tears each time. It's just beautiful. Regarding Mercedes Lackey, by far my favorite single book of hers is Serpent's Shadow, it's not only a good fantasy with an interesting plot but it deals with racism and feminism surprisingly well for a light read.

Other suggestions: Day of the Triffids, 2000 Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Roald Dahl's adult short stories, anything by Solzhenitsyn, Ayn Rand, or Mishima Yukio, and has anyone yet mentioned the classic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Melindrha's picture

*Kurtz's Deryni books. Lots of them, and I keep going back. Medieval magic, alt-earth-ish. Fiat lux The Adept books are intriguing.
*Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series. Urban magic. Yay tomatoes.
*Simon R. Green's Nightside books. More Urban magic. Sadly short, so they're kinda brain candy.
*If you can track them down, the People series by Zenna Henderson is interesting. I want some of that fabric.
*J.V.Jones' Book of Words trilogy. I got about two thirds of the way through the first, and then it ran away from me. The other two are getting dusty cause I can't find it and won't read them til I finish the first.
*Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince books. I haven't dug into the hand-me-downs of her Exiles books. Again, can't find the first.
*Laura Resnick's In Legend Born and the sequel.
*Barbara Hamby, although she gets boring sometimes.
*Laurell K. Hamilton's Nightseer book. I want a sequel and a prequel and more in that universe. Good gods not the Anita Blake books. She needs to get off of her back and kill something, if only for my sake! I miss the books before they became porn-on-demand. I like my porn, but sex isn't the only answer available for everything.
*When I'm in the mood for almost-hysterical Regency/Victorian/Edwardian women, it has to be Victoria Holt and Katheryn Kimbrough.
*When I'm on a crime kick, Patricia Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta), Iris Johansen (Eve Duncan), Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone) [although I've hit T for Tired of her naming convention], Andrew Greeley (Father Blackie and Nuala) [even my heavily non-Catholic self can appreciate them], and cause they're fun, Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum).
*Sexist but as close as I'm gonna get to water - Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt books.

Why yes, I am a text whore. I will read anything and everything. My beloved Himself has figured this out and uses it as a weapon: I've read Superbad and Van Wilder and a host of other movies with the combined intellectual equivalent of my shoe.

girlthing's picture

Petitioner

I havent been reading much lately, but one series I didnt see mentioned here was Cecilia Dart Thornton's trilogy starting with "The Ill-Made Mute". beautifully written.
I might get a few of the titles here and have a go at them, havent had a really good read through fantasy or sci-fi since school started. almost done now. Wink

EDIT: don't read the synopsis (synopsi?), they give away a big part of what I enjoyed about the first book.

Lord Playboy's picture

I second Patrick O’Brian and would throw in the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser for fun.

Also have a look at David Liss, he only has 4 novels out so far, but all of them are good.

Cheers

LPB

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