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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Ulc » Mon May 31, 2010 8:33 pm UTC

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

A near-future story where the earth is enclosed in a barrier protecting it, the stars disappear, satellites can't communicate through and so on. The most important fact however is that for each second that passes on the inside, a bit more than three days passes on the outside.

Scientifically farfetched yes, but the book then proceeds to deal with how humanity reacts to this, told by someone that was 11 at the time the spin went up.

Won the Hugo for Best Novel in 2006 too, can't really recommend it enough!

It isn't really the kind of book that just grabs you and wont let go until you've torn through, more like the book that you read 20 pages of, put it down and thinks for a while, then reads 20 more.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby musashi1600 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:55 pm UTC

I highly recommend Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick.

It's a semi-biographical collection of life stories told by former residents of North Korea. I think that's all I need to say about it.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby cv4 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:45 am UTC

Ulc wrote:Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

A near-future story where the earth is enclosed in a barrier protecting it, the stars disappear, satellites can't communicate through and so on. The most important fact however is that for each second that passes on the inside, a bit more than three days passes on the outside.

Scientifically farfetched yes, but the book then proceeds to deal with how humanity reacts to this, told by someone that was 11 at the time the spin went up.

Won the Hugo for Best Novel in 2006 too, can't really recommend it enough!

It isn't really the kind of book that just grabs you and wont let go until you've torn through, more like the book that you read 20 pages of, put it down and thinks for a while, then reads 20 more.


Really liked this book. Though I didn't find the sequel, Axis, nearly as good.

My recommendation, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and by extension the Song of Ice and Fire series. I have only finished the first two for now but both are absolutely unbelievable and it is said the rest of the series is just as good.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Switch31 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

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.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Mr Dynn » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:16 am UTC

My recommendation is "The Word for World is Forest" by Ursula K. LeGuin. The book is a science-fiction story where humans have deforested earth as they develop interstellar travel. Logging companies begin harvesting the wood from a forest planet inhabited by diminutive and hirsute humanoids called Athsheans. The indigenous people are easily oppressed by the human invaders, as the Athsheans have no notions of violence and greed. (Imagine "Return of the Jedi" if Ewoks had any actual dignity or grace)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Word_f ... _Is_Forest

It's part of a series, but is pretty much an independent read. It's sort of a sequel to "The Left Hand of Darkness"

Apparently the movie Avatar closely resembles this book. I haven't yet seen Avatar, though it slightly peeves me when stuff I like becomes mainstream. Not because I want to deny people something I enjoy, but because I don't want to look trendy. (I been carrying around a 1quart Nalgene Bottle since 1995!...although I guess the college canteen of choice now is the aluminum fuel-bottle style - for some reason I don't get). But I digress.

It's a powerful little book, and a great commentary on human nature, colonialism, environmentalism, as well as things like the Vietnam war and issues of the early 70s (when it was written). Please go read and enjoy!

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby JayDee » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:54 am UTC

I'm actually planning to read The Word for World is Forest tomorrow (and reread The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness after.)
Mr Dynn wrote:It's part of a series, but is pretty much an independent read. It's sort of a sequel to "The Left Hand of Darkness"
I think it's more "shared universe" than series. Plotwise they don't share much, they just have some connections. Could be wrong about that, though.
Mr Dynn wrote:It's a powerful little book, and a great commentary on human nature, colonialism, environmentalism, as well as things like the Vietnam war and issues of the early 70s (when it was written).
Indeed, and unlike Avatar the commentary on the Vietnam war was relevant to the period it was released. :P
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:08 pm UTC

Mr Dynn wrote:(I been carrying around a 1quart Nalgene Bottle since 1995!...although I guess the college canteen of choice now is the aluminum fuel-bottle style - for some reason I don't get)
You missed the whole Bisphenol A controversy?!

Anyway, I am sad that Slaughterhouse-Five lost to The Left Hand of Darkness in the Hugo awards, as I feel the former was much more deserving than the latter.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby rynomachine » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:55 pm UTC

Children of the Star

It's actually a collection of three books, this Star shall abide, beyond the Tomorrow Mountains, and The doors to the universe
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Impulse97 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:14 am UTC

Any Alan Lewrie adventure by Dewey Lambdin.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby maricode » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:23 am UTC

Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro (2009).
Cave used structure of Gospel of Mark and filled it with character inspired by Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby DorkRawk » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:18 pm UTC

Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

Better known for his essays about music/popular culture, this was his first fiction book. For a genre switch, it's surprisingly good (but made better if you've read some of his nonfiction already).
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Sir Novelty Fashion » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:20 am UTC

Warlords of Utopia by Lance Parkin. Some brilliant alternate history and large-scale sci-fi concepts wrapped in a great take-off of the style of a Roman author (except readable). Not quite sure how to describe the book otherwise apart from "brilliant", so I'll just quote from the back cover:

Rome never fell. Hitler won. Now they are at war.

Marcus Americanius Scriptor's memoirs of the war between every parallel universe where Rome never fell, and every parallel universe where Hitler won the Second World War, have long been regarded as the definitive account of that turbulent time.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Apteryx » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:14 am UTC

That sounds awesome, I have it on order.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:56 am UTC

So I just read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and I have to recommend the hell out of it, even though I suppose I'm just catching up to many of you.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby andrewxc » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:42 am UTC

I must agree, the Foundation series is great so far, but my wife's boss said stop after Second Foundation, book #3 in the main series (the prequel Prelude to Foundation doesn't count, either), as it just goes downhill from there.

I found a similar quality to Card's Ender series. After Ender's Game, I was satisfied with the story being over, so I just haven't read any others in it... Maybe I'll go back eventually.

Has anyone read John Wyndham?
I started in on The Chrysalids today. Just the first chapter and the synopsis is a very poignant look at today's "gay rights" debate. No doubt he meant this as commentary on ANY unseen difference in man that is being looked at through a biblical perspective, but the context exists today, so naturally, there are parallels.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Zohar » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:45 am UTC

I personally liked all of Foundation. It takes a very different direction in the later books, but it's still good, IMO.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

andrewxc wrote:Has anyone read John Wyndham?
I started in on The Chrysalids today. Just the first chapter and the synopsis is a very poignant look at today's "gay rights" debate. No doubt he meant this as commentary on ANY unseen difference in man that is being looked at through a biblical perspective, but the context exists today, so naturally, there are parallels.
The Chrysalids is one of those things that is extremely common in high school English classes for some reason, so many people have read that one. By the way, he recycles much of the same themes in a short story, "The Wheel", though I suppose one could more easily draw parallels to Creationism in that one.

I find him downright dull in general. His work just isn't very lively or particularly stimulating.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby liveeeee_ » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:59 am UTC

For those interested in brazilian literature: Dom Casmurro, by Machado de Assis
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby gbagcn2 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

I was thinking about creating a thread like this one only for non fiction books since this thread is mostly fiction. Would this be a good idea?
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby meatyochre » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

gbagcn2 wrote:I was thinking about creating a thread like this one only for non fiction books since this thread is mostly fiction. Would this be a good idea?

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

This thread is for *any* books someone might want to recommend. The fact that most people have been recommending fiction doesn't mean this thread isn't for fiction.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:13 am UTC

gbagcn2 wrote:I was thinking about creating a thread

I'mma stop you right here, bro
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Chuff » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:10 am UTC

Recommendation: Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond. A very, very, interesting, explanatory book about why Eurasian peoples developed sooner/faster than other peoples, and eventually ended up controlling most of the world. Explains away all of the racist misconceptions about the reasons using environmental arguments. It's pretty neat.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Euphonium » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:01 pm UTC

Chuff wrote:Recommendation: Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond. A very, very, interesting, explanatory book about why Eurasian peoples developed sooner/faster than other peoples, and eventually ended up controlling most of the world. Explains away all of the racist misconceptions about the reasons using environmental arguments. It's pretty neat.


It's also hardly novel, and does a fairly poor, if not outright misleading, job explaining theoretical arguments that legitimate historians have been making very well for decades.

Anyway, I would recommend Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles--which, unlike the utter trash that makes up the bulk of what is being recommended in this thread, is actually valid literature.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby charliepanayi » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

Euphonium wrote:Anyway, I would recommend Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles--which, unlike the utter trash that makes up the bulk of what is being recommended in this thread, is actually valid literature.


How polite :?

Anyway I would say The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, she's one of my favourite authors and this is one of my favourite books of hers, especially its depiction of a grieving couple. She's fantastic with characters.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Chuff » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:14 am UTC

Euphonium wrote:
Chuff wrote:Recommendation: Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond. A very, very, interesting, explanatory book about why Eurasian peoples developed sooner/faster than other peoples, and eventually ended up controlling most of the world. Explains away all of the racist misconceptions about the reasons using environmental arguments. It's pretty neat.


It's also hardly novel, and does a fairly poor, if not outright misleading, job explaining theoretical arguments that legitimate historians have been making very well for decades.

Anyway, I would recommend Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles--which, unlike the utter trash that makes up the bulk of what is being recommended in this thread, is actually valid literature.

What does "hardly novel" even mean?
And the point isn't that the ideas are new, it's that they are presented in an accessible manner.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Sarr » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:33 pm UTC

Just finished up a new book, and wanted to tell someone about it. No Man's World - Black Hand Gang is a pulp sci-fi novel by Pat Kelleher, published by Abaddon Books. This review puts it better than I could, but I'll give it a shot anyway. It's not anything of huge literary merit, but it's a fun read - clunky at times, but it doesn't ruin the book. Black Hand Gang places the reader in the middle of 1916, with the Pennine Fusiliers' 13th, a British battalion on the western front who are in for the trip of their lives - the trip to another world!

Narmy summaries aside, it's a generally well written book that gets into the down-and-dirty of trench warfare and the mysteries of a new world with likable characters and a enjoyable story. If you like WWI and sci-fi, give it a shot.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby whydowedothis » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:05 am UTC

The Bible.
This is a serious post, and I'm not trying to evangelize or anything. Religion has so much impact on the world, and it seems that both religious and non-religious people alike are pretty unknowledgeable on the bible.
I think only the people who have actually read the bible can have any say on what it says and doesn't say.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:35 pm UTC

Candide by voltaire. Just finished it. Awesome short book. If anything deserves to be a Terry Gilliam film, it's this.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby bosman » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:51 pm UTC

The Road. Be warned that it could make you depressed.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby dubsola » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:33 pm UTC

Euphonium wrote:Hello, I am a pompous git

Please, we are all dying to hear more of your opinions on what is 'valid' literature.

Anyway, I second the recommendation for Guns, Germs and Steel.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:32 am UTC

Euphonium wrote:Anyway, I would recommend Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles--which, unlike the utter trash that makes up the bulk of what is being recommended in this thread, is actually valid literature.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby cv4 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:33 pm UTC

andrewxc wrote:
I found a similar quality to Card's Ender series. After Ender's Game, I was satisfied with the story being over, so I just haven't read any others in it... Maybe I'll go back eventually.



Speaker for the Dead is a book I consider on par with Ender's Game. Haven't read Xenocide or CofM yet, but both are also supposed to be pretty good.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:21 pm UTC

cv4 wrote:Haven't read Xenocide or CofM yet, but both are also supposed to be pretty good.
Obligatory http://xkcd.com/304/ .

I would go on, but there are other threads for such things.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Dave_Wise » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:24 pm UTC

is actually valid literature.

Um.... that seems a bit harsh...
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby El Spark » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:56 pm UTC

I quite liked Speaker For the Dead, but I think that it'd be appealing to a different audience than Ender's Game. It's very spiritual, and more of a murder mystery than anything.

For a real spiritual successor to Ender's Game as far as war goes, I'd recommend the Ender's Shadow series. it follows Bean, first through battle school as he works all around Ender's story, and then back on earth as he helps Peter in his rise to the position of Hegemon.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MTK » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:49 pm UTC

Lots of interesting suggestions so far. Got me interested in actually reading the Ender's series.

Since Kurt Vonnegut has been mentioned a few times, I thought I'd recommend a book written by his son, Mark Vonnegut, called The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity.

As the subtitle hints, it's an autobiography detailing Mark Vonnegut's experiences with drugs, the hippie movement and his recurring insanity. Even if you're not particularly interested in the medical aspects of paranoid schizophrenia, it's still a quite well-written and entertaining read, painting an interesting picture of the age.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby KingSkin » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

I can't believe no one has mentioned him yet so I'll go for it: James motherfucking Elroy.
(Spoilered for length)
Spoiler:
Some of the best crime fiction I have ever read, great prose that draws you in without a single word being wasted, dialogue that snaps, characters who are driven obsessive individuals (and mostly downright nasty). He's one of the few people who is actually capable of giving protagonists real negative qualities (like, a lot of them are rascist dickheads) but still have you give a fuck about them and even feel sympathetic to many of them. He doesn't shy away from presenting absolute scumbags and doesn't feel the need for his protagonists to be 'the one guy who isn't corrupt/rascist/violent/an arsehole'.

Start off with the LA Quartet: Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, White Jazz, LA Confidential they run from the 40's to the 50's and mainly deal with the LAPD. Be warned though, if you've seen LA Confidential then they missed out about two thirds of the book (including stuff about a serial killer and 'not Walt Disney').
The Black Dahlia is nowhere near as good as the rest but it starts them all of and the characters lead through from there on to the finale.

After you've gone through those then you need to start on the American Underworld trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold $6,000 and Blood's a Rover which focus on the 60's and 70's and go through JFK (election, presidency, death), Vietnam, the mob, Communism & Cuba, the CIA, Howard Hughes and just about everything in between.

Seriously, I see a lot of books described as gritty crime dramas but compared to Elroy they may as well be Miss Marple.

Another book I can't believe has been left out is Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. Considering it was written about 40 years ago his projections for the future are quite pretty convincing and Chad C Mulligan is the archetype for so many hip, intelligent, maverick characters that you need to read the original. The whole book is put together really well and divided into different sections such as 'the happening world' (headlines, news reports, etc), 'context' (random lines from the conversations of random people) and 'tracking with close-ups' (which focuses on the main characters).
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Ostrich_Option » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

I've read plenty of excellent novels in my short time on earth, my favorites being Survivor from Chuck Palahniuk (in fiction) and My War by Andy Rooney (non-fiction).

Survivor is about the last member of the fictional "Creedish Death Cult" telling his life story into a flight recorder over the Pacific Ocean before it crashes into Australia. A great book with a fascinating plot and moral ideals (no spoilers here).

My War is simply Andy Rooney's account of his experiences before, during, and a bit after WWII as part of the US Army's Stars and Stripes newspaper. Yep, Mr. Rooney is really that old. As always, you get stereotypical Rooney going off on tangents here and there, but they lead to aspects of WWII that I could never have thought of. I find it to be a great supplemental to what most people already know about this war from a very unique, characteristically Rooney style.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby _dogmeat » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:37 pm UTC

Hello to you all!

My first post here and I'd like to recommend a book to all of you Michael Crichton fans, and especially Jurassic Park fans :twisted: Like probably many people that like that book, I too have a deep fascination about raptors and the like.

Enter "Ancestor" by Scott Sigler...

It's basically a book about raptors. Now this spoils the book a lil' bit, but I'm sure it's worth it, given the fact that you would have probably never read it, wasn't it for the raptors. It's freakishly interesting, nice plot, plenty of action and more than enough gore (it's Scott Sigler, after all :D).

Now, I'm not very good with words, so I'll quote some of the synopsis from the author's website, 'cause I know most of you are too lazy to google it.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing: the original is an audiobook. Yeah! A freakin' audiobook! Awesome!
EDIT 2: And please, for the love of anything sacred, don't watch the trailer! It looks cool in the beginning, but it doesn't represent the book at all. Plus you'll get the wrong feel for the characters.

“The ancestors are out there … you have to believe me.”

Acclaimed author Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling creator of INFECTED and CONTAGIOUS, offers a chilling tale of what can happen when hubris, greed, and madness drive scientific experimentation past the brink of reason.

Every five minutes, a transplant candidate dies while waiting for a compatible heart, a liver, a kidney. Imagine a technology that could provide those life-saving transplant organs for a nominal fee ... and imagine what a company would do to monopolize that technology.

On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, PJ Colding leads a group of geneticists who have discovered this holy grail of medicine. By reverse-engineering thousands of animal genomes, Colding's team has dialed back the evolutionary clock and re-created the progenitor of all mammals. The method? Illegal. The result? A computer-engineered living creature, an animal whose organs can be implanted in any person, with no chance of transplant rejection.

There's just one problem: these ancestors are not the docile herd animals that Colding's team envisioned. Instead, the work has given birth to something big, something evil … something very, very hungry.

As creators become prey in an ultimate battle for survival, Colding and the woman he loves must fight to survive — even as government agents close in to shut the project down, and the deep-pocketed company backing this research reveals its own cold-blooded agenda.
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