Books

  • anchorm4n's Avatar The Cake Is A Lie 1620 1691 Posts Joined 03/13/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    Hey guys and gals, I figured it might be cool to talk about our favorite books, recommend each other hidden gems and keep up to date with promising releases.

    For starters, I'd like to let you know that I'm rooting for Science Fiction and Fantasy (big surprise) and everything in between since I've been given the Lord of the Rings as a present on my 10th birthday. Here are some of the titles I'd like to recommend to anyone with a similar taste:

    Dan Simmons: The Hyperion Cantos (4 books)
    My favorite Sci-Fi books. Don't be fooled by the first book, it's  primarily a set up for the main story which takes place in books 2-4. There's space craft, there's AI, there's an epic love story and if you feel rather sceptic about religion, this is a great book for you.

    Eliezer Yudkowsky a.k.a Less Wrong: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
    Yes, this is a fan fiction. But please hear me out: This is probably the best book I've ever read. The basic question of the book is what Harry Potter would have acted like if he was a (very) intelligent, grown up, modern person. At times it's hillarious, all of it is exciting, and last but not least: it's free. You can read or download the book at www.hpmor.com - I actually went to the lenghts of taking this to a copy shop and having it bound for 80 € because it is so, so great.

    David Mack - Dark Arts series (currently 3 books)
    This is another series about magicians, but with an interesting twist to the usual pattern: the magicians are yoking demons to perform magic for them. The storys of the first and the second book are taking place during the Second Wolrd War with magic users on both sides. It's way darker than HP in all kind of ways. A good example is the yoking of demons which is mentally exhausting to the point that all major magic users are addicted to alcohol, cocaine or other drugs because they'd lose their mind otherwise.

    Terry Goodkind - The Sword of Truth series (main plot ends after book 11)
    One of my favorite fantasy series, The Sword of Truth is a great story about ethics and morale, set in a world full of magic and magical creatures. It has its lengths but never lost its relevance for me, since it colorfully describes what happens if narrowminded, intolerant people gain the upper hand with the help of a very powerful leader. This is adult material as well - there's quite some cruelty and while the sex scenes themselves are scarce and not detailed at all, the teasing which leads to them certainly isn't.
    [In my personal opinion, you should start with "Wizard's first rule" and most importantly stop after "Confessor". All the other sequels were just an attempt to milk the cow to death.]

    I have chosen to showcase those 4 because my other favorites are rather well known and don't need to be promoted very much imho. Among them are the "Foundation" series by Asimov, the "Ender" series by Orson Scott Card, "The Forever War" by Haldeman and "The Parafaith War" by Modesitt Jr.

    High places on my next to read list are taken by "To sleep in a sea of stars" by Paolini and "The Name of the Wind" by Rothfuss (if he ever manages to finish book 3 of the series). I am entertaining the thought to try Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series for a third (or fourth?) time. I've never managed to get past book 4 because he's all about character development and I prefer faster plots.

    What are your favorites? Is there anything you'd like to advertice in particular? Something you're looking forward to? Please tell!

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • Alfi's Avatar Devoted Academic 1555 1154 Posts Joined 05/29/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    You may like Ian Tregillis - Milkweed Triptych Series  sci fi trilogy, where the nazi discovered how to create superhuman soldiers during WW2 and  the british had only one chance how to fight back - starting to summon demons. The three book are closed, very dark and very sofisticated.

    -=alfi=-

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar The Cake Is A Lie 1620 1691 Posts Joined 03/13/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    Thanks, that sounds very interesting. Closed has become a hard criterion for me. What are your favorites?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • KANSAS's Avatar Old God Fanatic 1745 2904 Posts Joined 03/25/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    I don't read a whole lot, and usually I don't finish books when I start them. But I have read The Hobbit all the way through at least five times. It is exactly the kind of fantasy I love. All of the characters are very well thought out, the adventure is fun and exciting, Bilbo is just awesome. If you haven't read The Hobbit yet, then stop reading whatever it is you are reading now and start reading it. Personally, I think it is better than The Lord of the Rings.

    Carrion, my wayward grub.

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  • griffior's Avatar 740 279 Posts Joined 05/31/2019 House Light is On
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1235 1291 Posts Joined 06/03/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago
    Quote From KANSAS

    I don't read a whole lot, and usually I don't finish books when I start them. But I have read The Hobbit all the way through at least five times. It is exactly the kind of fantasy I love. All of the characters are very well thought out, the adventure is fun and exciting, Bilbo is just awesome. If you haven't read The Hobbit yet, then stop reading whatever it is you are reading now and start reading it. Personally, I think it is better than The Lord of the Rings.

    Personally I think there's a few too many dwarves in The Hobbit, which is my one gripe with the book. You could probably cut out 3 or 4 of them and do no real harm to the story. Regardless, I am a big fan of Tolkien's books, and I appreciate everything from the The Hobbit to the much more dense The Silmarillion.

    The latter is a brilliant read if you're a big fantasy lore nerd, and probably frightfully dull and difficult to follow otherwise. I recommend it to anyone who liked Lord of the Rings if they haven't (tried to) read it already, especially as there's a lot in LotR that is mentioned in passing but only explained in The Silmarillion.

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  • OldManSanns's Avatar Administrator Azir 1040 924 Posts Joined 08/05/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    I am entertaining the thought to try Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series for a third (or fourth?) time. I've never managed to get past book 4 because he's all about character development and I prefer faster plots.

    I highly enjoyed Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, but you are absolutely right that it is a sprawling story (the entire saga is 13 extremely large books). If you have the means, I recommend listening to the audio book version -- Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do a fantastic job, and its carried by many local libraries.

    Other standout recommendations:

    • Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series (Final Empire is the first book) - story in a feudal / aristocratic world where certain people with magical powers plot to overthrow a tyrannical dictator.
    • Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series (Furies of Calderon is the first book) - honestly my synopsis is almost the same as above except now everything except the main character has magical powers, the ruler is good, and the bad guys are plotting to overthrow him
    • Robin Hobb's Fitz series (Assassin's Apprentice is the first book) - young boy grows up to discover he's a royal bastard and that the king wants to raise him to be an assassin for the crown
    • Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher series (The Last Wish is officially the first book, but you could also start at Blood of Elves) - These books often get overshadowed by the video game and Netflix show, but honestly they are utterly fantastic in their own right
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  • PLANETCRUNCH's Avatar E.V.I.L. Dragon 800 1208 Posts Joined 07/19/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    I'm very keen on art books, I got Art and Arcana, a visual history of Dungeons and Dragons last week that I need to find time to sit down and read. 

    I also recently got the art of Diablo, and one of Bruce Timm's latest books of pinup drawings. 

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  • linkblade91's Avatar Global Moderator Lissandra 1455 1632 Posts Joined 02/09/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    There were three book series that really shaped me as a kid, all three of which are some form of sci-fi and/or fantasy:

    • Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. You might have seen the (rubbish) movie, or more recently seen the (much better) TV show on HBO. It's got a multiverse, people living alongside their spirit animals, talking armored polar bears, and a knife that can cut through the fabric of reality. The main antagonists are The Church, so if you have a problem with that I would steer clear. Pullman recently began a new trilogy where the main character Lyra is in her 20s, and it's more like "His Darker Materials" lol. Patiently awaiting the third book.
    • R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt series, which spans 35 books as-of last year! I've only read like half of them, but I really attached to the main character. In between each chapter there's usually a little journal entry from Drizzt about how he feels in the given situation, or his thoughts on a particular moral topic; those are what pulled me in and helped shape my world-view into being (what I think to be) a good person. Being from The Forgotten Realms universe of Dungeons & Dragons, this is fantasy through-and-through.
    • Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and the parallel novel "Ender's Shadow". The movie was pretty good, I think, so if you have an opportunity I would check that out first and see if you'd like to further delve into the world with the books. While the main sequels to Ender's Game get a little...out there, it's the "Shadow" books about the side-character Bean that I really enjoyed, exploring what happens to these genius military-academy children after the war with the aliens is over. I would say the main sequels are straight hardcore sci-fi, while the Shadow books are political sci-fi thrillers.
      • Edit: Did not notice you had already mentioned Ender's Game at the bottom of the main post. All well.

    If you have the time, you should totally check out our weekly Hearthstone card design competitions! :D

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  • Conduit's Avatar Eldritch Horror 420 138 Posts Joined 05/31/2019 House Light is Off
    Posted 1 year ago

    I’m sure some of you haveread these, but my favourite fantasy series of all time are

    The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist 

    and The Belgariad by David Eddings

    Everything else recommended here is also really good - at least that I’ve read... hopefully this thread blows up so I can find more stuff to read :)

     

    :)

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  • Alfi's Avatar Devoted Academic 1555 1154 Posts Joined 05/29/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    I would add from newer books my suggestions:

    Joe Abercrombie - basically anything from him. He wrote a First law dark fantasy trilogy with some solitary books from the same world (The Heroes and Red Country being my favourites). 
    Red Country is fantasy western, where a big scarred old man named Lamb needs to save a kidnapped girl.. and you can guess, that before he become Lamb he was not the peaceful type. 
    The Heroes is a book about one battle with very interesting twist. Each chapter have one main character, who is killed in the battle and the next chapter continues the story with his killer... who is killed by the end of chapter... and so on. Bloody but very well written book.

    And I love his Half a ... trilogy (Half a king, Half a world, Half a war), very dark and realistic viking.. postapo?

    -=alfi=-

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar The Cake Is A Lie 1620 1691 Posts Joined 03/13/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago

    Thanks a lot! I've added the Ender's Shadow and the First Law series to my wish list for the time being. So much to read, so little time.

    I cannot stress enough how great hpmor is - just try the first chapter, it's free and only two clicks away ;-) 

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • economicaooc's Avatar 460 464 Posts Joined 03/04/2020 House Light is Off
    Posted 1 year ago

    I feel obliged to recommend Pratchett in any book related discussion.


    Always a fun read. Currently making my way through The science of discworld for the third, maybe fourth time.

    This post is discussing the wild format.

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  • OldManSanns's Avatar Administrator Azir 1040 924 Posts Joined 08/05/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 1 year ago
    Quote From anchorm4n

    So much to read, so little time.

    Granted the following advice might not be as applicable in the current state of the world, but before the pandemic I made huge progress with my reading lists by downloading free audio books from my local library and then listening to them on my daily commute. It's only 30 minutes round trip, but being able to do that every single work day really adds up over time. I can clear even massive novels in 2 months, which is really good when you consider that that commute time was otherwise "going to waste".

    If you want to look into that, try downloading either Overdrive or Libby to your phone and then look up your local library. Hoopla Digital is the other great online repository, but I think its fees are more expensive so fewer libraries participate.

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  • anchorm4n's Avatar The Cake Is A Lie 1620 1691 Posts Joined 03/13/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 9 months ago

    Short update:

    The Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card was a great read, thank you for your suggestion, linkblade! For everyone interested, linkblade's summary of "political sci-fi thrillers" fits like a glove.

    To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Paolini is one monster of a book. I'm grateful they didn't decide to split it up in several volumes, even though the 900+ pages were hard to handle sometimes. I've very much enjoyed the book, it's of similar quality as Eragon was back in the day but with a Sci-Fi setting. There's at least one direct crossover gem included and several patterns Paolini revisits in a different style.

    I'm currently about 200 pages deep into the First Law trilogy by Abercrombie which I like very much. Thanks for the recommendation, Alfi!

    The newest additons to my wishlist are The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a classic by Robert A. Heinlein and The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins which sounds a bit crazy.

     

    Any news from your side? What was your last book? Did you like it? Is there anything coming up you're looking forward to?

    I notice I am confused. Something I believe isn't true. How do I know what I think I know?
    Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, hpmor.com

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  • Koetti's Avatar Content Squad 1080 854 Posts Joined 11/21/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 9 months ago

    Do comic books count?

    If so, then I'd suggest Blacksad, one of the most successful european comics of the last two decades. It's a classic noir series: 1940s/50s America, private detective, and all that good old crime stuff. Juan Diaz Canales' writing is pretty good, but the real reason you'd want these books are Juanjo Guarnido's illustrations. His characters are just so full of life and expression, and he's a master at painting with watercolor!

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  • NerdyMcNerd's Avatar Champion of Runeterra 1145 188 Posts Joined 04/13/2020 House Light is On
    Posted 9 months ago

    @anchorm4n I recently read To Sleep in a Sea of Stars too and it's probably my favourite book of all time. The level of depth is just amazing. I can't wait for Paoloni's next book :)

    Disclaimer: if the above is factually incorrect or complete rubbish it is definitely both intentional and  comedy genius.

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  • Fedrion's Avatar Maximum Volume 1385 726 Posts Joined 05/28/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 9 months ago

    The Horus Heresy, especially the first four books: Horus RisingFalse GodsGalaxy in Flames, and The Flight of the Eisenstein.

    You can also read the other 48 books of the series, but those 4 are the starters in a big... BIG universe that's Warhammer 40k.

     

    My personal favourite is the trilogy of Fabius BilePrimogenitorClonelordManflayer.

    Papa Nurgle wants to share his gifts.

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  • OmarComing's Avatar 780 505 Posts Joined 05/28/2019 House Light is Off
    Posted 9 months ago
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  • Alfi's Avatar Devoted Academic 1555 1154 Posts Joined 05/29/2019 House Light is On
    Posted 9 months ago
    Quote From Koetti

    Do comic books count?

    If so, then I'd suggest Blacksad, one of the most successful european comics of the last two decades. It's a classic noir series: 1940s/50s America, private detective, and all that good old crime stuff. Juan Diaz Canales' writing is pretty good, but the real reason you'd want these books are Juanjo Guarnido's illustrations. His characters are just so full of life and expression, and he's a master at painting with watercolor!

    Just to add, all characters are anthropomorphic characters - animals, with each character having a character you assiociate with an animal - so the detective is black panter, informant is a rat, etc. 

    -=alfi=-

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