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Recommend a book

    • 1589 posts
    March 31, 2013 2:07 PM EDT

    I don't think I've started a discussion and I apologise if this has been done before. I was going to post a status asking this but it occurred to me it might start a debate, which would be cool.

    I have just finished reading H. P. Lovecraft, before that it was Bernard Cornwall and Sherlock Holmes. I need a new book to get into but am so far uninspired. I was thinking about reading fantasy literature again but could really do with some input as to what is good since it's been such a long time.

    So, anyone got any recommendations?


    • 966 posts
    March 31, 2013 2:11 PM EDT

    The Dark Tower series by Stephen King is as epic as it gets.

    • 365 posts
    March 31, 2013 2:19 PM EDT

    Green Rider by Kristen Britain

    • 661 posts
    March 31, 2013 2:25 PM EDT

    Man on Fire.

    • 5 posts
    March 31, 2013 2:54 PM EDT


    • 557 posts
    March 31, 2013 2:56 PM EDT
    I am a fan of The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer. I would recommend those.

    Julius Caesar by Shakespeare is another excellent novel.
    • 291 posts
    March 31, 2013 3:16 PM EDT

    Thirded.  Fantastic series.

    • 291 posts
    March 31, 2013 3:22 PM EDT

    Aside from what has already been mentioned...

    I recommend American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

    As well as The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. (Generally science fiction, but still very good.  Read his other works if you can.)

    And Sabriel by Garth Nix (along with the rest of the Abhorsen Trilogy).

    And of course, it's always good to get back to your roots with Beowulf.

    • 365 posts
    March 31, 2013 3:29 PM EDT

    @Grakedrig I've been wanting to get Kristen's other novels too! you really feel for Karigan G'ladheon as the protagonist

    • 41 posts
    March 31, 2013 4:59 PM EDT

    Eragon book series by Christopher Paolini.

    • 7 posts
    March 31, 2013 5:08 PM EDT

    Anything by Neil Gaiman. Literally anything. If you want a single book, I'd probably start with "American Gods" or "Neverwhere". If, after reading Lovecraft, you'd instead prefer some more short stories, his anthologies "Fragile Things" and/or "Smoke and Mirrors" are both really good, and even have a few Lovecraft-inspired stories. In fact, the 2nd short story in "Fragile Things" (called "A Study in Emerald") is a Sherlock Holmes-like story set in the Cthulhu mythos. Win-win.

    I'm also a fan of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, if you want some urban fantasy. Related, I've been reading a book called "A Madness of Angels" by Kate Griffin, and it's pretty good too.

    At least one person has already said "A Song of Ice and Fire" (i.e., A Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin. While I second this, I also recommend checking out his short stories, collected in the 2 "Dreamsongs" books. 

    • 291 posts
    March 31, 2013 5:31 PM EDT

    And don't forget his Sandman series.

    Fragile Things, oddly enough, contains most of my favorite writings by Neil Gaiman.

  • March 31, 2013 8:27 PM EDT

    I recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Simply the best fantasy novel I've ever read, including the Wheel of Time series and the Lord of the Rings. It's the first book of a trilogy, the second book being The Wise Man's Fear and The Doors of Stone, the last of which is due to be released probably next year. Together they complete the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy.

    To give it a bit of a summary, The Name of the Wind is set with a frame narrative of the Chronicler, a well respected biographer, finding Kvothe, a man who now calls himself Kote and who owns an inn. Kvothe is, or rather was, one of the most famous and controversial heroes of all time, and has retired from adventuring into obscurity for reasons unknown. The Chronicler offers to write down Kvothe's story, with the intent of finally setting the record straight on his adventures, which have been inflated over the years despite the fact that Kvothe is apparently only in his mid to late twenties when the Chronicler meets him. Each book is one day of Kvothe reciting his past adventures, starting from childhood and moving on from there.

    The world is incredibly vibrant and full of interesting and memorable characters, but Kvothe is ultimately the reason you read the story. He's a genius, extraordinarily charismatic and reckless to the extreme at times, a performer and scoundrel who nevertheless manages to uphold his own code. He's also a bit of an idiot at times and has terrible, awful luck, and twice as bad when it comes to women. He's an absolute joy to read about, and despite his talents never falls into 'Mary Sue' territory. He's a man who has bought and paid for his talents in blood, and more, and you can always maintain a very human connection to him from the first page to the last.

    Another great reason is the magic of the world, which is very interesting and has a very 'low fantasy' feel to it. There's two kinds, Sympathy (basically manipulating thermodynamics and kinetic energy to do cool stuff) and Naming (literally saying the True Name of a thing and having power over it), and they're both incredibly interesting to learn about as the story progresses.

    I highly advise you give The Name of the Wind a try. The writing is simply superb, and the only regret you'll have is that the last book is yet to be released.

    • 15 posts
    March 31, 2013 8:38 PM EDT
    David Gemmell is by far and away my favorite author. I cannot recommend him enough. I would recommend you start with his first novel, Legend. His books are Heroic Fantasy with awesome characters.
    • 426 posts
    April 1, 2013 1:26 AM EDT

    Anne Mc Caeffreys Dragons of Pern. There are like 14 books in the series and I have been hooked the first one is called Dragon Flight I think or Dragon Quest. They are the titles of the first two books in the series not sure which way round they are lol

    Sci Fi fantasy set in the future but also the past very clever how she has done it.

    • 253 posts
    April 1, 2013 1:33 AM EDT

    Yes! The Abhorsen series is one of my favorites.

    I recommend the King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rufuss, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. They are fantastic novels, unfortunately there are only two so far. He seems to write rather slowly. The next one will be well worth the wait.

    • 253 posts
    April 1, 2013 1:36 AM EDT

    I am glad you also recommended the name of the wind. I agree that it is the best fantasy I have ever read (with the Hunchback of Notre Dame in close second, but that is not exactly fantasy). 

  • April 1, 2013 1:45 AM EDT
    Ah, Julias Caesar, the book of a thousand dumb decisions.
    • 1589 posts
    April 1, 2013 9:23 AM EDT

    Thank you for your input ladies and gentlemen, you have given me plenty of inspiration

    Please keep your recommendations and your reasons for liking coming in, though, as this will be a helpful reference for me in the future.  

    • 1589 posts
    April 1, 2013 1:16 PM EDT

    Okay, this is a strong contender and does look interesting. How Western is the series?

    I could have done with knowing about this during my western craze, reading the likes of Zane Grey, Cormac McCarthy, Owen Wister's The Virginian and Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers.

    • 1589 posts
    April 2, 2013 9:12 AM EDT

     Damn students! Only messing Emer  

    I've always wanted to read the first two you mentioned but have been put off out of a strange sense of class boundry. Britain has a slightly snobbish attitude toward classic works and a person status actually limits them in terms of education (in practice, though not officially of course.)

    As for Shakespeare, would you hate me if I said I've only ever read and liked A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth? I don't think I'd want to tackle Julius Caesar for fun.

    • 360 posts
    April 18, 2013 8:41 AM EDT
    I recomend the archer by bernard cornwell, best historical fiction i have read so far
    • 1589 posts
    April 18, 2013 11:31 AM EDT

    I like Bernard Cornwell, really enjoyed his take on the Arthurian legends in the Warlord Cronicles. I haven't read The Archer though.

    • 360 posts
    April 19, 2013 6:26 AM EDT
    Then i sugest doing so, i really liked the way he wrote arthur, but in my opinion the archer is much better
    • 88 posts
    April 19, 2013 9:14 AM EDT