Favorite Books (excluding Rowlings and Tolkien works)

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Fools Die by Mario Puzo. You know, the guy who wrote The Godfather. Fools Die tops the list of my favourite books of all time.

Despite the name, appearances and the writer's resume, it's NOT a mafia novel. It's a very personal, character-driven experience, cuts back on action heavily when compared to his other books. It's just that the writing is so enjoyable and the characters are so incredibly colourful and interesting that it's impossible not o like the book, whether you're a fan of his mafia-related stories or not.

Wow. I can't believe that "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline didn't make the list. Well, I guess it did now. This is a fantastic book.

Johnny Novgorod:

hooblabla6262:
My favorite book would have to be The Catcher in the Rye.

I'm also a fan of Rant by Chuck P.

THANK YOU.

There's some variety, your list included, but in general everyone seems to go about swords and dragons and magic and stuff.

Everyone has their own tastes, I for example find that most of my favorites are Adventure Stories, whether they be fantasy, sci-fi, historical or modern. You seem to prefer your literature of a more introspective, psychological bent? Not that familiar with Chuck P. (Fight Club/Choke guy right?) though, so he may not fit that definition.

But saying it's "all the same" is kind of... mean...

If you're into fantasy, look up David Dalglish's 'the half orc' series. Between that and the other stories he has set in the same world, its a lot of good reading material. Oh, and if Superheroes are more your thing, I'll have a cracker for you in about a month. HINT, HINT, HINT.

Anything by Prachett.

Also, I love the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. "What if countries used dragons in the Napoleonic Wars?" Brilliant.

My favorites that I would recommend to absurdly everyone
All of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels
These are great reads, and they even refer to each other

All of Michael Crichton's fiction
Again these are great reads.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

Ender's ____ series
Really good. Ender's Shadow was intense

Orphanage series
Another space military series. I thought it was awesome

EDIT: I should probably give a starting book for Clancy and Crichton
The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy
Prey by Michael Crichton

PedroSteckecilo:

Johnny Novgorod:

hooblabla6262:
My favorite book would have to be The Catcher in the Rye.

I'm also a fan of Rant by Chuck P.

THANK YOU.

There's some variety, your list included, but in general everyone seems to go about swords and dragons and magic and stuff.

Everyone has their own tastes, I for example find that most of my favorites are Adventure Stories, whether they be fantasy, sci-fi, historical or modern. You seem to prefer your literature of a more introspective, psychological bent? Not that familiar with Chuck P. (Fight Club/Choke guy right?) though, so he may not fit that definition.

But saying it's "all the same" is kind of... mean...

They're all mostly bestsellers written in the past 5 to 15 years and/or franchises with movie deals though, aren't they? That seems like a bit of a narrow spectrum.

Basically the entirety of the works written by Robert Greene.

The 48 Laws of Power-As A-moral as Machiavelli and just as insightful
The 33 Strategies of War-A deeper look into the most common strategies used in conflict, be it military or simply person to person.
The Art of Seduction-Self explanatory
The 50th Law-I nearly passed on this one, seeing as it's written about 50 Cent and his life, however, it teaches the art of Fearlessness, using his life(Curtis Jackson/50 cent) as well as historical references.
Mastery-My personal favorite and highly recommended, it analyzes the process known as "Mastery" using both contemporary masters such as Temple Grandin and more historical masters such as Darwin and Da Vinci. Good read overall.

His style uses psychological analasys and Historical fact-albeit twisted slightly to suit his needs to prove, or disprove, his points. I should mention these fall mostly under "Self Help" books, but are...well, almost cruel in the way they drive the points home. No coddling in his books.

Jandau:
Not sure I would recommend starting that far into the series, but if you could keep up then I'm glad. I love Butcher's writing style, especially his excellent pacing. I suggest you look up the rest of the series, though the first two books are not quite so good as he was still finding his footing. Also, his Codex Alera series is not bad if you decide you'd like to see some of his non-Dresden work.

I actually liked the second one very much, it was still kind of balanced in the detective/wizardry sense. The later ones I found moved a bit from the detective part, but are still good nonetheless.

OT: I would recommend Witcher, if you haven't read it already. Good story, good characters and brilliantly written- Although I don't know how much the english translation holds to the original.

Fwee:
Richard Bachman's The Long Walk and Running Man are two interesting books as well.

Richard Bachman. lol

OP: I'd be surprised if this hasn't been mentioned yet, but you might like Stephen King's Dark Tower series, if you are just coming off of Harry Potter or LOTR and looking for something similar but different (helpful, I know).

I tend to like stuff that reads breezy, but that still has depth delivered deceptively or effortlessly. Vonnegut and Palahniuk are the obvious go-to's for that kind of stuff. I would also recommend Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash or anything from James Ellroy's Jazz Quartet. Might not be down your alley genre-wise, but you can finish them really quick... (what's the literary equivilant of "bang-for-your-buck"? ... reap-for-your-read? pow-for-your-page? wow-for-your-word? licks-for-your-letter?).

My absolute favorite books would be by Alastair Reynolds. The Revelation Space trilogy (Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap) and Pushing Ice were especially good. Reynolds writes relatively hard sci-fi (though with quite a bit of pseudo-science). Shame I don't know anyone else who's read them. :P

Others of note:

- The Hyperion books by Dan Simmons (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion). The Endymion sequels were good, but I just didn't enjoy them as much as the first two. Soft scifi with an outlandish universe but still with a strangely human plot. Fear the Shrike!

- A Song of Ice and Fire. I don't think I need to elaborate on that.

- From the Star Wars Expanded Universe: The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. Just incredibly fun, well-written books. I'd give it far more credit than the prequel trilogy.

A non-fiction mention:

- Death from the Skies! The science behind the end of the world by Philip Plait. Just about explains everything the universe can do to kill us and our planet in a fun (but certainly not childish) way. Scary as hell, but comforting nonetheless. Very useful in these times of asteroids and quantum drops. :)

PedroSteckecilo:

Old Mans War by John Scalzi

Wow, someone else who read that. Really great book, shame that the sequels were nowhere near as good. I actually ragequit Zoe's Tale. XD

The Sword of Shannara series has always been gold to me. Hell, anything by Terry Brooks for that matter.

Ldude893:
Hello, Escapists. I am currently in need of expanding my reading library, and I was thinking that I'd turn to you for advice on reading recommendations.
The title says it all. Aside from the obvious Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books, what are some of your favorite books and why?

I will list off the first books in several excellent novel series:

Kushiel's Dart (of the Kushiel's Legacy series) by Jacqueline Carey. (Low Fantasy, Alternative world Earth)

Storm Front (of the Dresden Files series) by Jim Butcher. (Urban Fantasy, modern Chicago)

The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (of the Sharing Knife series) by Lois McMaster Bujold. (Middle Fantasy, post magical -apocalyptic mid-western America)

The Warrior's Apprentice (of the Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold. (Science Fiction, far future, space Epic)

If any of these sound interesting (or if you'd like to know more) you can reply to me here or PM me for details.

Oh, and for reference, Lois McMaster Bujold has won more awards in Science Fiction and Fantasy than any other author who has ever lived - and that includes Orson Scott Card and Ursula K. LeGuin. Bujold beats the pants off of Ender's Game. Seriously, check her out.

Johnny Novgorod:
There's some variety, your list included, but in general everyone seems to go about swords and dragons and magic and stuff.

Perhaps that is because the OP mentioned Harry Potter and LotR, so it's only natural to assume he's after more fantasy type stuff. If he wants non-fantasy, I can add to my recommendations. I like Dan Brown's stuff quite a bit myself (DaVince Code, et al). Also, pretty much anything by Stephen King (earlier is better, e.g. The Shining or The Stand). Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books as well.

Everyone in this thread who has failed to mention the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher has failed spectacularly. That is all.

I've come to appreciate Butcher's Dresden Files books. They may be fluff, but they're never boring, and I'm really coming to appreciate that it's a lot harder to pull off a constant stream of action than it looks.

Most of Iain M. Banks is worth reading; just be aware that, especially with his earlier works, a happy ending is far from guaranteed. His recent Stonemouth (as Iain Banks- he leaves out the "M" for non-science-fiction) was quite an enjoyable read.

RonHiler:

Johnny Novgorod:
There's some variety, your list included, but in general everyone seems to go about swords and dragons and magic and stuff.

Perhaps that is because the OP mentioned Harry Potter and LotR, so it's only natural to assume he's after more fantasy type stuff. If he wants non-fantasy, I can add to my recommendations. I like Dan Brown's stuff quite a bit myself (DaVince Code, et al). Also, pretty much anything by Stephen King (earlier is better, e.g. The Shining or The Stand). Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books as well.

Inasmuch as I speedily gobbled down Da Vinci Code and Angels/Demons I have no respect for Brown's literary merit. It took me two of his books to suspect he only knows the one kind of story and reading a little into his other work confirmed this. The guy's a thriller hack, like so many before him. He'll grip your attention, like, right now, but nothing he writes sticks or resists intelligent thought. Of King I've only read The Dark Half, which was OK-ish, but nothing to blurb about. Obviously Catcher is an amazing read, and a great start into Salinger's work.

SconnieHack:
Wow. I can't believe that "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline didn't make the list. Well, I guess it did now. This is a fantastic book.

I'm reading that now. It's got a very Homeward Bounders feel, and while I am enjoying it, there are perhaps too many references and not quite enough plot. That said, I am only a third of the way through, so maybe it will improve.

I really enjoyed the Clockwork century series by Cherie Priest, an good set of novels if you enjoy steampunk, my most read and perennial favourites are The master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, as well as Cancer ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I seem to have a thing for eastern european literature.

Battle Royale, altough I do feel there is better books that I'm just not thinking of right now.
In fact I think this syear I have barely read anything other than Great Gatsby.

Man, not sure what I expected but after browsing a few of the posts I'm disappointed in the Escapist. Do you guys even READ?

My favorites are

Heart of Darkness
The Sun Also Rises
Nostromo
Catch-22
Great Gatsby
The Road
Brave New World

RonHiler:
There was a time I would have recommended Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game Of Thrones). They are very good books. But I can no longer really do so given the author's lack of focus on finishing the series. At this point I think it's more likely the ending will be written by the producers of the HBO show than by the author, so just watch that instead.

As much as I love the series you are bang on with this in a way. The depth and the scope to the story is brilliant but the focus has been lost. The story seemed to be building up to a conclusion and then G.R.R. Martin effectively started the series all over from the beginning again. Even 75% of the original characters have changed, as for the cliff hanger in the last published book FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUU.

At some points in the saga you could say this is precisely where the story really begins and everything that came before could be back story in much the same way Robert Baratheons rebellion is.

Johnny Novgorod:

There's some variety, your list included, but in general everyone seems to go about swords and dragons and magic and stuff.

Some non-fantasy books? Ok then.

Ciaphas Cain HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! series. Take the Warhammer 40000 universe, a setting that coined the term 'grimdark' and insert a comedic Blackadder/Flashman character into it as a Commissar (a political officer who inspires bravery through example and executing cowards).

The end result is a series of memoirs about a loveable coward who wants nothing more than to be stuck in a dead end posting but instead recieves the title of 'Hero' and gets thrown into even more dangerous situations which he has to escape by the seat of his pants.

The Honor Harrington series is good if you don't mind infodumps about space tactics and politics.

It follows the eponymous character who is pretty much Horatio Hornblower (but in space) and follows the events of the French Revolution in a futuristic setting.

Yopaz:

ecoho:

Yopaz:
The Wheel of Time. Seriously, read those books. The best series I know.

The world is just so massive, Robert Jordan really did a great job with the politics, the environments, the different characters and their stories.
It gets slow at time, but it's totally worth it to read to the end. A Memory of Light was a really satisfying book and I feel it got the ending it deserved.

i was a bit disapointed that it did end but as they say all things end as the wheel moves forward:)

I'll be honest here, I did shed a few tears at the final few pages. Not because I thought it was sad, but because it was like I finally was able to take it in that there would be no more Robert Jordan in my life. A part of me would have wanted it to go on forever, but a different part is just satisfied.

Also I have to say I agree with the Mistborn books. I would recommend The Way of Kings, but I have just finished a series that took forever to end and I know how bad the wait can feel.

this is exactly why i havent read the first way of kings book, im waiting till he has a second one out lol.

mmm... thats a bit of a toughie.

I guess mine would be:
Stephen King's Wizard and Glass
Brian Jacques' Rakkety Tam
Brian Jacques' Angel's Command

and for non fiction, though I dont quite remember the title it was a book on the life of the confederacy during the civil war as a solider and was really really thick.

I've also been meaning to by george takai's Oh my, and both of yahtzee's books.

IT and The Stand by Stephen King
The Necronomicon and Eldritch Tales by H.P. Lovecraft (collections of his stories)
The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Pandaemonium by Chritopher Brookmyre
Redclaw by Philip Palmer
Kraken and Un-Lun-Dun by China Mieville
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Mogworld by Yahtzee!
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

I can go on if you want, but I think you ought to be able to get enough out of this. ;D

I've always liked the Uplift books by David Brin. Mainly because I love the idea of dolphins having their own spaceship.

If I can only go off of what I've read than:

Any fucking thing written by William Gibson (the man has a permanent rep after writing Neuromancer)

Any fucking thing by China Tom Mieville (Embassytown, Perdido Street Station, coral-bug-horse aliens and red-skinned chicks with big scarabs for heads are his definitions of fantastical creatures.)

Any Fucking thing by Gene Wolfe (you know a book with a good unreliable narrator? No you don't, fuck you, that narrator's a pussy, google Severian and the book of the new sun)

Any fucking thing by H.P. Lovecraft (weird fiction motherfuckers, learn it, live it, glwthyecwsi iltgeicnakx)

Any fucking thing by Patrick Rothfuss (wrote the Kingkiller Chronicles, wherein his magic school attending hero could kick the shit out of Harry Potter, break his wand with Sympathy magic, and then serenade all the womenfolk with his lute. the lute bit I'm not making up.)

Any Fucking thing by Philip K. Dick (madness mixed with retro futures and metaphysical ponderings on the external world, fuck yeah son!)

and finally, any fucking thing by Cory Doctorow (prostrate yourself before him, for he hath graced us with the Bitchun Society and hath made all of his works free and downloadable.)

If I read more I'll respond with others.

Westaway:
Man, not sure what I expected but after browsing a few of the posts I'm disappointed in the Escapist. Do you guys even READ?

Remarks like this always confuse me. What exactly disappoints you? That the majority of people here prefer fantasy to period drama? That you don't recognise many of them to be classics? Or that people aren't listing enough books (or wearing enough hats)?

I would suggest pretty much everyone here has read the classics, if not for pleasure, then at least for school. Not listing them as their favourites has no bearing on whether or not they enjoyed them. And wouldn't it be rather boring if every post listed the same selection of books? True, there's very little diversity in terms of genre going on here, but that excludes those who flat-out dislike science fiction or fantasy novels; for everyone else this thread must be a goldmine of opportunity.

I'm sorry if this comes across as confrontational, I'm just disappointed people criticise each other for the type of fiction they enjoy.

Anything by Matthew Reilly (im a big MR fan)

They read like blockbuster action movies...so you might not like them if you're not into that sort of thing.

The Wheel of time series is pretty good

Eleuthera:
I assume I will have to hand my man-card in (again) for this. But my all time favourite book is "Pride and Prejudice".

Why would you have to hand in your man-card for that? It's the only good romance novel out there.

I also love Pride and Prejudice, but my favorite overall is the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series. Close second is Lewis Carrol's work... all of it. Even Phantasmagoria. ESPECIALLY Phantasmagoria.

lacktheknack:
Why would you have to hand in your man-card for that? It's the only good romance novel out there.

Because we are MENtm *flex* GRRR, we are not to like romance... or something like that, I wasn't paying attention when they handed out the man-cards...

The Dark Tower series by stephen king is a great read.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
World War Z by Max Brooks
I've also got a thing for the Starcraft expanded universe novels

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