Favorite Books (excluding Rowlings and Tolkien works)

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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'm assuming you want fiction so heres a short List,
A Song of Fire and Ice Series(Game of Thrones)
Enders Game
Starship Troopers
Foundation Trilogy
Hunger Games Trilogy
The Bear and the Dragon
World War Z

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

Besides that Bernard Cornwell's stuff is always a good read (if you like historical fiction), and you can't go wrong with Neil Gaiman.

Well, as a huge fan of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories (and I'm getting into some of his other works), the 2006 released "The Complete Chronicles of Conan: Centenary Edition" would be my favourite book. It's a compilation of every Conan short-story in their original forms as well as a bunch of other things like drafts and unfinished works and stuff. Very cool indeed.

For some reason Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman really gets to me, I just love that book and nearly everything about it.

Another two books I love are Men at Arms and Thud by Terry Pratchett. Read em both a couple times now and it's still great each time.

Does anyone really consider Tolkien's work to be their favorite? He did some amazing world building and indelibly left his mark on modern fantasy but a good writer he was not.

The Madman:
Another two books I love are Men at Arms and Thud by Terry Pratchett. Read em both a couple times now and it's still great each time.

Great books but I think my all time favorite (of any author) is 'Small Gods'. It's just so damn good and has one of the best endings I've ever read.

Rylot:

The Madman:
Another two books I love are Men at Arms and Thud by Terry Pratchett. Read em both a couple times now and it's still great each time.

Great books but I think my all time favorite (of any author) is 'Small Gods'. It's just so damn good and has one of the best endings I've ever read.

Small Gods is fantastic as well and probably my favourite of Pratchett's stand alone novels. That said I like his ongoing character series such as Vimes and the Night Watch or Rincewind and the Wizards of Unseen University a bit more, just something about seeing a cast of characters expanded upon and revisited over multiple works.

The Madman:
snip

Yeah, I pretty much love all of his characters and how they've grown over the books (check out the Patrician from the earliest books till now, he's changed a ton) but since I had to narrow it down to one 'Small Gods' is just such a complete book in my eyes.

Misery by stephen king

not exactly brilliant literature but its one hell of a read

Do you like short stories/anthologies? Give Charles De Lint a try. His work honestly isn't as good in full-length
novels but his anthologies and novellas are amazing. There's also his "novel" Jack of Kinrowan which is actually two novellas put under one cover.
And once again I put forth a plug for the Wild Cards series...George R. R. Martin contributed heavily to the writing
early in the series, and served as the editor for about two decades, plus a lot of other talented writers have
contributed.

The Night's Dawn Trilogy

Amazing group of books with a diverse cast of characters and well fleshed out civilizations.

Gaunt's Ghosts series by Dan abnett its war hammer but its about the imperial guard regiment called by them because of what happen Tanith First-And-Only led by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt. its a good series i'm thinking of rereading it and then reading the new books that are out

Like just about anything entertainment related I have no outright favorites, to many books I really like. Gaunts Ghosts, Ciaphas Cain, Eisenhorn/Ravenor and the Horus Heresy are my favorite 40k series. A Song of Ice and Fire, Belgariad/Mallorean and the Conan are my favorite fantasy series. Science Fiction favorites include the Dune series, Starship Troopers and the Culture novels.

Honorable mentions would go to Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and the Lost Fleet series.

American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis.

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich.

The others I would consider favourites have already been mentioned.

James Patterson and John Sandford stuff. i'm getting a rather coffee-style aquired taste for their tropes.

Though like coffee, I think it's had longterm side effects. A couple of years of reading those and I now pretty much am convinced that I'm surrounded at all times by mastermind serial killers and that the modern police are the most helpless and bumbling institution in society.

Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist and Veronika decides to die
Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency
Joseph Heller: Catch 22
Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451

And of course, my own little creation when it's finished.

My absolute favourite book of all time is Watership Down, but I recognise that isn't for everyone. I'm not sure if you're looking for fantasy in particular, or are open to other genres so I'm just going to list some books I enjoy for one reason or another:

Phantom of the Opera: Just a wonderful piece of trashy Gothic horror/romance written by a madman.
Woman in White: Or pretty much anything by Wilkie Collins (the inventor of the modern detective novel).
Fahrenheit 451 has been mentioned, but I'll add The Martian Chronicles to that.
The Raven Saga by Giles Kristian is good. Vikings, sex, gore and silver.
Anything by Terry Pratchett, take your pick. Even the (terrifying) children's books are good.
It's a cliché, but I really do like 1984.
CM Priest's Clockwork Century books are excellent, Steampunk horror-y goodness.
And for luck, a book I like by an author I hate: American Gods. However, I strongly recommend reading Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul straight after.

If I think of more, I'll come back.

Why are we explicitly excluding Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings? I don't think that many people were thinking to themselves "DEFINITELY HARRY POTTER! Duh... oh EXCLUDING those ones... well damn, what else is there...?"

For me its between;

The Hunger Games trilogy
the Dustlands series
or Paper Towns by John Green.

I love the Discworld series by Terry Pratchet. I also quite enjoy Sword Art Online and Accel World by Reki Kawahara.

Special mention goes to An empty box and the Zeroeth Maria by Eiji Mikage for an all around pretty damn interesting story and one of the most interesting antagonists I've ever read.

I love everything by Iain M. Banks. He writes under that name when he's doing his sci-fi and omits the M when writing his more straight laced fiction. The futuristic trans/pan-human society of The Culture, living in harmony with AI rather than subjugated by it, is just such a refreshing and utopian view of a possible future. Plus he's a great writer and very funny.

His non-sci-fi stuff is good as well, though he has written some stinkers.

Also a lot of people have mentioned Neil Gaiman and others Terry Pratchett. Well, why not have both? They colaborated on a book called Good Omens, a story about a devil and an angel working together to avert the apocolypse. It is both very funny and very well written.

The Eragon books

Enders Game (really recommend this one)

The hitchhikes guide to the galaxy - you never know when earth will be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass so better read up on how to hitchhike, i always have my towel ready ;)

The Madman:
For some reason Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman really gets to me, I just love that book and nearly everything about it.

Oooo... have you seen the TV series (with Laura Fraser)? It's pretty wacky, and the book was based on it (still written by Neil Gaiman) since the series didn't get any particularly good reviews. I like both, though.

Ldude893:
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?

Any particular reason for that exclusion/restriction? I only ask because I don't think that many people (by proportion, that is) in the Escapist actually consider those two series to be their favourite.

Anyway... OT:

Cornelius Ryan - A Bridge Too Far, way better than the film, but that's to be expected.
Alexandre Dumas pere - le Comte de Monte Cristo, can't describe how I feel about this book, so I won't bother.
Raymond E Feist - Magician, best high fantasy book I've read, and not much is going to change my opinion on that.
Titus Livius Patavinus - Ab Urbe Condita (aka Ad Urbano Conditae) Books XXI-XXX, uh... no comment!
Robin Hobb - the Tawny Man, the trilogy that wraps up the Six Duchies saga and finally, a happy ending.
& most stuff by David Gemmell (RIP)

GunsmithKitten:
James Patterson and John Sandford stuff. i'm getting a rather coffee-style aquired taste for their tropes.

Though like coffee, I think it's had longterm side effects. A couple of years of reading those and I now pretty much am convinced that I'm surrounded at all times by mastermind serial killers and that the modern police are the most helpless and bumbling institution in society.

LOL... I went through a phase of reading everything by James Paterson I could find... then went for about six months thinking 'how can I kill you? how can I kill you?!' ... -_-

Discworld specifically the Vimes storyline.
The Jerusalem Man trilogy
The Hitchhiker's trilogy in 4 parts
Ben Elton books

1984-The pivotal moment and the ending really got to me

A Crystal Age-I can't think how to explain without spoiling, I don't think this is a book for many though

Brave New World-

The Chrysalids-My kind of story, on the run.

Some of my favorites have already been listed (like the Foundation series and the ASOIAF), so I'll skip those, but to add some:

Dresden Files series
Miles Vorkosigan series
Kingslayer Chronicle series
The First Law series
Almost anything by Larry Niven
The Chronicles of Amber series

Also, for some reason I have a soft spot for Warhammer books (both fantasy and 40k), from which I can recommend:

Ciaphas Cain series
Eisenhorn series
Ravenor series
Malus Darkblade series

And yes, I happen to love long running book sagas (except Wheel of Time, that's just painful)... :)

EDIT: I almost forgot - Book of the New Sun series, if one can get past all the mindfuckery...

Jandau:
Some of my favorites have already been listed (like the Foundation series), so I'll skip those, but to add some:

Dresden Files series
Miles Vorkosigan series
Kingslayer Chronicle series
The First Law series
Almost anything by Larry Niven
The Chronicles of Amber series

Also, for some reason I have a soft spot for Warhammer books (both fantasy and 40k), from which I can recommend:

Ciaphas Cain series
Eisenhorn series
Ravenor series
Malus Darkblade series

And yes, I happen to love long running book sagas (except Wheel of Time, that's just painful)... :)

I personally just finished my first dresden files book, Turn Coat, and it was the best book i have read in years.

Hmmm well twilight and fifty shades are decent reads if you can get past all the crap that surrounds the good stuff ^_^
captcha: downward slope, are trying to tell me something captcha?

twaddle:
I personally just finished my first dresden files book, Turn Coat, and it was the best book i have read in years.

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 really like all the Skulduggery Pleasant books. They're like humour, crime and shooting fireballs at deranged magicians trying to destroy the universe all rolled up into one book series. I wish that last one was actually a genre.

I used to like the Artemis Fowl books too, but I went back to read them recently and couldn't even get halfway through the first one. Might be worth a look though.

image

One of the best young adult fantasies ever written.

By this I mean the whole series not just the first (5th books the best)

The Princess Bride

what? it's a classic!

I can't really say "favorite," but Georg Trakl's poetry is simply amazing, he was heavily influenced by E.A. Poe and Beaudelaire.

I have been reading The Known World by Edward P. Jones lately, a great read, but still not as good as his earlier Lost in the City. Also, George MacDonald's poetry has really been mesmerizing, he was probably the biggest single influence on J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. His poem My Two Geniuses about his struggle with opium addiction that was prescribed for his tuberculosis is fantastic.

REMOVED /10char

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.

A recommendation for my fellow 40k novel fans, Check out The Macharian Crusade trilogy. One of the great historical figures in the 40k universe Lord Commander Solar Macharius. The trilogy focuses on his Crusade, the largest since the founding of the Imperium which conquered a thousand new worlds in seven years. Its awesome stuff, shame its only a trilogy really.

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