Favorite Books (excluding Rowlings and Tolkien works)

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Bill Bryson is an excellent author. He is a comedy writer but does loads of comedy travel writing too.

Skulduggery Pleasant is pretty damn good. Magic and stuff in a modern setting with guns, axes, necromancy, etc. The characters are really well developed and there are alot of books in the series so far, so if you start now you have about 7 books worth of reading right there.

Also, it doesn't have too much to hide. Don't mean to reveal spoilers, but there is one moment where [MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD] the book describes trying to blink, but your eyelids are slashed open so it doesn't work. Yeah...

Rylot:
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.

My favourite book of all time is Bilbo. Personally I think he is a fairly good writer, certainly not the best, but he makes up for it with good world building.

OT: I like the Artemis Fowl series. It's quite long by now, and the earlier books are more childish, but it gradually gets more serious.

The Catcher in the Rye, because I find the main character immediately relatable and I just like the unique writing style.

Stasisesque:

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.

See, the thing is that most people haven't read the classics, which is why I bothered making the comment. But, like I said, I don't know what I was expecting. The thing that got to me was all the pulp fiction and teen-trash books people were posting like The Hunger Games. That really shouldn't have bothered me though, considering I'm posting on a video game forum, which is easily the trashiest and least intellectually stimulating form of media existing, so the average person on here really wouldn't be reading James Joyce I guess. Especially since the Escapist's descent into a majority of people under 18.

I'm sorry if this comes across as pretentious, I'm just disappointed people don't care if they read shit mass produced for the lowest common denominator.

Lord of the Flies is always a great one to read. Even if you don't completely agree with the theme of the book its definitely food for thought.

Well George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice (or Game of Thrones as it's known on HBO) is an obvious one.

Apart from that I'll also throw in my recommendation to Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, as well as Brandon Sanderson's great Mistborn trilogy and the start of his own planned 10 book epic The Way of Kings.

While the two have been mentioned together a few times in this thread I don't think anyone actually pointed out the link. With the 11th book released, and supposedly only one more book left to finish the series, Robert Jordan died. You can imagine the shock and horror this caused to all fans of the series. But Jordan left notes, and to the rescue his widow chose young up and coming fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to finish the series. He took the notes, determined it would take three books, not one, to wrap it all up, and the guy delivered. The final book A Memory of Light came out just a month ago, though I don't like collecting hard cover books so I'm still waiting for my library hold to come in. I should be reading it some time next month, finally!

I went through Sanderson's own work the past year though and found it to be just as good, if not better, than Jordan's best.

My favourite book series is The Old Kingdom series/The Abhorson Chronicles written by Garth Nix. Amazing books, about necromancy and the undead.

I dig anything by H.P. Lovecraft.
East of Eden.
The Great Gatsby.
Brave New World.

I liked Bill Bryson's stuff back in the day, along with Jurassic Park. 1984 and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy don't really count for being mentioned again..

Classic old-school sci-fi anyone? No-one's mentioned Isaac Asimov's Robot short stories or the Foundation series, wow.

More recently I've been digging to the point of binge-reading Christopher Brookmyre's work. Gruesome violence, black humour, blunt-force satire and plausible-yet-ridiculous events unfolding in a crime thriller. Helps if you live/grew up in Scotland (or better yet, in the Central belt) to get some of the references, dialects and humour but I'd recommend to anyone regardless. Highly entertaining.

Westaway:

Stasisesque:

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.

See, the thing is that most people haven't read the classics, which is why I bothered making the comment. But, like I said, I don't know what I was expecting. The thing that got to me was all the pulp fiction and teen-trash books people were posting like The Hunger Games. That really shouldn't have bothered me though, considering I'm posting on a video game forum, which is easily the trashiest and least intellectually stimulating form of media existing, so the average person on here really wouldn't be reading James Joyce I guess. Especially since the Escapist's descent into a majority of people under 18.

I'm sorry if this comes across as pretentious, I'm just disappointed people don't care if they read shit mass produced for the lowest common denominator.

On the other hand, you did mention James Joyce, so...

Just giving you crap, like who you like.

Rangers Apprentice Series
Brotherband Series
The Night Angel Trilogy
The Chronicles of Siala

They are my top four book series of all time (excluding HP and LOTR)

Relish in Chaos:
The Catcher in the Rye, because I find the main character immediately relatable and I just like the unique writing style.

To be honest I despised that novel. To me, Holden was unbarable to listen to. He was just a whiny pile of angst. Then again that was kind of the point of his character, so if you like angst than I guess that book is perfect for you.

Crime and Punishment

The Foundation series

Animal Farm

Heart of Darkness

Atlas Shrugged (Just to see how it inspired the original BioShock)

Well since I can't pick my favorite book (The Hobbit). I suppose I'll chose my second favorite, Sherlock Holmes The Complete Novels and 56 Short Stories.

A Song of Ice and Fire.

Anything by Dr. Susse and Roald Dahl. >.>

Bill Bryson is a pretty damn good author too.

Clive Barker is also a rather accomplished author. Love Imajica.

John Grisham, Robin Cook, Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, Agatha Christie and Terry Pratchett.

Everything by them. Every book ever.

The Count of Monte Cristo.
The Divine Comedy.
Paradise Lost.
Any by Edgar Allen Poe.
Mogworld.
Crime and Punishment.
Any by H.P. Lovecraft.
The Graveyard Book. (Really, anything by Neil Gaiman)

From what I've gathered thus far I should probably read a Terry Pratchett book since I haven't yet, and I should probably fix that. >.>

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.

Exactly this. Wheel of Time is the biggest reason I'm still such a big reader.

Also, The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks, it was recommended to me in a thread here a few years ago, and it's become my go-to recommendation ever since (besides WoT, but that's a bit daunting for some people to try and jump into). The first book is a pretty satisfying read even if you never take a look at the other two, but if you read the whole set you'll get a very satisfying experience.

And if you're into Star Wars, I suggest trying to hunt down the X-Wing novels by Aaron Allston and Michael Stackpole (among others, I think), they're possibly my favorite part of the whole universe.

I've seen some Belgariad and Mallorean posts in here, but it's disappointing that nobody has posted the Elenium and Tamuli series by David Eddings. While the basics of the story are exactly the same as the Belgariad (troop of heroes gathers magical item to kill dark god and save a princess), it's just so superbly written (if a little fast paced) and has such excellent characters that you don't even notice until you've finished the series 3 times over.

Be warned though, as it's also quite possibly the snarkiest series of books you'll ever read, with characters snarking at one another every dozen pages. If snark gets on your nerves, you should probably steer clear of it.

Westaway:

See, the thing is that most people haven't read the classics, which is why I bothered making the comment. But, like I said, I don't know what I was expecting. The thing that got to me was all the pulp fiction and teen-trash books people were posting like The Hunger Games. That really shouldn't have bothered me though, considering I'm posting on a video game forum, which is easily the trashiest and least intellectually stimulating form of media existing, so the average person on here really wouldn't be reading James Joyce I guess. Especially since the Escapist's descent into a majority of people under 18.

I'm sorry if this comes across as pretentious, I'm just disappointed people don't care if they read shit mass produced for the lowest common denominator.

I don't know about the area you live in, but around where I live you'd be hard pressed to find a copy of any David Eddings or Terry Pratchett in a book store, let alone a copy of Ulysses. Meanwhile the 'mass produced shit' and most recently produced novels decorate the shelves everywhere.

Considering the young-majority audience that visits the Escapist, it's not hard to see that most people wouldn't be rating the 'classics' on their favorite lists (I've read some of them and I wouldn't either, but personal taste), as it's not exactly easy to get your hands on them outside of study purposes. Hell, it's probably a safe bet that most of the younger readers around here found their favorite book series via people telling them about the series or by borrowing the books (though that's a safe bet for everyone, really - books have some really shitty advertising and marketing); and, as said, the classics aren't exactly in wide circulation right now.

So you know, it's less people not caring that the stuff they're reading is 'mass produced shit' and more just not knowing about the classics or having a way to acquire them easily.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. His first book that he wrote.

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?

Wait, you said Lord of the Rings? What about the Hobbit? I know that it's a Tolkien work but that doesn't mean you should discount it.

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fford
1984 by George Orwell
Dragon Rider by Cornilia Funke

-Dresden Files series - Can't go wrong with a smartass, cynical wizard-for-hire
-Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay - The life and times of a darkly humorous sociopath (awesome!)
-Most books by Dick Francis. British writer who wrote mystery/adventure/crime novels - all of them are connected to Horse-racing in some form, but the great part about them is the main character. Without fail, it's someone who just plain gets shit done. My favourite was 'Hot Money'.
-The Belgariad/Malloreon and Elenium/Tamuli series by David Eddings. Each series pair has a cast of amazing characters that just get more awesome as time goes by.

I'll recommend Wise Children by Angela Carter. It's hilarious and stunningly written - really, really good. Also, Oryx and Crake & The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood are wonderful dystopian novels, thought-provoking, imaginative and, again, excellently written.

Maybe it's a bit of an obvious choice but I'd highly recommend Money by Martin Amis, and if you liked that then you'd probably enjoy The Pregnant Widow as well, which is different in almost every way but, like Money, showcases some brilliant writing.

As always i highly recommend the Hitchiker series by douglas adams, as well as his works about Dirk Gently.

Here's books or series I enjoy in no particular order:
- A song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin is an obvious one that I think a lot of people on here will adore just as much as I do.
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Yes, I did have to Google that spelling). It's a tough read but overall very interesting.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald does a great job questioning the American Dream and all the greed and destruction that might come with it. Plus, only 200 pages guys.
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Adam Douglas. Very well known and loved for a reason.
- Looking for Alaska by John Green. Can't really explain this properly but it's good.

Anything by Kurt Vonnegut. I just dig his style. Also like Philip K. Dick. Sorry, it's hard to pick a favorite (maybe Cat's Cradle).

-White Fang by Jack London, the first "classic" novel I ever read.

-Pretty much anything by Richard Morgan, especially Altered Carbon and the Land Fit For Heroes series.

-The Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Where White Fang was my first classic, Redwall was my first novel period, so there's a lot of nostalgia backing this series up.

-Anything by Ayn Rand.

-Mogworld by You-Know-Who. Definitely the best comedy book I've ever read.

Shanicus:
Snip

Considering I'm an over privileged middle class white boy living in the suburbs I could be completely wrong, but that sounds fairly absurd. Unless we're talking about third world countries (we aren't, we're talking about the average Escapist) most cities have dozens of book stores littered across them filled with classics. Even places like Indigo and Chapters have a section dedicated to classics. As for being aware of famous literature, it's really up to you, but considering they have access to the internet it's not that hard.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Much to my surprise I really liked Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Terry Pratchett of course
The Rise Iron Moon by Stephen Hunt
The Japanese Devil Fish girl and other unnatural attraction by Robert Rankin
The Shiny Guys by Doug Mcleod

I spend many hours in Libraries as you can probably tell

In no particular order...

The Inheritance Cycle (it has its issues, but I still thoroughly enjoyed them.)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (and Heroes of Olympus for that matter)
Fahrenheit 451, of course. 1984 as well.
Raven's Shadow: Blood Song - Amazing fantasy book. Not too well known (I got it for $3 on Amazon I believe) but it's worth the read.
The Post-Human Trilogy by David Simpson is on there too. I won't claim that they're perfect books (the third gets a little whacked toward the end), but this kind of sci-fi always stimulates my imagination. I still think about them, and that's the mark of a good book/movie/game whatever.

I'm looking for a new sci-fi book to read now, any suggestions, Escapists? I'd love another with transhumanist themes. But really, any sci-fi that I should definitely not miss.

Vault101:
Misery by stephen king

not exactly brilliant literature but its one hell of a read

That's my favorite book. So I wonder what you mean by brilliant literature.

Father Time:

That's my favorite book. So I wonder what you mean by brilliant literature.

I know fuckall about litature.....and I do know that stephen king can be....a bit silly at times

but then it this case it really is a great book (Ive read it several times) so mabye it is

Westaway:

Stasisesque:

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.

See, the thing is that most people haven't read the classics, which is why I bothered making the comment. But, like I said, I don't know what I was expecting. The thing that got to me was all the pulp fiction and teen-trash books people were posting like The Hunger Games. That really shouldn't have bothered me though, considering I'm posting on a video game forum, which is easily the trashiest and least intellectually stimulating form of media existing, so the average person on here really wouldn't be reading James Joyce I guess. Especially since the Escapist's descent into a majority of people under 18.

I'm sorry if this comes across as pretentious, I'm just disappointed people don't care if they read shit mass produced for the lowest common denominator.

Wait... how did you get "bash other people's tastes in literature" out of "list your favourite books"? Sorry but it's comments like these that create the "trashiness" on forums.

OT: A Song of Ice and Fire -I enjoy pretty much all of the characters and I love the huge world Martin created.

Hitchhiker's Trilogy -Funny and very interesting. Just don't expect a spectacular ending...

Into Thin Air -I'll go into more detail about this one since I think fewer people have heard about it. It's a book about the commercialization of Mt. Everest and how that commercialization causes a disaster. It's extremely interesting and tense. I don't know if this was intended to be a very emotional book but when you realize that everything written (although the author obviously has his biases) actually happened. It's kind of tortuous to see the mistakes that occur and know that all of the deaths could have been prevented.

Misery -My favourite Stephen King book. The book does a great job with creating a desperate situation, slowly giving you hope for the character, and then abruptly tearing it down.

For me, anything by H.P. Lovecraft, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, The Tome of Fire series by Nick Kyme if we're going W40K, though I am shocked not a single mention of Frank Herberts Dune series, admitedly I only liked the first four books and even God Emperor of Dune was abit on the 'Ok this is getting dull now...' side.

As for Tolkien I don't love Lord of the Rings, it's a good series, I did prefer The Hobbit as it didn't drag half as much as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and for Harry Potter and Miss Rowling, she maybe a local of my home town but I care nothing for her Harry Potter series, I read one book back in high school as I was forced to do it for my English class and I'd sooner drive nails into my eyes than read the rest.

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