Favorite Books (excluding Rowlings and Tolkien works)

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Hmmm slighlty huge list

To start with one i doubt anyone has done - Mark of Ran - its only about 200 pages long but it is simply one of the best books ever written with a pace that never slacks off a dark world and fantastically made characters. Its author has done other work that is good as well but this is by far the best.

Dresden files - Well done urban supernatural fantasy

Kingkiller Chronicles - Fantasy with super intelligent character (seriously think superman's strength but brains instead) and his mark on history btw hes famous throughout the world and hes in hiding while telling this story at the age of about 23..... (no its not a spoiler you can learn this in chapter 1)

Belgariad and Mallorean - Young fantasy but beautifully made characters that make you genuinely care and a deep exploration if how choices define us.

Game of Thrones - Simply fantastic fantasy/political/Human story with characters that feel so real you could touch them and a world so sadly human you expect to see it out your window.

Enders Game - Children mastering war games to beat aliens, also just how cruel and aware children can be (seriously the main character is 5/6 when it starts.

Gah there is too many

Stephen king - especially dark tower
Wheel of Time
and too many other things

The Black Company Series by Glen Cook is my all time favorite series. Magic and mercenraies. Plus I was greatly surprised to see Jim Sterling himself give it a nod in his show.

I liked Skullduggery Pleasent too, but it went pretty dark pretty fast considering how much lighter the first one was. Similar vein to Harry Potter, but with a talking skeleton

The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun, mystery solving cats and their journalist owner. Good series but it seriously degraded towards the end, the last book had me throwing it against a wall when I read the last chapter. But 90% of the books were great, lightweight mysteries.

The Tales of the Ketty Jay books by Chris Wooding.
It's basically a Retro-Future version of Firefly with way more Chaotic Neutral protagonists.

I've been a voracious reader over the years in many genres. Fantasy and sci-fi are my favorites, but I've also read a lot in other genres as well. Some of the series I like:

-- The Elenium, The Tamuli, The Belgariad and The Mallorean series by David Eddings (absolutely love the characters)

-- The Drizzt books by R.A. Salvatore (I love the interludes that read like Drizzt's journal)

-- Sherlock Holmes stories and novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

-- The Shannara books by Terry Brooks

-- The Midkemia books by Raymond E. Feist

-- The Star Wars: X-Wing series by Aaron Alston and Michael Stackpole

-- The Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt, NUMA, Isaac Bell and Oregon Files books

-- Tom Clancy Jack Ryan books

-- Edgar Allen Poe's works

-- Shakespeare's plays

-- Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan (skews a bit young, I know)

-- Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan (also a YA series, but fun - wasn't impressed by the movie, though)

-- Horatio Hornblower series by C.S. Forester

-- Lensman series by E.E. "Doc" Smith

-- Anne Rice's classic Vampire books

-- any Western by Louis L'Amour

-- The Noble Dead series by Barb and J.C. Hendee

-- also like most Heinlein and Bradbury books

-- War and Peace, Anna Karennina by Leo Tolstoy

-- (handing in my "MAN" card here) there are even a few romance novels I've read that I like because I like the characters (and I'm a sucker for a happy ending - the real world is grim enough, so don't like grim books much)

-- works by Mark Twain (appreciate his sense of humor and regional characters)

-- Other classics I have liked: Candide, The Misanthrope, The Divine Comedy, The Great Gatsby, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Three Musketeers, Captains Courageous, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, the Hercule Poirot books, the William Murdoch mysteries by Maureen Jennings (not a classic, but a great series similar to Holmes and Poirot)

On the other hand, there are some popular series I have just never been able to get into for various reasons, usually because I either dislike the characters or I just simply lost interest:

- Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (have tried to read several times, but always lose interest fairly quickly)
- Tolkien's books (his writing style drives me nuts, but enjoy the movies though)
- Song of Fire and Ice series by George RR Martin (don't like any of the characters or the world, for that matter)
- anything by James Joyce (can't stand stream of consciousness)
- anything by William Faulkner (the man writes single sentences that span pages)
- anything by Fyodor Dostoevsky (rambles on and on, and stream of consciousness aspects)

Of course, everyone has their own tastes, so if you really enjoy any of the series I don't, well I certainly won't take offense. Hopefully, you'll extend me the same courtesy. Happy Reading!!

My favorite book series that I read was 'The Door Within', by Wayne Thomas Batson, really descriptive engaging storyline for younger mature readers (14-16). Another book I liked but never fully finished was 'Shadowmancer' by G. P. Taylor.

"The Years of Rice and Salt" and "Red Mars", "Green Mars" and "Blue Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson. Yes, he's a bit of a utopian and his economics are a little bit silly, but his books are good to read.

"Catch-22", still one of the best books of all time.
Any history book written by Antony Beevor or Richard Overy
Any science book written by Philip Ball, but "Unnatural" and "Curiosity" are my favorites.

Oh, and Godbody by Theodore Sturgeon, if you can find it.

There are a number of them, but only two at this moment stick to my mind.

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. A true classic.

Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Mostly because I am currently reading the 14th and final book, A Memory of Light. Not the perfect book by any means, has a lot of bloat to it, but still thoroughly enjoyable for me, any series that can hook me in for 14 titles (15 including the prologue New Spring) has to be good.

Uh... well the Dune series is always a good read, if you've never head of it (if so, I will accept your nerd card and promptly burn it) It's basically a hard sci fi about a desert planet that happens to be the most economically important planet in the universe because of it's production of Melange-Spice, as well as the Houses vying for the planet (And the control of the spice) and the native inhabitants that are caught up in this struggle. Really interesting an probably one of the great Sci-Fi novels. Lucas would use a lot of the elements from this in the constructing of the Star Wars Mythos, so it's worth a read.

Other works worth looking at... well you can't go wrong with Asimov, I suggest the Foundation Series or Pebble in the Sky. Again it's Hard Sci-Fi about the difficulties in creating a Galactic Society. If you like Hard Sci Fi, I also suggest "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick Which delves into meaning of self, consciousness and what makes a person a person? Also "We Can Remember it for You, Wholesale." again by Phillip K. Dick, this one is the inspiration for Total Recall, and it's about the problems that can arise when you can create memories.

"Neuromancer" by William Gibson is an absolutely fantastic first look into the idea of Cyberspace (in fact, it coined the term Cyberspace). "Dragon's Egg." by Robert Forward is a landmark piece about aliens existing on a Neutron Star and humans observing the growth of their civilizations. "Ring World" by Larry Niven is also an excellent Hard Sci Fi about a super structure known as a Ring world wrapping around a star and it's Denizens. I like all of these because their ideas are all very much ahead of their time, and really fascinating to read.

Finally I am absolutely addicted to the Disc World series by Terry Pratchett, an awesome Satirical bent on classic fantasy tropes that still takes time to address serious human issues in a silly way. I highly suggest books like "Mort", "The Wyrd Sisters", "The Color of Magic"/"The Light Fantastic", and "Hogfather" to name a few from this series.

it depends on what you like and what you're in the mood for right now, but i'll go with some of my all-time favourites:

hugo's "the man who laughs"
scott's "ivanhoe"
leroux' "the phantom of the opera"
eco's "the name of the rose"

i'd also recommend any other novel by eco (they're all pretty good in their own right), ende's "momo" and "the neverending story" (just finished it.. it was amazing as i expected), and one i read not log ago that really amazed me: lem's "solaris".

The Witcher novels of course but they probably have not been translated to EN yet.
Also WW2 pilots memoirs and aircraft technical manuals but i doubt that would interest you much.

The bible .. actually that's my favorite book because of my religion.
Please don't assume I want the OP to get this book. Just stating it's my favorite lol.

OT: If you're looking for a good book to read, maybe you'd like to check out the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

You must think i'm joking, but really it's so amazing how it relates to life on so many levels. It was even used in my history class to show how Hitler acted while countries would give into Hitler until it became to much.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson is probably my favourite book. The man just has such a way with words.

Wheel of Time series is just damn awesome. It gets slow in places but is well worth reading.

Reaper man by Terry Pratchett. I just love the book, it cracks me up every time.

I highly recommend the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. Very funny historical fiction about a charming but utter coward who manages to survive all sorts of danger around the world in the 19th century. It is written like a autobiography and when it first came out it convinced many historians that it was real as it is so well written.

Also anything by Ben Elton, his book Blind Faith still sends chills down my spine. It is a new take on 1984 for the voyeuristic Youtube generation.

More recently i enjoyed Charlie Higson's books about children surviving a zombie apocalypse. The first is called The Enemy. Later ones called The Fear and The Sacrifice. I found them scarier than anything Stephen King has written.

And I hope everyone is wheened on The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, but anyone who hasn't read it go and do so now. You're still here? Go!

I looove The Count of Monte Cristo, unabridged of course. I despised the book while reading it, but looking back and subsequent re reads where I took my time made me adore it even more.

Also, The Big Short by Michael Lewis. As soon as I finished it, flipped to page 1 and started again.

I don't really have a favourite book but "my sister's keeper was the first book that I really wanted to share with someone once I put it down.

Don't have much time, so I'm just going to list a bunch:
Bartimaeus Trilogy
The Theif series
The Great Gatsby
The Tempest
King Lear
Macbeth
Brave New World
Blindness
The Odyssey
Pendragon series
Fifth Business
Endymion Spring
The Time Machine
Les Miserables (especially in the original French, if you can read it)

Dragon lance, specifically the ones dealing with the companions and the twins (dragons of autumn twilight starts the trilogy, then there is another called the twins trilogy). Great D&D fantasy, it's set in a world where magic is there though not common, and the gods have abandoned it. The story involves the gods coming back.

Another setting by the same author, The Death Gate Cycle. Very very unique fantasy setting where the "world" was fractured into different elemental dimensions/worlds, all of witch for the most part are unaware of each other except for a small group of people. The story revolves around...well it's kind of hard to explain without ruining the first book. But basically it deals with people from the past and dealing with the worlds as they are now and what is inevitably happening to them. There is some brilliant and unique settings, as well as a moving great story. One of my favorite aspects of it is the large number of small side stories in it.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Amazing, funny, constantly filled with little stories that make you go "hunh". More in common with fantasy adventure then sci fi, even though it IS sci fi. Just amazing books (except the last one). Hilarious an adventure filled.

Discworld series, especially the ones dealing with Death & Rincewind, start off with The Color of Magic. They are to fantasy what the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is to sci fi. Very very humorous and constantly tieing in with short little ideas. The books themselves make up a great many different characters and facets of the world, and while some are sequential many of them have little to do with the other, sort of like the battletech setting or 40k or most of the D&D setting novels. Insane part is unlike those all these books (over 50 i think?) are written by ONE GUY.

Warhammer 40k, huge setting, I think over 200 books written by tons of different authors? Heavy sci fi. However there are so many diffrent ones that many of the books have zero to do with each other, happening in functionally other universes, times, and so on. Eisenhorn is the best place to start I think, maybe the Gaunts Ghosts novels. There are also LOTS of omnibuses that deal with space marine chapters. The best thing about the 40k series is if you end up liking it...there is sooooo much content.

Battletech, Giant mech battles. Not anime stuff, but more realistic, they are more like walking tanks. The battletech novels, over 100, are not all sequential but there are several that are, and a lot deal with specific time lines. Some of the books are just basically short war novels about mechs...by and far the majority however deal heavily with politics and espinoage mixed in with the mech battles. I picked up battletech to read because of loving the mechwarrior games, I kept reading them because wow...these books actually made me find politics interesting...wtf

Few book series

Asimov's Foundation
Asprin's M.Y.T.H.
Bradley's Darkover
Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga
Niven's Known Space (Smoke ring is also good)

These are those I can think of right now, but most probably there are other good books I have read

Song of Ice and Fire.
Inheritance series (Eragon, basically)
LotR (SORRY BUT IT IS)
Most of Steinbecks work
Orwell's 1984

To name a few

skyojedi:

-- The Belgariad and The Mallorean series by David Eddings (absolutely love the characters)

Yes! Read this series- it's my favorite. And yes, the characters are excellent.

The Seventh Tower Series, A Song of Ice and Fire series, Broken Sky series (so sad this one spiraled into obscurity even though itd make the best anime ever), 1984, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, The History of Sexuality, the Bartimaeus Sequence (lot like HP except wizards aren't behind the scenes and directly control the government and society, also demons are the source of magic so alchemy circles come into play and the like), and East of Eden

BloatedGuppy:

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

Current favorite authors are Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss, with the standard boring nod to George R.R. Martin if he can ever get his series out of the ditch he's driven it into.

Did you read "The Name of the Wind"? A few of my friends swear by that book. They sing praises to it more than a church choir sings praise to God.

I'm a fan of Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time series. Would I enjoy Rothfuss?

The Pendragon Adventure. It's probably the best fantasy fiction series I've read.

As for standalone books, Of Mice and Men never gets old.

When it comes to manga, I think Black Cat would have to be my favorite. (I'm not counting series that I wound up finishing with the anime.)

Also, honorable mention goes to John Dies at the End, because it's just great.

Johnny Novgorod:
Ugh why is everyone always hanging over the same teenage fantasy bestseller soon-to-be-movies franchises? They're all the same!

Literature Elitists: The most utterly nonsensical elitists in the world.

My personal favorites would probably be the Artemis Fowl series and the Pendragon series. Both genuinely entertaining books.

Pavol Michalina:
The Witcher novels of course but they probably have not been translated to EN yet.
Also WW2 pilots memoirs and aircraft technical manuals but i doubt that would interest you much.

Really? I would have thought because they were turned into games that they were already translated.

Explains why I can't find them, I guess.

kortin:

Johnny Novgorod:
Ugh why is everyone always hanging over the same teenage fantasy bestseller soon-to-be-movies franchises? They're all the same!

Literature Elitists: The most utterly nonsensical elitists in the world.

My personal favorites would probably be the Artemis Fowl series and the Pendragon series. Both genuinely entertaining books.

Hey, I have another one for you. Purple prose: not literature. Your turn, this is fun!

John Dies at the End is pretty much the second coming of Super-Batman-Jesus. Seriously, read that book! Do it...

Also Mogworld and Jam are really fucking good and I'm a massive fan of the Dexter books...

I've just got to recommend Ciaphus Cain series, just because it's so good. Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books are always awesome reads, his Kain Chronicle books were ok, but not really much like his other stuff. E.E. Knight has some awesome stuff, his Vampire Earth series is a somewhat refreshing take on vampires/aliens/mythology as a whole.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

i shall forever remember Captain black and his loyalty oaths :D

A Song of Ice and Fire - Seriously, George R.R. Martin has written not only the most realistic and well-crafted fantasy world around, but he also shocked and surprised me with his plotting. You never know who is going to die next, and that is a horrible and wonderful place to be.
Noughts and Crosses - My favourite books going into my teens, great characters, great plots, and they don't hold back with the emotional punches either.
The Edge Chronicles are great too, such an original and wonderful fantasy world, crafted with such care, creativity and devotion. The illustrations kick ass too.
The Hungry Cities series - Are so original and highly recommended for both adults and teens alike. Philip Reeve is a genius, and I can't stress enough how great these books are. Read them. Especially if you like steampunk.
The Chaos Walking trilogy - Never has a book series made me invest in the characters so much and taken me on such an emotional rollercoaster - and the ending. Holy crap. Also wins a prize for the best dog in literature.

I'm currently at the 2nd book in the A Song of Ice and Fire-saga, and I really love the books. Brilliant litterature that I recommend for everybody.
Also, another one of my all time favourites must be The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Such a good book.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I enjoy books about totalitarianism, as they give great insight into our present reality. So Hamlet and The Metamorphosis are great, as well as The Trial and The Tempest.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is critical reading and is unfortunately horribly underread. Faust is awesome. Marry Shelley's Frankenstein is great.

For modern authors I enjoy Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Zizek.

As far as "why" goes the best answer is that these works and others like them teach us the most about reality.

Johnny Novgorod:
Ugh why is everyone always hanging over the same teenage fantasy bestseller soon-to-be-movies franchises? They're all the same!

Well I'll give you these favorites of mine,

A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kenedy Toole - a pretty humorous book about a silly man, that I think more people should read.

Drood, by Dan Simmons - I seem to like everything I've read of his, this one is a sinister historical narrative based around Charles Dickens.

Blood Meridian, By Cormac McCarthy - A crazy, violent, sickening journey through the West. Awesome story but not recommend for younger readers.

Dictionary of the Khazars, by Milorad Pavich - I like it, but I can't really recommend this one. If you want to try twisting your head around this historical (sort of) "story" about a people in Eastern Europe, give it a shot.

I cut the Escapist a little slack. I'm pretty old (by forum standards) and they're mostly fairly young I think which accounts for the glut of teen and genre fiction mentioned in here. Long ago, before I finally couldn't take any more,
I read far more of RA Salvatore's Drizzt books than I'll admit to having read in polite circles.

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