Recommend a book

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby kcr » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:21 pm UTC

CaraInFrames wrote:
aion7 wrote:The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon was a great book. Combine a rich alternate history, fantastically deep characters, classic, gritty detective writing, and Yiddish interjections, into a well written novel and this is what you get. A must for fans of any of those genres.

Yes I called "Yiddish interjections" a genre. What are you gonna do about it?


Oooooooh, speaking of Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is, well, amazing.

That's what I came in here to write about! It was fantastic. (Also, it was great to flip the book over, read his bio, and discover he has a bunch more books out there to read. Yaaay!)

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby darwinwins » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:51 pm UTC

ever been in love? with a lesbian? who's in love with an older woman? yeah? awesome.

Sputnik Sweetheart by haruki murakami. you have to read it after Norwegian Wood, though. the two back to back make for an incredible experience. though South of the Border, West of the Sun is an excellent one to follow up those two books. You could consider them a love trilogy of sorts.

Nowegian Wood
Sputnik Sweetheart
South of the Border, West of the Sun

actually Sputnik Sweetheart could be read last. all three are pretty damn near perfect.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby aion7 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:44 am UTC

darwinwins wrote:ever been in love? with a lesbian? who's in love with an older woman? yeah? awesome.

Sputnik Sweetheart by haruki murakami. you have to read it after Norwegian Wood, though. the two back to back make for an incredible experience. though South of the Border, West of the Sun is an excellent one to follow up those two books. You could consider them a love trilogy of sorts.

Nowegian Wood
Sputnik Sweetheart
South of the Border, West of the Sun

actually Sputnik Sweetheart could be read last. all three are pretty damn near perfect.

While we're on Murakami, I'd like to suggest two short stories of his. The Man Eating Cats and The Rise and Fall of Sharpie Cakes. They're very surreal, and interesting, but not very long. If you like anything surreal, you are sure to love those, and many other works of his.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby sethicus » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:35 pm UTC

Contest - Mathew Reilly
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MissingDividends » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:34 am UTC

How did this go 44 recommendations without someone recommending The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)?

In addition I'd recommend Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) and Animal Farm (Orwell).

--MD
(Yes, I know it's says "Recommend a Book", but they're all good)

[edit - typo]
Last edited by MissingDividends on Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:16 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby darwinwins » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:51 pm UTC

MissingDividends wrote:How did this go 44 pages without someone recommending The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)?

In addition I'd recommend Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) and Animal Farm (Orwell).

--MD
(Yes, I know it's says "Recommend a Book", but they're all good)

because most of us have probably read them? ... maybe? huh? just a little bit?
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MissingDividends » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:15 pm UTC

darwinwins wrote:
MissingDividends wrote:How did this go 44 recommendations without someone recommending The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)?

In addition I'd recommend Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) and Animal Farm (Orwell).

--MD
(Yes, I know it's says "Recommend a Book", but they're all good)

because most of us have probably read them? ... maybe? huh? just a little bit?


Just because most of us have read them doesn't make them not worth recommending. Yeah, most people don't get anything out of the recommendation, but I occasionally run into xkcd-ish people who haven't read (for example) Hitchhiker's Guide, and they're the ones who obviously need the help of recommendations the most. (Those conversations/encounters usually ends with a trip to the library, my room, or a bookstore, whichever is closest.)

--MD

Edit-
Well, since it's the recommendation thread, I suppose I'll try not to get too off topic:
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Amazing book. I certainly can't do it justice, so I'll just link to the amazon page (for the reviews): http://www.amazon.com/Kite-Runner-Khale ... 1594480001

The Incarnations of Immortality Series - Piers Anthony
(First book is "On a Pale Horse")
Very interesting series. Each book is about, well, an Incarnation (Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, etc.) I highly recommend reading them in order, although it isn't terribly important (it just makes a bit more sense) except that the first five have to be read before six and seven.
Last edited by MissingDividends on Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:28 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

The thing is, you come to this thread with the intention of reccommending a single thing, why waste your single thing on a book others will have probably read, when you could be using it on something less well-known that people will then associate with you after reading and enjoying it.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MissingDividends » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:36 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:The thing is, you come to this thread with the intention of recommending a single thing, why waste your single thing on a book others will have probably read, when you could be using it on something less well-known that people will then associate with you after reading and enjoying it.

When you put that way, it sounds.. so.. bad.

I suppose that I should explain that I actually didn't come to the thread with the intention of recommending those (I actually came with the intention of getting recommendations and recommending some others, which I managed to squeeze into my second reply), it was just that when i read 44 recommendations, and didn't see those books, I was rather surprised. Now that I think about it (the way you put it), it makes sense that people would rather recommend other things, but at the time it didn't occur to me.

--MD

Yay, I can squeeze another recommendation in here:
The Sword of Truth (Series), by Terry Goodkind
(First book is The Wizard's First Rule)
Interesting fantasy setting. Great character development. Well thought out plot. Great descriptions.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby theonemephisto » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:16 pm UTC

Recently read Replay by Ken Grimwood. Very good read, though it leaves you wishing that he had decided to continue it more sometimes.

And whoever suggested the coldfire trilogy is my hero. I don't think I've ever met someone else who has read them, but I've read them all multiple times and they're a very good read.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby predisposed » Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, not many people seem to have read this but i think it is well worth it. Oh, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - This booked made me realise that fantasy isn't the only genre worth reading, although i am yet to find a non fantasy book to match this one

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby WaywardAngel » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:17 pm UTC

d33p wrote:Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
An everyday bloke learns his place in the world through the Taoist teachings of a telepathic gorilla. Seriously - it's incredible. Never have I felt so connected.


I absolutely loved that book the first few times I read it, the flow of the arguments effortlessly carry you along. I do feel that the end of the book is aimed at people who have never even thought about the way we're destroying the world. Perhaps that's the norm in America (I wouldn't know), but over here in Europe we're (marginally) more aware of our environmental responsibilities, so the conclusion loses some of its oomph. Still an amazing book though.

My recommendation would be 'Watchmen'; it may not be a book strictly speaking, but I still love it to bits.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:17 pm UTC

It's a book.


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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Aviary » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

predisposed wrote:Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, not many people seem to have read this but i think it is well worth it. Oh, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - This booked made me realise that fantasy isn't the only genre worth reading, although i am yet to find a non fantasy book to match this one


Shadow of the Wind is amazing and was a book recommended to me by a good friend.

My recommendation to him (and really to anyone) was to read Charlotte Bronte's novel Villette, which is less-known than Jane Eyre, but a truly wonderful read.

I also recommend Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum to anyone who likes a good read with a lot of substance to it.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Daemonic » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:33 pm UTC

Grendel, by John Gardner.

As much of English heroic fantasy is inspired by Beowulf, this book is an excellent read from the perspective of Grendel (who was the villain in Beowulf, in case you haven't read that... which you should too!). The writing is fantastically well done. Have no doubt that Grendel is still a villain, but he becomes much more than just the simple monster we see in Beowulf. I can't recommend this book enough.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I know the book has the reputation of a heaving-bosom, tear-jerking bodice-ripper, but it's actually a fascinating allegory of the fall of the Old South (represented by the fading aristocrats Ashley and Melanie Wilkes) and the rise of the New (represented by the completely ruthless capitalist ethic in Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara). Sure, it's racist, but it is one of the best looks into the thought processes of Southerners at that time. All the main characters are fascinating, whether they're likable or not. Once you're finished with it, read A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams to get the same allegory from the opposite perspective.

And seriously, ignore the line on the book jacket that proclaims it's the 'Greatest Love Story Ever Told'. It's not a love story.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby socynicalsohip » Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:56 am UTC

The Rebel Sell - Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter.

As the Brit tagline says "How the counter culture became consumer culture", I like it because it directly addresses many of the litery whingers such as Naomi Cline. Well written and very well cited, I wish more people would read it.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby theamberkey » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:
pieaholicx wrote:Well, I can recommend two. First up is The Giver by Lois Lowry. It's a very short read, but an excellent take on the idea of a future "utopian" society. Leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions, but still good.

I wouldn't read this if you're over 12. After that, the book starts to seem very immature. Yes, at it's core there is a good story, but it's covered up by layers and layers of crap that aims squarely for the "young adult fiction" category.

There are no words in English to describe how wrong you are. And I'm rubbish at other languages. Of course, I'm a total sucker for good children's literature.

Songmaster by Orson Scott Card is a magnificent book, though admittedly I have not read it in years. Like much of Card's work, it takes place in the future, at a school for those who sing. No, they do more than sing. They devote their entire lives to the essence of song, and throughout the galaxy these Songbirds are known and cherished for the beauty of their songs. This is the life of a child whose songs are the sweetest ever sung. (My description does not do it justice. It's about more than singing. Really.)

I would like to mention that Songmaster is an earlier work of Card's, because his newer stuff generally is not as good.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby McCaber » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:09 am UTC

I really enjoyed the Illuminatus! trilogy. Those books will screw you up, but they're an awesome read.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby cathrl » Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:57 pm UTC

"The Worst Journey In the World" - Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

Absolutely no literary pretensions here. This is the story of the 1912 Antarctic expedition in which Scott and his companions died on the way back from the South Pole, written a few years later by a junior member of the party. The title has nothing whatsoever to do with Scott's disastrous trip, it's a reference to a side project in which three of the party went out in the Antarctic winter to acquire a penguin's egg - at the time nobody had ever seen this stage of their development.

It's sobering to remember that this level of technology was super-advanced less than a century ago.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby nevskey1 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:52 pm UTC

The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq. (Don't ask me how it's pronounced because I'm asking you.) A somewhat bleak perspective on life, in the tradition of Camus, but much, much better written. Actually somewhat along the lines of Palaniuk in it's grittiness. But it's a very well written book and the end is fantastic. Oh, incidentally, the guy is a huge Lovecraft fan, and wrote this book about him, which I haven't seen anywhere.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

theamberkey wrote:
Narsil wrote:
pieaholicx wrote:Well, I can recommend two. First up is The Giver by Lois Lowry. It's a very short read, but an excellent take on the idea of a future "utopian" society. Leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions, but still good.

I wouldn't read this if you're over 12. After that, the book starts to seem very immature. Yes, at it's core there is a good story, but it's covered up by layers and layers of crap that aims squarely for the "young adult fiction" category.

There are no words in English to describe how wrong you are. And I'm rubbish at other languages. Of course, I'm a total sucker for good children's literature.


I didn't enjoy The Giver either. By the time I read it (12 in 8th grade), I had already gone through a phase of dystopia obsession. I was severely bored by it, because I had already read much better books that got the same idea across.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

theonemephisto wrote:Recently read Replay by Ken Grimwood. Very good read, though it leaves you wishing that he had decided to continue it more sometimes.


Quite a nifty one, that. Entirely too much sex, though. I seem to recall he was starting a sequel when he died a few years ago.

I'm going to mention Dan Simmons' Hyperion, which is all kinds of awesome. It basically amounts to a set of short stories told from entirely different perspectives and different styles, but still interrelated in really clever ways. Read the sequel if you like it, even though it's not at all the same. Do not read Endymion or The Rise of Endymion, which are awful.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Fossa » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:19 am UTC

Hopefully no one minds if I hijack this thread a moment...

I'm just about done with the last bit of fiction I have left on my shelves. Its not even enjoyable, though with nothing else to read I am finally finishing it if for no other reason than because I started it. Damn you Heinlein... oh well. Anyway, I desperately need to find some good books to read.

My favorite authors are, without question, Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin (author of the series A Song of Ice and Fire) though I've written damn near everything Gaiman's written (Missing The Day I Swapped my Parents for Two Goldfish, and Coraline) and the same goes for Martin outside of his wildcard series which I don't enjoy. Anyway, I would love any thoughtful recommendations you have to offer.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Daemonic » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:25 pm UTC

Fossa wrote:Hopefully no one minds if I hijack this thread a moment...

I'm just about done with the last bit of fiction I have left on my shelves. Its not even enjoyable, though with nothing else to read I am finally finishing it if for no other reason than because I started it. Damn you Heinlein... oh well. Anyway, I desperately need to find some good books to read.

My favorite authors are, without question, Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin (author of the series A Song of Ice and Fire) though I've written damn near everything Gaiman's written (Missing The Day I Swapped my Parents for Two Goldfish, and Coraline) and the same goes for Martin outside of his wildcard series which I don't enjoy. Anyway, I would love any thoughtful recommendations you have to offer.


Steven Erikson's Malazan series. In all honesty, I was a big fan of George RR Martin's series until I read Erikson's series (it's now at book 7 of a planned 10, and it looks like he will be sticking to just 10)... The books are complex and deep, so if you don't enjoy figuring some things out for yourself, you may not like it as much. (As a side note, Gaiman is also amongst my top three authors with Erikson).

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Fossa » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:19 am UTC

Thanks, picked up the Gardens of the Moon after class today. Also saw that Martin's massive two volume collection of shorts, Dreamsongs, arrived in the bookstore. $67 later I am one happy book worm.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Malice » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:02 am UTC

*necro powers*

I'd like to recommend something, if I may. It's a recent book called "The Somnambulist," by Jonathan Barnes (his first novel). It's a very fascinating post-modern blend of Victorian and other classic literature, written in a roughly Victorian style (not as strict as, say, "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell") and taking place in that era's London. It features an unreliable narrator who freely admits he has reason to lie; a mute, pale, invulnerable giant (the titular character) who drinks nothing but milk and communicates via chalkboard; a down-on-his-luck Holmesian conjurer/detective with a secret fetish for sideshow freaks; vicious murders; an evil cult; government intrigue; a perfectly apocalyptic sentiment; and a decidedly satirical thrust.

It is highly amusing, extremely cool, and ceaselessly entertaining. Though I am familiar with most of its constituent parts, the sum is greater. "The Somnambulist" is one of the most original books I've read in a long time.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Arsin » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:45 am UTC

The Book of the New Sun quartet, by Gene Wolfe.

Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace.

Old Man's War, by John Scalzi.

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Stars My Destination (alternatively, Tiger! Tiger!), by Alfred Bester.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch.

Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson.

Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold.

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Torvaun » Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:55 am UTC

New book, that's going to eat my time for who knows how long. Metamagical Themas, by Douglas R. Hofstadter.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Laura » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:54 am UTC

I'd like to recommend "Stonehenge: A Novel of 2000BC" by Bernard Cornwell. It's an excellent read. If you've read any of his Sharpe books or the Excalibur trilogy, you should enjoy it. It's the same excellent writing style, but obviously very different.

Along with that, I'd like to recommend: "The First Man in Rome" by Colleen McCullough. It's the first in a series of six known as the "Masters of Rome" series, and there isn't a person I've recommended it to that hasn't loved it. It's a little tough to get into, for some people, but persevere and it's excellent. So detailed, so correct, so wonderful. It's not like a normal historical fiction novel. It's better.

I've never even heard of a single person who didn't like "Spartan" by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. Its popularity has increased since the release of the film 300, and it's another excellent read. Very boy-ish, but I enjoyed it.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby VectorZero » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:07 am UTC

Arsin wrote:Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson.


I had wondered when his name would slip in. Given this is taken, may I instead recommend the Baroque Trilogy (Quicksilver [make sure you get the 1000-page volume which contains 3 books, don't waste time/money on the individual books, the first of which is irritatingly, confusingly also called Quicksilver], The Confusion, The System of the World.) 3000 pages of tiny font through which unfurls a glorious epic, too deep to even attempt to summarise here. Not a single boring line amongst it. XKCD in book form.

Naturally all his other works are worth the effort also.

I support the recommendation of Piers Anthony, with the note that some may find his writing somewhat juvenile.

I advise readers to be wary of Terry Goodkind: some may find them overly violent/misogynistic/politically distasteful/poorly written. Conversely that may be what you wish to read at present.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Simius » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:58 am UTC

I'll recommend Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. A wonderful book. Its structure is really weird, consisting of six nested stories that are all connected with each other, but take place at very different times and places. There's a story in the 18th century as well as two in the future, each one written in a unique style. Really, you'll have to read it in order to get my meaning. It's pretty hard to explain. :)

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby danteshepherd » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

I'm a little surprised I didn't see

World War Z by Max Brooks

on this list, considering it's not only a zombie book, which everyone loves, but amazingly written and takes a completely different approach to a telling a zombie war story than anyone has before. Brooks makes it like he's collected scores of interviews with survivors from the war, and collects a giant oral history of everything that happened.

The scariest thing about the story is that everything really could happen based on the way he set it up. One of the best books I've read in a long time.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby pollywog » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

Fossa wrote:Thanks, picked up the Gardens of the Moon after class today. Also saw that Martin's massive two volume collection of shorts, Dreamsongs, arrived in the bookstore. $67 later I am one happy book worm.


Well, here's my reccomendation. This thing is awesome. Not only a short story collection, but also an autobiography of sorts. He describes certain formative events in his life, and then shows you what he was writing at the time. It's amaing to watch him become better and better. It's fantastic. The only pieces I didn't read were the screenplays, but I'm sure that they're very good as well.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MrHackman » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

I'll take brain warping for 300 Alex.

The author's intro is as such: "Please be warned that absolutely everything is up for revision in The Wonderland Gambit, and I do mean EVERYTHING. By the time we're through I hope we'll make some people think, others will be offended, and we'll be going places we've never been before. Not in this book though. This book simply establishes the premise, gives the background and some of our very large cast, murders a few people (but not necessarily permanently), screws around with identity and ego, contains a hookah-smoking caterpillar, a pipe-smoking dodo, an all-female biker gang and drug cartel, a cigar-smoking Native American woman who says she goes into a parallel universe via the trees, the Roswell saucer, at least two possibly alien races, a little antigovernment paranoia, a bunch of two faced villains, and a lot of mind control.

We won't get complicated till the next book."

What is "The Cybernetic Walrus" first in the Wonderland Gambit trilogy, by Jack L. Chalker?

Correct!
If four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is fourteen, what base is next? And more importantly, who is doing the calculation? :)

Aran Kedar
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Aran Kedar » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:04 am UTC

I have this book to recommend:

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz.

Odd Thomas is the name of the protagonist whom sees dead people and then tries to help them move on to the next world by solving the mystery behind their deaths. He encounters a -for lack of a better word- creepifying man being followed by ethereal creatures that herald the arrival of massacres and bloodbaths. In order to stop this seemingly inevitable catastrophe, Odd must first discover the plans this newcomer has for his little town in California.

This is the first book in a series by Koontz. The names of all the books in the series are as follows, in order from first to last:

Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, Odd Hours, and it is rumored that the next book in the series will be titled In Odd We Trust.
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danteshepherd
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby danteshepherd » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:39 am UTC

There's a fourth Odd Thomas book? Somehow that slipped my attention - hopefully it's better than the awful second installment. The first and third were great, though.

Koontz is worth recognizing because he writes the best dialogue of any author ever. Any author who doesn't specifically write plays, I mean. Just read From The Corner of His Eye, By the Light of the Moon, and One Door Away From Heaven. I would argue this to the death.
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mrlabenz
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby mrlabenz » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

I recommend the book I wrote, The White Tower. I update it daily at http://www.writingabroad.wordpress.com. Its sequel is also complete and I'm working on my next project now in the quest to one day be a respectable writer.

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Jorpho
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

danteshepherd wrote:There's a fourth Odd Thomas book? Somehow that slipped my attention - hopefully it's better than the awful second installment. The first and third were great, though.


There was an ad for it next to Zero Punctuation last week. It's a graphic novel, and a prequel to the first book.

The Condensed Collected Works of Dean Koontz does not instill great faith in the quality of his work.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Account20151023 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Bonfire of the Vanities is one of my favorite books. Complex legal drama with interwining character's stories. Every character is flawed. Also a good story about how decayed NYC really is.

But it is second to Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox. That book had me in tears. If you haven't read it, you need to. But I will say, it's not for the faint of heart (the cover features a cave man punching a gorilla in the face).


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