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Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:45 am UTC
by modularblues
McHeezy wrote:I would like to suggest a new found favorite of mine,"THE FOUNTAINHEAD," by Aynn Rand.

Then you probably have already or are planning to read Atlas Shrugged. It is pretty epic (and of course controversial), though I admit to skimming John Galt's extended monologue in the middle because I wanted to hop on the speeding plot train. I have to go back and reread that part...

Amelie wrote:"Homo Faber" by Max Frisch.
"The Idiot" by Dostoevsky.
I also recommend to read stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

Man, this is when I wish I were a polyglot.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:33 pm UTC
by Jave D
The Name of the Wind is a good fantasy novel, reminiscent of A Song of Ice and Fire and has been compared to Harry Potter as a "grown-up Harry Potter," the latter I think because a lot of it involves a naturally skilled and life-beaten fellow going to a university to study arcane magic and having difficulties there. It's not written in that style at all however, and the issues involved are a lot darker and grittier. Also, demons. I recommend it; it's a fast read (took me about two days) and it's told in a very compelling way.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:44 am UTC
by Brawls
The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory by Jorge Luis Borges

It's a thin book containing 13 short stories, but you will spend hours rereading them.
I've read The Mirror and the Mask over 20 times and still sometimes get shivers reading it.
His stories reveal something special, something I haven't seen anywhere else.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:51 pm UTC
by Chuff
Y'all should go read Chekhov's four master plays (The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and the Cherry Orchard). Uncle Vanya is probably the best play I've ever read.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:29 pm UTC
by Magnanimous
The Secret Life of Pronouns is pretty interesting. It's all about computational linguistics and how subtle patterns in word choice reflect the speaker's psychology.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:42 pm UTC
by emceng
The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley. Think he also wrote Flags of Our Fathers. The book is an exploration of US politics in the Pacific approx. 1895-1905. It discusses how we laid the ground work for, and instigated, WW2, and also acted like dicks in the Phillipines. Not the most scholarly book, but is good for background on conflicts in the region.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:39 am UTC
by Art3misX
Ready, Player One? is set in a world where OASIS is an online system free to all users. It links people on an advanced version of the internet that allows characters to control their avatars via various instruments ranging from the simplest (gloves and a viser/goggles) to the highest tech never invented (a ball-type treadmill structure with a full suit that allows you to immerse yourself in the world). The creator of OASIS passed away several years ago, leaving his entire estate to the OASIS user who finds the three keys hidden in the virtual reality of thousands of worlds. These easter eggs (special treats developers leave hidden in games) are hunted by those called "gunters" (egg hunters). Wade Watts is too aware of the ugliness of the real world and always more than ready to immerse himself in OASIS. Eighteen-years-old, he attends school in OASIS, and he is one of the many who dream of finding Halliday's easter egg. Luck and dedication (the mastering of unique and often obscure skills and references) allow Wade to stumble across the first key. It's the first success of the worldwide hunt, and that makes him the number one target. Throw in a best friend, rivals and an intriguing girl that walks the line between competition and something more. Now you're holding an attention-grabbing-and-holding novel.

More than a gamer, sci-fi, or romance book, Ready, Player One? is a great story. I read the whole book, 350 pages, in one night.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:11 am UTC
by serutan
Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space triology : Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, and Absolution Gap.

Larry Niven, Ringworld.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:38 pm UTC
by Jave D
Devices and Desires, part 1 of the Engineer Trilogy by KJ Parker. It's fantasy but in a more Rennaissance type setting, absolutely no magic or prophecy or myth involved, and the main character is an engineer seeking vengeance amidst a backdrop of aristocracy, war, betrayal, love, other good things. Well-written and a satisfying read.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:17 pm UTC
by buchmaniac
For a truly great read, try Bloodline of Evil and Devils Breath by Tanja Pleva.
A Nazi war criminal on the run, a woman on her deathbed, a young doctor in search of a terrible family secret and the hunt for a serial killer who knows no humanity...
Even in the middle of the fight against the ghosts of the past, Sam O'Connor Europol investigator brings back a new case in everyday life. A woman in Barcelona became a victim to a bestial crime. At first, the investigators suspect it's a single act, but as Sam has hardly begun to familiarize himself with the case, the culprit strikes again. Sam begins to suspect that behind every crime, an even bigger reason exists, because it seems that it means much more to the killer than just to cruelly disfigure his victims.
As the investigation doesn't progress, Sam is sent against his will to Colombia, South America. Here, doors open that lead him to a time of Nazi criminals and bring him closer to a secret not even the people directly involved suspect.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:11 pm UTC
by ahammel
David Brin's Uplift series is pretty neat (except possibly Sundiver, which I haven't read).

Existence is Brin's latest (non-Uplift) and I really enjoyed it as well. It's got a really interesting sort of post-Cyberpunk future setting, and a cool take on the Fermi problem.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:02 am UTC
by upandcomer
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb, read this!!!

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:02 am UTC
by Jorpho
ahammel wrote:David Brin's Uplift series is pretty neat (except possibly Sundiver, which I haven't read).
Sundiver was his first-ever novel. It's pretty clever, but lacks the epic scope of his other works.

Good to hear that Existence is up to snuff; now I just need to get a copy.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:44 am UTC
by addams
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zeven.

An uplifting child's book. Easy and uncomplicated.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:20 am UTC
by KatieC
the best book ive read recently was Passport to Hell by Terry Daniels. Not the sort of book I'd usually read but it was very interesting. It's about an English girl who is wrongly accused of smuggling cocaine from Brazil to Spain and then whilst on bail for that, in a bizarre twist, is wrongly accused of terrorism in northern ireland. it's a true story too strangely enough. she eventually manages to clear her name for both crimes but spends a lot of time in prison first and learns that the mafia were involved as well as corrupt judges and police, etc and uncovers quite a tangled web. the most interesting parts i found though were the depictions of the other criminals in spain, who are a mix of ETA terrorists, gypsies, spanish criminals and latin americans, and the decsription of northern ireland, which seems a really messed up country where there is basically a total religious apartheid between catholics and protestants (she ended up as a protestant on an almost entirely catholic prison wing)

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:46 pm UTC
by Nylonathatep
For anyone who wants a change and take up a Non-fiction: Thick Black Theory

Interesting theory regarding on an alternate view in life, providing examples of how his theories applied in historical context. The book is origionally written in Chinese by a Chinese author, so if you reading translated text some of the writing might not came through as the way that it was meant to be interpreted.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:15 am UTC
by wwjd_kilden
There are so many (!)

The secret garden - Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

This is a story about a girl who starts off her life in India (among the rich people) and is spoiled rotten with materialistic things, but little else. She is then sent away to her uncle in England, and she meets a new world. The descriptions of the garden and the insight in the thoughts of the girl are wonderful.

I think I've read this book three times in Norwegian and once in English.

The Brothers Lionheart - Astrid Lindgren
This is my childhood favorite I think. Astrid Lindgren wrote plenty of books for children, some mostly silly, but also some with serious topics, like disease, death, war and suppression. Most of this book takes place in a realm called Nangiala.

The story starts off with the youngest of the brothers (Karl) being sick, so sick that he will soon die. His older brother (Jonatan) is keeping watch over him. Then one day, a fire breaks out in their building, and they cannot get down the stairs to get out. Jonatan tells Karl about Nangiala, the realm where people go when they die. After some talking, Jonatan takes Karl on his back and leap out the window. Jonatan dies from the fall, and a while later, Karl dies from his illness.

We then follow them in Nangiala and meet the characters there. The place seems like a paradise, but after some time, it turns out not everythig is perfect here either. An evil man is occupying one of the towns, and the people suffer under his reign. The boys end up in the middle of the struggle for freedom.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:14 pm UTC
by Nem
Bargaining for Advantage by G. Richard Shell is a good intro-level book on the basics of negotiation if anyone's interested in that sort of stuff.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:02 pm UTC
by HonoreDB
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös is a gorgeous picture book about the mathematician Paul Erdos, full of math in-jokes and affirmation of the weird. It just came out. Cory Doctorow's review.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:05 am UTC
by addams
Night Crossings by Jon Humboldt Gates.
True stories of crossing the bar.

Life By The Numbers by Keith Devon

It is a picture book.
Fun for both children and adults.

The Math of cat skin was fun.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:21 am UTC
by EchoRomulus
Pride and Prejudice is very good, not very boring.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:17 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
I disagree.

Or maybe it wasn't really all bad... I just have a thing about novels dealing heavily with Victorian societal customs.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:48 pm UTC
by addams ... 0345391373

The Incomplete Education.
I Loved that book.

It is a real page turner.
It was funny.

I was not in school. Thank God.
It was for fun. It was fun.

I highly recommend it.
It is a book that is Great to Keep Out.

Not up on a Shelf somewhere Waiting.
Book holders Hold this kind of Book well.

It can be in the entrance way on a waist high place to keep your gloves.
It is dangerous, there. It can make you late for work.

Keep sticky notes close by. You can fact check from work?

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:39 am UTC
by Suzaku
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Modern fantasy; the main character is a 21-century-old druid on the run from one of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Great swashbuckling tales, and very funny.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:32 am UTC
by SnoringFrog
A Vision of SIlver by Adrian Harper.

It's a fantasy book, and while it does sometimes come across as more youth-oriented, it's worth the read solely for the way it (mis)treats writing in general. The narrator (who's a dick, by the way) often addresses the reader directly, and actually actively discourages them from reading the book at all (this actually begins on the back cover). He also occasionally refuses to narrate particular scenes of the book, and will sometimes lie about events and have to be corrected by the author (to the point of having to rewind the chapter numbers a bit on one occasion). Additionally, one of the characters can hear the narrator, which leads to some very interesting situations and arguments.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:52 pm UTC
by addams ... asy_(novel)#Book_One:_The_Studio

It's about this guy.

I read it when I was younger than I am now.
There may have been an internet. I did not know about the internet. I had my nose in a book. ... 500%3B1000
I could spend hours looking at his work.
Reading that book did not detract from the art.

I had seen faithful reproductions of his work. Photographs. And; Small copies.
That book explained some things about the way large works of art must be balanced.

Not balanced to the eye. Balanced Physically as blocks of stone.
The universe does not care how beautiful the curves on your creation are.

If it is not well balanced, it will have a few problems.
The stupid human head. It sticks up there on a stick!

yes. Over the course of human history some statues have been decapitated to hurt some living person's feelings.
Yet; Often that poorly balanced head, drops off on its own. The bigger they are the harder they fall? I don't build things. You?

As I remember it, that is a long book. For the boring person.
Living as much inside a book as outside in the world.

A book for One Dollar! I don't understand the world.
Shipping and handling may be priceless.

776 Pages. Not bad news, if you like that sort of thing.

Stupid Personal Story.
I read a lot. I have had the experience of looking up from a book and it is like surfacing from water.
I have had that experience with math, too.

Each, novels and math, were a world unto them selves. Completely engaging.
Math was hard. But; Once I got a concept it was a little fun to do it different ways.

If I could stay awake. Books put me to sleep sometimes, too.
Math. I would wake up in a pool of drool.

How descusting. I was one of Those People.

Just keep talking. They know what you are talking about. ho-humm.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:13 pm UTC
by Felstaff
I don't recommend Doctor Sleep, especially if you loved The Shining. I don't know what the fanboys down at goodreads are giving it 4.15 stars for; I found it incredibly tawdry. The description of Danny's addiction to alcohol is really good, though. If it were a book about understanding addiction, then I would recommend it, but it's not. It's supposed to be a supernatural horror, but there is no horror in it. The lead antagonist, Rose, is not scary in the slightest. This is from the pen of the guy who created Pennywise the Dancing Clown, but this woman is just plain rubbish, and her description is jarring. She has a single discoloured tusk for a tooth and wears a top-hat at a jaunty angle. All I think of is the Walrus from Disney's take on the Walrus and the Carpenter. She flaps an squawks around, constantly calling the teenage protagonist "bitchgirl" and SHOUTING A LOT LIKE THIS. Terrifying. It feels as though King is writing on autopilot, which is odd, because I thought he'd go all-out for this one. It was never going to be another claustrophobic labyrinth like the Overlook Hotel was, but jeez, he went completely the other way. The story spreads out across states, decades, and wide-open spaces. Everything feels so open and anti-The Shining. There's no tension at all. Also, the bad guys are masquerading as hicks, but really, they're just a bunch of hicks. With supernatural powers and a whole lot of clumsy. King's a man with several million words published now, so there's bound to be some retread over old ground. He uses the same way of
telepathic communication as he did in Insomnia, where characters like to
(speak over)
interject lines of dialogue and description
(like this)
by using new lines and thoughts enclosed in brackets, so when a tense moment arrives, you know exactly how to
(i'm scared i'm scared i'm scared, daddy)
feel. It's rather effective, which is why he uses it for pretty much anything; thoughts as well as nonverbal communication. Even when Bill Denbrough beats the devil
(he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts he thrusts his fists)
in IT, and there's been a good 40 novels in between the writing of that and Doctor Sleep. Worst of all, he falls foul of the sin of writing for contemporary audiences: he mentions both 9/11 and iPads. The surest way to make your book sound dated and of a certain decade is to mention an iPad, or any technology which is current-but-not-for-too-long. I believe it's in Misery where the writer muses on being able to make mistakes when he writes as he's no longer using a typewriter but "the latest IBM-compatible personal computer with Word Processor, where you can store a world of words on one single 3.5" floppy disk." It's a good job he was listening to 10cc on his 8-track and watching The Breakfast Club on Betamax as he wrote that, otherwise we'd never know from what era that book's from.

...As such, I recommend you read The Shining and leave it at that.

Actually, seeing as I'm feeling all 80s, why not give Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, a read. I like that, even though as a futuristic dystopian sci-fi it is way too 80s for its own good.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:54 am UTC
by addams
Still Life With WoodPecker by Tom Robins

It is a odd little book.
For people feeling a little 1980.

Quotes from the book. Taste the style. Read it if you like it. ... woodpecker

Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving ... -hampshire

The best line in the book.
Sorrow Floats.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:35 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
One trilogy of books I'd recommend is the Vampire Plagues series, just if someone happened to be looking for some good vampire books.

Cons: The book is meant for a young adult/kid audience. I read it when younger, but my thought does drift back to the plot from time to time.

Despite the fact that it's written language-wise (and maybe content wise) for a younger audience, the plot is pretty well done in my opinion. And it doesn't necessarily try to coddle anyone--murder and death are not unheard of.

The plot involves Vampires, to be blunt, in 1850s England, London and Mexico (the Yucatan). It involves three younger protagonists, an old professor, and a Mayan Bat God leading a swarm of his followers to, of course, conquer the world.

It's good. I enjoy it.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:24 pm UTC
by LambdaBeta

I am new to the fora, but I love xkcd and have a few books to recommend. I am not sure if they have been posted yet, but oh well.

1. Description of a Struggle, by Franz Kafka
I honestly don't know what the hell that was about. It starts off pretty normal, just some kind of gathering with a couple strangers that meet each other. Then they go for a walk up a hill. Then, umm... yeah I have no idea, complete insanity. I'm pretty sure "Description of a Hallucination" would have been a more appropriate title. :P

2. The Sleeper Awakes, by H.G. Wells
So basically this guy falls into some kind of coma, then 200+ years later he wakes up to find that his investments grew to the point where he now owns the world. Of course this upsets the political balance somewhat. A great read, plus it has the gripping action sequences that H.G. Wells is so good at.

3. A couple short stories by Kafka that take very little time to read, but can have an impact:
a. The hunger artist. Apparently people used to pay to watch a guy starve himself?
b. In the penal colony. Disturbing story about Kafka's version of a horrible torture machine. After reading it you should watch the start of Parenthood (the movie) and realize that the smart girl's parents make her read this!

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:16 am UTC
by addams
Kafka is not everyone's cup of tea.
The opposite literary experience,
to rebalance the equation within:

It Wasn't So Funny At The Time. ... 1932361448
That's a funny book.

Kafka is fiction.
Not So Funny is non-fiction.

Kafka is dark.
Not So Funny is light.

Kafka is like a little cloud that can follow a person around on a sunny day.
Not So Funny makes a simple life lived at home look like a good thing.

In Kafka's imaginary world, there are no good things.
Only things that are less horrible.

I did not read all of Kafka's musings.
Maybe, I missed the part with depth.

To be fair, Kafka's, The Metamorphosis
has been required reading for a very long time.

That work is frightening and it seems to have depth.
It was used as a treatment for adolescent angst.

That work may Cause adolescent angst.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:05 pm UTC
by KrytenKoro
The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

Delves into the truly horrifying side of Lovecraft, with a bit of James Bond and The Office/Yes Minister, as well as programming.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:35 pm UTC
by spidernova
I'll recommend The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

In short, aliens are discovered, and the first people sent to their planet are a team of Jesuit missionaries and scientists. Then everything goes horribly wrong.
A fantastic look at a distinctly alien race, and a good read.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:57 am UTC
by addams
spidernova wrote:I'll recommend The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

In short, aliens are discovered, and the first people sent to their planet are a team of Jesuit missionaries and scientists. Then everything goes horribly wrong.
A fantastic look at a distinctly alien race, and a good read.

I read it.
It did run a bit to the long.
The helplessness if the Protagonist was useful?

It was not a lot of fun.
I read it on a strong recommendation.

I would not have finished it, otherwise.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:11 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
Loved that book for many reasons. The sequel, alas, is not quite as good.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:37 am UTC
by addams
PAstrychef wrote:Loved that book for many reasons. The sequel, alas, is not quite as good.

ok. Why?
The protagonist was so helpless.

You can explain inside a spoiler or in PM.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:33 am UTC
by fuzzbucket
The Little Book by Selden Edwards. It's about a man who get dislocated in time and meets Freud, Twain, falls in love 90 years before his birth, etc., but it's so much more than that. Magical.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:41 am UTC
by Djehutynakht

A modern-day Frankenstein novel set in Baghdad has won the Arab world's top prize for fiction...

The novel tells the story of Hadi al-Attag, a man who stitches together body parts of those killed in explosions in the Iraqi capital.

The monster then comes to life and begins a campaign of revenge against those responsible for the deaths.

I haven't actually read this book, but it seems like an extremely interesting take on the tale.

I may want to read it when it comes out in English.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 11:20 pm UTC
by addams
fuzzbucket wrote:The Little Book by Selden Edwards. It's about a man who get dislocated in time and meets Freud, Twain, falls in love 90 years before his birth, etc., but it's so much more than that. Magical.

I love to have people tell me their books.
I have not read that one.

I have had it told to me.
I like it. I like the explanations.

I don't remember.
Did he end up being his own grandfather?

Genetically it's not that bad a thing.
It might upset The Kid.

I did What?
With GrandMa?

I am going to do What??
With GrandMa??

Some family secrets are best left in the Big Old Bible where they belong.
Have you ever looked at one of those Old Bibles?

Is what you saw a sign of poor bookkeeping skills?
Or; Are those unexplainable loops?

Time Travelers?

(shrug) It's not my family.
Our Stories are lost to Time.

I can recommend a Book.
I will not finish it.
Too Depressing.

Raven's Children
by Richard Adams Carey

Published in 1992.

The Pacific NorthWest was Lovely and Wet, Wet, Wet.

Re: Recommend a book

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:44 pm UTC
by ahammel
The Martian by Andy Weir is the best survival story I've read in quite some time.