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I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:44 pm UTC
by Plumadore
(move/delete this if necessary)

I'm a robotics engineer going into my fourth and final year at university. I'm looking for a few good books to get me through the school off season. Books with wit and general humour are the most appealing to me, bonus points if they involve philosophy/science.


Books I've previously enjoyed include:

The God Delusion
J-Pod
Theatre of the Mind

Thanks for any recommendations.

Re: Reccomend me a book

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 6:37 pm UTC
by Lenary
If you're into deep philosophical stuff, try "the pig that wants to be eaten" it's a book of 100 philisophical problems that are very interesting. it might be a small book, but you'll be occupied for ages.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 7:38 am UTC
by Bomaz
Neuropath, its not very funny but quite philosophical, and a wee bit disturbing.

It delves into the human mind and how your mind makes you what you are. Its also quite likely to mess up your head

Re: Reccomend me a book

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:04 am UTC
by sje46
Lenary wrote:If you're into deep philosophical stuff, try "the pig that wants to be eaten" it's a book of 100 philisophical problems that are very interesting. it might be a small book, but you'll be occupied for ages.

Hey, I just bought one of these books yesterday!
I forgot which one it was .. I think it's something about a duck?
I'm going to read it soon.

Recommend me a book

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:33 pm UTC
by PerPer
Okay, I'm currently looking for a good book to read this summer, but I can't think of any, I need some suggestions.

Here's what I've thought of so far, but I'm not sure I want to read them:

The shadow of the wind (La sombra del viento), It's said to be one of the worlds greatest books.
Derk Gently (I've read about half of it already).

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:28 pm UTC
by unpure.intervention
It depends on the kind of book you want to read, could you specify genre or type please?
(It'd help to know whether I should recommend the communist manifesto or the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe or The Guernsey literary and potato peel society...)


(If it helps I recommend all of these, but the former two moreso than the latter, but thats just personal preference.)

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:32 pm UTC
by unpure.intervention
The selfish gene / other things by Dawkins?
If you like politics and crap I suggest the communist manifesto, various constitutions, random political things.
If you just want (a) random book/s I suggest the unbearable lightness of being, 's hilarious.
Or if you want a ridiculously long classic : The count of Monte Cristo. (Over 9000 pages long... (Ok, 2...))

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:51 pm UTC
by sje46
The Count of Monte Crisco is not over 9000 pages long. . .
Umm . . .read Slaughterhouse Five. Or something.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:38 pm UTC
by Briareos
Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson, if you like that sort of thing. Computers! Science! Codes! And it's extremely hilarious and awesome.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:57 am UTC
by unpure.intervention
[quote=sje46]The Count of Monte Crisco is not over 9000 pages long. . .
Umm . . .read Slaughterhouse Five. Or something.[/quote]

Fine, spoilsport...
Over 900 then. My copy has 1256 anywho.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:23 am UTC
by PerPer
I don't really care about the genre, all I want is a book that makes you think, like 1984, Hitchhikers guide, Angels and Demons etc.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:52 pm UTC
by Mother Superior
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. Or if you liked Hitchhiker's guide I can recommend The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. If you wanna read something wonderfully weird I could also recommend The riddle of the travelling skull by Harry Stephen Keeler.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:30 pm UTC
by Eruantale
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

If you've never dipped a foot into Russian literature start with something like Crime and Punishment, Master and Margarita or Cancer Ward. It's heady stuff.

edit: quoted...

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:44 am UTC
by brakos82
Any of Dan Brown's novels are great for mystery readers. Digital Fortress is a good one for us technology-geeks over here, even though that one is 10 years old. 8)

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:46 am UTC
by sje46
Can I unrecommend another poster's suggestion?

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:58 am UTC
by Save Point
Plumadore wrote:Books with wit and general humour are the most appealing to me

Last year I picked up Chuck Klosterman's "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs." Klosterman writes primarily about music, sports, and various other pop culture phenomena. It's a breeze to read; you should finish it in a day or two even if you work full time, etc. I know Google has snippets of it if you're interested in taking a peek at it.

P.J. O'Rourke has a humorous take on Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." I found it pretty loltastic and I THINK most people would agree regardless of political leanings, but I'd still recommend Klosterman first and foremost.

EDIT: Again, I am trying to work with your criteria, but from my own reading list some of these might be /generally/ appealing, so I'll just toss them out there:

- Schott's Almanac 2009
- The Black Swan

And actually, that's it because the rest are mostly political.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:23 pm UTC
by Mother Superior
brakos82 wrote:Any of Dan Brown's novels are great for mystery readers.

But bad for people who enjoy good books. Or half-decent books.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:17 am UTC
by Mr Jack
Mother Superior wrote:
brakos82 wrote:Any of Dan Brown's novels are great for mystery readers.

But bad for people who enjoy good books. Or half-decent books.



Seconded.

I read Angels and Demons, then The Da Vinci Code, and they were terribly exciting, and then I got to the end and thought "so?"

It gets your blood pumping, but it doesn't get your brain thinking.



If you're ever in a slightly bad mood, I strongly suggest Alain De Botton's The Consolations of Philosophy. I read it after Christmas and I was in a good mood the whole of January.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:31 am UTC
by Caudebac
Youth in Revolt's a pretty funny read. Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss is also enlightening/funny/entertaining.

Twilight's good for rotting your brain. For maximum rottage, I'd suggest skipping ahead and reading the last book in the series.

Re: Recommend me a book

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:45 am UTC
by Eruantale
Caudebac wrote:Twilight's good for rotting your brain. For maximum rottage, I'd suggest skipping ahead and reading the last book in the series.


I used to like vampires. :cry:

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:22 pm UTC
by Caudebac
I'm a vampire buff, so that series made me doubly angry. Gr.

Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:51 am UTC
by sarahex
What should a person read after Harry Potter and His Dark Materials series? My daughter has really started reading like crazy and I want to keep getting her more books. She has read all of the Harry Potter Series and all of the Golden Compass/His Dark Materials series. What should be the next book?

Re: Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:03 am UTC
by eekmeep
I would say it depends on why she liked them.

And how old is she?

Depending on the answers to those questions, I would lean towards either Xanth, or Eddings? Or maybe either the Ender Series or Alvin Series by Card? I don't read a LOT of fantasy, so sort of shooting blindly. Again, depends on answers to above questions.

Re: Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:08 am UTC
by Zohar
There are plenty you could try. How old is she? I'm guessing mid-teens if she's read those two.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a favorite of mine, but I read it at a younger age.
The Neverending Story is a wonderful book (by Michael Ende, who also wrote Momo, which is also good). I liked the Princess Bride as well (more than the movie).
Niel Gaiman has some very nice books for "young adults" (Coraline, The Graveyard Book) as well as Terry Pratchett (specifically The Wee Free Men and their sequels).
If she might be a bit into science fiction and not just fantasy, she could try Orson Scott Card, he serves as a good intro to sci-fi (Ender's Game is his most famous work, he also does fantasy from time to time).

Uh... That's off the top of my head.

Re: Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:22 am UTC
by acb
How about Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman?

Re: Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:32 am UTC
by Moo
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Tiffany Aching books in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett - they're Discworld fantasy novels for younger readers (edit: oops, as already pointed out by Zohar).

May I suggest a change in title for the thread to reflect what you're really asking? You can edit your post to change it. It looks like a discussion on Harry Potter books, and is a bit misleading.

Re: Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:47 am UTC
by Gojoe
I also am in full support of Orson Scott Card and Terry Pratchett. Also some of the classics like "Big" (the book of the movie with Tom Hanks).

Re: Harry Potter

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:51 pm UTC
by Adacore
Have you tried her on the classics? Obviously largely dependent on her likes and dislikes, but I know my sister (who loved both Harry Potter and His Dark Materials) really enjoys reading Jane Austen, for example.

If not then, as others have said, Orson Scott Card is highly recommended in terms of accessible science fiction / fantasy. Or how about (and going back to classics a bit here) the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? Alice in Wonderland and Narnia stuff too, perhaps, dependent on age and sensibilities.

And I hate myself for suggesting it, but the Twilight series is extremely popular in the teen girl demographic.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:52 am UTC
by cathrl
Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series is excellent. My daughter loves it (and I enjoyed it too).

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:21 am UTC
by chevalier
I'm not sure I'd recommend Alice in Wonderland or the Hobbit. I found both novels to be rather difficult to get into. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are always good reads, regardless of age (unless she's pre-teen... then not so much). One series I absolutely adored was The Circle of Magic series by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald. There are six books total, but each is only about 150 pages long. I hope the series has not gone out of print.

Another fantasy book I'd recommend is an old classic called Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl. Lovely book.

Outside of that particular genre, I always recommend Maniac Magee by Spinelli. Any of the old Christopher Pike books, as well. I was a fiend for those books.

On a personal note: I'm not sure what to read at the moment. I just finished Slaughterhouse Five and was a bit disappointed. My small library includes Terry Pratchett, Gaiman, Stephen King, George RR Martin, and Robert Jordan mostly. I wouldn't mind trying another Vonnegut book if it's more like his short story "Harrison Bergeron". I was considering re-reading the Wheel of Time series, since the next book will be out come November. What say you, forumites?

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:28 am UTC
by SecondTalon
Re: Vonnegut - I'd recommend Deadeye Dick or Breakfast of Champions, myself. Or Player Piano, if you want to read the Vonnegut version of Brave New World.

But.. really, if you didn't enjoy Slaughterhouse 5 due to it's rambling nature, seemingly out-of-place asides and author insertions and/or bits where the author just talks to you, the reader, for no apparent reason... maybe Vonnegut isn't your thing. Dude's got an odd style that not everyone likes.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:54 am UTC
by diotimajsh
Read A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem. It's a collection of sci-fi oriented reviews for books that don't exist. It's genius and very thought-provoking.

Hmm, you're into consciousness? Philip K. Dick's short stories, then. PKD plays with fun ideas about consciousness and perception (and time and other things) a lot in his short stories. I don't recommend his novels, though; the ones I've read have all been disappointing so far. (Although someday I really should read VALIS.)

If you like psychology, get ahold of a book or two by Steven Pinker.

Err, I guess my suggestions so far haven't been all that witty or humorous. If like cyber-punk or sci-fi, Rudy Rucker might not be a bad choice; also Headcrash by Bruce Bethke was pretty hilarious.

chevalier wrote:I'm not sure I'd recommend Alice in Wonderland...
But... but.. it's so brilliant!

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:30 am UTC
by McCaber
What about the Dealing with Dragons books by Patricia C. Wrede? I fully enjoyed them in my younger years.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:56 am UTC
by chevalier
diotimajsh wrote:
chevalier wrote:I'm not sure I'd recommend Alice in Wonderland...
But... but.. it's so brilliant!


I just don't think it would be a good recommendation for a pre-teen (though i dont think the age has been determined?). It's one of those books that you only really appreciate when you're older, in my opinion.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:54 pm UTC
by cathrl
chevalier wrote:
diotimajsh wrote:
chevalier wrote:I'm not sure I'd recommend Alice in Wonderland...
But... but.. it's so brilliant!


I just don't think it would be a good recommendation for a pre-teen (though i dont think the age has been determined?). It's one of those books that you only really appreciate when you're older, in my opinion.


Not appreciating something fully when you read it as a child doesn't mean you won't understand or enjoy it.

Alice not for a pre-teen? It's aimed at kids of about ten or so. Of course, these days most kids of about ten or so wouldn't even consider trying to read something with more than about fifty pages, all of them illustrated...but that is still the target audience.

Other books I'd put in that category would be The Hobbit, Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows...actually, come to think of it, most of the older children's classics. I read all of them and enjoyed them way before I was a teen, but when I read them again as an adult, I saw a whole new layer there.

Chevalier's definition of "not for a pre-teen" seems to encompass many of my 9 year old's current favourites. YMMV, of course.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:27 pm UTC
by Ouiser
I've been disappointed by Philip Dick's novels as well, but A Scanner Darkly is just awesome. If you only read one of his novel length offerings, read this one.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:20 am UTC
by chevalier
cathrl wrote:I read all of them and enjoyed them way before I was a teen, but when I read them again as an adult, I saw a whole new layer there.

You worded that much better than I could have. This is what I meant. I haven't come across a pre-teen lately who has taken up any type of novel that isn't just fluff. Does that make sense?
Chevalier's definition of "not for a pre-teen" seems to encompass many of my 9 year old's current favourites. YMMV, of course.

Of course, my opinion is most likely biased; I worked for Border's bookstore for years and was often disappointed with the pathetically few number of younger individuals who read strictly for pleasure.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:43 pm UTC
by cathrl
chevalier wrote:Of course, my opinion is most likely biased; I worked for Border's bookstore for years and was often disappointed with the pathetically few number of younger individuals who read strictly for pleasure.


There aren't many, are there? And it's odd, because it appears to be genetic rather than learned behaviour. I read for pleasure. My husband reads for pleasure. My 9 year old son reads for pleasure.

My 13 year old daughter has read a few modern YA series for pleasure (Twilight, Uglies, Noughts and Crosses, Jacqueline Wilson, and some other fluff whose names I can't remember) and nothing else. We've tried everything I can think of, up to and including TV tie-ins for shows she loves. She'll read them if nagged, but for pleasure? No.

Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:58 pm UTC
by chevalier
Genetic? Maybe. My father loved to read for pleasure (still does, but has a bad habit of either losing my books or forgetting to return them), but my mother abhors reading anything besides the tabloids. My brother and sister are just as bad, though my sis will make attempts every now and then.
I always figured my love for reading stemmed from elementary school when our librarian, Mrs. Campbell, would read to us. And then my love grew even more fond in fifth grade when my teacher had us read Maniac Magee. Do elementary schools still have librarians who will interact with the students in this fashion?

Help finding a book to read

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:37 am UTC
by Raptor Jesus
Alright i need help finding a book to read. Im a 15 year old guy whos read alot, some of which includes: all harry potter books, all twilite books (i read b4 the hype and ill read anything thats easy to get into) all of His Dark Materials ( golden compass and the likes) ummm... Robert langdon books, most all of scott westerfelds books, city of bones ( im getting sequals soon) james pattersons stuff for teens, and more.

So, suggestions?