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Author Topic: Need book recommendations  (Read 2061 times)
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Tokek
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« on: November 16, 2004, 05:11:32 AM »

Ok, so I'm craving for a "heavy" reading at the moment, for a book that can make me think and go "wow."  Since GG was good for books/movie recommendations, I figure I'd start here at CG as well.

The last few books I read were (in chronological order):
- Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin
- The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
- Ghost Rider by Neil Peart
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Any book recommendations?  Both non-fiction or fiction are ok.

Thanks!!
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Juntei
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2004, 09:14:42 AM »

The Knight and the The Wizard by Gene Wolfe (it's 2 separate books)
Shadowmarch - Tad Williams
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
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Gratch
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2004, 12:06:15 PM »

The Briar King - Greg Keyes
The Assassin Trilogy - Robin Hobb
Anything by Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2004, 12:09:21 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"

The Assassin Trilogy - Robin Hobb

I just finished book two of Hobb's trilogy and it definitely fits your criteria.  It ranks right up there with George Martin's stuff so far.
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Balshazaar
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2004, 12:26:56 PM »

Two nonfiction suggestions:

War Hospital, by Sheri Fink

Amazon Says:
Quote

A young physician-reporter chronicles the experiences of the doctors and nurses in a besieged city, illuminating the passions, challenges, tragedies, and agonizing moral quandaries of practicing medicine in a war zone.

In April 1992, a handful of young physicians, not one of them a surgeon, was trapped along with 50,000 men, women, and children in the embattled enclave of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. There the doctors faced the most intense professional, ethical, and personal predicaments of their lives.

Drawing on extensive interviews, documents, and recorded materials she collected over four and a half years, doctor and journalist Sheri Fink tells the harrowing--and ultimately enlightening--story of these physicians and the three who try to help them: an idealistic internist from Doctors without Borders, who hopes that interposition of international aid workers will help prevent a massacre; an aspiring Bosnian surgeon willing to walk through minefields to reach the civilian wounded; and a Serb doctor on the opposite side of the front line with the army that is intent on destroying his former colleagues.

With limited resources and a makeshift hospital overflowing with patients, how can these doctors decide who to save and who to let die? Will their duty to treat patients come into conflict with their own struggle to survive? And are there times when medical and humanitarian aid ironically prolong war and human suffering rather than helping to relieve it?


The paperback should be out next week.

or...

Mountains beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder

Amazon says:
Quote

At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer—brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti—blasts through convention to get results.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2004, 01:01:50 PM »

Quote from: "warning"
Quote from: "Gratch"

The Assassin Trilogy - Robin Hobb

I just finished book two of Hobb's trilogy and it definitely fits your criteria.  It ranks right up there with George Martin's stuff so far.


Just FYI, you may just want to stop after the second book.  The last book in the Assassin Trilogy pretty much sucked.

BTW, I should amend my original list as I missed the "heavy reading" bit.  I don't think Pratchett or Adams would qualify as heavy reading.  Quite the opposite, actually.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2004, 04:56:38 PM »

I have to give a hearty recommendation to Glen Cook's Black Company books. I'm on book 9 and i've read them straight through. The GG list turned me on to them. It's a good gritty read from the soliders viewpoint. These aren't lily white heroes, but they are committed to their own brotherhood.
Games similarities: Kohan 2.

I've also enjoyed David Weber's Honor series. A bit technical in the sci-fi area, but paints a great picture of massive space battles between large warships.
Game similarities: Nexus, Homeworld, Freespace
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Jocke
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2004, 09:34:25 PM »

How about Matthew Reilly. Start with Temple and Ice Station. Skip his first book Contest. He writes books like they were actionmovies or something. Don't expekt(sp?) any realism but they are fun too read. Action all the way. Something other then all the fantasy people have been preaching :wink:

Edited since, I just noticed you wanted heavy reading. :oops:

In that case... Hmm John case maybe? He writes good thrillers I think and they make you think afterwards.
Or Eliot Pattison? His books about Tibet are nice and illuminates some serious stuff atleast I had not really thought about. The whole China&Tibet thing.

Or why not Conn Iggulden. Has written two books about Julius Caesar life. Fiction but based on his life and is intresting.

Argg soo many books... biggrin
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olaf
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2004, 11:52:28 PM »

Tales of the Otori.  I am on the third and final one now, they are great.

I did recently read the Briar King and the Charnel Prince, also good.

olaf
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Gryndyl
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2004, 12:50:36 AM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Quote from: "warning"
Quote from: "Gratch"

The Assassin Trilogy - Robin Hobb

I just finished book two of Hobb's trilogy and it definitely fits your criteria.  It ranks right up there with George Martin's stuff so far.


Just FYI, you may just want to stop after the second book.  The last book in the Assassin Trilogy pretty much sucked.

BTW, I should amend my original list as I missed the "heavy reading" bit.  I don't think Pratchett or Adams would qualify as heavy reading.  Quite the opposite, actually.


Gonna hafta disagree there-I thought the 3rd book in the Assassin's trilogy was excellent, as ar the first 2 books of the sequel series.


For  a heavy book that is extremely original as far as fantasy goes,  try "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke.
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Tokek
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2004, 04:20:17 AM »

A friend of mine turned me on to "Death Be Not Proud" so that's what I picked up today at borders.  It's fairly short from the thickness standpoint so I might need a new one in a week or so.

Thanks for the recommendations so far.

I did read Ender's game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets, so those are off my list.  Might try the Assassin's trilogy.
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paulbaxter
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2004, 04:50:13 AM »

A few of the better semi-serious (fiction) works from recent reading:

The Brothers K, David James Duncan
Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
Anything by Robertson Davies--his Salterton Trilogy wouldn't be a bad starting place
Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin
if you like older sci-fi, try out the works of Avram Davidson and Jack Vance, both of whom were brilliant.
I second the nomination of Gene Wolfe, whom I consider to be America's most gifted living writer
Also try Jonathan Lethem if you want something different from a sci-fi novel

Some highly recommended non-fiction which knocked my socks off:

King Leopold's Ghost, by Adam Hochschild
The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes
Life at the Bottom, by Theodore Dalrymple
Technopoly, by Neil Postman

that should carry you for a while.

I've gotten into the habit of reading a lot. I read 100 books last year, and it will be up close to 150 this year, so these are the best of the best, but there's plenty more where they came from.
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Tscott
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2004, 09:27:31 AM »

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

One of my favorite books I read this year.  It's got it all.  Historical Fiction, Gothic Horror, Melodrama, Thriller, Mystery, Romance all with a feel of nostalgia and a palpable love of reading throughout.  It's about a boy who one day is brought by his father to a mysterious place call the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  He is told he can take one book home with him, which he does.  It's "The Shadow of the Wind" which he loves, but finding more books by the same author, or just finding general information about him proves difficult, and maybe even dangerous.
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2004, 03:26:51 PM »

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Susanna Clarke

It is a book about the revival of English Magic during the Napoleonic Wars.  It is told in a dark, gloomy, and historical angle and has a very sweet undertone of depth.

His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman

This is a Sci-Fi triology that is more directed to Teen years but is quite entertaining and interesting.  It delves into the multi-universe theory which is pretty cool and kinda scraps into religion.  It is also being made into a movie in the next year or so.  Quick and Easy and Entertaining.

Tomcat in Love <or> The Things They Carried
Tim O'brien

These books are really amazing.  It took me a little bit to get into The Things they Carried but after finishing it I really wanted more and tried Tomcat in Love which has one of the most complex and interesting main characters that I have rad in a while.  I recommend these higly for a more advanced reading.
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deadzone
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2004, 03:39:36 PM »

I would say Pillars of the Earth

Excellent read IMO.  It's one of those types of books that at least for me, I couldn't put down.  (It's a long read though)
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2004, 10:44:51 PM »

Quote
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


If you liked that book, there is another one from that author that I just started reading called The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Its alright so far, definately not heavy reading though.
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RedJak
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2004, 11:25:14 PM »

The last one that I read that fits your criteria is Baudolino by Umberto Eco.  Story of a guy during about the 13th century who shaped history through his faith in his own lies.  I'd recommend just about anything Eco writes although I was not too thrilled with The Island of the Day Before.
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