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Archibald Cox
Feb 11, 2005
How dare you, Mr. Agnew

LooseChanj posted:

America sucks because you're...
I've already got:
Black=Native Son, Richard Wright
A poor immigrant=The Jungle, Upton Sinclair (I think, feel free to correct me)

Looking more in the way of fiction.

You're going for social(ist) realism or naturalism here, a great deal of which chronicles the upheavals of modernity.

Sucks to be a poor immigrant, non-fiction version: How the Other Half Lives
Sucks to be Black: Blood on the Forge
Sucks to be working class: U.S.A. Trilogy
Sucks to be an Okie: The Grapes of Wrath
Sucks to be in a small town: Main Street
Sucks to be old rich: The Magnificent Ambersons

etc.

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timeandtide
Nov 29, 2007

This space is reserved for future considerations.

Still looking for recommendations on Western fiction/non-fiction, but I had a question that fits this thread: where does the line "America is not a young lad" come from? I vaguely remember it from a thread here, and I want to say it's from either Ballard or Burroughs.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

timeandtide posted:

Still looking for recommendations on Western fiction/non-fiction, but I had a question that fits this thread: where does the line "America is not a young lad" come from? I vaguely remember it from a thread here, and I want to say it's from either Ballard or Burroughs.

Try Clinton Portis, True Grit's the only one I've read but I hear his other stuff is pretty bangin, too. Also, Elmore Leonard. I don't have much use for his crime fiction, but his westerns own.

Fame Throwa
Nov 3, 2007

Time to make all the decisions!

Okay, which book of Terry Pratchett's should I read next? I decided to start at the very beginning, and I'm half-done with Color of Magic and it is awesome.

LooseChanj
Feb 17, 2006

Logicaaaaaaaaal!


Fame Throwa posted:

Okay, which book of Terry Pratchett's should I read next? I decided to start at the very beginning, and I'm half-done with Color of Magic and it is awesome.

I read the discworld series in order and was pretty pleased. The Light Fantastic is pretty much a direct sequel if I recall correctly.

reflir
Oct 29, 2004

So don't. Stay here with me.

Recommend unto me 'philosophical' sci-fi about robots/androids. Think 'Do androids dream of electric sheep', but also some of the Animatrix shorts, the second renaissance and matriculated in particular, and Ghost in the Shell. Basically I'm looking for anything that is actually about robots/androids, rather than stories that just have them because they're sci-fi and robots are typically associated with sci-fi.

Cactus
Jun 24, 2006



JayJay posted:

Can anyone recommend a good science fiction space pew pew lazers "epic" series. Aka spanning multiple books with the same characters. I do not like when books end. What would be the science fiction equivalent to the Wheel of Time?

I couldn't let this post pass without mentioning the Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton. Although it's a trilogy, the print is really small and each volume weighs in at over 1000 pages, so it's more like about 6 "normal" sized books.

It certainly fits the bill for epic. The very first chapter in the first book is not explained until nearly the end of the second. I won't give away the main premise as that could be seen as a spoiler by some, as part of the mystery of the first book is figuring out exactly what the gently caress is going on. All I will say it is skillfully combines hard, intelligent sci-fi with elements of horror on a truly grand scale.

Also contains one of the most depraved, evil bad guys I've ever encountered in fiction: Quinn Dexter.

colonelsandy
Dec 28, 2006

"We in comparison to that enormous articulation; we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel."

reflir posted:

Think 'Do androids dream of electric sheep', but also some of the Animatrix shorts, the second renaissance and matriculated in particular, and Ghost in the Shell.

This also mixed with a little William Gibsonesque writing style would make me die a happy man.

timothyreal
Aug 13, 2007
And, above all, as the chance juxtaposition of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table!


timeandtide posted:

Still looking for recommendations on Western fiction/non-fiction, but I had a question that fits this thread: where does the line "America is not a young lad" come from? I vaguely remember it from a thread here, and I want to say it's from either Ballard or Burroughs.

"America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting."

Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs

northerain
Apr 8, 2007

by Tiny Fistpump


Looking for some decent horror books in the vein of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Richard Laymon, Joe Hill and such

criptozoid
Jan 3, 2005


reflir posted:

Recommend unto me 'philosophical' sci-fi about robots/androids. Think 'Do androids dream of electric sheep', but also some of the Animatrix shorts, the second renaissance and matriculated in particular, and Ghost in the Shell. Basically I'm looking for anything that is actually about robots/androids, rather than stories that just have them because they're sci-fi and robots are typically associated with sci-fi.

You could try "The Soul of the Robot" by Barrington J. Bayley. I haven't read it myself, but I have read other stuff from Bayley and he likes to explore interesting concepts, not just use them as window-dressing.

Radio Talmudist
Sep 29, 2008


I'm reposting this from a separate topic I made in the forum, not realizing that there was a topic already devoted to recommendations:

I just finished gorging myself upon the 70 or so official Sherlock Holmes stories. My thirst for mystery is not yet satisfied, however, and I'm looking for another hefty mystery novel or collection of mystery stories to occupy my time. I'm not sure what I'm looking for more - extraordinary conundrums, unique, colorful detectives or vibrant historical settings. All three brought me to Sherlock Holmes in the first place. Psychological mind-benders are also welcome.

How is Agatha Christie? Is she actually a good mystery writer?

GrandpaPants
Feb 13, 2006


Free to roam the heavens in man's noble quest to investigate the weirdness of the universe!



Looking for urban fantasy along the lines of Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Glen Cook's Garrett PI series, Dresden Files, etc.

Edit: I'm also interested in books of or on mythology, either the actual myths themselves (especially for anything that isn't Greek myth) or academic interpretations of myth, like Claude Levi-Strauss or Joseph Campbell's works.

GrandpaPants fucked around with this message at 06:46 on Jun 20, 2009

CloseFriend
Aug 21, 2002

Un malheur ne vient jamais seul.


I've been wanting to learn more about magical realism and what it "is" in literature. The big name I keep hearing is Gabriel García Márquez; one of my colleagues recommended Italo Calvino as well. Are there any specific books of theirs or anybody else that particularly stand out or are good starting points? Would the Jeff Noon and Haruki Murakami books mentioned earlier be good starting points?

Archibald Cox
Feb 11, 2005
How dare you, Mr. Agnew

CloseFriend posted:

I've been wanting to learn more about magical realism and what it "is" in literature. The big name I keep hearing is Gabriel García Márquez; one of my colleagues recommended Italo Calvino as well. Are there any specific books of theirs or anybody else that particularly stand out or are good starting points? Would the Jeff Noon and Haruki Murakami books mentioned earlier be good starting points?

Magic realism is often associated with the Latin American Boom" If that's your interest, you could check out A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or work by Isabel Allende, Julio Cortazar, or Asturias' Men of Maize. If you're willing to branch out, I'd also recommend Midnight's Children or The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.

I'd add, in case you don't like it, that it's OK not to like it.

Static Rook
Dec 1, 2000

by Lowtax


Radio Talmudist posted:

How is Agatha Christie? Is she actually a good mystery writer?

Agatha Christie wrote so much that it's hit or miss. I like all the Poirot stuff though, so I'd suggest starting there. Murder on the Orient Express is probably the best known one, and it has the best twist IMO.

Most of Agatha Christie follows the same formula: Murder->Evidence collection->Solve the case. It's economical, but I like a little more "character" in my mystery which is why I recommend all of Benjamin Black's books. Black is the pen name of Irish author John Banville. His literary stuff is okay, but I love his mystery writing. Christine Falls, and The Silver Swan are connected, and The Lemur is a stand-alone mystery. I loved all three.

Ulstan
Apr 29, 2008

LICENSED SARAH PALIN WHITE KNIGHT


Fame Throwa posted:

Okay, which book of Terry Pratchett's should I read next? I decided to start at the very beginning, and I'm half-done with Color of Magic and it is awesome.

There are several different sub series in the discworld books, which don't tie in together all that tightly.

There's the Nightwatch series (excellent) and the Rincewind series (also excellent) and then other books (Monstrous regiment, etc).

I guess what I'm saying is, don't worry *too* much about getting the order right. I only worried about the order for the night watch series and after that just read them as I laid hands on them, and it seemed to work out all right.

Wikipedia has a pretty good breakdown of all the story arcs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld

Ulstan
Apr 29, 2008

LICENSED SARAH PALIN WHITE KNIGHT


Radio Talmudist posted:

I just finished gorging myself upon the 70 or so official Sherlock Holmes stories. My thirst for mystery is not yet satisfied, however, and I'm looking for another hefty mystery novel or collection of mystery stories to occupy my time. I'm not sure what I'm looking for more - extraordinary conundrums, unique, colorful detectives or vibrant historical settings. All three brought me to Sherlock Holmes in the first place. Psychological mind-benders are also welcome.

How is Agatha Christie? Is she actually a good mystery writer?

Agatha Christie has some good ones and some bad ones. I primarily listened to them on audio tape - if you have a good voice actor to get all the Poirot accents right, it helps. Murder on the Orient Express is good, a classic even, so at least read that.

If you just finished Sherlock Holmes, I would recommend Lord Darcy. It's basically a parallel universe where Magic developed along with the industrial revolution, and Lord Darcy is the Sherlock Holmes of the day, only instead of Watson being a doctor, he's a magician, and together the two of them solve many magic related crimes. I found it interesting because it tried fairly hard to imagine a systematized and institutionalized magic system co-existing alongside industrial England, which isn't unique in and of itself, but the mystery slant was a new one to me.

Recursive
Jul 15, 2006

... but then again, who does?

Ulstan posted:

If you just finished Sherlock Holmes, I would recommend Lord Darcy. It's basically a parallel universe where Magic developed along with the industrial revolution, and Lord Darcy is the Sherlock Holmes of the day, only instead of Watson being a doctor, he's a magician, and together the two of them solve many magic related crimes. I found it interesting because it tried fairly hard to imagine a systematized and institutionalized magic system co-existing alongside industrial England, which isn't unique in and of itself, but the mystery slant was a new one to me.

Good luck with this one, I've recommended this book to seven or eight people, and I keep getting it back with a "I just can't get into it".

As a matter of fact, it's propping up my second monitor right now. And you're right on the money that the coexisting of magic and science in "Victorian England" is handled really well. A really good book that nobody has heard of.

darkgray
Dec 20, 2005

My best pose facing the morning sun!


Radio Talmudist posted:

How is Agatha Christie? Is she actually a good mystery writer?

I got into Christie through watching the Poirot series with David Suchet, and read most every title I could get in the library. I found nearly everything entertaining enough to recommend, but it's mainly because her character interaction amuses me more than the mysteries themselves. Poirot is quite funny, although you may want to stay away from The Big Four where he turns into bizarro James Bond.

She wrote some standalone mystery novels that are excellent, and you should perhaps start with these two:
And Then There Were None - a bunch of people end up stranded on an island and vanish one by one.
Endless Night - guy builds a house, bad things happen.

I loved them, and there's a wonderful classic air hanging about.

TraderStav
May 19, 2006

It feels like I was standing my entire life and I just sat down


Just finished watching Frost/Nixon and realized I am grossly unfamiliar with the events that took place leading up to and during the Watergate scandal. I'm sure there is a LOT of books on the topic but is there one or two that stand out as the authority on the topic?

colonelsandy
Dec 28, 2006

"We in comparison to that enormous articulation; we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel."

I would like a book that reads like the Red House Painters sound.

skynix
Jul 5, 2005


LooseChanj posted:

America sucks because you're...
I've already got:
Black=Native Son, Richard Wright
A poor immigrant=The Jungle, Upton Sinclair (I think, feel free to correct me)

Looking more in the way of fiction.

We had to read The Street in an American history class I took a few semesters ago, and I think it fits that description.

(=black and a woman)

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


TraderStav posted:

Just finished watching Frost/Nixon and realized I am grossly unfamiliar with the events that took place leading up to and during the Watergate scandal. I'm sure there is a LOT of books on the topic but is there one or two that stand out as the authority on the topic?

All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would seem like the obvious choice. They're the reporters who investigated and broke the story. There is also a follow-up The Final Days wich looks at the fallout.

dohminator
Oct 5, 2004

They can take our dignity. They can take all the hot women. But they will NOT take our jobs. And they will NEVER take our store!

TraderStav posted:

Just finished watching Frost/Nixon and realized I am grossly unfamiliar with the events that took place leading up to and during the Watergate scandal. I'm sure there is a LOT of books on the topic but is there one or two that stand out as the authority on the topic?

For a broader look at Nixon and the politics of the time, Nixonland is a good book. It uses the biography of Nixon and his rise to power to really explore the changes that were happening at that time in American history. While it is centered around Nixon, it is really the story of the rise of conservatism and the changes in American culture.

dohminator fucked around with this message at 16:26 on Jun 21, 2009

Billy4774
Nov 19, 2006


Hello everyone. I'm not looking for a specific book reccomendation but a website.

I'm looking for a site that catalouges all the different translations for books. Interested in everything from classic Greek up to the modern.

Something that compares the Constance Garnett Brothers Karamazov to the other translations, for example. Buying books can be expensive, and reading is time consuming, I want to make sure I'm reading the better translations.

I googled, but couldent really find anything concrete.

Thanks!

fritz
Jul 26, 2003



Radio Talmudist posted:

I just finished gorging myself upon the 70 or so official Sherlock Holmes stories. My thirst for mystery is not yet satisfied, however, and I'm looking for another hefty mystery novel or collection of mystery stories to occupy my time. I'm not sure what I'm looking for more - extraordinary conundrums, unique, colorful detectives or vibrant historical settings. All three brought me to Sherlock Holmes in the first place. Psychological mind-benders are also welcome.

Dorothy Sayers's Peter Wimsey series. I don't know if the conundra are extraordinary but I think the other two match up. At least one ("Whose Body") is out of copyright so at least it won't cost you anything. (My favorite "Murder Must Advertise")

NickPancakes
Oct 27, 2004

Damnit, somebody get me a tissue.

Okay I want to read some real good spacey-science fiction. To give you a good idea of my tastes - I'm in love with aSoIaF like every other fantasy reading goon, and I just read Cryptonomicon (which I loved) and Nueromancer (which I didn't dislike, but I definitely need to re-read someday to actually pick up on everything), so I've had a good fill of cyberpunk for now.

So, now I want something actually spacey and sciency. In the past I've read Dune and Ender's Game and while I enjoyed them both, would rather get into something else than continue one of those right now.

I've heard the Foundation series is awesome, but I'm open to other books/series as well. If I do decide on Foundation though, should I start with Foundation or Prelude to Foundation?

fritz
Jul 26, 2003



bloodynose posted:

So, now I want something actually spacey and sciency. In the past I've read Dune and Ender's Game and while I enjoyed them both, would rather get into something else than continue one of those right now.


Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space &seq. Maybe also Iain Banks's Culture novels?

quote:

I've heard the Foundation series is awesome, but I'm open to other books/series as well. If I do decide on Foundation though, should I start with Foundation or Prelude to Foundation?

Read the original trilogy and then stop.

DesertRat
Mar 7, 2003


Just starting it, but I would like to recommend this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Like-Li...45634708&sr=1-1

"What's It Like? A Day In The Life of a 'Clinton' Soldier" by Rodney Burke

the day is the same day in Somalia when the Black Hawk went down and the Army sniper's personal journal of those moments. Looks to be as good as "Black Hawk Down".

Yoghurt
Dec 18, 2006

We have always been at war with scenesters

Has anyone got any recommendations for fiction based around the winter of discontent and/or subsequent Thatcher era in Britain?

Precise
Apr 17, 2006
Mu

Anyone have any suggestions for good fiction that involves hackers? And not written by Gibson or Stevenson, both of whom I've already read.


bloodynose posted:

So, now I want something actually spacey and sciency. In the past I've read Dune and Ender's Game and while I enjoyed them both, would rather get into something else than continue one of those right now.

What you need to read next is the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons if you haven't already. That and the two mentioned above are probably the most recommended SF books out there and for good reason.

Juanito
Jan 20, 2004

I wasn't paying attention
to what you just said.

Can you repeat yourself
in a more interesting way?


Hell Gem

Precise posted:

Anyone have any suggestions for good fiction that involves hackers? And not written by Gibson or Stevenson, both of whom I've already read.
Wyrm by Mark Fabi. This recommendation is for a book that I read a number of years ago. But basically there is a worm that is getting into everything. I seem to remember that the main character was able to interact with the worm via a mud. This is from Amazon:

quote:

The year is 1999. Michael Arcangelo's business is detecting and eliminating viruses, worms, and other computer-nasties from corporate files and operating systems. While attempting to cleanse a cutting-edge chess-playing program, he encounters a worm-- ``Wyrm''--that not only eats other viruses, but reconfigures other programs for greater speed and efficiency! He also meets Al Meade (she's in the same line of business), and the two strike immediate sparks. Further investigation shows that flexible Wyrm might well be intelligent and even self-aware. Problem? Well, the ubiquitous Wyrm has reorganized the entire computer net as a single massively parallel processor; worse, it's apparently planning a millennial apocalypse in which it will not only kill itself but take with it most of the human race by firing off nuclear missiles! The only way to attack Wyrm is through a vast virtual-reality role-playing game designed by computer genius Roger Dworkin--and Roger turns up dead. . . . Will any of this make sense to non-nerds? Let's just say that it helps if you can decode sentences like ``And the frobnule gives us full wizard privileges,'' and if you know your MUDs from your MOOs. A huge, ambitious roller-coaster of a debut, overstuffed with computer hackese, that tries--not always successfully--to meld the latest speculations in artificial intelligence with computer games, Monty Python, mythology, Lewis Carroll, and whatnot. Grab those wizard privileges and beware of hostile frobnules.
I read the book a long time, and I keep meaning to get a copy of it to read again.

Cornholio107
Jun 28, 2008


Merou posted:

I don't really know what genre what I'm looking for falls under. Its sort of introspective and hosed up. I'm looking for books similar to The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq, or The Stranger by Albert Camus, or to an extent American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

I've only seen the American Psycho movie so I'm hoping the movie holds close to the books plot, but in seeing the movie I was reminded a lot of Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It also has those existentialist themes that are in The Stranger.

Cornholio107 fucked around with this message at 23:21 on Jun 22, 2009

TorpedoFish
Feb 19, 2006

Tingly.


I'm looking for (I think) psychological or supernatural horror/suspense. My two favorite horror authors are Lovecraft and Poe. I also greatly enjoyed House of Leaves - I guess one of the elements I like is when it becomes apparent that something is deeply wrong, whether with a person or a place or a thing, and just being along for the ride. Stephen King is kind of hit-and-miss for me; some of his short stories are good, others just don't do it for me. I love the sense of unreality in most of Neil Gaiman's works. I don't think I'm looking for anything in the 'thriller' genre, but more of a subdued 'is an engaging but kind of uncomfortable read, and then a week later you wake up at 3AM unable to stop thinking about being entombed alive because of it' stuff.

Wizardfatty
May 10, 2009


Liquidator posted:

I'd also like some good books concerning Afganistan during the US led invasion and the 2003-2005 period in Iraq. Especially concerning being removed from an unfinished job in Afghanistan and being moved to Iraq. Memoirs would be appreciated.

I'd also love if anyone could recommend something like this. Any books on the War from the soilders perspective as well? I've just started reading Generation Kill and it's sparked my interest in both wars (Iraq/Afghanistan) from that kind of viewpoint.

colonelsandy
Dec 28, 2006

"We in comparison to that enormous articulation; we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel."

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good collection of fairy tales?

reflir
Oct 29, 2004

So don't. Stay here with me.

colonelsandy posted:

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good collection of fairy tales?

The collected works of the brothers Grimm, obviously. If you're interested in more modern fairy-tale-like short stories, check out Neil Gaiman's Smoker & Mirrors or Fragile Things, and Haruki Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes.

colonelsandy
Dec 28, 2006

"We in comparison to that enormous articulation; we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel."

reflir posted:

The collected works of the brothers Grimm, obviously. If you're interested in more modern fairy-tale-like short stories, check out Neil Gaiman's Smoker & Mirrors or Fragile Things, and Haruki Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes.

Much obliged, will definitely check out that Murakami collection.

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Voodoofly
Jul 3, 2002

Some days even my
lucky rocketship underpants
don't help


Any recommendations for starting out with Hunter S. Thompson? I saw the Book Barn Hall of Fame had Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary, but I thought I had remembered people saying Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was one of his weakest books and The Rum Diary doesn't interest me nearly as much as his more non-fictional work.

I was leaning towards Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail or maybe one of the Gonzo Papers, but I am definitely open to anything.

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