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Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Millow posted:

I really like Vonnegut and Murakami and have read most of their offerings. Any other authors (and specific books) I should check out?

David Mitchell gets recommended a lot for Murakami fans, I haven't been able to get into him but some people really enjoy his stuff. I'd also suggest Jonathan Lethem, specifically Amnesia Moon and As She Crawled Across the Table.

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Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Bozart posted:

Could I get a recommendation for an interesting fantasy or historical fiction like Rise of a Merchant Prince or Mistress of the Empire by Feist, or the Curse of Chalion (etc) by Lois McMaster Bujold, or The Saga of Recluse by L. E. Modesitt Jr.? Also scratch off JV Jones. Something with intrigue and fleshed out characters, but not ludicrously longwinded.

Honestly Recluse isn't even that hot.

I'm in the middle of The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie after a recommendation from here and it is excellent. Both good intrigue and very well done characters, great violence and a tightly-written story, I could hardly be enjoying it more.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Sodomy Non Sapiens posted:

Horror authors that aren't Poe, Lovecraft or King? I crave horror stories lately and I have almost no idea what's out there.

Perennial book barn recommendation: The Dark Descent, a 1000 page horror story collection. It has stories by all three of those guys, but a lot more besides; it's basically a textbook on 20th century horror stories and it's loving excellent.

Here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dark+descent

Here on Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=pNgZxdPETK0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+dark+descent#PPP13,M1 (It says limited preview but it doesn't look that limited to me.)

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

AberrantBassist posted:

I'm looking for really unique books that are borderline experimental. I love John Zorn when it comes to music and that atonal stuff that no one really listens to, and I'd love to find a John Zorn of fiction. I've read 'House of Leaves' and 'Only Revolutions' and I thought they were amazing. I've gone to http://www.bookarmy.com and I've searched Amazon and while they can recommend me 'similar' authors they're not similar in the a prose/experimental sense.

Does anyone know of any experimental authors?

I like Gilbert Sorrentino, Mulligan Stew is his most famous and it's pretty fun, but I think Abberation of Starlight is his best.

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.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

indigi posted:

What are some good contemporary collections of short stories of Science Fiction? I've been burning through collections of guys like Dick, Lem, and Asimov, which I love, but I'd like to see where the general tone is nowadays as everything I've been reading lately is characterized by the Cold War, fears of nuclear accidents, civil rights struggles, and robots controlling society.

Seconding Hello Pity's reccomendation, and I've also been enjoying the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, another annual collection that started in 2007. I haven't picked up this year's volume yet, but the last two have been great.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Skutter posted:

Can anyone recommend any good steampunk novels? I've read Whitechapel Gods, Clockwork Heart, a few others that I can't remember right now and I'm currently working on The Court of the Air.

Moorcock's The Warlord of the Air. Proto-steampunk zeppelin warfare; really good stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlord_of_the_Air

As far as actual steampunk, I've been pretty disappointed in almost all the stuff I've read. J. Gregory Keyes has a sort of alchemical steampunk alternate history series called The Age of Unreason--starring Ben Franklin, Voltaire, Blackbeard, et al--that's a half-decent read, but nothing to write home about.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Looking for some WWI fiction. I just finished Dan Simmons' Lovedeath (one of the best goddamned things I've read all year, btw), and the last novella in it, The Great Lover, got me hungry for more. Already familiar with the Hemingway, and Remarque is next on my list.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

delicious beef posted:

1. Can anybody recommend me well-written post-apocalyptic themed stuff. I'm talking about stuff similar to The Road or I am Legend. Not so much interested in Sci-fi explanations of whatever the event is, but about people surviving in the aftermath. I really loved The Road, so something like that would be wonderful.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3013500

Here's a good thread on this topic we had not long ago, the thread specifies post-nuclear but it expanded to cover all post-apoc scenarios. There's about a lifetime's worth of recommendations there.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Archyduke posted:

Anybody know of any good books about the early days of Arctic/Antarctic exploration? I ran across a little sketch of Shackleton's expeditions in another book and my curiosity is piqued.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Worst_Journey_in_the_World

The Worst Journey in the World was written by a survivor of Scott's Terra Nova expedition, and it is excellent. Haven't read any others, though, so I don't have a real basis for comparison.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

SaviourX posted:

I'm trying to stretch my genre boundaries here, and want to know some of the better authors in Mystery/Thriller books.

I've always loved detective shows/movies, but always considered novels to be too formulaic. But I also admit I don't really know any good writers in those areas either, so any suggestions?

James Muthafuckin Crumley, a Montana cowboy poet that wrote the best goddamn PI novels in existence, imo, particularly The Last Good Kiss and Dancing Bear. More country-fried than your standard mysteries, but sure not formulaic. His prose reflects his poetry background, and there's a wistful, regretful theme running through all his stuff that really makes it stand out.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Irish Revenge posted:

This is somewhat off-topic but I just finished "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss, which was recommended in this thread. Is there a thread for it in Book Barn? I checked the first 6 pages, but since search is still down I can't look for it that easily.

Bam: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3108939

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

On the horror tip, anyone read any WH Pugmire? He's got a new book that just came out, and I've never heard of him before, but this new release caught my eye for two reasons. A: Set in a fictionalized Snoqualmie valley, and as I'm PNW born-n-bred I'm a sucker for stuff set here; and B: I'm a fan of the author that did the introduction, Jeffrey Thomas.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Enormo posted:

I am looking for a sci-fi and/or fantasy film noir type detective novel. I enjoyed Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. Something similar would work, but I am not picky.

Jonathan Lethem's Gun, With Occasional Music. Not-too-distant future Oakland, CA, everyone's on drugs, questions are illegal unless you're police or private eye (like our hero), and talking animals roam the streets.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

TremendousMajestic posted:

Let's say I wanted to look into reading some modern fantasy. In big book stores, all the covers and titles kind of blend together for me...you know, there's a sexy elf lady wizard and it's called something like 'The Shores of Moonstone' or somesuch.

So, what's up with fantasy these days? Where would you even start? I'm not even sure if I'm asking the right questions, actually. When I was a young D&D nerdling I thought it was all about Drizzt and Wulfgar and The Hobbit and LOTR, and that's what fantasy books were. Is it still like that? Or is the genre stretching and changing some?

Part of the reason I'm asking is because I'm reading this which contains a story called "Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar-Pirates of Sarskoe" by Garth Nix, which was kind of elf-wizardy and kind of like sci-fi too.

Gonna go ahead and pimp Joe Abercrombie. His first four books came in out within in just over three years and he's working hard on number 5 so you ain't getting into no GRRM situation. He's got a trilogy with a standalone novel in the same world that continues the major conflict of the trilogy, the new novel following that same pattern. It's gritty and funny and violent and the characters are loving awesome.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

prinneh posted:

How similar? I haven't read any of it, but there are people continuously writing within the Lovecraft-mythos. I can't remember the names of these spin-off authors, but I do know that they write short stories in a very similar vain. Personally though, I'd stick to Lovecraft. Maybe, just maybe, you should pick up the Maltese Falcon trilogy by Dashiell Hammett or anything by Raymond Chandler? Their gritty, dark detectives might just do the trick. The prose is very different, of course.

Maltese Falcon trilogy?

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Dr. Pwn posted:

Hello, I would like to read books about serial killing and home invasion, preferably from the POV of the serial killer or home invader, that are not part of the Dexter series.

Killer on the Road, by James Ellroy. Prepare for some serious head-fuckery. It's the fictional memoir of a serial killer, and it's absolutely ghastly. In a good way.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

isoprenaline posted:

Anyone?

I think there are actually more HPL anthologies than there are HPL stories, you really can just pick one at random, but I always thought this one was pretty decent for starters: http://www.amazon.com/Best-H-P-Lovecraft-Bloodcurdling/dp/0345350804/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258830734&sr=8-4

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Doublehex posted:

Okay now guys, I need some help. Y'see, my personal library is essentially made up of one genre: fantasy. A good 98% of it is made up of stories about elves and dwarves and made up places and evil that needs to be vanquished, blah blah blah...

Now, Fantasy isn't necessarily a bad genre. In fact, I dare say I have some pretty darn good books on my shelves. But I want to read something besides Fantasy - to expand my literary horizons, so to speak.

So, my fellow goons, do you have any suggestions?

Like I said read some of the other pages in this thread and find some books that look interesting and then read them. "Not fantasy" doesn't really give us anything to work with.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

poronty posted:

Please recommend me fiction/semi-fiction books about cats, narrated by a cat or something of that sort. I don't really have any point of reference other than I Am A Cat by Natsume Souseki, but I was thinking of something that is more contemporary and lighter, yet still reasonably intelligent and not nauseatingly cutesy or infantile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felidae_%28novel%29

I didn't know it was a series until just now, actually, but I read the first one and thought it was alright.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Dancingthroughlife posted:

2. Fiction or Non/fiction books about the Devil

Umbriago posted:

Could anybody recommend any good collections of essays? I wish to read them partly for enjoyment but mainly to improve my own writing for university. I already own George Orwell's Essays and several volumes of work by Bertrand Russell. It doesn't matter what subject they concern as long as they are well-written and enjoyable.

Answering both of these with Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth, a collection of essays consisting of letters from the exiled angel Lucifer to his old buddies Mike and Gabe. Online here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/twain/letearth.htm The published book version has some other essays and short stories as well, all of which are excellent.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Ghost Boner posted:

I know this a probably a long shot, but I'm a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino and I was wondering if there were any good books that have the same kind of feel as his films, particularly Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. I know Pulp Fiction is a homage to the old-school pulp tales, so suggestions from this genre would also be great.

Try Richard Stark. A pseudonym of Donald Westlake, he wrote a twenty novel series about a professional thief; one of the novels was adapted for film twice, once as Point Blank starring Lee Marvin, and a second time as Payback starring Mel Gibson. I like Westlake, but I loooove the poo poo he wrote under Stark.

Jim Thompson was the king of the old-style caper story, particularly in terms of the aftermath. Reservoir Dogs owes a lot to him.

Finally James Crumley. He's a little more country-fried than QT, but the poo poo that goes down in his novels makes QT's (early) films seem sedate. The Last Good Kiss is my very favorite crime novel, and is even on my short list for favorite novel period.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

General Washington posted:

Hey goons, I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for any books containing a mixture of mythology and science fiction. I hate to make the comparison but if anyone is a fan of the show "Lost", then that is what I'm interested in. Any books or novels(or even comic books)with a combination of sci-fi, random ancient mythology and maybe even time travel I'd be heavily interested in.

I don't watch Lost so I might be way off base, but Samuel Delaney's The Einstein Intersection is probably the ultimate in sf/mythology. It's set on Earth populated by aliens that came here long after we were gone and it's chock-full of Greek mythology, the Orpheus myth in particular.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

BigRed0427 posted:

I feel like reading a Sci-Fi, Space Opera. Something with epic starship battles, gun fights or some cloak and dagger storytelling. And suggestions?

My perennial SF recommendation, Neal Asher, he's got all those things in spades, plus kick-rear end alien monsters and more. Gridlinked or Spatterjay would be the best places to start.

Edit: I was just reminded that the name of the book is The Skinner, not Spatterjay (which is the name of the planet it is set on).

Ballsworthy fucked around with this message at 01:41 on Jan 6, 2010

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

anaaki posted:

I'm a huge Diana Wynne Jones fan and have been looking for more books in that same category. Mainly, YA fantasy fiction, but really well written so that it appeals to adults. Her books are like Harry Potter (except BETTER, believe me). I enjoy her Chrestomanci series and Howl's Moving Castle set as well.

Recently I just finished up Inkheart and Inkspell, which is the same genre. I've been finding that the British authors have more to offer.

Any suggestions? Well written YA fantasy. No sci fi please, I hate reading about aliens/space/mecha type stuff.

I was leaning towards trying some Terry Pratchett...

The Dark is Rising by Susan Goddamned Cooper. The first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, was written years before the rest and is for younger audiences, a la The Hobbit. When I was a kid the first book wasn't even considered part of the series. I'm not saying it's not good, because it sure as hell is, but there's a marked difference in tone, and for my money the real gold starts with the second book, The Dark is Rising. It's your classic good vs evil set in mid-late 20th century Britain, mostly Cornwall and Wales, with a Lewisian cast of child protagonists, and draws a lot from the associated folklores; specifically the Arthurian. And it kicks mega-rear end.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Jive One posted:

I recently read the Herman Melville short story Benito Cereno and really enjoyed the tense and suspicious atmosphere of it. Can anyone recommend short stories or novels that have a similar "something isn't right here" feel to them? Perhaps those with a macabre theme a la Twilight Zone or Hitchcock.

John Collier wrote some of my favorite short stories, his collection Fancies and Goodnights is excellent. I haven't read that Melville story, but I'm recommending him because he also wrote for both The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Syle187 posted:

I'm looking for suggestions on a mystery series to read. I've watched a couple of TV series lately (Twin Peaks, Veronica Mars, The X-Files) that have piqued my interest in the genre. I've most stuck to epic fantasy and science fiction in the past, so I haven't read anything in the genre aside of Sherlock Holmes.

I'm looking for a series with a compelling main character, and an overarching story that spans multiple books. An epic fantasy analog within the genre. Also, I'm not really a fan of procedural cop stuff, but I would make an exception for a very good book.

Does anything like this exist?

Not . . . exactly. There are tons of character-based mystery series, but not so much with the overarching plot. Usually each book is an individual story, because the whole point of a mystery is that it gets solved, and then the detective goes on to the next case.

Of course I've got some recommendations anyway.

Old school: Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels. Pretty much required reading for the genre, for every fictional detective inspired by Holmes there are at least a hundred inspired by Marlowe. Ditto Dashiel Hammett for most of that, he's just not so character based.

Newer stuff: For brutal, frenetic writing check out James Ellroy. The Big Nowhere/LA Confidential/White Jazz have a contiguous villain (and lots of other bad guys along the way) with a series of protagonists butting their heads against him. And they are so loving good that sometimes I just can't stand it.

For something 180 degrees from the insanity that is Ellroy, I really can't say enough about Kate Atkinson's last three books, starting with Case Histories. They're about a middle-aged private eye in the UK, are extremely well-written, and have some pretty interesting and complex stories.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

SaviourX posted:

Recommend me some good mystery/detective/thriller novels. Like any genre fiction, I know 90% of it is schlock, but there's got to be some good ones out there that make excellent use of the form.

This thread makes me feel like a broken record sometimes.

Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler, any/all of their stuff.
James Ellroy, The Big Nowhere is as good of a place to start as any.
James Crumley, The Last Good Kiss. All his stuff is good but nothing comes close to that one, I just re-read it and it's loving gorgeous.
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me, The Grifters, The Getaway, or pretty much any other one you pick up.

I've posted about all these guys in this thread before so check my old posts here for more info.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Blurred posted:

I'm sure this would have already been asked somewhere in this thread, but I've been keeping a copy of Sherlock Holmes and a collection of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories by my bed lately and have found myself getting into the habit of going to bed, reading a story and then falling asleep (which is much healthier than my normal pattern of staying on the internet / watching dvds until my eyes start hurting enough for me to pass out). So basically I'm looking for good collections of short stories (preferably in the mystery / horror genre, but I'm open to all suggestions) that might be good to go to bed with.

Try John Collier's Fancies and Goodnights, very Twilight Zone/Hitchcock with a killer sense of humor.

For straight horror, The Dark Descent is a massive anthology that has the best of the best of the 20th century horror stories and is a very worthwhile purchase.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

nWoCHRISnWo posted:

I looked around and this seems to be the best place to ask this question. I'm sure I'll be told otherwise though.

I'm just getting into the Dexter TV series, and I'm only halfway through the first season. Are the books the same exact stories as the series? I didn't want to look for the info myself out of fear for spoilers.

And are the books recommended either way?

The first two books are decent but the show is better (and I fucken hate most all television so that means some poo poo coming from me), the first season is an expanded version of the first book but after that they go their separate ways. Haven't read the third book but I heard it's crap.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Pudgygiant posted:

I have everything from The Kite Runner to Vonnegut books to Tucker Max on my Kindle. I'm a huge fan of the Bill Bryson, David Sedaris, Jeremy Clarkson style of humorous travel anecdotes as well. Right now I'm in the middle of The Gamble and I have Too Big to Fail and Fiasco queued up. I'm leaving for Afghanistan in about a week for a year and I'd really like to add 5 or 6 more books before I head out. Any ideas?

Best travel humor: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. It's about a trip he took to Europe and the Middle East with some religious pilgrims, iirc it's the first book he published and is a large part of why he was famous in his time, and for good reason because it is goddamned hilarious.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Electric Pez posted:

Bio of a Space Tyrant by Piers Anthony is a wonderful light Sci-Fi series that is five books long. Six if you consider the one added to the series much later on, but I don't.

The characters are amazing and it was such an engaging fun, but I do not know that you could call it fun. It is a bit of a dark series, but well worth the read.

You aren't serious.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Encryptic posted:

What else did Hemingway write that's good besides Old Man and the Sea? I've read For Whom The Bell Tolls, A Farewell To Arms and The Sun Also Rises so far and liked them all to varying degrees, especially FWTBT.

Seconding the short story recommendation, I'm a big fan of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. 3 pages of gold.

Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

OregonDonor posted:

Could someone recommend me a good collection to start with of Philip K. Dick's short stories? I've read most of his major novels (sans Ubik and Flow My Tears) and I'd like to see how his short stories hold up next to them, but I really have no idea where to begin with. Thanks in advance.

Here's a big collection: http://www.amazon.com/Philip-K-Dick-Reader/dp/0806518561/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272500375&sr=1-5 It's not all of them by a long shot but it's probably the most comprehensive single volume

Here's a smaller, more selective collection with a kickass foreword by Jonathan Lethem: http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Stories-Philip-K-Dick/dp/0375421513/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272500375&sr=1-4

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Ballsworthy
Apr 30, 2008

yup

Telemarchitect posted:

'Sup TBB. I just found out about Samuel Delany, but I can't figure out which one of his novels to pick. Dhalgren is supposedly his masterpiece but I hear it's a tough read. Nova also looks interesting.

I prefer reading for leisure and I strongly dislike anything with long lulls. I can't speak much about my library; it's mostly easy (yet vivid) stuff like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, H2G2 and Stone by Adam Roberts.

The Einstein Intersection for sure.

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