Author Topic: I need a book recommendation  (Read 1039 times)

Beardy

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I need a book recommendation
« on: 29 April, 2021, 11:03:45 pm »
As per the title. Interests include hard SF, epic fantasy and contemporary supernatural. But that’s not a comprehensive list. Unfortunately ‘good literature’ is out because it completely jars with my dyslexia. No, I don’t understand it either, but a page of Dickens is almost impossible for me to process.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #1 on: 30 April, 2021, 02:17:35 pm »
Dickens always goes better with a spoonful of laudanum to rein in some of the longer, more meandering sentences. That Victorian style of writing is somewhat vexatious for modern comprehension, trained – as it is – by sentences, short and sharp.

I struggle with a lot of modern literature, mostly because it's a bit dull or wordy for the sake of it, and my brain always narrates them in this terribly, awfully middle-class voice.

If you've not read them, read the Charlie Parker series from John Connolly, which blend supernatural doings into unpleasant murdery business, with an elegiac and creepy story arc. The standard of writing is an order above the expected without being overblown.

I'm quite enjoying Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows at the moment, an unholy mashup of Conan Doyle and Lovecraft, and who hasn't wanted to see that happen.
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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #2 on: 30 April, 2021, 02:49:42 pm »

Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #3 on: 30 April, 2021, 02:53:37 pm »
I’m currently enjoying this series of books

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36638814-forgotten

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #4 on: 30 April, 2021, 02:57:26 pm »
Kurt Vonnegut. If you've never read Slaughterhouse Five, you really should. But maybe you have! Some indication of what you already like might be helpful (ETA: as in specific favourites rather than generics).

I would class Vonnegut as 'good literature' though. I don't think Dickensian prolixity is a necessary indicator of quality. Quite the opposite in most cases.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

ravenbait

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #5 on: 30 April, 2021, 03:35:22 pm »
I am recommending Nick Harkaway a lot, recently.

Vandermeer's Area X trilogy, if you like new weird.

Although Dan Simmons has turned out to be somewhat problematic, I have to say that Hyperion is excellent.

Adam Roberts is always good.

Tim Powers -- The Drawing of the Dark is one of my favourite books of all time, although most start with The Anubis Gates or On Stranger Tides.

Something a bit more literary -- Alasdair Gray's Lanark -- A Life In Four Books.

Octavia Butler's Wild Seed.

Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand Of Darkness.

N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy is excellent.

Anne Leckie's Ancillary Justice trilogy is great space opera (and she's also very nice).

For contemporary supernatural, try Aliette De Bodard's The House of Shattered Wings.

Paul Tremblay's A Head Full Of Ghosts. The Cabin At The End Of The World is also very good.

Josh Malerman's Black Mad Wheel.

I could keep going, but there's a selection there.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

woollypigs

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #6 on: 30 April, 2021, 04:17:50 pm »
Children of Time and the Expanse series and the The Murderbot Diaries and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, if you are asking for SF.

This is what I have read https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/93355201-woollypigs?shelf=read&sort=date_read

I read for escapism and the odd time to learn something new. Late summer last year until late March this year, I read about 3 a week, having a wee break atm, but I want to get back into it.

Yes as Ravenbait said Dan Simmions' Hyperion is a good read too. Now I wonder what you mean with "somewhat problematic". Cause I read and enjoyed other books by him, like Carrion Comfort, Hollow man and Summer of nights.
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

ravenbait

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #7 on: 30 April, 2021, 04:31:09 pm »
Children of Time and the Expanse series and the The Murderbot Diaries and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, if you are asking for SF.

This is what I have read https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/93355201-woollypigs?shelf=read&sort=date_read

I read for escapism and the odd time to learn something new. Late summer last year until late March this year, I read about 3 a week, having a wee break atm, but I want to get back into it.

Yes as Ravenbait said Dan Simmions' Hyperion is a good read too. Now I wonder what you mean with "somewhat problematic". Cause I read and enjoyed other books by him, like Carrion Comfort, Hollow man and Summer of nights.
He turned out to be a bit of a right wing nut, unfortunately. Here's a review that sums it up:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/151112848

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #8 on: 30 April, 2021, 04:59:25 pm »
"Well then, that's me being a Dan fan girl". A comment I saw on reddit. I'll scale down my fan boying
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #9 on: 30 April, 2021, 09:28:26 pm »
I quite like the Expanse series, and I normally find science fiction a bit of a tedious trudge. Just give me aliens, robots, and laser guns.

The various guises of Michael Marshall Smith are worth a punt – the Straw Men still keep me awake at night. I just read and enjoyed his recent turn as Michael Rutger.

Vonnegut for some quite bonkers ideas, Chandler for the turn of phrase.

I would read any book that has this back cover.

Quote
Jess is dead. She’s not happy about that. Mostly because she was murdered and despite being dead, people – who she suspects aren’t exactly people – are trying to murder her all over again. She’s discovered that she needs to do a little killing of her own. Micheal has been killing for so long that he just wants it to end. Sisley doesn’t know who she is but knows what has to be done because someone is leaving her notes with the instructions. She’s been alone for as long as she remembers, which considering her memory has been stolen, perhaps isn’t so long. She’s questioning her own existence and Sybil walks into her life and suddenly everything becomes a lot more complicated. Sarla knows one thing and that’s that she wants out of this world and will do anything to make that happen, and if that involves breaking a psychopathic deity out of a prison built just for him, she’ll do it. That just might end the world and if there’s one thing that stands to make Jess’s day even worse, it’s the end of the world.

Which reminds me, the people who write cover blurb and make the movie trailers are the true talents of our era, and I can't do them justice.
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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #10 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:15:27 pm »
Ravenbait has some excellent recommendations.    I'd add "Declare" by Tim Powers to her list.   A le Carre / Greene spy thriller with supernatural elements.


For hard SF try Alistair Reynolds "Revelation Space" series, but he ain't cheerful & it's very dense. 


I'm not that big on detective stuff, but Walter Mosley's "Easy Rawlins" stuff is excellent, starting with "Devil In A Blue Dress".


I also enjoyed Jo Walton's "Small Change" series, Britain in the 30's & 40's after a fascist takeover.


Some free Charlie Stross for  your enjoyment.  https://www.tor.com/2013/09/24/equoid/



Not fast & rarely furious

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Pingu

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #11 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:30:55 pm »
...For hard SF try Alastair Reynolds "Revelation Space" series, but he ain't cheerful & it's very dense...

+1 as they say.

Beardy

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #12 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:32:49 pm »
Dickens always goes better with a spoonful of laudanum to rein in some of the longer, more meandering sentences. That Victorian style of writing is somewhat vexatious for modern comprehension, trained – as it is – by sentences, short and sharp.

I struggle with a lot of modern literature, mostly because it's a bit dull or wordy for the sake of it, and my brain always narrates them in this terribly, awfully middle-class voice.

If you've not read them, read the Charlie Parker series from John Connolly, which blend supernatural doings into unpleasant murdery business, with an elegiac and creepy story arc. The standard of writing is an order above the expected without being overblown.

I'm quite enjoying Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows at the moment, an unholy mashup of Conan Doyle and Lovecraft, and who hasn't wanted to see that happen.
I’ve somehow missed those. I shall have a look at them in more detail. Ta.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #13 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:33:38 pm »
Three body problem by Liu Cixin


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem_(novel)
I enjoyed that, and have read a few of her other books. Ta
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #14 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:35:22 pm »
I’m currently enjoying this series of books

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36638814-forgotten
That looks interesting, I shall take look at those thank you.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #15 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:38:20 pm »
Kurt Vonnegut. If you've never read Slaughterhouse Five, you really should. But maybe you have! Some indication of what you already like might be helpful (ETA: as in specific favourites rather than generics).

I would class Vonnegut as 'good literature' though. I don't think Dickensian prolixity is a necessary indicator of quality. Quite the opposite in most cases.
This was a good thread to start. Another author I’m not familiar with to add to the list. Ta.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #16 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:41:14 pm »
I am recommending Nick Harkaway a lot, recently.

Vandermeer's Area X trilogy, if you like new weird.

Although Dan Simmons has turned out to be somewhat problematic, I have to say that Hyperion is excellent.

Adam Roberts is always good.

Tim Powers -- The Drawing of the Dark is one of my favourite books of all time, although most start with The Anubis Gates or On Stranger Tides.

Something a bit more literary -- Alasdair Gray's Lanark -- A Life In Four Books.

Octavia Butler's Wild Seed.

Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand Of Darkness.

N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy is excellent.

Anne Leckie's Ancillary Justice trilogy is great space opera (and she's also very nice).

For contemporary supernatural, try Aliette De Bodard's The House of Shattered Wings.

Paul Tremblay's A Head Full Of Ghosts. The Cabin At The End Of The World is also very good.

Josh Malerman's Black Mad Wheel.

I could keep going, but there's a selection there.

Sam
some Live read, but a lot I haven’t. Ta
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #17 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:42:37 pm »
Children of Time and the Expanse series and the The Murderbot Diaries and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, if you are asking for SF.

This is what I have read https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/93355201-woollypigs?shelf=read&sort=date_read

I read for escapism and the odd time to learn something new. Late summer last year until late March this year, I read about 3 a week, having a wee break atm, but I want to get back into it.

Yes as Ravenbait said Dan Simmions' Hyperion is a good read too. Now I wonder what you mean with "somewhat problematic". Cause I read and enjoyed other books by him, like Carrion Comfort, Hollow man and Summer of nights.
Again, some ive read, and some new ones (of those you’ve listed in the post rather than your good reads list) ta
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #18 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:46:13 pm »
I quite like the Expanse series, and I normally find science fiction a bit of a tedious trudge. Just give me aliens, robots, and laser guns.

The various guises of Michael Marshall Smith are worth a punt – the Straw Men still keep me awake at night. I just read and enjoyed his recent turn as Michael Rutger.

Vonnegut for some quite bonkers ideas, Chandler for the turn of phrase.

I would read any book that has this back cover.

Quote
Jess is dead. She’s not happy about that. Mostly because she was murdered and despite being dead, people – who she suspects aren’t exactly people – are trying to murder her all over again. She’s discovered that she needs to do a little killing of her own. Micheal has been killing for so long that he just wants it to end. Sisley doesn’t know who she is but knows what has to be done because someone is leaving her notes with the instructions. She’s been alone for as long as she remembers, which considering her memory has been stolen, perhaps isn’t so long. She’s questioning her own existence and Sybil walks into her life and suddenly everything becomes a lot more complicated. Sarla knows one thing and that’s that she wants out of this world and will do anything to make that happen, and if that involves breaking a psychopathic deity out of a prison built just for him, she’ll do it. That just might end the world and if there’s one thing that stands to make Jess’s day even worse, it’s the end of the world.

Which reminds me, the people who write cover blurb and make the movie trailers are the true talents of our era, and I can't do them justice.
I’ll have a look. Ta.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #19 on: 30 April, 2021, 11:48:51 pm »
Ravenbait has some excellent recommendations.    I'd add "Declare" by Tim Powers to her list.   A le Carre / Greene spy thriller with supernatural elements.


For hard SF try Alistair Reynolds "Revelation Space" series, but he ain't cheerful & it's very dense. 


I'm not that big on detective stuff, but Walter Mosley's "Easy Rawlins" stuff is excellent, starting with "Devil In A Blue Dress".


I also enjoyed Jo Walton's "Small Change" series, Britain in the 30's & 40's after a fascist takeover.


Some free Charlie Stross for  your enjoyment.  https://www.tor.com/2013/09/24/equoid/
Ive read Revelation Space and some Charlie Stross, but the others are new to me. Ta.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #20 on: 01 May, 2021, 06:53:44 am »
Kurt Vonnegut. If you've never read Slaughterhouse Five, you really should. But maybe you have! Some indication of what you already like might be helpful (ETA: as in specific favourites rather than generics).

I would class Vonnegut as 'good literature' though. I don't think Dickensian prolixity is a necessary indicator of quality. Quite the opposite in most cases.
This was a good thread to start. Another author I’m not familiar with to add to the list. Ta.

 :thumbsup:

Vonnegut is often labelled as sci-fi but he isn't really, though he does have some sci-fi-ish themes. Above all else, his books are about ideas. Slaughterhouse Five is definitely not sci-fi, even though it has time-shifting aliens. It's an anti-war novel really. So it goes.

As well as Slaughterhouse Five, I would also highly recommend Cat's Cradle. (Quite a few others as well, but those two are good ones to start with. Actually, I'd go so far as to say Cat's Cradle is one of my all-time favourite books.)

I'd be interested to know how you get on with Vonnegut - his writing style is very simple, but I don't know if that necessarily makes his books easy to read for someone with dyslexia.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #21 on: 01 May, 2021, 07:44:43 am »
This Unit endorses Mr Vonnegut's Breakfast Of Champions.
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T42

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #22 on: 01 May, 2021, 01:22:50 pm »
Vonnegut is often labelled as sci-fi but he isn't really, though he does have some sci-fi-ish themes. Above all else, his books are about ideas. Slaughterhouse Five is definitely not sci-fi, even though it has time-shifting aliens. It's an anti-war novel really. So it goes.

IIRC in Inferno, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle gave one of their circles of Hell a large flashing sign saying "SO IT GOES".  Can't remember much else of it, though, other that it had a deal of 1970's cultural references that would be a bit brown round the edges these days. Fun book, though.
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fboab

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Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #23 on: 01 May, 2021, 01:41:31 pm »
Generally I like Larry Niven (& Pournelle) but I've had to do something I rarely do - I returned a book. I couldn't cope with the 60s/70s casual sexism. I don't know if I'm getting less tolerant of 'of their time' attitudes or if it was particularly bad.

I've just finished To Sleep in a Sea of Stars this morning.

Just a thought - if your dyslexia makes reading difficult, have you tried getting a (wo)man in to do it for you? I can't read any more but I get through hundreds of books on Audible.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: I need a book recommendation
« Reply #24 on: 01 May, 2021, 05:11:26 pm »
Generally I like Larry Niven (& Pournelle) but I've had to do something I rarely do - I returned a book. I couldn't cope with the 60s/70s casual sexism. I don't know if I'm getting less tolerant of 'of their time' attitudes or if it was particularly bad.

I've just finished To Sleep in a Sea of Stars this morning.

Just a thought - if your dyslexia makes reading difficult, have you tried getting a (wo)man in to do it for you? I can't read any more but I get through hundreds of books on Audible.
I do tend to listen more than I read these days and as I’m a Prime member I can get the Kindle book from Kindle unlimited for free then get the audible track for £3 or £4 
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.