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Recommended reading

Started by Lei, August 19, 2005, 02:06:09 AM

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One series you shouldn't read unless you're hardcore Christian and you really liked being preached at:

the Left Behind Series.

I read most of them before I found my path....and I liked them alright then.  I skipped large chunks that were preachy.  but I tried to pick up the last one to read it a while ago.  Nope, too much sermonizin' goin down.

However, if you like sermonizin and preachin and quotin of scripture, then you may like it.  After all, I was interested enough to get through most of the series, back when.
"The world is not safe for my butt!" -Spongebob Squarepants

I worship Pantsless O'Clock.


Ugh, I grew up in a family where stuff like that was ALL there was around the place. My grandmother used to have nothing to read in her house but chick tracts and preachy publications. I got so sick of hearing that I was "privliged" to be living in the end times and that Armegeddon would be in my lifetime. The sick part is that my relatives really thought that the end of the world would be a blessing. That's all fine and good for them, as they're at the end of their lives, but me, I want to actually LIVE my life. They never got that.

Anyway, rant aside, the point is that I can't stand reading or hearing that sort of stuff any more.


oops, I think I broke the admin.

Then you are warned....Do not read this series.

However, informative book to read if you think you might have ADD or ADHD (which, let's face it, I'm pretty sure the majority of the population does) there is a book called the ADHD/Autism connection.  All about how these two incredibly facsinating disorders are more related than we originally believed.

Ok, maybe I'm the only person here interested in this book.  But, if for some reason someone out there besides me like educational theory, I've got a whole slew of good ones.
"The world is not safe for my butt!" -Spongebob Squarepants

I worship Pantsless O'Clock.


I'll keep to the Shannara series and Kingdom for Sale by Terry Brooks, not preachy but a lot of walking and expensive at


Funny, I just read Kingdom for Sale, and it only cost me about 4 bucks in paperback. I kinda liked it, but it wasn't that great to me. I plan to give Shannara a shot though.


More winter reading from me:

Unusual fantasy: Cecelia and Sorcery by Patricia Wrede (who wote all the 'talking to draons' books).  Regency period (1817 London) costume piece, in an alternate universe where magic is somewhat common.  Written entirely as letters exchanged between two cousins. No transformations besides one off-camera human->beech tree.

The Liaden SF series, by Miller and Lee. About 6 books, beginning with Local Custom.  This is about my third time through these.

I also bought a box of the old yellow-cover DAW paperbacks cheap, lots of stuff there!  Rediscovering Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

Kira Dwenna

The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce
3 books, but you can find it in a hardcover compilation.  Has nothing to do with the tv series, or Buffy the Vampire slayer.  But there are vampyres.  Consider this a "girl's quest to save a fallen angel" kind of story, only with a futuristic setting, and a good use of landscaping on the Earth's moon.  ;)

The Cycle of Fire by Janny Wurts
3 books (Stormwarden, Keeper of the Keys, and Shadowfane).  I really liked this series the first time I accidentally picked up the second book (*blush*), and continue to like it even today.  Another fantasy series with a sci-fi background.

The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Tawny Man(?) Trilogy by Robin Hobb
I highly recommend this triple set of trilogies.  All of them are tied together, but each trilogy can stand alone.  You only get the whole picture when you read 'em all, though.  
If you like cliched approaches to grand quests, and heroes who never have problems they can't live through, you won't like it.  I spent most of the first two books in the Farseer Trilogy convinced that Ms. Hobb hated her main character.  But it was FitzChivalry's sheer tenacity at wanting to live despite his problems, and in just the way he lives that kept me reading until the last book hit the stand.  And I am so very glad I did.  :D

Oath of Swords, by David Weber
(note:  I'm pulling most of these titles and authors out of my head, so if I'm wrong, my apologies)
Funny book.  Just, dang good fun!
Part of a "trilogy" of sorts, but I'm tempted to let it slide until he finishes it.  This book and the subsequent "The War God's Own" are the best, so far.
Sometimes I feel unreal;
A wrapped up box with nothing in it,
I reach out and I touch my limit.


La la, the new library just opened in town (which I've been waiting three years for!) so I'll be sure to check out some of the books on these lists :3 Though there seems to be a lot of fantasy, and I'm not much of a fan e.e; My brother is forcing me to read Eragon and it's not going very well xD Anyway. Here is Pidgie's obscenely short list:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Not fantasy at all, but it's a childhood favorite of mine; very heartwarming/wrenching.

The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw
It's fantasy... ish. I think. o.o; But it's my favorite book on this side of the universe and very easy to read; shouldn't take you more than an hour. The dedication gets me every time :'D

Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal by Thomas Harris
If you enjoyed the movies then the books are must-reads ;D
I'm so sorry about Bella, Jack.


Oh dear. I can already see I'm not going to fit in here well. I'm far more of a slice-of-life/realism person than a fantasy person, I don't even like the I-don't-like-fantasy-except stuff, like Harry Potter or His Dark Materials.

Still, I might as well throw my two cents into the ring. My favorite kind of book is the kind that puts small amounts of magic into realist settings, where people react with irritation and denial, rather than acceptance and a-questing.

A Dream of Red Mansions, Cao Xueqin: It's my favorite book, if only because I see so much of myself in the main character. It's unbelievably long (2500pp) but every page sheds light on the lives of over 400 characters, most of them women. In the introduction, Cao Xueqin explains that late in life he realized that all of the women he had met had been far superior than the men, and he wanted to create a proper monument to all the girls he had ever known, of high or low birth, so that they would never be forgotten. Jia Baoyu is a beautiful realization of the "brilliant degenerate" archetype.

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami: Murakami is one of the most intense writers I have ever encountered. His words cut like a laser. I could never read his nonfiction book about the Tokyo Subway bombings, because he captures all of the emotions of the moment, all of the confusion and terror. Kafka on the Shore, instead, is a far more pleasant book, more about all of the good things in life. I could recount the plot, but that would be pointless because Murakami's power is in making you feel incredibly strongly about completely made up things.

Naked Lunch, William Burroughs: Please don't try to look for a story. Also, please don't blame me when you throw up. It's pretty much a chain of vignettes that all flow into eachother, all of them with amazingly sharp images and incredible writing, and most of them really sickeningly graphic.

The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenger: It's just a really beautiful love story about two people dealing with their exceedingly strange circumstances as best they can. One of those I-don't-cry-at-books-and-I-cried books.

And the currently-reading list is "House of Leaves", by Mark Danielewski, and "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevski. Both of which are so far very well written, though "House of Leaves" is more to my liking so far.


I've read some Murakami, and frankly... I just don't think it's that impressive. It seems a lot like the nonsensical writings you get out of a high school poetry class (well, if you throw in more acid.) I mean, it's somewhat interesting, but for the most part, it just seems like modern art, translated to literature. I will grant that I've only read english translations, as my Japanese isn't nearly good enough, so maybe it's better in the original.


I suspected as much. Somehow, though, I'm repeatedly surprised by how subjective something that seems so clear in my head can reall be.

Sometimes it feels like there are two things that share the same name. Like, I've gone through some Peter Jackson movies and tried to figure out what is so appealing about them, and the only conclusion I can reach is that there must be two different Peter Jacksons, and I've just always come across the bad one. I really cannot imagine something in a Murakami novel being nonsensical and amaturish, it's really like we've seen different words on the page.

Those really sharply divergent spots in our worldviews are fascinating and frustrating, because I feel so strongly that there must be some way to reconcile them, even though I've seen no evidence that it's true. Can't argue with taste, after all.


True, taste is unique. Of course, I'm not a big fan of Peter Jackson movies either... I mean, they're okay sometimes, but nothing special at all.


They're making a Golden Compass (His Dark Materials book #1) movie! It comes out on pearl harbor day this year. Not sure if that's significant, but still... Whee!

Now I just hope they don't screw it up like they did with the H2G2 movie, or The Postman, or Narnia, or... pretty much every other good book turned into a movie. :-/

EDIT: Forgot the website... which does an okay job of explaining things.