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#1 Posted by Kanden (132 posts) -

So Christmas is coming up and I need some book recommendations so I know what to ask for. I've heard good things about "Ready Player One" but reading what it's about I'm kind of worried that the majority of the references will go over my head since I was born in the 90s. Sorry if there's already a topic on this but I searched for a while and couldn't find one.

#2 Posted by Sjosz (485 posts) -

What kind of books are you into? What kind of genre books are you most interested in getting suggestions for?

#3 Posted by coakroach (2488 posts) -

Last book I read was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

I recommend it.

#4 Posted by Kanden (132 posts) -

Any kind really. Just good books. Some of the books I've really liked are World War Z, The first two Dexter books, (before he started having real emotions instead of just faking them) and Lord of the Rings, so I guess stuff like that. Are the Game of Thrones books worth looking into?

#5 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

The Bible.

But no, seriously, the Qu'ran.

But no, seriously, what are you into?

#6 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Kanden said:

So Christmas is coming up and I need some book recommendations so I know what to ask for. I've heard good things about "Ready Player One" but reading what it's about I'm kind of worried that the majority of the references will go over my head since I was born in the 90s. Sorry if there's already a topic on this but I searched for a while and couldn't find one.

If you don't understand any of the references in Ready Player One you must have not played any games, watched hardly any good movies, or have been born in the 2000s...

and if you like crime, buy For Nothing, it's $1 on Amazon. Crazy good deal, that is the Kindle price, though. Not sure about paperback.

#7 Posted by Kanden (132 posts) -

@Sooty: Okay I'll probably get Ready Player One, I was just kind of worried that it would have a bunch of pre-90s tv references really because tv shows are the only things I haven't really looked at as far as media from before I was born goes.

#8 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Kanden said:

@Sooty: Okay I'll probably get Ready Player One, I was just kind of worried that it would have a bunch of pre-90s tv references really because tv shows are the only things I haven't really looked at as far as media from before I was born goes.

Seinfeld, NOW.

#9 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4306 posts) -

Mistborn

#10 Edited by Kanden (132 posts) -

@Sooty: I've seen some Seinfield but not all of it though by a longshot, what I've seen was funny though.

#11 Posted by Jimi (1126 posts) -

Anything by Phillip k Dick if you like sci fi, specifically "Ubik" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".

I just finished reading "Ender's Game" too, that was a great one.

#12 Posted by None_Braver (86 posts) -

Lone Survivor.

#13 Edited by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

Soon I Will Be Invincible, and Johannes Cabal, the Necromancer

#14 Posted by rentfn (1278 posts) -

Ready Player One was really good. If you know a bit about gaming history you should get most of the references. If you like semi SyFy I would say the new Stephen King book is really good. It's called 11/22/63. A guy goes back in time to try and stop JFK from getting shot but Time doesn't always want to be changed. Also anything by Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions are good starting points.

#15 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

House of Leaves is pretty cool.

#16 Posted by DylanGW (130 posts) -

@Kanden:

#17 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

@mandude said:

The Bible.

But no, seriously, the Qu'ran.

But no, seriously, what are you into?

If you read the bible as a story it is actually kinda interesting.

but i would suggest The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. But don't do what im doing and read the squeals, because, as much weird stuff that's in them they lost something, perhaps their charm, i don't know.

#18 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Neal Stephenson must be read.

#19 Posted by NakAttack (1289 posts) -

The Name Of The Wind. (The Chronicler day 1), the Mistborn books are good too.

#20 Posted by Deusx (1903 posts) -

@DylanGW: Yesss

Nightfall by Isaac Asimov

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Shogun by James Clagwell

Those come to mind right now.

#21 Posted by ThePickle (4155 posts) -

John Swartzwelder books are easy to read, but absolutely hilarious.

#22 Posted by WurmHat (10 posts) -

Hhitchhikers Guide and Brave New World Perhaps?

#23 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Dragon Prince and Dragon Star.

#24 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@Dagbiker: Honestly, I love the Bible treated as fiction. Then again I love all mythologies.

#25 Posted by Vade (393 posts) -

@Jimi said:

Anything by Phillip k Dick if you like sci fi, specifically "Ubik" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".

I just finished reading "Ender's Game" too, that was a great one.

I'll just second these.

#26 Posted by MintBerryCrunch (63 posts) -

Batman Noel.

#27 Posted by kalmis (1558 posts) -

Well since you mentioned Ready Player One. I would recommend Quantum Thief. It has some cool videogame inspired events. No doubt the best book I've read this year. Not because of the gaming referances. Just very well written and interesting scifi story.

#28 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -
#29 Posted by Kazona (3060 posts) -

Two books that immediately spring to mind are The Second Ship and Immune, book one and two, respectively, of the The Rho Agenda.

Two other books (each of which I've read in one sitting) that I would highly recommend are Mageborn: The Blacksmit's Son and Mageborn: The Line of Illeniel.

Lastly, the Star Force series is a pretty good read, except with the third world I kind of got that been there, done that vibe. The things that happened just weren't as impactful.

#30 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

Cormac McCarthy is easily one of the greatest living authors. His work is very different than what you are talking about but I will never pass on a chance to recommend some great literature. The Road is pretty good. Not his best but probably his most palatable.

#31 Posted by phuzzybunny (171 posts) -

No Country for Old Men was amazing. Also American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis but that book is pretty fucked up. Good, but fucked up. I second Hitchhikers Guide. And any Calvin and Hobbes collection.

#32 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

I in turn second American Psycho. Great satire and real fucked up.

#33 Posted by optimusprime223 (396 posts) -

The Halo books are pretty good, depends on if you like the games or not though. I just got done with the first book in the Forerunner saga and it was pretty good as was the first short story compilation book, Halo:Evolutions and that was pretty great. Best books I have read in years though is the Night Angel Trilogy, absolutely awesome!

#34 Posted by Khemitude (222 posts) -

I'd recommend The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger one of my favourite books.

#35 Posted by deathfury (531 posts) -

All You Need is Kill is a fun, fast read. But if you're looking for something a bit more complex I'd recommend the book I'm currently reading: House of Leaves.

#36 Posted by Matfei90 (1288 posts) -
#37 Posted by chrissedoff (2075 posts) -

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor.

#38 Posted by firewrkninja (227 posts) -

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

#39 Posted by byrjun (154 posts) -

Hitchhikers Guide by Douglas Adams, Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (In my mind the best story told in the new millenium, please avoid the film at least before reading), Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins, The Master & Magarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, The Process by Franz Kafka, The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exuperi

#40 Posted by ToxicFruit (1717 posts) -

The inheritance cycle are really good fantasy books if you are into those, and the 4th one just came out

#41 Posted by timlump (152 posts) -

Get anything in the SF Masterworks series published by Gollancz, it's a collection of the best sci fi novels ever written so you aren't getting any pulp but rather the serious good stuff. Of that series I would personally recommend:

  • The Forever War (one soldiers story in a war that lasts 1000 years - very interesting use of time dilation)
  • Mockingbird (world too reliant on machines taken to extreme)
  • Flowers for Algernon (think of the film Awakenings)
  • Inverted World (crazy world based in a universe of finite size on a planet of infinite diameter)
  • Cities in Flight (really 4 books about the affect of the cities of earth using a device to shield themselves and lift off the planet as spaceships)
  • The Shrinking Man (a man shrinking- what will happen when he reaches the size of subatomic particles)
  • Last and First Men (a bit of a difficult read but very interesting as its a "prediction" of the next 2 billion years of humanity from a 1930 perspective)
  • The Man in the High Castle (what if the nazi's won the war and someone wrote a book predicting what would have happened if the allies won the war)
  • etc
#42 Posted by Swoxx (2988 posts) -

A song of Ice and Fire series is pretty darn good.

#43 Posted by Sjosz (485 posts) -

Game of Thrones series of books (RR Martin)

Foundation series(Asimov)

Ender saga (Scott Card)

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (Adams)

Dune (Herbert)

#44 Posted by xMP44x (2193 posts) -

I'd suggest anything by Andy McDermott, though all his books are in a series. Granted, they won't be the sort of books people will be remembering in the same way Shakespeare and Leo Tolstoy are remembered but they're a fun, action-adventure style of story that is well written. They're the sort of book I could imagine being converted into a film very easily since McDermott's writing style flows across the page in a manner which doesn't bog down in details but takes the story zipping along at a good pace, so I'd highly recommend those books.
 
If you're into alternative history then I'd also suggest Fatherland by Robert Harris. It's not a new book, having been published in the 1990s, but it is very well written. It is set in Nazi Germany during the 1960s, with the Nazis having won the war instead of being repelled from the Soviet Union. The story follows an investigator in the Kriminalpolizei, who winds up fighting against his country in an attempt to find out more about the Holocaust since it was obviously hidden from the public.
 
Wilbur Smith might be worth recommending as well. I have read a few of his older books, and they're well written. I'm not sure if his style has changed any but I believe that his most recently written book was Those in Peril, which tackles piracy in Somalia and the pirates themselves. Smith's books often focus on Africa since it was where he spent a great deal of his life. As it is Smith is the only author I've read books by which are focused entirely upon Africa. 
 
The latest Assassin's Creed novel is out as well as a tie-in with Revelations, and is called as such. Again it is written by Oliver Bowden, but I have not read it. It's the fourth book in the collection of stories, and I'd need to get it since I want to have the complete collection of stories by Bowden for the franchise. Admittedly he won't be remembered as a literary great either but his writing has improved from Renaissance to The Secret Crusade, which was the last book in the series I have.
 
I'm going to do the obvious here and recommend George Orwell or H.G. Wells, since dystopian fiction is something I find highly appealing. I've never read anything Wells has written but War of the Worlds is a book that interests me greatly, and one I may have to go to the trouble of tracking down in the future since it's fairly well known. Of Orwell I've read only Animal Farm but it is my favorite book of all time since it has so much meaning and weight to it as an allegory, but also as a simple story of corruption on a farm. 1984 is meant to be amazing but I am yet to read it unfortunately. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World might also appeal if you enjoy dystopian fiction.
 
Finally, I'll recommend The Set-Up by Felix Riley and The Holy Thief by William Ryan. They are both the debut works of the two authors, but both of them are fantastic novels. Riley's book is an action novel set against the backdrop of the Wall Street crash and economic corruption of the present day. Ryan's book is a bit more slow paced, being set in 1930s Soviet Russia through the eyes of an officer within the law enforcement agency of the time. It is commendable for capturing the essence and feeling that I imagine Soviet Russia of the time would have had, with the constant fear of being deported to the 'Zone' (read: Siberia) and of being overheard bashing the Party and Stalin's cult of personality due to the Red Terror.
 
Perhaps this post was a little long, but I love books.

#45 Posted by Hunkulese (2656 posts) -

@Kanden: I'd stay away from the Song of Fire and Ice books. The first book is great but they get progressively worse and the later books have way to much filler that you probably won't care much about.

The Name of the Wind is great and I also really liked the Way of Kings but it is the first part of a planned 10 book series so it will probably fall into the same place of forcing you to read hundreds of pages about nothing.

#46 Posted by Still_I_Cry (2494 posts) -

You could try getting some of the works of HP Lovecraft.

#47 Posted by Levius (1084 posts) -

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Tokyo Year Zero by David Peace

And although its non-fiction every one should read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

#48 Edited by Aegon (5419 posts) -
@Hunkulese said:

@Kanden: I'd stay away from the Song of Fire and Ice books. The first book is great but they get progressively worse and the later books have way to much filler that you probably won't care much about.

The Name of the Wind is great and I also really liked the Way of Kings but it is the first part of a planned 10 book series so it will probably fall into the same place of forcing you to read hundreds of pages about nothing.

Song of Fire and Ice sounds like a bad parody of the great fantasy series by George RR Martin called "A Song of Ice and Fire".   
 
By the way, the shit that you think is filler actually isn't. From my experience, there is no filler in the books. You just have to pay attention and keep many things and plot threads in mind while reading. 
#49 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -
#50 Posted by Witzig (326 posts) -

The Day of the Jackel or The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth are good reads.