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 Post subject: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-16 6:37 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
So, the Random Magic Card thread got me thinking.

GraphiteGolem wrote:
Treamayne wrote:
Codex Alera
(Book series by Jim Butcher, for those unfortunate souls that haven't read it)

I'm a poor, unfortunate soul looking for something to read, so I might give it a try.


So I did a search to see if there was a thread on recommended reading. The closest I could find was the Rant topic that has some book stuff, but it's more about disappointment than recommendations.

Since this *is* random chatter, I thought I would start a thread to recommend books (and maybe other media) or just discuss some great stuff.

-----------------------
Magic Related:
If you can find it (obviously) Artifacts Cycle 1 with The Thran (by J. Robert King) and Brother's War (by Jeff Grubb) is good reading.

None of the other MtG Fiction I've read really grabbed me (Arena and the other Harper Prism books, Artifacts cycle 2, Zendikar)

------------------------
The reading I have most often recommended and/or enjoyed enough to read at least three times (some over a dozen times):

Nonfiction - Military
Guts to Try by Col Kyle
- The story of the planning for the Iranian Hostage Rescue and what went wrong at Desert One (first half of the book is the planning and training, second half is the operation itself)
The Raid by Ben Schemmer
- The story of the POW rescue attempt during Vietnam
Killer Angels
- Battle of Gettysburg told in a novel format (third person, multiple POV)

Nonfiction
I just finished Heat by Bill Buford. It was an interesting and funny look at professional kitchens and Italian Cooking in Italy and America.

Urban Fantasy
Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Book 1: Storm Front - Series follows Harry Dresden, professional Wizard (he's in the yellow Pages) as he protects Chicago from the things humanity prefers to pretend does not exist. Excellent series, one of my all time favorites.

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Book 1 is Ex-Heroes. Superheroes vs Zombies Ex-Humans (because Zombie isn't PC). Need more be said? Little silly, definitely Middle Grade fiction, but still a fun read.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Trilogy, Book 1 Steelheart - Superpowers appear, but the more Epics (this worlds term for super human) they use their abilities the more they go insane. They enslave humanity rather than save it.

Fantasy
This category could easily be overrun by me, so I'll be general first, and maybe expand later. Already mentioned in the Card Game thread (and what sparked this offshoot) is

Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
6 Total, completed series
Book 1 is Furies of Calderon - without giving too much away picture the lost Legion of Rome having wound up in this fantasy realm. To survive, they found the ability to bond with Furies (elementals); specifically Wood, Water, Earth, Fire, Metal and Air. Each fury bonded comes with Passive and active abilities, and while most people only have 1 fury, the High Lords have multiples or one of each. Their ancestral enemy (in this world) are the Marat (based on the lost Incan Tribe) who developed a similar ability to bond with animals (gaining abilities of their animal kin as well as mentally working with their specific bonded animal. Into this world comes Tavi, on the border with the Marat and the only known Aleran in the last 1000 years to make it to adolescence without bonding a Fury.

The Cosmere by Brandon Sanderson
- Okay, I'm cheating. Cosmere isn't a book or a series. It is the overarching name for the universe of Brandon's novels and series that all share one history and interconnect. Each book or series can be read independently without missing anything. But, if you are reading them all, you start to see how things tie together and may even notice a few familiar faces where they shouldn't be.

I recommend all of them, but if reading all of them then this is my personal recommended order:

1a: Elantris - the book that started it all. Excellent (go with the 10th anniversary edition, if possible), especially for a first novel. However, it is more cerebral than many people are accustomed to so you can also start with:

1b Mistborn (Trilogy 1) - Book 1 is Mistborn: The Final Empire. There are more than three Mistborn books, but don't worry about those now. The series is designed as 4 trilogies, so each trilogy is separate and distinct (and each has parallels to our technological development, in this trilogy "Limelights" are a new thing, 300 yrs later, in the second trilogy Guns and Railroads are predominate). Start with the first trilogy now, add in the second trilogy (which is now expanded to a quartet, and we are still waiting on book four to come out) later. Rumor is that Trilogy three will be duing the computer age and trilogy 4 will be Scadrial as a space-faring civilization.

2. Warbreaker (a stand alone that may eventually get a sequal) can be read in full, for free on his website Here. A world where the breath of life can power magic and necromancy. It can also be given or taken away. Everyone's Favorite sword makes an appearance too (Would you like to destroy some evil today?)

3. Go back and grab Elantris if you skipped it.

4a: Mistborn Trilogy 2 - Book 1 is Alloy of Law. 300 years after the events of the first trilogy (and around the time Stormlight Arvhive book one is taking place on Roshar). Magic and guns. Nuff said. (*Note: differences with the initial trilogy threw many friends off, but you are forewarned and shouldn't be caught off guard)

4b. Stormlight Archive - Book 1 is Way of Kings. This will eventually be two 5 book cycles. Only books 1 and 2 are out, with book three releasing in 2017. If you are a Robert Jordon fan, you might even move this to he number one spot. Though it is much heavier in "Cosmere" related information than Elantris and Mistborn you don't really spoil anything reading it first, just possibly miss some references (but you'll *want* to read it more than once so you can always catch those references on a future re-read)

5: Novellas: Mistborn, Secret History (major spoilers) and Emperor's Soul. The Cosmere tidbits finally start getting easier to pick out, with some explanations.

Various Short Stories all set on Cosmere worlds can be fit in anywhere you find access to them. Sixth of Dusk, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, etc. all stand on their own.

Sci Fi:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Summarized here

Robot and Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
First Robot: Caves of Steel
The Elijah Baily/R. Daneel Olivaw was likely the inspiration for the atrocity that was I, Robot (which is a short story collection with nothing in common with the movie). This trilogy (and the follow on Robots and Empire) is a Classic for a reason, and can be read separately from Foundation, or together (Read before or after Foundation 5 book series; but before Foundation books 6 and 7 - see below)
First Foundation: Foundation
Classic. Awesome. Don't be fooled into reading "Prelude to Foundation" and "Forward the Foundation" first. They may come before Foundation in timeline, but have spoilers for the series and are meant to be read as books 6 and 7.

The Martian by Andy Weir
This is so recent, most have probably read it. However, I feel compelled to mention it because it is probably the best Hard SF I've read in a long time.

Most Michael Crichton Fiction (which is almost all technically Sci Fi, but never in the SF section). Favorites (in no particular order) being Sphere, Jurassic Park, Micro, Prey, Andromeda Strain.

Thriller
Alex Cross by James Patterson
Book 1 is Along Came a Spider - Most James Patterson of the last 8-10 years is cookie cutter, co-authored blah. Not bad, but nothing special. However, the early books were great. I recommend books 1-10ish. To me, it starts going downhill around book 12/13.

Velocity by Dean Koontz
- I'm not normally a Dean Koontz fan (or Horror fiction in general) but this title is more firmly in the thriller category and unique, twisted and intriguing in all the right ways.

Legion by Brandon Sanderson
- Really, a novella. Stephen Leeds is uber smart. Sheldon Cooper smart. Kind of. He also has Multiple personality disorder and is Schizophrenic. So he never actually learns anything, when he gains new information he hallucinates a new personality that is an expert on whatever topic he just studied. And not all of his hallucinatory personalities get along.

_________________
V/R

HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-17 4:59 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Couldn't get into Codex Alera, but Cinder Spires is turning out interesting.


I'll list some of my current favorites

Anything Neal Stephenson. I like smart, well researched writing and Stephenson is definitely that:

Snow Crash and Diamond Age for some excellent cyberpunk
Baroque Cycle is a huge wandering beast of a tale. Historical non-fiction.
Cryptonomicon for a three intertwining timeline read. Talked crypto-currency before it was cool.
Reamde for some modern thriller action
Anathem for alternate universe shenanigans
Seveneves for a two part story about the moon blowing up.


Some other good stuff:

Dan Simmons - Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos 1) is a sweeping 4 book scifi masterpiece. Far future, high technology.

Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller chronicle book 1) Well written, long winded, mild fantasy series. Follows Kvothe through his almost Forrest Gump-like story of his past.

Scott Lynch - Lies of Locke Lemora (the Gentlemen Bastards book 1) A super fun series! Few people write dialogue like Lynch. The man is a master swearer. Follows Locke and Jean who are part of a group of master thieves.

Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself (First Law book 1) Light fantasy D&D style group adventure. Amazingly intricate and different characters.

_________________
Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-17 5:42 am 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Otaria
I'm not much of a bookworm these days (and never really got into the scifi/fantasy literature), but I'm always willing to urge people to read any of Kurt Vonnegut's satire. Slaughterhouse-Five is my favorite.

_________________
Current Deckbuilding Project:

An EDH deck for each Orzhov-colored commander with no card overlap (save basic land).
Selenia, Dark Angel
Tesya, Orzhov Scion
Ghost Council of Orzhova
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter
Athreos, God of Passage
Triad of Fates
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts

Daxos the Returned
Karlov of the Ghost Council
Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
Kambal, Consul of Allocation

Ravos, Soultender
Tymna the Weaver

Also,Saskia the Unyielding


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-21 11:50 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
In case it wasn't obvious I'm a big fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

_________________
"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 2:22 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Half of these I was going to add to the bottom of the list until I saw them turn up, the others I've added to my kindle (Thank you!)

Something not in the Sci-Fi section is Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga. It's pretty wordy but very readable. If sweeping space drama is your kick, I highly recommend it.

_________________
Current decks:
Mimeoplasm Goodstuff Foils
Sydri Artifact Foils
Gisa & Geralf Zombie Horde
Atraxa Superfriends
New-zilek Eldrazi (5C Devoid)
Norin Goblins
Marath Legends
Sidisi MBC


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 3:02 am 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
I've been trying to work on some writing recently and so I've been reading a lot. Here's some stuff I would recommend:

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
A cat goes missing, which sets off a chain of events that slowly dissolves the reality of one man's life. Murakami manages to capture what a fever dream feels like in prose.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
A young girl hears voices in her head she calls "the radio people"

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Satan shows up in Soviet Russia. Because aetheism is mandated by the state, no one believes who he is.

The King in the Tree by Stephen Millhauser
A collection of short stories about loss and longing told by an absolute master.

If On a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
A series of vaguely connected narratives framed as a series of printing errors.

The City and The City by China Mieville
A murder occurs in a divided city in which it is illegal for citizens of one half of the city to see citizens of the other.

Full disclosure: I'm trying to write a book and I post a new short story on a blog every two weeks. I would appreciate any kind of feedback. Shoot me a pm if you'd like a link.

_________________
specter404 wrote:
Basically, when it comes to commander, I want you to stab me through the heart, not cut off my balls.

Gath Immortal wrote:
Twenty Kavus and a Dream is not a legacy deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 3:14 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
scatteredsun wrote:
Couldn't get into Codex Alera, but Cinder Spires is turning out interesting.

Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller chronicle book 1) Well written, long winded, mild fantasy series. Follows Kvothe through his almost Forrest Gump-like story of his past.



Cinder Spires and Kingkiller were two of the series I self-edited out of my first list so it wasn't "All the books."

Thanks for the list, while I'm familiar with a couple, most are new to me.

Jeyal wrote:
I'm not much of a bookworm these days (and never really got into the scifi/fantasy literature), but I'm always willing to urge people to read any of Kurt Vonnegut's satire. Slaughterhouse-Five is my favorite.


Last year or so I've been going back and re-reading some of the classics (Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, HG Wells). Vonnegut is next on the list already, with this and Cat's Cradle in the queue.

Quote:
Full disclosure: I'm trying to write a book and I post a new short story on a blog every two weeks. I would appreciate any kind of feedback. Shoot me a pm if you'd like a link.


That's awesome, good job. What I've written has gone on Fanstory. Nothing recent, been researching for a larger project. A PM would be "loverly."

_________________
V/R

HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 3:23 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I haven't had time to read much lately, but I have been using audible.com to get audio books to listen to on my drive back and forth to work.

Lately I've enjoyed:
Ex-Heroes (previously mentioned by Treamayne) and The Fold - both by Peter Clines. I listend to The Fold first, and my opinion of the book went something like this:
Chapter 1: Meh, don't care for these characters.
Chapter 2: Ok, better characters, hope we focus on these more
Chapter 3: Yup, still using the good characters -- oh, a bit of a mystery
Chapter 4: Ok, I really wanna know what's up with that mystery now.

And for the record, the characters in Chapter 1 were mentioned, but never actually went back to again.

The Iron Druid Series by Kevin Hearne
This is about a Druid from the Iron(?) age, who has managed to live until our current age. When people ask him how old he is, and he says "21", it's not his fault they assume years and not centuries. He deals with some supernatural things (the Fae), and has a Werewolf and Vampire for lawyers; He talks to the Werewolf during the day, the Vampire during the night.


Also -- a bit of a tangent, but if we're talking about books -- has anyone else played "Bring Your Own Book"? I thoroughly enjoy it. It's like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity -- except instead of having a hand of answers, you have a book to look through for anything that will fit the subject/prompt.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 4:01 am 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary
scatteredsun wrote:
Anything Neal Stephenson.

Funny, the first thing I thought when I saw the topic was "how many posts before Snow Crash comes up?"

Diamond Age is more sci-fi than cyberpunk IMO. It and Snow Crash are really great reads, though the endings are not their strongest parts.
Cryptonomicon had a better ending. Couldn't get into Quicksilver.

I think I'll re-read Snow Crash, have meant to for a while. I wonder if it'll hold up.

Sid the Chicken wrote:
In case it wasn't obvious I'm a big fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

I've always been a little confused at Douglas Adams for describing flying as "falling and missing the ground" when that's the best way to explain orbital mechanics, not flight.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 4:36 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Lol...I'm surprised the Dark Tower hasn't come up yet :)

Quicksilver and the Baroque cycle was very difficult to get into but damn, once it gets going it's quite the ride. Especially if have any interest in history.

Douglas Adams is my sense of humor.


Woo! Atticus representin' the druids! I named my dog Flidais.

_________________
Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 4:41 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
scatteredsun wrote:
Woo! Atticus representin' the druids! I named my dog Flidais.

Sweet. In my current D&D campaign I had the players meet up with Atticus & Owen :)


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 7:46 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
I've been trying to think about a 'short' list of books I'd recommend, but I don't think it'd end up being at all short. So I'll just share that one of the books I'm currently reading (when I make time for it) is "She," by H. Rider Haggard. If you like adventure into lost civilizations, based somewhat on reality of the mid-late 1800s, then this book is just about absolutely essential to read.

EDIT: to elaborate a little further, "She" goes to bat with other best selling books of all time (excluding religious texts). It's worth at least giving a moment to see if it's up your alley.

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Last edited by Segrus on 2016-Nov-22 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 1:33 pm 

Joined: 2013-Oct-09 7:02 am
Age: Elder Dragon
zimagic wrote:
Something not in the Sci-Fi section is Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga. It's pretty wordy but very readable. If sweeping space drama is your kick, I highly recommend it.

I was going to mention this as well. I'm currently reading the new one. Also, they are all in the sci-fi section where I live. Dunno what else it would go under.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 8:01 pm 

Joined: 2015-Apr-23 11:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Lots of good suggestions here, have to add this thread to my favorites :)

I loved Robert Jordan (and especially Brandon Sanderson)'s Wheel of Time series. Classic epic high fantasy, extended world building, and tons of inspiration to build decks :D We house ruled Huntmaster of the Fells to be legendary, so I could build a Perrin Aybara, Wolfsbrother deck.

Currently reading Book of Malazan series, so far it's been a great read. Very detailed world building, great character depth, well thought out magic systems... god I hope this isn't getting derailed later in the series. I'll need to get one of the Sorin Markovs to get houseruled as a commander, and get into a Anomander Rake deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Chatter about Books (and stuff)
AgePosted: 2016-Nov-22 8:04 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Nigerian Prince wrote:
I loved Robert Jordan (and especially Brandon Sanderson)'s Wheel of Time series. Classic epic high fantasy, extended world building, and tons of inspiration to build decks :D We house ruled Huntmaster of the Fells to be legendary, so I could build a Perrin Aybara, Wolfsbrother deck.


I read the whole series up to Jordan's death about 2-4 times but dropped it when they switched. Didn't touch it for years until my sister told me to finish it and gave me her copies. Now I wish Sanderson had written the entire series and not just the last 3 books.

_________________
Current decks:
Mimeoplasm Goodstuff Foils
Sydri Artifact Foils
Gisa & Geralf Zombie Horde
Atraxa Superfriends
New-zilek Eldrazi (5C Devoid)
Norin Goblins
Marath Legends
Sidisi MBC


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