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  1. #1
    Treasure Hunter Lara Croft's Avatar
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    Default Book club, anyone?

    Hey, I had this REALLY SUPER NIFTY IDEA...and now you all get to listen to it. ^^ Sit tight, buckle your seat belts, because I propose...

    A BOOK CLUB! *listens to uproarous cheering* *quickly stops her tape of Uproarous Cheering and grins*

    But really...I mean it. And not one of those old lady book clubs either, but a cool hip one! Err, as cool and hip as book clubs can get, at least. *grins again*

    Anyway, so here's the basics of my idea: Everyone around here reads, right? So why don't we just recommend books to each other? You know, like, "I just read such and such book...everyone should try it!" And then the title could be discussed by those who might have read it already, and it would be FUN! ^^ (Oh, and by the way, I'm not a stickler about being nice like Damian/B is. He likes us to play fair. Personally, if there isn't a nice smattering of book flaming, it's just not as entertaining. ^_~)

    So suggestions, comments? This is just a proposal to see if the idea would fly, so I DEMAND INPUT! *grins innocently* Thank you.
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    Manga Sam Fangirl Revolutionary Girl's Avatar
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    Okay, let's get the ball rolling then.

    Just got through reading for the umpteenth time a couple of books by Milan Kundera, Czech author:

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being--about the lives of a married couple in Prague, the husband's artist lover, and her academic boyfriend, among other things... (he's most known for this one, but I think i like the next one better, myself...)

    The Book of Laughter and Forgetting--which I guess is most easily desscribed as a collection of short stories that build off each other.

    These books are thoroughly difficult to describe, and even more difficult to understand, and yet everytime I read them, I find a new thought. They take on Nietzsche, musicology, politics, sex, death, laughter... and they make great stories too. But, as always when it comes to stuff I read, your mileage may vary... ^^;;;

    Nice idea--I always like seeing what everyone's reading.

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    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    I think the last time I read something new was last autumn, when I attacked GRR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire (or whatever). Not bad, but I wouldn't recomend it to young people - it's very heavy at times, and I saw one or two scene that can't be given much description besides "rather explicit".

    Right now, what I'm busily re-reading are the Robert Van Gulik Judge Dee series of detective story. I rather like them, as there is one definite thing setting them apart from most of the classic western stories : the setting is ancient historical china, and the author has taken up the style of ancient chinesse detective stories - IE, the plots, everything are based on ancient chinesse stuff.

    The main character, the Judge Dee (or Ti in french), is also based on an historical figure (who rose from simple provincial judge to become a key political figure eventually - Minister of the Imperial Court and all that).

    What's interesting is that there is a certain amount of character development throughout the series, unlike many series featuring one character where that character stays virtually the same throughout the series. (IE, Agatha Christie's novels). From the somewhat naive judge of "The Chinesse Gold Murders" to the "grizzled veteran" of "Murder in Canton", he changes a lot throughout.

    To any extent, quite worth reading, especially if you are looking for a non-boring variety of semi-historical novel, and all the more so if you are looking for books that will give you a sharp glance in a completely different culture.
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    Stephen King's The Dark Tower series is awesome. Dark fantasy at its finest.

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    Originally posted by The Tater Tot
    Stephen King's The Dark Tower series is awesome. Dark fantasy at its finest.
    I completely agree... I always associated Stephen King with being a rahter trashy, Tom Clancy-like writer, but this series was heavily recommended to me by several people and boy was I wrong. Dark Tower create a modern version of the great fantasy epic, with certain Western elements thrown in, and it both well writeen and imaginative. I heard that books 5,6 and 7 are next on his to do list, and I certainly hope that this is the case.
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    Treasure Hunter Lara Croft's Avatar
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    Wow, nice to see everyone sharing ideas *already*!

    Hmmmm...my recommendation: The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

    Saucy and a must-read, these books don't fit into a particular genre. There's always a mystery aspect to them, a crime that needs to be solved, and they're always slightly gruesome. An "urban fantasy", these books take place in the present with two differences: A bill passed in the U.S Congress legalizing the undead as citizens with civil rights and the monsters (i.e werewolves, vampires...) are REAL.

    The monsters aren't typical, either. These are characters that aren't evil, but not inherently good, either. They fall in that grey area, and you're forced to think along with Anita in order to catagorize them. They're like...NOT people people! ^^

    Hamilton mixes fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance into these AWESOME stories. Anita Blake is a strong heroine character, too. She's your regular bad-ass...takes none but dishes it all out. For example, I think she carries anywhere from 3 to 8 weapons on her person at all times. ^^ Very cool. Each story is hilarious, but they hit on some deep topics, too. Like souls. That's one of the major ongoing conflicts with the main character, but I can't give too much away. ^^

    I recommend them for EVERYONE, starting with Guilty Pleasures. ^^
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    Jellybaby for your brain! Mew2Too's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Adam
    I completely agree... I always associated Stephen King with being a rahter trashy, Tom Clancy-like writer, but this series was heavily recommended to me by several people and boy was I wrong. Dark Tower create a modern version of the great fantasy epic, with certain Western elements thrown in, and it both well writeen and imaginative. I heard that books 5,6 and 7 are next on his to do list, and I certainly hope that this is the case.
    Tom Clancy? Nah, King and Clancy are nothing alike. If you wanna hear Clancy-ish stuff, go read a Dale Brown or Stephen Coonts. (I've never really cared for any of the three.)

    Want more good King? Well, try "Insomnia," "Bag of Bones," or "Everything's Eventual." Or, if you really wanna go for the gold, try "Rose Madder." There's a lot of profantiy, so stay away from most of King's stuff if you don't like swears and slangs. I'll only say, though, that King doesn't brandish a single word carelessly -- not even vulgarities.

    It's funny, though, because I've never really cared for "The Dark Tower." But, did you know that all of King's stories are somehow connected to that series? It's true. There are ones like "Insomnia" and "Hearts in Atlantis" that are openly so, but according to King himself they all tie in.

    What was the reason that I wasn't crazy about the Dark Tower? It's really kind of crazy. I wanted to envision Roland as Vash the Stampede from Trigun. (Only, he wears all black.) Yet, King kept describing him as a bent-knee cowpoke in pantaloons and shitkickers!

    That, and none of King's books are as good when they aren't being read by King himself. It's true. Most of the books I've mentioned here are read by King himself -- at least in parts. I never got anywhere close to done with any of them when I was trying to read them. So, I get the unabridged versions of the books on tape or CD and listen to them.
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  8. #8

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    Originally posted by Mew2Too
    Tom Clancy? Nah, King and Clancy are nothing alike. If you wanna hear Clancy-ish stuff, go read a Dale Brown or Stephen Coonts. (I've never really cared for any of the three.)
    Yeah, that was basically what I was saying - I was way off the mark about King's ability as a writer. Funnily enough, I always pictured Roland exactly the same way as you - like Vash but in black.
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    Personally, I'm a big sci-fi fan and can't recommend ANY Isaac Asimov or Asimov based book highly enough. Even if you don't like sci-fi, his stuff is amazing. Especially his collections of short stories. This stuff comes from the man who literally invented the word robot and almost every word that is a by-product of the word robot. But what makes his stuff interesting is the fact that they aren't necessarily stories about robots. They're stories about robots coping with not being human. Trying to understand why humans do what they do. Or humans trying to deal with robots, and the 3 laws that govern all robots. But that's just a very basic overlay of the ideas. They don't even begin to describe the stories.

    And if you like the Star Wars movies, the novels (except for one trilogy) are even better.

    There are some other REALLY good sci-fi novels whose titles I've forgotten. I'll try to post them later. But if you're a comic book fan, most comic book based novels are REALLY great. MUCH more of a story than in the comics.

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    Jellybaby for your brain! Mew2Too's Avatar
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    Orignally posted by Adam
    Funnily enough, I always pictured Roland exactly the same way as you - like Vash but in black.
    That's okay. I'm sure Stephen King would understand our attachment to the kick-@$$ness that is Vash in black. The first time I saw the Kaiyodo Vash repaint figure, I was like, "Holy crap! That's the coolest thing I've ever seen!"

    Originally posted by GrnMarvl13
    Personally, I'm a big sci-fi fan and can't recommend ANY Isaac Asimov or Asimov based book highly enough. Even if you don't like sci-fi, his stuff is amazing. Especially his collections of short stories. This stuff comes from the man who literally invented the word robot and almost every word that is a by-product of the word robot. But what makes his stuff interesting is the fact that they aren't necessarily stories about robots. They're stories about robots coping with not being human. Trying to understand why humans do what they do. Or humans trying to deal with robots, and the 3 laws that govern all robots. But that's just a very basic overlay of the ideas. They don't even begin to describe the stories.
    Positronics, and so forth. Great stuff! Never read any of Asimov's stuff, unfortunately. Of course, we all know that his ideas got even further mainstreamed when the character of "Data" was introduced on Star Trek. Commander Riker even made a comment once about how Data was the epitome of Asimov's theories - an android who wants to be human.

    And if you like the Star Wars movies, the novels (except for one trilogy) are even better.
    I'm a huge fan of the Tim Zahn books. All five of 'em! I thought when he wrote "Vision of the Future" and "Spectre of the Past," I would be hugely disappointed. But, ol' Timmy hadn't lost his touch at all.

    Any Star Wars book by R.A. Salvatore should be given a thorough look, too. Did you hate "Star Wars Episode II" ? Read the novelization by Salvatore. I swear, it was better than the movie!

    There are some other REALLY good sci-fi novels whose titles I've forgotten. I'll try to post them later. But if you're a comic book fan, most comic book based novels are REALLY great. MUCH more of a story than in the comics.
    I only read one of the novelizations of a comic book saga, and that was "The Death and Life of Superman." I had virtually no use for Superman until I read that book. The next week, I was watching "Smallville" and hunting for old Superman action figures at a local hobby shop!
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  11. #11
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GrnMarvl13
    Personally, I'm a big sci-fi fan and can't recommend ANY Isaac Asimov or Asimov based book highly enough. Even if you don't like sci-fi, his stuff is amazing.
    I have his "Book of Facts", which indeed *is* amazing. Trust me, it helps, expecially if you're captain of the Quiz Bowl team.

    Especially his collections of short stories. This stuff comes from the man who literally invented the word robot and almost every word that is a by-product of the word robot.
    Karl Capek invented the word Robot, from the Czech word Robotnika, meaning Worker.



    Anyway, some books I must reccommend are the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane. Like the Harry Potter series (which these predate consideribly, just FYI), they're about ordinary kids who discover that they're wizards. However, these kids remain in the normal world--modern-day New York City.

    The writing is amazing, especially the descriptions, and the characters have all the quirks and fallables of real people...

    And the kids, while wizarding brings great problems, also have real-life problems like parental pressure to be better in school, being picked on, things like that.

    *note--I've only read the first three! I know something REALLY major happens to Nita's family in the 5th book, but when we moved, I hadn't started the 4th one yet, and it's STILL packed! And I wanna read that before I read the 5th one*

    Also, you gotta love Macchu Picchu. She's so great. (and go back and read her parts after finding out the truth about her in the third book...heeheehee)
    Last edited by Blackjack Gabbiani; 19th January 2003 at 11:10 PM.

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    A few series have caught my eye. First is the 'Dragonriders of Pern' series by Anne McCaffrey. There are several novels in this series as well as collections of short stories. I would rate most if not all of these books as PG or G; in fact, the three first novels in this series ["Dragonflight, "Dragonquest" and 'The White Dragon'] can be found in the children's section of most bookstores and my local library.

    The next series is the Kay Scarpetta novels by Patricia Cornwell. She worked for many years at a medical examiners office in Virginia, which is the setting of her novels. Kay is the state medical examiner who is often aided by Lt. Peter Marino, the curmudgeonliest sidekick ever. He's bigoted, loud, obnoxious, tough, and tender. I have decided that if Cornwell ever kills off this character in the novels, I will stop reading. He's terrific. Be warned, her stuff is explicit in terms of describing human autopsies and grisly deaths.

    Next up are the novels co-written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. These include "The Relic", "Reliquary", "Mount Dragon", "The Ice Limit", and "Riptide." These guys must do weeks upon weeks of research for each book and it shows in their meticulous detailing of the settings and characters in each novel. You may have seen 'The Relic' which was filmed in 1995 and starred Penelope Ann Miller. It was pretty good as far as monster movies go, but I'm a stickler for preferring books to movies. The CG beast in the film is incredible, though. Anyhow, be prepared to stay up all night turning pages until you get to the end of one of their novels.

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    I picked up a VERY good book yesterday that I recommend to anyone who's even remotely interested in the subject matter. The book's The 70 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time and it's VERY interesting and full of more pure facts than actual speculation, including many, MANY different ways that the US tried to kill Castro in the 60s (ingenious methods, not just sniper attempts), and some interesting info related to the US's bioweapons programs, a piece of legislation sponsored by FEMA that makes you think twice about them, and some interesting things about Iraq and the US during, and immediately before the Gulf War.

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    Treasure Hunter Lara Croft's Avatar
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    Barb, I have to disagree on the Anne McCaffery scene.

    True, she *is* a good writer...for the first three or so books in her series'. Then she seems to pale until the books become a chore rather than a a pleasure to read.

    Case in point: The "Talents" series. The first two book were great, the third one sucked, and then the Rowan thing just branched off. Definitely not her best work.

    However, I concede that the Dragonriders of Pern (at least, those three core books) were wonderful. ^^
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    ~Thou shalt love thy horse more than thy boyfriend ~
    ~Thou shalt run with the speed God gave you ~
    ~Thou shalt be loud and thou shalt be PROUD! ~

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    Ooh! As always, dahling, you are the mother of brilliant ideas.

    And the devil, but that's another story...

    I'd have to suggest a lot of works, actually. Especially The City and the Stars, by Arthur. C. Clarke, A Second Chance At Eden, by Peter. F. Hamilton, 'cause both of them are brilliantly done Sci-Fi. And the Elenium and Tamuli by Eddings, for brilliant Fantasy.

    If anyone's read 2001, and listened to Space Oddity by David Bowie, do you think that the song reminds you of the book at all? It did for me. ^^

    And on second thoughts, RR, aren't you both sister, mother and daughter to you-know-who?

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