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My list is getting low again - anyone care to recommend some books?

Fiction, non-Fiction, Sci-Fi, it's all good.

impolite
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One Second After by William R. Forstchen
http://www.amazon.com/One-Second-After-William-Forstchen/dp/...

fiction about what happens in a small town after an EMP affects the US.
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May I recommend the collection of Second World War diaries We are at War and it's sequels? If you like reading blogs, then you'll enjoy these. I found them fascinating and very hard to put down. See my book review at: http://pipneyjane.blogspot.com/2009/04/book-review-we-are-at... and http://pipneyjane.blogspot.com/2009/05/stepping-back-in-time...

- Pam
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imp, have you been introduced to the wonderful world of Terry Pratchett yet?

I just read Making Money, which is by Pratchett - it's one of his Discworld books.

There are a bazillion more Pratchett books I could recommend - this is just my latest read.

I also read The Associate by John Grisham recently, which is quite good as well.

d
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This is basically just the books on my Amazon wish list, but thought it might help:

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich
Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich
The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (American Empire Project) by Andrew Bacevich
Montesquieu's Philosophy of Liberalism: A Commentary on The Spirit of the Laws by Thomas L. Pangle
The Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu: Humanitarian Despotism and the Conditions of Modern Tyranny (Applications of Political Theory) by Maurice Joly
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Diana

I just picked up a couple of the discworld books. I asked at the bookstore but they couldn't tell me if they were a series. Should they be read in some kind of order?


Jean
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I just picked up a couple of the discworld books. I asked at the bookstore but they couldn't tell me if they were a series. Should they be read in some kind of order?

Which ones? Some books are completely stand-alone, most can be enjoyed even when you haven't read the other books in the series, but a few would be better read in order.

All the Discworld books rely on the reader understanding a few basic principles:-

- The world is flat and carried through space on the back of 4 elephants who ride on a giant space turtle.
- Magic is real, and can be a career choice.
- So is psychic ability.
- Death is quite a kind personage, really. He likes parties.
- Eight is the magic number.

- Pam (did I miss anything out?)
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I just picked up a couple of the discworld books. I asked at the bookstore but they couldn't tell me if they were a series. Should they be read in some kind of order?

Jean, I haven't read them as a series per se. The first book Andy had me read was The Color of Magic, which explains a bit about how discworld is laid out and is one of the earlier books. But I've read a lot of the other books in no particular order and been fine.

d
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I'll have to look, I'm at work now and the books are at home. I got them at the used bookstore. I had all the books of my faviorite authors and needed a new author. Pratchett was mentioned here so I picked up some. I'm 30 miles from the bookstore and I read alot in the winter.

The from the basic principles list it sounds like my kind of book.

Jean
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Pratchett is brilliant, very funny but he delivers a serious message at the same time. And his writing is full of puns. I'm sure you will enjoy the books.

- Pam
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I also recommend Pratchett highly, and Grisham's The Associate was a fast reading page turner, which was a welcome surprise after his last few books of not-quite-dreck but real yawners, IMOH.

Babs
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Here's a few more:

Angel Dust Apocalypse by Jeremy Robert Johnson

Meth-heads, man-made monsters, and murderous Neo-Nazis. Blissed out club kids dying at the speed of sound. The un-dead and the very soon-to-be-dead. They're all here, trying to claw their way free.
From the radioactive streets of a war-scarred America, where the nuclear bombs have become self-aware, to the fallow fields of Nebraska where the kids are mainlining lightning bugs, this is a world both alien and intensely human. This is a place where self-discovery involves scalpels and horse tranquilizers; where the doctors are more doped-up than the patients; where obsessive-compulsive acid-freaks have unlocked the gateway to God and can't close the door.

This is not a safe place. You can turn back now, or you can head straight into the heart of . . . The Angel Dust Apocalypse





Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan

Like many a hip young literary antihero these days, the protagonist of this hilarious if aimless debut is sunk in slacker anomie. Shane has a monotonous temp job at an insurance agency, where he is supposed to alphabetize paperwork but instead spends his time sleeping on the toilet. After work, he is besieged by a gallery of grotesques: a vapid girlfriend who sexually brutalizes him; an absurdly macho neighbor with a leather-clad guinea pig for a sex slave; and his dentist's deaf assistant, who sings atonal karaoke, teaches him to sign obscenities and furnishes a wispy narrative thread by getting murdered. In a world both banal and assaultive, Shane can only drink, steal salt shakers and cultivate his sense of irony; "[t]here's only so much you can do," he shrugs, "and even that's not worth the trouble." Shane's malaise doesn't feel earned; job aside, there are just too many gonzo goings-on—the landlord, for instance, is paying him to have sex with his wife—for him to feel so listless. There's not much to Shane besides a defiant dejectedness, but from that Neilan spins many sparkling comic riffs on the tawdriness and sterility of American life.



Company by Max Barry

With broad strokes, Barry once again satirizes corporate America in his third caustic novel (after Jennifer Government). This time, he takes aim at the perennial corporate crime of turning people into cogs in a machine. Recent b-school grad Stephen Jones, a fresh-faced new hire at a Seattle-based holding company called Zephyr, jumps on the fast track to success when he's immediately promoted from sales assistant to sales rep in Zephyr's training sales department. "Don't try to understand the company. Just go with it," a colleague advises when Jones is flummoxed to learn his team sells training packages to other internal Zephyr departments. But unlike his co-workers, he won't accept ignorance of his employer's business, and his unusual display of initiative catapults him into the ranks of senior management, where he discovers the "customer-free" company's true, sinister raison d'être. The ultracynical management team co-opts Jones with a six-figure salary and blackmail threats, but it's not long before he throws a wrench into the works. As bitter as break-room coffee, the novel eviscerates demeaning modern management techniques that treat workers as "headcounts." Though Barry's primary target is corporate dehumanization, he's at his funniest lampooning the suits that tread the stage, consumed by the sound and fury of office politics that signify nothing.


The Baby Jesus Butt Plug by Carlton Mellick III

Step into a dark and absurd where human beings are slaves to corporations, people are photocopied instead of born, and the baby jesus is a very popular anal probe.



Satan Burger by Carlton Mellick III

Absurd philosophies, dark surrealism, and the end of the human race . . . God hates you. All of you. He closed the gates of Heaven and wants you to rot on Earth forever. Not only that, he is repossesing your souls and feeding them to a large vagina-like machine called the Walm - an interdimensional doorway that brings His New Children into the world. He loves these new children, but He doesn't love you. They are more interesting than you. They are beautiful, psychotic, magical, sex-crazed, and deadly. They are turning your cities into apocalyptic chaos, and there's nothing you can do about it ...
Featuring: a narrator who sees his body from a third-person perspective, a man whose flesh is dead but his body parts are alive and running amok, an overweight messiah, the personal life of the Grim Reaper, lots of classy sex and violence, and a motley group of squatter punks that team up with the devil to find their place in a world that doesn't want them anymore.
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No. of Recommendations: 17
Thanks, Diana, I'll have to see if The Color of Magic is one of the titles. I'll have to look for it.

Just a short story about how you and Andy impacted my life.

DH and I went to Portland (350 miles) to pick up a used motor home. On the way home, about 20 miles from home at midnight an Elk ran in front of my 1993 Pontiac Grand Am. I called DH on the cell. He was ahead of me in the motor home and didn't see the crash. He came back, the car would start and sounded ok, so he said try and drive it home. We made it home but the car was really totalled. Unfortunately the last time I got insurance I said liability only instead of no collusion so didn't have comprehensive so no insurance payment. It wouldn't have been very much anyway.

I have a 1981 VW rabbit, so I started driving it. I didn't have any blue yarn so went to the nearest place (30 miles) to buy some. (I needed some other stuff anyway) The VW started smoking in the front. I had had enough! My kid had bought a Toyota last year...so I went to the dealer and ended up with a new car. DH went a picked up the VW later that day.

I was feeling a little guilty about the new car purchase. Then read your post about not being a fix-it person. I'm a fix-it person for some stuff, but not cars. DH is a mechanic, but getting on in years. I'm 20+ years older than you and he is older than me. Also, new cars are not easy to work on with all the compter stuff. Our kid lives about 5 hours away...I need/want a vehicle to go see them and not have to worry about breaking down. I now feel a lot better about my purchase.

Yesterday, I had to take the car in to get a coating on it and some mud flaps installed. While I was waiting I went to the bookstore and picked up the Pratchett books, they were sitting on a box and jumped out at me. I enjoy reading yours and Andy's posts, I liked his sense of humor and thoughtfulness that came across in his posts. I remembered he like Pratchett.

I don't think I'll be able to drive my car without thinking of the two of you and the other people on this board that have had an impact on my life. This is one board I have felt I could post on without getting put down. Thanks, Imp.

I don't post often and didn't know what to say before...I hope my little story helps you know that you and Andy are in my thoughts and probably in the thoughts of others. We are thinking about you and wishing you the best.


Jean
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I don't know if you've read any of Spider Robinson's books, but his first three Callahan books are wonderful.

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Time Travelers Strictly Cash
Callahan's Secret

Lots of puns, a good deal of humor, science fiction and a nice group of people at the bar.

Nancy
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Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear

Any of the Angelico series by Sharon Shinn

Minxie
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Also anything by Spider Robinson...if you enjoy puns. :-)

Minxie
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Should they be read in some kind of order?

From http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/discworld/

...well, it's like this. If you started watching Star Trek halfway through the series you probably wondered why one guy had pointy ears. But since you liked what you saw, you probably let the question ride for now and just got on with enjoying the show.

Discworld is like that. There are mini-series within the series (the "witches" books, the "City Watch" books, the "Death" books --) and there are one or two big story arcs, but generally the books are written to be accessible at any point to anyone with a nodding acquaintanceship with the fantasy genre. Or even with real life. Admittedly, real life does not contain many librarians who are a full-grown male orangutan, and Death in real life does not ride a white horse called Binky, but Discworld readers now consider that this is real life's loss.

Also: http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discwor...

(Missing the most recently published books, but those just get tagged on at the end of the appropriate mini-series. Wikipedia also lists the books in publication order)

- Parkway, also thinking of Andy and Diana as I'm working my way through the series right now.
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Thanks!!!!!
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Check out anything by Charles Stross (Glasshouse is particularly good) and anything by David Foster Wallace.
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All the Discworld books rely on the reader understanding a few basic principles:-

- The world is flat and carried through space on the back of 4 elephants who ride on a giant space turtle.
- Magic is real, and can be a career choice.
- So is psychic ability.
- Death is quite a kind personage, really. He likes parties.
- Eight is the magic number.


I've only read "the Wee Free Men" (and it's sequel who's name i 'don't remember) but for those two "Magic is real and can be a career choice" is the only of those you'd need to know (which really could be called a need to know for much of fantasy) :D

And although there may have been things I "missed" from not having read any of the others it was nothing that affected the book at all.

The Wee Free Men was excellent btw.

LL
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I will throw in the second (or eighth) to Pratchett
Anything by Christopher Moore
World War Z (Max Brooks - Mel's Son)
The speed of Dark (Elizabeth Moon)
The Kite Runner (if you haven't already)

Peter & the Starcatchers/Peter & the Shadow Thieves
/Peter & the Secret of Rundoon
a trilogy by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson about how Peter Pan became Peter pan. (fun reads, and also really good read-alouds for the kids if you read chapter books to them)


peace & books
t
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I've only read "the Wee Free Men" (and it's sequel who's name i 'don't remember)

The sequel is "A Hat Full of Sky". There is a third book now, too in that sequence, "Wintersmith".

The Wee Free Men was excellent btw.


Agreed. I loved it.

- Pam (Pratchett fan)
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Love the suggestions people are giving -- my list is getting low as well!

If anyone likes historical mysteries (and is/was a Sherlock Holmes fan) and has not read Laurie King's Mary Russell series, try that. Just read #9. Best to start at the beginning of that series for maximum enjoyment.

Also reading "Buyology" by Martin Lindstrom, which is pretty fascinating, if a bit pedantic. Lots of neuroscience information.

Stiegg Larsson's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". His latest is out but haven't read that. (Now I can't remember if I posted that recommendation here already or just shared with another friend over email.)

"The Magicians" by Lev Grossman was very good. Alternate reality/magic/fantasy -- if you were a fan of the Narnia series, you would probably enjoy this one.

Best,

pachouly
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may i also suggest goodreads.com

(AS IF we all need more social networking...)

peace & reviews
t
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Yes and no.

Each book stands alone, but many of the books refer to characters in other books.

The first couple are with Rincewind. . . The Colour of Light or something, and the first two do go together, they are each essentially 1/2 a book.

The others, meh. If you read them out of order, some of the inside jokes don't make sense, but the story still does.

Ishtar
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- Death is quite a kind personage, really. He likes parties.

and CATS! He is not kind to those who drown kittens, and his house is full of cats.

Ishtar
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Callahan is fab!

I also liked "Lady Slings the Booze" from Robinson; a new direction on Callahan.

Ishtar
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I also liked "Lady Slings the Booze" from Robinson; a new direction on Callahan.

"Callahan's Lady" came before "Lady Slings the Blues" and is made up of short stories.

Nancy
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I don't remember what I recommended last time.

Anything by Robin McKinley, particularly Sunshine. It's like the anti-Twilight- a vampire book with hardly any sex, but the vampires are actually scary and the lead female actually does something. (Food warning- there's some serious food porn in there, as the lead female works in a coffeeshop where she makes Cinnamon Rolls As Big As Your Head. You're apt to get very hungry while reading that book.) But seriously- ANY of her books are good. (Deerskin's hard to read, though, because of the subject matter. Don't start with that one.) She's written a fair amount, so it may take you awhile to plow through her books. Some of them may show up in the YA section- don't be fooled! They're fabulous for grownups too.

Pratchett is wonderful.

You might try The Book of Night with Moon, by Diane Duane. It's set in the same universe as her YA series, but it's written for grownups instead and doesn't assume you know anything about that universe. It's about a bunch of feline wizards. They're pretty awesome.

Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series (two trilogies) are good (I may have recommended these already) and very complicated but are heavy on the sex. I'd stick with the original two trilogies- she's got a new book out in the same universe and I was really not thrilled with it. Santa Olivia is by the same author (came out recently) but is in a very, very different universe and is very good. Also a decent amount of sex.

I haven't read a book for pleasure since the start of the semester, so new books for Christmas will be wonderful.

~Annagail, tired and wishing the semester were over already
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I also liked "Lady Slings the Booze" from Robinson; a new direction on Callahan.

Have you read Callahan's Lady or Callahan's Key? Both are EXCELLENT! :-)

Minxie
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I think I've read them all, I think.

C is still enamoured of the House of Night vampire series, and now I've read the first five (there's 6 as of this moment) and loved 'em.

There's a little sex, and some romance, but a really different take on vampires.

Stephanie Meyer (who wrote Twilight) has another book called The Host, which is kind of Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the alien's point of view. Not great writing, but decent and a new take on an old story.

I'm very fond of Johnathan Kellerman for suspense/thriller, and John Sanford.

Ishtar
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On the non-fiction side, have you read Malcolm Gladwell's boks? "The Tipping Point" and "Blink" are out in trade paperback. "Outliers" has been out for a while, but I haven't been able to read it yet.

"Tipping Point" is about how things become popular and how certain people start trends. It includes Hush Puppies, Paul Revere, Crime in New York City, and a huge amount of other matters. One of the articles that led to the book is Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg.

http://www.gladwell.com/1999/1999_01_11_a_weisberg.htm

Blink is about first impressions. When they are accurate, when they're wrong. Why we should be aware of them, and why they can be dangerous.

Nancy
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Anything by Robin McKinley, particularly Sunshine. It's like the anti-Twilight- a vampire book with hardly any sex, but the vampires are actually scary and the lead female actually does something. (Food warning- there's some serious food porn in there, as the lead female works in a coffeeshop where she makes Cinnamon Rolls As Big As Your Head. You're apt to get very hungry while reading that book.)

I LOVE Sunshine. It is a wonderful story. I was constantly hungry while reading it though. :)

McKinley is a great storyteller -- especially excels at retelling of old, favorite fairy tales.

pachouly
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I'm with Nancy. Malcom Gladwell's books are amazing, easy to read, absorbing and thought provoking. "Outliers" was our household's "Best Book" of 2008 ( we puclish a "best" list in our Christmas letter) and Tipping Point ( older) may hit it this year.

But "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova is a wonderful book and anyone I have given it to has agreed. A Harvard Professor gets early onset Alzheimers. Loving family. Very interesting. Probably my "Best" of 2009.

Big Momma
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