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Thread: Literary Recommendations

  1. #21
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    Default Literary Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by RealWittyAlias View Post
    I'd recommend Terry Pratchett's Discworld books to everybody, especially the Witches and City Watch ones. It's a great fantasy comedy series.
    Can you recommend specific books? I’ve heard so many good things about Pratchett and I want to read his stuff, but it’s such a large body of work and I really just don’t understand how it all works. Is there a certain order I should read them in? You seem to imply there are series within the collection... what books go together?

    Now to contribute my recommendations.... Two of the authors that helped me figure out I would probably love Pratchett were Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman.

    Adams is most well known for his Hitchhiker’s Guide series, (with a sixth installment in his “increasingly ill named Hitchhiker’s trilogy” written by Eoin Colfer), and it was really formative for me in terms of sci-fi and dry humor. The ending of Adams’s part of the series gets a little dark because he was going through some stuff, but it’s still good, and Colfer redeems it. There’s a movie version of the first book that has some good elements but sadly seems designed to have precluded any sequels.

    Gaiman’s fiction pretty much all would fit in the “magical realism” genre. I feel like Gaiman has been all over the media lately: American Gods is getting a show, Good Omens (co-written with Pratchett) got a show, etc. American Gods is good (and its sister novel, Anansi Boys, isn’t bad either). His Sandman comics are great. I sadly haven’t read Good Omens yet but enjoyed the show. For the YA fans out there, he wrote Coraline (which became a movie), and The Graveyard Book, both of which I’ve been told are good. Neverwhere is another good YA book of his. He gave an excellent commencement speech that has been turned into an inspirational book as well: “Make Good Art.” It’s really good to watch/read when you need some inspiration, and I watch it with my public speaking class every year. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/ikAb-NYkseI
    I won’t lie, though, the book of his that really touched me was The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Like most of his stuff, it’s magical realism... as a kid, the narrator had a friend who was a witch/sorceress/whatever you want to call it. Her aunts were, too. He gets to explore her world and initially finds it beautiful, but later realizes the danger present in it as well. The book is a retrospective on how loss and growing up are almost inextricably intertwined. It’s probably one of the most literary of Gaiman’s books that I’ve read.
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  2. #22
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    Guards! Guards!
    Men at arms.
    Feet of clay.
    Jingo.
    The fifth elephant.

    In that order.

    Not in any order:
    Mort.
    Reaper man.
    Lords and ladies.
    Small gods.
    Soul music.
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  3. #23
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    To Rel's recommendations:

    Adams was one of the first authors to make me truly gut-laugh out loud (the other two, for what it's worth, are David Sedaris in Me Talk Pretty One Day and Voltaire in Candide). I enjoyed almost all of his Hitchhiker books, though number five admittedly lost me, and was thrilled to find that Colfer's addition of number six was good stuff too.

    I'm also a big Gaiman fan, and agree with most of what Rel posted about him. I'd add two more titles worth checking out though: Stardust, a YA-ish fairy tale that is more beautiful than most stories have a right to be, and his adaptation of the Norse Gods stories. If you've always liked Odin but don't know much about Odin, that's the book for you, my friends.

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    Dresden files started good, although I fell off in the middle. I hear it's only gotten so much better especially with the latest in this 14+ book series. I'm sure to jump back in someday.

    Kings of the Wyld reads a lot like a dnd game which admittedly is not for everyone, even I rolled my eyes a few times, but overall pretty good even if it leans a little too heavy in that old guy, the expendables, get the band back together vibe.

    Although it was mentioned already I don't think it was recommended. Kingkiller Chronicles is very good, if you can get pass the long wait for the ending and the fact that even if it does end the author already said it was a prequel series anyway sooo... The stories hold up on their own for the most part despite it definitely setting up a lot you want the payoff for, which may never come. But the writing and world building is strong, pose is fantastic. There's a few eye roll moments in it as well but overall worth the read.

  5. #25
    RealWittyAlias is online now PbP Lvl.3 - reached 900 posts (Next Lvl.@ 2,700 posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rellott View Post
    Can you recommend specific books? I’ve heard so many good things about Pratchett and I want to read his stuff, but it’s such a large body of work and I really just don’t understand how it all works. Is there a certain order I should read them in? You seem to imply there are series within the collection... what books go together?
    I'm sorry, I didn't see this until just now! I've been reading them all in chronological order. (I'm down to the last two.) I've been using this site to keep track of them:
    https://www.discworldemporium.com/co...-reading-order
    It starts with a list of them all in their publication order, but if you scroll down you can get lists of the "themed" books -which I usually refer to as subseries, and are all focused on a certain character or group- and what order they should be read in. If you scroll down even further there are the standalone books and also some non-Discworld books, but I'll focus on the themed books in this post.

    The City Watch books follow Ankh-Morporks beaten-down, underfunded, generally apathetic and cowardly police force as they rise to better things. It's funny but tackles serious issues, especially as the series goes on. Actually, the whole Discworld series gets deeper and focuses on serious topics as it progresses, but I personally noticed it more in the City Watch books than the others.

    The Witches books focus on a coven of hilarious and badass witches on their adventures. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are two of the most memorable characters in the series.

    The Death books follow the Disworld's Death as he trains apprentices, bonds with family, encourages the holiday spirit, etc. And also harvests souls. Because, you know, he's Death.

    The Moist Von Lipwig books bring us the misadventures of an ex conman forced into a life of government work. I'm not a huge fan of them, but they're pretty good.

    The Rincewind/Wizards books are hit or miss for me. Some of them are absolutely hilarious, and some of them are just kind of okay. The first of these, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, were the first in the whole series, and contain some Early-Installment Weirdness. They're still really good; they're just much wackier than the later books and have some elements that got changed or cut later in the series. I really wasn't a fan of Interesting Times. I think it might be the only book in the series that I just didn't like.

    The Tiffany Aching series is about a young shepherdess who trains to become a witch, partly out of necessity -she has to save her baby brother from the evil Queen of the Faeries!- but mostly because being a witch is really cool. As the series progresses she learns a lot about responsibility and maturity. She's aided in her adventures by the Nac Mac Feegle, a race of tiny blue Scottish people who like to fight and drink and fight. There are also appearances from Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg.
    Last edited by RealWittyAlias; 12-08-2020 at 07:27 PM.

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    I finally got Rhythm of War for Christmas and, of course, it's a damned delight. Nothing I like more than diving into 1200+ new pages from one of my favorite authors!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlinmc View Post
    I finally got Rhythm of War for Christmas and, of course, it's a damned delight. Nothing I like more than diving into 1200+ new pages from one of my favorite authors!
    I just finally finished it a few days ago... man, its a wild ride. Buckle up. I think its my favorite one so far.
    "Ho there wanderer... Stay thy course a moment to indulge an old man." ~Elminster, BG1, just outside Candlekeep

    For Evil to triumph, all good men must do is nothing. The corollary to that proverb is that sometimes evil must be done by honorable men for the greater good to triumph. ~Twilight Warriors


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    Ohhhh, that's high praise indeed, Fox! Tough to top book three...but we shall see, my friend. I'm only around page 200-ish, so there's a long journey left before I can decide to agree or disagree.

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