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Anybody reading fiction??

paulyh

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Hello all,

I don't participate in this forum very much and instead tend to sit back and observe the amazing content you all share. For that I apologise; but I am an avid reader of both fiction and non fiction books and I believe I can add some value here. I average about a book a week year round of some sort.

As pointed out by "advantagecp" Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is also one of my all time favorites. Snowcrash and The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson are both incredible books as well. ( both have cult followings )

In all time best catagory would also have to be Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, an epic true story too unbelievable to not include in the fiction catagory. Be warned, it is a soul sucking monster of a book.

Anything by James Clavell, the asian saga. Tai-Pan, Shogun, Nobel House, Whirlwind etc. They are all historical fiction but timeless and enduring.

I recently started to read more sci fi books as well but tend to prefer the hard science genre. Top choices here would be The Martian by Andy Weir ( many here have probably seen the movie, but as usual the book exceeds in spades ). Nexus by Ramez Naam is a very thought provoking book about a nano drug that connects human brains together and enables an operating system to access the internet. The thought police were not impressed! Another very thought provoking book about how society might react to the changes of an enhanced human mind is Amped by Daniel H. Wilson.

That's it for now, enjoy.

More to come!

Cheers
 

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Bearcorp

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In all time best catagory would also have to be Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, an epic true story too unbelievable to not include in the fiction catagory. Be warned, it is a soul sucking monster of a book.


Cheers
Great recommendation! Incredible book.
 

Fassina

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You guys seem to read mostly old well known stuff that was important but not really that good compared to what we have today..

You can ask most writers, books today are better than they were in the past, standards are higher, writers are better, writing technology is better, editing is better etc..

We are in the golden age of fantasy. Brandon Sanderson is going to be more important than Tolkien and everybody since in a couple decades..
 

Guest921Y

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Love thrillers in the fiction space.. James Patterson (Alex Cross series is one of my favorites). Also reading Bad Blood (non-fiction).. the story about Theranos. Super interesting!
 

AniM

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You guys seem to read mostly old well known stuff that was important but not really that good compared to what we have today..

You can ask most writers, books today are better than they were in the past, standards are higher, writers are better, writing technology is better, editing is better etc..

We are in the golden age of fantasy. Brandon Sanderson is going to be more important than Tolkien and everybody since in a couple decades..
That's a very subjective opinion.

Sure technology is better but I don't see how that makes a tremendous difference, the skill of a writer comes from his mind not his tools.

There is something to be said for things that have stood the test of time.

Do you have any specific recommendations?
 

Fassina

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That's a very subjective opinion.

Sure technology is better but I don't see how that makes a tremendous difference, the skill of a writer comes from his mind not his tools.

There is something to be said for things that have stood the test of time.

Do you have any specific recommendations?
I don't mean technology as in computers. I mean it in the sense of it building on past developments.

For example Tolkien one of the important contributions from him was worldbuilding and it's applications, it's something that wasn't done that often and with that intensity, nowadays most good fantasy authors do it at a comparable or more optimal level while also adding other improvements and innovations that came after like character building and focus, pacing etc..

Recommendations I'm really enjoying Brent Weeks right now, Brandon Sanderson is the big boy currently. If you want shorter more self contained works, you can check top 5 nebula and world fantasy award winners by year.

Nebula Award for Best Novel - Wikipedia
World Fantasy Award—Novel - Wikipedia
 

GPM

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We are in the golden age of fantasy. Brandon Sanderson is going to be more important than Tolkien and everybody since in a couple decades..
I got into Brandon Sanderson due to him finishing the Wheel of Time series. If you ask me, he did a far better job of it than the last half of Robert Jordan's books. His Mistborn books are fantastic, I have not read his other works.

If you like those books, I highly recommend Brent Weeks and his Night Angel Trilogy of books. I have not read the Lightbringer series yet. I don't like reading series that are not finished anymore. I grew up on Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth and having to wait years between books, and like a decade for the series to finish just sucks.
 

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than the last half of Robert Jordan's books
Stopped reading Wheel of Time around book 6. From talking with other folks I seem to be far from the only one to get "stuck" with his work there. The first few books were absolutely amazing though.

I had to do some more digging because this is more of a story about a school board giving in to a crazy mother than about what version to buy.

Turns out some copies have this "offensive" chapter removed. I just grabbed my copy and yup - "Way Up In The Middle Of The Air" isn't in my hardcover version. What bullshit.

I normally donate books I don't want anymore but I'm tossing this in the trash. I'm usually a fairly tolerant person but I can't STAND censorship like this.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
 

Fassina

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If you like those books, I highly recommend Brent Weeks and his Night Angel Trilogy of books. I have not read the Lightbringer series yet.
I just recommended him in the comment above yours ;)
He's so good, lightbringer is incredible, the cover on the first book is such a disservice. I'd have started it much sooner otherwise.
 
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Raoul Duke

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I had to do some more digging because this is more of a story about a school board giving in to a crazy mother than about what version to buy.

Turns out some copies have this "offensive" chapter removed. I just grabbed my copy and yup - "Way Up In The Middle Of The Air" isn't in my hardcover version. What bullshit.

I normally donate books I don't want anymore but I'm tossing this in the trash. I'm usually a fairly tolerant person but I can't STAND censorship like this.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
I should have provided more details. Sorry about that.

A few years ago, I lent out this book, to a friend. In which, she never, returned it. So, I went looking for a replacement. Because, my mom was highly peeved. It was her book.

When looking up the book on Amazon. I noticed the book cover being different. I found a old article, that detailed, the censorship. From a certain chapter removed to the dates being changed.

I couldn't find that article that listed out the misgivens.
 

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rjrobbins2

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You guys seem to read mostly old well known stuff that was important but not really that good compared to what we have today..

You can ask most writers, books today are better than they were in the past, standards are higher, writers are better, writing technology is better, editing is better etc..

We are in the golden age of fantasy. Brandon Sanderson is going to be more important than Tolkien and everybody since in a couple decades..

I do find a lot of older classics to be disappointing. A lot of it is build up and high expectations.

I also agree that a lot of what is released today is better. It is much like movies, TV and music. People can more easily get their work out in front of others so people who had barriers in place previously no longer do.

There is also a lot more crap due to that but you can often avoid it as it gets filtered out over time. That is why I rarely consume entertainment when it first comes out. I want to see if it holds up.

I also agree with it being the golden age of fantasy, especially given all the great urban stuff that is out. Brandon Sanderson is a great example as is Jim Butcher.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Y’all have lost your ever loving..

Sigh.
You guys seem to read mostly old well known stuff that was important but not really that good compared to what we have today..

You can ask most writers, books today are better than they were in the past, standards are higher, writers are better, writing technology is better, editing is better etc..

We are in the golden age of fantasy. Brandon Sanderson is going to be more important than Tolkien and everybody since in a couple decades..
Did Brandon create his own languages for his books or create a new genre?

Do his books point to the possibility for redemption of mankind? Do his characters aim for virtue (selflessness) or some other aim?

I’ve never heard of him. But.. just FYI.. telling bibliophiles that their book choices aren’t “really that good” isn’t the best way to influence us.
 

Fassina

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Y’all have lost your ever loving..

Sigh.


Did Brandon create his own languages for his books or create a new genre?

Do his books point to the possibility for redemption of mankind? Do his characters aim for virtue (selflessness) or some other aim?

I’ve never heard of him. But.. just FYI.. telling bibliophiles that their book choices aren’t “really that good” isn’t the best way to influence us.
I mean there are different ways of selling, target audiences and all that. Sometimes alienating a few will end up getting more attention and conversions than being pleasant to everybody.

Tolkien is important, I'm not arguing that, he did a lot of worldbuilding that's cool. It's also fair to say that there's a point of diminishing returns though. More is not always better..

Just look at the editing process, editors cut the good parts while keeping the great in, this often ends up making the books great instead of mostly good with great parts.
 

GPM

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I liken the original artists (authors) who created and paved the way as fine examples, and what we have today would not be there if not for them.

However, to say that Jimi Hendrix is as good a guitarist or musical creator as what we have today IMO is just crazy. Yes he was amazing, yes he changed everything for the better. However, due to that we literally have thousands of kids doing nothing but playing instruments at home and becoming the best they can at writing and playing, and then releasing that through whatever means necessary when they can. I am also not talking about most of the BS on the radio (or on best seller lists for that matter), the real gold is found elsewhere.

I think that we live in an artistic golden age right now. It is not just the select few who can make it, but anyone who really strives and puts their soul into something. The internet has made nearly anything possible for those who don't give up.

I know that this is about writing and authors, but I find music to be just as applicable.

Oh, and I love reading old books. The way they write is like stepping into the past. It really makes me curious as to what people will think of modern writing in 100 years. How language evolves is fascinating. Biographies written about the original titans are freaking amazing. For all the bitching that people like to do today, we sure do have it good.
 

JAJT

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The way they write is like stepping into the past.
This is largely what draws me into classical literature - the author's writing styles in those great works just seem so unique and engrossing in ways I don't normally experience. Sometimes the language is just older, sometimes it's a unique style, sometime's it's just something magically that I can't put my finger on. I just love it.

Not saying there aren't authors out today with similar styles that I'd love, I just have no exposure to them.

I liken the original artists (authors) who created and paved the way as fine examples, and what we have today would not be there if not for them.
I love this about the older stuff as well - when something was so "stand out" at the time that it literally spawned an entire genre, or inspired famous works years later - I find that fascinating.

I'm working my way through HP Lovecraft right now and I'm loving it - not that there aren't better or more interesting horror writers today (I'm sure there must be) but Lovecraft practically defined the "Cosmic Horror" genre. Hell, people still call it "Lovecraftian" almost 100 years later. I find this fascinating. It's like stepping into a time machine and being able to re-live the beginning of a historic moment through these works.
 

BellaPippin

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I've stopped reading fiction but I'm not sure why. As with TV series it's become hard to "get hooked" on pretty much anything, it seems these days I read to learn, not to entertain myself. I got Atlas Shrugged half finished not because I don't like it, but because it seems so difficult to pay attention to it. Ironically I do get hooked on non-fiction ones. I loved the first Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, and I haven't read all the other ones... Last thing I remember reading before those were the Dan Brown books (I didn't finish the last one).

My All Time favs are The Little Prince, 1984, Animal Farm.


While 1984 and BNW get compared to each other a lot, I think they are so dissimilar that it's an insulting comparison. 1984 was a masterpiece of literature, while BNW felt like a pretty passable high school short story with just one or two good ideas.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the idea of a world controlled by pleasure rather than pain, but if it wasn't such a famous book that I really wanted to get through I'd have put it down after 2 chapters.
Damn, I read 1984 and it's my fav book behind The Little Prince, 451 and BNW are on the to-read list as they sort of "go together" or so they say. Sounds like you had the same reaction when I finally got to watch "Breakfast at Tiffany's". *Visible confusion face*

- Catch 22: One of the few books I can open up to literally any page and laugh at what I'm reading immediately. If you like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but want something written far better and more down to earth, this scratches that same kind of 'silly' itch.
I've only read the first HGG, picked up from someone's nightstand by chance while waiting for that someone to finish pooping :p Never had I laughed out loud with a book. I want to finish the rest. I'll keep this one in mind too.
 

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