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Author Topic: Books, books and more books!  (Read 5227 times)

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Online Lilias

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #75 on: December 16, 2012, 05:53:22 AM »
Jim Butcher is made of awesome, and can make a reader get out of breath just trying to keep up with him. Honestly, sometimes I think it takes him less time to write a book than it takes me to read it. >_>

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #76 on: December 16, 2012, 08:30:53 AM »
I was looking around, and I was wondering if anyone would recommend the 'Wheel of Time' books? I just bought them at the behest of a friend (Christmas gift) and I was wondering if I should get my own?

Online Lilias

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2012, 09:13:01 AM »
The general consensus among those I know who have read them is that the world-building is awesome but the books themselves are massively overwritten. They could have been half the size each without the story itself suffering, and the saga could have been told in half the volumes. The first 4-5 are supposedly great, then it becomes clunky.

Mind you, I haven't read them myself, but I intend to. All the way to the end, because I'm OCD like that.

Offline Moraline

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #78 on: December 16, 2012, 11:03:26 AM »
I was looking around, and I was wondering if anyone would recommend the 'Wheel of Time' books? I just bought them at the behest of a friend (Christmas gift) and I was wondering if I should get my own?

I've read them all at least 2x (some more then that.) 

I am a total fan of the series. You'll get some people complain about the complexity of the character interactions and the immense detail he puts into seemingly mundane things like a woman's dress for instance. That leads many people to believe that the books could be "cut in half."

However, the reality is that those details all hold meaning. They convey levels of politics, personalities, and often subtle variations that can easily be overlooked. A stripe on a dress can tell you if a person has switch sides or has particular political leanings. A detail in the way they interact might tell you if they are a "dark-friend." That doesn't even take into consideration that fact that several of the characters also slowly descend into madness.

There are a few books in the middle of the series that seem to cover middle ground and don't have satisfying conclusions but they are essential to the series.

Ideally, the books should be read as one complete epic. It's not like picking up a Jim Butcher: Dresden Files series book. The Wheel of Time is equal to a 3 part LotR style epic fantasy. It just happens to cover the span of 15 books instead (with optional - Prequel book and World book.)



Notes about what to expect when reading:

The books at first, involve a lot of running and struggling to survive. The heroes take a long time to come into their own and be a force that can fight back. Each character in the book takes a long time to discover the ways in which they will be able to fight back against the evil that's coming. As they journey each one has their own epic story line (which is a big part of the reason the series is so long.)

The books highlight magic, epic military battles, love, friendship, armed combat, the world history, and philosophy.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #79 on: December 16, 2012, 01:07:34 PM »
Okay, sounds like something I would enjoy to read.... thanks for the recommendation...

Offline Moraline

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #80 on: December 16, 2012, 01:16:03 PM »
Okay, sounds like something I would enjoy to read.... thanks for the recommendation...

I forgot to mention. Don't bother reading the prequel book until after about book 10, same with the World book. If you choose to read them at all.

The prequel book doesn't really mean much or seem very deep until you know the characters involved. It's very satisfying reading it though after about book 9 or 10.

The World Book, I wouldn't recommend reading until you've read the whole series. The art work in the World Book is terrible at best. Most importantly all of the stories/history of the world in it, ruin the back story reveals that you get as you make your way through the series. They are very enjoyable to read though if you go back to them later - they fill in levels of details and touch on things that are never seen in the book series.

So if/when you start the series, start at Book 1: The Eye of the World

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #81 on: December 16, 2012, 03:39:13 PM »
I will keep that in mind, thanks...

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #82 on: December 16, 2012, 04:22:54 PM »
The first book in the series is pretty good so far, but I have a tolerance for slow reads as well.  Hardest part for me was the start because I had just finished a Dresden book.  I was at page 100 going, "we haven't even left the village yet!  Harry would've killed ten people by now!"

Offline Moraline

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #83 on: December 16, 2012, 04:35:05 PM »
Yeah there's a big difference between a Dresden Files book and Wheel of Time.

If you had in a Dresden Book, with like 10 Dresdens and made them all main stars then made the plots infinetly more complex, watched all the bad guys from their perspectives as well... then you'd end up with series of books like the Wheel of Time.

I won't lie to you. It's a hefty read.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #84 on: December 16, 2012, 04:46:22 PM »
So long as it isn't boring hefty reading... The Song of Ice and Fire is awesome, but the guy tends to go on and on a bit... elaborating on too many characters at the same time...

Offline Moraline

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #85 on: December 16, 2012, 04:57:24 PM »
I can't speak for the Song of Fire and Ice series by Martin but you might find the Wheel of Time will do that as well quite a bit. The good news is that the author Robert Jordan doesn't kill off everyone like Martin does. As well everything you read about will come back later in the books. Robert Jordan is the king of foreshadowing.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #86 on: December 16, 2012, 09:19:24 PM »
Meh, it was just a humorous gear shift to me.

Offline Petrichor

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #87 on: December 18, 2012, 12:25:33 PM »
How are the Dresden Files books? That's a name that I've heard off and on for the past five or so years, but I'm not sure if it's wise for me to commit to an entire series at this point. I am familiar with both A Song of Ice and Fire and the Wheel of Time, though.

I feel as though I'm completely behind on popular fiction, quite simply because I've been drowning myself in the works of Charles Dickens, Robert Browning, and Oscar Wilde. So...if any of you are ever intrigued by literature but don't know where to start, I may be of use.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2012, 12:27:36 PM »
The Dresden Files is a fun read with good characters.  A bit ridiculous at times but still a fun read.  I wouldn't go in expecting enlightenment, but a good time.  As for commitment, the books are an easy and light read.

Offline Moraline

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2012, 01:24:51 PM »
I agree with Pumpkin. The Dresden Files books are fun to read. Each one is a completely self contained story so there's no major commitment.

Online Lilias

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #90 on: December 18, 2012, 03:58:30 PM »
There are story arcs, though, so they are better read (roughly) in order. I jumped from #1 to #10 and it was a jar. *chuckles* Lots of inbetween story to catch up with.

Offline Petrichor

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #91 on: December 19, 2012, 11:38:30 AM »
I will have to look into them. I prefer entertainment over enlightenment from my pleasure reading, anyway. It's nice to take sentence for what it is every one in a while.  :-)

It's especially good to know that they're mostly individual story arcs per book. That also simplifies things.

Though, I just remember that I still have not read The Casual Vacancy, and this seems like an intolerable mistake on my part.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #92 on: December 19, 2012, 11:43:44 AM »
I would be careful reading them out of order.  The individual adventures do end with each ending of the book, but the characters have continual development and growth throughout the novels.  So if you jump around they will "grow" out of order essentially.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #93 on: December 19, 2012, 03:49:38 PM »
*takes notes of these books*

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #94 on: December 20, 2012, 09:22:43 AM »
I would be careful reading them out of order.  The individual adventures do end with each ending of the book, but the characters have continual development and growth throughout the novels.  So if you jump around they will "grow" out of order essentially.

About the same way as the Anita Blake books. Most of the cases are stand alone, but the character development spans them all. Then a theme came in when they started dealing with Marmee Noir. I will admit I enjoy some of the characters, especially how Nathaniel grows as the series goes on. Then when you learn more about Micah...

Offline Immortal FlameTopic starter

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #95 on: January 07, 2013, 05:44:52 PM »
About the same way as the Anita Blake books. Most of the cases are stand alone, but the character development spans them all. Then a theme came in when they started dealing with Marmee Noir. I will admit I enjoy some of the characters, especially how Nathaniel grows as the series goes on. Then when you learn more about Micah...

I have to say that once upon a time I truly enjoyed the Anita Blake series, and though that there were a lot of great plots and character development.  After the whole Marmee Noir I feel like everything sort of went downhill, and it was tragic losing a really good series like that.  Even though I am a fan of Micah, it always seemed to me that the book where Anita just sort of jumps his bones without warning was sort of a turning point, after which LKH jumped off a cliff and never really looked back.  I haven't been able to read one since Danse Macabre, and haven't even picked one off the shelf in ages.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #96 on: January 07, 2013, 09:53:03 PM »
After I finish the first in the Robert Jordan series, I might have to switch to non-fiction.  Virgins and Martyrs seems like such a wonderful topic.

Offline Faustus

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Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #97 on: January 10, 2013, 12:48:20 PM »
I have to say that once upon a time I truly enjoyed the Anita Blake series, and though that there were a lot of great plots and character development.  After the whole Marmee Noir I feel like everything sort of went downhill, and it was tragic losing a really good series like that.  Even though I am a fan of Micah, it always seemed to me that the book where Anita just sort of jumps his bones without warning was sort of a turning point, after which LKH jumped off a cliff and never really looked back.  I haven't been able to read one since Danse Macabre, and haven't even picked one off the shelf in ages.

Here, Here.

Offline Pyana

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #98 on: January 23, 2013, 10:52:18 PM »
Wow...favorite books. I have a few. :)

The Dresden Files - mentioning these because I have seen them mentioned quite a few times in this thread. I actually just picked up the first two about a month ago, and finally fit them in when I was sick last week with the flu. They are good, but they don't rate as favorites. Well-written, entertaining. I'd read the rest if I found them in a used book store, but I won't buy them new, and I won't keep them after I am done.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - one of my top two favorites. I read it every year. I can quote the book. This is about a little girl growing up in the depression era, but has such a wonderfully varied and oh-so-real array of characters in it.

Alas, Babylon - my second top favorite book. Another one I read every year. An nuclear war fiction novel. I honestly don't know why I love this book so much, but I do.

Mercedes Lackey - just about anything, but particularly the Valdemar books. I am not a huge fan of some of her earlier works, but all of her work is good.

The Deathgate Cycle - by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. An amazing fantasy series, strongly recommended.

Stephen Lawhead - anything, but particularly the Pendragon Cycle. Very few books - and even fewer series - can entertain me, educate me, and inspire me all at the same time. This guy is one of them.

A Girl of the Limberlost - this one sat on my shelf for months. I would pick it up and look at it. "Oh, a girl goes to school from selling moths. Boy, that sounds like a fun read" - *puts it back*. Finally I got sick of looking at it and made myself read it. One chapter in and I was hooked, staying up to all odd hours of the night reading. HIGHLY recommended.

Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour - not a western, but an autobiography. L'Amour was a very intelligent man, extremely well-read. The books he has read, the stories he has to tell - all fascinating.

The Pillars of the Earth - by Ken Follett. Again, on my bookshelf for ages. "Oh, a book about building a cathedral. Fun times." *puts it back* But then a friend recommended it, and I read it, and like with the Girl of the Limberlost I was hooked. I have the sequel, but need to find time to read it. Now that I am on this website, that is likely to be awhile. :)

Those are some of my favorites:)


Offline Murphy Sez

Re: Books, books and more books!
« Reply #99 on: January 26, 2013, 05:28:44 PM »
The Vampire Earth series by E. E. Knight is a great one. They're not the typical vampires of myth, but alien creatures who send out their biological constructs to harvest people and bring nourishment back. They've created a new society with traitorous humans managing the world for them, and rebels fighting back. There's also a race of four armed, chewbacca-ish slaves who were brought in by the vampires, many of whom join the resistance, or go feral.

And let's not forget... the Warhammer 40K universe. Mmm, I'm getting all warm and toasty just thinking about the Space Marines with flamethrowers.