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The Library (or 'Now reading...')

The Library (or 'Now reading...')

I just realized we have threads dedicated to all kinds of media. There's Playing Other Games, Now Listening, a thread on Movies & TV-shows.
But I discovered that there is none for books* and felt that had to change. There ought to be some people who still cherish the printed word. Especially with The Witcher being a Fantasy game based upon a series of books.

Here it is: Our Library. A place to discuss books and written stories, no matter if they are novels, short stories, poetry, dramatic plays, epic saga or non-fiction. A place to share what you are currently reading and a place to share your opinion. A place to promote Fan Fiction you have written or stumbled upon and liked. A place to look for recommendations and a place to make your taste in books known.

A place to praise a form of art and to prove that the pen is mightier than the sword.

To get things going, I'll commit to being a passionate reader of Fantasy literature. That includes High and Dark Fantasy as well as historical fiction. Among the favorites are The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire and, of course, Sapkowski's Geralt saga. If I feel like reading something funnier, there's nothing like Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.
I also greatly enjoyed Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series (well mostly, anyways) and both the Ulldart- and The Dwarves-series from German author Markus Heitz (don't know if he's known abroad).
Other than that, I'm a medival nut and read as much about it as I can. Mostly in magazines, but recently I started studying the Edda in a German translation by Wilhelm Jordan.

Feel free to comment on any of those or tell us about your current reading, favorites or recent discoveries. Go into some detail and the pros and cons, if you want - I merely tried to give several potential starting points without making the OP a lengthy mess. :)

*at least not one that has been active since April 2011 or was to be found via search function.
I'm currently reading Dune... Still trying to get through all the endless philosophy and trivial details, Just started reading The Prince Of Nothing First book, And trying to get my hands on The Sword by Deborah Chester (The Sword, the Ring, and the Chalice).
Hm. I started a lot of book recently. But the main book, wich I read mostly is the Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks. I started the Clash of Kings by G.R.R. Martin and the Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb.
The Last Wish (yes, I still didn't read it, its the last remaining book and my friend had it for aaaaages)
And Solomon's Ring, the prequel to the Bartimaeus trilogy.
Come on, there is not THAT much philosophy stuff in Dune... :)

Anyway, I´ve always enjoyed reading fantasy and science fiction literature, though I also love Russian classic writers, especially Dostojevskij and Tolstoj...

One of my favourites, besides that already mentioned here, is probably William King´s series about Gotrek and Felix from the world of Warhammer. Though it is very easy reading, it is fun at the same time. Another love of mine is well known Stephen King´s The Dark Tower series, along with every piece of work by Clive Barker, whether it is a horror story or an epic and magnificent fantasy as for example Weaveworld, Imajica, Tha Great and Secret Show with Everville, Abarat etc. Glen Cook´s Black company series is also very enjoyable, with untypical and very appealing characters (it was a recommendation from one of mine friends).

China Miéville´s books from the world of Bas Lag are one of mine all time favourites though. Especially The Perdido Street Station, but The Scar and also The Iron Council are definitely worth reading...
I´m currently reading his crime novel The City and the City, and so far I like it, but I have quite a long way till the end.
A couple of weeks ago I finish The Silmarillion. Its a great background for TLOR trilogy.

I got mixed feelings about this book. Some chapters are very interestings, others are pretty borring.
For example, it has pages and pages of geographics descriptions. That kind of things put me to sleep.
I finished Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe. It's about string theory and its potential to be a unifying theory for Life, the Universe, and Everything, or at least all of modern physics, anyway.

String theory is something that I really, really want to be true, and it makes me sad to see how impractical (or downright impossible) it is to prove, and how many logical fallacies have been accepted by string theorists as something they can pass off as evidence for it.

"What happened to the zombie at the String Theory convention?"
"Poor fellow starved to death."
We did used to have a "Now Reading" thread, and it went on for many, many pages. I'm not sure what happened to it, but it does exist!
Corylea said:
Found it! It's here:
So I didn't look back far enough.

We can stick to this one or you can add the posts from here minus OP to the other one and delete this one. It's your call. I just wanted one to exist. :)

Corylea said:
A couple of weeks ago I finish The Silmarillion. Its a great background for TLOR trilogy.

I got mixed feelings about this book. Some chapters are very interestings, others are pretty borring.
For example, it has pages and pages of geographics descriptions. That kind of things put me to sleep.
Congratulations on that! I started it several times, but could never finish it. It was always kind of exciting to read some background for Middle-Earth, but it just didn't suck me in.
Would you say it's worth the effort of 'working' through the boring parts for the overall experience? I might give it yet another try some time.
I think the book by itself don't worth the effort, unless you are a linguist like Tolkien or you are deep into ancient mitology.

If you are planning a second read of the hobbit or TLOR then your effort is justified and rewarded.
jjavier said:
I think the book by itself don't worth the effort, unless you are a linguist like Tolkien or you are deep into ancient mitology.

If you are planning a second read of the hobbit or TLOR then your effort is justified and rewarded.
Well, I would agree even though I love the book. But it is true that if you found some parts as boring, there is not a big chance you are going to like it when reading again. But you could read some of the chapters, to which is refered in LOTR such as the story of Beren and Lúthien or the Music of the Ainur...
There are several important answers/stories in the Silmarilion. The creation of the world. The story of the silmarilis. The origin of elves, draves and people. The rise and fall of Melkor? How Sauron lose his body ? Where do Frodo and elves go at the end of TLOR? Who is Galadriel? Why some darves hates some elves? What is a dark elf? When the mages reach middle earth?

But why! Why do you have to write all this as if all literacy since Plato have never happens.
One series I like that I think isn't as well known as it should be (just like The Witcher!) is Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirel, and Abhorsen). If you've read some of Nix's children's books, you may know him as a reasonably competent but not especially interesting writer. But the Abhorsen trilogy is far, far better than Nix's usual stuff. It uses a system of magic I've never heard of before and makes it fresh and believable. It's YA*, so the story is straightforward, and good triumphs in the end, so it's not a lesser-evil situation like Mr. Sapkowski. But if you can stand a little straightforward good , they're very well done.

Another series I recommend is Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy (Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages). Again, it's an entirely new system of magic, and the author is very creative in the ways in which he puts this magic to use. Actually, it's TWO entirely new systems of magic, something I'm not sure any other author has ever pulled off.

I also recommend Robin McKinley's Sunshine, a fresh, new take on vampire novels. I've read a ton of vampire novels (though not the Twilight stuff), and I've seen just about all the permutations there are. McKinley's take on the matter is new while still feeling like it fits.

I second the recommendation for Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. He gets better as he goes along; the first two novels are not at all good (so much so that I recommend that people start with Book 3), and the most of the next few are just okay, but by the middle of the series, he's writing some very, very good stuff. Most of his books are a great deal of fun, but they also contain a lot of commentary on human nature and human institutions. One of the things I really admire about Pratchett is that he seems to understand human nature VERY well ... and yet he also seems to really love the human race. That's so very rare. He also has some really brilliant turns of phrase, lines that I have to read aloud to my husband, just because they're so very well put. The combination of fun stories on the surface with deeper meaning underneath, wonderful and memorable turns of phrase, and excellent insight into human nature reminds me of ... Shakespeare. You heard it here first, guys -- Terry Pratchett is Shakespeare.

I could go on, but that's probably more than enough for one post.

*YA = Young Adult. These books are usually aimed at the 12 - 17 year old set; the Harry Potter series is probably the best-known example of YA books.
I've read The Odyssey several times, and last night as I drove home from work, I spotted a shaggy old dog, a very stoic and weathered looking lab who was hobbling along in front of an even older man on a leash. Immediately I thought of this:

As they were speaking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any enjoyment from him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said:
"Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?"
"This dog," answered Eumaeus, "belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him."
So saying he entered the well-built mansion, and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had seen his master once more after twenty years.

You know what I love about the Odyssey? It has these wonderful intimate moments. But in this one, I see a bit of dark humor. Odysseus has been waylaid for years by a vengeful god, his crew turned to pigs, killed by sirens, eaten by monsters; he's been bewitched by Circe, almost married off to a foreign princess, all the while his proud wife is a day away from being sold like cattle to some fat noble. But in this scene, what really pisses Odysseus off? When his dog dies. When Argos kicks the can...IT IS ON MOTHER FUCKERS.