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

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Aaden

User
#22
Corylea said:
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.
After you dropped two buzzwords here ('new system of magic' and 'Brandon Sanderson'), I'll add Warbreaker to that list. I read it during the holidays and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It's pretty straight-forward (no complicated politics and intrigues), but has a bunch of interesting premises and characters, along with a well-written plot. It basically is about two kingdoms (one that worships magic and its most powerful users and another that abolished magic and tries to keep out of it) on the brink of war and the struggle of the weaker one to prevent war. But there's no great politics involved; Sanderson focusses on a few protagonists and their personal stories and interactions. Magic is based on Breath (a source of power, inherent in everyone in small amounts, but large amounts are needed to perform magic) and colors (which sort of interact with magic in different ways), which makes for a refreshingly new way of handling magic.
If you feel like taking a look, you can read the entire book for free on Brandon Sanderson's official homepage (direct link to .pdf)
 
#23
Im re-reading my collection of "A Song of Fire and Ice", but in a very incohesive way, skipping entire chapters. :p Its one of the series thats a real pleasure to re-read without the fear of being bored, such is the enormity of facts and characters...

 

dmcaldw

User
#24
Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and Terry Goodkind . I don't seem to have much of a life they are both big series and long books . I really got into reading when the Dragonlance books came out very memorable characters almost became as popular as any movie from the books plus D&D game still on of my favorites .Shortly after that turn to Raymond Feist Rift war saga . Then David Eddings some very well written books with good humor in spite of dire situations sort of a Lethal Weapon camaraderie . There are more just forgot most .
 

Corylea.723

Ex-moderator
#25
Aaden said:
After you dropped two buzzwords here ('new system of magic' and 'Brandon Sanderson'), I'll add Warbreaker to that list. [...] Magic is based on Breath (a source of power, inherent in everyone in small amounts, but large amounts are needed to perform magic) and colors (which sort of interact with magic in different ways), which makes for a refreshingly new way of handling magic.
Thanks for the suggestion! I read it a couple of months ago, and you're right, that one was good, too. Sanderson seems able to think up interesting, consistent, and believable new systems of magic without breaking a sweat, which I think is really cool. Also cool is the fact that he shares on his website that he had to write SIX novels before he got one published, and he includes the rough drafts of some of his work, so you can see how much things changed between the time he wrote it and the time he got published. He's very encouraging to new writers, which is really sweet of him.
 

Aaden

User
#26
@Jack: That meme is SO spot-on. And it's what I totally love about GRR Martin (or rather one of the many things I love about his writing). He isn't scared of killing important characters he presented on hundreds upon hundreds of pages and which the readers have got to know, love and despise. It makes his series unpredictable and really distinguishes him from others. I'm still shocked every time a main character dies, because as a long-time fantasy reader (and movie watcher) I'm used to thinking "oho! the great hero is in peril! but he'll get through it - he's the hero after all (and the author put a lot of work into shaping him)". It's brilliant and makes A Song of Ice and Fire so much more believable and exciting.

@dmcaldw: The Wheel of Time is next on my list. But first I want to re-read the Geralt-saga, because "Something ends, something begins" is about to be published in German + TW2EE incoming - it's a good chance to give the entire series including both games another go. Did you finish Goodkind's Sword of Truth yet? Have you read that new spin-off?

@Corylea: Do you write a book or plan to do so? I kinda felt like I heard that in your words about Sanderson and his sharing of experience. Or is it just general interest in the "Behind the Scenes" of writing / Brandon Sanderson?
Is the Mistborn trilogy anything like Warbreaker? Would you suggest it to someone who liked it?
 

dmcaldw

User
#27
Read Confessor I think that was the last book in Sword of Truth . This series was probably the most emotional roller coaster I have been on as far highs and lows . No I haven't read the spin off yet . Goodkind in my opinion did a very good job staying true to his characters through out the series which was no small feat .
 

Aaden

User
#28
dmcaldw said:
Read Confessor I think that was the last book in Sword of Truth . This series was probably the most emotional roller coaster I have been on as far highs and lows . No I haven't read the spin off yet . Goodkind in my opinion did a very good job staying true to his characters through out the series which was no small feat .
Yes, that's the last one. Overall, I enjoyed it, although somewhere around book 4 or 5 (The Pillars of Creation, I think - the one with that evil half-brother or whatever he was?) it got quite monotonous and I even considered quitting it. I'm glad I didn't because after that it was back to its former strength.
I definitely hardly ever got so involved with a character as I did with Kahlan and Richard. I truly felt with them - an emotional rollercoaster ride, as you said.
Too bad Goodkind (imo) rushed the end - I think he realized that he has a lot of different story archs and desperately tried to make them all come together and be done with it - another 1 or 2 books might have been better.

I won't go anywhere near that spin-off though. The story is finished and trying to open up yet another one with the same characters just doesn't feel right. They deserve their peace. ;)
 
#29
I decided to remember my childhood and start re-reading Jules Verne's novels. Now it's "20.000 Leagues Under the Sea", "Captain Grant's Children" awaiting. Classic...
 

gregski

Moderator
#30
I finished reading Michel Houellebecq "The Map and the Territory".

Next: Julio Cortazar "A Manual for Manuel". I'm so in love with ibero-american literature!
 
#31
gregski said:
I finished reading Michel Houellebecq "The Map and the Territory".

Next: Julio Cortazar "A Manual for Manuel". I'm so in love with ibero-american literature!

Gooood... That is one of Cortazar's most political novels, set in the social and political struggles of the 1970s... if you need some backstory because smthg escapes you, just ask. ;)

One of his greatest novels is "Rayuela", which was in its time the first novel I know of to have different branching stories within itself, that you could follow - yeah, so much as a game we know too well... :p -.
 

gregski

Moderator
#32
JackintheGreen said:
Gooood... That is one of Cortazar's most political novels, set in the social and political struggles of the 1970s... if you need some backstory because smthg escapes you, just ask. ;)

One of his greatest novels is "Rayuela", which was in its time the first novel I know of to have different branching stories within itself, that you could follow - yeah, so much as a game we know too well... :p -.
Yeah, it's veeery political, I read it really slow so I set up all the pieces together in my head :)
 

volsung

User
#33
gregski said:
I finished reading Michel Houellebecq "The Map and the Territory".

Next: Julio Cortazar "A Manual for Manuel". I'm so in love with ibero-american literature!
You should read Jorge Luis Borges. If you are not familiar with his fiction stories, they are essentially works of art that integrate meta-mathematics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, time and space paradoxes, among other things.

Currently I've been reading a couple research papers on systolic architecture design and methods for adapting neural network models to GPGPU computing. I'm also almost done with a collection of Kafka's short stories, and next in line is Philip K. Dick's "Ubik". PKD is probably my favorite "sci-fi" author, mostly because he transcends the cliches of sci-fi and actually writes about the social and mental struggles of people whose grasp of reality falls apart, not just nerdy tech talk.
 
#34
Generally i find it hard to read one book at a time, but i usually manage to hold myself.
This month though, i 've lost control.

I 'm currently reading:

1) George Martin's Game of Thrones. In English. (The second book of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series follows).
2) Maybe for tenth time Tom Robin's Jitterbug Perfume. Translated in Greek.
3) Andrzej Sapkowski 's Times Of Contemt, translated in English from our fantastic team!
4) Andzeja Sapkowskiego Ostatnie życzenie. (The Last Wish). In Polish, if you didn't get it (nerd here! )
 

Veleda.980

User
#35
I read mostly history (medieval and ancient) and some historical fantasy, a little bit of sci fi.

I'm almost always reading a few books at once. Lately:

By Sword and Fire- Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare
by Sean McGlynn

Great Battles of Antiquity: A Strategic and Tactical Guide to Great Battles That Shaped the Development of War by Donald Boose and Richard Gabriel

Songs of Love and Death- an anthology of romance-focused sci fi and fantasy short stories edited by George R. R. Martin

The Kings in Winter by Cecelia Holland- historical fiction about the medieval Irish kings. I only discovered Holland recently, through the Warriors anthology, but she quickly shot up my list of favorite authors of all time.
 
#36
Currently:

A Dance with Dragons, since the ASOIAF series is so big right now. For once I actually like the lasted big name series. Tho ADWD is fucking around a bit too much in my opinion. Then again I did just read the whole series back to back, if I hadn’t it might not have seemed so bad.

The Way of Kings, don’t like it as much as the Mistborn series.

The Painted Man, haven’t read far enough to form an opinion on it.

Inheritance, since I read the others tho I have out grown the series I feel I should finish it.

Also rereading Drowtales, its a pretty good webcomic even it its ridiculously nasty at times.
 

Pangaea666

User
#37
JackintheGreen said:
Im re-reading my collection of "A Song of Fire and Ice", but in a very incohesive way, skipping entire chapters. :p Its one of the series thats a real pleasure to re-read without the fear of being bored, such is the enormity of facts and characters...
I'll soon be reading "A Game of Thrones" myself. First four books ordered. The TV series got me hooked, so just have to read the books now. It seems to be very different from other series, and Hollywood movies in particular as important people can actually die. Greatly look forward to the books arriving. Haven't had a proper good read since I read the first two Witcher books.
 

Blothulfur

User
#40
Reading Njals saga by nobody knows (might be Snorri Sturlusson) on my dinner break today, the bickering and violent politicking of the Icelandic commonwealth reminds me of the northern kingdoms bloody background. Especially Henselt.