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Thread: Four books and four books only!
February 20th, 2005, 11:41 AM #1
Four books and four books only!
I am going on vacation and I need to pick four books to take with me. I rarely read these days because I am always in the middle of a book of my own, either writing or editing it seems, so this is a very very important decision. I am leaving my laptop at home and taking a real break for two weeks.
If you had to pick only four books to read, knowing that you will probably not be able to read again for a while, what would they be? Please try to think of four of the very best, the greatest you can remember! Those four that left indellible marks upon you and whose characters you will always remember for whatever reason. It doesn't have to be fantasy, in fact as long as it's fiction, it can be any genre. But please don't list any classics or fantasy that was published before 1999. Anything after would be excellent.
February 20th, 2005, 12:03 PM #2
Not sure if you've read it yet, but I've recently enjoyed Scott's Darkness That Comes Before quite a lot, but it definitely makes you want to keep going in the series, so if you're pressed for time after vacation, maybe not the best. But there's a lot of really good stuff in there, just the kind of things you're always on about epic fantasy being made for and I'm always on about that aren't in most of the epic fantasy out there.
February 20th, 2005, 07:16 PM #3
Scott and I agreed to exchange books a month or so ago. I am anxious to read both of his, and he now has the first three of mine as well.
February 20th, 2005, 08:27 PM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2000
- NSW, Australia
Jonathan Carroll - White Apples
Jeff Vandermeer - Veniss Underground
Mary Gentle - Ash, A Secret History (Single Volume Edition)
China Mieville - The Scar
All are superbly written fantasy with a scope of imagination beyond what a lot authors are churning out these days. The Scar is Mieville's second novel in his Bas-Lag universe, but was much more enjoyable a read for me than its predecessor, Perdido Street Station.
Veniss Underground was nominated for the last World Fantasy Awards (and was my favourite of the nominations) and is written with an amazing narrative style and has imagery that will stay wit you for ages.
White Apples is the latest offering from the well repsected Carroll and appealed to me because of the characterisation.
Ans Ash, well, ask Hobbit
February 20th, 2005, 11:56 PM #5
I read Perdido St and didn't really enjoy it very much, though Mieville has tremendous talent. It seemed all over the place at times and I did struggle through many chapters. It's just not my taste I suppose.
February 21st, 2005, 10:26 AM #6
Why don't you read something new like Scott's books and something old that you haven't read in awhile. I re-read Thomas Covenant after a gap of alomst 15 years and it felt like a brand new book again. I vaguely remembered some of the important details (such as the ending), but the journey of the character was new once more.
February 21st, 2005, 10:53 AM #7
The Scar ~ China Meiville (just to see if you think he has improved, it is brilliant)
Heroes Die ~ Matt Stover
Dawnthief ~ James Barclay
A Game of Thrones ~ GRR Martin
February 21st, 2005, 07:38 PM #8
The Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon. A Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the best books, maybe top 5, I have read in my 30 years of life. Being a NYC guy, Gary, I really think you'd appreciate some of what goes on in the book, it takes place in and around NYC.
The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe. Simply amazing, more accessible than his Sun books and a pure joy to read.
Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton. A big book, very epic and many layers.
February 21st, 2005, 09:52 PM #9
Nope, can't do it. First of all, lots of books. Second, why the 1999 limit? (And how am I going to remember the pub date of the books anyway.) Third, it's just a vacation, man. Can't you read something just for fun?
Neil Gaiman's "American Gods"
Stewart O'Nan's "A Prayer for the Dying"
Lindsay Davis's Marcus Didius Falco mystery series (the most recent are after 1999)
Tim Powers' "Expiration Date"
Of course, I could do lots of other four combinations. And there are all the epic fantasy series that I like, most of which started before 1999. If you're looking for newbies, or simply those you can find in print, the following are on my to read list:
David Sesnowski -- "Vamped"
Scott of course -- "The Darkness that Comes Before"
Cory Doctorow -- "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom"
Sharon Shim -- "The Shape-Changer's Wife"
February 22nd, 2005, 07:47 AM #10
KatG - How did I know you wouldn't follow the rules? No only didn't you follow them, but you don't even like them! I thought all reading was for fun?
But, thanks for the suggestions.
I did not like American Gods. I was bored, terribly bored. And I was surprised that I was so bored with it. I tried very hard to enjoy it, but no matter how hard I tried, I just didn't care about the characters.
Some great ideas so far.
February 22nd, 2005, 08:04 AM #11
Take the wedding approach:
Something Old - Raymond E. Fiest - Magician Apprentice
Something New - Scott Bakker Prince of Nothing (of course)
Something Borrowed - Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (I had borrowed this one from a friend, interesting read).
Something Blue - After the Ring - This is a short story collection by various authors (all great names) about life after Tolkein's ring. Tolkein is dead and that's how I got blue out of this one.
February 22nd, 2005, 08:47 AM #12
Why don't you pick up the GemQuest trilogy, I've heard it was good
But here it goes:
The Curse of the Chalion by Louis McMaster Bujold
The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford
Transformation by Carol Berg
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
February 22nd, 2005, 08:57 AM #13
You know Lani, I have read that series already. In fact, I read it more than once, if I recall correctly.
I have heard alot about Kushiel's Dart. Was it really that good?
Maus, I saw Wicked on B'Way a few months ago. Now I am not a fan of B'Way productions, to say the least. I prefer off b'way more often than not. It's kind of like big Hollywood movies as compared to indie films. My problem with Wicked was that I am very seriously color blind. I had no idea that the main character was green and i couldn't understand why everyone was shunning her when she was a child. I missed most of the obvious.
Last edited by Gary Wassner; February 22nd, 2005 at 09:00 AM.
February 22nd, 2005, 09:09 AM #14
All the more reason to read the book. There's so much more in the book than they could ever show in a B'way production.
You may also want to read this one as they are making it into a major motion picture coming to a theater near you.
Colorblind. That explains a lot. Have you always been colorblind? or is this a more recent affliction?
February 22nd, 2005, 09:22 AM #15
I have always been colorblind. So was my father. I wonder if we saw things the same way? If we did, that probably would have been one of the few things we actually had in common!
I see color, but I don't believe that I see it the way others do. I see contrasts, but most frequently I cannot tell you what color I am seeing. I can't put a name to it. It's not black and white, but I am never certain what it is.