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XAuTomaT1CX
13-11-2011, 11:59 AM
I've only read like 3 books in my life but I have developed more of an interest in reading, so I'm looking for some ideas. so what is your guys favorite books, what are you reading right now.

Serenegoose
13-11-2011, 01:22 PM
I've only read like 3 books in my life but I have developed more of an interest in reading, so I'm looking for some ideas. so what is your guys favorite books, what are you reading right now.

I love: Anything written by Charles Stross, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Iain M Banks, Brandon Sanderson, or Peter F Hamilton.

So I would recommend to you:
Singularity Sky (Charles Stross)
The Atrocity Archives (Charles Stross)
The Player of Games (Iain M Banks)
The Colour of Magic (Terry Pratchett)
Small Gods (Terry Pratchett)
Eric (Terry Pratchett)
Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Terry Pratchett)
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)
Pandora's Star (Peter F Hamilton.)

All of these are either sci-fi or fantasy. As for what I'm reading at present, that would be The Alloy of Law, a book by Brandon Sanderson. I would give a quick rundown of what you could expect from each example, but I gave a fair few examples, I'm bad at quick rundowns, and finding a blurb of a book isn't tough anyway, but these are all exemplary books.

Mohorovicic
13-11-2011, 03:05 PM
Dune.

10charlimit

Donjo
13-11-2011, 03:46 PM
Going through all the Cormac McCarthy books I haven't read yet. Just finished No Country For Old Men, before that Sutree and before that The Orchard Keeper. Sutree is probably one of the best books I've ever read.

I usually look to my brother for comic recommendations/borrowing, haven't read much in a while, went through the Swamp Thing series though and I might read through Promethea again soon. I like anything Daniel Clowes does.. the Death Ray collection is out now, might have to get it...

Creeping Death
13-11-2011, 06:14 PM
+1 for the Brandon Sanderson recommendation. Excellent fantasy writer that always manages to create interesting magic systems in his novels.

All time favourite novel would easily be Lord of the Rings, which I've recently started re-reading. I feel everyone should give it a shot at least once, though I should say a lot of people I know seem to struggle with his writing style so it may be something for a later date.

Steven Erikson is another great epic fantasy writer and David Gemmell wrote some amazing novels as well. Shorter and easier reads than either Erikson or Tolkien but still very absorbing.

Lukasz
13-11-2011, 07:36 PM
Dune.

10charlimit
way way too complex for beginner :)

Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett) is funny, interesting and I also recommend reading it.

Mohorovicic
13-11-2011, 07:50 PM
way way too complex for beginner :)

...wait, what?

Stense
13-11-2011, 08:44 PM
Here's a selection of some of my favourites I'd recommend, if you are in the market for sci-fi stuff.

Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
The Day of the Triffids (John Wnydham)
Jurassic Park (Michael Chrichton)
The Demolished Man (Alfred Bester)

Or maybe if comedy is more your thing:

A Year in the Merde (Stephen Clarke)
Jennifer Government (Max Berry)
Before & After (Matthew Thomas)

My above all, favouritest book ever is Dune (Frank Herbert). It was one of the first grown-up books I read as a kid, and sure it did have some complex scenarios and stuff, it is a very readable book series.

pakoito
13-11-2011, 08:49 PM
1.- Anything Terry Pratchett.
2.- Anything Neil Gaiman.
3.- Other stuff.

Lukasz
13-11-2011, 09:10 PM
...wait, what?

the guy read 3 books in his whole life. suggesting dune as his fourth book ever is just silly. it is very heavy book with complex, slow plot and multi-level characters.

not a book to be read by people who just get into book reading.

Donjo
14-11-2011, 12:02 AM
Here's a selection of some of my favourites I'd recommend, if you are in the market for sci-fi stuff.

Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
The Day of the Triffids (John Wnydham)
Jurassic Park (Michael Chrichton)
The Demolished Man (Alfred Bester)

Or maybe if comedy is more your thing:

A Year in the Merde (Stephen Clarke)
Jennifer Government (Max Berry)
Before & After (Matthew Thomas)

My above all, favouritest book ever is Dune (Frank Herbert). It was one of the first grown-up books I read as a kid, and sure it did have some complex scenarios and stuff, it is a very readable book series.

Ah right, I should have read the OP a bit more attentively, didn't realise it was recommendations that were wanted.. :)
Jurassic Park would definitely be a good way to go, it's a great story and an easy read and it's obviously got dinosaurs in it :) I'd agree with the Terry Pratchett stuff here aswell, I read a lot his books when I really got into reading.. Maybe some William Gibson books, especially Neuromancer..

Rii
14-11-2011, 12:50 AM
the guy read 3 books in his whole life. suggesting dune as his fourth book ever is just silly. it is very heavy book with complex, slow plot and multi-level characters.

not a book to be read by people who just get into book reading.

So Anna Karenina is out, then?

pakoito
14-11-2011, 01:36 AM
So Anna Karenina is out, then?
Out because OVERRATED. War and Peace, and we'e talking.

Also, Lolita by Viktor Nabocov for weird looks in the metro and random mid-day boners.

mpk
14-11-2011, 01:44 AM
Dude, pick a shelf in the library, pick a random book, and read. Once you finish, repeat.

Do this for at least the rest of your life.

EDIT: Also, to answer the question in the title thread:

Stranger In A Strange Land, The Lord of the Rings, Guards, Guards!, Men at Arms, His Dark Materials trilogy, One Fine Day in The Middle of the Night, Millennium trilogy, Excession, Watchmen. These are a few of my favourite things.

Mohorovicic
14-11-2011, 07:49 AM
the guy read 3 books in his whole life. suggesting dune as his fourth book ever is just silly. it is very heavy book with complex, slow plot and multi-level characters.

not a book to be read by people who just get into book reading.

...you don't get better at reading books. This isn't gym. What the hell are you smoking?

Xercies
14-11-2011, 08:25 AM
...you don't get better at reading books. This isn't gym. What the hell are you smoking?

Actually you kind of do, in at least you get more words in you and you are more likely to recognise advanced plots and that. When I first read Dune at a tender age of 15 I just couldn't get through it and thought it was really boring, after waiting 4 years I read it again and found it a fantastic book. Why do you think teenagers go for teenager books instead of adult books. At 10 I wouldn't be able to understand Lord of the rings.

MD!
14-11-2011, 08:33 AM
...you don't get better at reading books. This isn't gym. What the hell are you smoking?

You might disagree with Lukasz, but there's nothing ridiculous about what he said. Different communication media have different conventions, different styles of storytelling, different ways of conveying meaning. You definitely can get 'better' at reading books, in the sense of getting better at appreciating subtlety, keeping track of complex threads, etc. Tastes develop, too. There are some books that are extremely enjoyable for someone who is well-versed in a particular form or genre, and impenetrable or boring otherwise.

I'm really not a film-watching person. If I wanted to change that, I would be careful with where I started -- I wouldn't need something simplistic and stupid (too much exposure to that sort of thing is one of the reasons I'm not a film person), but I'm pretty sure there are certain excellent films I just wouldn't appreciate before developing a bit of background.

TailSwallower
14-11-2011, 08:34 AM
...you don't get better at reading books. This isn't gym. What the hell are you smoking?

I would have to disagree... For a number of reasons. But let's go with a personal anecdote - The first time I tried to read any William S. Burroughs was when a friend of mine lent me his copy of Exterminator! and basically demanded I read it. I tried it and couldn't get into it. A couple of years later I decide to make a proper go of reading Burroughs and this time go with Naked Lunch. I struggle through it, but love every bit of it. I end up going back to Exterminator! later, after reading the Cut-Up trilogy, and realise that Exterminator! is actually quite accessible compared to his other works. It's much simpler to read, even though I struggled with it the first time around.

Anyway, I feel like this whole thread is kinda moot until we know what the OP did read, what they enjoy (in other media formats), etc. Just because Naked Lunch is one of my favourite novels, doesn't mean I'm going to recommend someone read it if they've only read the first 3 books of the Harry Potter series.

MD!
14-11-2011, 09:15 AM
Regarding the development of taste, I think a similar process goes on with everything from books to games to movies to various real-life activities. The more you consume of a certain medium, or participate in a certain activity, the less appealing become the things that easily pleased you as a newcomer. Fortunately, your familiarity and experience open up a bunch of new options that would previously have been inaccessible or unenjoyable. We see this as progress, as personal development (sometimes with good reason, sometimes not), and it's one of the foundations of snobbery and counter-snobbery in every medium known to man.

So there's something to be said for going with relatively accessible options early on. Also for going with the popular rather than the niche. Right now I'm enjoying Proust, but recommending his books would be stupid, because hardly anyone likes them. (This is a good thing, as it makes me cooler.) You don't want to destroy your enthusiasm for reading by starting with a book you will probably hate.

Now to have a go at actually being helpful: I reckon John Le Carre could be a good author to try. Obviously not everyone is a fan, but he is very popular. In my opinion, he manages to combine skilful, intelligent writing with easy entertainment and compelling plotlines. His characters are a mixed bag (you'll sometimes wonder wtf he is thinking when he writes women), but his main characters are usually worth more than just plot-scaffolding. I'd start with The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. It's short and sharp, and it won't take long to decide whether you want to read it or not.

If you're interested in sci-fi, you could try Isaac Asimov. He was insanely prolific and his writing can be as clunky as fuck, but he's enough of a natural storyteller that you probably won't care.

There are also plenty of classics that earned their status, and are surprisingly accessible. Off the top of my head, The Great Gatsby was a pleasant surprise for me. I wouldn't class it as a favourite, but before I read it it was tainted with the smell of high-school reading lists, and I ended up appreciating it much more than I thought I would.

Also, try some P.G. Wodehouse. You might not like his style at all, but there are plenty of snippets and out-of-copyright works of his to sample on the internet. Excellent comfort-reading.

TailSwallower
14-11-2011, 12:11 PM
Failed to mention before, that despite the debate, I don't think Dune is necessarily too big or complex for someone who is trying to really delve into reading for the first time. I first read it when I was 12, and whilst there may have been individual words here and there that I wasn't familiar with, I was never lost to their meanings*, or to what was happening.
Obviously one would need to be interested in classic science fiction, but apart from that I see no other reason to not recommend it.

*I remember asking mum what "sensual" meant (I believe it's used to describe the women at the welcoming party near the start of the book). She took the book to read over it and after seeing the context she was content that I wasn't reading anything pornographic, and then explained it to me as being kind of like "pretty".

One Pigeon
14-11-2011, 02:55 PM
If we're talking about comics/graphic novels then I'd highly reccomend anything by Garth Ennis:
The Preacher
The Boys

These are both excellent.

Also excellent is Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and drawn by Darrick Robertson who also is main artist on The Boys.

As for novels, I'm currently reading through the Game Of Thrones series which I'm really enjoying. My favourite of all time would probably be Catch 22, closely followed by the entire Discworld series.

pakoito
14-11-2011, 03:23 PM
What was the name of that comic book about a STD, that had a vagina in every panel?

Tikey
14-11-2011, 03:43 PM
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.
My favourite book. Sometimes it's like reading a dream. So many stories, so many ideas and concepts It's such a fantastic read. I think I read it at least once a year.

pakoito
14-11-2011, 03:52 PM
What was the name of that comic book about a STD, that had a vagina in every panel?

Found it, it's Black Hole: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hole_(comics)

XAuTomaT1CX
15-11-2011, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the help guys I've added 20 books to my list, does anyone know any good war books and anything funny also interested in reading some "good" biographys

Rii
15-11-2011, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the help guys I've added 20 books to my list, does anyone know any good war books and anything funny also interested in reading some "good" biographys

Chickenhawk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chickenhawk-Robert-Mason/dp/0552124192/), a novel by Robert Mason describing his experiences as a Huey pilot in the US-Vietnam war, fulfils all three criteria nicely. It's one of the funniest and yet most affecting books I've ever read.

One anecdote from the novel that occurs to me just now is how the logistics guys would use helicopter crashes to square their inventories. In writing out the reports the downed/missing helo would turn out to have been carrying everything that'd gone missing from stores since the last helicopter crash, laws of physics be damned!

Lukasz
15-11-2011, 11:39 PM
war
+
Sci-Fi
=
Starfire series of books
Four books were compiled into:

The Stars at War
The Stars at War II

Donjo
16-11-2011, 12:22 AM
Chickenhawk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chickenhawk-Robert-Mason/dp/0552124192/), a novel by Robert Mason describing his experiences as a Huey pilot in the US-Vietnam war, fulfils all three criteria nicely. It's one of the funniest and yet most affecting books I've ever read.

One anecdote from the novel that occurs to me just now is how the logistics guys would use helicopter crashes to square their inventories. In writing out the reports the downed/missing helo would turn out to have been carrying everything that'd gone missing from stores since the last helicopter crash, laws of physics be damned!

Oh yeah... I remember reading that years ago.. I remember it as being fairly depressing though?

Rii
16-11-2011, 01:44 AM
Oh yeah... I remember reading that years ago.. I remember it as being fairly depressing though?

It is that too. I first read it around age 14 or so at the recommendation of my English teacher. To a kid who'd grown up reading Tom Clancy and books on nuclear strategy and submarine warfare it was like a splash of cold water to the face (which in retrospect I suspect was the intention) and probably marked my initial deflection from the AMERICA LAND OF NOBLE BENEVOLENCE; UNAMERICA EVIL, COWARDLY SCUM path I'd been on to that point, although it would take a number of years for the divergence to become significant. Still, as legacy from those days is a conversance with military and national security matters unusual for someone as far left as I am on the political spectrum. Comes in handy for ambushing unsuspecting hawks it does.

Ahem - where was I? Oh, right, depressing, yes, but also thoroughly entertaining, on account of both the thoroughly surreal anecdotes related and the manner in which they are.

Straight from the bookshelf:


"Well, it's true what they about you all right, ace."
"What's that, sir?"
"You're a natural."
"A natural? Sir, I was all over the field."
"Don't worry about it, kid. We'll just keep practicing in smaller and smaller fields."

DWZippy
16-11-2011, 03:41 AM
Graphic Novel: V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Batman: Year one, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

Interestingly, 3 of those are written by the same person.
-
As for books, I like most things. For crime I enjoy Simon Kernick, I recently just finished and really enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy, although the last was admittedly somewhat weak. Terry Pratchett is always a delight, in particular anything featuring Death or the Night Watch. I'd also recommend Robert Rankin.

Finally, for a bit of Cyberpunk, a genre that has aged suitably well considering how technological advancements have made it somewhat defunct, I'd recommend William Gibson, but I prefer the Bridge trilogy to his Neuromancer trilogy, even though the Neuromancer trilogy is what he is most famous for. Snow Crash is good too, I mean - the main characters name is Hiro Protagonist. I may have dusted that off for Tabletop RPG's a few times..

DaftPunk
16-11-2011, 04:39 PM
Hm my favorite ones would be Dylan Dog and Spawn would be my favorite ones.

The JG Man
16-11-2011, 04:52 PM
Graphic Novel: V for Vendetta, Watchmen

I enjoyed V more than I did Watchmen. I know Watchmen was at times supposed to be having a go, but I didn't feel it worked entirely; I thought the ending in particular was overly silly. I thought that V, however, was consistently great. As an aside, I'm not entirely sure why Alan Moore disassociated with the film so strongly. Whilst it wasn't exactly the same, I thought it did a very good job of being faithful to the tone and definitely the atmosphere.

I'm gonna throw out the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels here. For me, they were a perfect read. They're not at all long, separately, but it's a good story with some great characters and fantastic dialogue. It helps that it appeals massively to the geek in me, but whilst there are loads of (gaming) references, they're done well, as opposed to being shoe-horned in unnecessarily. I'm sure that's a point for contesting though.

Pertusaria
27-11-2011, 10:21 AM
Good war books:
The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman, is a sci-fi novel with Vietnam overtones.
Owen Parry's series of mystery novels set in the American Civil War, starting with A Faded Coat of Blue, is good.
The Sharpe series, by Bernard Cornwell, covers the Napoleonic Wars. I guess you can start with Sharpe's Rifles or Sharpe's Eagle, although a good librarian or bookshop staff might have a better idea.
Elizabeth Moon and David Weber both write military-oriented sci-fi - whether that is a recommendation depends on why you're interested in war books. Their books bother me for various reasons, but you'd have to try them and see for yourself.

Funny books:
Like most people here, I'd recommend Pratchett, but I got into him partly through his kids' books. The Bromeliad Trilogy, which starts with Truckers, is excellent, and the first of the Johnny Maxwell books, Only You Can Save Mankind, is difficult to beat.
Since you seem to have an interest in history, Lindsay Davis' mystery novels starring Marcus Didius Falco are set in the Roman empire after the reign of Nero, and they're quite funny. The first one is The Silver Pigs.
Eric Flint's novel 1632 is about a small group of 20th century Americans who get dumped back into the 17th century, and it's very funny and easy to get into. You may or may not want to go further in the series - the writing varies a lot.

I haven't read any biographies in ages, sorry. Maybe you could seek out a biography of someone that interests you? Oh, David Attenborough's Life on Air was very good, but then I'm a biologist who likes his programmes.

Please check back in sometime, tell us what you've read and whether you liked it, then it'll be easier to know what to suggest! :)

Jockie
28-11-2011, 04:11 PM
As an aside, I'm not entirely sure why Alan Moore disassociated with the film so strongly. Whilst it wasn't exactly the same, I thought it did a very good job of being faithful to the tone and definitely the atmosphere.

.

I absolutely hated the film version, I thought it was the hollywood version of the story, that did away with interesting elements (like the policeman acid tripping to try and get in V's head) and the Benny Hill Stephen Fry tv show bit was just embarassing.

Ian
28-11-2011, 05:27 PM
I really like the film and liked the book, while not being sure the former is a good adaptation.

My likes are generally pretty obvious ones to be honest. I love Lord of the Rings (despite how turgid it is at times), I've not read a Discworld book I didn't like, absolutely ploughed through The Dark Tower series. A number of "thrillers" too. Frederick Forsyth and Gerald Seymour in particularl. Fist of God, The Afghan, Unknown Soldier, Jig, The Tick Tock Man, that sort of thing. The Wheel of Time, despite having three or four books that were too often a saggy, doughy trudge has come on really strong again in the last couple.

And similarly for comics, I can only really say the obvious ones. Moore stuff, Dark Knight Returns, etc.

At least as you're looking suggestions my complete failure to narrow down my choices is if anything more helpful. :D

Ravelle
30-11-2011, 04:07 PM
I mostly buy the hardcovers and collected editions but here's a list I follow:
The Walking Dead
Batman & Robin, Batman series, Red Robin, Batgirl and Batwoman.
Invincible.
Hack/Slash.
And recently started reading Fables.

gwathdring
02-12-2011, 03:49 AM
Thanks for the help guys I've added 20 books to my list, does anyone know any good war books and anything funny also interested in reading some "good" biographys

If you're interested in short stories (which I highly recommend as some of the most impactful and thought provoking stuff in all of literature sits in this format), probably the most incredible piece of war related media I've ever consumed is Tim O'Brian's The Things They Carried. Not a word wasted. It's a rather iconic piece of modern writing, too. My creative writing professor wrote a note on my little mini-essay about it that he suspected I, as a writer, had to have seen it in high school but as he couldn't prove it left all my points intact. I would have thought he was just having a bad day until I realized all of my fellows in the class had read it in high school. :P

Let's see, while we're on the subject of short stories, Niel Gaiman's short stories are something else. Dark, innovative, and lovely. Murder Mysteries from the collection Smoke and Mirrors is one of the best stories I've ever read. It's Noir take on the popular post-Biblical stories of the fall of Lucifer and the times before creation (well, the fall of Lucifer isn't directly connected to the events, but it is alluded to). Much as I love his short stories, he does have a tendency to throw in non-sequitur sex scenes.

Ah, but you wanted funny. Terry Pratchett has been mentioned already, but I just want to throw in an extra plug for the Night Watchmen sequence. His Discworld novels follow a lot of different characters, and are usually broken down based on which characters they follow since it doesn't especially matter what order you read them in. The Watch cycle would include Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch (my favorite), Thud! (also my favorite) and Snuff which I have yet to read as it just came out. I feel these are his best, as they do an absolutely remarkable job mixing genuinely intriguing mysteries/drama and hilarious gags. Small Gods, though it's not quite as refined as his latest novels or the Watch books, holds a very special place in my heart. Something about it was just incredibly endearing and interesting--I loved the idea of gods relying on their believers to maintain power and existence.

Auspex
02-12-2011, 03:09 PM
Biographies: Francis Wheen's Karl Marx biography is excellent if you are at all interested in Marx.

Funny: A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz is very long and essentially a shaggy dog story but it is also hilarious and my favourite book of all time.

Kadayi
02-12-2011, 03:23 PM
My advice if you're new to reading is to work your way through some short story/novella collections rather than trying to tackle huge multi-book series. Some one already mentioned Ray Bradbury which I'd support (R for Rocket is a good series of short stories). If Sci-fi/fantasy is your bent than I'd recommend any short story collections by JG Ballard, Phil K.Dick, Jack Vance & R.E.Howard accordingly.

LGM
02-12-2011, 03:40 PM
I'm a fiction fan, mostly Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

For King, The Stand is just epic, my fav, that I've read multiple times (and that's a big task, it's over 1000 pages! lol). Also, pretty much all his stuff I like.

For Koontz, I'd have to choose From The Corner of His Eye as my fav, although Intensity is also quite good. Koontz is a very underrated author, he's very intelligent, the guy was writing about nano technology in the 1970's.

Tikey
02-12-2011, 04:00 PM
My advice if you're new to reading is to work your way through some short story/novella collections rather than trying to tackle huge multi-book series. Some one already mentioned Ray Bradbury which I'd support (R for Rocket is a good series of short stories). If Sci-fi/fantasy is your bent than I'd recommend any short story collections by JG Ballard, Phil K.Dick, Jack Vance & R.E.Howard accordingly.

I wholeheartedly endorse reading Phillip K. Dick short stories.

BobsLawnService
02-12-2011, 04:12 PM
My all time favourite novel has to be Kurt Vonnegut's Time Quake. Just something about the optimism and whistful nature of the book always leaves me feeling good.

The Mechanical Aggressor
06-12-2011, 11:03 AM
My favourite novel is one of Terry Pratchett's. Either Small Gods, Witches Abroad or Good Omens. My only experience with comics has been Astonishing X-men and Watchmen.

In regards to comics, after playing Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, I've been thinking of reading some Batman. Any recommendations?

Ian
06-12-2011, 11:26 AM
People with more comic knowledge will be able to say whether this misses anything great/includes anything shit, but the obvious ones at least seem to be covered here:

http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/624/624619p1.html

sabrage
06-12-2011, 11:39 AM
In regards to comics, after playing Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, I've been thinking of reading some Batman. Any recommendations?

Year One, Serious House on Serious Earth, The Long Halloween and The Dark Knight Returns for starters. The Knightfall and Hush arcs are superb as well, thought I've found that the one-offs and miniseries capture the feel of Batman a lot better than the main series does. Batman, Inc. is utter trash and should be avoided; I never really liked Grant Morrison during his run on Batman, but Inc has really put the last nail in the coffin for me.

Edit: Ha, named 4 of the top 5 without even looking at that IGN article.

On a broader note, my favorite comics are Orc Stain and The Walking Dead right now. Transmetropolitan and Preacher are standouts as well, and Tank Girl is always a fun read. Gaiman's Sandman series is a must read and Fables is worth looking into. Hellboy has some inconsistent writing but Mignola's style is sublime. Garth Ennis' The Boys is decent enough but I really expect better from the man.

Double edit: And how could I forget? 100 Bullets is fucking awesome.

The Mechanical Aggressor
06-12-2011, 12:58 PM
Many thanks for the recommedations guys. And thanks for reminding me that I still need to read Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

gwathdring
06-12-2011, 03:24 PM
Careful with Sandman. It gets pretty grim and distressing, for me. But it's worthwhile.

I have to say, though, that while I appreciate a lot of the things that Sandman does I enjoyed Gaiman's other comic outings better. The Eternals and his alternat-history Marvel mashup 1602 were pretty great. He really seems to have a grip on the characters, but puts his own mythological touches on everythinng--by which I mean, he frames things in terms of super-hero mythos and archetypes rather than that he invokes particular myths. In Eternals he does something more authentic and somewhat unique by creating his own sort of proto-heroes. I think Gaiman really likes origin stories in the grand sense. I think it's what gives Sandman such a captivating tone and what makes it so convincing. He can tell surreal stories about the origins of the world and dreams and the psyche and gods as though he earnestly believes they are--these meta-fictions--the most important stories. It's a lot of fun to read something like that because he gives it a sense of weight and truth and beginning.

I also absolutely loved diving into Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-men, though I had my typical problems with his plotting and his %*$&*##(@$!@#$($%)#(^*#@ endings. He writes brilliant characters, and does each X-Man he touches a fantastic service as far as I remember ... but his plot ranges from average comic book fair to ridiculous crap and I at least didn't really catch on to how off the path he'd gotten until the ending. Which was ... he could have done something similar and made it tragic or poignant. But instead it just felt ... pointless. It felt at once contrived, mentally jarring, and emotionally underwhelming which was a real shame given how incredibly invested I was in his characters up to that final point. I had a similar experience with Firefly (though, to be fair, that got canceled in the middle) and Serenity--though I haven't seen enough of Buffy to see if Whedon does this with every ending he touches or if it's just the few things of his I've read/watched.

Rii
06-12-2011, 04:36 PM
I also absolutely loved diving into Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-men, though I had my typical problems with his plotting and his %*$&*##(@$!@#$($%)#(^*#@ endings. He writes brilliant characters, and does each X-Man he touches a fantastic service as far as I remember ... but his plot ranges from average comic book fair to ridiculous crap and I at least didn't really catch on to how off the path he'd gotten until the ending. Which was ... he could have done something similar and made it tragic or poignant. But instead it just felt ... pointless. It felt at once contrived, mentally jarring, and emotionally underwhelming which was a real shame given how incredibly invested I was in his characters up to that final point. I had a similar experience with Firefly (though, to be fair, that got canceled in the middle) and Serenity--though I haven't seen enough of Buffy to see if Whedon does this with every ending he touches or if it's just the few things of his I've read/watched.

I haven't read any of his comics, but if you're talking about what I think you're talking about re: Firefly and Serenity then yeah, he does that in BtVS and AtS too. Not that I mind.

gwathdring
06-12-2011, 09:23 PM
I love his characters and dialog enough that I'm happy with his work overall. I'm just not a fan of his endings. I'm looking forward to more of Buffy, though. It's not what I expected. In a good way. :)

a_bullet
06-12-2011, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the help guys I've added 20 books to my list, does anyone know any good war books and anything funny also interested in reading some "good" biographys

The Horrible Histories by Terry Deary and others is good. Those books have war and biographies between the covers. The series is geared towards children.

Roald Dahl's biography Boy was really entertaining. I found the biography of his adult life Going Solo less interesting. However, I read both of those books when I was about 10 years old.

For comics, I like Drawn and Quarterly's Showcase anthologies. However, those may be hard to find, and they aren't "superhero" comics. I also like the Flight series of comic anthologies. Those are more available and contain elements of fantasy.

Lastly, no one has suggested Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Humour and an easy read.

moth bones
06-12-2011, 09:53 PM
Want humour? It's hard to go wrong with P.G. Wodehouse. Most libraries should have one or two books of his short stories.

I know of no better war novel than Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

He's been mentioned already on this thread, but Kurt Vonnegut is a great writer - deep themes, inspired ideas, crafted characters and an abiding sense of compassion, generally expressed in clear, accessible prose.

As far as recommending books for people new to reading, I'd suggest that the main rule would be to avoid writers who like to reference, play with and/or subvert conventions of literature. No unreliable narrators or tricky shifting perspectives. No Borges, much as I love him.

Oh, and as regards comics I still like Love & Rockets and Heartbreak Soup the best.

Rii
06-12-2011, 10:01 PM
I love his characters and dialog enough that I'm happy with his work overall. I'm just not a fan of his endings. I'm looking forward to more of Buffy, though. It's not what I expected. In a good way. :)

Yeah it took some encouraging for me to give a show about vampires and the trials and tribulations of a high school girl and her friends a shot too. ;)

Oddly enough it was an essay on the depiction of women in Firefly that finally convinced me to give Buffy a shot. The author was forever drawing comparisons between the two series and I figured I needed to see the other side of the story to properly contextualise and evaluate her arguments. Course that initial motivation was quickly forgotten...

ado
11-12-2011, 09:23 PM
Novels I love:

The Lord of the Flies
1984
American Psycho
I Am Legend
The Forever War
Dune
Devil in the White City
The Road

Comics:

Watchmen
Dark Knight Returns
Batman: Year One
Sandman (obviously)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Hellboy
Maus

Nothing surprising or esoteric on either of those lists. And I really don't have much interest in comic books outside of the really acclaimed stuff. With books less so, I'm more prone to experiment but still end up loving the more mainstream stuff anyway.

Angel Dust
11-12-2011, 11:36 PM
He's been mentioned already on this thread, but Kurt Vonnegut is a great writer - deep themes, inspired ideas, crafted characters and an abiding sense of compassion, generally expressed in clear, accessible prose.
Yes to all this but his sometimes non-linear, fragmented, rambling narratives might be a bit difficult for newcomers.

Books I like/love that I could recommend to casual readers*:

The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
Motherless Brooklyn -Jonathan Lethem
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon

Now some of these are quite long (500+ pages) but they are all involving narratives with reasonably easy prose. I've recommended all of them to various different people and they always seem to go down well (the only exception being one friend not being able to get into Motherless Brooklyn; I guess detective novels where the protagonist has Tourettes are not for everyone!)

* I'm not going to put my all time favourites in here, because if I'm honest, that would only be show off my 'impeccable' taste.

Mihkel
12-12-2011, 12:04 AM
Favourite books:

The Good Soldier Švejk - Jaroslav Hašek
World War Z - Max Brooks
20 000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
Old Barny or November - Andrus Kivirähk
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Favourite comics:

Transmetropolitan
Preacher
Punisher MAX 1-60
Hellboy
100 Bullets
Chew

gursikh11
13-12-2011, 07:43 AM
I have read DC comics always, I really like it. Scooby doo and Sandman are my favorite comic books.

gwathdring
14-12-2011, 03:45 AM
I have read DC comics always, I really like it. Scooby doo and Sandman are my favorite comic books.

What do you think of the New 51? I was just getting into the big super hero lineups and I lost interest when some of my DC-interested friends were talking about changes in the New U. I like marvel characters better, but I find it really hard to find a place to jump into with Marvel. It's not necessarily a good thing that DC reboots the entire universe quite so often, but it does make it a lot easier to hop on the bandwagon without cruising forums and wiki-articles for a few days first in preparation.

I guess, while I'm asking you about New U, what are your favorite bits of DC? What would you recommend for someone who isn't quite into the main-lineup DC experience but wants to see what the universe has to offer at the edges?

Ravelle
16-12-2011, 09:30 AM
Marvel usually starts a new story arc with rounded numbers so if you're interested in reading a series it's best to start at #200 if the comic has about 220 issues out, for example.

luckystar01
22-12-2011, 12:39 PM
Novel:
Black Hole by Charles Burns
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Mad Love by Paul Dini & Bruce Timm


Comics:
Nothing Nice to Say by Mitch Clem
Questionable Content by Jeph Jaques

jasons
23-01-2012, 06:42 AM
i like Eric by Terry Pratchett

squirrel
23-01-2012, 08:09 AM
You mates heard of a Japanese manga Gintama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gintama)? I noticed this animation when there was once I needed to stay in one of my friend's home for a few days. One of TV channels he subscribed to happen to broadcast Gintama episode #84, about a cop who, always wanted to look cool (what he called "Hard-boiled egg"), yet he's incompetent enough to always let his old nemesis, a thief who dressed life a wolf escape. The protagonist Gintoki with his two ordinates Kagura and Shinpachi was recruited to assist this stupid cop.

Gintama is a comedy with dark humor. It is an alternative history about Japan in 1868, in stead of being forced open door by the USA, was forced to open door by aliens. Shogunate therefore remained in power but samurai still lost their prestige. Gintoki was one of such samurai. After a failed campaign against the aliens, he chose to survive under the new environment.

I used to watch the animation, but now I follow the manga, and have been reading every chapter of it. Gintama is infamous of making jokes about sub-culture, so you may also take it as a quick review of East Asia sub-culture.

LongBlade
23-01-2012, 05:21 PM
I recently ran across the comic: Lady Mechanica. Good stuff, especially if you're into steampunk.

Voon
27-01-2012, 10:19 AM
The Adventures of Tintin comics from Herge are one of my favourite comics. Read them since I was a 8 or something. I read The Blue Lotus, recently. But, I still prefer The Secret of the Unicorn and King Ottokar's Sceptre to that.

I also have Watchmen and The Surrogates. Both definately better than the movies.

And Lat comics. I have this one:
694
Not exactly better than Kampung Boy, but I kinda like it.

maggihussy
14-03-2012, 05:14 AM
Many novels and comics I have been read. I like Three musketeers from Alexandre, Midnight's children by Salman Rushdie etc. I am a big fan of Salman Rushdi.My favorite comics are Doonesbury and Birds of prey etc. I loved to watch it.

DaftPunk
15-03-2012, 11:23 PM
Right now i'm reading Chew. Its about a rookie cop who has this strange super-power,to see things which happened with food he taste lol,sounds kinda strange but its really interesting and funny.


http://shrani.si/f/1Z/Xt/2F2dDvrA/funny.jpg

AlonePlusEasyTarget
20-03-2012, 11:22 AM
And Lat comics. I have this one:
694
Not exactly better than Kampung Boy, but I kinda like it.

I like Town Boy better as it's a story about assimilating to new environment and growing up. For a 7 years old, that was quite stuff. I have most of his works including Mat Som and those one pagers.

Though I must say Tintin and comics from Rejabhad are the ones I remember most from my childhood.

Voon
21-03-2012, 05:56 AM
I like Town Boy better as it's a story about assimilating to new environment and growing up. For a 7 years old, that was quite stuff. I have most of his works including Mat Som and those one pagers.

Though I must say Tintin and comics from Rejabhad are the ones I remember most from my childhood.

Aw yeah, Mat Som was definitely a favorite of mine. I didn't understand what's the story was about until I read it again but hey, I was 8 years old since I first time I read it. Lat really needs to do more comics like this, you know?

LennyLeonardo
21-03-2012, 08:32 AM
If you have a whole lot of money (or a superb local library), Akira is one of the greatest graphic novel's I've ever read.

That sentence is completely illogical, but you get the idea.