Book Recommendations?

I really liked D’Auliere for Norse myths in particular. They also have a pronunciation guide in the back that was really helpful. Their Greek myths are good too. I’d avoid any of their history books (Lincoln), although I haven’t read them. Their age isn’t a mark against them in my opinion.

Gaiman’s Norse Myths is good, but I’d say it’s more middle school(ish).
Pictures in D’Auliere are fun.

I just finished a re-read of the Paper Magician series. I'm looking for something in a similar vein (magic, not traditional fantasy setting, some romantic plots). Any ideas?

NathanialG wrote:

I've been thinking about getting my nephew books on Norse and Greek mythology. Does anyone have recommendations on good ones for elementary age kids? D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths looks good but it was written in the 60s and I was thinking there might be a more recent book that could be better.

tboon wrote:

Didn't Neil Gaiman do a book on Norse mythology? Not sure how approachable that would be for elementary kids, I have not read it, but might be worth looking into.

Those who know me won’t be at all surprised about my recommendation for Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book. It’s written for all readers, regardless of age. I would love for Gaiman to write about Greek mythos, but I doubt that he will.

Gaiman also has a young readers novel called Odd and the Frost Giants. Its set in the realm of Norse Mythology and is pretty good. His Norse Mythology book is better though IMO.

And... you’ll be introducing him to Neil Gaiman, my favorite living writer. For elementary age I can also recommend Fortunately, the Milk.. and Coraline, both by Gaiman. My kids loved those at elementary age. I must warn: Coraline is not at all gory or explicit, but it is creepy AF.

At about age 10 or 11 I would also recommend The Graveyard Book and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman. Keep in mind that those are creepy AF. I wouldn’t be concerned about the content of these being too explicit, just that some of the elements of these stories are complex.

UMOarsman wrote:

I just finished a re-read of the Paper Magician series. I'm looking for something in a similar vein (magic, not traditional fantasy setting, some romantic plots). Any ideas?

The Night Circus. You won’t be disappointed.

RawkGWJ wrote:
UMOarsman wrote:

I just finished a re-read of the Paper Magician series. I'm looking for something in a similar vein (magic, not traditional fantasy setting, some romantic plots). Any ideas?

The Night Circus. You won’t be disappointed.

If you want something that's full nonsense and meets those requirements then I recommend Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels books. They are set in Atlanta where magic is coming back in waves and she starts off as a mercenary with a mysterious past and family, her love interest is a prehistoric were-lion who is the leader of all the local shapeshifters. The action is excellent and the characters are all really fun.

UMOarsman wrote:

I just finished a re-read of the Paper Magician series. I'm looking for something in a similar vein (magic, not traditional fantasy setting, some romantic plots). Any ideas?

The first thing that came to mind was Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown, which is quite a fun standalone novel about an "altogether unsuitable gentleman" who is named the Sorcerer Royal of England, and is expected to figure out why magic is failing, as England is beset by enemies. There's another standalone book in that same universe, "The True Queen", which I haven't read yet. (didn't realize it was out.)

Unfortunately, they're both kind of pricey, $12 apiece for the Kindle editions. That seems a bit exorbitant for older novels from an otherwise-unknown author.

Thanks Malor, I got both from the OverDrive libraries. I loved both Night Circus and Paper Magician. Always looking for more in the same vein.

RawkGWJ wrote:
UMOarsman wrote:

I just finished a re-read of the Paper Magician series. I'm looking for something in a similar vein (magic, not traditional fantasy setting, some romantic plots). Any ideas?

The Night Circus. You won’t be disappointed.

I read Night Circus based on someone from the podcast mentioning it (Rabbit?). It was good. Reminded me of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel - though not nearly as long winded as that one was! - in the victorian, low fantasy kind of way.

Apparently there's a follow up also, not as highly rated as the debut.

I loved The Night Circus. Might be time for a re-read.

Malor - those sound great - will check out.

Suvanto - I had the same feeling about JS&MN - meandering at times but satisfying at the end.

NathanialG - added to the list as well. Thanks!

Keep 'em coming!

NathanialG wrote:

I've been thinking about getting my nephew books on Norse and Greek mythology. Does anyone have recommendations on good ones for elementary age kids? D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths looks good but it was written in the 60s and I was thinking there might be a more recent book that could be better.

I'm a huge fan of D'Aulaires' Greek myths, Norse myths, and Trolls. They are really well-written and of course the art in the books is superb. The only book of theirs I wouldn't recommend is their romanticized children's book on Columbus. Now *that* was out-dated.

Re: norse & greek myths for kids -- that's going to be an excellent sidebar/lead-in to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

For readalikes for the Paper Magician, I have several suggestions that might suit. (I've included blurbs/reviews so you can get the idea of each):

Patricia Wrede: Sorcery and Cecilia series

Two young ladies contend with the Royal College of Wizards in Regency London

or the Matter of Magic duology.

When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician's wagon, Kim doesn't hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn't above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she's done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.

Lois McMaster Bujold's fantasy series: Penric and Desdemona

On his way to his betrothal, young Lord Penric comes upon a riding accident with an elderly lady on the ground, her maidservant and guardsmen distraught. As he approaches to help, he discovers that the lady is a Temple divine, servant to the five gods of this world. With her dying breath she bequeaths her mysterious powers to Penric.

or The Sharing Knife.

An extraordinary romance between a young farm girl and the brave sorcerer-soldier entrusted with the defense of the land against a plague of vicious malevolent beings.

Megan Whelan Turner's Queen's Thief Series

Set in a Mediterranean-like country called Sounis in a time when the old gods have just been supplanted. Gen, a thief languishing in the royal dungeons, is summarily reclaimed by the king’s magus, who wants him to steal the unstealable: a legendary stone conferring the power of the throne of Eddis, a rival neighboring country, on its bearer.

Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint series

In the highly stratified world of Kushner's nameless old city, the aristocrats living in fine mansions on the Hill settle their differences by sending to the thieves' den of Riverside for swordsmen who will fight to the death for a point of someone else's honor.

T. Kingfisher: Swordheart,

Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle's estate... and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws... and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all.

and the Clockwork Boys duology if you like the world, though that's more a heist than a romance.

Pull three people out of prison--a disgraced paladin, a convicted forger, and a heartless assassin. Give them weapons, carnivorous tattoos, and each other. Point them at the enemy.

What could possibly go wrong?

Also Paladin's Grace

Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…

I finished Dan Jones' Crusaders last night. It's great accessible, engaging narrative history.

If you want to read about the Crusades that's probably a good place to start.

Katy - that's an awesome list! Should keep me busy

Katy wrote:

The Clockwork Boys duology if you like the world, though that's more a heist than a romance.

Pull three people out of prison--a disgraced paladin, a convicted forger, and a heartless assassin. Give them weapons, carnivorous tattoos, and each other. Point them at the enemy.

What could possibly go wrong?

I really liked the Clockwork Boys. The second book was good, too, but I didn't find it quite as charming, somehow. Still, worth your time.

Megan Whelan Turner's Queen's Thief Series

These were excellent. I believe they're classed as YA novels, but they don't read that way at all.

One small detail I found particularly impressive was that the protagonists didn't have super regenerative powers. If they were wounded, they were hurt, and it took them ages to recover, if they ever did.

I now plan to read some of the others you mention, they sound great. I have this thread bookmarked already (I went back to the beginning and have been working my way forward again through time), but I added a second bookmark just now so I can quickly find this post again.

AcidCat wrote:

I know I've mentioned this before but fans of hard sci-fi please don't sleep on Neal Asher. Even though he has a bunch of prior books in this universe the Transformation trilogy (starts with Dark Intelligence) is a great starting point. I'm almost done with his followup trilogy Rise of the Jain and it has continued at the same level of quality. As a point of reference, think Iain Banks, but significantly more ultra-detailed far future space war descriptions (if this sounds boring rather than cool *maybe* you won't enjoy this stuff as much) and even tighter, almost thriller-like plotting with very little fat and a lot of action, while still having really interesting characters. IMO *the* best current hard sci fi author out there.

So I just read Prador Moon, and while it mostly worked for me as a sci-fi action romp, I'd say it's pretty far from Iain Banks. Then again some of Banks's earlier novels (Consider Phlebas) were more action focused so I'm wondering if that's the case here too? Also it was a bit icky for me in places, is that common in Asher?

ComfortZone wrote:
AcidCat wrote:

I know I've mentioned this before but fans of hard sci-fi please don't sleep on Neal Asher. Even though he has a bunch of prior books in this universe the Transformation trilogy (starts with Dark Intelligence) is a great starting point. I'm almost done with his followup trilogy Rise of the Jain and it has continued at the same level of quality. As a point of reference, think Iain Banks, but significantly more ultra-detailed far future space war descriptions (if this sounds boring rather than cool *maybe* you won't enjoy this stuff as much) and even tighter, almost thriller-like plotting with very little fat and a lot of action, while still having really interesting characters. IMO *the* best current hard sci fi author out there.

So I just read Prador Moon, and while it mostly worked for me as a sci-fi action romp, I'd say it's pretty far from Iain Banks. Then again some of Banks's earlier novels (Consider Phlebas) were more action focused so I'm wondering if that's the case here too? Also it was a bit icky for me in places, is that common in Asher?

Prador Moon is a little rougher than a lot of his later stuff. I don't necessarily agree with the Banks comparisons (though I understand where they're coming from), but I will say that the aforementioned Transformation trilogy is about as close as you're going to get if you're trying to bridge that gap.

Thanks I will try the Transformation books!

Malor wrote:
Megan Whelan Turner's Queen's Thief Series

These were excellent. I believe they're classed as YA novels, but they don't read that way at all.

A new book in the series is coming out next month. So if you're inclined for a re-read, this might not be a bad time.

Sid Meier's "Memoir! A Life in Computer Games" is now out.

Robear wrote:

Sid Meier's "Memoir! A Life in Computer Games" is now out. :-)

I hope it's titled "Sid Meier's Memoir! A Life in Computer Games"

billt721 wrote:
Robear wrote:

Sid Meier's "Memoir! A Life in Computer Games" is now out. :-)

I hope it's titled "Sid Meier's Memoir! A Life in Computer Games"

By Sid Meier

Enjoyed Harrow the Ninth.

I'm about a fifth of the way through Gideon the Ninth and I'm enjoying it so far.

Made it through all of 10 the Alex Verus books to date. They are right up my alley. I'm now waiting for book 11 which is expected to release in November 2020, which I hope is accurate. I was totally spoiled getting to read/listen to all 10 back-to-back-to-back and now the idea of having to wait two whole months is going to drag.

Anyone have recommendations for similar series? Other than the Dresden Files.

Rivers of London series, definitely. Ben Aaronovitch.

Love that series especially the audiobooks narrated by Kobna Holbrook Smith.

My wife reads all three of those series and she recommended looking at the Felix Castor books too. Also books by Simon R Green, specifically the Ishmael Jones series.

billt721 wrote:
Robear wrote:

Sid Meier's "Memoir! A Life in Computer Games" is now out. :-)

I hope it's titled "Sid Meier's Memoir! A Life in Computer Games"

For anyone who didn't bother to look, it IS called Sid Meier's Memoir!, so I was not disappointed. His interviews on Soren Johnson's podcast were great -- I loved hearing about the early days of game development, so I'll definitely be picking this up.

Ars did a 'war stories' with him too about early Civ:

https://arstechnica.com/video/watch/...