Book Recommendations?

Natus wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

1-2-3 Magic are my physical books of the moment, depending on my mood and the level of chaos in the house.

I may have mentioned before that that book was our tool of choice (now we have teens), and actually, lo and behold, it worked!

Yeah, I think you did mention it in the other thread. I am about 2/3rds through the book and going to discuss it with my wife soon.

I really enjoyed Frostbitten. Bravo Trichy! It feels like there's scope for more stories in that world, maybe?

DudleySmith wrote:

I really enjoyed Frostbitten. Bravo Trichy! It feels like there's scope for more stories in that world, maybe?

Yeah, I liked it too. I'd buy the sequel.

Having a good time with it so far.

Thanks! I'm about 70% through the next book. It's a different cast of characters, set in a different part of the world, but the same world.

… I’m surprised that it’s already written and cast and is headed into production in 3 months, usually shows like this are announced like a year before they’ve done anything but write the checks.

They announced it was in development last March.

ah well, that’s what happens you don’t pay attention to any non-politics news

Never read a Warhammer 40,000 book. Vaguely familiar from a handful of games I've played, but not really that into the lore. I noticed a few in the sci-fi section of the current Audible 2 for 1 credit sale and wouldn't mind trying one or two out.

Any recommendations from the sale? It ends tonight. Lots of them have good reviews and seem to be book 1 of various series. But with something like Warhammer, I have no idea if it's just people deep into it 5*'ing everything just to keep the content train running. Looking to see if anything is approachable for a sci-fi reader with vague knowledge of the universe, but not too into the deep end of the pool.

Sci-fi filter on the sale. Just have to scroll to see the Warhammer stuff.

https://www.audible.com/special-prom...

Not an Audible subscriber so can't see if the correct answers are on sale, but they are:

1. The Eisenhorn trilogy (starts with "Xenos")
2. Space Wolf series

Eisenhorn is just great if you don't absolutely have to be reading about space marines all the time, and Space Wolf is a good place to hop in if you want to read about space marines all the time.

Xenos by Dan Abnett is in there, they also have the first book in Abnett’s Ravenor series and the first two from his Bequin series, but both of those happen sequentially after Eisenhorn and are deeply entwined in that story. Abnett is one of the best of the 40k writers, though.

I’ve heard the Devestation of Baal by Guy Haley is good but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Thanks Crinkle and ruhk. Some googling gave me several books by Guy Haley being recommended. I don't know that I have to jump in at a certain point since there seems to be so much content, just something to get a taste that's understandable. If there are two books in a series like you mentioned with the Benquin, should I just grab a couple, or sample from two different authors?

Yeah any of the Abnett series are a good place to start.

MannishBoy wrote:

If there are two books in a series like you mentioned with the Benquin, should I just grab a couple, or sample from two different authors?

The Bequin and Ravenor series are spinoffs from the Eisenhorn series and I don’t know how comprehensible they’d be if you read them first, so it’s probably better to start with Xenos (Eisenhorn book 1) .

OK, I grabbed Xenos. I wanted the Kaiji book by Scalzi, so got that paired with it. Might talk myself into a couple of other Warhammer books before the night is done but at least you guys seemed consistent on Xenos being a good starting point.

Because Martha Wells always recommends her, I've been giving Kate Elliot a go.

Her genderbent space opera version of Alexander the Great, The Unconquerable Sun is really good (only the first two books out, but she's just conquered Space Persia - not sure what constitutes a spoiler in this context).

I've read the first book of the Crossroads trilogy, Spirit Gate, which is fairly gritty epic fantasy. I'm not enjoying it as much due to it having a lot of my less favourite low fantasy tropes in it. I'm on the second book now

ranalin wrote:

Murderbot series show!!

I mean, maybe it'll be a good show in its own right, but probably not a good adaptation if you're e.g. really into Ratthi or Gurathin as they're depicted in the books.

DudleySmith wrote:
ranalin wrote:

Murderbot series show!!

I mean, maybe it'll be a good show in its own right, but probably not a good adaptation if you're e.g. really into Ratthi or Gurathin as they're depicted in the books.

Yea but with the way the books are structured it can be a faithful show to the setting unlike Apples attempt at The Foundation

Maybe, I have worries about the way that internal monologue and hacking / data manipulation are central to the stories and whether they'll be willing to do a VO and solve the difficult cyberspace problem which I've never seen done well (ref. Lawnmower Man, Johnny Mnenomic). Also, to avoid the temptation to make ART look like Cortana

Finished All the Birds in the Sky, and really enjoyed it. The emotions and thoughts of the two main characters are really well done, and feel very real. It's about complicated relationships as well as science, magic, and how we are driving toward our species' doom. Interesting ideas and told well.

Started the 2nd Murderbot book on my phone and enjoying Frostbitten. Thanks MCPL!

DudleySmith wrote:

Because Martha Wells always recommends her, I've been giving Kate Elliot a go.

Her genderbent space opera version of Alexander the Great, The Unconquerable Sun is really good (only the first two books out, but she's just conquered Space Persia - not sure what constitutes a spoiler in this context).

I've read the first book of the Crossroads trilogy, Spirit Gate, which is fairly gritty epic fantasy. I'm not enjoying it as much due to it having a lot of my less favourite low fantasy tropes in it. I'm on the second book now

Kate Elliots Servant Mage is free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Im looking forward to checking out her work.

I picked up a Kobo for the beach back in August and it has really reignited my love for reading. Many thanks to you all in this thread, which has been a lovely resource.

Things I've read since picking the thing up, and my very simple thoughts about them:

Piranesi
Lovely. A very intriguing premise and well told story.

Among Others
Interesting, but not something I would recommend.

Imperial Radch Trilogy
Fantastic. A very interesting premise, well developed over the course of the trilogy.

Provenance
A side story from the Imperial Radch universe. Very good!

Translation State
Another side story from the Imperial Radch. Very, very good!

The Expanse Series
Tremendous. I'd watched through maybe the 4th or 5th season of the TV adaptation so I had some sense of what to expect going in, but I was still absolutely engrossed. A very hearty recommendation.

The Broken Earth Trilogy
I'd read some N.K. Jemisin before so I was expecting quality, but this series still managed to exceed my expectations.

Murderbot Series
I'm still reading this one, as the wait for the latest few books at my library is very long. I came for the premise, but stayed for the tone.

The Dreamblood Duology
N.K. Jemisin has a vivid imagination and really knows how to tell a story.

The Inheritance Trilogy
I'd read the first book of this trilogy and been indifferent, but given how much I liked the broken earth and dreamblood books, I gave it another shot. Definitely a little more YA oriented, but still something I enjoyed.

A Master of Djinn
Magic steampunk in an alternate history 1920's superpower Cairo? Yes please.

This Is How You Lose the Time War
Exquisite. I knew this was a collaboration between two authors, but I learned after reading that it was written as an exchange of letters between the authors (which is also the format of the book itself). How people have the imagination and skill to pull something like that off, I will never know.
Also this, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In May 2023, three years after its release, This Is How You Lose the Time War received an unexpected boost in popularity, ascending Amazon's bestseller rankings to number three overall and number one in science fiction.[17] This was because of a viral tweet by a fan of the manga and anime series Trigun with the display name "bigolas dickolas wolfwood" who recommended the book to their followers.[18][19] "I do not understand what is happening but I am incomprehensibly grateful to bigolas dickolas", El-Mohtar wrote in response.[20]

The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky
Haven't finished the whole trilogy yet--my hold on The Relentless Moon has another couple of weeks yet. 1950's/60's setting is an interesting one, less for the type of sci-fi the story is telling (which is very good!) and more for the gender and racial dynamics the books are exploring, which are ultimately the focus of the books. Very good.

Gideon the Ninth
I just finished this the other night, and am very frustrated at the ~3 weeks remaining on my hold for Harrow. As with the Murderbot series, the initial draw is the setting, but the tone was the joy of this for me. The juxtaposition of some very intense sci-fi/fantasy stuff (ancient god-emperors, necromancy, civilizations so old and advanced they've circled back round to feudalism, etc.) with very of-the-moment/modern/right out a Discord server language never gets old. Tremendous.

The Yiddish Policeman's Union
Currently reading this, and kicking myself for not doing so earlier--my father had a copy of this on his bookshelf for years, and as my taste in books rarely aligned with his I didn't really give it a second glance. Chabon has a lovely way with words, and although I am not Jewish, I did grow up with a whole lot of Jewish folks (the year my class turned 13 felt like one long bar/bat mitzvah), so the Yiddish-y sentence structure feels a lot like spending time at my friends' houses listening to their parents and grandparents.

Some thoughts about the Kobo itself:
I initially picked it up because of the overdrive integration--everything I've read has been from a library. The integration is serviceable, but in the end I've gone back to managing everything with Libby and Calibre. The reading experience is very nice--the asymmetrical thickness of the thing makes it very pleasant to hold, the text is crisp, and crucially for me as I do most of my reading in bed after the wife and baby are asleep, the nightlight is very good.

The Yiddish Policeman's Union is genius. I'd read other books by Chabon, and they were good, but the title on this stupidly struck me as juvenile. It's a page-turner! I won't say more.

^Love this list, because most of those books are on my TBR.

I read Legends & Lattes and quite enjoyed it, and discovered it is part of a genre of "cozy fiction" which several books I have enjoyed - At Home in Mitford, A Psalm for the Wild-Built, and The House in the Cerulean Sea - so think I have found a great list of books to look into.

Some things wot I read lately:

From Below by Darcy Coates - Excellent underwater horror, mixing the supernatural with the real hazards of diving. A passenger liner famously vanished at sea with all hands; a hundred years later, the wreck is found in a completely different part of the ocean, and a documentary dive crew races to be the first to investigate what happened. Unfortunately, they find out.

The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown by Lawrence Block - Block's long-running series about gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr takes an unexpected left turn into science fiction, with Bernie and Carolyn finding themselves in a parallel universe. Slight but fun.

Frostbitten by Dietrich Stogner of this parish - Enjoyable fantasy in which our fish-out-of-water protagonist has to investigate strange goings-on in a remote polar town. I've always had a liking for stories set in cold environments and this one satisfactorily pushed my buttons. Hoping for more.

A Theory of Haunting by Sarah Monette - Truly scary horror story in a dliberately old-fashioned style, proving that the traditional Ghost Story still has plenty of life in it. And death. So much death. The thing in the lake - oh god, the thing in the lake...

Long Chills and Case Dough by Brandon Sanderson - Short but fun hardboiled detective send-up. A bit out of Sanderson's usual wheelhouse but he turns out to be good at lightweight comedy. (If I'd read this without knowing who wrote it and been asked to guess, I would have said John Scalzi.)

Where did you find that new Sanderson book? it's not on Amazon USA...

Robear wrote:

Where did you find that new Sanderson book? it's not on Amazon USA...

It was put out as a little hardcover to backers of the 4 surprise novels, but it's also supposed to be available for free on his website.

Oh, then I need to check my latest backer email lol. Read the first few sentences and shrugged.