The Book Discussion/Recommendation Topic

Topics not covered in other forums. NO POLITICS OR RELIGION.
User avatar
Chris
Administrator
Posts: 4706
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:20 pm
Contact:

The Book Discussion/Recommendation Topic

Post by Chris » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:55 am

This topic is sort of a resurrection of a thread we had from the first day Mecha Talk opened. That thread was about books you should read. We don't see enough discussion of books here, so that's what this thread is for. Mention your favorite books and talk about them a bit, whether they're fantasy, sci-fi, biographies, military history, or whatever. In keeping with forum rules, let's exclude any books that are strictly about politics or religion. And now, talk amongst yourselves! [/end old SNL joke]
Last edited by Chris on Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Nightwing03
Posts: 1266
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:14 am
Location: I'm to your left! No your other left!
Contact:

Post by Nightwing03 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:39 pm

Well, i would recommened some of the Matthew Reilly books like Area 7, Ice Station and Scarecrow, they are simple action packed and keeps you on the edge of the seat the whole time you're reading it, very interesting character development, hardcore fight scenes, and very intriguing plot. Ahh yes and those 3 books are a trilogy aswell.

I've read all his other works aswell, like Hover Car Racers, The Seven Ancient Wonders, Contest and Temple. All of those books are kick ass aswell, but i though i'd talk about the Area 7, Ice Station and Scarecrow because they're about the military. I'm also dying to read the sequel to The Seven Ancient Wonders, "The Six Sacred Stones"
♣♦♠♥

User avatar
ShadowCell
Moderator
Posts: 5834
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:59 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Post by ShadowCell » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:37 pm

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thomspon. It's a drug-addled romp through the city of sin. Be on the lookout for the Samoan attorney. He is awesome.

Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. It's about science, superstition, and the line that divides the two. A simpler version of this book would be Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer, but of course, you'll go straight for Sagan because you're hardcore like that.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Squicky subject material, but a) you will understand with excruciating clarity what they mean by "Lolita complex," and b) for a convicted statutory rapist and I think murderer, Humbert Humbert is actually fairly sympathetic.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. It covers the, um, other side of historical figures that you don't hear about in the classroom--such as, for example, what Christopher Columbus did when he came back to the New World.

Great Presidential Wit by Bob Dole. It goes through the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Bill Clinton, recounting anecdotes and jokes about them. Abraham Lincoln was a funny SOB. It was published during the 2000 campaign, so it has a few pages on Al Gore and George W Bush too.

The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse by Keith Hartman. Takes place in Atlanta twenty years from now, where a spree of grisly serial killings causes a paradigm shift in an increasingly polarized Atlanta society. I like how what starts out as a far-flung cast of characters slowly spirals together, and the future society painted in this book is a fascinating one.

User avatar
Folken Fanel
Posts: 897
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:57 pm
Location: The Danger Zone
Contact:

Post by Folken Fanel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:43 pm

Well, I personally recommend Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and to a certain extent its sequels, but in my opinion the first book is definitely the best. There's also George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and anything by Michael Crichton, especially Sphere. Anyone who calls themself a sci-fi fan should read War of the Worlds simply for the fact that it was the beginning of sci-fi. And finally, I'd recommend Gotrek and Felix. Yeah, its nothing more than glorified Warhammer fanfiction, but what isn't in BAM's fantasy section these days?
Mobile Suit Gundam: Neo
It's common knowledge that 99.99% of users on Youtube are ZOINKING idiots.

User avatar
Kavik Ryx
Posts: 1791
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Expatriating in Tel Aviv
Contact:

Post by Kavik Ryx » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:31 pm

I would have to agree with Shadow Cell on Lies My Teacher Told Me, heck, my history teacher actually had me read it for class rather than using a textbook.

Another good read would have to be Lost Horizon by James Hilton I think. Simply put, it was the book that coined the term Shangri La.

Also James Michner's The Source, which is a look through a ruined city in northern Israel. The way it is written is rather interesting, switching from the stories of the towns inhabitants to the experiences and perspective of the archaeologists. I recommend this one if you are a fan of long reads. It also makes good social and cultural commentary.

Hyakushiki
Posts: 1241
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:07 pm

Post by Hyakushiki » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:59 pm

I recommend the books of James P. Hogan, I think he's the best at creating compelling characters and his use of scientific concepts.

Voyage From Yesteryear. About a culture clash between colonists from Earth escaping the aftermath of global war and a technologically advanced society of anarchists.

Real-time Interrupt. A computer scientist finds himself trapped in the virtual world he helped create. It has some similarities to The Matrix, but with better story and character development and less action.

Bug Park. An eccentric scientist creates a direct neural interface that allows people to control tiny robots by telepresence. However, his ex-wife and military weapons manufacturer have other plans for the technology. The story plays out like Johnny Quest, as his son and his friends try to protect his father.
Don't send a coordinator to do a newtype's job!

User avatar
Toxicity
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:20 pm
Location: New Eden
Contact:

Post by Toxicity » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:28 pm

I would strongly recommend reading anything written by Terry Brooks. This is the guy who wrote all the Shannara books, as well as many other fantasy novels. I've been reading his stuff years and years and years, and his ability to describe things in such detail never cease to amaze me.

User avatar
Zeonic Glory
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Makkai, Gensokyo
Contact:

Post by Zeonic Glory » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:47 pm

ZG's turn to recommend!

History

Letters from Iwo Jima by Kumiko Kakehasi: This is a must read for anyone who is interested in the battle and the events that led up to it. It is full of major information and nice little trivia that you wouldn't normally find (One example is that fighting still continued after the battles were over. The last 2 Japanese soldiers surrendered to the Americans in 1949 :shock: !). This book inspired Clint Eastwood and Ken Watanabe.

The Burma Road by Donovan Webster: This is about what happened in the China-Burma-India theater, a.k.a. the forgotten theater, of WWII. It has information on the battles there, General Stillwell, General Chennault (who in a way was responsible for the famous shark mouths on fighters and other aircraft), Admiral Mountbatten, General Slim, General Wingate, and other major people in the theater. This is highly recommended for anyone who wants to read about the theater that most history textbooks won't cover.

The Ravens by Christopher Robbins: This book is about Laos, the secret "Other Theater" of the Vietnam War. The U.S. and North Vietnam denied having troops there. In reality, the North Vietnamese were fighting against CIA trained Meo/Hmong tribesmen. The Ravens were a group of "unoffical" pilots who wore civilian clothes, engaged in missions with high mortality rates, and called in targets for air strikes. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to read about a brave group of pilots, a war that isn't supposed to exist, and a huge CIA clandestine operation.

Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson: This book is about Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hatchcock , the marine sniper with the highest recorded in the history of the U.S. Marines: 93 confirmed kills. It gives an account of his missions during the Vietnam War and some of the insane kills he got.

Sci-Fi

The Axis of Time Trilogy by John Birmingham: This book is a sci-fi/alternate history about a U.S.-led Multinational Task Force armada being caught in a scientific experiment by a civilian vessel and transported back into 1942. A very nice alternate history with all sides of the war grabbing the new technology and greatly advancing technology.
Warning: When using Minovsky Particles, please do not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you have a Newtype Flash lasting longer than 6 hours, please call 911 as this may be a sign of a serious and life threatening side-effect. Ask your doctor if taking Minovsky Particles are right for you.

User avatar
RGM-79G GM Command
Posts: 354
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:22 pm
Location: RGM-89J Jegan cockpit.
Contact:

Post by RGM-79G GM Command » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:15 pm

I am really suprised no one said this before me but, I have to say that I'll reccomend Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers, it is one of, if not the best book I have ever read.
Thundermuffin's TEGSD: MEYRIN: Ma’am! The Archangel has arrived and launched a giant, man-shaped robot at us! Likelihood of it being a mobile-suit… (Meyrin does some quick calculations on her console)…ninety-nine point eight percent!
ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!

Hyakushiki
Posts: 1241
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:07 pm

Post by Hyakushiki » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:28 pm

Have you read The Forever War by Joe Halderman? It has a similar setting to Starship Troopers but the characters and story aren't as dry that said though it's is still good. Personally I feel Stranger in a Strange Land was Heinlein's best work.
Don't send a coordinator to do a newtype's job!

User avatar
Kishiria
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:32 am
Location: Hidalgo Colony, Side 3
Contact:

Srs literature. This iz srs thread.

Post by Kishiria » Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:23 pm

Folken Fanel wrote:Anyone who calls themself a sci-fi fan should read War of the Worlds simply for the fact that it was the beginning of sci-fi.
Respectfully, I must disagree. The beginning of science fiction literature was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Moving TOTALLY out of the SF/Fantasy world (well, not entirely) I strongly recommend the work of South American writers Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Love in the Time of Cholera is coming out as a movie in a few days, so read it quickly to get your own mental images!

Borges specializes in surrealistic short stories, a little less dark than Kafka's.
Techno-Viking does not dance to the music; the music dances to Techno-Viking.

User avatar
Wedge14
Posts: 1987
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:23 pm
Contact:

Post by Wedge14 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:33 pm

My favourite book and movie has to be the Princess Bride. :D
I read a lot Grisham stuff aswell!
I'll just list some good Canadian books since most of you fellas and gals aren't shown these as much as people from the great white north.

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.
Handmaiden's Tale by Margerate Atwood.
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordercai Richler

Theres tons more. But these are just the books i try to read yearly.

You can also never go wrong with choose your own adventure books. 8)

Ever.

I also love reading play scripts and things like that. I'll read any play script but i love absurd theater the most.
RPG Trinary:Creepy Zeon Magician

I'm cool, just ask anybody.

Oh and check out the RPG Section!

User avatar
MrMarch
Posts: 1110
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:58 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post by MrMarch » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:06 pm

I like the idea of this thread and will get more into it later. For now, I'll make just one recommendation.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Everyone who lives in North America should read this book. A very thorough and eye-opening look at not just the fast food industry, but our society's current accepted understanding of how we eat. It examines all kinds of aspects of our meal habits, including what I believe is the most interesting and disturbing trend in food industries: flavor science. The girl who recommended the book to me claimed I'd become a vegan after reading it; this didn't happen and isn't the intended goal of the book. I was already a long time opponent of fast food before reading the book. But the book did make me examine many of my home prepared choices and I always look at ingredient labels now. And trust me, you don't want to be one of those "I'd really rather not know" people. You REALLY don't :)

User avatar
Cardi Doorl
Posts: 1499
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:06 pm
Location: 대한민국 대전광역시
Contact:

Post by Cardi Doorl » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:19 pm

Wedge14 wrote:I also love reading play scripts and things like that. I'll read any play script but i love absurd theater the most.
The only time I've ever enjoyed reading a play was when I read some of the works of Eugène Ionesco.

Wait, I also enjoyed Shakespeare's Hamlet and Julius Caesar, so the above sentence isn't entirely true...
RPG TRINARY: Gaia
Die Anti-brutale Kraft: Cardi Doorl


Make sure to check out the RPG section!

User avatar
Nightwing03
Posts: 1266
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:14 am
Location: I'm to your left! No your other left!
Contact:

Post by Nightwing03 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:44 pm

Wedge14 wrote:You can also never go wrong with choose your own adventure books. 8)

Ever.
I have at least 40 choose your own adventure books in my draws somewhere =D
♣♦♠♥

User avatar
RGM-79G GM Command
Posts: 354
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:22 pm
Location: RGM-89J Jegan cockpit.
Contact:

Post by RGM-79G GM Command » Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:37 pm

Hyakushiki wrote:Have you read The Forever War by Joe Halderman?
Yeah I read it, like Starship Troopers more, but can't find it even though it should be downstairs. :evil: But I also reccomend Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Thundermuffin's TEGSD: MEYRIN: Ma’am! The Archangel has arrived and launched a giant, man-shaped robot at us! Likelihood of it being a mobile-suit… (Meyrin does some quick calculations on her console)…ninety-nine point eight percent!
ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!

User avatar
VR7
Moderator
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:40 pm
Location: Markham, ON
Contact:

Post by VR7 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:21 pm

Well, since someone already recommended Fahrenheit 451, I'm going to say Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Great look on the perception of modern utopia/dystopia.
-noeltan
noel's dA

carny (kär'nē) n:
  • A thousand tiny fingers clawing at your spine.


scream train (skrēm trān) n:
  • Two hundred tons of unstoppable terror burning through the night.

User avatar
mcred23
Posts: 4853
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Contact:

Post by mcred23 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:03 pm

Ah, the thought of the old thread has me all verklempt. [End response to Chris' old SNL joke].

Anyway, a handful of books I feel like mentioning...

First and foremost is Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy. This is, by far, my favorite peice of literature for a long list of reasons, and I feel it's Clancy's best book. For those who don't know about it/never read it, the book is basically about a conventional World War III (As well as the events that lead to it) fought between NATO and the Soviets in the late 1980's. It's one of Clancy's few standalone novels (Meaning no Jack Ryan) and one of the descriptions of (more or less) modern warfare around (Particularly of the theorized NATO vs Soviet ones).

As for others, I really don't feel like going into detail, so here is a short list of books I highly recommend.

Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden.

And that's really all I can think of at the moment, although the avid reader in me is screaming that I'm leaving out a large number of things (Although a few I'm sure have already been mentioned).
I must betray Stalindog!!!

RPG TRINARY: Mash
Die Anti-brutale Kraft: mcred23 (Call me 'red', not 'mcred')

User avatar
solid snake
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:31 pm
Location: Audubon, PA
Contact:

Post by solid snake » Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:23 pm

I recommend Old Man's War by John Scalzi. It's an awesome book about a guy that joins the army on his 75th birthday. It has two sequels, The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony.
A strong man doesn't need to read the future, he makes his own.

Hyakushiki
Posts: 1241
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:07 pm

Post by Hyakushiki » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:46 pm

A topic about Eureka Seven brought this book to mind, Blood Music by Greg Bear. Concepts like the Limit of Questions theory or the Coralians and their behavior are adapted from this book also one of the characters from E7 is named after the author.
Don't send a coordinator to do a newtype's job!

Post Reply