Book Recommendation/Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Hashhog, May 25, 2015.


    Today I just thought that I'd make a thread for book recommendation or discussion. :) In this post I'll be giving some of my own recommendations (and updating occasionally with more), but anyone can share a good book!
    Feel free to discuss any books within the thread as well. :) Note that some recommendations, including both some of my own as well as some listed in this thread, may only be advised for mature audiences (i.e. PG13) due to language or other content.


    Mapping the Deep - Robert Kunzig
    The ocean covers over 70% of our planet, and you will not look at it the same way after reading this book. Kunzig does an amazing job of relating the history of our oceans and descriptions of the life within in ways that are easy to understand and wonderfully enjoyable to read.

    Just as an example of the kind of stuff Kunzig does, there's one metaphor (so many fantastic comparisons to the terrestrial world) where he describes aliens coming to Earth but being unable to penetrate our atmosphere; they put down a tractor beam, bring up a small car, and wonder at the strangeness of the organism, which appears to have some living endosymbionts inside it. That's what studying the deep ocean via nets is like. Beautifully, beautifully written visuals in this book.

    Tl;dr... if you like descriptions of "thundering herds of sea cucumbers," this book is for you.

    The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein - Fantastic book. Told from the point of view of a dying dog looking back on his life, this story is primarily about a racer's battle to win custody of his daughter and the dog's longing to be one day reborn as a human. If you're interested in reading this book, I'd advise looking it up online for more information. Note that there are two versions, the original as well as one tailored to a younger audience.

    Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer - This is a nonfiction book describing the author's research and practice of training the memory. Despite being an ordinary man, he, with the help of a few memory champions, practices training his memory with certain mnemoic techniques for months, until he eventually goes on to the American Memory Championship (which, apparently, is a thing).

    Opening Skinner's Box, by Lauren Slater - If you are interested in psychology, this is the book for you. This book does quite a good job going over several of the greatest experiments in psychology of the 20th century, including Milgram's shock machine, Skinner's boxes, Harlow's monkeys, and Kandel's sea slugs. I'd suggest this book for more mature readers, and though you'll like it more if you're into psychology, it's worth taking a look at even if it doesn't sound interesting. There are a lot of cool experiments in there that kind of force you to realize things about yourself and that teach you what you should do in the future: be aware of psychological pressures.

    The Big Over Easy, by Jasper Fforde - This is a confusing and yet thrilling mystery novel about the murder of Humpty Dumpty. Detective Jack Spratt will have quite a bit of trouble figuring out whether who finally did the big egg in, and I was happy to go along for the ride. It may sound like a silly idea, but I thought it was a great (if not a bit, uh, weird) book. Huge recommendation for both this one and the sequel, The Fourth Bear.
  2. The Pathfinder Series by Orson Scott Card

    Sci-fi book that takes place in the present, where someone with a genetic mutation goes through a wormhole and while doing so, accidentally triggers his unknown ability of time-travel so that he not only goes back in time by a few thousand years, but clones him and his ship 7 times.
    The calendar is made to be a countdown. At year zero, the world is destroyed. Again. And again. And again. Every time, the present generation of time-travellers tries to prevent it, each time travelling back into time by a few years to try again.
    They also travel back into time and into the future many times for different reasons, each time possibly creating a paradox, each time trying to avoid their past and future selves.
    It's quite a fun book to read, heh. And it's actually more about humans, their capabilities, and what they're willing to do to survive rather than time-travel. The sci-fi parts are just tools =P

    Edit: oh, and i say it takes place in the "present"... But the "present" is... Well you'll have to read it ~.^
  3. I was about to make this thread....

    My recommendations- be warned: If you decide to get any of these books, some are for ages 18+ only. Some are also Kindle only series. I will be posting the summary of the book that was provided by the author.

    Summary may contain some PG13 words.

    Last Stand (series), by William H. Weber:
    This is a fictional series in which the USA is attacked by an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse). Hell with this... I will just post the summary the author wrote for book one ;). "John Mack, a prepper and former soldier, struggles to save his family and community after an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) takes out the country's electrical grid. With most electronics, communications and transportation destroyed in a matter of seconds, the nation quickly collapses into anarchy.

    For John and the other residents of Willow Creek Drive, the breakdown of social order throws them back to the 1800s. As the community tries to come together, a powerful outside force appears that threatens their survival. Will John's years of military and prepping experience be enough to keep them safe?

    Mixing tons of useful prepping tips into an action-packed story, Last Stand: Surviving America's Collapse is a must-read for any fans of survival fiction."
    Donovan Creed (series), by John Locke:
    " Donovan Creed, a former CIA assassin, is a very tough man with a weakness for very easy women. Meet him in LETHAL PEOPLE a relentlessly entertaining crime novel that's often LOL - bizarre funny! The action is fast and furious, the dialogue smart, savvy and sexy. The story is filled with quirky characters and clever surprises."
    Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley:
    "Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment."

    Guardians Incorporated, by Julian Rosado-Machain:
    "GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe are only mythology and fairy tales.

    The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.

    The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back with a vengeance.

    To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future."

    More to come. More to come....
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  4. Part 2

    Michael Bennet (series), by James Patterson:
    "During a state funeral for a beloved former First Lady in New York City's largest cathedral, the unthinkable occurs. Armed men disguised as monks seize the church and seal themselves inside, along with more than one hundred of the most powerful people in America. The captives include world leaders, actors, TV stars, athletes, and politicians, and the kidnappers are armed with enough C4 explosives to blow a crater in the middle of Manhattan.
    NYPD officer Michael Bennett is pulled into the standoff as lead negotiator. Despite the escalating danger, Michael faces an even more terrifying crisis at home. His wife has been diagnosed with a devastating disease, and Michael faces the prospect of losing the love of his life and having to raise their ten children alone. With his own life teetering and the lives of thousands suddenly his responsibility, Michael struggles to diffuse the tense situation fast. Yet the kidnappers' moves are impossible to predict, and they block every attempt to break into the cathedralmost as if they are privy to their deliberations."
    Alex Cross (series), by James Patterson:
    Gary Soneji is a mild-mannered mathematics teacher at a Washington, D.C., private school for the children of the political and social elite. He's so popular that the kids all call him "Mr. Chips." And he's very, very smart. Growing up, he always knew he was smarter than the rest of them - he knew that the Great Ones always fooled everybody. He kidnaps Maggie Rose, the golden-haired daughter of a famous movie actress, and her best friend, Shrimpie Goldberg, the son of the secretary of the treasury, right out from under the noses of their two Secret Service agents. But Gary Soneji is not surprised at his skill. He's done it before. Hundreds of times before.
    Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. he looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Cross works and lives in the ghettos of D.C. He's a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. He has two adorable kids of his own. They are his own special vulnerabilities.
    Jezzie Flanaganis the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she's got an outer shell that's as tough s it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?
    Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the "crime of the century," is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happened in Alex Cross's precinct. They happened under the protection of Jezzie Flanagan's men. Now Soneji is at large again, still wreaking havoc.
    Alex Cross must face the ultimate test as a psychologist: how do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath? Especially one who appears to have a split personality - one who won't let the other half remember those horrific acts?
    Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?
    Gary Soneji is every parent's worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross's nightmare. And now, reader, he's about to become yours.
    When the Wind Blows, by James Patterson:
    Frannie O'Neill is a young and talented veterinarian living in Colorado. Plagued by the mysterious murder of her husband, David, a local doctor, Frannie throws herself into her work. It is not long before another bizarre murder occurs and Kit Harrison, a troubled and unconventional FBI agent, arrives on her doorstep.
    Late one night, near the woods of her animal hospital, Frannie stumbles upon a strange, astonishing phenomenon that will change the course of her life forever....
    Her name is Max.
    With breathtaking energy, eleven-year-old Max leads Frannie and Kit to uncover one of the most diabolical and inhuman plots of modern science. When the Wind Blows is as unique a story as has ever been told, filled with suspense and passion.

    I will post more once I feels like it.

    I read way too many books.... :p
  5. You can never read too many
    WardleDeBoss, Hashhog and Eviltoade like this.
  6. The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman if you love myth stories :)

    Also, the Boy In The Striped Pajams & Book Thief if you like history. Both really good Holocaust books.
    Hashhog and Eviltoade like this.
  7. I read 40 books in less than a year =P I think I read too much
    boozle628, hashhog3000 and eviltoade like this.
  8. I love this already!

    I also think that what AmusedStew said:

    "My recommendations- be warned: If you decide to get any of these books, some are for ages 18+ only," is important in this thread.

    Having said that, I will post my first recommendation:

    The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
    (there is also a short story in this link - not part of the trilogy - but highlights a particular character)

    If you haven't read these 2 books yet......I am sorry. lol :)
    Keliris, khixan, Kytula and 2 others like this.
  9. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.
    This is a true classic. It's easy to read, although the characters might annoy some of the people.
    Alice goes into a world, with very odd characters. They're all very different, but a characteristic that they all share is that they take anything literally and are very difficult for Alice to communicate with.
    I love it, however. It's not only comical, but I can also quite relate to how they sometimes interpret things in ways one wouldn't expect. It's readable by all ages, although you'll obviously enjoy it more if you're older, because as a 9-year old you'll probably not understand everything.

    hashhog3000 and eviltoade like this.
  10. My recommendation is the Lord Of The Rings books, and the franchise in general.

    I won't go into too much detail because I presume most of you know the basic idea of these, even if you have never read or watched the films produced in recent years. This series in particular though is Tolkiens most famous and in my personal opinion, best series. However all of the authors work is exceptionally good! If you like fantasy and lore, these books are perfect. Tolkien didn't just create a book or a series, he created a universe, one which stands unparalleled with the pure amount of detail and features that are included.

    The Lord Of The Rings trilogy follows a story about 'The one ring' which has until recently been lost. This ring is of immense power and so can lead to the destruction of Middle Earth in the wrong hands. This ring is found by a race of little people, called hobbits. A task is taken upon a young Hobbit called Frodo Baggins to destroy the ring, with the help of his companions called the Fellowship of the Ring.

    Hope anyone who reads it (or has read it) likes it! :)
  11. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. :) I'll add more later.
    cubefragment, deathconn and Hashhog like this.
  12. Fifty Shades of Gr-

    Okay, maybe not.

    A book I particularly enjoyed (and, for that matter, finished yesterday) was To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. It's a wonderful novel that goes over many aspects of racism in the United States during the Great Depression, and towards WWII. However, the book does contain some language that might not be considered politically correct in lots of places in the world, and therefore, in certain places, it is banned. Overall, wonderful book. It gave me the feels.
  13. Noughts and Crosses- By Malorie Blackman
    We had to read this for English and I just loved it! It's reverse roles- in this case the black people are the "superior race" and the white people are the "second class citizens or scum." From this we follow the lives of two characters Sephy- a Cross (Black) and Callum- a nought (white). There's executions, murders, just an amazing book!
    Note: Not recommended for younger readers.
    hashhog3000 likes this.
  14. Oh so many to choose from... :confused:
    The one book I always recommend - easily one of the best novels I've ever read, is Joanne Bertin's The Last Dragonlord.
    -Fantasy novel about weredragons, and an evil mage trying to wipe them out. The plot isn't what sells the story, but the amazingly compelling characters. No matter how many times I've re-read it, I can never put it down until the end.
    Dean Koontz - Watchers
    -A suspense / thriller about a man, his dog, and the perils of genetic modification.
    Richard Adams - Watership Down
    -The classic tale about a group of rabbits fleeing their warren in search of a new home.
    Tad Williams - Tailchaser's Song
    -"Watership Down" for cat-lovers.
    If you prefer more of a sci-fi setting, I highly recommend one of Timothy Zahn's stand-alone books, such as Angelmass, Night Train to Rigel, or The Icarus Hunt.
  15. Everybody on this list writes sci-fi or fantasy. These are my favorite authors.

    Patrick Rothfuss
    Karen Miller
    Marion Zimmer Bradley
    Terry Pratchett
    Terry Goodkind
    Terry Brooks
    Steven Erickson
    Orson Scott Card
    Roger Zelazny
    Patricia C. Reed
    Anne McCaffrey
    Robin McKinley
    George R. R. Martin
    Ursula K. Le Guin
    Robert Jordan
    Brent Weeks
    Katherine Kerr
    David Eddings
    Peirs Anthony
    Elizabeth Haydon
    Mercedes Lackey
    Sherwood Smith
    Kristen Britain
    R. A. Salvatore
    J. R. R. Tolkein
    Mickey Zucker Reichert
    Scott Lynch
    Douglas Adams
    Eric Van Lustbader
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  16. Interesting, I hadn't heard of that one. I'll take a look at it. :)

    I also added three more books to my own list. I'll have to think of some of the others I've liked. Great recommendations so far from others! :D
    607 likes this.
  17. *goes to library*
    *picks up phone and sifts through this thread*
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  18. Something tells me you'd really enjoy Sleep With the Fishes by Brian M. Wiprud.
    Basically, a mob hitman moves out into a sleepy countryside town and brings his wiseguy mentality with him. Hilarity ensues. I'm half-convinced it was inspiration for the movie "The Whole Nine Yards."
    hashhog3000 likes this.
  19. That does look good. :p To be honest, I had originally thought the Humpty Dumpty one would be terrible, so I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed it so much. Hopefully I'll have as much fun while reading this new recommendation of yours! :D
    607 likes this.