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Favorite books 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 am
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Post Favorite books
What are some of the members' favorite non-Heinlein novels?

I read Treasure Island just about once a year now. In the past, I have read and re-read Gore Vidal's Burr and Julian. Then there are the five novels of Dashiell Hammett. I also read most of Sara Paretsky's novels and many of those by Lawrence Block, especially the Rhodenbarr stories.
Another book I like immensely is John Varley's Steel Beach, which I am currently re-reading. If anyone has any insights about this story, please share them. I love the book, but it confuses the hell out of me.


Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:14 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
In no particular order....

Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)
China Miéville (Embassytown, lots of short stories)
Connie Willis (about everything)
Dorothy L. Sayers (everything)
Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody Emerson & Jacqueline Kirby stories)
Frank Herbert (Dune, God Emperor of Dune)
Ian Macdonald (Tendeleo's Story, Chaga, other shorts)
Isaac Asimov (The Gods Themselves)
J.R.R. Tolkien (Hobbit, LOTR)
Kim Stanley Robinson (Red/Green/Blue Mars)
Lois McMaster Bujold (too many to list)
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Miguel Cervantes (Don Quixote)
Orson Scott Card (too many to list)
Roger Zelazny (Amber 1-5, Lord of Light)
Sir Thomas Mallory (ed) (The Death of King Arthur)
Tony Hillerman (Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee books)
Ursula K. Le Guin (too many to list)
Zenna Henderson ("People" stories)

... and I'm bound to be forgetting quite a few. ;)

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:05 am
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Post Re: Favorite books
I've actually moved away from reading fiction much. I read perhaps four or five new fiction books a year. After a lifetime of a book-a-day habit, I'm not sure why. Maybe my brain is full. I do have trouble finding new authors that can appeal to me more than once... and unfortunately, most authors I have trusted are in the same-thing/new-covers racket or worse, the Hollywood-is-calling (or -has-called) racket. And I categorically swear off Huge New Exciting Authors' First Books after the last few.

So I'll stay with nonfic, mostly biography and history, until something fictional re-engages me without the relationship turning to rage or nausea about 1/3 of the way in.

But I do re-read fiction a lot - my "too tired to read something new" list contains many old friends:

Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series through the second prequel; final two or three were drivel.
Harrison's Deathworld trilogy, possibly his best long-form works.
Brian Daley's Fitzhugh and Floyt trilogy - love it warts and all.
Lawrence Watt-Evans' Ethshar books.
Joel Rosenberg's D'Shai pair... damned mercenary won't write the rest of the series.
Most of ACC's fiction, especially short stories.
Selections of Bradbury's short works.
John D. and Travis McGee.
Older Michael Crichton, through about Sphere. (Raise your hand if you know the man was b*tshit crazy long before his diatribes about the global warming conspiracy etc.)
About half of Thomas Perry's novels - he alternates between great and drivel. Wish I could find a copy of Island; it disappeared off the publishing charts long ago.
Used to read more of Robert Crais, but his screeching power-slide onto Hollywood Blvd pretty much killed my interest in his newer works. He's my poster boy for 'writing for the screenplay.'
Many others on a more sparse basis - Adams, Spider, Asimov, and a number of one-offs like Robert Grossbach.

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:58 pm
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 2:10 pm
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Location: Juneau, AK
Post Re: Favorite books
I also read far less fiction at my advanced age (52) than I did in my 20s and 30s. I'm currently reading Thomas Asbridge's The Crusades and I find it to be more entertaining than 95 percent of all the fiction I've ever read.

I suggest everyone read Wilson and Shea's Illuminatus! three times and we can discuss it. Don't read it while smoking marijuana though; reserve that for Atlas Shrugged, which is a devestatingly cool read when you're stoned.

The other SF favorite for me is Phil Dick. He's so different than Heinlein, but I've read just about every one of his books and loved the way they give a different angle on the world.

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
Robert E Howard's El-Borak adventure tales.
William Gibson - everything
CJ Cherryh - Cyteen & Serpents Reach
Alan Moore & David Lloyd - V For Vendetta
Terry Pratchett -Diskworld series
Stephen Donaldson - Gap Series
Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian and The Road
Jack Williamson - The Humanoids
Patrick O'Brian - Aubrey-Maturin series
Walter Jon Williams - Hardwired
Sarah Waters - Tipping the Velvet
Steven Pressfield -Gates of Fire
Frank Herbert - Dune Chronicles
Louis L'Amour - The Walking Drum
Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination & The Demolished Man


Rob


Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:12 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
RobertPearson wrote:
Don't read it while smoking marijuana though; reserve that for Atlas Shrugged, which is a devestatingly cool read when you're stoned.


My, my, Robert, and a Republican at that! Don't you know that smoking marijuana makes you turn out like me?


Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
I like to reread SF and don't find much attraction in newer (pre-1995?) offerings; I probably read the following every 2 to 5 years, as a guess:

Novellas: Niven, The Fourth Profession, Rammer, Flash Crowd; Spinrad, The Lost Continent; E. F. Russell, ...And Then There Were None; Allen Kim Lang, Cinderella Story; Williamson, With Folded Hands

Short stories: Most of those by Clarke, Bester, Dick, Sturgeon, Blish, Kornbluth (plus, out of genre, many of the post-1960 stories of John O'Hara and the New York-set stories of I. B. Singer)

Novels:
Schmitz, The Witches of Karres, a rare case of a novella expansion surpassing the (in this case much earlier) original version
Niven, Ringworld (I've sampled the sequels and avoid them)
Silverberg, Dying Inside, The Book of Skulls, Up the Line, The Masks of Time, and the fixup The World Inside (all from 1968 to 1972; there are others from the same period that I just can't get into)
Dick, Now Wait for Last Year, Galactic Pot-Healer, Time Out of Joint
Kube-McDowell, Alternities
Brunner, Players at the Game of People
Stephenson, Snow Crash
Vance, To Live Forever (later published by the Vance Integral Edition under the author's preferred title Clarges, and I hope to buy that volume separately some day)
Bester, The Stars My Destination (looking forward to the Library of America edition, a selection of 1950s novels also including Double Star; see http://www.loa.org/sciencefiction)


Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:03 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
holmesiv wrote:
What are some of the members' favorite non-Heinlein novels?

I read Treasure Island just about once a year now. In the past, I have read and re-read Gore Vidal's Burr and Julian. Then there are the five novels of Dashiell Hammett. I also read most of Sara Paretsky's novels and many of those by Lawrence Block, especially the Rhodenbarr stories.
Another book I like immensely is John Varley's Steel Beach, which I am currently re-reading. If anyone has any insights about this story, please share them. I love the book, but it confuses the hell out of me.


Forgot to add Clarke's Tales from the White Hart.


Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:30 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
For me, a number of Arthur Clarke's books (not as many as when I was younger), and Asimov's (ditto), but definitely still all the Dune books by Herbert (yes, all, but not by anyone else). I've liked everything by Scalzi and only a couple by Spider. Loved Connie Willis' recent two-parter on time travel to the Blitz, nothing else of hers.

I do like Iam Fleming's Bond books and likewise Leslie Charteris' Saint books, but haven't read either in a while. I like early Steven King (nothing after It), everything by Tom Clancy alone, and ditto for Michael Crichton (except for State of Fear). I like Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Grisham - haven't read a bad book by any of 'em. Charles Brokaw has been good too.

I read a lot more nonfiction than fiction these days.


Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:15 pm
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Post Re: Favorite books
JamesGifford wrote:
Wish I could find a copy of Island; it disappeared off the publishing charts long ago.


Have you tried Amazon, or are you constitutionally opposed to shopping from them? They have it in hardback, paperback, and Kindle editions.

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Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:12 am
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