Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Recommendations

I'm looking for fast-paced books that suck you in, keep you absorbed, and aren't difficult to get back into if you happen to get interrupted - basically, the type of book you would want to read on a long drive or flight (more specifically, the type I would want to read on an 8 hour flight to or from Las Vegas). Any suggestions?

18 comments:

Angiegirl said...

I'm gonna go with GRACELING by Kristin Cashore (beautiful YA fantasy), ARCHANGEL by Sharon Shinn (awesome scifi/fantasy), SILENT IN THE GRAVE by Deanna Raybourn (Victorian mystery), or WICKED GAME by Jeri Smith-Ready (urban fantasy with a sense of humor). Probably recommended in that order as well. :) Hope it helps.

Aidan Moher said...

Urban Fantasy: [b]Storm Front[/b] by Jim Butcher

SF: [b]Old Man's War[/b] by John Scalzi.

Contemporary Fantasy/Literature: [b]The Shadow of the Wind[/b] by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

~Aidan

Nephtis said...

I'll second Archangel by Sharon Shinn - it was a nice story, and it fits the type of romantic scifi/fantasy you like. My sister also really likes Sharon Shinn.

But looking at your to-read pile on GoodReads, the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson stand out as the best choice. Fast-moving, easy to get into, completely absorbing. In fact, that's what I read on my flight from Las Vegas.

suzie said...

I agree with all the recommendations already left, but I'm going to ask have you read The Hunger Games yet? You won't really want to put it down, but it doesn't get confusing if you put it down and pick it back up.

ediFanoB said...

I don't want to repeat the recommendations so far.

So this is my recommendation:
Blood and Ice by Robert Masello.
I read the book in March 2009 and this was my impression:
The title makes good in his promise. There is a lot of ice because most of the story takes place in the present Antarctica. And there is blood. We find a lot but it is important.
There are two story lines which converge after a while.
One takes place in the middle of the 19th century. We follow cavalry officer Sinclair Copley and the nurse Eleanor Ames.
The other takes place in present days. There is troubled Journalist Michael Wilde.
The book is a great mix of different genres. You find history, science, action, love and mystery.
Beside the fascinating story you learn a lot about the Antarctica and also about the Crimean War.

Kristen said...

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

Angiegirl - I already have Archangel so that seems like a pretty good choice. Graceling sounds intriguing and I'd like to read that one at some point. Apparently I should have picked up Wicked Game when I saw it at Borders for $3... I wonder if they still have it. I hadn't heard of Silent in the Grave but I just looked it up and it does sound like fun!

Aidan - The Shadow of the Wind is another one I already have, so that would be a good choice too (not that I'd mind the excuse to go book shopping so if someone really wants to convince me the perfect book for me is out there, feel free to do so ;) ). I've been hesitant to read the first Dresden Files book since I remember the TV series and it never struck me as very interesting, which is really a bit silly since I know it's not supposed to be just like the book. So I'm finally convinced to add it to the wishlist.

Nephtis - Archangel is sounding better and better. I'm not sure about the Mistborn books since I have the second book in hardcover (thick and massive hardcover), which seems a little clunky for traveling. What were the highlights for things to do in Vegas when you were there?

Suzie - No, I haven't read The Hunger Games yet but it has been recommended to me a few times now. I'm going to have to check it out.

ediFanoB - I haven't heard of that book, either. It does sound interesting but it looks like that is another one only available in hardcover (just checked the publication date and it was just a few months ago so that would be why).

Anastasia said...

My post got ate. So, no reasons, just a list:
- Bellagio fountains. Watch 2 performances ina row.
- Opera singers at the Venetian. Have lunch/dinner in the square.
- Fremont Street experience - the light show and the Chippendale dancers.
- Wynn - it's super posh and you just want to touch everything there - walls, chairs.
- Mandalay Bay - I haven't been there, but heard the aquarium is great.

Kristen said...

Anastasia - Thanks for the recommendations for Vegas! We have some friends who will be showing us around, but they won't be there the whole time. I'm going to see Penn and Teller one night and the next night is when I'm getting married. The Bellagio fountains look beautiful! I didn't know there was an aquarium there; I love aquariums!

Anastasia said...

MARRIED?!

Congratulations!

Kristen said...

Anastasia - Yes, married! And thanks! We decided to go the Vegas wedding route after planning to and then not getting married last year (finally - it hasn't exactly been a short engagement) because we couldn't figure out anything to do that seemed fun and inexpensive. Going to Vegas is cheaper, more fun, and easier.

ediFanoB said...

Congratulations! I'm happily married since May 1991. That means 18 years...

Concerning my book recommendation. I won the book at a giveaway. Normally I don't buy hardcover.

I thought again and here is my next recommendation:
Midwinter by Matthew Sturges

My impression:
For me Matthew Sturges delivered much more than I expected. I read several reviews before with different opinions.
Some reviewers couldn't identify with the main characters because they are so foreign. Of course only one of them is a human being from earth.
Mauritane, the most important character followed his way with the same strength and consistency as Rorschach in WATCHMEN.

There is magic, there are portals to other worlds, there is a story with twists and turns, there is love, there are battles and there is friendship.

Benjamin said...

Congratulations on your marriage!

I'll second both Old Man's War and Storm Front. OMW is kind of a comedy/satire take on Starship Troopers but doesn't overdo it. Regarding The Dresden Files, I've only seen bits of the episodes but I think the books are way better. Storm Front is the weakest in the series so if you like it enough to continue, you'll enjoy the rest.

Already Dead by Charlie Huston is about vampires in NYC. It's very fast-paced and easy to get into. It's also fairly dark because the main character is a vampire.

My second suggestion may seem a little out of left field, but would you be interested in a crime fiction story? The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski is about a bunch of people looking for money stolen from a group of thieves after a bank heist.

orannia said...

Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage! I hope you have an absolutely fabulous day! (Not sure if you'll have time, but the Cirque du Soleil shows are out of this world...although I've only see them here :)

As for books. Hmmm. I've read Archangel and have been meaning to buy it for ages! It's a lovely story. As in Silent in the Grave. I really liked the voice, plus it's a very easy flowing book :)

Kristen said...

ediFanoB - Thank you! :)

Winning books is fun! I do buy hardcover sometimes but for traveling I plan to stick to mass market paperback, or maybe trade paperback as long as it's not too massive. Midwinter sounds interesting; I will have to check it out.

Benjamin - Thanks! I actually went to Borders today to check out some of the book recommendations (and to see if they still had Wicked Game in the bargain bin - they didn't). Storm Front was there so I read the first couple of pages and it did intrigue me. It seemed like it would be very easy to pick up and start reading without even realizing the pages are flying by.

Dark books are always a plus for me. I have heard some pretty good things about Charlie Huston.

And non-speculative fiction recommendations are fine. I am actually very curious by the Victorian mystery that Angiegirl and Orannia mentioned. Just looked the crime book up on Amazon and that one sounds like fun too.

Orannia - Thanks! I'm not sure how much I'll have time for either but all Las Vegas site recommendations are welcome too! I want to see as much as possible while we are there.

Another vote for Archangel, sounds like a must read. I tried to find Silent in the Grave at Borders today but didn't have much luck since I couldn't remember the title or anything about the author's name other than that it started with a 'D'. Another trip or a book order may be in the works since I now really want to read that one, Storm Front and Wicked Game.

Thea said...

Ok, I just had a huge Sixteen Candles moment with the "MARRIED?" comment. LOL. Awesome.

My recommendations are as follows *puts on bossy pants*

- The Hollows book 2 (hehe are you getting tired of me yet?)
- Ill Wind, Rachel Caine (one of the most fast-paced, wonderful female-centric UF series' out there)
- Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, Alison Goodman (YA fantasy set in something like ancient China, one of my favorite reads this year)
- Across the Nightingale Floor (dark fantasy, in a land much like feudal Japan)

Kristen said...

Thea - Thanks for the recommendations! As you know, I have The Hollows book 2 and was considering that one. ;) If the second book is anything like the first one, it's the type of book I'm looking for. I already have Ill Wind, too. The other two books sound very interesting and have been added to the wishlist.

logankstewart said...

Pick up a few graphic novels. They're quick, easy, and enjoyable. I'd recommend:

Fables, by Bill Willingham
Bone, by Jeff Smith
Blankets, by Craig Thompson
Batman: The Long Halloween, by Jeph Loeb

These are all exceptional.

594 said...

Forever War by Joe Haldeman, which is a very good SciFi book.

Another good book is To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer (If you can find it). Its about a world in which every human to live on earth is resurrected similtaneously, so you have all the good and all the evil people there. In this book you have both Sir Francis Burton and Hermann Goring.

Finally, I would recommend A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo. This is Hands down one of my Favorite books ever, and I've read it over 10 times. It has a pretty good pace and its about 350 pages, so you could sink a couple hours on it.