View Full Version : Book recommendations (for someone else)

Mauve Shirt
2011-12-11, 12:04 PM
Buying my sister a Kindle book or two for Christmas. She likes Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Jim Butcher, George R. R. Martin.
Discworld is her latest kick, but it is for that reason that I'm hesitant to get her any Discworld novels. I'm not sure which ones she hasn't read. What other Pratchett books are good?

2011-12-11, 12:29 PM
Has she read Good Omens? It's by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, a great book where both authors styles really seem to shine through. Since you said she likes both, it might be the perfect choice if she hasn't read it yet.

Mauve Shirt
2011-12-11, 12:36 PM
Ah yes, meant to say that in the OP, she has read Good Omens.

2011-12-11, 01:17 PM
Herm, has she read anything by China Mieville? His stuff has much the same 'weird' feeling as some of Gaiman's darker stuff (namely Neverwhere), but is darker and less humorous. Perdido Street Station is his one of his first works and is very good.

2011-12-11, 01:26 PM
Could I recommend some Stephen R. Lawhead? I very much enjoyed his "re-writing" of Robin Hood (The King Raven Trilogy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Raven_Trilogy)) and plan on picking up his King Arthur books. He does a very good job of protraying the characters while describing an original setting and motivations for everyone, so even if you've read Robin Hood, it's still something new to get into.

I will also recommend Steven Brust, especially his Vlad Taltos novels, because he is one of my favorite authors. I'd say pick the first-printed books first, because a few in the middle felt sub-par when I read them. To Reign in Hell is also good, and reminds me a bit of Good Omens (although perhaps more philosophical).

2011-12-11, 01:29 PM
With that selection of authors, you can't go wrong with "The City of Dreaming Books". As the title says it's a book about books - it is also about writing, adventures and other things.

edit: you might also try "The High Crusade" or something from Henry Kuttner. There is also a very good antology on humorous fantasy - "The Wizards of Odd."

2011-12-11, 02:49 PM
Summon the Keeper, by Tanya Huff, is a candidate. One of the first urban fantasy novels (i.e. a precursor to Dresden Files etc.), with a lot of humor. Hell gets some excellent lines... There are sequels, about which YMMV.

Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C. Wrede, is another. A series of four books (and a few side stories in The Book of Enchantments), it describes the adventures of a princess who definitely does not want to do the ornamental pining away gig, and so hires herself as a librarian for a dragon. Then things get entertaining (to the reader).

The Godless World trilogy has a lot of similarities to Martin (cold dangers from the north, bad things happen to main characters...), a bit more magic (including elf analogs) and has the great virtue of being complete.

J. V. Jones has written a number of books which might scratch the Martin itch, what with somewhat darker characters and outcomes than are found in Tolkien. The Book of Words is an early trilogy which still shows its Tolkien influences, while The Sword of Shadows is at 3 books so far and has somewhat more magic than Martin, but said magic is definitely on the hard to use and less than wholesome side.

I'll throw in the Coldfire trilogy by C.S. Friedman, because it's good. A setting where magic is based off what you expect happening. To everyone. Sounds great until you start worrying about your computer failing, or remembering your childhood nightmares of monsters under the bed. Which are now real, and hungry... So society develops ways to live in this environment - and that's just the deep history, before the interesting stuff happens.

Edit: "The High Crusade" is by Poul Anderson, and amusing (if sci-fi). Dipping in the sci-fi pool brings up Pratchett, of course.

2011-12-12, 03:17 AM
Some of Pratchett's lesser-known work, perhaps:

Dark Side of the Sun (his first novel, and my personal favourite), Strata (a sort of a Ringworld parody, and the first instance of the "Discworld" concept).

Depending on her age, she might enjoy The Carpet People. The Johnnybooks are pretty good too, for younger readers.

Gaiman has a bunch of collections of short stories and poetry, which gets lost a bit sometimes beneath his famous novels. Fragile Things is my personal favourite.

I can second Lawhead. His Pendragon series (the Arthur one mentioned) and the Song of Albion series (sort of a Celtic alternate history) are really quite good.

2011-12-12, 03:48 AM
If she likes Terry Pratchett, she may like Jasper Fford's Nursery Crimes and Thursday Next books. I think they are to nursery rhymes, literature, film noir and time travel what Pratchett is to fantasy, religion and fairy tales.

H Birchgrove
2011-12-12, 09:26 AM
Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series.

Terry Jones' Starship Titanic (she'll end it very quickly, since it's a relatively short novel).

2011-12-13, 09:22 PM
A little bit darker than Martin is Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy. Starts with The Blade Itself.
Andrzej Sapkowski isn't quite as funny as Gaiman or Pratchett, but he's very good. His Witcher series starts with The Last Wish(an anthology) and continues with Blood Of Elves. The rest haven't been translated to English, though...
A personal favorite of mine is Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy. Starts with Assassin's Apprentice. Generally a very very good coming of age story, with amazing characters and prose. Not similar to the other authors, but people who like them have generally shown a liking for those. Mileage varies on her other trilogies.
Last, I'll suggest The Name Of The Wind, simply because the entire universe loves that book and they're not entirely wrong.

2011-12-14, 08:07 PM
I'm a fan of e. e. knight and the name of the wind who i cant recall the author of.

they're more focused on 1 character than those authors tend to be, but its good stuff.

2011-12-14, 08:52 PM
Name of the Wind was written by Patrick Rothfuss and was an amazing book. The second in the series, Wise Man's Fear, was not as good, but still enjoyable.

Das Platyvark
2011-12-14, 10:50 PM
Herm, has she read anything by China Mieville? His stuff has much the same 'weird' feeling as some of Gaiman's darker stuff (namely Neverwhere), but is darker and less humorous. Perdido Street Station is his one of his first works and is very good.

I second this, and third it.
Also, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke) is so thick I haven't got anyone to read it yet, but it's bloody fantastic.

2011-12-15, 06:07 PM
Also, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke) is so thick I haven't got anyone to read it yet, but it's bloody fantastic.
Agreed, but be warned. It's not in any way, shape, or form light reading. It's one of the heaviest I've ever read, and I'm not referring to page count.

2011-12-18, 07:09 AM
I always recommend anything and everything by Simon R. Green. Links are to TV Tropes (sorry about the rest of your day) for those interested.

The Nightside (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Nightside): Basically The Dresden Files turned up to 11. Deals with Angels, Devils, Demons, a whole metric <beep>load of Immortals (a variety of ways) and loads more besides. Similar to a cross between Dresden Files and Neverwhere.

Secret Histories (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecretHistories): Otherwise known as 'The Drood Books', it's basically James Bond if he were magic. Lots of puns and plays on the spy genre in general. I'm not saying you should read both Nightside and Secret Histories, but, in the middle of Secret Histories is a rather large spoiler for the Nightside series. Yes, there's Canon Welding. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CanonWelding)

Deathstalker (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Deathstalker): Dark. Very dark. Then more darker than that. It's what 40K was ~15 years ago. Everything and everyone sucks. Some people even have super powers, and those powers come with a whole lot of drawbacks and consquences. My favourite series of all time. Kind of like a cross between Dune and 40K.

2011-12-18, 07:19 AM
40K is kind of a cross between Dune and 40K :smallamused:

what with a God-Emperor, lasguns, and mutated Navigators.