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usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 12:25 AM
So I'm going on holiday tomorrow and want some good books to read. I am a total book whore and the only genre so far which I'm not mad keen on is historical military biography stuff - think Agent Zigzag. Aside from that, the only book I've never finished is Possession, which remains on the shelf in the hope one day I'll get into it.

Anything else goes. I read and love YA, SF, chick lit, trashy beach novels, highbrow literature, crime, thrillers, autobiography - literally anything.

I read a lot, so obscure stuff is always good.

The only rule is I have to be able to buy it on Kindle in the UK as I am banned from buying real books (if you saw our house, you'd understand why!).

Go AWers, go!!

Caitlin Black
09-06-2013, 12:47 AM
Okay, so my first suggestion was literally anything by Douglas Adams.

You said you love SF, so I'm guessing you've probably read the Hitch-Hiker's series... (If not, start with The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, then The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, then Life, The Universe And Everything. Actually, just Google the entire series and read them all in order. :))

There's also Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, for a sort of SF crime/mystery sort-of book (by Douglas Adams).

Okay, so that's my Adams geek satisfied... Second suggestion is to go into the AW Library and find books that look interesting. They're sorted by category (like, a different forum for Fantasy, Crime, whathaveyou) and then by author / user name. I've read some pretty awesome stories by AWers, and it also gives me a warm fuzzy to think, "Hey, I've spoken to that author!" :)

Next? Well, if you're looking for classics, you can get free ebooks off of Project Gutenberg (just Google it). It's all perfectly legal, as the free ebooks on there are so old that nobody really holds the rights to them particularly anymore. You can download them in virtually any format, including for Kindle.

Terry Pratchett novels? They're comedic fantasy, quite entertaining, and there are a LOT of them. It doesn't matter if you don't read them in order, either, as they're not really "sequels" but more "there's a tonne of characters, and each book will focus on a small subset of them in a stand-alone-novel sort-of way".

...

Yeah, those are my main suggestions off the top of my head.

cray
09-06-2013, 12:48 AM
the autobiography of mark twain is ridiculously awesome.

unless you don't like mark twain.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 12:53 AM
Cliff - afraid to say that I've read all the ones you've ilsted and had great fun on the Gutenberg Project when I went through a phase of reading classics. I like te AW Library suggestion, great tip!

Cray - great suggestion and I haven't read it, will download it.

Kylabelle
09-06-2013, 12:56 AM
Anything by Pete Dexter. Spooner is wonderful but so are his other works. It's longer than the others I've read by him, so for me that's a point in its favor. :D

Also, the AW Book Club forum, especially this thread: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274613 Lots of goodies there.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 01:01 AM
Anything by Pete Dexter. Spooner is wonderful but so are his other works. It's longer than the others I've read by him, so for me that's a point in its favor. :D

Also, the AW Book Club forum, especially this thread: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274613 Lots of goodies there.

Ah, I did have a look and obviously missed the book club forum - sorry!

I will look up Pete Dexter - not one I've come across :)

Kylabelle
09-06-2013, 01:22 AM
I have no idea what is available on Kindle, either, so that may rule out some stuff. And, you've nothing to apologize for. :)

Once!
09-06-2013, 01:26 AM
On holiday I read:

Dracula (because my 12 year old son was reading it)
Robopocalypse
The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry
600 hours of Edward
Skios
Who pays the ferryman

The two I enjoyed most were Harold Fry and 600 hours.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 01:27 AM
Peter Dexter is! I just downloaded Spooner :)

I wish Lisa Lutz's later books in the Spellman series were - and I also wish the authors of series I've been reading would hurry up and write the next parts.

I failed with Mark Twain's autobiography though - too many possibilities on versions, some , some free. Wasn't sure which to go for.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 01:29 AM
On holiday I read:

Dracula (because my 12 year old son was reading it)
Robopocalypse
The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry
600 hours of Edward
Skios
Who pays the ferryman

The two I enjoyed most were Harold Fry and 600 hours.

Thanks - that's the second time this week I've heard about the Harold Fry book so that has to be one to look at.

KellyAssauer
09-06-2013, 01:47 AM
I would recommend the following:

Billy & the Gargoyles (http://www.writersamuseme.com/heathergregson.htm#903987859) by Heather Gregson
Dancer & Spy (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009RAOM76?tag=vglnk-c1189-20) by Michael Myers
King Hall (http://www.amazon.com/King-Hall-ebook/dp/B00DNMRWFI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372361308&sr=1-1&tag=vglnk-c1189-20) by Scarlett Dawn

- because they are all new books by AW writers, which is one of the best reasons ever to read them. =)

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 01:53 AM
I would recommend the following:

Billy & the Gargoyles (http://www.writersamuseme.com/heathergregson.htm#903987859) by Heather Gregson
Dancer & Spy (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009RAOM76?tag=vglnk-c1189-20) by Michael Myers
King Hall (http://www.amazon.com/King-Hall-ebook/dp/B00DNMRWFI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372361308&sr=1-1&tag=vglnk-c1189-20) by Scarlett Dawn

- because they are all new books by AW writers, which is one of the best reasons ever to read them. =)

Great heads up, thank you! That's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for, less well known stuff. Although if anyone can find me a book I'll love as much as The Night Circus, I will be truly grateful.

asroc
09-06-2013, 01:55 AM
Books I've read and enjoyed recently:

The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Long Earth and The Long War both by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett

And from AWers:

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason
Arclight by Josin McQuein
Fade to Black by Francis Knight (not quite finished, but so far I like it)

All available for Kindle on Amazon UK.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 01:58 AM
The one by Scarlett Dawn sounds fantastic, great tip!

KishniaTwain
09-06-2013, 01:59 AM
First suggestion is Gone With the Wind, just because I love it so much. But maybe you're not into American Civil War history type stuff. In which case I also love Sherlock Holmes.
I'm currently on a Michael Crichton stint. He is a science fiction author, and he wrote Jurassic Park, The Lost World, etc. Of his I'd personally recommend Jurassic Park and/or Timeline. It is some pretty intense science involved, though, so if that's not your thing you might wanna pass (especially Timeline, which is some confusing alternate universe stuff)
The Girl Who Owned A City by OT Nelson is a really good YA thriller that you might be interested in too.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 02:03 AM
Books I've read and enjoyed recently:

The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Long Earth and The Long War both by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett

And from AWers:

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason
Arclight by Josin McQuein
Fade to Black by Francis Knight (not quite finished, but so far I like it)

All available for Kindle on Amazon UK.

I love Neil Gaiman and can't wait to read that, but am waiting for it to be out in paperback so the kindle price drops a bit (I have an expensive book habit, so I have a self imposed ban on anything still out in hardback). I got sucked into the Spider Shepard series by a 75p download and bought the lot!

Thanks for the AW tips.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 02:06 AM
My first suggestion was gonna be Gone With the Wind by...mmm, I forget actually (oops). But I dunno, maybe a book on the American Civil War wouldn't interest you. My next suggestion would be the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. So awesome!! And read the books before the movie comes out, because the books are almost guaranteed to be better than the film.
Also, all the Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle. I adore Sherlock Holmes!

My kindle and I have been to these places already ;) Thankyou though.
You're right, the Divergent series is brilliant.

I actually just got through most of the books on a Buzz Feed list of books to read before the movies are made, which got me through a whole stack of amazing books. Although, the Ender saga went rapidly downhill for me.

ULTRAGOTHA
09-06-2013, 02:07 AM
Dick Francis - mysteries set around the horse world in Britain. There are dozens of them.
Lois McMaster Bujold - Start with Shards of Honor (Or get the Omnibus "Cordelia's Honor") or The Vor Game (Or get the Omnibus "Young Miles")
Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Brightdreamer
09-06-2013, 02:09 AM
If you haven't read Brandon Sanderson yet, get to it. Pretty much anything of his is probably a safe bet, even his YA stuff. (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is great fun, especially if you're a writer and/or work in a library.)

In YA, I can't recommend the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud enough. Heroes of the Valley (same author, different world) is pretty good, too.

Another YA: Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland books; in the vein of Oz and Wonderland, it's one of those rare perfect balances of whimsey, character, and story.

And yet another YA: the Bloody Jack adventures by L. A. Meyer; historical fiction starring a plucky 18th-century girl who starts on the streets of London and finds herself traveling around the world.

For a little more obscure titles, I enjoyed Tom Bruno's Confessions of a Gourmand, or How to Cook a Dragon; he goes off on some worldbuilding tangents, but it's a different way to build a fantasy world, focusing on cultural cuisine. I also liked Leah R. Cutter's Clockwork Kingdom, which looked like a typical Fluffy Bunny YA fantasy but has a serious dark streak. There's also Arcana Universalis by Chris J. Randolph, an ongoing series about a spacefaring empire that mixes technology and magic; it's got some interesting ideas going on, though the first book's a little slow.

I know I have more, but right now that's all I can come up with. (If you want to die of boredom, you can hit my book review site, linked in my signature, for other recommendations and warnings.)

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 02:10 AM
Dick Francis - mysteries set around the horse world in Britain. There are dozens of them.
Lois McMaster Bujold - Start with Shards of Honor (Or get the Omnibus "Cordelia's Honor") or The Vor Game (Or get the Omnibus "Young Miles")
Anathem by Neal Stephenson

I own all the Dick Francis novels - grew up with them (and John Francome too). Not on kindle obviously, which is one of the many reasons books must now be on the kindle, since apparently it's not ok to line all the walls in the house with books...

I will look up the others, thanks!

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 02:11 AM
If you haven't read Brandon Sanderson yet, get to it. Pretty much anything of his is probably a safe bet, even his YA stuff. (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is great fun, especially if you're a writer and/or work in a library.)

In YA, I can't recommend the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud enough. Heroes of the Valley (same author, different world) is pretty good, too.

Another YA: Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland books; in the vein of Oz and Wonderland, it's one of those rare perfect balances of whimsey, character, and story.

And yet another YA: the Bloody Jack adventures by L. A. Meyer; historical fiction starring a plucky 18th-century girl who starts on the streets of London and finds herself traveling around the world.

For a little more obscure titles, I enjoyed Tom Bruno's Confessions of a Gourmand, or How to Cook a Dragon; he goes off on some worldbuilding tangents, but it's a different way to build a fantasy world, focusing on cultural cuisine. I also liked Leah R. Cutter's Clockwork Kingdom, which looked like a typical Fluffy Bunny YA fantasy but has a serious dark streak. There's also Arcana Universalis by Chris J. Randolph, an ongoing series about a spacefaring empire that mixes technology and magic; it's got some interesting ideas going on, though the first book's a little slow.

I know I have more, but right now that's all I can come up with. (If you want to die of boredom, you can hit my book review site, linked in my signature, for other recommendations and warnings.)

Thankyou, these look great! I will look them up.

Kylabelle
09-06-2013, 02:14 AM
since apparently it's not ok to line all the walls in the house with books...



But, but, they make great insulation! And don't forget decor!

Just don't cover all the windows and doors. Leave a way for books and light to get in.

:D

Yorkist
09-06-2013, 02:30 AM
I love a subgenre that I like to call "vagina fiction," which is like the high-brow version of chick lit. A smattering from various genres:

Fantasy: The Secrets of Jin-Shei, by Alma Alexander (sormance, eight female PoV characters, set in not-China)
Science fiction: Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler (dystopia and coming of age story)
Historical fiction: Innocent Traitor, by Alison Weir (about Lady Jane Grey)
Mainstream contemporary: The Weird Sisters, Eleanor Brown (belated coming-of-age tale about three Shakespearean-named sisters hovering around thirty years of age)

Those are pretty much my favorite books in each of those four genres. Have fun, and be safe on your trip!

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 02:42 PM
But, but, they make great insulation! And don't forget decor!

Just don't cover all the windows and doors. Leave a way for books and light to get in.

:D
True. Personally I think it's entirely reasonable to fill your house with books. For some reason my husband doesn't agree. He also doesn't understand why you'd keep a book you've already read :Shrug:

On the other hand, our house is set on a hill up a lot of steps. I was cursing the books when we moved in, so the Kindle is a compromise worth making I think.

I have just shy of 180 books I've read on the Kindle, plus the ones I've queued up for this holiday. I've had the Kindle almost exactly 3 years. I don't think a book a week or thereabouts is excessive (and the charity shops loved me!), but apparently it is....



I love a subgenre that I like to call "vagina fiction," which is like the high-brow version of chick lit. A smattering from various genres:

Fantasy: The Secrets of Jin-Shei, by Alma Alexander (sormance, eight female PoV characters, set in not-China)
Science fiction: Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler (dystopia and coming of age story)
Historical fiction: Innocent Traitor, by Alison Weir (about Lady Jane Grey)
Mainstream contemporary: The Weird Sisters, Eleanor Brown (belated coming-of-age tale about three Shakespearean-named sisters hovering around thirty years of age)

Those are pretty much my favorite books in each of those four genres. Have fun, and be safe on your trip!

Thanks! I hadn't come across these, I love new authors. Though then when I love them I get into backlist territory and end up buying several....

I am hoping to stay safe on the holiday. It's a climbing trip, so who knows!

KellyAssauer
09-06-2013, 03:52 PM
He also doesn't understand why you'd keep a book you've already read :Shrug:

and yet he's still married...

amazing.


:D

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 03:57 PM
and yet he's still married...

amazing.


:D

:D

He has other positive attributes - he does the housework and shopping and cooking. I do these things only under extreme duress and then expect a disproportionate amount of praise for them. We overlook each other's faults ;)

jjdebenedictis
09-06-2013, 09:14 PM
Am I too late to make suggestions?!!

Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, read together, are the best science fiction story I've ever read. (But don't buy the next two books, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. I don't know what happened, but they kinda stink.)

And if you like fantasy too, London Falling by Paul Cornell is the best book I've read this year.

usuallycountingbats
09-06-2013, 09:19 PM
Am I too late to make suggestions?!!

Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, read together, are the best science fiction story I've ever read. (But don't buy the next two books, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. I don't know what happened, but they kinda stink.)

And if you like fantasy too, London Falling by Paul Cornell is the best book I've read this year.

Hell no! Not too late at all. I love sci fi, I love fantasy. There isn't much I don't love! Thankyou for the heads up on the ones not to buy. I wish I'd stopped going through the Ender books much, much sooner than I did. The last one I read was essentially incoherent as far as I could tell - so sad.... :cry:

WriterWho
09-06-2013, 11:26 PM
The most recent book I enjoyed was Red Moon (http://www.amazon.com/Red-Moon-ebook/dp/B00DNMRWR6/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378495481&sr=1-3&keywords=red+moon) by M.A. Grant. :)

Southern_girl29
09-08-2013, 02:25 AM
If you like mysteries, I've been reading the Tess Monaghan series by Laura Lippman. The first books of the series are older, late 1990s, but I just love them.

Caitlin Black
09-08-2013, 06:20 AM
Just a follow-on from the whole "Read books by AWers" idea...

There's an AW spec fic anthology called "Absolute Visions". I'm not sure if it's available as an ebook, but I absolutely loved it (despite getting rejected at the last minute and not getting my story in it :( :tongue). And as an added bonus, I'm pretty sure the money will go not only to AW authors, but also a portion to the site's maintenance as well. (I think.)

And if you like finding new authors, an anthology is probably the quickest way to test the waters. :)

johnlmonk
09-08-2013, 07:17 PM
Hyperlink from Hell - Lindy Moone (sorta like Douglas Adams, without sci-fi element)

usuallycountingbats
09-09-2013, 07:41 PM
Quick update: 3 days in to the holiday. Am struggling a bit with Spooner but persevering because I think when I get into it I'll like it.

Loved King Hall. Loved it. Read it straight through. Would like the next one please.

Long Earth is a neat departure from normal Pratchett fare but I am liking it so far.

I have also done a lot of climbing, and written a report for work.

Keep the suggestions coming everyone!

Yeshanu
09-10-2013, 05:02 AM
Lord of the Rings, of course! On my holidays, I read Snuff by Terry Pratchett. Was also given a copy of Sing You Home, by Jodi Picoult. It seems to be one of her better books, though I've only read one other by her.

As far as AW authors are concerned, start at the beginning of Gini Koch's Alien novels and keep going 'till you finish! :D