mandolin: (sophie and calcifer)
[personal profile] mandolin
Hey all -

So among other things, I've been trying to get to the library more often. But I don't really know what to look for. I've been out of the loop for a while, and I really need book recommendations.

I like fantasy (especially urban fantasy) and light science fiction, mysteries, dramas and comedies.

I'm not into hard SF or romance, didn't really get into Laurell K. Hamilton or Simon R. Green when I tried to read their stuff. Can't do completely bleak and depressing even if it is realistic (so that probably rules out most war dramas). Also, after the Talismans of Shannara, I stopped reading the Shannara series.

Things that squick me: Eye trauma, body modification, excessive/glorified gore (which is part of the reason I don't watch a lot of police procedurals on TV).

Already read recently that I suspect people might recommend:
Dresden Files series
Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series
Temeraire series
Most of Sue Grafton's books
The Lightning Thief
Almost everything David Eddings ever wrote
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Suzanna Clarke
Howl's Moving Castle, the other book in the series that involves a flying carpet and the Aladdim myth but I can't remember the title to save my life, and Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones
Most of the Mists of Avalon series (and what I haven't, I can borrow from Deb)
The Hunger Games trilogy
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Soon I Will Be Invincible

People. Recommend me stuff to read. Please?

Date: 2011-09-24 07:53 pm (UTC)
ext_5487: (graveyard game)
From: [identity profile]
I'm a big fan of Kage Baker; you might try her stuff. *points on icon with a quote from one of her books* Maybe try EMPRESS OF MARS first.

Date: 2011-09-24 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My favorite Diana Wynne Jones books are Charmed Life & Witch Week. Also Enchanted Glass (her most recently published, sadly there's only one more in the can).
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (werewolf--okay they're a little bit of trashy romance with a big pile of mystery to keep me interested--and roll my eyes at the bodice ripper type stuff)
The Looking Glass Wars by... Frank Beddor, in which Alice Liddell is really exiled Alice, princess and rightful Queen of Wonderland.
*tries to think, what else*... that'll probably keep you busy for awhile ;)

Date: 2011-09-24 09:24 pm (UTC)
bktheirregular: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bktheirregular
Well, you might see if they've got Jim Butcher's Codex Alera books. The legend goes, he got into an internet argument about whether someone could make a good story out of a bad idea. He said "give me two bad ideas", and he was dared to write something with the Lost Roman Legion -- and Pokemon.

It's a bit like Lord of the Rings meets I, Claudius meets Avatar: The Last Airbender. With a side order of Dresden Files, of course. And a dessert of Starship Troopers.


Date: 2011-09-24 10:24 pm (UTC)
ext_12572: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I'd recommend Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Her contemporary fantasy novels, in particular. She does great short stories too, though I don't care for her SF (short or long). But I LOVE her fantasy.
The Thread That Binds The Bones
The Silent Strength of Stones
A Fistful of Sky
Past the Size of Dreaming
A Red Heart of Memory

Carrie Vaughn's "Kitty" books (heroine is a werewolf and late night talk show host)

ETA: Tanya Huff's "Blood" series--Human PI (plus her cop ex-partner) and vampire romance writer deal with classic supernatural threats.

Also, P. N. Elrod's novels. Jack Fleming, vampire PI in 1930s Chicago.

Edited Date: 2011-09-25 02:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-09-25 12:12 am (UTC)
germankitty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] germankitty
Have you ever tried Mercedes Lackey? Lots of different fantasy series to choose from -- she's most famous for her "Valdemar" stories, but that's maybe a tad too voluminous and involved to start with ... unless you're dying to read about sentient white horses. :)

But there's her Elemental Masters series, set mainly in Victorian England; her Tales of the 500 kingdoms -- retelling of classic fairytales with a fantasy twist (loosely connected, but can be read as standalones), and of her older works I'd recommend Diana Tregarde, a PI with a vampire lover (think a hard-boiled Buffy on "Angel") and lastly Serrated Edge; that's about Elves in the late 20th century US -- their Elvensteeds are now disguised as racing cars! (Warning, those books deal with gritty RL issues, such as child abuse and abduction!)

In a lighter vein, I can't recommend the anthologies edited by Esther Friesner highly enough -- "Chicks in Chainmail" et al., "Fangs for the Mammaries", or "Witch Way to the Mall".

Happy hunting!

Date: 2011-09-25 12:22 am (UTC)
germankitty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] germankitty
Oh, and another favorite author of mine who's written one series that combines magic with a contemporary setting is Katherine Kurtz's "The Adept" series, set in 1990s Scotland. Not including a link to the amazon page, because they're hard to come by -- but worth browsing for! (And if you come across a copy of her "Lammas Night", grab it up immediately! Not only is it a great read (set in 1942 Britain), but the hardcover presently sells for close to $700!)

Date: 2011-09-25 01:06 am (UTC)
xenoglossy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xenoglossy
I'll second the recommendations for Kage Baker and Nina Kiriki Hoffman — especially Kage Baker, who is (was) wonderful. I haven't read Empress of Mars, but I particularly enjoyed Anvil of the World and the short stories in that universe, which are mainly about what happens when the avatar of Good and the avatar of Evil, instead of fighting to the death as was prophesied, decide to get married and raise a family together.

I could never get into Shannara either, but have you tried the author's Magic Kingdom of Landover series? I enjoyed that one more (it's also much shorter, which helps). It's about a guy from the modern-day real world who buys a magical kingdom from a catalogue on a whim (thinking that it's some kind of joke) and ends up... actually having to rule a magical kingdom that's falling apart and is constantly in danger of being invaded by its neighbors. It's been a long time since I've read it, and my tastes at the time might have been... not as discerning as they are now, but I remember the series being a fun read with a good sense of humor.

Have you read The Lies of Locke Lamora? I'm reading the sequel now and quite enjoying it. They're basically heist novels set in 1700s-ish fantasy-pseudo-Italy.

More on the YA side of things, my younger sister and I have both been enjoying the Flora Segunda books, which are about a Girl of Spirit (as the book puts it) from a very military family who is expected to go away to military academy at the age of fourteen but wants to learn magic instead. In the first book she accidentally unleashes a demon because she's sick of having to do housework all the time, and she has to deal with the consequences of that. They're quite fun and have a lot of interesting worldbuilding.

... Hello, I enjoy talking about books. Sorry this was so long-winded.

Date: 2011-09-25 01:07 am (UTC)
xenoglossy: (Persona 2 // cake for you~)
From: [personal profile] xenoglossy
... and whoops, I meant to go back to The Lies of Locke Lamora and expand on that some more but I forgot to and I'm too lazy to do it now. OH WELL.

Date: 2011-09-25 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've enjoyed Ilona Andrews' book. You'd probably enjoy her Kate Daniels series more than The Edge series, since the later are more romance-influenced (but still a lot of action and fun).

Date: 2011-09-25 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I should add that she offers opening chapters for each book at her website,, so you can take a look and see if it's to your taste.

Date: 2011-09-26 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For urban fiction, check out C.E. Murphy's work. I fell in love with her comic, Take A Chance, which was about an urban vigilante. :)

Date: 2011-09-27 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I thoroughly enjoyed "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" by John LaCarre


mandolin: (Default)

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