Your favourite fiction books


#1

Hi all,

I know there is already a thread for non fiction books. But I have the unpopular opinion that non fiction is overrated (:sweat_smile:), except maybe biographies or memoirs.

I really like fiction because it serves to me two purposes :

  • relax and fantasize, but in a smart active way,
  • teach life lessons through stories (revenge, love and purpose through Dumas, road through enlightenment through any Richard Bach, or Paulo Coelho book)

I read a lot and I saw some people such as @BLACKICE @DarkPhilosopher @raphael @Malkuth @King are into fiction also.

I like mostly classic books for the reasons above. There is a real reason why some books are classics, it is because they were written by inspired/smart people and they are not just stories but works of arts with layers of understanding. And often you could write books on the authors themselves because they had such rich and incredible lives.

My preferred ones are

  • Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Salome. These books have the right amount of retro, masculinity, and sexual tones. Oscar Wilde was a charismatic and smart guy, bisexual or homosexual in times where you could be killed for that. He had a huge literary success but became over time too confident in his own power of doing what he wanted, he ended up and died in jail. I really like his work, his books are short, fun and smart.

  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. It is a detective story, kind of pulp noir. Sam Spade is à though guy around pretty and dangerous girls. Dashiell Hammett was himself a tough guy, he was working for Pinkerton detective agency (famous and old US detective agency that goes back to the USA civil war).

  • The Count of Montecristo by Alexandre Dumas. Dumas was a mixed race guy born from an Haitian father who himself was high ranked in french military. He had huge success during his life with money, women you name it. His book is the ultimate atemporel book about love, revenge and success.

Guys please share what you like to read, I am curious to get into more stuff :slight_smile: Right now I am reading Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Thought it was old and overrated, but so far is very good.


#2

Not exactly fiction… but From Emperor to Citizen (the autobiography of China’s last Emperor) is fascinating book.

It is about one person’s riches-to-rags story, but also a story about how a man matured and finally understood in his 50s that the world did not revolve around him.

I am a history buff and I was very much into historical fiction in the past. I liked reading historical fiction books written by people who did their homework and researched on the historical setting well.

Haven’t been reading much fiction for the past few years but maybe I should get back to it.

Other historical fiction writers whose books I enjoy include Edward Rutherfurd (Russka), Toyoko Yamasaki (Fumo Chitai) and Ken Follet (Pillars of the Earth). Frederick Forsyth (The Odessa File) also researched his novels well.

Anyway, thinking about this more, I actually enjoy reading books set in a background of historical change. I have been trying to find books (memoirs, autobiographies) written by people who have lived for over 100 years old. Imagine you can feel , see and hear the changes that have taken place around the person through his own voice, as well as the changes in his inner state.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed From Emperor to Citizen so much.


#3

The Time Winder_ by H.U. Bevis (old time travel sci-fi story)
The Zero Hour by Joseph Finder
Vertical Run by Joseph Garber
Daddy by Loup Durand
Replay and Breakthough by Ken Grimwood
Spook Country by William Gibson
The Jack Reacher Novels by “Lee Child”…I mean…who else could get shot and be saved by the bullet by. nothing other than solid pec muscles? :wink:

I’m sure I’ll come back and edit this more later to add some I am not thinking of this last at night

EDIT: Added the Jack Reacher bit


#4

I have watched the film actually :slight_smile: .

Your selection is quite deep. I cannot find English description of Fumo Chitai, it appears everywhere in Japanese. Will give a go to Ken Follet, I have read some of his old thrillers, but the blurb of Pillars of the Earth felt to deep to me back in time.

This is very on point. I havent found anything on “The Time Winder” @realbillperry must be pretty old :slight_smile:


#5

#6

Harry Potter


#7

@Psiklou
I’ll join you in those and add The Importance of Being Earnest, which is absolutely hilarious. And brilliant language.

Also, Tolkien. My favourites being The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, as well as some of his amazing translations of mediaeval poems, like Pearl.

Giovanni Boccacio, Il Decamerone - a hilarious collection of utterly inappropriate (in almost any circumstance) tales

Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia - the most impressive entrance to hell, ever

William Shakespeare, Macbeth - one hell of a play about betrayal, greed, and its consequences

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night - one of his subtler comedies, and really good fun - tons of insights into human nature

Leonardo da Vinci, Note di Cucina - Leonardo’s notes during his time with Ludovico Sforza, kitchen notes and observations

Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book, and The Sandman.

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s


#8

Classy start to this post!

I’ll second The Alchemist, amazing book.

I haven’t read any of them for years but I recall thoroughly enjoying the Celestine Prophecy series.
Lately I mostly read nonfiction stuff, but I do intersperse some adventure and sci-fi every so often. There’s tons I could include but here are a handful that I liked enough to buy/keep hard copies of:

Spook Country by William Gibson is one of my all-time favorites. The sequel is great too. The plot is hard to describe without giving away the ending.

Eon by Greg Bear, incredible story.

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan… they really lightened the mood for the Netflix show based on this book! Brilliant premise, but easily the most violent book I’ve ever read. Worth a read.

Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds. Brilliant concept and flawless execution. Hard sci-fi mixed with 1940s noir detective… it works, trust me.

Timeline by Michael Crichton is another fav, though I read it again last week after nearly 15 years and wasn’t nearly as good as I’d recalled it being. Jurassic Park is also one of my favorites, can’t believe I forgot to mention it.

The Eschaton Series by Charles Stross is amazing, I’ve read several of his other series too and so far I’ve enjoyed everything he’s written.

The Thrawn Trilogy (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn isn’t canon anymore but remains one of the best stories I’ve ever read. If you like Star Wars then Dark Labyrinth by James Luceno is also a must-read.

Clive Cussler and James Rollins are my current go-to action/adventure authors. I’ve got almost the entire Sigma Force book series in my library and dozens of Clive Cussler books.

I also love classic Sherlock Holmes and have the entire series, although it’s just the Readers Digest versions. And just for fun, when I was a kid I also read all of the Tom Swift books (original and early 90s sequels), which surely fed my desire to be an inventor :nerd_face:


#9

Aside from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was a big fan of the Wheel Of Time series. That was until Robert Jordan passed away. Brandon Sanderson’s continuation/ending of the series didn’t really feel right for me.


#10

I’ll throw out some fantasy suggestion since I used to read that alot

The Belgariad series
The Legend of Drizz’t -the first few
The Magicians series
Uprooted


#11

Great stuff there,

I really like old adventure movies and books. I stopped reading adventure books after finishing authors such as David Morrell who wrote about Christian conspiracies before Ian Brown, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child who got one of their book made as a movie, Relic.

I read some Clive Cussler, before they where made into movies such as Sahara, there I I think I will pick James Rollins adventure book Map of Bones.

In fantasy, I have only read LOTR tbh. As I am not a specialist, I alway find that there are so many books in the genre, almost always series, and I never know which one to pick.

Seems cool. I have watched some episodes of the TV serie.


#12

I really like stories that take me into another world entirely. Possibly because my childhood was so nasty I needed the escape.

So definitely things like Harry Potter (especially since it might just exist, a hidden supernatural world right on top of ours). I should look into those Magicians books.

Also the medieval fantasy genre, so Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time (very curious if the TV series will be any good), Sword of Truth, Game of Thrones, The Death Gate Cycle, The Saga of Recluce and the Riftwar Cycle.

I eventually shaped my core value system after the heroes in those stories.

The cool thing is that many of them bring up concepts that are quite deep and make you think about the nature of the universe, god, life and so on. Take the Wheel of Time with its masculine and feminine energy and how you have to submit to one and dominate the other (not to mention the sensitive topics like oppression, discrimination, slavery and some of the harsh realities of war). Sword of Truth is somewhat similar in that.

The Death Gate cycle was a long time for me, but figuring out the history of that universe near the end was quite a surprise.

The Saga of Recluce has the concept of Order and Chaos and how neither is good or evil but how they must be in balance, the explanation is quite powerful and something I use often to explain duality. I don’t really like the writing style though.

The Riftware Cycle (a series of trilogies) have a few really neat things. For one, even though it is a medieval fantasy on another world, the cultures are borrowed from ours, so you recognize cultural references to western, eastern and middle-eastern cultures and religions. Even ancient Rome at some point. You get that feeling that it is familiar but you can’t quite place it.

There’s also a monk that joins at some point who talks about the nature of the universe (and magic) which I have also come to believe may just be the truth.

And the first trilogy (Riftwar) has a spinoff trilogy (Empire) where the entire war can be experienced from the other side. Suddenly you start realizing what motivated the war and why things were done in a certain way. You see losses and victories and politics from both sides of the conflict.

There’s also a series that takes place in Valhalla that seemed interesting, but I forgot what it was. I think I still have the book in a box somewhere.


Past my teens I read some more complicated stories.

I can recommend Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series. That storyline is quite extensive (and goes back to long long ago for obvious reasons) and is just the right amount of vampire mythology for me. I like seeing the seductive, vicious and human side of vampires.

In the science fiction department, there’s the exploration-based ones, like the Rama books (you know it’s good when Morgan Freeman wants to make movie for it) and the Odyssey books (2001 actually was a movie first).

And the conflict stories, like Dune (Forget C&C, give me a new Dune RTS) and Ender. Ender is really dark, so I never got into it (they also won’t make the second movie because of that reason). If you don’t know Dune, please find your way out from under that pile of Star Wars merchandise. If you don’t want to read, don’t watch the movies. Instead, get the two mini-series (Dune and Children of Dune). They are quite true to the books. Pretty much the only really good SciFi broadcast SciFi channel ever did, probably because they didn’t make them (Hallmark, really?!).

I would love more scifi books, but I don’t know that many.


And finally in the more reality department, I will definitely second the Count of Monte Cristo. Incredible story. Here also, don’t watch the movies, instead get the french mini-series with Gerard Depardieu. It stays true to the book and is quite good.

Robinson Crusoe is also a great book (1719, wow!). Actually made me want to get stranded on a tropical island.


I never got into the spy genre or the dystopian stuff, although some of them I would really like to.

But a mention here should be the Robert Langdon books and the Ryanverse, most of which have been turned into movies. Not to mention the Bourne series


I find I have little time to read, so I sometimes run an audiobook (unabridged of course) at 2-3x speed while I’m doing other things. Like speedreading, the inability to focus on the words creates a movie screen in my mind that plays out the story. Really cool, also a really long movie.

Phew! Waaaaaay too much, what have I been doing with my life?! But hey, you asked.


EDIT: Forgot about Eragon and another fantasy for which I almost remember the name. To be further edited…

I think it was Earthsea.

And because it was surprisingly entertaining even for adults, A Series of Unfortunate Events. The TV series was also very true to the books and recommended. I couldn’t stop watching since it is one continuous story.


#13

Might be below ours…


#14

For years, I would immediately read anything by Haruki Murakami. I remember that one or two of the translators (Alfred Birnbaum? I don’t feel like googling) were actually good friends with him. I think this lent to the quality of the translations. These were easily some of my favorite books in life. If you choose Murakami, I’d start with A Wild Sheep Chase, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Dance, Dance, Dance.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic books. Excellent.

If you want some Quantum Limitless inspiration, check out Herman Hesse’s The Glass-Bead Game (Magister Ludi).

Under Fantasy:

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb

Dune by Frank Herbert

Non-Fiction
The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Fun but Seriously Magical Adventures
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher


#15

Too many to mention really, but here are some not already listed:

“Gates of Fire” and “Tides of War” by Steve Pressfield
Historical fiction based on the Battle of Thermopylae and the Peloponnesian War

The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
Fighting a war at relativistic speeds

The Nightside series - Simon R. Green
Really humorous series set in a hidden fantasy netherworld of London

Fionavar Tapestry series - Guy Gavriel Kay
Fantasy world influenced by Celtic and Norse myth

Songs of Earth and Power books - Greg Bear
Fantasy books from the SF author, unique take on the “magical otherworld”

Forge of God books - Greg Bear
Earth go bang

Inhibitor Trilogy - Alastair Reynolds
Good, hard SF


#16

Quincy Harker Demon Hunter series by John G. Hartness
Chaos Seeds by Aleron Kong Book 1-6 i enjoyed 7 was way too big and too many stats didn’t read book 8
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini still need to read the last book
TheChronicles of Nick Series by Sherrilyon Kenyon
Blue Wolf Series by Patrick Cronin
Troy Series by David Gemmell
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien
Portals of Infinity by John Van Stry
Awaken Online by Travis Bagweel
Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Dodge Tank by Rick Scott
Sentinels of Creation by Robert w. Ross
Caulborn by Nicholas Olivo
And plenty more lol


#17

If you like Dresden files you should check out Quincy harker by John G. Hartness, some others i’ve read/listened to like that are Graveyard druid by M.D. Massey which is pretty cool, and The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne


#18

A lot have already been stated.

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula LeGuin, pretty much all Ursula LeGuin
The Mists of Avalon

Most works by:
Octavia Butler’s
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Under a glass bell Anais Nin
Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales
Pretty much any fairy tale/mythology

GoT/ASoIAF, Wheel of Time (though by the end of it I was just reading to finish)

Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, separate or together

The kite runner

The Golden Key
Melanie Rawn’s trilogies

There are so many.


#19

This is the beauty of fiction as it can offer commentary on the human condition.

If you then compliment this with a proper wordsmith you can get a work of art. the problem then becomes being able to digest the work in its original and not some foreign language translation or readers digest compression.

I recommend the fiction of Eric Blair.

(I also recommend the non fiction of Eric Blair as well).


#20

Thought of a few more. As mnemosyne mentioned: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is great (TV miniseries are not bad either).

And one I recommend everybody reads is the entire Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. It’s a trilogy consisting of 6 books. That should tell you the kind of humor it has. Thing is, the humor is intellectual, it uses complete logic to twist things around until they both make sense and are the most hilarious things you’ve heard in a while.

I still do want to read the Percy Jackson series Ninja mentions.

So many new things for my list now.