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rllmuk's recommended reading

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You lot are forever recommending titles to read and then I'm forgetting about them, and then I have to go trawling through the WAYRN thread in search of the good stuff. Inevitably I forget and miss that good stuff. I thought that it might be useful to have a single thread where we can recommend titles or series, but not just a list thread. What I'd like is a recommendation from everyone (just one for now) - and if you want to write a little spiel why, that's fine, if you don't, that's also fine - and I will collate them into a list in the first post. 
 
However, I'd then like to get you to recommend books that are already on the list. So, let's say I recommend The Blade Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. It gets put on the list.
 
The Blade Trilogy - Joe Abercrombie (Danster)
 
Someone else, say timmo,  might come along and think, oh yeah, i like that series too! So say "+1 for The Blade Trilogy". I will update the first post to read thus:
 
The Blade Trilogy - Joe Abercrombie (Danster, timmo)
 
And so on. Try to keep it to one recommendation for now, but I'm not going to scoff too much if you want to add more than one. Then maybe add one a month. Should get a pretty good list. I'll highlight new entries and order them by number of votes, so our most popular titles are at the top.
 
THE LIST

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Nice idea and I particularly like only letting people pick 1 additional book so it doesn't get saturated.

+1 for The Blade Trilogy. Incredibly immersive dark fantasy with a handful of extremely memorable characters. Although isn't it called The First Law trilogy?

I'll choose The Lies of Locke Lamora. I absolutely adored it, my favourite book in years. A band of intelligent thieves in a fantasy mock Venice/London setting look to relieve the higher classes of their fortunes and things escalate.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/99607064

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Wait, is it only one we can add EVER, or only one at a time? Because if it's ever, it surely has to be your favourite book. The book that, if you only read one book in your entire life, you'd think worthwhile. And that's a tough, tough, tough call*.

If it's at a time, that's easier, so long as people don't take the piss and just constantly spam the thread.

*It's between To Kill A Mockingbird and The Complete Works of Shakespeare (unless that's cheating, in which case I'm frozen in indecision).

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No, it's a book you'd like to recommend. Then maybe next month you add another. I expect it to fluctuate, and it's kinda going to be charted too, so the cream (or at least the popular ones) should rise to the top. I don't think you need to come along and recommend War and Peace or anything, we all know the classics and while we might not all have read them, know they are classics for a reason.

Having said that, if you really want to recommend Macbeth or something, that's up to you. Just try and keep to a single book (or series) per month so that we don't get totally overwhelmed with choices.

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Another plus one to the First Law books. I read them following a recommendation on here and really enjoyed. Currently on Best Served Cold.

For my recommendation I'm going to go with the Conn Igulden Genghis Khan and (if allowed) Julius Ceasar series. I know they've been recommended on here before, but they're really great books so they should be on a list like this.

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Yes, +1 for the Conqueror series, they're amazing. I'd be tempted to put his War of the Roses series down too, if I didn't think it too many from one author! :)

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Right

So many books that could be recommended - so little um time space.

But anyway my go is the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronvitch (ex Dr Who writer amongst other things).

Think Harry Potter meets a police procedural. PC Peter Grant is a rookie London cop who takes a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ends up as the first apprentice Wizard in half a century - owes a huge amount to Rowling but also Gaimen's Neverwhere and other urban magic fiction.

Aaronovitch writes with pace and an eye for detail - I have a thing for the urban magic sub genre admittedly but this whole series is excellent.

EDIT - properly reads the OP - +1 for the Joe Abercrombie books (not just the Blade trilogy but all the subsequent spin offs) and also the Scott Lynch books - well the first one anyway

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Ooh, +1 for Rivers of London. That whole series is great and I've already preordered the next book. Think it's out next April or something.

My choice goes for To Kill A Mockingbird. I'm a fan of the American deep south, especially in the early 20th century when the racial problems were even more pronounced than they are now. I find racial discrimination utterly incomprehensible, so anything that explores it fascinates me. Harper Lee's book is written so warmly, with a fantastic sense of both place and character. The main character of Scout is phenomenally written. And of course it all revolves around the solid, quiet moral centre of Atticus Finch, who is just about the ideal man without being an obnoxious prig. I'm not sure I could class it as the 'best' book ever written, but it is my favourite. The one that never stops being worth a read, even though I've read it at least once a year for the past two decades, and could probably quote swathes of it from memory.

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Didn't realise there were spinoffs to The First Law books, so +1 the series from me and I'll get onto the others soon! Cheers guys!

I'd like to add the Wool books by Hugh Howey. I've only read the first two but they're cracking reads about silos built under ground after the apocalypse. they really whip through at a pace and are well, well worth a go.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wool-Trilogy-Hugh-Howey/dp/0099580489

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Are you looking for some hard boiled crime fiction? Then let me recommend James EllroysLA Quartet’. 4 books that are set in LA from the late 1940’s to the late 1950’s. People might be familiar the film LA Confidential that was based on one of his books in the quartet. Full of crime, glamour, corruption, sex, politics and a whole lot more.

By some distance my favourite crime writer. No one does it quite like Ellroy. And if Boozy wasn’t banned he’d be hitting me with a +1.

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The Mission Earth series by L Ron Hubbard.

It's bonkers and apart from the last book told from the point of view of the bad guy

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Well, I'm going to recommend a classic, but it's one that's not all that commonly cited (helped, no doubt, by its language of origin).

The book I'm thinking of is Hunger, by Knut Hamsun. It's an astonishingly moving book, but not in the gentle, sentimental way for which that term is regularly reserved, but instead in an intense, maddening way. It puts you into the mind of its starving, amoral main character, and never lets go. There's nothing else quite like it.

Also, read it in the modern (Lyngstad) translation; there's a marked difference between it and the vastly inferior earlier translations.


Also, a vote for a classic already mentioned - To Kill A Mockingbird is so great a novel that I love it despite having had to study it during my GCSEs, which makes it a true standout as that was enough to ruin literally every other work we read.

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I read the first one which was okay but didn't make me want to read any more of them. Maybe if I was more into fantasy as a genre it would have clicked better, remember feeling that the ending was particularly poor and rather than make me keen to see what happens next it made me want to read better instead.

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I thought they were really underwhelming and would recommend Abercrombie's Young Adult novels ahead of them for any young readers.

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The first two Dark Materials books are decent, the third is pretty poor. Also his chronology is all over the place, as I remember.

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Well, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune are both excellent too...it's then that the sequels really go off the boil.

I think the way Philip Pullman in the DM trilogy tackles religion is quite simplistic to be honest, but they are kids' books, so there is nothing wrong with that. They are beautifully spun stories designed to stealthily bash kids over the head with the idea that religion is stupid, which is just fine as far as I'm concerned.

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+1 for His Dark Materials - well The Northern Lights and Subtle Knife anyway. I was of the opinion that he jumped the shark on The Amber Spyglass and abandoned what was quite a nice little religious metaphor for a completely unsubtle rehearsal of Dawkins God is not Great.

Dune remains a stunning book but personally I'd leave it there. Messiah is dull and Children of Dune is a bit silly - and it all gets worse from thereonin.

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I couldn't get over the incest attempt plotline enough to get stuck into the second one, though I made several attempts.

In HDM I quite liked the ideas that were explored: What makes us conscious and human? What is a soul? What would a person without a soul be like? What is sin? Is there such a thing as being free from sin? Why would people do what they knew was wrong? Does it justify doing evil if they felt it was for the greater good? Should we always do things just because we can? Are there things science shouldn't mess with? Are there things it is better not to know? Are there parallel universes? Is being persuasively dishonest an admirable skill? How do you judge who is a 'goodie'? Would we behave differently if our inner character was externally visible? Would we judge others differently and treat them differently as a result?

These are way more interesting things to talk about than you could draw out of the Harry Potter books, which were of a similar time period and aimed at a similar audience but I found utterly underwhelming.

I know it's against the rules, but I had another recommendation to make, seeing as my first one took a lot of flack: Holes by Louis Sachar.

All good points, although I think you are stretching on some of them and being a little unfair on the Potter books which other shortcomings aside are better realised and concluded than Pullman's trilogy. I think Pullman was trying to write an anti Narina trilogy and it works well until he abandons any pretence of allegory and mainlines (jeez the Eve stuff in Amber Spyglass is just cringe).

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It's been a little while, so i thought I'd add another to the list of rllmuk's Must reads. Probably an obvious one from me, but it is the Culture novels. Fantastic settings, wonderful characters, crazy technologies and brilliant weaponry. Iain (RIP) can be accused of needing an editor in the later books, but the series of 10 still make sup some of the best sci-fi I've ever read.

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Just been through Consider Phlebas on Audible and whilst enjoyable in places (and full of brilliant ideas) I couldn't get into it and the last third started to drag (until the ending). Is it one of his weaker ones? I seem to remember enjoying Player of Games a lot more when I read it years ago. Maybe he's better in print to be read at your own pace. Not sure sci-fi is as suited to audio as other (less demanding) genres.

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CP was his first and reads like it, although I still love it. PoG contains a load more info about the Culture and the way it works, which is fun. I really like the audio books (Bad(e) excepting...;)) but it may be that I know the stories so well, that I find them so easy to follow. You must try Excession (and Use of Weapons...) before you give up on them as a series though, it's arguably the pinnacle of his sci-fi. 

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I'm slowly working through the Culture novels, and having read them all up to Excession so far I'd say each one is better than the last. Or maybe it's that as I understand the Culture better each time I find them less confusing! When I've finished I must go back and read them all again to find out.

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I rank CP as the second best one, after Excession. Much better than Player of Games or Use of Weapons for me.

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Has anyone mentioned the Mars trilogy  by KS Robinson,  the 1st 2 are outstanding and the 3rd  concentrates on one of the more unlikeable characters (IMO)so suffers as a result. Still a fantastic  set of books.

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