Books that are fun to read?

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Books that are fun to read?

Postby ErinFlight » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:35 am

So, lately I've been trying to switch from browsing the internet in my free time to reading books.

I have a huge list of books, but I've realized most of them take some work to get through.
They have unusual language or styles, they are not engaging within the first third, they require heavy interpretation, they evoke unpleasant emotions or questions throughout the entire novel, they have dozens of separate characters to keep track of, or similar elements.

They might be amazing, and if I had the energy I'd love them, but they're not good for decompressing.

So, what are some books you loved that didn't feel like work?

Some fun books:
Southern Reach Trilogy
Lies of Locke Lamora
The Martian
Welcome to Nightvale
Terry Pratchett in general
Neil Gaiman
Nimona
The Night Circus
Locked In

Some good books that were work:
Cloud Atlas
Middlesex
House of Leaves
The Wasp Factory
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Oryx and Crake
The Gone Away world (this book is amazing by the way, you should read it)

Of course, this is all relative, but maybe you could give me some books you had a hard time putting down or that you go to when you're stressed?

Thanks!
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Bluelantern » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:24 am

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, but I'm unsure if it is a good example for the purpose of this thread.
Sorry for my bad english

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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby anthusiasm » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:34 am

The Raven Cycle! These are some of the most fun books I've read in a loooong time. It's one of those book series' that's really difficult to put down, despite not really having much of a plot.

In my experience, the Vorkosigan books vary in how much work they are. Mirror Dance wasn't work, but The Warrior's Apprentice kind of was. This might be a personal idiosyncrasy, though, and I'm not sure what it's based on (since it doesn't seem to be based on my opinion of how good the book was).

If you're into graphic novels, Saga is pretty much impossible to put down, and if you PM me I can probably find you a link to someplace you can read it for free online.

Stephen King is great as long as you don't read, like, more than three of his books in a row because his writing style can get repetitive. I quite liked The Shining, It was good but dragged a bit during the second half, and The Stand is good but there was some gender stuff in it that made me super uncomfortable, YMMV. (I mean Uncomfortable Gender Stuff is kind of a King trademark but it's usually easier to ignore/rationalize).

I'm reading The Secret History right now and it's a very fun read. It helps that the chapters are broken up into short sections so I feel like I'm accomplishing things (which is part of the reason The Martian registered as "fun" to me).

There's a lot of other books that I read several years ago that were fun/gripping, but I haven't revisited them and have become more discerning since then so I feel less comfortable recommending them. (I am fairly confident in Till We Have Faces and Persepolis, though).

If you're okay with books aimed at younger readers, the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, The Name of This Book Is Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society are great.

I can also think of several books that were easy/fun/hard to put down while I was reading them, but that I absolutely hated. But, like, YMMV, and also hatereading is fun, so let me know if you want some of these titles.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Ezra » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:16 am

The Dresden Files
Rosemary and Rue, and the rest of the October Daye series
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Marri » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:53 am

I'm uncertain how you'd find the Kushiel books if you haven't already read them; they have a lot of the same intriguing that I liked from Locke Lamora, but she definitely has a Specific Writing Style that might be hard to get through.

+1 Dresden Files <3

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Dealing with Dragons++)

Basically anything by Tamora Pierce, though the Immortals and Circle of Magic quartets are probably my favorites still.

I really enjoy Sanderson, but people's mileage with him varies a LOT. I'd suggest the Emperor's Soul as a start; it's shorter and it's reasonably self contained and has Locke-style conniving. I've got the Kindle version, if you message me I can lend it to you.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Kappa » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:18 am

I don't think I can successfully sort books by how much effort they take to read, but some authors I like that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

Steven Brust
Tanya Huff
Monica Hughes (I've only read Earthdark and Invitation to The Game, but I adored Invitation and Earthdark was pretty solid too, and they're both really short)
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby rockeye_stonetoe » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:51 pm

I liked the Uglies series (Scott Westerfeld) back in high school, but haven't read them in a while now.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Alicorn » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:02 pm

I haaaaated the Uglies books. My family listened to the first one in the car and stopped like mid-chapter, it was so bad.

Sharon Shinn books are pretty low-effort, especially once you've read one or two (she has a formula). I assume you've read Harry Potter...
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby AndaisQ » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:33 pm

Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch series, 5 volumes though I've only read the first 4: Likely the finest bleak comedy series about post-Soviet bureaucrat-wizards suffering from crippling depression currently in publication. If you enjoy action, despair, and near-total moral abnegation, Night Watch may be for you. The protagonist has a magic Walkman. It's great.
Readability: Surprisingly easy, for bleak post-Soviet literature.
Warnings: Everyone is fucking awful, people die in variously gruesome ways, and there's occasional consent issues, though rarely unexamined. Considering it's Russian, it's basically Gospel.

Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, 6 volumes: What if Avatar was about Roman Centurions who had Pokémon? What if Avatar was about Romans and their bender-Pokémon at war with totemist Native American elves, Klingon werewolves, and Literally The Zerg? What if instead of being about the biggest and most powerful bender in the world, it was about the only human being who couldn't bend at all, and who instead has to develop Magic Science to get anything done? Codex Fucking Alera.
Readability: It's not Dresden, which is to say that it is not literary candyfloss that insinuates itself into your brain faster than you thought you were capable of reading, but it's Butcher.
Warnings: It's Butcher. Women are occasionally incomprehensible aliens, the Zerg queen is a sexy green bug lady who punches people's hearts out, and you will intermittently want to reach through the page and slap the man upside the head. Also: gore, torture, nudity, Butcher.

Martin Millar's Lonely Werewolf Girl, three volumes though I've only read 1: God this book is fucking awful. I have never enjoyed any experience more, including any sexual encounter I have ever had. Lonely Werewolf Girl is the story of Kalix MacRinnalch, an anorexic druggie werewolf who listens to The Runaways and hates her dad. Her family includes her eldest sister, a werewolf sorceress and interdimensional fashion designer with a major subplot devoted to making sure the Queen of the Fire Dimension has the best outfit at the big party of the year; her older brother, a werewolf transvestite whose girlfriend is into pegging; and her younger sisters, who are garbage stoners with a terrible rock band. (They get an equally major subplot devoted to their straitlaced older sister ensuring that they win the Battle of the Bands.) Between political maneuvering, heavy-handed angst, and about ten entirely distinct subplots, maybe two of which were actually necessary, the book drunkenly stumbles its way through eight hundred pages, which I read at the age of 10 in six hours while suffering through Disney World. And still managing to get hit on by a creepy middle-aged dude who thought I looked like a young Bob Denver.
Readability: You could literally read this book by accident. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Warnings: Enormous amounts of drug use, mostly frowned upon. Almost (but not quite) sensitive treatment of anorexia, homelessness, cross-dressing, and abuse. So many shoes. What the fuck. How are there so many shoes.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Ezra » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:45 pm

AndaisQ, your reviews are a delight.
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