Books that are fun to read?

Are locally relevant things being discussed elsewhere? Liveblogs, fic recs, trope edits? Alternately, direct your fellow fans to things that are not Alicorn-related at all.

Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby ErinFlight » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:59 pm

Wow! Thanks for all the wonderful responses.

So The Dresden Files has been recommended to me before (*cough* AndaisQ *cough*) and I just could not get into it.
I loved Butcher's Codex Alera series. I loved the large world, the truly alien species, the protagonist who for once was weaker than everyone else. I own the audiobooks and have listened to them several times.
I don't like The Dresden Files. At all.
Apparently they get better, so I forced myself to read the first three and gave up halfway through the fourth.
I couldn't name anything I particularly disliked about them, they just had no appeal.
What do you guys like about them?

Bluelantern wrote:The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, but I'm unsure if it is a good example for the purpose of this thread.


I've heard of this book and thought the premise sounded interesting. If you enjoyed it, I'll definitely give it a try.
The entire idea of people repeating bits of their lives, whether it's Groundhog Day style or starting over completely, is so intriguing (and disturbing).
I'm not sure I could stand it, but I spend far too much time imagining it.

anthusiasm wrote:The Raven Cycle!
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'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).

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.


I've never heard of the Raven Cycle. I will definitely check it out.
If you are impressed with The Secret History after you finish (sometimes last pages can ruin everything) please tell me!

I do enjoy graphic novels (Persepolis had quite the effect on me. Have you seen the movie?) and reading them from free is even better.

Hate reads can be hilarious. http://dragon-quill.blogspot.com has some good chapter by chapter reviews ripping apart popular novels. Her review of the Hunger Games was really interesting and her review of the first Dresden Files book is amusing.
Please, tell me what books you hate.

Also, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Series of Unfortunate events were fun, though the latter had an odd ending.

Ezra wrote:The Dresden Files
Rosemary and Rue, and the rest of the October Daye series

I have never heard of Rosemary and Rue. This is awesome. I spend so much time filtering through mediocre stuff, but you guys have already done all the hard work. :D

Marri wrote: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.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Dealing with Dragons++)

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.


What kind of specific writing style? Is she particularly wordy or uses a lot of new words? I googled it and the premise sounds interesting.

I enjoyed Mistborn and got halfway through the Stormlight Archive. (Sanderson really has the best settings.)
I'd love to borrow the Emperor's Soul! Conniving makes me gleefully happy.


Kappa wrote: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)

I don't know these authors and I don't know if I'd of found them on my own. Earthdark is a great title. Thanks!
(Also, for the first two, if you had to pick one book from each, what would you pick?)

rockeye_stonetoe wrote:I liked the Uglies series (Scott Westerfeld) back in high school, but haven't read them in a while now.

I liked one of his other series, The Midnighters. Monsters that retreated into a bluer night we can no longer touch, except some of us can.

Alicorn wrote: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...


I read Troubled Waters a while ago. I remember enjoying it. Maybe I should pick up another one of her books. Do you have an all time favorite?
I have read Harry Potter. I got them taking to me once when I went to a summer camp I didn't know was deeply religious.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Adelene » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:04 pm

Piers Anthony's reputation for awfulness is overstated but not strictly incorrect, in my opinion, though most of my problem with him was repetitiveness - his male characters in particular are basically all the same dude, and not even a particularly interesting dude. If you stay away from the Xanth stuff and give up as soon as you start getting bored you'll do okay, though; I remember the Apprentice Adept series fondly, and iirc the Incarnations of Immortality was very well received but I remember it as being more work to get through.

LeGuin is probably too complicated. I have a friend who's a big fan of hers who might be able to recommend a few books on the simpler side, though.

On that note, Octavia Butler: Fledgling fits the bill pretty well (and is another favorite), the Parable books are almost certainly too dark but otherwise a good read, I haven't read the rest of her stuff. ETA: Fledgling does come with a TW for underaged/mixed-age sex; the specific situation is decent consent-wise (it's a fantasy book) but if you're uncomfortable with that you probably still want to skip it - no graphic descriptions but it's pretty blunt about what's going on.

My LeGuin fan friend also recommends James Tiptree Jr as a similar author, but I haven't gotten around to reading any of their stuff yet.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Alicorn » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:14 pm

My favorite Shinn series is the angel books. If you liked Troubled Waters, it has two sequels. Summers at Castle Auburn is also good.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby ErinFlight » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:17 pm

AndaisQ wrote: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.

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.


AndaisQ, you do have the best reviews.

Night Watch is new to me and sounds deliciously dark.

I would never have picked up Lonely Werewolf Girl on my own, but that description... Now I must try them.
Hopefully I won't be traumatized.

Adelene wrote:This may be a useful juncture at which to point out that I a) recently started keeping a personal ebook library and b) am a scurvy pirate.

If you like Pratchett you'll probably also like Robert Asprin, particularly the Myth series.

Dunno if it'd count as a fun read, but if you want something that's a little deeper and thought-provoking while still being easy and relatively light, Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten and the other similar books by the same author are pretty good.


I googled Asprin and the first thing that came up was his book, "Hit or Myth." You have to admire someone who takes that much pride in puns.

I read a lot of McCaffery as a kid. She may be responsible for a third of my vocabulary.

If you mean "All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten", it does look really interesting. Thank you!

DanielH wrote:I do most of my reading on the Internet instead of physical books, even when I’m reading things also published as conventional books. I’ve found that the Enchanted Forest Chronicles (the world Chronicle in Effulgence is based off of) is pretty good and not very much work to read. Probably there are other things I could recommend, but I can’t bring them to mind at the moment.

How do Elcencia books fall on this scale?


Two thirds of my books are from used bookstores. I keep a mental (and physical) list of books and every time I see one, I snatch it.
I actually found a rare book this way once. I got it for $5 when ordering it online would've cost $50. It was wonderful.
Unfortunately, dogs tend to be attracted to the smell of used books. Too many of mine have been eaten (though not that one).

I should actually go through and read the books from more of the Effulgence settings.

As for Alcencia, I actually haven't read it. I have an irrational fear of unfinished stories.
They don't leave me until I have ending. They'll nag at me for weeks, months, even years (one unfinished series I read when I was 12 still bothers me). The more powerful the author, the worse it is, and I know I love Alicorn's stories.
I'm trying to overcome this for glowfic, but since Alcencia is on hiatus I'm not going to try.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Timepoof » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:18 pm

I contribute Molly Moon series, YMMV.
The WAFFLES will submit to this indignity.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Adelene » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:25 pm

ErinFlight wrote:I googled Asprin and the first thing that came up was his book, "Hit or Myth." You have to admire someone who takes that much pride in puns.


Yes. :D

ErinFlight wrote:If you mean "All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten", it does look really interesting. Thank you!


Yup, and you're welcome! That one in particular was SUPER popular back in the... early 90s? Early-mid, I remember being into it while I was still living in Pennsylvania, before we moved in '99. It's on the short list of books that are probably required for making an Adelene. ^^
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby ErinFlight » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:30 pm

Eva wrote:(That said... The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a book that you feel ashamed to have bought at a bookstore. It feels like you should have discovered it in a locked trunk at the back of someone's attic, or given to you on your eighteenth birthday as an inheritance. Something about it seems timeless. After I read it, I ended up walking down a gravel path in the city at ten in the evening with my shoes off, filled by a fae mood that made everything beautiful and important. I'm not certain it's for everyone, but... To me, it was a book that showed it was possible to demonstrate the unexplainable.)


This is beautiful.
I too loved The Slow Regard of Silent Things.
I'd read the Kingkiller Chronicles and followed Rothfuss's blog.
On the day the book came out, I was in an airport, waiting for a plane.
I checked a small bookstore near me and they didn't have it.
I had time, so I went to another bookstore in another terminal.
The book wasn't their either, but the employee at the register asked what I was looking for.
I told them, they went into the back, and ten minutes later returned with a copy.

I read it on the plane the entire way home.
It captivated me in a way I've only ever experienced one other time.
There's something to the melancholic, strange but reachable beauty in it.

Adelene wrote:Oh also, Spider Robinson's Telempath is one of my very favorite books and a fairly easy read. (And OpenLibrary has an ebook version and I'm signed up to borrow it in a few days.) It's also the only Spider Robinson book I've read; I really ought to fix that.

A lot of Cory Doctrow's stuff is pretty straightforward plotwise and characterwise? Not sure he'll be to anyone's taste, though, he's definitely got his own little niche going on.

I also want to say that the Crystal Singer trilogy is a decent starting point, even though it's been a decade since I read it.


Two new authors! Thank you.
Can you recommend a starting point for Doctrow?

I read the Crystal Singer's trilogy, though I didn't know about the Brainship books.

Ezra wrote:Did we check Ursula K. LeGuin? Gail Carson Levine?


Huh, I was going to say I hadn't read any LeGuin, but I looked up her books and they are very familiar.

Ella Enchanted was a great book. It kinda freaked me out to be honest. Now as an adult, the concept is even worse.
Last edited by ErinFlight on Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Kappa » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:32 pm

Steven Brust: oh, let's say Jhereg, it's the first book in my favourite of his series. Agyar's good too though.

Tanya Huff: The Enchantment Emporium or Wizard of the Grove.
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Ezra » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:41 pm

The Octavia Butler I've read was mostly denser and darker than I'd recommend for this thread. Wild Seed was kinda cool if you don't mind an extremely dark take on the X-Men premise (sometimes people are born with superpowers, and superpowered people tend to have superpowered children).
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Re: Books that are fun to read?

Postby Adelene » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:42 pm

ErinFlight wrote:Can you recommend a starting point for Doctrow?


Makers comes to mind. It's been a while since I read it, though. (Doctrow is not actually to my taste.) His short story I, Row-Boat might be better.
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