Book recommendations

Is it a nice day out? Do you like baby goats? Are you overdue on thank-you notes for your Christmas presents? Here you go.

Re: Book recommendations

Postby cbhacking » Sat May 10, 2014 2:57 am

Aha! Well then...
Tamora Pierce, for sure. You've already seen a taste of the Circle universe (Stormy's canon) in Effulgence; I'm personally more a fan of Tortall, which has... 5 series (trilogies or quartets), I think, set in it, all of which I enjoyed. My copy of Woman Who Rides Like A Man (protagonist kind of turns a tribe of sexist desert-dwellers on their ears) is dog-eared to the point that it's barely holding together anymore. Fairly standard fantasy/medieval setting, but well constructed and with excellent characters.

Kate Forsyth, Witches of Eileanan series especially (although apparently she's got more series than I've read yet). Celtic world, with magic and mythical creatures and so on.

Elizabeth Moon, Deed of Paksenarrion. Classic fantasy setting, but told from the perspective of a woman who starts out a soldier in a mercenary company.

Jane Lindskold, Firekeeper saga (first book Through Wolf's Eyes). Girl raised by better-than-your-average-wolves, becomes a major player in human society due to who her parents were.

Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials, if you somehow haven't read it yet. Canon for Amariah in Effulgence, but set a few hundred years earlier.

Some of the better parts of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern, (I liked Moreta, and the Harper Hall trilogy, though to understand the latter it helps to have read some of the earlier books) though I'd still tend to rate those lower than most things on this list.

I'm going to assume you've already read Alicorn's fiction...

Given the size of most of those series, that'll keep you occupied for a while. I'll come back when I'm more awake, with other suggestions. I know I'm forgetting a bunch, but brain needs sleepingtime.

Oh, back to spaceships but a webcomic rather than a proper book: you might enjoy
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby Marri » Sat May 10, 2014 5:26 am

Ooooh, I read more fantasy than scifi too, lemme see.

Mercy Thompson. All the Mercy Thompson. Trigger warnings, though. Alpha and Omega is a series in the same universe (more closely related than most 'same universe', it takes place simultaneous to the Mercy series and follows her foster brother and his mate) but imaltho Mercy's series is better.

I emphatically second Tamora Pierce, my copy of In the Hand of the Goddess is also falling apart (and then I feel guilty because it's signed). I actually liked the Immortals Quartet the best of the available series, but I guess I knew to treat my paperbacks better by then :)

I also quite enjoyed the Through Wolf's Eyes books, though I petered after the first four or five books.

Robin Hobb books are male POV for the first Assassin trilogy, but the second Liveship Traders trilogy is a variety of POV including women, and the women are all generally strong characters. I think at least Althea, Malta and Amber all are POV? I forget, it's been a few years since I last stole them from my boyfriend. And then the third Fool trilogy goes back to mostly male POV.

Black Jewels by Anne Bishop. You kinda need to read the first three for context, which I find hilarious and have some strong female characters but are mostly (except Surreal) from a male POV, but once you've read those the Shalador books are wonderful and mostly female POV (I love Cassidy into ALL THE PIECES).

Three of the Incarnations of Immortality feature female POV, but the series itself is uneven; I liked 1, 3, 6 and 7 of the 7 books (of those, 3 and 7 are female POV). I'm not sure how much you can read them without the others for context; they reference each other's events but I think would mostly function as a standalone?

Chronicle canon: Dealing with Dragons. The remaining three books are kinda optional, but the first is SO GOOD. Spoilers have been mentioned in the threads, just as a warning.

The Arrows trilogy by Mercedes Lackey, or a couple of her earlier Elemental Masters books (probably just Phoenix and Ashes and Serpent's Shadow, maybe Wizard of London) or the Vows and Honor series. I don't remember the 500 Kingdoms books well enough to say which are readable except I know the first one, Fairy Godmother, was good. Her books are VERY uneven though, fair warning, that's why I tried to be so specific about which series.

Probably more, will update if I think of any :)
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby PlainDealingVillain » Sat May 10, 2014 7:42 am

I remember Incarnations of Immortality as being offensively sexist to a random 13-year-old who'd barely heard the word feminism, so I would recommend against those.

Everything else recommended here which I've read, though, I agree with.
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby Kappa » Sat May 10, 2014 8:02 am

For female-POV fantasy, I recommend Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls - it's the second in a trilogy, but you don't strictly need to have read the first one in order to understand it.
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby Alicorn » Sat May 10, 2014 11:05 am

I strongly antirecommend Piers Anthony in full generality. Seconding Tamora Pierce's entire collection and His Dark Materials. And my stuff. Most of my positive recommendations have been mentioned already now...

Sharon Shinn mostly writes fantasy (even her sci-fi tends to read vaguely fantastical). Often there's an A-plot and B-plot with separate protagonists who may not be the same gender and it can be arguable who the protag is, but there are ladies everywhere in all her stuff, vast varieties of ladies. Quinn's canon Elemental Blessings is good. Summers at Castle Auburn is good.

Madeline L'Engle is good and often focuses on her ladies. Zenna Henderson writes fantastical maybe-technically-sci-fi-because-aliens?? short stories which often focus on female characters, especially young girls and children; she's kind of formulaic but if you like the formula you're good.

Tanith Lee. Unicorn books; I haven't read that much else of hers except Silver Metal Lover (I have to be in a very special mood to read one of Tanith Lee's books *for the first time*, so I haven't blown through her complete works, though I can re-read without a problem arbitrary numbers of times).

Audrey Niffenegger. "Time Traveler's Wife" is arguably more about the time traveler than the wife; "Her Fearful Symmetry" does not have this problem but I found it harder to get into.

Patricia Wrede has written some things beyond the Enchanted Forest Chronicles; I'm looking particularly at my omnibus "Magic & Malice" which contains two books the individual titles of which I've forgotten ("Mairelon the Magician" and... something?)

LAINI TAYLOR. Her "Daughter of Smoke and Bone", now with two novel sequels and a novella (I have not read novel 3 but I have it, I'm rereading the previous books first) is basically what I want to be when I grow up. Source of inspiration for Effulgence wishcoins. Focuses on lady protag.
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby Lambda » Sat May 10, 2014 12:16 pm

It seems like there ought to be something by Ursula K. LeGuin, but (much to my shame) I haven't read enough of her work to pick out a good recommendation. The Left Hand of Darkness has a male protagonist doing First Contact with nonbinary people. (Nonbinary on a biological level; it's not clear that they have gender identity at all.)
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Re: Book recommendations - Sorry to barge in

Postby Bluelantern » Mon May 26, 2014 12:25 pm

Do you guys know any books with protagonists or main characters that fall under any of these criteria and are portrayed realistically:
1)Father left years a go but is know to be alive, tried to return contact but the mother prevented this.
2)Biracial (Grandparent was a Poc)
3)Comes from heartless rich family, the heartless-ness is fostered by the family patriach
4)Tons of half-siblings
Sorry for my bad english

"Yambe Akka take the stars, they’re zombies!" - Isabella Amariah
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby Anya » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:46 am

I'd love to get some book recs where the main character is Immortal.

I just read Immortality Blows, ... ty%2Bblows, which is amusing.

Though I would prefer to read a story where the immortality, or rather the scope of it, isn't that big... if that makes sense.
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby Marri » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:37 am

Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson / Alpha and Omega universe. Mercy herself isn't but kinda everyone she hangs out with is; Charles and Anna from Alpha and Omega are. Despite having not read the linked story yet, I would say many of Briggs' characters agree with at least the title xD The intro novella and first novel in Alpha and Omega probably address immortality the most directly off the top of my head, but they're a little more stereotypically Romance Novel than the Mercy series.
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Re: Book recommendations

Postby cbhacking » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:16 pm

Heinlein spent a lot of time (ha) exploring the theme of immortality: Methuselah's Children and Time Enough For Love focus on it pretty heavily, though in different ways. If you've heard the name Lazarus Long, that's where it's from. I'm mildly hesitant to recommend Heinlein in general these days; he was radical fifty years ago but today comes across as having an undeniable edge of sexism and racism, for all that he wrote some pretty interesting what-ifs about, say, a black woman becoming president of the USA. He's considered a sci-fi great for a reason, and his novel Friday has a female protagonist and has spaceships (to tie back into the initial request), but even the stuff that doesn't sound outrageous today (Moon is a Harsh Mistress spends a fair bit of time discussing, um, novel sorts of marriages and families) still carries hints of when it was written. His later stuff also has an undeniable edge of Dirty Old Man's Disease, which people will react to in ways that I'm incapable of guessing. Anyhow, *I* enjoyed the books, but you've been warned.

A recurring theme and driver of conflict throughout the series of Serrano books (Elizabeth Moon, space opera, tons of female characters including protagonists, recommended but far from my favorite series) is the relatively recent development of a medical immortality solution ("rejuv"). Specifically, an extremely expensive treatment that must be taken periodically, meaning that the people who get it are the rich old money (usually the established nobility), the ultra-rich new money (think leaders of merchant cartels and "modern-day robber barons"), and few others (the top echelons of the military, for example). This is of course messing up society at every level, and causing plenty of unrest. Also, can anybody explain to me why so many authors seem to think anything even vaguely resembling the feudal system will still be around by the time humanity has widely-available interstellar capability?
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