What are you reading?

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Contributor
Actually, some old Hardy Boys books. I had a bunch from when I was a kid and my wife ran across maybe a dozen more that I didn't have. Decided to read through the new (to me) stories, for nostalgia more than anything else.
 
I doubt I could like this post any more than I do right now.

I have a policy now to only start reading a series once it's completed. There is too much to read to have re-read a few books every half decade while keeping up with a longer series.
As to Erikson's Malazan I wasn't following this practice and the last book I read was the 8th. (Toll the Hounds) (Phenomenal book by the way, the last few hundred pages are outstanding)

The series is now complete so I'll be starting from Book one sometime later this year. I've been told that the story concludes satisfactorily, so I doubt I'll change my tune on what I'm about to say next.

At the moment, I'd say this is 1A or 1B as the best epic fantasy series of all time.
It's absolutely incredible. It's characters are utterly fascinating, the plot incredibly complex, the intrigue and mystery unrivaled.
If you love the intricacies between Gods and Gods, and Gods and Man, and Man trying to survive the scheming of the Gods, and the pursuit of Man to attain Godhood, and the folly of both Gods and Man, then you'll find this series riveting.
In this story there are no little man, even the very ordinary possess strength of spirit, heart, and courage to rival the greater powers that are encountered.

A couple of warnings.
This is a dark series. People die, dreams are crushed, and sometimes in the most callous of manner a single whim brutally ends a monumental effort to survive.
If you're someone who constantly is rooting for the underdog to win and hate it if even once the underdog fails, then this series isn't for you. This story can be quite brutal and ruthless.

This series is incredibly complex and it's not a series that you can read off and on again between TV shows or dinner and think that you'll be able to comprehend what's going on. The series requires serious time and devotion, and in return it represents what I consider the current apex of epic fantasy literature. With that said, this series is also not remotely boring. I find Tolkien a bit boring and tedious (Yes, yes, I know he started it all so I'll give him his due, don't worry, but there is a reason why no author decided to steal his hobbits...because hobbits are sad little creatures), along with other series such as Williams' Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn (Loved Otherlands though) or J.V. Jones Book of Words.
This story is not in the least boring and is well worth the investment made to read it.

And the biggest word of warning I can give is this: This series is high level reading. And it's high level reading for the reasons I'll outline below.

1.) First the entire 10 book series is a giant jig-saw puzzle. As you read, Erikson will reveal a puzzle piece and it will be up to you, as the reader, to understand how that piece fits into the overall story being woven. He does not hold your hand and guide you through things, explaining every little detail on how the world works or what is happening, which authors do too often these days. He'll have a conversation or event happen between two characters/factions and though you'll understand the words or actions, and acknowledge that something important is being said/done, their meaning won't be entirely clear. Then perhaps 300 pages later or in the next book, or in a few later books, suddenly he'll add some context and you'll have this 'light bulb moment' which will bring that event, that you knew was important, into a whole new light. It's the only series where I literally had all of the previous books in front of me so I could re-read conversations or revisit actions made because finally enough context was given to make those actions relevant.

2.) The story is not linear. The first book takes place at a certain period of time. Then the next book later, though it reveals some odd things. Then another book starts a millennia prior and ties elements to certain aspects taking place during the 'current' period. Then another book will be at a point where you think it's current time, but it is in reality prior to the first book, until certain elements finally reach the 'current' timeline. So all the characters are interwoven into the picture, but not necessarily all in the same timeline. This can be a bit confusing to readers who are used to 1-2-3 straight-line stories. For instance there is something that you see in the 2nd book, that is just strange and weird and just 'out there'. Then in the 5th book you're following a completely different set of characters and as they progress you see the actions which conclude in what was seen in the 2nd book, and of course if you've been paying attention, it all makes sense.

3.) Because the story is not linear, the first book just plops you right into the middle of the action and it's up to you to play catch-up and figure out what is going on, who is who, and why people are doing the things they are doing. For readers who like a story starting off with a young boy and follow that boy getting thrust into a situation until a hero emerges, this is not how this series works. You might run into a player who was at the peak of their power a 1000 years ago and might be there to witness their fall, or watch as two factions clash again in a useless struggle to achieve supremacy.

A good example would be if Lucas had The Empire Strikes Back as the very first movie. And then he filled in details by having a 20 minute movie through the eyes of Grand Moff Tarkin who was commander of the 1st Death Star, so through his eyes you'd see how things played out in regards to the destruction of Alderaan, the death of Obi Wan, ect. And even though he is dead by the time the Empire Strikes Back takes place, you'd know what essentially what happened in the previous movie.


4.) There are a lot of players and factions. Unlike some series where you might have a 1-2 protagonist factions and 1-2 antagonist factions and maybe a neutral faction, this story is incredibly complex. Much of the time you don't have any idea of the motives of half of the players/factions and to assign words such as antagonist or protagonist is usually useless. And there are so many different characters and factions, some with agendas, and some just trying to survive that it can get very complicated.

5.) Finally, it's a ten book series, and each book continues to get bigger. The last 3 books are all over 1100 pages long. (Mass Market Paperback) So it's a huge story.

So, anyway, if what I've just outlined intrigues you and you enjoy the fantasy authors (listed in alphabetical order to avoid bias, though I've enjoyed at least one work from each of these authors) such as Bertin, Brooks, Butcher, Clemens, Coe, Eddings, Farland, Feist, Friedman, Goodkind, Jordan, Martin, McCaffrey, Modesitt, Rawn, Rowley, Sanderson, Stackpole, Weeks, & Weis, then this series should sit sit at pretty much the top of all of these other author's works.

A final word. If you ever read Glen Cook's the Black Company series (and I don't really advise that you do), but if you have ever read it, one of Erikson's primary factions is a company of warriors, so there are some parallels between Cooks Black Company and Erikson's Bridgeburners. So if you even remotely enjoyed Cook, then you'll love Erikson, as Cooks the Black Company I'd rate around a 5.5 out of 10 with Erikson being a 10 out of 10.

For all of you who end up reading this series, all I can say is Enjoy the Ride!

Just found the book thread after discovering the "lounge" and enjoying and appreciatimg the write ups everyone jas done....this series peeked my interest a lot so thanks! I read the first 3 game of thrones books about 15 years ago after randomly pulling the first off the local library shelf as a teenager with the title catching my eye. Loved it due to all the death and hardship which i thought made it more real. Looking forward to this trying this series. Havent read fantasy in a long time.
 
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Two of my favorite stories ive read that hold a special place in my top 5 list is Musashi (great book about a poor kid with veru rough life that finds his own way in a unlikely but inspiring journey into becoming a great samurai warrior)
And my other favorite is Count of Monte Cristo. The book os far far better than the movie.

Currently im reading a history book called The Silk Roads A New History of The World. It shifts the focus of the "center of the world" aroumd to tje different areas of tje world through time that bettet captures the rest of the worls that is always in the shadows of history here in tje West and gives a more accurate picture of power and importance of countrys/cities/regions over time. World makes a lot more sense such as the British Rusaian conflicts and why China or India wasn't taking over Europe
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Contributor
Just started Ready Player One last night on the advice of Fireplug. Hadn't even heard of it before but I'm really enjoying it so far. Nerds with a soft spot for the 80's should get it, now.

Currently being made into a movie for release next year.
 

The Hammer

Well-Known Member
If I told you what political commentary I'm reading I would have antifa at my doorstep tomorrow.

Other than that, I read Jesus Calling daily, a great daily devotional in normal language but with direct Biblical references.

I need the latter to protect me from the former.
 
Just finished Trevor Noah's (now the host of the daily show) autobiography called "Born a Crime." What a crazy life. He came from "eating worms" poor in aparthied South Africa to what he is now. Amazing life full of some incrediblly difficult hardships. He brings a lot of humour and sharp wit to the carnage he lived through, mixing in some fasinating history and aobering perspectives of South Africa emerging from aparthied.
 
I hope your friend enjoys the series.

I just finished Sanderson's Warbreaker.
After reading the Mode Quartet by Anthony (garbage), this was just the book I needed to enjoy fantasy literature again.
For those of you who enjoy Fantasy literature trilogy's, Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy is one of the best ones out there.

Warbreaker is a stand-alone book, and it turned out to be an excellent one. His other stand-alone, Elantris, wasn't very good.

Warbreaker was much, much better, and it would definitely be a book I'd recommend to someone who just wanted a single stand-alone fantasy book to read, to see if it was a genre that they might like.
By and large, the fantasy genre isn't full of great stand-alone fantasy novels. Most fantasy authors seem to be unable to limit themselves to a single book when they have a great concept or great characters. After just finishing it, Warbreaker is going to be one of my top stand-alone fantasy recommendations going forward.

Other recommended fantasy stand-alone's would be: Stackpole's Talion: Revenant, Stackpoles's Once a Hero, and Piers Anthony's Killobyte (Only Anthony book I've really enjoyed)

I've decided I'm going to begin reading Erickson's Malazan series, mostly because I saw Jalfa's post. My initial plan was to read all the Wheel of Time books first, then followed by Malazan, but writing the review here made me want to read Malazan first, so that's what I'm going to do.

So up next: Garden's of the Moon (Which, while great, is oddly and debatably the worst of the Malazan books, just like Eye of the World is debatably the worst of Jordan's Wheel of Time. (The last hundred pages or so of Eye of the World is really rushed and hectic...which is very counter to the rest of the 14,000+ pages of the story)
After reading your posts and Jalfa's posts, i read book 1 of the Malazan series. I thought it was decent but i wasnt sucked in enough that i felt i wanted to commit to another 8 or 9 books...BUT from what you said here is that Gardens of the Moon (the 1st book) is arguably the worst then maybe i should keep going and will be happy i invested more time....oddly for me the biggest issue i had was how the romantic relationships were portrayed. It felt lie made for young teen audience and took away a lot of the feeling of "realness" to me. I found it odd the graphic levels of violence on the one hand and on the other a child like timidity or a shy uncomfortableness with love/passion/intimacy or adult romance on the other hand.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Contributor
I'm reading The Breakers Series (books 1-3) by Edward W. Robinson. I've been looking for some new authors, and stumbled upon this in the "free" section of books for my Nook. I'm rapidly becoming addicted to eBooks and this series is one of the best I've come across (especially being free ;) ).

In the Breakers series, humanity faces not one apocalypse, but two: first a lethal pandemic, then a war against those who made the virus. This collection includes the first three books and is over 1000 pages (350,000 words) of post-apocalyptic survival.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-breakers-series-edward-w-robertson/1116251161?type=eBook
 

fansinceday1

Well-Known Member
Just finished:
Freakonomics
A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything.
By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Just started:
One Second After
By William R. Forstchen
 

Kingster

Well-Known Member
It's a heavy lift, but very worthwhile imo to read and study Alan Bloom's translation of Plato's Republic, along with his 100+ page essay in the addendum. Then study Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind - How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students. If you really want to take the red pill and go down the rabbit hole, study those two books. It's the beginning of understanding how ideas that propagate through space and time affect our individual beliefs and our culture to a degree you never imagined.
 

itzcoatl

Well-Known Member
It's a heavy lift, but very worthwhile imo to read and study Alan Bloom's translation of Plato's Republic, along with his 100+ page essay in the addendum. Then study Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind - How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students. If you really want to take the red pill and go down the rabbit hole, study those two books. It's the beginning of understanding how ideas that propagate through space and time affect our individual beliefs and our culture to a degree you never imagined.
That sounds interesting. I read the Republic back in undergrad and although I consider myself a pretty good student, I think a lot went over my head at the time. I started reading it again and have had a lot more joy reading it than the first time around. I'll have to check out your other suggestion too. Thanks!
 

Kingster

Well-Known Member
That sounds interesting. I read the Republic back in undergrad and although I consider myself a pretty good student, I think a lot went over my head at the time. I started reading it again and have had a lot more joy reading it than the first time around. I'll have to check out your other suggestion too. Thanks!
I would highly recommend the Bloom translation of the Republic, which is a highly footnoted and literal translation. Also, his essay in the addendum is worth the price of the book on its own.
 
Red Rising

Couldn't put the book down and was eagerly waiting for amazon to deliver the next 2 books in the series so i could keep going.

A dystopia society set in the future. The main character is born into the lowest rung of society, a slave clan working the mines of Mars. The book follows his story as he trys to make the dream of his martyr wife come true.

"What do you live for?" She asks him
"You"
"Thats not enough. You must live for something more."

No long dry periods in the book. The author is clever making it hard to figure out his twists even though you know they are coming.

Has a hunger games feel to it in some sense but not teenie bopper like the movies.
 
Was Freakonomics good?
It was fun to read but not sure it offers anything to "lightbulb-y"

Its pretty simple supply demand real life examples such as what foes on with the drug trade.
Government outlaws slashing auppply and making price shoot up....this gives big incentives to sell drugs thus gangs form etc etc same as prohibition of alcohol. He does same thing with prostitution and a few other things.

The catchy part of the book is he writes the book from a travel journalist point of view, as he actually visits the gangs and interviews the members to support his assumption (high srug prices assumed to be the motivation)
 
I'll start off by being (brutally) honest. I hate to read. Reading makes me sleep. I don't know why it does, but it does. It takes me 2 - 3 weeks to get through an entire book because of it.

With that being said......

I used to read a lot when I was growing up, and going to school. Primarily because it was a requirement, but partly also because I did enjoy it a little more back then. A few of my favorites growing up are actually ones I would like to eventually go back and read again.

"The Boxcar Children" .. I loved those books to death when I was young. I'd even go as far as to say that some, if not all, of them were, and still are, my favorites of all time. Since I stopped reading those books (somewhere around middle school-ish (so around 1997-1998), I know there have been additional books in the series. I want to start with the very first Boxcar Children book, and slowly work my way to the end.

"The Giver" .. One of my favorites of all time. I just want to read it again to remind myself why I enjoyed this masterpiece so much.

Eventually, I do want to read the entire "Harry Potter" series. And I will.

"Star Wars" as well.
 

dude12

Well-Known Member
With my lack of free time, I stick with James Patterson. Just finished the last Alex cross novel and am now on another of his novels. Quick and entertaining reads.