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Book Recommendations (fiction)?
Old 01-16-2017, 06:58 PM   #1
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Book Recommendations (fiction)?

I know we must have some fiction readers in here. I searched for a thread on book suggestions, but all I found was non-fiction topics.

So, I thought I'd ask: What are your recommendations for fiction?


Here's my story, if you're interested (but you don't have to read this for purposes of the thread).

After being a lifelong non-fiction reader, I've tried to return to reading fiction in the past year. I used to read fiction a long time ago -- science fiction, mostly, and then some serious Literature when I was in college -- but it's been so long, I'm out of the loop. So I thought I'd ask for recommendations.

Here is some of what I've tried:

I tried serious Leet-erature, but it didn't take. It felt like it was written to please English majors and literary critics. (I'm not insulting English majors. I used to be one. But that was 25 years ago.)

I am looking for middle brow" stuff -- well-written but entertaining. I like good characters (those with some depth and uniqueness to them). I like books that move me emotionally.

I tried poetry, but that didn't go anywhere. I don't have a head for poetry. I get annoyed that I have to spend so much energy trying to figure out what they are trying to say. I'm a prosaic sort of fellow.

I tried science fiction, because I liked that when I was a kid. But I found it too scientific (not surprising, eh?). I guess when I was a kid, that stuff produced a "gosh wow" feeling, but now it just bores me.

I tried fantasy, and for a while, I was on a Terry Brooks kick. Really liked Sword of Shannara and the first set of books. My enthusiasm is petering out, because the books are starting to feel pretty familiar now. I have LotR on my shelf but don't feel up to it right now.

Since I like good characterization, I looked up "psychological fiction," but apparently that is mostly detective/crime fiction. That's okay, I've read some good ones. But it's also rather grim, and I don't want to spend too much of my free time reading about detectives and killers. I don't do that sort of work, but it reminds me of my work.

Anyway, just fishing around for good books/authors.
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:02 PM   #2
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:30 PM   #3
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Depending upon your interests, There is the "Tahoe" series by Todd Borg. The stories revolve around Lake Tahoe, and the main characters are a PI, his girlfriend who is a forensic entomologist, and a 170 pound Great Dane named Spot.
I also enjoy technothrillers by Stephen Coonts and Dale Brown.
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:30 PM   #4
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Have you read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series? You might also try stories by Kazuo Ishiguro. But my favorite recommendation is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:54 PM   #5
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The thread below has plenty of fiction (and non-fiction) recommendations.

What have you read recently?
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
The thread below has plenty of fiction (and non-fiction) recommendations.

What have you read recently?
Ah, I missed that one, thank you. I searched for "book recommendations," so I didn't catch that thread title. I knew there had to be some fiction readers on this forum, and I was wondering where the discussion was hiding.

125 pages! Yipes! That'll take me some time to go through...

Thanks for linking it.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:37 PM   #7
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Semi-randomly plucked from my (partial) list of ~ 120 writers, are:

Philip Kerr
https://www.amazon.com/Philip%20Kerr...qid=1484623826

Alan Furst
Alan FurstÂ*|Â*

Deon Meyer
Deon Meyer - the official website
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:44 PM   #8
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I have been reading survivalist books recently about life after an EMP type event.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:44 PM   #9
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How about Dan Brown?
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:50 PM   #10
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Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover is an amazing book.

The Gentleman Bastard series is a good read, by Scott Lynch.

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiassen.

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.

Saturn Run by John Sanford.

Just to get you started.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:17 PM   #11
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Not a new title, but a recent recommendation from a dear friend. _Lonesome Dove_. Although I may never read another "western", this was so worth reading. I finished it a couple weeks ago--still thinking about the ending.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:55 PM   #12
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My favorites are Nelson DeMille and the late Pat Conroy. I think "The Charm School" by Demille is still about my favorite. I heave read all of Pat Conroy's books; all well written, character studies, somewhat biographical, all set in South Carolina. "The Water is Wide" or "Prince of Tides"; both better than the movies though they were also good.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:56 PM   #13
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Oh, yes. I second the Pat Conroy recommendation. Enjoyed all his books.
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:11 AM   #14
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The late Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of smart, street sassy, detective stories and westerns. His movie credits include "Get Shorty", "Jackie Brown" and "Joe Kidd (Clint Eastwood). Many a smile between the covers of the ones I have read.

I also like James Lee Burke. Detective type fare and a couple of modern lawman western types. Very, very little gore.

Lee Child has an interesting ex-Army MP bad ass hero named Jack Reacher. (Couple of movies based on that character, also.) 20 some books in the series.

All 3 of these authors are regularly found at Goodwill and yard sales (Burke and Leonard mostly in HC versions), and the library is full of 'em.
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:14 AM   #15
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BTW- website literature-map.com, allows you to plug in an author you like and it will provide names of similar authors.
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:53 AM   #16
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Still up for fantasy? I recommend Robin Hobb's "Liveship" trilogy. Unusual ideas (especially if you are looking for a different form of conveyance from that elven airship), a fantasy "mystery" that will keep you guessing, and well-developed characters, including a psychotic pirate.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:00 AM   #17
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If you like well developed characters you can't beat John Steinbeck.
If you like off best characters, Carl Hiassen will show you the thinking's of the proverbial Florida Man.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:05 AM   #18
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I was going to recommend What Have You Read Recently too although it is a bit overwhelming. For someone just tuning in maybe some Google searches on 100 best thrillers, 100 best , Nebula Award winners etc will give you a few options. For the current batch of mid brow stuff keep an eye on a major newspaper book reviews section (NYT or WP) or follow Goodreads. Then order the ones that catch your eye from the library.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:42 AM   #19
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In the fantasy category, I highly recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #20
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Drop City by TC Boyle is an enjoyable book about the 60s/70s hippy movement
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