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Forum nameThe Reading Room
Topic subjectWelcome to The Reading Room
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=579&topic_id=15
15, Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by zette, Mon Jun-01-09 10:45 PM
As authors, we naturally feel a draw to reading books. Many of us have eclectic tastes in what we read and sharing what draws us to certain books can help others decide if it might be something they want to read as well.

When you post, give the full title and author as well as ISBN if possible. You can link to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble if you like. You may post short passages from the work of no more than 300 words. You can quote reviews, but post no more than 200 words and link to the review if possible. (Unless they are your own reviews, of course -- then you can quote as much as you like or link if you prefer.)

This board is to discuss what you are currently reading, to talk about your favorite books from the past and to make recommendations. It's not necessarily a review board, though you can post reviews if you like. Remember to stick to the FM rules. While people can post about books that deal with subjects like politics, religion or war, the discussion must remain firmly planted in discussion of the book and not personal preferences. If someone posts about a book that deals with something to which you do not believe, do not post merely to attack that belief. If you have not read the book, do not post at all.

Do not post spoilers without a warning! Even on books that you think everyone in the world has read.

Be polite at all times! If someone posts about a book he or she loves, don't leap in and post something rude just because you don't like the book. If you are posting about a book you dislike, do so intelligently and address what you disliked without insulting the people who have read and liked it. If any of these posts become shouting matches and flamewars, the people who are being rude will be warned, and possibly kicked, from the site. Discuss books intelligently on all sides.

No attacks on authors. No attacks on books merely because they are popular. If you have not read a book, you do not have the right to post statements about it. (Yes, this is because I have seen far too many such attacks at other sites.) Always remember that people have different tastes and find entertainment in different ways. That's good for us as authors since we need not all try to write exactly the same sort of books.

We also have a LibraryThing group, though it has languished for several months:

Let's discuss books intelligently and enjoy learning what others are reading and why.

Have fun!
16, Mara and Dann
Posted by WOO, Tue Jun-02-09 11:03 AM
I am currently reading Mara and Dann by Doris Lessing, which is the best, most literate fantasy book I have ever read. The Nobel laureate has written lots of books with social and political themes, but no other fantasy that I know about. I am using it as my guide at present because she is dealing with a journey by children with many similarities to my own Escape from the Land of Mist but hers is so much better that I doubt I would have had the courage to begin my book had I read hers first. For all that it is fantasy, it is a serious book, no escape from human cruelty here.

The story takes place in Africa, thousands of years in the future. Most artifacts from a high tech, war-obsessed past have disappeared, but a few vestiges remain, wonders to the most primitive people, coveted by the more powerful and sophisticated. A new ice age grips Europe, and Africa suffers from a long drought and political instability. Lessing knows Africa and its people intimately, so the description resonates with authenticity.

When all water and all food completely disappear from the primitive village where the two children had been hidden until their teens, they must venture north alone to survive. At the time she leaves with Dann, Mara is 19, near death, so starved she is taken for a boy of 15.

On their trip north they meet with kindness and cruelty, survive by Dann's Darwinian acts of selfishness tempered by Mara's sweet humanity. They live in a harsh world where spiders are as big as dogs and giant scorpions and carnivorous lizards threaten humans, but their most fearful enemies are other humans who compete with them for food and water.

17, RE: Mara and Dann
Posted by Ellsea, Sat Jul-04-09 07:09 PM
I'd agree with that assessment - Mara & Dann is a fantastic, disturbing novel, though it's not the first she's written in that setting.

But then, Doris Lessing is one of my all-time literary heroes, so ... I'll admit a degree of bias.
18, RE: Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by riotthill, Sat Jun-13-09 06:18 PM
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Steven Erikson

This is an epic series, 7 books strong now, each 1000+ pages, with the complexity and depth of a serious fantasy that I think will join the ranks of Tolkein, Jordan and Rowlins for its amazing world-creation, magic, conflict, military prowess and philosophy. If I remember correctly, Erikson, in an interview, said he was heavily influenced by his studies of Homer, particularly the Odyssey. There is a wit and humour, tragedy, brutality and a compelling portrayal of human nature embedded within every page. If you love battles this is permeated with them, described realistically in all their gore, tactic and maneuvering. If you love politics, the intrigue is complex. If you love fantasy worlds these tales will jump off the page. I've read each of the books several times and see something new each time. I highly recommend them for anyone who enjoys fantasy, war and empire building stories, or the study of human -- and not-so-human -- nature. The tales cross three continents, some occur simultaneously, each with a cast of characters that interconnect with the players in the other stories. It details the Malazan Empire's struggles against internal rot and greed, external rebellions and collapse, economic woes, plagues, and the meddling of a pantheon of gods who are at the same time at war with themselves.

The Paran noble house produces 3 of the main characters threaded through the story: Ganoes, who becomes the Master of the Deck, Tavore, the Empress' adjunct who eventually becomes high fist of the renegade Bonehunters, and Felisin, the youngest, who gets traded into slavery by her older sister, but survives to lead a rebellion which comes close to bringing the Malazan Empire down, and does destroy an entire army. Fiddler is a soldier who keeps re-enlisting. Anamandor Rake leads the Tiste Andi, a dragon-like race who have lived for thousands of years, but have lost and under his leadership, hope to recover the patronage of their goddess / mother. Tattersail is a sorceress who dies and is reborn as Silverfox, the living bonecaster of a race looking for redemption -- they are the ace in the hole for the Malazan defenses. The Panion Seer is a jaghut tyrant who brings together enemy forces to defeat him and his empire of religious fanatics, and K'rul is an elder god, revived and pulled to the center of the pantheon wars. As you can see, this is just a glimpse of the stories and characters within the whole series.
Here's the list of books in the series so far:

Gardens of the Moon
Deadhouse Gates
Memories of Ice
House of Chains
Midnight Tides
The Bonehunters
Reapers Gale
Toll of the Hounds
Dust of Dreams

All of these are published by Bantam Books, and can be found at Amazon, Chapters or most likely at your local bookstore. Dates of publication range from 1999 to 2009.
Here's a fan site with artwork, forums, and links to order. http://malazanempire.com/site/index.php
19, RE: Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by WOO, Wed Jan-06-10 03:56 PM
Another good SF novel: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I think what I admired most was all her inventions of internet sites, like the "Noodie News." Her satire is acid and bites close to the bone.

I am also fond of The Handmaids's Tale, though I have never reread it since it was published. It pretty much bowled me over at the time.
20, RE: Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by RavenCorbie, Wed Jan-06-10 08:31 PM
My middle name is Elizabeth, so I have to ask -- isn't it Margaret Atwood?
21, RE: Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by WOO, Thu Jan-07-10 01:48 AM
Right you are. Wonder how that happened.

"Be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." Robert Southey
22, RE: Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by Imaginationonpaper, Mon Jun-07-10 04:40 PM
I love to read. I usually read two books at a time if I can. I'm mostly into fiction and fantasy or horror and mystery.

Right now the two Books I am focusing on are :Bone Crossed *A Mercy Thompson Novel by Patrica Briggs* And Spirit Bound * A Vampire Academy YA Novel*

Basic Information about the series: *I guess these are spoliers*

Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter, a coyote to be exact, and she is a mechanic. In each novel so far she goes through love problems between her two werewolf suitors, Samuel and Adam, and now is this book the head vampire of where she lives, Marsiella, is after her because Mercy killed her partner, Andre.

I'm not very far into this book, I think chapter 3 or 4.

In the Vampire Academy Series, it is about a girl named Rose who is half vampire and half human, she is a guardian that protects the good vampires Moroi who have special powers with elements from the bad undead vampires the Stirigoi. In each novel Rose has to overcome heartache, death and violence in order to save the people she loves and herself.

I would recommend these series because they are interesting and the characters are great and each book has a surprise in each and as always the characters are developing.
24, RE: Welcome to The Reading Room
Posted by ceige, Tue Mar-06-12 01:03 AM
Briggs is staple on my shelf. If she writes it I will buy it. If she recommends it I'll read it. I love her older 'pure' fantasy as well as her newer books that are 'urban' fantasy. Good books with great characters!
23, What I am reading now
Posted by storywebber, Sun Feb-06-11 06:44 PM
My oldest daughter has turned me on to the Robin Hobb Farseer trilogy. First title in the 3 book series is Assassin's Apprentice. That will hook you into the other books. You just gotta know what happens to The Royal Bastard. Next is the Royal Assassin and the third is Assassin's Quest. These are books that I take from the couch to the bathroom and back again. You will too.