October 31, 2013

To My Readers: Book Buying Suggestions

This is the first in a series of posts of gift-giving suggestions, as we are close to (American) Thanksgiving, (and therefore, Black Friday) as well as Christmas and other holidays in December. This post will look at books. I've suggested some ISBNs of ideal editions (cost, quality)

First and Foremost, I've got to suggest Tolkien's books:

There are a few versions of his books over the years, I have some that I recommend people buy (editions I mean). No matter which you choose, inside the covers you'll find a great landmark of fantasy & fiction. Due to The Hobbit films, I'm encouraging people to discover or re-discover Tolkien's main-core series: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (or individually as The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King), The Silmarillion (approach as 'extended appendices' or reference reading), Unfinished Tales (again, the same but easier to read) and The Children of Hurin (which is a 'story' and possibly the last 'new' piece of Tolkien's works related to The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.)

A Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R. Martin




Again, this is a no-brainer if you know me, or read some of my entries. Without a doubt, the best fantasy series since Tolkien...or ever? The writing is excellent, and feels more like medieval historic fiction than 'fantasy'. Your love, or hate, for a character can change in a book. The series is incomplete, but above are the books that are out so far.
Books in series:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons 

The Dagger and the Coin - Daniel Abraham

This series is going to be five novels, with the fourth coming out next year (August?). This is closer to Martin's series in the telling than Tolkien, but with more 'fantasy elements' in it. Daniel Abraham: 'The Heir of Martin'. 
The Dragon's Path
The King's Blood
The Tyrant's Law
The Widow's House 

Saxon Stories - Bernard Cornwell

There's a few more of these books to be released (1 or 2...?). This is historic fiction about the creation of what will become England, with Danes and Saxons. 9th century Britain.
Books in the series:

Last Kingdom
Pale Horseman
Lords of the North
Sword Song
Burning Land
Death of Kings
Pagan Lord 

Warlord Chronicles - Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell's favourite of his novels is this trilogy. They tackle King Arthur as if he existed...he possibly could have, but this is Cornwell's vision of how the myth could have been real. This ain't no Sword in the Stone
Books in the series:
Winter King
Enemy of God

Ken Follett

Ken Follett's 'epic historic fiction' novels are amazing. Check out The Pillars of the Earth, its 'sequel' World Without End, and his Century Trilogy: Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, and Edge of Eternity, to be released next fall.

Stephen King

There are some of his books which are quite good. Not all of his work is amazing, but you can't really go wrong; especially with his Dark Tower series, and The Stand. 11/22/63 could be a new classic.

Bourne - Robert Ludlum 'Trilogy'

Step aside, Mr Bond....there's a new spy in town. 
Books in the [original] series:
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum  

His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman

The New Narnia (or anti-Narnia) these works of fiction are terrific, thought-provoking reads. An interesting blend of fantasy, alternate reality, and sci-fi. Definitely a classic series.
Books in the trilogy:
The Golden Compass
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass 

Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
978-1408812525 [for box set]

Without a doubt, a publishing (and reading) sensation. Got a whole generation, as well as future generations, to enjoy reading. 
Books in the series:
Philosopher's Stone . 9781408810545 . 
Chamber of Secrets . 9781408810552 .
Prisoner of Azkaban . 9781408810569 .
Goblet of Fire . 9781408810576 .
Order of the Phoenix  . 9781408810590 .
Half-Blood Prince . 9781408810583 .
Deathly Hallows . 9781408810606 . 

Stormlight - Brandon Sanderson

1 book down, 1 coming out next year, and about 8 to go! This series could very well  be Sanderson's masterpiece, and re-instate the fact that he is a giant in fantasy. As bold as A Song of Ice and Fire, though in other ways. Fantasy in nature, though powered by Sanderson's creativity.
Books so far:
Way of Kings
Words of Radiance 

Other suggestions:

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (also check out American Gods and Stardust)

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Conn Iggulden:

Khan series:
Wolf of the Plains / Birth of an Empire

Lords of the Bow
Bones of the Hills
Empire of Silver

Emperor series:
Gates of Rome
The Death of Kings
The Field of Swords
The Gods of War
The Blood of Gods

War of the Roses [new trilogy]

I hope this post has given you some ideas on some books to buy for others, or yourself, in the coming weeks. Remember the Book Depository and Chapters sale posts when considering a book for a gift. 


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