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Books of My Past

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Hey all,

Was browsing through a (semi) local used bookstore and found a few classics that have been missing from my library since a flood removed my storage unit.

Apparently, the Frank Herbert Dune series can be tricky to get ahold of, but I am almost back to the full set.

 

Anybody else run into an old papery friend lately?

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100 Years of Solitude is probably in my top 3 favorite books, and after a few years of having it collecting dust on my shelf I picked it back up since it's one of the only books I brought with me when I moved up here. It's actually really odd to re read old books, not only does the book and story come back, but at least for me the memory of the first time I read it. It's a full immersion back into the past, and a whole lot of fun!

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We were just talking about Dune at DnD last Saturday. We had a huge debacle on the whole YA selections growing up, and the tropes that each one had and how each thing died out by a certain book, (e.g. apocalyptic pixie manic dream girl, with a love triangle, had died out with Divergent.) 

Apparently a lot of people didn't like The Giver as a book because most of them read it in their adulthood which was a book I so highly respected somewhere in late elementary/early middle school.

//

I really do have a soft spot in my heart for Call Me by Your Name: A Novel by Andre Aciman. It's one of those books for me that just transcribes the idea of being extremely vulnerable, and coming of age, and learning about love, and sex, in this perfectly wholesome environment. Saying "what if we were allowed to let love between two humans, regardless of gender, just blossom, wholeheartedly." Still though it experiences the tragedy of the outside world, and it shows as a product of the time.

You can preview the book here.

I also highly recommend the movie, it does a great job of portraying the feelings of the book, though a little less fast paced as the book is double spaced out over 250-ish pages. Plus the soundtrack to the movie just does it for me. Sufjan Stevens is a masterwork in it. 

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I'm going to be a cheesy pile of sap, but I really do love all of John Green's books. The Fault in Our Stars touched my soul a little bit, and Hazel Grace is probably one of the closest characters I've identified to in my entire life. That being said, I read thousands of books during high school and it's hard to remember all the titles. I really enjoyed the Pendragon series by DJ MacHale, and I grew up reading all of Cornelia Funke's work. 

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@MadCast: VoShay I'm surprised you haven't chimed in on this yet.

 

I still love YA novels. A couple of my favorites are:

  • Sevenwaters Series - Juliet Marillier
  • Song of the Lionness series/Immortals series - Tamora Pierce 

Of course, I also loved the Harry Potter books growing up. I was the same age (or really close) as he was when the books were each released. 

Some Adult Fantasy novels I love are

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
  • Miss Peregrine's books - Ransom Riggs
  • Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey 
  • The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly
  • The Sharing Knife Series- Lois McMaster Bujold

I also like Sci-fi books (Bujold, C.S Lewis, Orson Scott Card, Herbert, Adams) and my guilty pleasure are romance novels. 

Oh, I have a Good Reads account if anyone wants to friend me. 

 

Also Also, LeVar Burton Reads is a wonderful podcast if you enjoy short stories and quality narration. MadCast: VoShay and I listen to it in the car. I love getting exposure to authors and stories I might not otherwise because of it, and LeVar's story-telling voice is really great. 

Edited by MadCast: Vyoletta

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15 hours ago, MadCast: Vyoletta said:

 

Also Also, LeVar Burton Reads is a wonderful podcast if you enjoy short stories and quality narration. MadCast: VoShay and I listen to it in the car. I love getting exposure to authors and stories I might not otherwise because of it, and LeVar's story-telling voice is really great.  

Wooo Reading Rainbow!

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Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey were definitely the authors of my teen years. Pierce's Circle of Magic series and Protector of the Small series were ones that stuck with me over and over, Circle of Magic because of the 4 main characters, how different they were and how atypical their magic was compared to so many others, and Protector of the Small because Kel was stubborn, determined, and fiercely loyal. She's like that always in your corner ready to fight for you friend. I read them again a few years ago and, to me, they still held up as smart books that could be both strong and compassionate.

(These days, from an adult fantasy series view, my favourite author has to be V.E. Schwab, especially her Shades of Magic series. V crafts worlds and characters so wonderfully and always explores the complexities that people carry day to day. So if people are looking for a complete trilogy to check out, I would hard suggest looking for A Darker Shade of Magic. Or Vicious, if anti-superheroes and shades of grey are more to your liking.)

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If people are looking for an epic fantasy series in the style of Wheel of TIme or Game of Thrones then I would urge you to try the Malazan Book of the Dead. IMHO it is better than both. He regularly switches perspectives for each book, I think it was the 4th book when I suddenly realised I had met the protaganist of that book 2 books previously. The complexity and linkages in the overall plot are very well done. Even more so due to how he doesnt explain stuff outright but leads you to piece it together. 

It is epic in length and scope but well worth the effort. Blew me away when I first read it and my current online nick was taken from my incorrectly remembering the name of Kalam as Kalil, a member of the Bridgeburners, an elite division of one of the main armies. Would love to know if others have read it and feel the same way!

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On 3/15/2020 at 8:20 PM, MadCast: Kal said:

 Malazan Book of the Dead

It is epic in length and scope but well worth the effort. Blew me away when I first read it and my current online nick was taken from my incorrectly remembering the name of Kalam as Kalil, a member of the Bridgeburners, an elite division of one of the main armies. Would love to know if others have read it and feel the same way!

Hoooooold up there partner...It's the Malazan Book of the FALLEN.

Also, it is my favorite series of all time. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is also accompanied by the Books of the Malazan Empire, the Kharkanas trilogy (which is at 2/3 books complete), the Path to Ascendency series, The Bauchelain & Korbal Broach series of Novellas, and the upcomming Witness Trilogy. All of these are either Written by Steven Erikson or Ian C. Esslemont. I'm going to point out that Erikson is BY FAR the better writer, but I still like the Esslemont works for the content it shares. 

Something to note is that the series is told from MANY points of view, and because of this, there is a lot of contradicting information. Also, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REFERENCE INFO FOR THE FIRST BOOK. You go in stone-cold blind, and are just thrown into a world. I know that @MadCast: Epic also loves this series.

If you listen to it on Audio book, the first 3 books of the Malazan Book of the Fallen aren't performed very well. I prefer the voice actor for the remainder of the series, and believe he does the best job in conveying the characters.

There are so many great characters in this series. Tragic, funny, realistic, gritty, lazy, self absorbed, determined, conflicted, and crazy. 

Top 5 characters / Duos in my opinion are:

  1. Karsa Orlong
  2. Bugg / Tehol
  3. Bottle
  4. Kruppe
  5. Duiker 

There's so much in these, and they should be read with an understanding that these books are mature in nature, grand in world building and culture, steeped in lore, great philosophically, great military schenes, one-on-one fights, betrayal, friendship, and so much more. It doesn't compare to WoT or Song of Ice and Fire, or any of the other large fantasy universes because they are all so different, but this is my favorite. It's not as grim as Ice and Fire, but not as "farmboy origins" like WoT, the Shanara series, or Lord of the Rings. The only other series that comes close in my mind is the Dark Tower by Steven King.

I could go on for hours about this series, so I'll just stop here and say READ IT. NOW.

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31 minutes ago, MadCast: Stan said:

Something to note is that the series is told from MANY points of view, and because of this, there is a lot of contradicting information. Also, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REFERENCE INFO FOR THE FIRST BOOK. You go in stone-cold blind, and are just thrown into a world. I know that @MadCast: Epic also loves this series.

Understatement of the year.

Also no mention of Quick Ben, Tayschrenn, and Icarium.

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5 hours ago, MadCast: Epic said:

Understatement of the year.

Also no mention of Quick Ben, Tayschrenn, and Icarium.

If I had to list all of my favorite characters from Malazan, we'd be here all day. I limited it to my favorite 5...and even that is kind of fluid.

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