book recs?

Mar. 18th, 2014 11:44 pm
hoosierbitch: (BTVS Silly Funny Kink Romance Anya "Let')
[personal profile] hoosierbitch
I haven't been reading much lately (well, of the non-internet variety) and I'd like to do more. I have intermittent periods of really long down time at work that I could fill up with reading. But I feel like a runner prepping for a marathon--like, "Great Expectations" was unexpectedly hilarious but scattered, "Wuthering Heights" was scary but not a good book to read while being often interrupted, "Hawkeye: Little Hits" was adorable but v. short.

SO.

The book I just finished was "Unspoken" by Sarah Rees Brennan. It's part of a trilogy, I've got #2 on the way through ILL. It's a teen gothic romance mystery novel type thing? Only really good. Her last trilogy, "Demon's Lexicon," was a rollercoaster of awesome, and I loved it.

PLEASE RECOMMEND MORE?

I LIKE:sci-fi/fantasty (including urban fastasy)/Young Adult is fine/and not-sad-fiction. Preferably by female writers. I like Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, Terry Pratchett, Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Piece, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tanya Huff.

Are there any books that are top of your list that you'd recommend for right now, or that you think I should stick on my goodreads for later?

THANKS SO MUCH! MUCH MUCH MUCH LOVE!

Uh, returning the love, my fave books:
1) Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
2) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel
3) Wolf Hall & Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (OH GOD THEY'RE SO GOOD--only first book and sequel to win the Man Booker prize--AND I'M SO HISTORY DUMB THAT IDK WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT WITH THE BOLEYNS SO DON'T SPOIL ME BITCHES THE THIRD BOOK'S GONNA COME OUT SOMEDAY SOON PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:29 am (UTC)
greyeyes: (milliardo + book by babbled)
From: [personal profile] greyeyes
You just listed all the people I usually rec! So I guess I'll camp out and see what other people rec.

OHHH! If you haven't yet, Patricia Wrede wrote my FAVORITE PRINCESS/FEMALE HEROINE/PROTAGONIST EVER in a quartet that starts with "Dealing with Dragons". Young adult, but I believe they hold up fairly well, though to be honest, the first book is my favorite and each book goes down a little in my opinion, but still all worth reading.

Back to camping!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-21 05:17 am (UTC)
greyeyes: (milliardo + book by babbled)
From: [personal profile] greyeyes
CIMORENE SO DOES!

Why thank you, you do too! ♥ It'll be a hard sell, but I always welcome new heroines!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 09:08 am (UTC)
kiezh: Tree and birds reflected in water (Default)
From: [personal profile] kiezh
Have you read any Martha Wells books? Because I recommend all of them! (Well, I haven't read the Emilie books yet, so I recommend all of the rest.)

She does amazing worldbuilding and fascinating, unusual protagonists. Some recommended starting places:

Wheel of the Infinite: a standalone epic fantasy in an Asian setting with a dark-skinned older woman as protagonist. Great ensemble of characters, incredible depth of worldbuilding, and a plot that's kind of a mindfuck.

The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy (Wizard Hunters, Ships of Air, Gate of Gods): gaslight-fantasy with world-hopping and, once again, an awesome ensemble of characters. You like snarky ruthless protagonists who are awesome but do not fully appreciate their own awesome, and who really shine under pressure, right? Let me introduce you to Tremaine Valiarde! SHE IS MY FAVORITE FOREVER. (Also, there is a strong implication in canon of a poly relationship developing among some of the main characters, although that's not a main focus. I hope that's specific enough to be a selling point and vague enough not to be spoilery...)

The Raksura trilogy (Cloud Roads, Serpent Sea, Siren Depths): secondary-world fantasy with no human characters at all! Would you like to investigate the social structure of some winged shapeshifters with fascinating gender dynamics? Also, worldbuilding. I really do not know any other author who does fantasy worldbuilding as well as Martha Wells.

I am kind of torn on whether or not to recommend Lois Bujold, because she used to be my favorite author and she wrote several of my favorite books, but I have strongly disliked everything she's written for at least the last ten years.

Bujold recs: For fantasy, read Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. For SF... start with Cordelia's Honor and see if you're interested in diving into the Vorkosigan saga? (Though I would stop with Diplomatic Immunity, if you do.)

I hope these recs are of some use to you! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 12:25 pm (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
Another vote for the Raksura books and Bujold as well.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-22 01:57 am (UTC)
spatz: book cracked open over armrest, caption "happiness is" (book happiness)
From: [personal profile] spatz
*laughs* But I was gonna rec Martha Wells! I'm in the middle of an Ile-Rien re-read right now. I can vouch for the Emilie books, since I've read them: they're delightful, action-packed reads, with lots of steampunk shenanigans, breakneck pacing, and weird wonderful worldbuilding. And it's awesome to picture Emilie as a young Lyndie Greenwood, per word-of-author.

[personal profile] hoosierbitch, I think The Cloud Roads trilogy is the most up your alley for h/c reasons. Just saying.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 12:25 pm (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
I just finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which is SF, and it's really good.

I very much enjoyed The Steerswoman books by Kirsten (I may have her name spelled wrong), which are SFF, much older. I ordered them used.

In mainstream fic, I enjoyed Fingersmith, which is about petty thieves and cons in Victorian London, loaded with wild sublots, although the ending left me scratching my head. I believe it won a British prize ten years ago.

Thanks for the rec list.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:04 pm (UTC)
silverceri: Blue fairy girl (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverceri
I'd recommend Ellen Kushner's World of Riverside series. "Swordspoint", "The Privilege of the Sword", and "The Fall of Kings". I'd also recommend Emma Bull's "War for the Oaks" or "Finder." While not a female author, for urban fantasy I'd recommend any or all of Charles DeLint's novels. I'd also recommend David Weber's Honor Harrington series for SF and his War God's Own series for fantasy.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 06:49 pm (UTC)
katikat: (Actors_ChrisPine2013_B)
From: [personal profile] katikat
Wen Spencer's "Ukiah Oregon" series. Great sci-fi.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-22 02:00 am (UTC)
spatz: miniseries Alice approaches a vial of red liquid (Alice curiosity killed the cat)
From: [personal profile] spatz
I just read A Natural History of Dragons and the sequel by Marie Brennan, and liked them. The second book wasn't as strong as the first, but I'm looking forward to Isabella's continuing adventures in dragon science. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-23 03:25 am (UTC)
canaan: Jack Harkness (Default)
From: [personal profile] canaan
Anything by Melissa Scott. Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos books. Cj Cherryh is my fave author, but not everyone likes her style-I'd say start w/the The Pride of Chauner for approachability. Katie Waitman's The Merro Tree is phenomenal. Anne McCaffery's early stuff suffers a bit from being written in the late sixties/early seventies, & her late stuff deteriorated in sheer writing quality, but you'd probably be okay with Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, & Dragondrums. Oh, & another guy, but one of the good guys: Jim C. Hines. I haven't read his princess books (which are more like anti-princess books) or the goblin stuff, but Libriomancer & its sequel(s) are urban fantasy that's a little different from any other urban fantasy I can think of, & lots of fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hedgerose.livejournal.com
I was, actually, going to rec you The Sparrow, because ugh it's FANTASTIC-- I can read it over and over again.

I love pretty much all of the authors you've listed, which yay. Have you read The Winter Prince, by Elizabeth E. Wein? It's a fantastic Arthurian re-telling, from Mordred/Medraut's point of view. Warning for incest, tho. There are four sequels to it, too. :)

Also Susan Cooper? The Dark is Rising series? Also Arthurian, tiny boys doing magic, Wales, etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hoosierbitch.livejournal.com
Thank you! They've got "Dark is Rising" at the library right next to where I work, and "Winter Prince" is on its way over. The Minneapolis library system is so nice. :-)

THANK YOU!

Also: SPARROW. I haven't reread it yet. Every time I try, I just remember all the parts that punched me in the heart, but I think I need to try again because there were also so many parts that lifted me up in ways that I'd never been light before. Y'know?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hedgerose.livejournal.com
SPARROW SPARROW SPARROW. SLDKJFGH. I just. The world-building, and the slow ache and the way everything builds and builds and and.

ALSO DO NOT READ THE SEQUEL TO THE SPARROW. I was incredibly disappointed in it, and it's one of the few books I regret reading.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hoosierbitch.livejournal.com
I COMPLETELY AGREE.

I READ IT, EXPECTING BRILLIANCE, AND WAS CONSUMED BY FUCK YOU AND ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU MISSED. My BFF, however, enjoyed it.

Sometimes I wonder how we are still friends.

It's kind of like "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead." Just. NO.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daria234.livejournal.com
The Boleyns are secretly ROBOTS and they were never supposed to have feelings at all!

Okay, that wasn't a real spoiler.

Since you're also into Greek yums, should I assume you've read Atwood's Penelopiad and Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles?

I just started The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt and I'm liking it so far a lot. It's named of course after the book by Margaret Cavendish, which is also a fun book that I like, in part because it's like whoa, who knew feminist sci fi was that old?.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hoosierbitch.livejournal.com
Totally already read 'em both, Literary Braintwin. :-) Loved Peleopiad (I'm an Atwood fan, too), but I didn't finish Song--mixed feelings abt it. Can't remember why now... If I can't think of a good reason, I'll give it a second shot.

I've pre-ordered Blazing World, since it hasn't hit MN library shelves yet, so I'll let you know how it goes.

THANK YOU, YOU CLASSICS GODDESS YOU!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daria234.livejournal.com
Figured you'd read them lol. I was conflicted too about Miller's book but enjoyed it anyway. There's the relationship starting as teens, which makes a lot people uncomfortable, and then the portrayal of women which is almost non-existent. I thought the characterization of Achilles was pretty good but I didn't think an ancient Greek audience would recognize this character as Patroklos, but once I got past that, I liked it as a novel.

Fair warning on Blazing World - I'm only 80 pages in, so for all I know, the last part sucks lol.

BTW Lady Macbeth was a robot too. In case you didn't know.

Totally random thought: WHERE is the steampunk novel about Lady Macbeth?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hoosierbitch.livejournal.com
Also, YOU EVIL SPOON WIELDING MONKEY

GODDAMN

NOW I HAVE TO REEXAMINE EVERYTHING

DO OTHER PEOPLE KNOW THAT THEY'RE ROBOTS?

ARE THERE OTHER ROBOTS?

ARE THERE STILL ROBOTS TODAY?

YOU ARE A LIFE RUINER. FYI. CONGRATS. HOPE YOU'RE FEELING PROUD OF YOURSELF.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] regttdv
I really enjoyed the spiritwaler trilogy by Kate Elliott. It is a steampunk epic fantasy with a female lead character.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 12:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meretricula.livejournal.com
her publisher has done a shit job of advertising and so nobody seems aware of this, but Robin McKinley has a new book out called Shadows that I liked very much, so that is my first rec! if you like Hilary Mantel, Mary Renault is also a writer of gorgeous historical fiction (with canon queer relationships! YOU'RE GOING TO CRY SO MUCH, IT'S GR8), though mainly of Greco-Roman history. I'd maybe start with The Last of the Wine and see if you like her writing style, because that's a stand-alone, but she's got a trilogy about Alexander the Great that is super popular (I am a bad fan, it's on my shelf but I haven't read it yet). and no fangirl I've met has failed to love Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

other suggestions of first books in series you might like (but that's a bigger time investment, so maybe put them on the to-read-later pile): Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, Graceling by Kristen Cashore, His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, and Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. haha can you tell I'm a teen librarian, god I'm gonna stop recommending books now...

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-22 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] photoash.livejournal.com
I really liked Fangirl too way more than expected :) it made me laugh my way through it.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 12:44 pm (UTC)
elrhiarhodan: (Animal - Smiling Lioness)
From: [personal profile] elrhiarhodan
To fill your female-author, female-centric fantasy shopping cart:

Anything by Sharon Shinn, but especially her Samaria books and the Twelve Houses series

Anything by Lois McMaster Bujold, especially the three Chalion books (some peeps prefer her space fantasy series, but not me).

Also recommend:

Maria V. Snyder - The Study Series is my favorite

Deborah Harkness - The All Souls Trilogy (though only the first two, Discovery of Witches and The Shadow of Night are published, the third one, Book of Life, is out in July)

I'm just now reading Rachel Hartman's Serafina, which is excellent.

I have lots more, but these are the ones off the top of my head.


(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 01:42 pm (UTC)
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Books)
From: [personal profile] frith_in_thorns
Seanan McGuire's October Daye books. They're urban fantasy/fairytale noir, and really woman-heavy. With a large amount of queer characters, too! Also there are currently seven of them out so they will keep you going ;) But seriously, I have SO MUCH LOVE for these books :D

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 05:20 pm (UTC)
ext_3270: Animated LiveJournal Because... (Gen text read more books)
From: [identity profile] sorchasilver.livejournal.com
Seconding this, I love these! And also her InCryptid series, the third of which has just been released.

McGuire also has a bunch of free short stories set in both series available free from her website.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
warchild and its sequels by karin lowachee
sci-fi space opera, great world-building, queer characters (mostly male, though)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-19 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leonie-alastair.livejournal.com
Have you read Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles? There are six books, the first is the Game of Kings. Set in elizabethan Scotland and then across all of Europe and Russia. They are wildly complex, incredibly well written and brilliant.

Terry Pratchett's latest book came out in the US yesterday. Raising Steam. I enjoyed it.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. Young adult court intrigue in a fantasy world. Nice world building. Long and lots of fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-21 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moluren.livejournal.com
Seconding the Lymond Chronicles rec!

Date: 2014-03-19 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avinann.livejournal.com
Normally I'm an awful lurker, but I also just finished reading "Unspoken," so I understand your need for good fiction right now.

If you like young adult gothic fiction, you should definitely check out The Ghosts of Ashbury High, by Jaclyn Moriarty. It's a fiction book written as the autobiographical assignments of high school students in a gothic literature class, so it's a fascinating look at the genre from many different angles.

Also, in the awesome ladies in fantasy theme: A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan is absolutely wonderful. I love the narrator's voice in this book (it's written as if it's a memoir). You can totally picture her sitting somewhere with a cup of tea berating her editor about what she should be allowed to include, however improper.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-20 01:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Idk if it entirely fits what you're looking for but Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines quartet remains my fave book series of all time (and the last book. Damn, I'm still not over how perfect it was). It's a young adult sci-fi/futuristic/steampunk kind of thing, and the world building is pretty awesome! Also lots of hella badass female characters!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-24 04:37 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Random lurker here:

Scifi/fantasy I've enjoyed by female authors: Vorkosigan Saga series by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (you've probably read if you like her), Study series by Maria V. Snyder (starts with Poison Study), Dragon series by Patricia C. Wrede (starts with Dealing With Dragons), The Pegasus series by Anne McCaffrey (starts with To Ride Pegasus), The Shell People series by Anne McCaffrey (my fav is The Ship Who Searched), Acorna series by Anne McCaffrey (first few books are best), Green Rider series by Kristen Britain, and The Glass Harmonica by Louise Marley.

Also The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.

Also, in nonfiction I highly recommend Two in the Bush by Gerald Durrell (out of print but you can get used for cheap, it's a /hilarious/ non-fiction account of a naturalist filmmaker.)