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 Post subject: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:32 pm 
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My usual reading genre is crime/thriller/adventure. I am between books at the moment and I fancy reading something different. Does anyone have any Fantasy recommendations?

When I was at school I loved Day of the Triffids (and Grisham's other books). When I was teaching I enjoyed reading those sort of stories to the kids. I loved Harry Potter :oops:

I've read some Dean Koontz books which can verge on fantasy/horror. But I wouldn't like Vampire type stories.

So can anyone give me any ideas for adult fantasy adventure type stories? (Not adult fantasies !! :)) )


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:39 pm 
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If you want some real good fantasy that borders on sci-fi but really isn't try:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_May Who I thought was male when I started reading her books a long time ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jordan#The_Wheel_of_Time You really have to start with the first book and persist - it really is worth it. You will become smitten.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:09 pm 
These are all extremely good, required reading for some:

http://www.north-korea-books.com/servlet/the-NORTH-KOREA-BOOKS-cln-KIM-JONG-IL/Categories


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Do one commie.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Grisham? I think you might mean Wyndham there. You could try Ursula le Guin's Easrthsea quartet, which is nominally for children but if you liked Harry Potter that shouldn't bother you. You might also like Anne McCaffrey's Dragon books, of which there are many, so if you do like them they will keep both you and Amazon happy for several months. And I take it you are not ignorant of Terry Pratchett?

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:23 am 
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misplacedperson wrote:
And I take it you are not ignorant of Terry Pratchett?

+1 for Pratchett, but be careful, they're addictive. I think they spray summat on the pages. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:32 am 
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Madame bought me a Terry Pratchett book a while back and I just couldn't get into it at all. Read a single digit number of pages and I ended up giving it away. It fared slightly better (but only slightly) than Lord of the Rings.. I slung that by the bottom of page 1. Think these are the only 2 books I've ever given up on - that is, if you don't count A Brief History of Time.. :lol:
P

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:56 am 
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Roger Zelazny - The Amber Chronicles. Robert Heilein - The Glory Road.

John Wyndham (not Grisham) wrote The Day of the Triffids and about half a dozen other SF books that Brian Aldiss described as Cozy Catastrophes.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:57 am 
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I know many people who swear by Pratchett. Many years ago, I gave my husband the first 6 discworld novels. He eventually gave them away unread. I got stuck about page 50.

I guess Fantasy doesn't do it for some people

Have you read Herland? Or The Handmaid's Tale?

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:58 am 
If you've not read Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy, I'd give those a try. The middle book - the Subtle Knife - is one of the most absorbing books I've ever read. The books are for children in that the lead characters are children but the worlds and ideas they cover are not at all childish.

Then you could look at...
David Weber's Honor Harrington series
Tanya Huff - Blood series... which does have a vampire but the main character is a female PI with a police detective sidekick / boyfriend and some interesting plots.
Jim Butcher Dresden files series


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:02 am 
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Catalpa wrote:
If you've not read Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy, I'd give those a try. The middle book - the Subtle Knife - is one of the most absorbing books I've ever read. The books are for children in that the lead characters are children but the worlds and ideas they cover are not at all childish.

another +1 there - a superb read.

re Pratchett - there's no middle ground with him - you're either in or you're out. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:59 am 
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Have you tried Michael Chabon? Kavalier & Clay, Yiddish Policeman's Union (mixes detective and fantasy genres), Wonderboys etc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Chabon

I think he's a very good, engrossing writer


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:15 am 
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raindog wrote:
re Pratchett - there's no middle ground with him - you're either in or you're out. :D


Guess I must be out then! I read a couple and, yes, had some good chuckles but guess I expected more, due to the praise he gets. In fairness, they are a good and easy read. Just that I personally am not motivated to read more.

I've just finished 'Bike Snob' - a book by the columnist/blogger BikeSnobNYC. A beautiful looking book, a good read - but I find the blog wittier.

Just a thought from the left field, something completely different but not (definitely not!) fantasy; have you tried David Lodge? He's an accomplished writer, writes simply and it flows easily. His novels are clever (but not cerebral) and well constructed. I always enjoy reading him even though he is someone I forget about when talking of favourite authors!

It's been many many years since I read anything of the fantasy type. I was sort of into it when I was mid teens, back then I would have suggested Michael Moorcock.

Oh, I know; Philip K Dick. Loads to choose from. Known predominantly for science fiction though he did a few (which I personally preferred) that were about small town America, 'realist' I guess you'd say. I liked 'In Milton Lumky Territory' and 'The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike' , but there are many others to choose from. He often gets name checked by musicians too, so that might appeal to you. If only to check out the reference point! ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:11 am 
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If you are a reader Jasper Fforde. I say if you are a reader because he bases his books around books, hard to explain, but you get the in jokes better if you've read a broad range of other books.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:58 am 
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It's great if you can get into Pratchett (I'm a great fan - by the way - they say you don't need to read in chronological order, but I think it does help).
Otherwise try anything by Frederic Brown (novels or short stories). Philip José Farmer is a good read too : the Riverworld trilogy, Dark is the Sun ... Heinlein : Job, Time enough for love, Stranger in a strange land ...

Good reading !


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:03 pm 
Sorry - long post.

These are some of the Fantasy authors I have enjoyed - there are many more, but these come to mind straight away. It is difficult to know now how much of the enjoyment I get from re-reading certain books is the pleasure I remember from when I first read them as a child. Certain books I have read often, and the magic never fades; in fact sometimes there is the additional thrill of finding something that I hadn't appreciated when I was younger - I mean that now I have an adult's perspective.

The first Fantasy book I remember reading was 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle. Very dated now, but it was my start to thinking 'How?' 'What if ...' etc and the beginning of my lifelong love of SF and S Fantasy.

Older children's books -

Susan Cooper - the 'Dark is Rising' series.

Alan Garner - 'The Wierdstone of Brisingamen', 'The Moon of Gomrath' are the best, and 'Elidor' and 'The Owl Service'.

As someone else said the 'Earthsea' trilogy, but her later ones went downhill fast. She wrote another Earthsea book, but I found it unreadable.

Don't forget Tolkien and CS Lewis's Narnia books - always worth re-reading.

Older adult books -

Mary Stewart wrote three lovely books about Merlin. Not quite Fantasy, but they are among my favourites. 'The Crystal Cave', 'The Hollow Hills' and 'The Last Enchantment'.

David Eddings - the Belgariad books are the best (and the earliest!). Humorous, though his style becomes a bit wearing.

Anne McCaffrey - light books about dragons and their riders.

Asimov - wrote classic SF. He was a science teacher and also wrote textbooks. His writing is simple, sometimes elegant, and backed up by his technical knowledge. The 'Foundation' books I believe are the best, though very dated.

Heinlein - Very mixed - also sexist and dated. He veers from appallingly bad to occasionally very good. 'Stranger in a Strange Land' is probably the best known.

Arthur C Clarke (he of the Space Odyssey) - I never really liked him, but he was popular with many.

Patricia MacKillip - superb books that leave a lasting impression. Especially 'Riddle Master of Hed' 'Harpist in the Wind' and 'Heir of Sea and Fire'.

Modern adult books

Don't dismiss vampire books entirely! Some are good and funny, and use vampires as an adjunct rather than the main story line. And recently there has been a huge upsurge in women Fantasy writers.

Karen Chance - good, but can take some getting into.

Patricia Briggs - great fun, but her later ones let her down.

Anne Bishop - Black Jewels trilogy - veers from nasty to romp, but very readable.

Jacqueline Carey - elements of sado-masochism, but if you ignore those, the books are good with interesting ideas.
Robin Hobb - I find her a bit boring, but she is well-liked.
Mercedes Lackey - average, but apparently popular.
Trudi Canavan - first ones the best, then she goes a bit stale and repetitive
George R R Martin - sells well, but odd and pretty violent.

Scott Lynch - some violence (but I just glaze my eyes until it is safe to read again!) - to me, he is easily the best of the 'new' writers. Very funny in parts, and likeable characters. A clever writer. Start with 'The Lies of Locke Lamorra'.

Robert Jordan - you either love him or just don't get him. I'm in the 'love' camp - I have read and re-read the Wheel of Time series, but it is very, very long. Be warned - if you start these books, you will lose a chunk of your life ...

Peter Hamilton - SF rather than Fantasy, interesting and clever ideas.

Guy Gavriel Kay - historic fantasy can be a bit long-winded.

Modern children's books though suitable for adults.

Garth Nix - good - especiall 'Sabriel' 'Abhorsen' and 'Lirael'

Jonathan Stroud - the Bartamaeus Trilogy. Funny and light-hearted, but with the occasional serious undertone.

I suggest you go onto Amazon and browse some of the authors I've listed, and follow the links. It is surprising what you find.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Absolute must read is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Oldie but goodie: Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series.

Agree with Abeille about Michael Chabon; he's a great writer.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Wow, thanks for all these recommendations, I'll check out all the blurbs on Amazon and see which I fancy.

:oops: Sorry, I do know it was John Wyndham - looking at them on the shelf now! - it's my age :oops: (Have read Grisham too - in my thriller category :lol: )

Have of course read the Narnia books when a child myself, and many times whilst teaching. Love Tolkien. And did read the His Dark Materials trilogy a few years back and loved them.

I've heard of Terry Pratchett of course, but wasn't sure if his books would be 'me' or not. Wanted to see the recent production of 'Going Postal' because it looked interesting - but we don't have Sky.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:02 pm 
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Not fantasy but something you normally read... I'm currently reading the third of a trilogy by Sieg Larsson, a Swedish writer, he died a couple of years ago I think so just the three books by him but well worth a read. Crime novels set in Sweden, a bit different and I'm thoroughly enjoying them.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:21 pm 
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minikmummy wrote:
Not fantasy but something you normally read... I'm currently reading the third of a trilogy by Sieg Larsson, a Swedish writer, he died a couple of years ago I think so just the three books by him but well worth a read. Crime novels set in Sweden, a bit different and I'm thoroughly enjoying them.


I couldn't put them down, and each book was better than the one before - very sad there won't be any more. Poor guy didn't even live long enough to know what a success the Millennium Trilogy is.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Yes, I've read them. The best books I'd read for some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:22 am 
I didn't realise so many people read scifi / fantasy. 8-) I've got some good recommendations from this thread too. Thanks all.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Just thought I'd come back to this and let you know what I opted for. I went on to Amazon, and found a forum part with people's recommendations. It took lots of reading through. In the end I bought 'The Assassin's Apprentice' by Robin Hobb. Read it really quickly on holiday, and now I've nearly finished the third in the trilogy. Really loving it, probably because it is so different from anything else I've read lately. (Had got into a bit of a gory serial-killer rut :lol: ).

I also sent for 'A Game of Thrones' by George RR Martin, so will probably read that next. (I understand they are currently filming a HBO TV series of that with lots of well-known stars in the cast). Has anyone here read it?


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Come back on here to say how I'm doing with all the SF/fantasy books. Once I'd started I couldn't stop and over the past 4 years it has been my genre of choice, with the odd thriller thrown in!

I started with Robin Hobb - and pretty much read all of hers now, apart from the one that's just come out.
GRR Martin - a good time to start on his, with the tv series coming out. I read them before the series, apart from the last. But like everyone else, it's a long wait now for the next one. :-w

Other authors I have loved .... Brandon Sanderson - read all the adult ones of his now (I also read all the Wheel of Time books because he ended the series). Scott Lynch - love the Gentlemen Bastards - would make a great film/TV series. Joe Abercrombie - read all of his too. Anthony Ryan - first two of the Ravens Shadow series - great. Justin Cronin - The Passage and The Twelve.

Others I liked, but not as much: Marcus Sakey - Brilliance Saga, David Eddings - Belgariad series, Veronica Roth - Divergent trilogy (OK but Young Adult really), Suzanne Collins - Hunger Games trilogy (good, but YA again).

The only one I really couldn't get on with - Gene Wolfe - New Sun (can't recall full title).

I've downloaded but not read yet -The Wool Trilogy (Hugh Howey) after recommended by a friend - has anyone on here read it? Also Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is on my to read list.

Sorry to bore you, but I got started from recommendations on here, and hopefully others may be interested in the books I've read too. Perhaps others could recommend some more I could try - based on the books I have enjoyed?? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:13 pm 
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That got my attention as it's a topic I am subscribed to.

Thanks for the recommendations.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:06 pm 
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I can heartily recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's the first in a series, but he's only finished this and the sequel, The Wise Man's Fear. Really strong magical fantasy.

We download a podcast called Sword and Laser, which covers SF and Fantasy books. They read and discuss a book each month, and cover new releases and reader recommendations. You may find it a bit SF heavy, but here's a link to the website if you're interested.
http://swordandlaser.com

If you are OK with a bit of sci fi, have you read Iain M Banks Culture novels?

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:27 pm 
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I've got Wool in my Amazon wish list. It's been read on the Sword and Laser group and the following entry from the good reads S&L group gives a flavour of the book.


Quote:
Apr 25, 2013Veronica Belmont rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: sword-and-laser
Some books take a while to dig into. The first few chapters set up the story, introduce you to the main characters and build a framework for the tale to come.

Wool sets up the story too, but in a heartbreaking and gripping way that has you consuming the book as quickly as possible, if only to learn the answer to: "that's not really about to happen, is it?"

There are moments in Wool when I wondered if maybe the book was too dark. I mourned for characters and didn't know how they would possibly get themselves out of the messes they (or others) had gotten them into. I won't say it worked out for everyone, but there is enough hopefulness and light in the book to brighten the darkest depths of this silo.

Wool is not a long read (even shorter when you can't put it down and read it over two nights) but it is one that will stick with you.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:18 pm 
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baywindowgirl wrote:
I can heartily recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's the first in a series, but he's only finished this and the sequel, The Wise Man's Fear. Really strong magical fantasy.


I forgot to mention those. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed both. But it's yet another with an interminable wait for the next one in the series!

Thanks for the link to Sword and Laser - that looks very interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:53 pm 
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Nettie wrote:
minikmummy wrote:
Not fantasy but something you normally read... I'm currently reading the third of a trilogy by Sieg Larsson, a Swedish writer, he died a couple of years ago I think so just the three books by him but well worth a read. Crime novels set in Sweden, a bit different and I'm thoroughly enjoying them.


I couldn't put them down, and each book was better than the one before - very sad there won't be any more. Poor guy didn't even live long enough to know what a success the Millennium Trilogy is.


A bit late but hey ho, I am just over half way through the 1st one and really enjoying it. I have the other two on my Kindle as well and with a bit of travelling in the coming week I'll hopefully be able to read them all.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:29 pm 
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Have you tried Margaret Atwood's dystopian trilogy Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and Madd Addam? She's a stunningly good writer.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:47 pm 
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After my brother recommended them I have been reading the Falco novels by Lindsey Davis. They are set in 1st century Rome, and Falco is an informer - effectively a private detective - self employed, but sometimes undertaking jobs for the Emperor. Whilst set in antiquity, Falco is really quite modern. There are also some jokes played with history, as when investigating the death of a rich man Falco wonders why he would employ a Gaul as a chef instead of someone from Alexandria, as he cannot imagine that there will ever be a time when Gauls will be thought good cooks; or on another occasion when he writes a play in which the ghost of a dead father asks his son to avenge his death at the hands of his brother. I have really enjoyed them.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:30 am 
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+1 for Falco. The Radio 4 dramatisations of the books are also excellent with Anton Lesser as Falco.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:50 pm 
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datz wrote:
I've got Wool in my Amazon wish list.


I've now finished the first one of the trilogy, and really enjoyed it. A very different story to others I've read lately.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations please
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:40 am 
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baywindowgirl wrote:
Have you tried Margaret Atwood's dystopian trilogy Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and Madd Addam? She's a stunningly good writer.


+1

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