View Full Version : Book Recommendations
07-09-2007, 07:25 PM
OK, I tried to search for a similar thread, but apparently either the website or my computer is interpreting "search" as "sit there and do nothing". The point being: my husband and I are buying a house (yay!) so many of my 1000+ books are boxed up (boo!) and I would like some recommendations for books or authors I might enjoy (and can trawl either Amazon or my local libraries for). I am actually looking for two sets of recommendations, both general and specific. I figured that for the general recommendations I would list some of my favorite books/ authors, and those who had similar taste (or hell, just want to mention a random book they love) could share. For the specific recomendations, I am looking for some science-related literary non-fiction. I am very interested in anthropology, archaeology, and zooarchaeology, as well as many of the other sciences, and am interested in reading some interesting non-fiction along those lines. In that vein, I loved The Science of Jurassic Park, Java Man, Spix's Macaw, and Tyrannosaurus Sue and am currently reading something about the science of Star Trek. I have Stephen Jay Gould's The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox, but I haven't really been able to get into it. I just really like books which impart a lot of information, but also have a plot or at least are well-written.
As for the general, here is a smattering of the things I love: Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt (for the most part), Tim Dorsey, John MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen, some Christopher Moore (i.e. Biff, but not so much Coyote Blue), Phillippa Gregory, Tamora Pierce, Piers Anthony, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, John Irving (every word he's ever penned), Wesley Stace's Misfortune, Katherine Dunn's Geek Love (and I would be delighted if anyone else has ever read that, because I stumbled upon it in a Goodwill and it's freaking awesome), Dave Barry, Micheal Thomas Ford, Audrey Niffenegger's The Time-Traveler's Wife, Erica Lopez, Fannie Flagg, Florence King's Memoirs of a Failed Southern Lady .....
ok, I'll stop now. I'm a huge book geek. Thank you so much for anyone who can help me expand my horizons.
07-09-2007, 07:36 PM
Oh gosharoonie, narrative non-fiction has been SO big lately I hardly know where to start.
Longitude by Dava Sobel
Zero: Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age by Edmund Bolles
Gorillas in The Mist by Diane Fossey
Breaking the Maya Code by Michael Coe
Isaac Newton by James Gleick
The Difference Engine by Doron Swade (not to be confused with the novel of the same name by Bruce Sterling)
07-09-2007, 07:45 PM
I may be the only person on the planet who dances upon learning of new books to pursue... but probably not. *dance, dance, dance*
ETA: That also reminded me of another one I really enjoyed, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
07-09-2007, 07:46 PM
The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen. (I'll keep recommending it every chance I've got until every Doper alive has read it. The dead ones are off the hook.)
Man With a Cat
07-09-2007, 07:49 PM
Work your way through Jasper Fforde. (http://www.jasperfforde.com/)
Based on what you like, which is a lot of what I like, you'll like these.
07-09-2007, 08:52 PM
You might enjoy Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series, starting with Dead Until Dark. They're funny and tell good stories.
07-09-2007, 10:51 PM
Also Charlaine Harris' Harper Connelly (http://www.amazon.com/gp/series/92623/ref=rcx_ser_ed_0/002-6742247-3980053) books starting with Grave Sight .
Jim Butcher's Dresden Files (http://www.amazon.com/gp/series/83652/ref=rcx_ser_ed_0/002) books.
I love Haven Kimmel's (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/002-6742247-3980053?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Haven+Kimmel) books, both her memoirs and her novels.
I recommend Kage Baker's Company novels (http://www.amazon.com/Kage-Bakers-quot-Company/lm/25S9HT41XWASC/ref=cm_lmt_dtpa_f_2_rdssss0/002-6742247-3980053?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=listmania-center&pf_rd_r=1QZ4SS9K4G33XVGQD4JD&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=253462201&pf_rd_i=0765315521) to EVERYONE.
07-09-2007, 10:57 PM
Work your way through Jasper Fforde. (http://www.jasperfforde.com/)
Based on what you like, which is a lot of what I like, you'll like these.Seconded. The Nursery Crime Division novels are a hoot.
07-09-2007, 11:31 PM
I agree with Dresden Files and Haven Kimmel. I guess it's time I read the Company novels I have on my shelf. Thanks, chrissysissystar.
07-10-2007, 02:52 AM
I'm in the middle of Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body (http://www.amazon.com/Mutants-Genetic-Variety-Human-Body/dp/0142004820/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-4079298-9596968?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184053728&sr=8-1) by Armand Marie Leroi. It's one of the coolest books I've read. The author goes through different types of mutations, talking about the biology behind them. He also gives a lot of interesting historical background. It's very well written and if I hadn't left it at home, I'd be reading it now.
Miss Purl McKnittington
07-10-2007, 03:03 AM
How about Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark? It's . . . different, to say the least. You can read an extract (http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=2) on the author's website.
07-10-2007, 06:10 AM
If you like Hiaasen, you'll probably like G. M. Ford. The Leo Wasserman series is a bit lighter in tone than the Frank Corso series.
07-10-2007, 07:21 AM
If you like fun science books, you could do a lot worse than Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex (http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Tatianas-Sex-Advice-Creation/dp/0805063315/ref=sr_1_1/104-8478305-5623951?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184069010&sr=1-1).
07-10-2007, 07:30 AM
Two pop science books I enjoyed recently:
The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking, and the Search for Lost Species by Scott Weidensaul
Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums by Stephen Asma -- This one was especially good, because in addition to normal information about the development of natural history museums, the author will periodically geek out about some particularly gruesome or cool specimen, and his enthusiasm is appreciable.
07-10-2007, 08:11 PM
...As for the general, here is a smattering of the things I love: Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt (for the most part), Tim Dorsey, John MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen, some Christopher Moore (i.e. Biff, but not so much Coyote Blue)...
I also am quite the fan of Adams, Pratchett, and now recently Moore. That being said, for something in that vain I would strongly recommend Foop! by Chris Genoa. It's actually his first book but it's fantastic. I haven't finished the book yet but it's definitely worth checking out.
07-11-2007, 04:29 PM
I think it is interesting (and awesome) that the only one of these (science-y) books I've heard of so far was Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums; how could you not pick up a book with that title?
As far as Jasper Fforde, I've found him to be a little bit hit or miss. I really enjoyed The Fourth Bear, but i thought that The Eyre Affair seemed almost too self-congradulatory. I don't know - I just looked him up on Amazon, and he's written more than I thought he has, so I think I'll do some more reading before I make up my mind.
07-11-2007, 05:44 PM
For a general recommendation, you might like Neil Gaiman. He co-wrote a book with Terry Pratchett called Good Omens which is worth reading. Some of his other books are American Gods (which I haven't yet read), Neverwhere, and a great short stories collection called Smoke and Mirrors.
He's also written some great comics.
07-11-2007, 06:54 PM
Just finished The Kite Runner,by Khaled Hosseini. Absolutely marvelous book. Sad but also uplifting.
07-11-2007, 09:58 PM
If you like Hiassen you will love Elmore Leonard, just stay away from the last 5 or so He is losing it. All the others are great.
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