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Old 03-13-2014, 11:17 AM
Shadowfyre is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 495

Recommend me some vacation reading

Usually I like reading a Harry Dresden Novel on vacations. They're entertaining, fairly well written, somewhat suspenseful and generally fun books. I like that Butcher doesn't use a lot of red herrings to drive your suspicion to a particular character and then suddenly shift it at the end. Nor does he suddenly introduce information at the end of the story that the main character knew all along that makes it obvious that a particular character was guilty for 2/3 of the book.

I go on vacation in a week (end of March). The next Dresden novel isn't released until the end of May. And I'm all caught up on the series. And I've read everything else Butcher has written.

So I turn to the most well read people I know, the SDMB, for suggestions on a replacement book.

While the Dresden Files is urban fantasy, please don't limit yourself to that or a related genre. I'm very happy to explore other areas of story telling.

I'm mainly looking for something fun and light to read on the plane and poolside at the hotel. I've read a lot of Stephen King (my wife is a huge fan of his and buys all of his books) and I like it, but his stuff is a bit darker and more depressing than what I want for a relaxing vacation book.

I would also like it to be somewhat age appropriate. I'm a guy in my late 30's. I read Twilight before the movie came out. I felt like a pervy, old guy reading a girl's diary.

Finally, I know a lot of you love the Discworld novels. I'm not one of you. I've read 5 or 6 Discworld books, and while I can recognize what draws you in, it never happened for me. I was bored. Just not my thing.

Please help me out. I'd rather not play Flappy Bird the entire time I'm on vacation.
Old 03-13-2014, 11:34 AM
Draelin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Maine
Posts: 7,282
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I think he's up to six or seven books, and they're not only good, they're also hilarious. You can also check out the Libriomancer series by Jim C. Hines (only two books so far). Both are definitely an urban fantasy feel with an enormous amount of pop-culture references and a good amount of geek-cred.
Old 03-13-2014, 12:33 PM
kaylasdad99 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 31,930
Dead tree, or e-reader?

'Cos if you can do an e-reader, I can highly recommend Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, and Harry Potter and the Natural 20, both excellent fan-fictions.

(Pretty sure they can both be downloaded.)
Old 03-13-2014, 01:30 PM
Just Ed is offline
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 1,450
You mentioned you're not limited to urban fantasy, but that happens to be where most of my suggestions would fall anyway. (Links go to Amazon kindle editions, though all are available elsewise.)
  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey: Urban fantasy with a bit of humor, not unlike Butcher's Dresden series. Sandman Slim is itself the first in a series, but it's only five books (so far). Very enjoyable, and nothing too heavy. Sandman Slim is an escapee from Hell who is pursuing his former compatriots who sent him there in modern-day Los Angeles. Lucifer, God, and several angels are characters in the story, and Heaven and Hell are real places.
  • Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore: Also urban fantasy, light and humorous. In the past, I've described Moore as the American Douglas Adams, and I stand by that. He writes more in a supernatural vein than science fiction, but with the same levity. The bloodsucking fiends of the title are of course vampires, but it's a quirky take on the trope that also started a series (a trilogy; sequels are You Suck and Bite Me.)
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: Not urban fantasy. Amazon has it slotted genre-wise as Historical, British, Gothic, and Romance (though I'm not sure exactly why it's in Romance at all). It concerns a young woman who gets an invitation from a well-known reclusive writer who has been famously evasive about her past to write her finally-true biography. The young woman's series of interviews gradually revealing the life story of the writer and her contemporary investigation into some mysterious elements thereof is fascinating.

Last edited by Just Ed; 03-13-2014 at 01:31 PM.
Old 03-13-2014, 01:33 PM
Glazer is offline
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Location: Atlanta, Georga U.S.A.
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Wool by Hugh Howley
Old 03-13-2014, 04:07 PM
wonky's Avatar
wonky is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 30,703
I'll second the Iron Druid books. I think they will have appeal to Dresden fans.

The Felix Castor books by Mike Carey as well, for the same reason. They aren't as funny as either Dresden or the Hearne books, though.

I know you said age appropriate, but I'll suggest the Skulduggery Pleasant books even though they are YA. I've only read the first, but I think it will make you laugh and be enjoyable.

And going off in a different direction: Lauren Henderson's Sam Jones novels are not urban fantasy but mysteries with a lot of humor. For me, they fill the same niche in my reading as something like Dresden.
Old 03-13-2014, 04:34 PM
Shadowfyre is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 495
Thanks for the recommendations so far. Keep em coming!

I've actually read those Christopher Moore books already, as well as a few of his others. I enjoyed them. I'll have to look him up and see what he's been up to lately.

I will be using my old, trusty Kindle. I have no desire to lug actual books in my carry-on. I'm spoiled. But not spoiled enough to have one of those fancy-shmancy paperwhite Kindles or even a Fire for that matter. (I know. First world problems )

I've read a few YA books in the past. But Twilight was particularly uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable, try reading a physical book version of Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion on public transit. At least I was in Chicago and not Birmingham...
Old 03-14-2014, 05:59 PM
wonky's Avatar
wonky is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 30,703
I stumbled across these two lists a few minutes ago, Shadowfyre. They might be useful:

Best Urban Fantasy Series

Urban Fantasy With Male Lead Characters

(Honestly a lot of urban fantasy with female lead characters turns into really awful Harlequin Horror. Sex with vampires! Sex with zombies! Sex with werewolf zombie vampiritic necromancers!)
Old 03-14-2014, 06:40 PM
FeAudrey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 698
If you are willing to go out-of-genre, how about Carl Hiaasen?
Old 03-14-2014, 08:05 PM
DMark is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,728
If I may be so brazen as to recommend my own book, Fool Proof?

It is a comedy and I think a perfect book for some light reading on vacation. You can click on the link and read the first few chapters to see if this might be something you, or your wife, might like.
Old 03-14-2014, 09:06 PM
delphica is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: The Empire State
Posts: 6,672
The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley. It's light-hearted, supernatural battles and puns. It's a really fun read, and would be good on vacation.


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