Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:22 AM
commasense's Avatar
commasense is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Atlanta area
Posts: 6,247

Recommend a series for me to read


What I'd most like to find is another 40 Discworld novels. Since that's probably not going to happen, maybe my fellow Dopers can help me find the next best thing.

Most of you know the joy of reading Discworld: funny, clever stories, with interesting characters and plots, meaningful ideas, sly references to other works, and on and on. I've read every one of them at least three times, and several four or five times. Is there anything else out there in the world of fiction to match it?

Here's what I've read and liked, aside from Discworld.

Mysteries:
  • Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout. Probably my next favorite series after Discworld. I'm about halfway through my second reading of all 37 books.
  • Bernie Rhodenbarr, by Lawrence Block. I like others of Block's novels, too, but the Burglar series has the light humorous touch I'm looking for.
  • Philo Vance by S.S. Van Dine. Not as good as the two above, but interesting. I've read most of them.
  • Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton. I've read maybe half. Pleasant, beautiful writing style, not incredibly engrossing stories.
I read quite a bit of Agatha Christie many years ago, and recently started up again with a couple of Hercule Poirot stories and one Tommy and Tuppence, but especially when compared to Nero and Archie, Christie's lead characters are tedious and unpleasant to be around.


Sci-fi:

I've read some, but far from all, of these masters:
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Stanislaw Lem

Classics:
  • Jane Austen. All six novels (multiple times) and some of the juvenalia.
  • Anthony Trollope. Barchester Towers, and most of the other Barchester stories
  • W. M. Thackeray. Vanity Fair.
  • Charles Dickens, I've read a handful, and might be persuaded to go back and read more.

So this gives you an idea of my tastes. My top priorities are a good run of consistently interesting stories with some humor. I don't necessarily mind dark, as long as it has some humor to it. (E.g., I like Elmore Leonard, but Tolkein is out!)

What do you recommend?
  #2  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:30 AM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is online now
Isaiah 1:15/Screw the NRA
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 51,011
Just throwing out some of my favorites:

Anything by Tim Dorsey. Probably best to start with Florida Roadkill and just enjoy the ride. 21 novels and counting. Funny, deranged mayhem.

If you are into historical fiction of the alt-history kind, there is always the 163x shared universe of Eric Flint., which is up to fifty bajillion books by now. Of varying quality and interest, but the mainstream novels are pretty good.
  #3  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:36 AM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 25,295
I highly (and frequently) recommend Hannu Rajaniemi's Jean le Flambeur trilogy

The Quantum Thief
The Fractal Prince
The Causal Angel

The narrative is obtuse, employing a strict "show-don't-tell" style that forces the reader to stretch their imagination and constantly redefine it as new information comes forth. Very imaginative, very complex story arc. And best of all, a very tight resolution at the end of the the books. Without a doubt the very best science fiction series I've read of the past 20 years.

The basic plot of the first book is that Jean le Flambeur, a thief, is imprisoned in a quantum virtual prison where is replicated many times. He escapes, with aid, and sets about trying to find the memories he hid from himself on Mars, so that he can complete the mission he was broken out of prison for. Ultimately he hopes to confront his nemesis who had him placed in prison, but he cannot do so without his memories intact, so he agrees to the mission.

That covers about 1/10 of the book's events. The rest is subplots (some relevant to the story arc, some not) & world-building that I still find jaw-dropping every time I think about this book. 5 stars. 10/10.

Difficult but worth it, IMO.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 05-03-2019 at 10:37 AM. Reason: '
  #4  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:39 AM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,662
Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense View Post
funny, clever stories, with interesting characters and plots, meaningful ideas, sly references to other works, and on and on.
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series might fit this description. It's not exactly the same genre as Descworld—more "meta," and less about the characterization—but I think it has some of the same appeal.
Quote:
Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout. Probably my next favorite series after Discworld. I'm about halfway through my second reading of all 37 books.
This and some of the others you mentioned make me think it would be worth trying Robert B. Parker's Spenser series. They're not comic per se, and some of them are fairly dark, but there's definitely humor in the snappy dialogue and narration, and they're quick, easy reads.
  #5  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:56 AM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,370
Christopher Moore. He would fit your requirements perfectly. Very funny, cleverly plotted, and some wild speculation. Some of his best are Fluke, or Now I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings; Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal; , and Sacre Bleu.

There's also A. Lee Martinez. There's Gil's All Fright Diner, Monster, Divine Misfortune, Chasing the Moon and the great The Last Adventure of Constance Verity Most of his books are stand alone, though there is a Constance Verity sequel.

Along with jasper fforde (and you should also read his Shades of Grey* for humor and great SF speculation), these three are the most Pratchett-like authors writing today.

Tom Holt may also strike your fancy as a writer of funny fantasy.

*Not to be confused with anything else, and it was written first anyway.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #6  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:00 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 53,325
I love the mysteries of Ed McBain and Andrew Vachss's Burke.
  #7  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:06 AM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 34,263
Robert Zelazny's Amber stories. The first five from the Seventies are better than the second five from the Eighties/Nineties.
  #8  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:22 AM
lisiate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,640
Emile Zola's Rougon Macquart novels. 20 books covering virtually the whole society of the Second Empire. An astounding range of styles and several outright masterpieces.
  #9  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:32 AM
Wheelz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,506
I've enjoyed Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels. The protagonist is complex and interesting, and it definitely has the humor you're looking for. Butcher has created a fairly extensive universe that reveals itself little by little, so each book is not too dense with world-building. IMO there were a few missteps and a bit of unevenness, but it's mostly a solid and satisfying read.
  #10  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:48 AM
Gyrate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Greater Croydonia
Posts: 23,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
I've enjoyed Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels. The protagonist is complex and interesting, and it definitely has the humor you're looking for. Butcher has created a fairly extensive universe that reveals itself little by little, so each book is not too dense with world-building. IMO there were a few missteps and a bit of unevenness, but it's mostly a solid and satisfying read.
Likewise Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. As with the above, there are definitely some missteps (Foxglove Summer would have been vastly improved by the author owning a goddamn calendar) but the characters and world-building are deeply compelling. Apparently Pegg and Frost's production company is going to be making this into a television series.

I'll also second (or third) the various Jasper Fforde books. Incredibly clever, funny and well-plotted stuff (apart from the Nursery Crime books which are a bit rough).
  #11  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:06 PM
GreenWyvern's Avatar
GreenWyvern is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 1,429
The Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser

Brilliantly funny, historically pretty accurate.

The original Flashman character was the villain in the novel Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes (1857). In that book, Flashman is a bully, a coward, and a liar. In the end he is expelled from Rugby School, and the virtuous Tom Brown lives happily ever after.

In 1969 George MacDonald Fraser revived the character as an anti-hero in his own novels, and took up the story after Flashman's expulsion.

Flashman tells the reader his own story in the first person, looking back at his life from the age of 80. He has been extremely successful (far more so than Tom Brown). He is now General Sir Henry Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE, Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth, 4th Class - and a member of the Board of Governors of Rugby School. He is extremely wealthy, a personal friend of the royal family, and esteemed by one and all as a perfect English gentleman.

However... in reality his character has remained unchanged from his schooldays with Tom Brown. He is, as he tells the reader, "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward - and, oh yes, a toady." He's simply been exceptionally good at it. The humour is often laugh-out-loud, and the books are highly readable, as well as being unusually historically accurate.

Read the 'Look Inside' on Amazon to get a taste of it.
  #12  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:25 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 14,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series might fit this description. It's not exactly the same genre as Descworld—more "meta," and less about the characterization—but I think it has some of the same appeal.
I was going to suggest this series, as well, at least in part because the OP has familiarity with some classic English literature, as well as an appreciation for humor.
  #13  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:25 PM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 41,608
If you're up for some adventure (plus classic), try some of H. Ryder Haggard's novels such as Allan Quatermain, She, and King Solomon's Mines. Quatermain was quite likely the inspiration for Indiana Jones. Ryder was fairly prolific, and you can get everything he ever wrote for $0.99 on Kindle.
  #14  
Old 05-03-2019, 01:10 PM
pmwgreen is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
Likewise Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. As with the above, there are definitely some missteps (Foxglove Summer would have been vastly improved by the author owning a goddamn calendar) but the characters and world-building are deeply compelling. Apparently Pegg and Frost's production company is going to be making this into a television series..
Seconded. A warning, Aaronovitch seems to get better as he goes, with the first book being kind of so-so. It took a while for Aaronovitch to get into the groove.
  #15  
Old 05-03-2019, 01:12 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,785
The Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - clever mysteries and great period detail.

The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian - high-seas Napoleonic adventure and exploration, focusing on the enduring friendship of a Royal Navy officer and a surgeon.

The Spenser series by Robert B. Parker - the many and challenging cases of a tough, smartass Boston private investigator.
  #16  
Old 05-03-2019, 01:34 PM
Larry Borgia's Avatar
Larry Borgia is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 10,495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
I've enjoyed Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels. The protagonist is complex and interesting, and it definitely has the humor you're looking for. Butcher has created a fairly extensive universe that reveals itself little by little, so each book is not too dense with world-building. IMO there were a few missteps and a bit of unevenness, but it's mostly a solid and satisfying read.
I'd second this with the caveat that the first couple of books aren't that great. If you can make it through them the rest of the series gets a lot better quickly.
  #17  
Old 05-03-2019, 01:52 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,785
I'll add:

The Old Man's War series by John Scalzi - military sf, thought-provoking, funny and thrilling in all the right places.
  #18  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:00 PM
Sangahyando is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2,302
OP -- with your liking some detective-novel series, there's a favourite one of such of mine, which I'd tentatively recommend: the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries by Carola Dunn (there are twenty-odd in the series, which the author is still adding to). These are set in England in the decade or so following from 1923 -- they are mysteries of the "cozy"-ish sort; but saved for me from excruciating and cloying cozyness, by the author's inclusion in them of the pervading, brooding presence of the recent First World War, which has to some extent cast a blight over the lives of nearly all the characters.

Otherwise, I find them agreeable and ingenious murder mysteries, with the time and place well conveyed -- with a wide array of characters, displaying a variety of quirks / oddities / failings. Daisy, the heroine, is an agreeably un-stuffy scion of the English aristocracy -- one of those detective-story protagonists who, going about their life's occasions, "keep tripping over dead bodies". Things come about that she works in a sort of detecting-wise uneasy partnership with Alec, a police detective, whom she marries in the course of the series. No doubt, not everyone's cup of tea; but they're novels which I greatly like.
  #19  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:09 PM
Shoeless's Avatar
Shoeless is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Sunflower State
Posts: 6,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series might fit this description. It's not exactly the same genre as Descworld—more "meta," and less about the characterization—but I think it has some of the same appeal.
Another vote for Jasper Fforde. Plenty of chuckles, tons of literary references (more than half, I'm sure, went completely over my head), very entertaining. I still can't help but giggle every time I see a "TJ Maxx" store.

One note of caution: you definitely want to read them in order. A friend of mine gave me a copy of "The Eyre Affair" (the first in the series) and then I just read the others whenever I could find one at the local library. Several plot points made no sense until I read an earlier book that I had skipped.
  #20  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:38 PM
Johnny Q is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,791
The Laundry Files books by Charles Stross. Revolves around the British government agency that deals with occult threats. But it's still a government agency, with all that it entails.
  #21  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:48 PM
carnivorousplant is offline
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 58,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian - high-seas Napoleonic adventure and exploration, focusing on the enduring friendship of a Royal Navy officer and a surgeon.
O'Brian liked Jane Austen, and his style has been favorably compared to hers. The first novel is your standard RN book. As he became more popular and his publisher wanted a series, the Austen quality begins to show.
  #22  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:50 PM
carnivorousplant is offline
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 58,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
If you're up for some adventure (plus classic), try some of H. Ryder Haggard's novels such as Allan Quatermain, She, and King Solomon's Mines. Quatermain was quite likely the inspiration for Indiana Jones. Ryder was fairly prolific, and you can get everything he ever wrote for $0.99 on Kindle.
I second this author. He obviously wrote in an older style, which I enjoy reading. I have yet to try Ms Austen.
  #23  
Old 05-03-2019, 03:25 PM
Teuton's Avatar
Teuton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Plymouth, UK
Posts: 1,603
You could try the books of Robert Rankin, which start with the Brentford Trilogy and continue on into absurdity, with a sort of magical surreality in a modern-day London. He also has the most wince-inducing punny titles (such as "Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls"), but that just adds to the charm.
  #24  
Old 05-03-2019, 03:33 PM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 41,608
For a more modern series, I highly recommend the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson. There are four books, with a fifth on the way. Brodie is a former Edinburgh cop who does investigative work. Very well written and great characters.

For something different from your usual, you might try Craig Johnson's Longmire series. Yes, he's a Wyoming sheriff, but set in today's world, with an interesting cast of characters and good stories.
  #25  
Old 05-03-2019, 03:36 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,886
Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense View Post
What I'd most like to find is another 40 Discworld novels.
If you want humorous fantasy then I would suggest:

- Myth Adventures series by Robert Aspirin
- Xanth series by Piers Anthony (frankly he went way too far with those and they got tiresome but good fun for several books)
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #26  
Old 05-03-2019, 03:50 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 14,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
- Xanth series by Piers Anthony (frankly he went way too far with those and they got tiresome but good fun for several books)
I enjoyed the first few Xanth books, as well, back when I read them in the 1980s. More recently, a number of reviewers (and several discussions we've had here in Cafe Society) have pointed out recurring themes of misogyny, and a fair amount of focus on sex with underaged girls, in Anthony's books.

A couple of articles on the topic:
https://www.avclub.com/revisiting-th...nth-1798241312
https://litreactor.com/columns/theme...-piers-anthony

A discussion on Anthony here on the SDMB, dating back to 2000:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ad.php?t=41202

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-03-2019 at 03:51 PM.
  #27  
Old 05-03-2019, 03:58 PM
Novelty Bobble is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 8,439
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
O'Brian liked Jane Austen, and his style has been favorably compared to hers. The first novel is your standard RN book. As he became more popular and his publisher wanted a series, the Austen quality begins to show.
I'll third it. The language takes just a little while to become attuned to and you'll end up knowing more about the Napoleonic-era Royal Navy then you ever wanted to. But it is worth it. The section in "Desolation Island" in a wild southern ocean and a hostile Dutch ship-of-the-line is utterly compelling.

You'll also end up realising how much nautical terms have penetrated our everyday speech.
__________________
I'm saving this space for the first good insult hurled my way
  #28  
Old 05-03-2019, 03:58 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,886
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I enjoyed the first few Xanth books, as well, back when I read them in the 1980s. More recently, a number of reviewers (and several discussions we've had here in Cafe Society) have pointed out recurring themes of misogyny, and a fair amount of focus on sex with underaged girls, in Anthony's books.

A couple of articles on the topic:
https://www.avclub.com/revisiting-th...nth-1798241312
https://litreactor.com/columns/theme...-piers-anthony

A discussion on Anthony here on the SDMB, dating back to 2000:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ad.php?t=41202
I read them in the 80's too and did not remember that (I was a teen then so I did not pick up on any of that).
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 05-03-2019 at 04:00 PM.
  #29  
Old 05-03-2019, 04:20 PM
carnivorousplant is offline
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 58,458
Lawrence Block wrote "The Topless Tulip Caper" and "Make Out with Murder". The protagonist is Goodwin to a detective who believes Nero Wolfe to be real. Tropical fish replaces cuisine as a hobby.
  #30  
Old 05-03-2019, 04:32 PM
lisiate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Q View Post
The Laundry Files books by Charles Stross. Revolves around the British government agency that deals with occult threats. But it's still a government agency, with all that it entails.
Good suggestion. I'm reading these at the moment.
  #31  
Old 05-03-2019, 05:11 PM
Slow Moving Vehicle's Avatar
Slow Moving Vehicle is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 3,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisiate View Post
Good suggestion. I'm reading these at the moment.
They get progressively darker. I'm up to date, and the last one, The Labyrinth Index, was just bleak as hell.

Most of what I came here to suggest - fforde, the Aubrey-Maturin series (which are packed with dry, subtle humor), Christopher Moore, George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman novels - have already been mentioned. So here's one that hasn't:

Lois MacMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. Scifi, set in a universe where humanity has spread to dozens of planets, and featuring a cast of very well-written and realized characters. They're space opera, although her abiding interest is in biology and the question of "what is a human?", the implications of which she explores in several ways. Great battles, but also a lot of comedy, and a very likeable protagonist. (Several, in fact).

If you prefer medievalesque fantasy, try Bujold's "World of the Five Gods", which she described as an exercise in "speculative religion".

OP, you also mentioned Chesterton's Father Brown stories. They can be hard to find, but Chesterton has several other short story collections, featuring the same sort of mysteries as the Father Brown stories. Try the League of the Longbow series. Also several good novels, such as The Man Who Was Thursday and The Ball And The Cross. Chesterton's blatant racism and anti-Semitism are hard to get past, but if you can, there's good stuff there.
__________________
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”
― Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
  #32  
Old 05-03-2019, 05:39 PM
Quartz's Avatar
Quartz is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Where haggis roam free
Posts: 30,998
I'll echo the recommendations of Flashman and Rivers of London. I gave up on the latter after two poor works and the author seeming to concentrate no graphic novels but was persuaded to return with the latest in which he closes off the first arc.
  #33  
Old 05-03-2019, 06:21 PM
carnivorousplant is offline
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 58,458
The Flashman novels are indeed good stuff.
  #34  
Old 05-03-2019, 07:27 PM
Quimby is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: NJ
Posts: 8,273
I would suggest Worldwar by Harry Turtledove. The premise is during the height of WWII Earth is invaded by aliens that have star ships but roughly 1990s weapons technology. It has a lot of POV characters and a global scope.

The series is five books. There is a sequel series that is not as good.

Last edited by Quimby; 05-03-2019 at 07:28 PM.
  #35  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:25 PM
The Tooth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 4,673
I'll read anything by Stephen R. Donaldson.
__________________
"It would never occur to me to wear pink, just as it would never occur to Michael Douglas to play a poor person." - Sarah Vowell
  #36  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:30 PM
Prof. Pepperwinkle's Avatar
Prof. Pepperwinkle is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 55,906
The Fletch novels by Gregory MacDonald have a lot of humor.

Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames are must reading for fans of Discworld. It's a different author, different style but same irreverent humor.

Last edited by Prof. Pepperwinkle; 05-03-2019 at 08:32 PM.
  #37  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:46 PM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 34,263
If you have a Kindle, Mark Berent's Wings of War was released in that format a few years ago. Physical copies can difficult to find these days but I see the first one is currently unavailable for Kindle for some reason.
  #38  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:46 PM
The_Peyote_Coyote is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 3,169
For thrillers I highly recommend F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series and the FBI Special Agent Aloysius F.X. Pendergast series, at least through Fever Dream, by Preston and Child. I also like the old Doc Savage series.

For mysteries, I'd say give Ellery Queen, P.D. James, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett a whirl. I second Sherlock Holmes as a series; the short stories, IMO, are better than the novels save for The Hound of the Baskervilles.

If you like Heinlein, I recommend Poul Anderson's Polesoletechnic League/Terran Empire/beyond the fall of said Empire series featuring in the first part Nicholas van Rijn and David Falkayn and in the second part Captain Sir Dominc Flandry. I second Miles Vorkosigan.

For classics, I recommend John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, Alexandre Dumas, and Sinclair Lewis' novels of the 1920's.

Last edited by The_Peyote_Coyote; 05-03-2019 at 10:47 PM.
  #39  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:53 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,785
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
O'Brian liked Jane Austen....
Indeed. He even gave his lead character the same initials as her.

This may also be of interest: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=542103
  #40  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:58 PM
Sefton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Stalag 17
Posts: 1,642
I loved Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and the series of books that followed. Very funny.
  #41  
Old 05-04-2019, 12:16 AM
Blank Slate's Avatar
Blank Slate is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,195
Since you liked the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, I'm guessing you would like the John Dortmunder books by Donald E. Westlake.
  #42  
Old 05-04-2019, 01:39 AM
Sangahyando is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2,302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quimby View Post
I would suggest Worldwar by Harry Turtledove.

(snip)

The series is five books. There is a sequel series that is not as good.
At the risk of annoying nitpickery -- the initial "Worldwar" series (1942 and succeeding years) comprises four books. The sequel series (events 20 years later on) comprises three. I personally consider Turtledove's "Worldwar" cycle good throughout -- save for the one final book Homeward Bound, set chronologically later than the rest, which seems generally reckoned -- including by me -- awful; I don't recall ever finding anyone with a good word to say for it.
  #43  
Old 05-04-2019, 03:45 AM
The Stafford Cripps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Aawye
Posts: 1,236
For a science fiction set of books all set in the same universe, try the Culture books by Iain M Banks. It doesn't really matter what order you read them in, but good ones to start with would be The Player of Games, Look to Windward or Consider Phlebas. There are also a few non-Culture science fiction books.

Iain Banks also wrote non-science fiction books under that name. When he died he 2013, people like me were as gutted as the Pratchett fans when he died.
  #44  
Old 05-04-2019, 05:03 AM
Paul in Qatar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Posts: 12,594
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
The Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser

Seconded, also Hornblower.
__________________
800-237-5055
Shrine Hospitals for Children (North America)
Never any fee
Do you know a child in need?
  #45  
Old 05-04-2019, 07:01 AM
don't ask is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 18,166
Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May novels are great fun.

Quote:
Arthur Bryant and John May are Golden Age Detectives in a modern world. They head the Peculiar Crimes Unit, London’s most venerable specialist police team, a division founded during the Second World War to investigate cases that could cause national scandal or public unrest. Originally based above a London tube station, the technophobic, irascible Bryant and smooth-talking modernist John May head a team of equally unusual misfits who are just as likely to commit crimes as solve them.

The novels are written chronologically, but can just as easily be read out of order (in fact, some volumes benefit from doing so, the exceptions being ‘On The Loose’ and ‘Off The Rails’, which should be read together). The cases take on the different styles of the classic detective stories. Here are the novels so far, in reverse order…
They are also available in Audiobook.

Last edited by don't ask; 05-04-2019 at 07:02 AM.
  #46  
Old 05-05-2019, 12:27 AM
Der Trihs's Avatar
Der Trihs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 38,767
If you like references to other works the Magic Ex Libris Series by Jim C. Hines is full of them since it centers on Libriomancy; the magical art of manifesting fictional things from the books they are written in.
  #47  
Old 05-05-2019, 02:20 AM
nightshadea is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: a condo in hell 10th lvl
Posts: 5,127
you'd love the stainless steel rat series of books...there light and funny sci-fi
https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/stainless-steel-rat/


warning wikii has spoilers for some of the books....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stainless_Steel_Rat
  #48  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:18 AM
Sangahyando is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2,302
OP: not sure from your post how much use -- if any -- you have for historical fiction. Anyway -- with a great variety of material being offered on the thread -- I'll submit for consideration, a novel series for which I have a great liking.

The Matthew Shardlake novels by the British author C.J. Sansom -- describable as, largely, murder / espionage mysteries from the times before detectives were invented -- and more than purely "whodunnits". Set mostly in London, in the latter years of the reign of Henry VIII. Shardlake, the hero and first-person narrator, is a lawyer -- highly honest, ethically upright, and humane; but cantankerous enough to be saved from being a total male "Mary Sue" -- and IMO a very likeable character. Also a favourite of mine is his "sidekick" Jack: a short-tempered and foul-mouthed "man of his hands", but nonetheless on the side of the angels, and an engaging guy. Historically, painstakingly accurate so far as I can tell; and giving an interesting view of what it might have been like to be a subject of " 'Orrible 'Enry" well below the top of the food-chain. A considerable amount is seen, though, of life at the royal court -- Shardlake and associates keep being drawn, usually against their will, into perilous situations and intrigues involving doings of said court.

Long, detailed novels -- seven of them to date, seemingly a new one every couple of years. I gather that the author plans to keep them going, up into the reign of Elizabeth I : how Shardlake -- become a sceptic about religious matters, but with inclinations Protestant rather than the other way -- will fare under Mary Tudor's rule, I dread to think. IMO anyway, splendid stuff.
  #49  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:45 AM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,586
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
you'd love the stainless steel rat series of books...there light and funny sci-fi
https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/stainless-steel-rat/
Well, of course you will...

Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
If you are into historical fiction of the alt-history kind, there is always the 163x shared universe of Eric Flint., which is up to fifty bajillion books by now. Of varying quality and interest, but the mainstream novels are pretty good.
I'm, also a Ring of Fire fan, but stick with Flint's books at first; even those he co-authors (except 1633/1634 with David Weber) are uneven and some stand-alone ones are not good at all. But even so you'll have millions of words to read, and Flint has a rather wry sense of humor that does come through.

One more: David Weber's Honor Harrington series, 17 books IIRC (he's done with the current arc but may revive it with her children) of pretty decent space opera, the earlier books are better IMHO, the last 3-4 are not up to those standards, but well conceived and great characters (Lots and lots of characters...)
  #50  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:52 AM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
you'd love the stainless steel rat series of books...there light and funny sci-fi
https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/stainless-steel-rat/


warning wikii has spoilers for some of the books....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stainless_Steel_Rat
"Sandy Mitchell" put out a sci-fi/Warhammer 40,000 sort of Flashman pastiche series starring "Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium".
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017