Apologies for the thread title. I wasn’t sure how to phrase it. I read a few books per week on average. Much of what I read is fiction. Police procedurals, detective novels, thrillers, etc. Often in series. I frequently find myself waiting for new releases from my favorites authors, so I always love to discover new ones to dive into. I’ve been to some of the websites that recommend authors or books based on what you currently read, but I thought the denizens of the SDMB would be an even better resource.
As an example, I love John Sandford, Robert Crais, Daniel Silva, etc. but I only just recently discovered Ian Rankin’s John Rebus books and have been plowing through them. As an American I am fascinated by the cultural references of Scotland and the UK, as well as the characters, plots, etc.
So I thought this thread might be useful for any of us looking for new books/authors to read.
I will start, playing off my example above. If I am enjoying the Ian Rankin books, can anyone recommend something similar? Doesn’t have to be crime-related, but a series set in somewhere other than the U.S. with interesting characters?
Got one for you. Christopher G. Moore is a Canadian author who moved to Thailand and wrote a bunch of detective books set there involving Vinnie Calvino, an ex-pat doing detective work. It’s a great series!!!
I love Elmore Leonard’s writing, but have read everything he authored, many times. Suggestions?
Another cool thing about Christopher G. Moore I just remembered. I reviewed one of his books online and he responded, thanking me. We wrote back and forth for a while and he answered a few questions I had about his novels.
If you like (aka tolerate) Dan Brown, then check out James Rollins.
His “Sigma” series follows one of those “elite black ops”-type teams as they save the world week after week, but all the stories are based in history and fact and are much better written than Brown. Plus, at the end of every book, Rollins cites his sources and outright tells you when he made something up for the sake of drama/fiction.
The only downside is his pacing does get a bit predictable if you binge book after book…but nobody’s perfect.
My daughter knows how much I love detective fiction. Including the OP’s picks (though I’m going to go buy me some Ian Rankin this afternoon).
She gave me an audiobook, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. I loved it. Crusty protagonist, determined admin assistant trying to keep him from giving up (and helping him solve cases, of course). And excellent British narration that matches Cormoran Strike, the detective. I was so happy when I found out that there were sequels. And surprised when I learned that the author was J. K. Rowling.
I’ve re-listened to the series a number of times. I almost started a thread “Find me more detective fiction like the Cormoran Strike series”. I’ll be coming back to this thread in hopes of that.
If you like Douglas Adams, try Terry Pratchett. Same kind of humor in fantasy settings.
If you liked George McDonald Fraser’s *Flashman *books, Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Fools series is a good fantasy equivalent.
I read a lot and in particular have a complete collection of two authors that I’m confident you will like.
They both have strong characters, are well researched and (although both fiction) give a strong impression of British Empire history.
a) The ‘Hornblower’ series covers the career of Horatio Hornblower in the Royal Navy - mainly during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815.)
The background action is meticulously researched and I think the writing by C.S. Forester is excellent.
One reviewer wrote ‘you can almost smell the sea spray’!
b) The ‘Flashman’ series takes a character from another unrelated novel (‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’) and details his amazing adventures as he rises in rank through the British Army from 1839-1894.
The historical background is even more thoroughly analysed (by George Macdonald Fraser) and there are interesting footnotes for each chapter.
Although Hornblower is a hero, Flashman is decidedly not! He is a bully, a coward, a liar and a womaniser. :eek:
Again the writing is top-class - and the stories are both entertaining as well as sticking Flashman into the middle of just about every key incident of the times.
As a fan of old-time naval series, I am a big fan of Hornblower and Jack Aubrey. (and, of course, Flashman).
Not really a series, but an author I really enjoy is Nicholas Monsarrat. His two most famous naval stories were WW2-based - The Cruel Sea and Three Corvettes. However, he did write a historical novel based on a fictional time-travelling sailor (don’t worry - the time travel is just a convenience, and is insignificant to the story) who winds up in various historically significant naval adventures. It was so big, it was eventually decided to publish it in two parts. The first part is easily available - The Master Mariner - and is just wonderful. Unfortunately, he died with Part 2 - Darken Ship - only just started. You can find Darken Ship around - the first tale is complete (dealing with the cross-atlantic slave trade), and the rest of the book consists of his notes for the following chapters - including one where the protagonist met Hermann Melville (and presumably went whaling).
If you like Neil Gaiman, try Catherynne Valente and Tanith Lee. The first does odd fairy tale settings (as well as other types, including a spot-on Douglas Adams homage), and the second does darker fairy tales.
I just found out that several of the Nicholas Ramage books are available on OverDrive via my local library, looking forward to reading them!
And for lovers of Aubrey/Maturin and other historical fiction, if you like Patrick O’Brian you may enjoy Mary Renault. He was a big fan of hers and dedicated one of his books to her; she admired his work too. Her fiction set in Ancient Greece is well worth looking at; my favorites are The Last of the Wine, The King Must Die and The Mask pf Apollo.
Popping back in with some gratitude. I have read a number of the books recommended here. I love finding new authors (or in some cases, not new, but completely different…) I just finished the first Cormoran Strike book, and I really enjoyed it. “Robert” takes more time than needed to get to the conclusion, but great characters made it worthwhile. So, thanks all! Cheers.
I would highly recommend Simon Scarrow’s “Young Bloods” series of 4 books about Napoleon & Wellington. I was not too familiar with these 2 famous generals, especially Wellington so it was interesting to find out they were born in the same year and the different ways they grew up to became so famous and their eventual confrontation at Waterloo.