I have gotten a few requests for book recommendations so I thought I’d share with you some fiction titles I’ve read and enjoyed over the past several years (arranged alphabetically by author). Be warned though, my taste in fiction runs to the scifi, light suspense, escapist stuff–don’t look here for too much high literature! If you want to think, check out my non-fiction recommendations here. For comprehensive reviews of selected titles, check here.
Similar to the way Hiassen couples humor and detective story, Adams couples humor and scifi, and for this best example of that delightful achievement, I give this four stars.
I loved the Foundation Trilogy and recommend they be read straight through. Of course, a must read for any scifi fan.
Another great series by Asimov.
A must read for anyone interested in the life of Christ or the betrayal by Judas. A unique and intriguing speculation of the personality of Christ and the motives of Judas.
Another great series by Card.
I am not a big reader of spy novels but Tinker, Tailor was sublime.
One of a handful of can’t-put-it-down giant novels that simply must be read–and re-read. The list includes Atlas Shrugged, War and Peace, Gone With the Wind & Lonesome Dove–Shogun is in good company!
Another great one by Clavell.
Another great one by Clavell–maybe a hair behind Shogun but still page-turning riveter.
James Clavell does it again. This 1366 page paperback kept me distracted on two 24-hour trips with a ten day vacation in between and I still wasn’t finished!
Awesome! My copy is illustrated by Gustave Dore and is beautiful!
Great book. Don’t forget to google MK Ultra first!
90% of Michael Connelly’s books I can’t put down. This was the first one I read and have been hooked ever since.
Connelly is always intense.
I give connelly a 4 by default.
Not Harry Bosch, but still classic Connelly.
I’m not sure I got everything out of the book as they got out of it to make the movie, but Conrad is worth getting to know.
This is a good read but I gave it five stars mainly for the courage to address the subject and the objectiveness with which it is done. We need a guy like Crichton to help ethical lay people understand the politics of science. He is missed.
Another great Crichton book
Really good. So was God’s Pocket by Dexter.
A great book. I’ll never forget Mrs. Nowicki for introducing me to Dickens in high school. She told us, “Pay attention! Dickens never wastes a character!” Good advice.
Another great one by Dickens. Tale of Two Cities is probably my favorite of his.
I loved all of these books. Billy Bathgate was best, then World’s Fair and Loon Lake lost me a little but was still good.
I could never access Dostoevsky as easily as Tosltoy, but I think it may be a translation problem. Always look for the translator Constance Garnett when going from Russian to English.
First of all, make sure all Russian literature you read in English is translated by Constance Garnett. Her translation of Dostoevsky convinced me that he is readable–still not as easy as Tolstoy but absolutely comprehensible. This book, The Idiot, was beautifully written and a fascinating story, but it’s gotta be her translation.
I read this book for the first time in elementary school and still remember how the setting transported me.
The most plot-heavy novel I have ever read. Of course, it’s known for it’s character development but that is intertwined with riveting events. A must read.
Great book. A real page-turner.
I was riveted by this book.
I just love James Ellroy and this was my first introduction to him.
Lately I can’t settle down and read a good work of fiction but this book captivated me. I highly recommend it.
Faulkner is worth the extra effort. Give me Faulkner over Hemingway and Fitzgerald any day.
Follett is a great writer and this is one of his best.
As a big fan of nineteenth century Russian literature, this is one of my favorite books. Plus, it’s about a guy who never gets out of bed, so I can relate to his inclinations.
A portrait of pure humility. The story of a whiskey priest in a revolutionary state in Mexico during a purge of clerics. The redemption is unexpected and beautiful, though still tragic. Powerful and Glorious.
Mid-century literature taking place in French Viet Nam in the fifties with an element of now-hackneyed European self-loathing that I wonder sometimes about: Was it deserved then and created a change in behavior, or was it simply anti-establishment propaganda as it is now? (Oh, and the naive, reckless, foolish American is too thinly veiled a representation of the entire nationality not to be taken as an insult by any American.) Regardless of this psycho-political angle, however, I greatly enjoyed the book. I liked the character development and the complex self-analysis of the main character. The writing was efficient and sharp on the one hand but replete with imagery and conveying feeling on the other–a beautiful combination. Highly recommend.
Beautiful like the title.
“Are food riots too high a price to pay to let people be? I don’t know.”
Like Michael Connelly, Carl Hiassen is one of my favorite writers of light fiction. I loved all his books except maybe Nature Girl.
I have been disgusted lately with flippant references to simplistic political views masquerading as valid literary technique. For example, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson writes, “She turned on the TV to watch Rapport and tried to follow the world situation but very soon tired of the reasoned commentary on why President Bush had to bomb Iraq to smithereens.” And in The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel, one of the main characters rails against “the persistence of evil and of Republicans from Texas in a universe ruled by a deity who had the nerve to claim omnipotence and justice.” This sort of commentary reads like an inside joke in which anyone who doesn’t get it is not worth addressing.On the contrary, Cider House Rules is one of those books, like some of the Viet Nam era classics including the Quiet American, by Graham Greene, that uses literary artistry to help the reader understand a certain position and really feel with the character who is living the issue–i.e., actual literature.
In this book, the issue is abortion and though I thoroughly disagree with the position the book means to develop, I was not angered by the view presented, nor was I disgusted. In the end, I wasn’t persuaded by the book, but I could understand the view of the characters and felt that the issue was not taken lightly by the author nor that he was presumptive in his conclusions.
Great book; scifi genre; emotionally intense (for me anyway.)
One of my favorite books and movies of all time.
Du Maurier is a great writer and this is a really good book.
One of the greatest novels I have ever read.
One of the greats for any scifi fan.
One of the best novels ever–a real page-turner like shogun. I would read this rather than the Fountainhead. I read and enjoyed both, but they are similar.
Totally different from Rand’s other novels and great as well.
Great historical fiction about the Battle at Gettysburg. Won the Pulitzer.
I didn’t fully grasp the greatness of Shakespeare until I read this short play.
Doesn’t Shakespeare automatically get five stars? I don’t like them all equally, though. I did like this one a lot and found it a perfect complement to my brief foray into Roman history.
Beautiful book from the first page to the last.
Even better than Grapes of Wrath.
AWESOME!!! Original, well-written, engaging, exciting, thought-provoking. Best scifi i can remember reading since the classics (like the Moon is a Harsh Mistress). As a libertarian anarchist, I love that there’s an author out there who will even consider an essentially State-less society. I can’t tell if Stephenson is being tongue-in-cheek about the possibility of private security companies, but I think his concept is plausible. I do think there would be less chaos than he seems to think, but who knows?Here’s a side observation: I noticed there was a great deal of cultural diversity through total voluntary segregation. I have thought before how the State claims to promote cultural diversity and integration at the same time–you can’t have both! One of many great and bold insights by the author.