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Anybody read good NON-fantasy books?

Discussion in 'Booktalk' started by Tiamat, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. Tiamat Gems: 17/31
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    Hmm...does anybody read good NON-fantasy these days? Yes, fantasy was my first love, but at this point finding a really good fantasy novel worth your time is like looking for the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack.

    Non-fantasy books tend to be better in quality, probably because they generally attract a different audience...anybody read any of those?

    My personal picks are Salman Rushdie, Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Vikram Chandra (who is amazing even though I'm sure nobody here has ever heard of him)....
     
  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Well, I'm focused on Victorian English classics at the moment...
     
  3. Eze Gems: 24/31
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    Paulo Coelho's books are very good.
     
  4. Atreides Gems: 7/31
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    At the moment I have to read non-fantasy (for the World Literature class I'm taking.) Normally, I read books on military history (Killer Angels, John Keegon's The First World War, etc.) and sometimes I'll read biographies and autobiographies on people.
     
  5. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Anyone who went to post-secondary probably has some odd choices, kind of like mine. Robert Kroetsch, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquart, and classics like Dickens, Fitzgerald, Hemingway are a very few of the good non-fantasy works I've read and still go back to on occasion.

    [ February 09, 2003, 04:57: Message edited by: Depaara ]
     
  6. ArrynMorgerim Gems: 9/31
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    Kurt Vonnegut is my favorite writer.
    (I don't think he is a scifi author)
     
  7. Velcro Gems: 1/31
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    Tony Hillerman, Tami Hoag, Faye Kellerman, Russell Andrews - all mystery writers.

    Lately I've been reading non-fiction: economics, investing, parenting.

    ps - This is actually Rallymama. Velcro is working on my 'puter and I forgot to log him out before posting! :o

    [ February 08, 2003, 21:54: Message edited by: Velcro ]
     
  8. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I can't believe I missed Caleb Carr! Has anyone read "The Alienist"? What a novel!
     
  9. Pac man Gems: 25/31
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    I'm in to reading warbooks. I recently got my hands on three good ones: Generalen SS, Die verratene armee, and Run silent, run deep. All three are based upon historical facts from WW 2.
     
  10. Shell

    Shell Awww, come and give me a big hug!

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    I just read through the Dave Pelzer series. Shocking books. They're called "A child called IT", "The Lost Boy", and "A man called Dave" if you're interested
     
  11. Falstaff

    Falstaff Sleep is for the Weak of Will Veteran

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    All-time, hands-down, no-doubt-about-it favorite non-sf/fantasy author: John Steinbeck. I read and read and reread his books regularly (actually I am now working on my Master's thesis on Steinbeck - talk about mixing work and play!!).

    I am also a very huge fan of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Dante, and a rather large list of poets.

    Oh, and Dave Barry!!!
     
  12. The Kilted Crusader

    The Kilted Crusader The Famous Last words "Hey guys, watch THIS!" Veteran

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    The Sharpe novels by Bernard Cromwell are excellent. Also I was reading the count of Monte Cristo, good book, but quite a hard read, so I didn't finish it, shame...
     
  13. Mathetais Gems: 28/31
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    Why Tiamat, I believe you hit upon something. We don't always dream about swords & sorcery here ... err... usually I do. But sometimes I read other things.

    I'm starting to get into biographies. Stephen Ambrose is a great author in that genre, reading "Undaunted Courage" about Lewis & Clark right now.

    On the Christian side, I'm reading some stuff ... too much to mention ;)

    I have to read some business books to keep up. Jim Collin's Good to Great is currently in the stack.

    That's all on the "to be read" pile.

    Fiction-wise ... I can mention the Left Behind books, historical fiction (Gods & Generals anyone?), and some sci-fi (only if someone gives it to me though).

    :good:
     
  14. Twinkle Gems: 2/31
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    [​IMG] Another vote for Caleb Carr here!

    I also enjoy some political thrillers, in those times when another awful fantasy book leads me to a nervous breakdown.

    I scream and shout, and swear not to ever touch fantasy with a 20 m. stick again, then go read Clancy or such. *Shrugs*

    I always return to fantasy in the end, of course.

    [ February 11, 2003, 19:28: Message edited by: Twinkle ]
     
  15. Elan Morin Tedronai Gems: 10/31
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    Joseph Heller is one of my favourite authors... I like also history authors like Eiji Yoshikava, James Klavel and Henrick Saenkevich...
     
  16. Prophete D'Acier Gems: 3/31
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    [​IMG] Guys after a LOOONG absence I'm back! Much to your disdain I guess... haha.

    Anyway I like Rushdie also. He's banned here though. And he can get quite hard to understand. Stephen Lawhead has written many fantasy books but he has some other non-fantasy novels. Pretty good. Matthew Reilly is also one of my faves. His stories can sweep you away with super-fast action that never stops!

    I don't know if you consider Brian Lumley's Necroscope saga fantasy but I think it's a lot more horror/thriller and maybe some fantasy/sf. Anyway I think his books are great. Just love the Necroscope saga!
     
  17. Khelben Gems: 15/31
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    I suggest Tom Clancy novels.
     
  18. enjan Gems: 5/31
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    There was a time in my youth when I'd read a book or two a day, but lately I only get in a couple a week due to a lot of work and limited social life ;) . Personally I always really enjoyed philosophical works (old-world philosophy like Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, etc. as well as various neo-whatever philosophies and other modern philosophy [Ayn Rand for instance]). I like reading works of ironic sciences and number theory now-a-days as well. I read a lot of classics, a lot of progressive and modernist work, and a lot of work centered around obscure symbolism. My favorite writers are probably: Kafka, Machiavelli, Rand, Vonnegut, Thoreau, Asimov, Falkner, etc... you get the idea. ;)
     
  19. Jaird Gems: 1/31
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    Here's another vote for the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell. They are excellent, well written, exciting, and detailed. I do believe I could go back in time and win the Napoleonic Wars just using the tactics outlined in the books.
    The only problem is that he's hit every major battle in the wars and now has no more to write about. Dangit. :(
     
  20. monkey Gems: 6/31
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    War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Again set in Napoleonic times at the same time as the Peninsular campaign (where the sharpe books are set) but set in Russia - a true classic.

    Also as an aside, I wouldn't take the tactics in a fiction novels about the Napoleonic period too seriously - most seem to be pretty awful (I admit I haven't read Sharpe for a few years now). Read "Napoleon & Wellington" by Andrew Roberts if you an interested in a non-biased book on the period (its not a fiction book but it is interesting). Sorry if this is slightly off topic but I am very interested in the period.

    Back on topic:
    Joseph Heller is excellent - Has he done more books than Catch 22 and Closing Times though?

    I'm reading Le Morte Darthur by Sir Thomas Mallory at the moment which could possibly be called fantasy but is also partly historical and is about King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. It is a pretty hard read due to its use of old english words and phrases.

    If you want to buy some classic books check out the Wordsworth Classics series at Amazon (buy through SP if possible) - I got War & Peace for £1.50 which is about $2 I think. Very cheap.

    [ March 06, 2003, 10:41: Message edited by: monkey ]
     
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