I like to read a wide variety of books, so I love to get a lot of different recommendations of books — both fiction and non-fiction — so what books do you all love?
Lately, I’ve been reading those Bosch novels now that I’m out of the TV series. I’m on the sixth one, and only one so far (the fifth) did I feel was spoiled by watching the series. I’ve actually been reversed spoiled, as there are some surprising deaths in the books that go against the recurring characters from the series. Also, my family has gotten into birding, so I read The Big Year which was really interesting (I had just watched a movie based on it with my wife though they fictionalized all the characters).
I think you can follow what I’m reading on Goodreads. I usually alternate between fiction and non-fiction.
So, what books do you all recommend? Tell us in the comments.
Of course, read all of my books first before reading anything by anyone else.
I also like those murder mystery JK Rowling writes under a pen name. I've been on a murder mystery kick lately.
And I read Bruce Campbell's first autobiography -- If Chins Could Kill -- and it was very fascinating Hollywood perspective from someone who never made it big.
In terms of murder mysteries, Anthony Horowitz is pretty good - his big one was "Magpie Murders", but there was also a sequel (in which we find out whether or not the gimmick from Magpie Murders works a second time - spoiler alert: it kind of does).
There's also "The Word Is Murder" and it's sequels - where the narrator/Watson character is Anthony Horowitz - those are a lot of fun.
Oh, so many!
I know it's kind of a meme now, but I've been a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson for a while; Way of Kings is my favorite novel of all time. Frank, you need to do a "Time to Come Clean" parody like Will Wight did where you announce 5 new books out of nowhere and upend the whole publishing industry.
Recently I've discovered an awesome military sci-fi series called Galaxy's Edge (unrelated to the Star Wars theme park). It's written by a couple of conservative guys with US Army connections who really hated where Star Wars was going with Disney and decided they'd try to do it themselves. I'm reading book 5 (of like 20+) right now and loving it. (Also, Daily Wire should work with the writers to make a TV series with a high budget that I'm sure Ben Shapiro totally has on hand)
Currently about 350 pages into reading Malice by John Gwynne, which I'm enjoying so far. I really liked Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa; reading the sequel with some friends and enjoying it but not as much as the first. Scythe by Neal Shusterman was phenomenal, still need to read the rest of that series. Timothy Zahn's a great writer even when it's not Star Wars; I loved Icarus Hunt, The Green and the Gray, and the Quadrail series.
Also I'm near the end of writing a second draft on a fantasy novel of my own, and everyone should read it after it's published!
Anything by Cormac McCarthy, William Boyd, Philip Reeve, Phillip Pullman, Jo Nesbo (i'm reading The Snowman right now), David Mitchell and also Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X series. If I am in the mood for something darker and creepy then Clive Barker fits the bill.
My own books have been influenced by all these writers and I'll throw Dean Koontz into the mix as well.
I'm one of those extra-special nerds that reads almost solely nonfiction. Frank, quite honestly I think you're the only fiction author in quite a while where I've read basically everything you've wrote. (Well, and Ethan, but a lot of his is comic stuff.) I read your stuff when I need a palate cleanser of funny. I mostly read political or religious books. I find one author who does an excellent job melding both is Steve Deace. His latest nonfiction book is "Do What You Believe (Or You Won't Be Free To Believe It Much Longer)". Very stirring, extremely well-written book. Guy really has a way with words. He's also written a best-selling fiction (kinda) book called "A Nefarious Plot" which is sort of an homage to The Screwtape Letters, but about the taking down of America. It's actually being made into a movie (Nefarious), which I think is due out next year.
Tokyo Vice by Jake Aldelstein is a fascinating read about newspaper reporters and vice cops in Japan. A real eye opener. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is in my top 3 books of all time. Right now I’m in book 2 of Becky Chamber’s Wayfarers series. Entertaining but not classic. These are 3 very different reads. And of course, Frank’s Superego books.
I usually read weird stuff. For escapist fun, "Pirates of Pensacola" by Keith Thomson was piratical without going Arrr all the time. Robert Rankin's "Retromancer" was entertaining. You have to reset your brain when reading his stuff. And if you have a lot of time to get into serious SF, "Anathem" by Neal Stephenson was great. And thanks for "Hellbender."
All the Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren is the Great American Novel.
Dashiell Hammet mysteries are great. I've just read the first one. Also, this doesn't fit with much else mentioned here, but the book "Gaff Topsails" by Pat Kavanagh was like being in a dream. Enjoyable but I can't say exactly why.
Galaxy’s Edge series ( Anspach and Cole). Not only is it good sci-fi, but the military aspects are dead on. It’s how I wanted Star Wars to be.
Forgotten Ruin (same authors). Blackhawk Down meets Lord of the Rings. Fun concept and again they get me laughing and nodding because the PFC’s act like PFC’s and the SNCO’s act like SNCO’s.
My top 2 recommendations are the Dresden Files (iirc you've read them already) by Jim Butcher and the Cradle series by Will Wight.
The Dresden Files is a wizard PI in Chicago and Cradle is basically a fighting anime in book form centering on a young man who starts without powers in a world where everyone else has powers. Both excel at world building; creating a deep cast of well realized supporting characters; having clear, sensible, and quick moving plots; and managing to balance serious matters with large doses of humor.
If you read these series it may help you to finally be able to add some humor to your overly serious books Frank.
I just finished reading Patty Smith's "The Year of the Monkey" a present from my sister. We discovered Smith's first album, "Horses", when it came out in the mid-'70s. It's considered one of the 100 best rock and roll albums of all time, fusing rock and poetry. It was the first of its kind. She is the first of her kind.
The latest example of such a fusion is the group, "Dry Cleaning", in particular their song, 'Scratchcard Lanyard'. Brilliant.
Smith is pure voracious intellect. "Year of the Monkey" is an encyclopedic narrative by a 70+ year old hitchhiker and wanderer, both dream fiction and prose memoir, ranging from the West Coast to New York to Virginia Beach. I've never read anything quite like it. Steve Erickson and William S. Burroughs come to mind.
On the fiction side, and in the spirit of the books being better than the movie or tv series, I have two recommendations for you:
1. Kathy Reich's Temperance Brennan novels (there are like 20 of them) which are the basis for the tv series Bones, which is trash imho. The books are definitely not.
2. The Gray Man books by Mark Greaney, which are much better than the Amazon movie and much better than the similar plot line in The Terminal List books by Jack Carr,.
On the non-fiction side, I am slogging my way through Winston Churchill's history of the Second World War. Looooooonnnnnnnggggg, but truly insightful.
I got into reading the Bosch novels a few years ago because of the TV series. I actually just recently finished the eighth book yesterday, and I feel the same way as you about being "reversed spoiled."
There are a few series of books that I've read in the last year or so by Robert Kroese. There is a five book series called "The Iron Dragon" about space explorers accidentally traveling back in time, and having to build a spaceship with vikings. Also (I've still got about 20% to go on the last book, but I've really been enjoying it) a three book series called "Mammon" about an Elon Musk-like figure pulling a giant asteroid into Earth orbit for easy mining, and then things go wrong, mostly because of inept American politicians. Both are fun series to read.
Another series I really liked, read a few years ago is a trilogy called "The Hidden Truth" by Hans G. Schantz. It is a story set in a slightly different timeline than our own, about a couple of teenagers that discover an obscure discrepancy in different copies of an old textbook, and their investigation leads to uncovering a secret conspiracy. That's kind of all I'd want to say about that without giving anything away.
And... I have a few novellas, alternate histories about US presidents. "Death of a Vice President" is a gothic horror Poe-esque story about President Pierce. And "An Inconvenient Presidency" about a time-traveling president Al Gore.
I like CJ Box, Peter James, PD James, Lisa Jewell, Tana French, Haruki Murakami, Sara Pinborough, Joe Hill …
Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box and N0S4A2 are amazing. Better than dad?
I enjoyed "The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent" but I listened to the audio version read by Adam Baldwin.
Going in whole different direction, reading a fantastic book on human emotions by Brene Brown, ‘Atlas of the Heart.’ Very insightful in understanding yourself and others. Frank, maybe it could be a useful reference when working on complex or challenging characters.