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04 August 2008

I have yet to read a really great book this summer. And I'm working in this library. Any suggestions? Fiction or non-fiction are fine. Some of my past favorite reads include:[More:]

Anything by Neal Stephenson

"" William Gibson

Tim Powers

I also just finished "Enemy at the Gates" about the battle of Stalingrad and enjoyed it, while being simultaneously horrified.

I hate to sound like a total slug, but I am just drawing a blank right now. Thanks for any recommendations!

Oh Gee, I forgot to use [MI] on this post. I send warm thoughts to anyone who will fix it for me. Sorry.
posted by craniac 04 August | 15:13
Tim Powers is one of my favorites. Have you tried China Mieville yet?
posted by Wolfdog 04 August | 15:19
You need to read The Raw Shark Texts, by Steven Hall. Hardly cheap summer fiction, but easily one of the best books I've ever read.

It is absolutely mind-bending and un-putdownable.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 August | 15:20
crainiac, "Enemy at the Gates" was also a pretty fantastic movie.

I dunno about the genres you listed (I've read all of William Gibson's stuff too, though) but the mister got me this for my birthday, and so far it's a riveting read.
posted by lonefrontranger 04 August | 15:22
Try Alfred Bester, "The Stars My Destination." Or "Ill Met by Moonlight" by W. Stanley Moss.
posted by Hugh Janus 04 August | 15:27
China Mieville keeps getting recommended to me, but feels a little too filled with purple prose, a little too lurid or wacky for me. Maybe I just need to give it another shot. Alfred Bester keeps showing up on various lists and I blow it off because it is (heaven forbid) older SF, but again, I should check it out. The Raw Shark Texts is on shelf--I am off to grab it.

I am not sure what to think about Dan Patch the Wonderhorse (what a great Mefi name) but if it is on shelf I will take a look at it!
posted by craniac 04 August | 15:30
James Blaylock is a friend and occasional collaborator with Tim Powers. "The Last Coin" is my favourite, though everyone else is doing urban fantasy now. (I named myself after the main character in "The Stone Giant")

Seconding China Mieville: "Perdido Street Station" and "The Scar" I think are the best.

"Glasshouse" and "The Atrocity Archive" by Charles Stross were pretty good. "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Vernor Vinge is a great classic.
posted by TheophileEscargot 04 August | 15:32
I just read "True North," about the expeditions to the North Pole by Frederick Cook and Robert Peary. It was really interesting, and had a whole lot of human drama thrown in. (The short bit about some of the marriage/birthing traditions of the native people was absolutely fascinating.)

Also, it made me feel cooler, what with all the icebergs and sled dogs and such.
posted by mudpuppie 04 August | 15:42
I'll second Bester, too! TSMD and The Demolished Man both.
posted by Wolfdog 04 August | 15:44
George Alec Effinger's Marîd Audran Series is some of the best cyber-punk not written by Gibson, Sterling or Stevenson.
posted by octothorpe 04 August | 15:47
Try "The Good Soldier Švejk" by Jaroslav Hašek.
posted by Hugh Janus 04 August | 15:50
I'm loving David Goodis lately.
posted by box 04 August | 15:58
Also (in translations) Kjell Erikson, Henning Mankell, and Juan de Recacoechea's American Visa.
posted by box 04 August | 16:01
I hate China Mieville's work. Detest. Loathe. Dislike extremely. But then, I'm an irascible redneck who thinks Faulkner was a sell-out, so make of that what you will. (Ok, all I read was the first half of Perdido Street Station before I gave up in disgust, maybe the rest of his stuff is stellar. But god is he full of himself. And his prose lumbers like a glue-sniffing mastodon with a bum knee.)

I'm reading Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union and enjoying it immensely.

As far as SF goes, the last thing that really made me jump for joy was Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos which has been out for a while (like a decade or more), but is chock-full of awesome.
posted by BitterOldPunk 04 August | 16:06
Ok, who's the wise guy/girl? I waited about 15 minutes to get off my butt and check out The Raw Shark Texts and somebody had checked it out!
posted by craniac 04 August | 16:08
Seriously. The book was on shelf, according to the computer. I got up to look for it, and it was nowhere in sight. I checked online again and it had been checked out. Now I get to wonder who the secret Metachat-ian is!

In other news, I have Effinger in my hands and Hyperion looks great, so maybe I was secretly craving some good science fiction and didn't realize it. Thanks all!

[also put some good Urban Fantasy on hold]
posted by craniac 04 August | 16:17
Alfred Bester was checked out too, so I neded up with Hyperion and "When Gravity Fails." They both look great.
posted by craniac 04 August | 20:35
I read Michael Chabons The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay. That was a good summer holiday novel for me.
So I'm going to pick up the Yiddish Policemens's Union now.
posted by jouke 04 August | 22:35
I love Chabon's Wonder Boys (the movie isn't bad either), and I just read that beautiful McSweeneys-published book of his essays. I hope you enjoy Yiddish Policemen's Union.

Have we tried a Mecha book club before?
posted by box 04 August | 22:39
I've read both of the Chabon books you mentioned and really enjoyed them. I had a book of his with a parrot on the front but lost it at Yellowstone a couple of weeks ago. Actually, my wife lost it. A pity as I scored it for a buck.
posted by craniac 04 August | 23:09
Have we tried a Mecha book club before? Yes.
posted by arse_hat 04 August | 23:19
I think you'll like Hyperion and the subsequent novels. They're a throwback to the whiz-bang exuberant world-building of old space operas with just enough thematic heft to keep them from galloping off into total silliness. And the Shrike is just fucking cool.
posted by BitterOldPunk 04 August | 23:53
Snipers on the roof! || Naked Neighbors.