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New Releases? No, not today…

Greetings Literary Comrades!

This week in new book releases is a sparse one, at best, so I’ve opted not to put together a post. Mostly because there isn’t a post to put together! There’s a whole slew of romance releases, Nora Roberts and maybe some other namely persons that I do not know of, but nothing that was particularly standout for a Nerdist.com sort of head’s up. A rather depressing day for literature, methinks, unless I’m missing something. That is ENTIRELY possible! If you know of any good books coming out this week, give us a head’s up on them in the comments, eh?

Since it’s a slow week, why don’t we try something fun for this Tuesday? A mini book review, of sorts! What’s your favorite title? What’s it about? Why do you love it so much? WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT — errr. Right. Let’s hear it, nerdlings! Favorite book, reasons why: this is your assignment.

Now go! Illuminate our minds!

Comments

  1. my_leisure says:

    Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson.
    Difficulty: Fucking Hard but Fucking worth it.

    When people have seen me reading these books they tend to ask me what it’s about. This I understand because one of these books in hardcover pretty much looks like the entire Lord of the Rings set bound into one book. However it’s a question that I cannot really answer. These books might revolve around a central plot but that plot is hiding in the shadows (or in Meanas). The main draw of the book for me is the characters, the races and the astounding amount of back-story and history this world has. It’s no mystery that Erikson has used his Archaeology and Anthropology education to craft this world.

    Now why is this book hard to read? To me it’s because Erikson doesn’t acclimate the reader to the world he’s created. You start confused and it really doesn’t get any better until about 300 pages in. And even then he throws new things at you with no explanation at all. However, I look at it this way, Erikson has woven a tapestry so huge, so detailed, so fucking incredible that it cannot be looked at as a whole right off the bat. Instead Erikson just gives you a glimpse here and there that allows you to slowly come to terms with the world he has created. This can be very frustrating and if my friend who told me to read this book hadn’t been around to answer some of my questions I might have quit too. But this friend was the person responsible for me reading Martin, Donaldson, Farland, Bakker and so on, so I took his opinion seriously. When he said this series was the best he had ever read I believed him and now I share the same opinion.

    Here are some tips for reading the first book:

    1st: Do not try to guess what’s going to happen. Just read it with an open mind. I say this because you’re going to meet characters and races that are hundreds of thousands of years old. They introduce their own stories into the mix so trying to guess anything while reading the first book is pointless.

    2nd: Try to pay attention. I know it’s hard at first but honestly I have read this book (the entire series in fact) twice and each time I realize how detailed Erikson has been. I have full confidence that the entire series was already done in his head before he wrote the first page.

    3rd: Do not underestimate anyone. Something might seem insignificant now but in these stories they can be the pebble that started the landslide.

    All in all just get to page 350 and you’ll probably start to feel things click. Then you can finish it and start the next books which are breathtaking. If you didn’t know the next 2 books are on the same timeline but they occur on different continents. It is in these that you truly bond with the characters and see a new world unfold in front of your eyes.

  2. Ryan Speck says:

    Company by Max Barry. While it’s hard to choose between that and Jennifer Government, both hit the perfect satirical notes. But somehow Company excels by being more accessible. It’s a book about the mindless absurdity and oppression of corporate culture. The theme is universal, but it’s set in Seattle and, despite the author’s Australian-ness, it hits the nail on the head for the locale and likely any locale’s cubicle culture of abject stupidity.

    (Or perhaps my book, The Big Rusty Lie.)

  3. Padraic says:

    Infinite Jest (DF Wallace)
    …. followed distantly by:
    Name of the Rose (Eco)
    Invisible Cities (Calvino)
    The Corrections (Franzen)

  4. Doug says:

    The entire Necroscope series by Brian Lumley. 15 book series, read the entire series 6 times. His writing style is completely engrossing. It is, ostensibly, a vampire series, but the vampires are evil, centuries old, and not sparkly. :-) Sadly, most folks now hear “Vampire books” and automatically think “Twilight.” Twilight blows and this does not. Simply put.

  5. Angela says:

    The Phantom Tollbooth- Norton Juster
    My favorite as a child has only grown with me over the years. A fantastic read and faithfully adapted into a tv movie in 1970; it is a classic I recommend to anyone.

  6. Mac says:

    “The Count of Monte Cristo” as it is really the best revenge primer for all ages.

  7. Eric C says:

    No particular order:

    The entire “Culture” series of novels by Iain M. Banks, with special praise for “Excession” and “Look to Windward.”. Darkly hilarious, inventive, smart, and resonant science fiction. “Look to Windward” seems to eerily presage 9/11, thematically.

    The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. Simply the most ambitious, most intricate, and best long fantasy series ever written. It starts off slow before hitting a peak with books 2-5. The 10th and final volume should be coming soon.

    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. The neediest work of fiction yet produced? Maybe, but it’s also brilliant in a way that makes you just gape in awe at the writer’s intellect.

    Finally, a triumvirate for skeptics: The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan, The End Of Faith by Sam Harris, and Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer.

  8. gully foyle says:

    “The Stars My Destination” or “The Demolished Man” both 1950’s sci-fi by Alfred Bester. Both feature criminals as the protagonists, but you feel for them and root for them despite their terrible actions. Also some interesting text layouts that are actually part of the story.

  9. gorillagirl says:

    There are so many books already mentioned that rank in my favorites, but my absolute favorite is “The Gone-Away World” by Nick Harkaway. The first book he’s written, and it’s stellar. Not to mention ninja mimes, need I say more?

  10. Kevin says:

    Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance. It’s a collection of stories by one of the slightly lesser known masters of science fiction and fantasy. I don’t use the term master lightly here, Vance is seriously that good. The stories are a blend of dystopian futurism, adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, black comedy and light horror. I honestly couldn’t do this collection any justice with my feeble attempt at a review, I can do no better than say if you’re fond of a good read then do yourself a favor you’ll never regret and find this book.

  11. Tim C says:

    I would have to recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Great first book in a trilogy. Can’t wait for the remainder to be released.

  12. JButch33 says:

    Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield. Tremendous fictionalized account of the battle of Thermopylae. Hard to put down once you start it.

  13. DoormatHobo says:

    Out Of The Silent Planet – The first book in the ‘Space Trilogy’ by the great C.S. Lewis! It tells the story of a man named Dr. Ransom who, while hiking through the English countryside, gets drugged by two mad scientists that stuff him into a ship and shoot him out into outer space to the planet of Malacandra, and it goes from there. It has all the makings of a great sci-fi story (mystery/adventure/suspense/aliens!), with the British colloquialisms we all (don’t) know and love! But for seriousnessly, this is a wonderful novel that doesn’t skimp on awesomeness helpings, and Lewis’ uncanny ability to describe the indescribable leaves me completely enthralled from start to end. As with seemingly all of Lewis’ works, there are some deep Christian symbolism to this story (no Aslan though, sorry), but don’t be scared away! The issues addressed in the story are actually more philosophical in nature, such as what it means to live as an intelligent, conscious being (human or otherwise). I highly recommend this novel and further suggest reading the entire ‘Space Trilogy’ series. Go!!!

  14. Modern Clutter says:

    “Adverbs” by Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket’s grown-up, non-pseudonymous alter-ego. Brilliant, funny, sad, sweet, interconnecting stories of how people fall in love.

  15. Xtina says:

    My top 3 are the Hitchhiker’s series by Douglas Adams, The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner & Tomcat In Love by Tim O’Brien.

  16. Aaron A. S. says:

    “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula LeGuin … I read it in fourth grade and, because I loved it so much, stole it when the librarian was called away from her desk so the coast was clear. I actually took the book to a college speaking engagement and got the author to sign it … right beside the “Property of …” library stamp. It is one of my most prized keepsakes!!

  17. LaurelKaye says:

    Jonathan Carroll ~ Sleeping in Flame

    I recently reread this book, just to make sure my fondness was not based on “who”” gave me the book, but my own true feelings. I love this book. I follow him on Twitter. He posted that he has a new blog. I go. I find his REAL email and I sent him my feelings and he replied within minutes. No matter how hard I try, I can not explain to you this story. It’s a magical secret he whispers to the reader. It’s personal. And wonderful. Don’t miss out.

    Sharp Objects ~ Gillian Flynn
    This woman uses word pairings like projectiles to your brain. Not to mention the story grabs you in a vice grip and won’t let go!

    Area 10 ~ story by: Christos N. Gage. Art by: Chris Samnee ( yes it’s a graphic novel, is this not Nerdist??) I have been a big big fan since the world changed from Super Heroes and no one died to The Watchmen and The Sandman. This will not disappoint. Part Cop Mystery, Part Anatomy Class, Part ticket to another way of perceiving the world around you. Short and to the point, like a rollercoaster ride with a few tricks and then your back at the starting line wanting to go again!

  18. Jay Fralick says:

    Great comments. Enough stuff here to keep me reading for years.

    I love The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks and Dark: A Horror Anthology.

    All time favorite read has to be The Gunslinger, by Stephen King. Most of King’s books, I would classify as fun reads, but The Gunslinger is different.

    Oh course, honorable mention to Hitchhiker’s Guide

  19. julie c says:

    for the sheer number of times I’ve re-read it, my top 3 books are : LOTR(Tolkien), Pride and Prejudice (Austen) and The Elfin Ship (Blaylock).
    For a more recent read I loved Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel – it painted me an alternate world that I could believe.

  20. Sarina says:

    This book is coming out in August but you should review it:
    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
    Its the last book in the hunger games series. If you haven’t read the other two, the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, hurry up. It is amazing. The premise is that its the future, America has been disbanded and now is divided into districts under a totalitarian rule. The government picks kids from each district sticks them in an arena and they have to fight to the death. Its like Running Man with teenagers.
    Also out sooner is Scott Pilgrim’s Last Stand. Its more of a graphic novel then a book but it is also amazing.

  21. Julie Conn says:

    I’m embarrassed to say Stephen King- The Long Walk. Well technically, it’s Richard Bachman, and it’s a novella.

  22. Dave Bruce says:

    Foundation – Isaac Asimov.

    The book (and series) that got me reading actual books before which was “just” comics and the like. Oh, don’t worry I still love comics all these years later, no damn book could take that away!

  23. MelissaIbanez says:

    Favorite book I’ve read recently: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. Written by Christopher Moore. This book is a completely satirical view of Jesus’ life from a child to adulthood. It is beyond funny and completely entertaining.

  24. Brian Smith says:

    “A Prayer For Owen Meany.” John Irving at his best. An uplifting rumination about the fragility of life and fate.

  25. Dune by Frank Herbert. Excellent writing, character development, and his eco-concepts and understanding of religions is simply amazing; especially in a sci-fi book.

  26. cappy says:

    Little brother by Cory docterow, because its an uber geeky nerd book!!!

  27. Alex says:

    “Use Eagles If Necessary: A Psychoanalysts Stories” by James T. Joyce, is about a guy that goes to a shrink and then becomes one. It’s informative, hysterical, and moving. A must read for anyone who has ever asked, “what in the hell is the matter with me?”

  28. Jaime says:

    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. So fucking good.

  29. Jerry says:

    “Sphere” by Michael Crichton. I love stuff that takes place underwater, and that book is just creepy and imaginative.

  30. Emma says:

    Given that Harry Potter is in the nerd pantheon, I’m going to have to say Pride & Prejudice, followed closely by Paper Towns by John Green.

  31. Dom Risk says:

    I almost forgot, – Suck it, Wonder Woman by Olivia Munn!

    Not read it yet as it should be delivered today but it’s obviously going to be a classic

  32. Dom Risk says:

    This is like asking which of the triplets I would save in a fire! I think overall my favourite book would have to be either The Burgler in The Library by Lawrence Block or Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

    To be honest you could pick any Block or Pratchett book and be on to a winner

  33. d says:

    Eddings- any but the new ones, start with the ones about garion, move onto sparhawk..
    Weber- Honor Harrington series, although I get grumpy
    and Nietszche- Thus spake Zarathustra- Kaufman translation, or you could try the German, but it seemed very dense to me..

    Merci

  34. jackie trout says:

    Hairstyles of the damned is an awesome book. Its a kind of a biography… the author tells his high school story about how he gets into music and an obsession with boobs and girls and hating jocks. If u like punk rock Indie type things I’d say read it. Its hilarious and a good read.

    Also Neil gaiman has several short story books; one is smoke and mirrors another book by him, good omens is awesome too. I always love his books because you learn a lot about his thoughts and happenings when he writes graphic novels and a lot before that too. His life is very interesting as well as his stories. He’s one of my favorite authors. So if u like comics with no pictures…Heh heh… go for it. Super easy read.

  35. Stefan says:

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams

  36. ben says:

    “Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” by Haruki Murakami

  37. Jeff Frazier says:

    The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by: Heinlein, a work of total genius

  38. Marshall says:

    “Halo: The Fall of Reach” by Eric Nylund. Once you muscle your way through all the hype of the video game franchise and read the Halo books, I’m sure you’ll find that they actually do a spectacular job of telling a very deep, tragic, and all around entertaining story.

  39. Peter says:

    Summerland by Michael Chabon

  40. Chris says:

    My favorite book is “Sock” by Penn Jillette. Part detective story, part insane manifesto, and mostly hodge-podge of random pop culture references. In other words, it’s perfect.

  41. Billy says:

    When All the World Was Young – Ferrol Sams

    This book just sticks with me and I bring it out to read every year. Semi-autobiographical depiction of a young man going through World War II. Just a good read. Book effected me deeply and me look at myself differently. Great balance of humor, anger, sadness. Just beautiful writing.

    And for sentimental reasons, Antione de Saint Exupery – The Little Prince

  42. Anthony says:

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. A touching and funny story about a boy whose father died in the 9/11 bombing and how he copes with it. Several stories intertwine and its just amazingly written and has a great typographic presence as a story writing device. The book is also full of random photos, mostly from what the boy Googles.

  43. Cheetohface says:

    The Deep Blue Goodbye – John D. MacDonald

  44. Brett says:

    House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielwski, is completely boss…. A book that you find different things about every time you read it. Plus, its one of the few books that actually found to be pretty suspenseful and intense. Me Gusta.

  45. Casey says:

    ‘Fool’ by Christopher Moore. It’s the funniest piece of media I’ve ever read, heard, or watched. A parody of ‘King Lear’ by the bard himself.

  46. Without a doubt, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas…it’s the only book that I’ve read multiple times.

  47. LoLo says:

    “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is the collection, and only books which have been with me since, well … since they were written!

  48. Rob says:

    Surprised no one has mentioned Dan Simmons..the three books of his Hyperion Cantos blew me away.

    Also loved Infinite Jest & confederacy of dunces, smart books by brilliant writers we lost too soon.

    Great feedback…I’ve got a few new things to look for next time I head to the library.

  49. Lorie Doty says:

    Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. I adore this book. The last line of the book is, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” I’ve read it until my copy fell apart and had to be secured with rubber bands. Get it. Read it. Marry it.

  50. Jud Niven says:

    IT by Stephen king. Another good reason to hate clowns.