20 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2010 12:49 PM by BrandieC

    book/author suggestions?

      Looking for something to interesting for a 30yo guy that doesn't involve vampires. To help out, right now I'm reading council of dads. I like stephen king, dan brown, and joe hill. I plan on reading the stieg larsson books soon. Don't really like a series that goes on for too long. Think a trilogy is as much as I can handle.

        • Re: book/author suggestions?

          Check out the "What are you reading" thread on the front page of this forum.

          • Re: book/author suggestions?
            bklvr896

            There's a lot of stuff on there besides vampire and romance books.

             

            I don't read a lot of one off books, I like series books.  All these are series, but none of them are cliffhangers that would make you read the next book.  Although in most cases I would start with the first ones.

             

            Lee Childs Jack Reacher Series is good, although it is a long series.

            VInce Flynn, Mitch Rapp series - CIA agent, also good, but a series again.

            Michael Harvey - Michael Kelly Series - Private Detective

            Jack Higgins - Sean Dillon - IRA Enforcer now working for British Govt.  Series again

            MIchael Connelly - Harry Bosch - LAPD Detective - (Series)

            F Paul Wilson - Repairman Jack Series - Problem solver for people with a supernatural twist

            David Balducci books - I haven't read many but my Dad really like the Camel Club trilogy

            If you like Sci-Fi, the Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden series is good.  He's a wizard detective

            Robert Crais - Joe Pike books (I think there are currently only 3)

            Clive Cussler - Dirk Pitt Series, Oregon Series, a couple of others

            Brad Meltzer - I've enjoyed several of his books

            Ken Follett - He writes some good books.

             

            I haven't read these yet, but I found them on the What are you reading thread or browsing through the book store:

             

            Stephen Baxter - Flood, Ark

            Matterhorn-A novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes (I found this after I read part of it using the Read in store)

            I just added Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston to my wishlist based on the What are you reading thread.

             

             

             

             

             

            • Re: book/author suggestions?
              Doug_Pardee

              Have you checked out Smashwords? It's mostly unknown authors, and of course there's a fair amount of dreck, but there are also some pretty good books there. There are a number of free e-books that have gotten excellent reviews.

               

              Here are links to free e-books of over 25,000 words, top-rated first, in a couple of categories:

               

              Most of the e-books there that aren't free are reasonably priced. And you can usually preview a fair amount of the e-book before you decide whether to buy it or not. (I do recommend previewing before buying. There have been a number of e-books there that sounded good until I looked at the preview.)

               

              Oh, and I know you said "no vampires", but Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter is funny as heck. And it's free. It's a novella, though: only 15,000 words or so.

              • Re: book/author suggestions?
                brianofedmond

                Cristopher Reich is good.  One of his books Rules of Deception is only 99 cents right now.

                • Philosophical musings about book series
                  Doug_Pardee

                  Cackhanded wrote:

                  Don't really like a series that goes on for too long.


                  I can understand that. I'm not much on series at all, whether short or long.

                   

                  Unfortunately, series are where the money is, both for authors and for publishers. Contrary to popular opinion, almost no author gets rich off of a single book. Or even makes enough to quit his/her day job. An author needs a lot of books out there to make money. Writing a series provides a number of advantages in that regard.

                   

                  First, the author only needs to come up with a new plot, not new characters and a new milieu for the following books. Research time is also reduced. That means that more books can be written in a shorter time.

                   

                  Because a series comes with a pre-existing fan base, it's easier to sell a follow-on book in a series (provided that the first book sold fairly well) than a stand-alone title. Trade publishers are in the business of printing books 'on speculation', and the risks are significantly reduced for series titles. Which, by the way, can also mean a substantially larger advance check to the author.

                   

                  When a follow-on book in a series is released, all of the earlier titles in the series will typically experience a short sales 'pop'. More money for the publisher and the author, with nothing expended on marketing those books. The more books in the series, the more 'free money'.

                   

                  Almost all of the big-name authors became big-name authors by having popular series. Some, like James Patterson and Nora Roberts, have multiple popular series going at once. Stieg Larsson's 'Millennium Trilogy' wasn't supposed to be a trilogy, but Larsson died before finishing the other seven books he'd planned for the series.

                   

                  Certainly there are authors who manage to become big names without series. Stephen King is probably the biggest of those big names. John Grisham, Dan Brown, and Danielle Steele are a few more that come to mind. But it's getting more and more difficult. Dan Brown aside, those writers became big names in the last century. The 'rules' for writing and publishing saleable novels are always shifting, and today's rules don't provide much room for books that aren't part of a series.

                   

                  A real-life example to illustrate the power, and necessity, of series: Lynn Viehl openly discussed the financials from book 6 of her Darkyn series. Because of the fan-base from the earlier books in the series, Twilight Fall debuted at #19 on the NYT best-seller list. Okay, that's barely on the list (which has 20 entries), but it is on the list. She only made the list because the book was part of a series, and she didn't even make the list until book 6.

                   

                  And how much did she make in royalties on this NYT best-seller? She got a $50,000 advance, of which there was about $26,000 'take-home' after agents, taxes, etc. The royalties credited for the first five months, which are when most of the sales are made, were $27,721.31. All of which came out of that advance, and unless/until it earns another $22,000+ in royalties, she'll never see another penny beyond that $26,000 take-home from her advance. (There are another $13,512.69 in royalties which are being held back to cover the expected number of books returned as unsold.)

                   

                    • Re: Philosophical musings about book series

                      Doug, you hit the nail on the head with that!

                       

                      BUT the fact remains that unless the primary characters are great, I won't commit to a series...  I have to WANT to visit them again.

                       

                      There is another reason why series are so popular, we were raised on them!  Comic books, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew - the list just goes on and on...

                       

                      As expensive as books (in general, not just ebooks) are getting, I think people want to spend their money where they are sure they are going to get bang for their buck.

                      • Re: Philosophical musings about book series
                        bklvr896

                        Very interesting Doug.  I'm on the opposite end, I love series books.  I enjoy getting to know the characters and watching them grow and change.  Reading a new book in a series is like catching up with an old friend.  

                         

                        I have notes I carry around with me to keep track of the series' I'm reading and I always read a series in order.  If I see a new book in the store, I will check to see if it is a series, and will go find the first one before buying the later ones.  About the only exception to this is when they offer me a free eBook that is a later one in a series.  I will generally read the first part of whatever book I got free to see if I think I'll enjoy it, if so, I'll stop, and go find the first ones and read in order.

                         

                        But, as with TV shows and movies with sequels, the writer has to know when to stop.  There are series I've quit reading because they got boring, nothing new.  At that point, an author needs to wind it up and move on or move the character in a new direction, if possible.

                         

                        But, also, reading is my primary choice of entertainment, I'd rather read a book than watch TV most of the time, and I read very fast, so I can run through a series quickly.  I might not enjoy series books as much if I was a slower reader because looking at getting through 20 books might seem a little daunting.  

                         

                        I also enjoy standalone books, trilogies, trilogies plus 1 (is there a name for 4 books in a series?), I just pretty much enjoy books.

                         

                        Certainly glad there are writers out there for all of us.

                         

                          • Re: Philosophical musings about book series

                            bklvr896 wrote:

                             

                            I also enjoy standalone books, trilogies, trilogies plus 1 (is there a name for 4 books in a series?)

                             


                            "Quartet", as in The Alexandria Quartet, by Lawrence Durrell. :smileyhappy:
                            • Re: Philosophical musings about book series

                               


                              bklvr896 wrote:

                              Very interesting Doug.  I'm on the opposite end, I love series books.  I enjoy getting to know the characters and watching them grow and change.  Reading a new book in a series is like catching up with an old friend.  

                               

                              I have notes I carry around with me to keep track of the series' I'm reading and I always read a series in order.  If I see a new book in the store, I will check to see if it is a series, and will go find the first one before buying the later ones.  About the only exception to this is when they offer me a free eBook that is a later one in a series.  I will generally read the first part of whatever book I got free to see if I think I'll enjoy it, if so, I'll stop, and go find the first ones and read in order.

                               

                              But, as with TV shows and movies with sequels, the writer has to know when to stop.  There are series I've quit reading because they got boring, nothing new.  At that point, an author needs to wind it up and move on or move the character in a new direction, if possible.

                               

                              But, also, reading is my primary choice of entertainment, I'd rather read a book than watch TV most of the time, and I read very fast, so I can run through a series quickly.  I might not enjoy series books as much if I was a slower reader because looking at getting through 20 books might seem a little daunting.  

                               

                              I also enjoy standalone books, trilogies, trilogies plus 1 (is there a name for 4 books in a series?), I just pretty much enjoy books.

                               

                              Certainly glad there are writers out there for all of us.

                               


                               

                               

                               

                              EXACTLY!!!!  There are so many that are good stand alone books, Jack Ryan by Tom Clancy (they weren't even written in order), the In Death series by JD Robb, Catherine Coulter's FBI series are just a few out there.

                               

                              Like you though, if I find one I like I then read it all in order and will probably read them again when they call to me!  :smileywink:  Sometimes it depends on my mood, a comfort book last a lot longer than comfort food and has fewer calories.

                               

                              I have a lot of Clancy to go back and get familiar with before 12/7!

                               

                               

                                • Re: Philosophical musings about book series
                                  bklvr896

                                   


                                  FrogAlum wrote:

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  EXACTLY!!!!  There are so many that are good stand alone books, Jack Ryan by Tom Clancy (they weren't even written in order), the In Death series by JD Robb, Catherine Coulter's FBI series are just a few out there.

                                   

                                  Like you though, if I find one I like I then read it all in order and will probably read them again when they call to me!  :smileywink:  Sometimes it depends on my mood, a comfort book last a lot longer than comfort food and has fewer calories.

                                   

                                  I have a lot of Clancy to go back and get familiar with before 12/7!

                                   

                                   


                                   

                                   

                                  I have reread many of my series books.  Last year I decided I needed to reread the In Death Series.  I love watch Eve and Rourke learn to be a couple and Eve learn how to have friends.  And, to fantasize about Rourke, every woman should have a Rourke in her life. :smileywink:

                                   

                                  And you're right, a good comfort book, is in the long run, better than comfort food.  And sometimes I want to read, but not concentrate too hard, and a book I've already read allows me to do that, I can get re-immersed in the store, but parts of it I already know, so I can relax while reading it.

                                   

                                  Just finished rereading a book but that is mostly because I've been hesitant to start a new book, because (1) I had to finish something I was putting off, and (2) I have a couple of books that should be in from the library any day now and I don't want to have to stop reading a really good book to read the library books.

                            • Re: book/author suggestions?

                              If you like Stephen King, have you tried Dean Koontz? His Frankenstein & Odd Thomas series' have about 4 or 5 books each, and he has a number of singles that are great.

                               

                              A local writer I love is Jonathan Maberry. He has a trilogy (so far) - Ghost Road Blues, Dead Man's Song, Bad Moon Rising - that I just couldn't put down!

                               

                              Sue

                              • Re: book/author suggestions?

                                I didn't mention it before because you said you didn't like series, but Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori, historical fantasies set approximately in medieval Japan, are well researched and very well written.  For some reason, B&N had a lot of trouble getting access to the second book, Grass for His Pillow, but that's been resolved now.

                                 

                                 

                                Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori Series #1)  

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Grass For His Pillow  

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Brilliance of the Moon (Tales of the Otori Series #3)

                                  

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Harsh Cry of the Heron (Tales of the Otori Series #4)  

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                The fifth book is actually a prequel to the other four:

                                 

                                Heaven's Net Is Wide (Tales of the Otori Series #5)

                                  

                                 

                                • Re: book/author suggestions?
                                  BrandieC

                                  Four other series I highly recommend:

                                   

                                  1.  The Serge series by Tim Dorsey.  Serge is a serial killer, but he only kills people who deserve to die (in amazingly creative ways); the books are hilarious.  Dorsey has said that he intended the books to be read in the order in which they were published, but he jumps around in time somewhat, so on his web page, he also lists them in internal chronological order.

                                   

                                  2.  The Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  Both authors have also written some pretty good standalone books; of the two authors writing independently, I prefer Preston.

                                   

                                  3.  The Jack Daniels series by J.A. Konrath.  I discovered this series "through the back door" by reading a free eBook he coauthored called "Serial."  This series is sort of the converse of Dorsey's Serge series; Jack Daniels spends her time trying to catch serial killers (do you detect a theme here?), but, like the Serge series, there's a lot of humor, too.

                                   

                                  4.  The John Wells series by Alex Berenson.  Another one I discovered since becoming a Nook owner, so you may have seen this one already on another thread.  (Despite the theme of this post, I generally read "literary fiction" and have a humongous "to be read" list already, so I've never read the "What is everyone reading?" thread on this board.