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Read an awesome book? Tell us about it! Leave the title and author below along with a brief summary and, if you'd like, why you love it. :3

12/6/2011 #1

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Summary online: The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who befriends Hassan, his father's young Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.

I don't really know how to explain how great it is, you'd just have to read it.

12/6/2011 #2
Draco and the Sexy Snatchers

The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks!

The Way of Shadows, The Shadow's Edge, and Beyond the Shadows are the names of the books. They are about an orphan boy, Azoth, who gets taken in by the city's BEST wetboy (no, he's not just an assassin, he's better that that), becomes Kylar, a wetboy apprentice, gets in lots of trouble, and almost kills everyone. The series is amazing and it just draws you in and doesn't let go until you're done.


12/6/2011 . Edited 12/6/2011 #3
Claratrix LeChatham

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This is a book about a boy named Piscine. His family is killed in an accident while traveling to Canada, leaving him stranded on a lifeboat with a dwindling population of zoo animals and only his deep but bizarre religious beliefs and an orange whistle standing between him and death by tiger.

The book reads in short chapters from Piscine's point of view, highlighting every rise and descent of his morale as well as his morals.

I was fascinated by this book and have read it several times. Yann Martel is brilliant.

12/6/2011 #4


(to be edited until I hit the character limit)

Entries tagged with * contain mature content i.e. sex. I've taken the liberty of fleshing out short summaries or giving descriptions of the author's usual shtick. And as a warning, some of these books / authors may be really hard to find: those that I had trouble finding are tagged with a #.

- Michael Crichton, anything. I recommend the following. The Andromeda Strain: an alien micro-organism comes to earth and kills all but two people in a small town; scientists race to discover why. Jurassic Park: an entrepreneur creates an amusement park full of dinosaurs. The Great Train Robbery: in 1855 a team of thieves conspire to commit the first robbery of a train*#. (Since I first composed this post, Great Train Robbery seems to have been reprinted. Yay! You will find it in the thriller section, most likely.)

- Caleb Carr. The Alienist: an early psychiatrist using innovative methods attempts to stop a serial killer with the help of Teddy Roosevelt. The sequel is The Angel Of Darkness, which involves a murderess, a pygmy, and a guy with oatmeal in his shoes. Two of those three are main characters.

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, any Sherlock Holmes story. A late-Victorian detective and a wounded doctor solve crimes in gaslit London.

- Ira Levin, anything*. Tightly-plotted, somewhat sf suspense tales.

- Haruki Murakami, anything*. Dreamy, elegantly-structured surreal tales of modern Japan.

- Stephen King, anything*. Attack of the Killer Whatever.

- Nancy Freedman. Joshua Son of None: a very early novel on cloning which follows the resurrection of JFK after his assassination#.

- Michael Palmer, anything*. Medical thrillers.

- Richard Matheson, anything. I recommend I Am Legend: after a plague of vampirism strikes 1970s America, one man is the last human standing.

- Nicholas Meyer. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Sherlock Holmes is treated for his cocaine addiction by Sigmund Freud, and must prevent the early start of WWI.

- Pat Frank. Alas, Babylon: the Cold War turns hot; story follows the residents of a town in Florida.

- Boris Pasternak. Doctor Zhivago: a young, idealistic doctor/poet's life during the Russian Revolution and after. (If you're going to attempt this one, watch the movie first.)

- Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: the true story of the Manson murders in the summer of 1969*. (Marked for extreme gore, crime-scene photos. Nonfiction.)

- Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, anything. Smarter than your average thriller, focusing on Special Agent Pendergast, an FBI agent who's as Southern as he is pale. My favorite is The Cabinet Of Curiosities, a stand-alone focusing on a killer thought to be copycatting murders committed a century beforehand, but who might actually be the same guy; I like it because holy god the detail they use in 1870s NYC is tremendous.

- Mary Shelley. Frankenstein: required reading for emo 101; a teenager deals with the consequences of creating life. In his lab.

- Margaret Mitchell. Gone with the Wind: Scarlett O'Hara is a determined bitch who will stop at nothing to get what she wants; set during the Civil War and Reconstruction*. (Long. Watch the movie second.)

- Connie Willis. Doomsday Book: a young woman travels back to 14th century England, where she must deal with an epidemic*. (Mark for rather gory disease descriptions.)

- John Dies at the End by David Wong. Horror. Comedy. Bromance.

Dave and John are slackers in Undisclosed somewhere in Tornado Alley. They do outrageously crazy shit -- and save the world by making a dog shit out an explosive. In the prologue they fight a meat monster.

You need to read this book. Paperback copies should be at your local Barnes and Noble or wherever you shop for books, but as the book was hosted online free for many years, there are still PDFs floating around. Also, there's a movie -- hasn't come out yet, but it's on track to do so in Soonish, Maybe.

I can't say enough for this book that it can't say for itself, so here's a tiny snippet of dialogue:

"They love to play games, don't they?" said John.

"It's all they have time for."

- Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury*#. I had to special-order this one online but holy shit. This was the basis for the 2002 movie that only I saw, and it's by turns hilarious and disturbing. Characters include a guy who KO'd a harmless old man to make his number of kills even; a woman who bit off ears and kept them in vinegar; a racist fucker whose last words were "I die a true American"; a gang called the Dead Rabbits, and even more.

Also, everything in this book is true and really did happen in New York between about 1840 and 1920. (By way of "why the hell is this so hard to find" it was first printed in the 1920s, and then reissued a decade ago with the movie. It's still ass-all hard to find.)

- Catcher in the Rye and others by J. D. Salinger. Some jerk is going to make you read something by this dude. Beat him to the punch and pick up one of his books or short stories now. Catcher isn't anything terribly special to me; I like "A Perfect Day For Bananafish" best. Basically, people do weird shit but man, are you going to enjoy it. One story's about a baseball coach who tells his team stories about "the Laughing Man", then abruptly kills off the character; another's about an awkward young man who goes to the beach, then returns to his hotel and kills himself.

- Hard Tack and Coffee by John D. Billings#. One of a boom of Civil War memoirs that came out in the 1880s and 90s, Billings's is the best I've read. He was a superbly ordinary fellow in the Union Army, but combined with Charles Reed's gorgeous pen-and-ink drawings, his prose really shines. It is a little dry if you're not a giant nerd like me, but it's still well worth the time.

Regarding availability: I found it as what may have been a rebound early edition in my college library, but it was reprinted recently by at least one no-name press, and there's at least one scan of it online as well. Apparently it was quite the best-seller. I just thought it was fuckin' funny.

- The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. This is a boys'-adventure style series, about a guy who hunts monsters and his young, much-put-upon assistant. There are three books out now, as far as I know, and it's the only YA series I keep up with. Why? Because Yancey gives a toss about his setting (1880s), and then charges off into "awesome shit" land. There's no romance, lots of gore, and the protagonist gets yelled at a whole lot. Plus, monsters!

In the latest instalment a tiny hint of romance appeared -- the protagonist has a female friend whom he apparently marries much later -- but no one wastes any time in love triangles. Yancey's research isn't exhaustive, but it's good enough for government work and the story itself is exciting and enjoyable. Go read this shit, then come fanboy with me.

12/6/2011 #5
Erwin Smith

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Features symbologist Robert Langdon (also from Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code.) You do not have to read those two to understand this one. This book is a thrill ride from beginning to end. It has Freemasons, a terrifying antagonist and a mind-fuck ending. If you like fast- paced thrillers and a twisted plot, this is the book for you.

12/19/2011 #6

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Summary: Harriet Vanger, the beloved neice of a wealthy family, disappeared off of the secluded island owned by the Vanger Clan forty years ago, on a day when she was surrounded by family and was gone without a trace. Henrik Vanger, her aging uncle, hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading Journalist headed for three months of jail, to dig through every last scrap of evidence one last time to trace back to his neice's final moments. Blomkvist then hires Lisbeth Salander, a genius computer hack with a troubled past and present, to aid him in his investigation. Together, the two unravel the dark and twisted secrets of the Vanger family, and discover just how far they will go to solve a mystery.

I can't really say much, besides holy shit this was a good book. Lisbeth is an absolute badass and I really wasn't expecting half of the things that happened. It is a decently long book, around 700 or 800 pages long, and I haven't had a chance to read the second or third, but I would definetely recommend it.

12/19/2011 . Edited 12/19/2011 #7
Erwin Smith

Insomnia by Stephen King- Ralph Roberts has a problem: he isn't sleeping so well these days. In fact, he's hardly sleeping at all. Each morning the numbers on the clock get earlier and earlier. Along with his newfound insomnia, he's starting to notice strange visual phenomena that he can't believe are hallucinations. Soon, Ralph things he won't be sleeping at all, and then what?

Misery by Stephen King- Famous author Paul Sheldon is almost killed in a car accident near Sidewinder, Colorado. He is being held in captivity by his number-one fan, Annie Wilkes, who is also his nurse. She wants Paul to write his greatest work yet, just for her. She has ways to spur him on. One is a needle. The other is an axe. Welcome to Misery.

Carrie by Stephen King- I can't find a good summary, so just read it, okay?

12/19/2011 . Edited 12/19/2011 #8


It showed up. :3

12/19/2011 . Edited 12/19/2011 #9

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I'm not allowed to read that book . . .

Anything by John Green. |D

12/19/2011 #10

I'm not allowed to read that book . . .

My mom especially has little tolerance for violence and "mature content" in her books. When a little book called The Historian came out in 2005, I was forbidden to read it because it gave her the creeps. Naturally, I then snuck pages of it whenever I could find a copy, and when I eventually finished reading it (at my grandmother's house, and why she, parent of my nervous parent, owned a copy I do not know) it was all the sweeter.

So this post's rec is that novel:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. A fairly weighty book, and a little more intellectual than your average Dan Brown novel. OK, a lot more intellectual. There are at least three interwoven stories in the larger corpus of the novel; the story of a girl traveling in the 1960s to seek her father; the story of her father, traveling in the late 40s; the story of her father's mentor, traveling in the 20s. All three travelers are in pursuit of the same man; the chase leads them throughout a richly-detailed period Europe and among a large cast of supporting characters.

I am keeping something from you about this book, mostly because I really, really want you to go into it mostly unspoilered. Let's just say there's a lot of international drama in this book, but that at its core it's a very human story.

12/20/2011 . Edited 12/20/2011 #11
Generation Nothing

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Zuzak?)

Basically about the life of a little girl during the Holocaust who houses a Jewish man in her basement with her family. It shows some of the struggles of a German family during the Holocaust time period. Before you get confused, the story is told in the point of view of Death. We watch this little girl grow up to be a woman in one way, yet still a child in the other. It's a very good book, and I really enjoyed reading it. I recommend others to read it. Great scenes, really described. Lots of details, and the ending nearly made me cry.

12/20/2011 #12

Haruki Murakami

Lol please marry me now ♥

White Oleander by Janet Fitch, which contains mature content.

12/23/2011 #13

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Love that book!

I highly recommend I Am The Messenger, also by Zusak. It's about an underage cabdriver who receives anonymous messages on playing cards in the mail that send him on missions to help people.

I'm reading the Leviathan series right now by Scott Westerfeld, and they're really, really cool. WWI, steampunk. 'Nuff said really.

2/11/2012 #14

Leviathan is wonderful. That's all. xD ♥

2/13/2012 #15
Atomic Rainboom

Battle Royale by Koshun Takami.

Originally written in Japanese, but there is a really good translation of it.

Summary: Envision this: a class of junior high school students are taken to a desert island where, as a part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided with armaments and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Every three hours, a sector of the playing field is rendered off limits. If the students go into this sector, the tracking collars they are fitted with will explode, killing them. If no students are killed within 24 hours, all the collars detonate and all the students are killed.

Welcome to Battle Royale.

3/14/2012 #16
The Illuminated Illusionist

Zombies vs. Unicorns...

The title should be enough. Just an anthology of awesomeness dealing with which team is better: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn? There's a mix of funny stories with dark stories and it's just.... It makes me happy :]

4/22/2012 #17
Another Imagineer
Full Tilt. I can't recall the authors name though. It's amazing.

Summary; Blake has always been the responsible one in the family, nothing like his thrill-seeker brother Quinn. But when Quinn goes missing, Blake will have to brave the terrors of a demonic carnival that steals it's patron's souls. To conquer it, Blake must face an array of rides representing his deepest fears. But can he get out before sunrise?

4/29/2012 #18



Both by Alison Goodman. They go together and are actually pretty good books. I didn't think I would like them.

Here's the summary for Eon, which is the first book.

Every twelve years, one of the twelve energy dragons becomes ascendant, and the Dragoneye for that dragon steps down to be replaced by his apprentice. At the same time, a new apprentice is chosen by the energy dragon from among twelve candidates and the cycle continues. No one understands the reasoning behind the dragon's choice of a new boy to replace the old one, who uses the power to control the earth in ways such as preventing earthquakes and monsoons. In exchange for this power, much of the man's Hua, or energy, is depleted by the end of his 24-year bond with his energy dragon.

It is nearing the end of training for the candidates who will appear before the Rat Dragon, the keeper of ambition. The boy considered least likely to be chosen is Eon, a cripple who is only in consideration due to his very rare gift. It is not very often that a person can see one energy dragon, but Eon can see all of them except for the Mirror Dragon, who has been missing for 500 years. However, Eon and his master are playing a very dangerous game in the quest to make him the Rat Dragon apprentice – for Eon is actually not a twelve-year-old boy but Eona, a sixteen year old girl. If it is discovered that a girl has the audacity to try to become a Dragoneye, she will be killed according to the law, which forbids females from attaining this position. Yet not being chosen is also hazardous since Eona's master will no longer have a use for her and she may end up sold to a new master, or worse. So Eona has to hope she is chosen and can keep her identity secret while serving as an apprentice and eventually Dragoneye.

6/4/2012 #19
yet another ghost
Portrait of a Killer; Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, by Patricia Cornwell.

Between August and November 1888, at least seven women were murdered in London's Whitechapel area. The gruesome nature of these deaths caused fear and panic in the East End for months, and gave rise to the sobriquet that was to become shorthand for the unknown serial killer---Jack the Ripper. Over a century later, when various theories have been brought up, Patricia Cornwell uses her formidable technical and forensic skills to give the evidence that the perpetrator was none other than the famous artist, Walter Sickert.


The subject of famous murders has always intrigued me to an extent, and this book looked too good to pass up. Includes pages of photographs of the Ripper's infamous notes, paintings by Sickert, and a photos of the victims. Quite good, I thought, if a bit unsettling.

9/3/2012 #20
I'm reading theLeviathanseries right now by Scott Westerfeld, and they're really, really cool. WWI, steampunk. 'Nuff said really.

Leviathan is amazing.


I worship the Gone Series by Michael Grant. The premise is that one day in a small town in California, (that happens to have a nuclear power plant, whoop) everyone over fifteen disappears. Poof, they're gone. So the kids have to survive on their own, but plot twist! some develop superpowers. And there's an evil alien entity who lives in a mine shaft. The plot is amazing, but the real amazing thing about this book is the characters. MG is brilliant at creating detailed, realistic characters from all backgrounds, and they're all so real. There's characters of all races, which is nice, because a lot of books are very, very white. And they all have histories, thoughts, and motivations. There's a ton of blood, more so than THG even, and a lot of adult themes though.

9/3/2012 #21
Full Tilt. I can't recall the authors name though. It's amazing.]

I believe it's Shusterman, though I could be wrong. And anything by him is amazing- I'm a huge fan of Unwind, and Everlost (it continues on to be a series) reminds me boatloads of The Lazarus Front. I never finished it, but from what I recall the two are remarkably similar.

9/7/2012 . Edited 9/7/2012 #22

I love The Help by Katherine Stockett with all of my heart.

11/17/2013 #23

Children of green knowe by Lucy m bush.

12/19/2013 #24
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