Topic: Off-topic /
So, fairly simple thread idea: name a couple of books / authors you’ve enjoyed recently and say why. Maybe you’ll inspire someone to give a book you’ve really enjoyed a read, and pick up a few good titles yourself :) I’ll start:
Fantasy – Clive Barker – Abarat
Clive Barker is one of my favourite writers, and his recent releases in the “Abarat” series are all excellent reads, and very typical of his dark, slightly twisted style. Although “Abarat” is on the surface quite a charming fantasy adventure, it has some real bleak, horror moments to it. Think Alice In Wonderland gone sinister, and you’ll have a good starting point for the plot in this series. So far two books have been released, and I think Barker intends to write another two. Check it out.
Science Fiction – Collection – Infinity Plus
I’m a fan of a number of science fiction writers but I don’t have a set favourite. Stephen Baxter is good, if a little meticulous about theoretical details, as is Ian M Banks. If you’re looking for humour I’d suggest Rob Grant / Doug Naylor (creators of Red Dwarf) for “Colony” or “Last Human”, or the rightfully popular Douglas Adams for his “Hitchhikers Guide”. But a good starting point for anyone wanting to get into the genre is “Infinity Plus”: an anthology of sci-fi short stories including submissions from Stephen Baxter. And most of it’s good ;)
Science – Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion
I’ve just finished “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, and I can honestly say I’m amazed. If ever there was a definitive, systematic and logical deconstruction of all religion (not specifically Christianity, although it is heavily referenced) and its respective claims, this is it. Unusually, it isn’t even read as an attack; more a calm and collected discussion laced with occasional anecdotes. I’ve enjoyed every page. Highly recommended for anyone looking to broaden their horizons in science or religion.
Classic – George Orwell – 1984
Hm, does this count as a classic? I’m not sure. It certainly is by my criteria: George Orwell’s “1984”; possibly one of the more thought-provoking books I’ve read in my time, especially the last third of the book. If you haven’t read this yet, why not? No excuses!