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Getting back into reading

Posted: 15 Feb 2018, 01:52
by Jackkel Dragon
I feel like I've been slacking off on reading books lately, so I thought maybe it would be a good idea to get some suggestions on what to read. The latest things I remember finishing are Metro 2034, Another: Episode S, and the first volume of the new Darth Vader comic series, and I started the first of those last summer. I feel that, as a writer, I should probably make more of an effort to keep reading when I can.

Tricky thing about asking for a recommendation is that I'm not entirely sure what I'd like to read. Some things that I think I'd like at first turn out to be boring to me, and I sometimes get surprised with things I didn't think I'd like. But since asking for suggestions will go nowhere without something to work with, I'll list out a few ideas I had for what I might be looking for:
  • Female protagonist, preferably 18 or older. So much of what I read has a male lead, even if they aren't the actual focus of the story. So I'd like to see something a bit different, if possible. I'm also trying to get out of having most of my own stories feature teenagers, so it might help to see some adult leading characters.
  • A story featuring the paranormal, but not from a romance angle. I'm thinking of something like the "occult detective" genre, or maybe horror/mystery like in Another. I'd prefer something less bleak than Lovecraft, but I can survive if it does get grim but I like the characters or setting (like with the Metro series).
  • Alternatively, I'd be interested in something with a light sci-fi theme to it. Something like soft sci-fi or science fantasy, like Star Wars. Cyberpunk and themes like transhumanism work too, though I'd prefer to focus on the characters rather than the technology itself.
  • If there is romance, I'd prefer to not have romanticized abuse or similar unfortunate implications. If the romance has flaws, they should at least be acknowledged, if not addressed. I'd also be interested in seeing queer romance in the story, as long as it's portrayed without resorting to stereotypes.
  • I'd prefer not to see an "idiot plot" or a protagonist that doesn't attempt to act in any way. They can be ineffectual (like Artyom from Metro 2033), but they need to be willing to try to resolve the conflicts.
Also, books that I'm planning to get or already own that I may try to read include: Dune, Roadside Picnic, Metro 2035, more of Marvel's Darth Vader series, and some manga I never got around to.

Hopefully that's enough information that someone will be able to help me. At any rate, thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any ideas that you're able to give me.

Re: Getting back into reading

Posted: 21 Feb 2018, 20:07
by Carmel Bachelor
The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman would be a great start for you, in my opinion. Brief summary; There are multiple worlds where "Librarians" travel into to collect rare and one of a kind books (books that only exist in that world alone). Our protagonist is Irene, completely independent and a complete badass, whose sole focus is her passion for her work (and not her love life), and her new assistant Kai. Fantasy based, with a bit of Sci-fi here and there, a lot of mystery and some detective work, altogether, an awesome book series! Its also more of a New Adult novel, rather than teen, so its a great transitional series for anyone wanting to 'upgrade'. :)

Re: Getting back into reading

Posted: 21 Feb 2018, 22:36
by Jackkel Dragon
I'll take a look into that series, then. Thanks!

Re: Getting back into reading

Posted: 24 Feb 2018, 09:52
by ericahs
If you enjoy light sci-fi and cyberpunk, I'd suggest "City and the Stars" by Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke's style is grounded in his science and astronomy background, which makes his science-fiction world building and plot structures very engaging without being overwhelming to a lowly humanity major like myself. "City and the Stars" is about a young man living in a domed city on Earth after the planet has transformed into a desert. He becomes more and more discontented with his, literally, sheltered life. Without revealing too much, he attempts to usurp the social norms and physical barriers of his world and learns about himself in the process. The book has an excellent, and kind of unique, balance between cyberpunk imagery and tone while exploring some really important questions about identity. Also, there are some interesting perspectives on and inversions of gender roles which you might enjoy.

To totally change gears, I too love a strong, competent female lead. If you want to stay in the sci-fi genre, I would check out "Daughter of the Empire" by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurst. The book is part of an extensive series, many of which can stand alone, about waring galaxies and the political intrigue and drama that naturally arises with intergalactic space combat. "Daughter of the Empire" is about the daughter of the Emperor who must assume a leadership role and take her father's place. Although she is put in some survival situations, such as assassins which can resemble assault scenes, her later retribution and strength as she assembles a powerful army make these scenes and plot arches less troubling to me.
I have a ton more so let me know if neither of those appeal to you!

Re: Getting back into reading

Posted: 24 Feb 2018, 09:54
by ericahs
Ok sorry, last one. "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson would be a great one! Its a great blend of fantasy and sci-fi. The female lead oozes strength and power and is one of my favorite characters ever.

Re: Getting back into reading

Posted: 24 Feb 2018, 17:53
by starshipsaga
Carmel Bachelor wrote:
21 Feb 2018, 20:07
The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman would be a great start for you, in my opinion. Brief summary; There are multiple worlds where "Librarians" travel into to collect rare and one of a kind books (books that only exist in that world alone). Our protagonist is Irene, completely independent and a complete badass, whose sole focus is her passion for her work (and not her love life), and her new assistant Kai. Fantasy based, with a bit of Sci-fi here and there, a lot of mystery and some detective work, altogether, an awesome book series! Its also more of a New Adult novel, rather than teen, so its a great transitional series for anyone wanting to 'upgrade'. :)
I also love the Invisible Library series! One of my favorite "books about books" :)

Re: Getting back into reading

Posted: 27 Feb 2018, 17:55
by Jackkel Dragon
Thanks for the additional suggestions! I'll need to take a look into these books.