'My Top Ten Summer Reads: Shardlake, Genghis, Sharpe and more' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • edited 13 July 2010 at 2:15PM
    grastgirlgrastgirl Forumite
    406 Posts
    edited 13 July 2010 at 2:15PM
    Out of those I've read (and re-read):
    5. The Sharpe Series – Bernard Cornwell.
    6. The Black Magician Trilogy – Trudi Canavan.
    8. Emperor Series – Conn Iggulden.

    You might also want to take a look at these:
    The Discworld Series - Terry Pratchett (Fantasy that mirrors reality)
    Does My Head Look Big in This? - Randa Abdel-Fattah (Book about a muslim girl's decision to wear hijab)
    Perfectly Correct - Philippa Gregory (Girly romance with interesting insights into feminism)
    The Harry Dresden Series - Jim Butcher (Supernatural detective agency)
    The Weather Warden Series - Rachel Caine (Supernatural control of the weather involving genies)

    And if you like a challenge:

    The Baroque Cycle Series - Neal Stephenson (All about the late 17th Century and the creation of the Royal Society, Newton and beyond)
    MFW #66 - £4800 target
  • I've just finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

    It's about a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease. Extremely moving and so so sad.
  • nedskinedski Forumite
    67 Posts
    Can't believe the Song Of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin wasn't mentioned in your list... an unbelievable epic fantasy that is simply the best stuff I've ever read in this genre. You need plenty of time as the books are huge and there's loads of them but they keep you hooked for sure. He hasn't finished writing the series yet and fans have been waiting for the next instalment for 5 years now; the scope of each book is so big it's simply a mammoth undertaking for the author.
    If you started reading them now the next one will probably be out by the time you finish though :D

    The other classic series that have been missed are the trilogies by Robin Hobb : The Farseer Trilogy first and then the Tawny Man Trilogy following on. The characterisation Hobb achieves is second to none and you cannot help but become immersed in the land and the lives of the characters, particularly the central character FitzChivalry.
    I guarantee these are books that will stay with you long after you've (reluctantly) turned the last page...

    N.
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    1) Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle of novels. The story follows the adventures of a sizeable cast of characters living amidst some of the central events of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in Europe.

    2) Coleen McCulloch's Masters of Rome novels. The series has a thesis: as Rome became more powerful within the Mediterranean world, the old ways of doing things – through the deliberation of various interests, mainly aristocratic and mercantile – became impossibly cumbersome. It became more and more difficult to govern an empire with institutions originally designed to administer a city-state.

    3) David Kynaston for non-fiction. Find out what moneysavers had to cope with and how they spent their money immediately after WW2 ! Scary stuff.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Matilda33Matilda33 Forumite
    31 Posts
    Can anyone tell me whether any of Martin's recommendations would be suitable for older children?
    I'm looking for some new stuff for my 12 year old son to read. he loves historical adventures.
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    Matilda33 wrote: »
    Can anyone tell me whether any of Martin's recommendations would be suitable for older children?
    I'm looking for some new stuff for my 12 year old son to read. he loves historical adventures.

    The 'Sharpe" books should be ok for him, loads of excitement, blood and guts but no sex or sloppy bits. ;)

    Must admit, I can read anything and read a lot of non-fiction but found the Shardlake, Genghis Khan and Alexander books boringly heavy going. HTH
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • babshebabshe Forumite
    8 Posts
    Martin,
    There are four Shardlakes: (in order) Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign and Revelation. I can see why Errata found them dull: they can be a really slow burn at times. But Sansom has clearly done the research and the result is, IHMO, stunning historical storytelling. Definitely not for under 12s, Matilda33.
  • edited 13 July 2010 at 7:38PM
    ScarletBeaScarletBea Forumite
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    edited 13 July 2010 at 7:38PM
    nedski wrote: »
    Can't believe the Song Of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin wasn't mentioned in your list... an unbelievable epic fantasy that is simply the best stuff I've ever read in this genre. You need plenty of time as the books are huge and there's loads of them but they keep you hooked for sure. He hasn't finished writing the series yet and fans have been waiting for the next instalment for 5 years now; the scope of each book is so big it's simply a mammoth undertaking for the author.
    If you started reading them now the next one will probably be out by the time you finish though :D

    Yay, another one!
    And depends on how fast you read. I started volume 1 about 5 weeks ago and am halfway through vol 3 part 1, around 1800 pages later :D

    Volume 5 will be published in September, according to Amazon, but it's only the hardback, which means I'll have to read it from the library and wait for the pb to buy (I like my books to look coherent, hehe)
    And then there'll be 2 more (total 7).
    Being brave is going after your dreams head on
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    nedski wrote: »
    The other classic series that have been missed are the trilogies by Robin Hobb : The Farseer Trilogy first and then the Tawny Man Trilogy following on. The characterisation Hobb achieves is second to none and you cannot help but become immersed in the land and the lives of the characters, particularly the central character FitzChivalry.

    I loved the Robin hobbs books until the dragon keeper which is what knocked it off my list - and yes Fitz is great - having both the Skill and the Wit - fab!
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • camajcamaj Forumite
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    Forget sports cars or a young girlfriend, the first sign you're middle aged is a new found interest in "History"!
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