Visions of Paradise

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Books To Read

I keep two lists of books on my computer. The first list contains books I have bought but not read yet, a list of nearly 100 books. The second is recommended books which have struck my fancy and which I hope to buy and read someday. This latter list comes primarily from book reviews in such magazines as Locus, Historical Fiction Review, and Bookmarks, or at websites such as Emerald City, SF Site, and numerous sfnal blogs and personal websites.

So I am going to enlist all my readers in a chore here. During the next week I will post both my lists, and ask those of you who particularly loved any of the books on the lists to recommend them to me. First is the Books-To-Read list, and any recommendations I receive will move that book to the top of the list to be read asap.

So here are the books which are all waiting patiently on my bookshelves to be read:

Science Fiction:
Etched City, by K.J. Bishop
Stories of Your Life, by Ted Chiang
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, by Susanna Clarke
The Year’s Best Science Fiction 21, edited by Gardner Dozois
Black Seas of Infinity, by H.P. Lovecraft
Science Fiction 101, by Robert Silverberg
Ilium, by Dan Simmons
Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson
Ports of Call & Lurulu, by Jack Vance
Castle of Days, by Gene Wolfe

Historical Fiction:
Shogun, by James Clavell
Spartacus, by Howard Fast
Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
Pompeii, by Robert Harris
The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings
Aztec, by Gary Jennings
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurty
The Source, by James Michener
Turbulence, by Jia Pingwa
Ahab’s Wife, by Sena Jeter Naslund
The Silent Cry, by Oe Kenzaburo
Accordian Crimes, by Anne Proulx
The Ground Beneath her Feet, by Salmon Rushdie
Midnight’s Children, by Salmon Rushdie
Sarum, by Edward Rutherford
The Virginian, by Owen Wister
The Republic of Wine, by Mo Yan

The Seekers, by Daniel Boorstin
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, By Annie Dillard
The Great Movies, by Roger Ebert
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, by Ross King
A Traveler in Rome, by H.V. Morton
Full Circle, by Michael Palin
Points Unknown, edited by David Roberts
In Search of Robinson Crusoe, by Tim Severin
The Empire of Genghis Khan, by Stanley Stewart
Frontiers of Heaven, by Stanley Stewart
Mountain of Fame, by John E. Wills
God’s Chinese Son, by Jonathan Spence
History of God, by Karen Armstrong

The House of Earth, by Pearl Buck
Homecoming Series, by Orson Scott Card
The Brothers of Gwynedd, by Edith Pargeteer
Long Sun Series, by Gene Wolfe
Short Sun Series, by Gene Wolfe
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, by Luo Guan Zhong


  • Mmm... I haven't finished Susannah Clarke's book yet though I would highly recommend it. ;-)

    That being said, I presume you've read Gene Wolfe's Books of the New Sun?

    By Blogger banzai cat, At 9:40 PM  

  • My recommendations would be Jonathan Strange, and Diamond Age.

    By Blogger Howard, At 11:26 AM  

  • I'm holding Jonathan Strange until summer when I can read it uninterrupted, but it is definitely high on my list. I recently reread all the New Sun books, and loved them, which is why I hope to read the Long Sun and Short Sun in the near future as well.

    Thanks for your input.

    By Blogger adamosf, At 6:24 AM  

  • I see that the Lovecraft books is credited to HP Lovecraft and Augst Derleth. This means that some of the material here will be either fix-ups by Derleth from notes bt Lovecraft, or out-and-out pastiches co-credited purely on the strenght of a few lines quoted from a bona fide Lovecraft work, so tread carefully. I've found that the most definitive editions of Lovecraft's work available in the mass market are the two anthologies edited by ST Joshi for the Penguin CLassics imprint.

    I read Clavell's Shogun many years back and found it a fun thriller. Rutherford's Sarum is constructed like a Michener historical panorama - each chapter tells of a different era in the history of the region. I've personally found the technique to be less than engaging, but the book does have its moments.

    Etched Cities is currently on my to-be-read pile too, so I can't offer any opinions yet, except to second the choice.

    By Blogger JP, At 12:00 AM  

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