Tag: List: So You Want to Read…


So You Want to Read… (Brandon Sanderson)

Posted 15 June, 2015 by Lianne in Lists / 8 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! πŸ™‚

For this month, I will be featuring Brandon Sanderson. He’s pretty well-known in the fantasy genre, both in adult fantasy and YA fantasy. I first encountered his novels sometime in the mid-2000s but I didn’t really get around to his books until a few years after that. He’s written a ton of novels, both full-length and shorter novellas, not to mention he finished Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series. The scope of his novels are astounding, imaginative, and the stories are just entertaining with great characters and dialogue. And I wish I wrote as fast as him πŸ˜›

So without further ado, here’s 5 titles I’d recommend by Brandon Sanderson if you haven’t read of his stories yet (which you should πŸ˜› ):

  • Mistborn (review) — Naturalmente πŸ˜› Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books (especially the first trilogy) is absolutely amazing and engrossing: it’s funny, it’s epic, it’s fascinating, just all the feels. I cannot recommend this book enough, go read it now!
  • Elantris — This was Brandon Sanderson’s first novel (incidentally also the first novel by him that I read). People say it’s his weakest novel of his bibliography, but I find it just as fantastic as his other novels. That he was able to tell such a tale in one novel was very impressive (normally you’d see such stories stretched into a trilogy or more) and the worldbuilding was absolutely vivid. This book still holds a special place for me, I recommend it πŸ™‚
  • Warbreaker (review) — Another standalone (for now, at least) that tells quite a story on an epic scale. Brandon Sanderson’s pretty good at writing antiheroes and this book epitomises this quite nicely. The main character is so totally not meant to carry out anything resembling “the right thing” or “for the good of everyone” and just wants to be left alone but gets sucked into events. Oh, and like every other Brandon Sanderson book, the magic system here is pretty awesome.
  • Legion — For a change of pace, Legion is a start of a sci-fi series of novellas about a guy who has the ability to converse with other avatars within one person and whom you can gather skills and information from (like Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse). I haven’t read the second novella yet but I really enjoyed the first one. And it’s shorter than the other books listed if you’re looking for something a little on the short side to start with.
  • The Rithmatist (review) — I’ve only recently gotten around to checking out some of Brandon Sanderson’s YA titles, starting with this book. Again, the magic system is intriguing, along with a rather interesting alternative history look for the setting. The tone’s different from his other books but younger readers and YA readers will have a lot of fun with this book.

And that’s about it! I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading any of Brandon Sanderson’s books πŸ™‚ Which books of Brandon Sanderson have you read? Which were your favourites? Which would you recommend for first-time readers?

So You Want to Read… (Sir Terry Pratchett)

Posted 11 May, 2015 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! πŸ™‚

For this month’s edition of So You Want to Read…, I will be featuring Sir Terry Pratchett. He sadly passed away on 12 March 2015 from a rare for of Alzheimer’s that he was diagnosed with back in 2007. He was known for his Discworld novels, which are fantastical, thoughtful, and satirical, though he’s also written a number of non-Discworld novels as well.

Because there are plenty of Discworld novels with one forthcoming (I think we’re sitting at 40 right now, but that could’ve been the count a few years ago), it can be a bit overwhelming to start. Luckily you don’t necessarily have to start with the first novel, The Colour of Magic; Discworld is divided into a number of “series” featuring/following a particular character or theme/storyline. You can check out this guide to know what the reading order is for those storylines and work your way through there. Or you can check out the following recommendations I have on which Discworld novels to check out πŸ˜‰

  • Mort — This is the first of a number of books featuring the character of Death. Death is my favourite charcter from the Discworld novels (and Death of Rats…and the talking raven Quoth…and Death’s manservant, Albert); indeed he is the personification of death and he does start off rather cold and impersonal as you would imagine, but he’s my favourite character because he’s always seeking to understand humanity and what it means to be alive. This can lead to some rather hilarious moments and situations, but he also has some really profound thoughts on a wide range of subjects. Oh, and the premise of this book? Death gets an (human) apprentice πŸ˜›
  • Guards! Guards! (review) — This is the first of a number of books featuring Sam Vines and the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork, which is the city’s police force. The novel itself follows a plot from a secret brotherhood that wants to overthrow the current government of Ankh-Morpork and sets a dragon out to cause some chaos. It’s down to the City Guard, which is pretty much in shambles at the start of the novel, to uncover the plot and stop the dragon, leading to hilarity all the way. So yeah, hilarious and it features another favourite character, the Patrician Vetinari, the leader of the city πŸ™‚
  • Hogfather — This book features Death quite a bit again (Death as…the Hogfather? What in the world?) but also the University of Wizards and an assortment of other characters including the Auditors, who wrecks havoc in Discworld by constantly fidgeting around with reality and eliminating figures and elements because it doesn’t fit into their view of order (I imagine them as Dementors from HP…only these guys talk…). It’s an interesting novel, and feels quite seasonal if you’re looking for something like that.
  • Going Postal — A more recent title, this book is the first featuring Moist von Lipwig (yeah, his name, anyway!), a con artist who narrowly avoids hanging when the Patrician (yup, he’s back! And played by Charles Dance in the television adaptation so I can never read anything about the Patrician without conjuring an image of Charles Dance speaking the lines, haha) who presents an offer to him to become the Postmaster of the city. Hijinks ensue as the task is larger than it seems, not to mention some dangers along the way. It’s fun, and the underlying satire and commentary very amusing.
  • Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman) — For something outside of Discworld, Sir Terry Pratchett was also known for this novel, co-written with Neil Gaiman, which covers the Apocalypse, the coming of the Four Horsemen, and the attempts of an angel and a demon to stop the end of the world. It’s been a long time since I read the book but I remember finding it rather amusing, albeit a wee bit complicated at times re: Adam’s storyline. Nonetheless, Sir Terry Pratchett’s wit is out in full force in this novel.

I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading some of Sir Terry Pratchett’s novels! What do you think? Have you read any of his books? Which were your favourites and/or ones you’d recommend to first-time readers? He will be greatly missed.

So You Want To Read… (Poetry)

Posted 1 April, 2015 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! πŸ™‚

Happy April! I decided to do this post earlier than usual because it is National Poetry Month and thus for this month’s So You Want to Read… I will be featuring poets. I do read poetry on occasion, but I’m not a big reader of it or anything. It is an art I’d like to read more of, hence my goal at the start of 2015 to read more poetry collections, but I understand that it’s not for everyone: it is something to savour more. Nonetheless, I thought to spotlight on a few poets for those who may be interested in checking out some poetry this month, especially for starters who want some more accessible poems πŸ˜‰

  • Federico Garcia Lorca — Hands down my favourite poet ever. I forgot how I first encountered his works–it was from coming across one of his ghazal poems, but I don’t remember where I encountered it on the internet–but I was immediately intrigued. It was haunting, but the imagery his poems evokes were fascinating. Reading his poems, I love how simple and short they are, but filled with imagery and emotion, with longing and despair and love. I have his poems in the bilingual edition (with original Spanish on one side; Collected Poems (review) for example), which is cool and adds to the experience.
  • William Shakespeare — His sonnets, of course πŸ˜› I finally got around to reading the whole batch last year (review) and was amazed at how diversified they were. We studied a few when I was in high school, but it was interesting to read his poems as a whole. I think they’re a great place to start, especially as some of his love poetry are very famous.
  • T.S. Eliot — For a more modern flavour, I can finally see why some have said that T.S. Eliot embodies the confusion of the early 20th century. Indeed his poems do evoke that sense of aimlessness that came about around the period of the world wars, and touches on the feelings of uncertainty and doubt. The Waste Land and Other Poems (review) is a great collection worth checking out.
  • Emily Dickinson — I only finally gotten around to reading her collected works recently (review to be posted later this month) but I’ve often encountered her poems here and there and in miscellaneous collected poetry volumes. The themes she touches on are varied–on love, on life, on the passage of time, of nature–and the different styles she’s embodied are pretty interesting. Not to mention her poems are pretty short so it’s easy to pick up a poem or two here and there πŸ™‚
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning — Another poet whose collected works I only got around to recently (again, review to be posted later this month). Her style is different from Emily Dickinson’s but the passion and focus of her poems in Sonnets from the Portuguese are wonderful, with a few well known ones you’ve likely encountered elsewhere πŸ˜‰

I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading some poetry! What do you guys think? Do you read poetry often? Who are your favourites? Whose works would you recommend?

Edit: For emerging poets, check out Versopolis, supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme. The platform aims to spotlight and provide exposure for new European poets.

So You Want to Read… (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Posted 25 March, 2015 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! πŸ™‚

For this month, I will be featuring J.R.R Tolkien, and in a rather nerd moment, I have specifically scheduled this post for March 25, which is an important date in Middle Earth as it is the day the One Ring was destroyed and the Free Peoples of Middle Earth won against the forces of Sauron. Today is also Tolkien Reading Day; you can find out more about the event and my post on the day in this post.

But moving along, I know there’s a lot of apprehension when it comes to checking out Tolkien’s works; you may have seen the movies and are keen to check out the books but either saw how long they are and heard how difficult it is to get through them. I understand. Perhaps you want to try some of Tolkien’s other works before sinking in to LOTR in the meantime?

  • The Hobbit (review) — The perfect introduction, especially as some events do lead right into LOTR. The writing of course is a lot different compared to LOTR, a little more whimsical and directed for a younger audience. But it is a good book for all ages, a lot of funny moments but also moments of bravery and wonder.
  • Tales from the Perilous Realm (review) — Maybe you want to check out some of Tolkien’s short stories. This collection is a nice one, filled with magic and dragons and humour. There’s also an essay at the end that gives readers a taste of Tolkien’s academic writing and thinking, pondering on the faery-tale stories and their origins. There’s only one section that ties in to Middle Earth but you don’t have to have read LOTR to read that portion.
  • Letters from Father Christmas (review) — This was the most recent Tolkien book that I’ve read and I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to it! It’s such a precious book of letters written by Father Christmas to Tolkien’s children, complete with drawings and little stories of what he and his companions have been up to prior to every Christmas. Absolutely delightful, an excellent book for all ages, families, etc. πŸ™‚

I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading any of his titles! Are there any other J.R.R. Tolkien titles you’d recommend to new readers (prior to LOTR or the Silmarillion)?

So You Want to Read… (Georgette Heyer)

Posted 16 February, 2015 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! πŸ™‚

For this month, I will be featuring Georgette Heyer (see tag). I honestly forgot now how I was introduced to her works, but they are the perfect books to check out if you’re a big fan of Jane Austen’s works. They can be funny, the family drama intriguing, the romances lovely, and very much aware of the Georgian and Regency period (the fashions, the language, etc.).

So without further ado, here’s 5 books by Georgette Heyer that I’d recommend as starting points:

  • Venetia (review) — My first Georgette Heyer novel. This book got plenty of good reviews on GoodReads, and with good reason. It was fun, the characterisations fantastic, the development of the romance slow but well-developed (Damarel and Venetia had a very good friendship before it deepened further).
  • Frederica (review) — I love this novel and love recommending it as a Georgette Heyer starter novel because the story revolves on the subject of family, Regency society and human desire and ambition (and of course the romance between Lord Alverstoke and Frederica πŸ˜› ). Frederica’s family is such a delight to read each sibling with their own interests and goals; their dynamic together is fun to read.
  • The Reluctant Widow (review) — Georgette Heyer wrote a few Gothic-themed novels (well, two), this book being one of them. If you’re looking to start one of her books but want something more mysterious and adventurous and light on the romance, I’d recommend this book (the romance is still present, but it’s not the main storyline by any means). It’s an intriguing novel, and the main character Elinor finds herself in a very strange situation, but the family dynamics here was also interesting to read, and I honestly laughed out loud at a few instances. Oh, and did I mention that this is my favourite Georgette Heyer novel? (tough choice, to be honest)
  • Arabella (review) — Another popular title, I akin this book rather closely with Jane Austen’s works. It focuses a lot on the fashion of the period, as well as the subject of courtship and marriage. To put a twist on things, of course, there’s a matter of keeping up appearances/mistaken assumptions involved that makes the story even more intriguing/fun to read.
  • Cotillion (review) — I was honestly having a little difficulty thinking of what book to take up the fifth slot on this list. In the end I went with this novel because I remember thinking how mad this book was when I read it. Kitty Charing comes up with a pretty elaborate scheme to catch the attention of a particular gentleman (as well as strike back at the condition imposed on her inheritance). The results are craziness and hilarity and plenty of entertainment.

I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading any of her titles! Do let me know if it is of any help πŸ˜‰

Have you read any of Georgette Heyer’s works? If so, which of her books would you recommend for a first-time reader?