I like to read books! Here are some quick recommendations for books I especially like.
I was going to put a star next to books that I really liked, but then I decided I just wouldn’t mention the ones I don’t like as much. Enjoy!
A Night of Blacker Darkness is a story about idiot vampires (!), John Keats (!!), Mary Shelley (!!!), and con men set in 1800s England. I’ve read it at least three times and laugh out loud at least once each time.
Lies of Locke Lamora is about an alternative-universe Venice and a master con artist and his merry gang.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is Harry Potter for grown-ups. If you like the idea of magicians in Victorian society, read this book. There’s a fully-realized fake literary canon!
China Mieville writes excellent fantasy. I recommend Perdido Street Station to start: the worldbuilding is fantastic, and the ending will absolutely crush you.
The Johannes Cabal series (book 1), which is about a truly misanthropic necromancer. The humor is dry and the prose is excellent:
First and foremost, he considered himself a scientist embarked upon a search for a cure for a terrible disease. Death. This would seem laudable if it were not for his methods, his manner, and his failed experiments, the latter tending to hang around the countryside, dismaying the yokels.
Magical Neon Sexuality, which is like…fanfic about celebrities? And Justin Bieber is a centaur? I don’t know, but I liked it.
The Name of the Wind is a little bit Mary-Sue-y (why is the main character so good at everything?) but still an excellent book.
Soulless is the first book of a trashy steampunk series. It’s about a lady with no soul in the 1800s who falls in love with a werewolf. Great beach reading.
Hyperion - A sci-fi Canterbury Tales with true heartbreak and also an 8-foot-tall nightmare monster who might be God.
World War Z So, so, so much better than the movie.
John Scalzi is thankfully prolific. If you haven’t read anything by him, Redshirts is a meta exploration of Star-Trek-like shows. If you liked Galaxy Quest, you’ll love it.
Tuf Voyaging, by George R.R. Martin. It’s about a laconic cat-lover with a superweapon who just wants to do good.
- Gillian Flynn, who wrote Gone Girl, has two other novels: Dark Places and Sharp Objects. Dark Places is better, but they’re both good.
- I Know I Am but What Are You? by Samantha Bee is literally laugh-out-loud hilarious, and I very rarely laugh at books. Did you know she used to steal cars as a teenager?
I really like David Foster Wallace, footnotes and all. I recommend A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, specifically his account of being pampered on a luxury Caribbean cruise, in which he fears assassination from a toilet.
The Disaster Artist is a the story of how The Room got made, by Greg Sestero, who co-starred in the film. If you like The Room, get this book.