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Reading List > Nominate Books for The Secret Library!

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message 1: by Kris (last edited Feb 06, 2008 05:04PM) (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Chris and I will be recording our Fatherland discussion on the weekend of February 16th and we'll announce the next book in The Secret Library in that episode.

We're soliciting suggestions from henchmen and minions, so if you've got a book you'd like us to read drop us a comment here at GoodReads or over at our official community. We're not limiting our books to any particular genre, but please keep in mind that at least one of us (namely me) isn't a speedreader, so try to keep those books a reasonable length so that we can finish them in a week or two.

We'd also like to hear what you have to say about Fatherland. In fact, we want your comments and questions to drive the show, so feel free to head over to that discussion thread and express your opinion.

message 2: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth (nukehavoc) | 14 comments It's too bad that GoodReads isn't smart enough to aggregate the "to read" bookshelves of all the group's members -- then we could pick something from what everyone *intends* to read rather than having to go out and buy another book.

message 3: by Kris (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Yes, it would be fantastic if we had an automagical "to-read" shelf for The Secret Library. Get on that, will you GoodReads?

message 4: by Kris (last edited Feb 08, 2008 08:16PM) (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Would anybody be interested in reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman? Hmm. I don't think it's available in paperback yet.

message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed | 7 comments Would anyone be interested in Market Forces? Richard Morgan, I think. Interesting distopian future book with Max Max style road violence combined with corporate cutthroat antics.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

That sounds like a lot of fun, in fact. :)

message 7: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth (nukehavoc) | 14 comments I'd be interested in Market Forces.

As an aside, books on my to-read list include:

* The Sky People, S.M. Sterling (alternative history in which the cold war is being fought on habitable versions of Venus & Mars)

* The Golden Globe, John Varley; a sequel to Steel Beaches dystopian, Heinleinesque hard SF in which earth is conquered by aliens; the human survivors are scattered throughout the solar system.

* Wizard's First Rule, Terry Goodkind (sword & sorcery, far too long for a book club though)

message 8: by Kris (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
I read Wizard's First Rule an age and a half ago, it seems. I enjoyed it a lot, but never read any of the umpteen sequels. Definitely a bit on the long side as book club books go.

I'd be okay with either The Sky People or The Golden Globe. Any more suggestions out there? Perhaps we'll put 'em all in a hollowed-out skull and pick one at random.

message 9: by Kenneth (last edited Mar 26, 2008 04:38AM) (new)

Kenneth (nukehavoc) | 14 comments I'd like to suggest we read something by Connie Willis because damn it, everyone keeps talking about her, and yet, I've never read one of her books. I think I've read a few of her short stories, but she wasn't on my radar until Doug Rapsom at Geek Acres talked about her on a show, lamenting his inability to a) find one of her books at a local bookstore and b) the fact that the store staff didn't know who she was.

Of course, ahem, I didn't know that either. Which in hindsight seems to be a rather gaming whole in my science fiction library.

I don't have a particular book in mind, being more or less completely ignorant of her work.

message 10: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth (nukehavoc) | 14 comments In the quick read category, I'll suggest John Scalzi's Old Man's War, in which senior citizens 'retire' from Earth to go fight in an interplanetary war against alien hordes who want us for breakfast. As part of the deal, they get ... upgrades. Lots and lots of upgrades.

If you liked the action oriented Heinlein (Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers), then this is the book for you. And it's an exceedingly fast read -- I think you could get through this book in a weekend.

message 11: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (nmetzger) | 3 comments I second Ken's Old Man's War suggestion. I've been meaning to read one of Scalzi's books for a while now.
Speaking of authors I've been meaning to try. How about anything by Nick Sagan?

message 12: by Kris (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Tor was giving away PDF copies of Old Man's War early on in their "Watch the Skies" campain, so I've already got this in electronicagizmatic format.

The real trick will be actually reading it on a computer.

message 13: by Troy (new)

Troy I'm all for "Old Man's War". It's been on my to-read list for a while.

Kris, are you an iPhone/iTouch guy? That, or a Kindle, would probably be the best way to read a book in PDF form. I don't have personal experience with either but I know reading on a computer kind of sucks.

message 14: by Kris (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Alas, I don't own an iPhone or an iTouch. I wouldn't mind trying a Kindle, but my understanding is that it either doesn't have PDF support or has very wonky PDF support.

message 15: by Hotspur (new)

Hotspur (hotspurot) | 12 comments Well, sometimes an obvious answer is the right answer. I, for one, can't believe this little gem hasn't been put up on the reading list yet.

by Martin H. Greenburg
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis

Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0756403847
ISBN-13: 978-0756403843



Who hasn't dreamed of being an evil overlord?

Today's finest fantasy authors have delivered fourteen tales that run the gamut from humorous to serious, fantasy to science fiction. Certain to appeal to role-playing gamers, fantasy lovers, and megalomaniacs who want to rule the world."

I admit, I'm phoning this one in...

message 16: by Kris (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Actually, I'd kinda like to read that one.

message 17: by Hotspur (new)

Hotspur (hotspurot) | 12 comments I finished it, and I have to say I'd recommend it. There's always a danger of lapsing into self-mocking parody with thematic short story collections-- that's hard to avoid. I have to give Greenburg and Davis a lot of credit-- they selected stories that were humorous, but not smarmy. After reading the first three I was under the impression the entire collection was going to be a collection of humor stories. I'm pleased to say it wasn't. There's some nuggets in this one. I recommend THE FORTUNE COOKIE TYRANT and HOW TO BE THE ULTIMATE OVERLORD (I think), in particular.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh yes. I think that's the one after Old Man's War. :)

message 19: by Kris (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
It's official: If I Were an Evil Overlord has been added to The Secret Library. At our current pace we should be discussing it sometime in July...of 2012.

Yeah, we're going to try to pick up the pace a bit once things settle down with the expansion of the Lair. What expansion, you ask? Head on over to the Lair and listen to Episode 0012, "Our Holocaust Room", for more details.

message 20: by Hotspur (new)

Hotspur (hotspurot) | 12 comments If I were an Evil Overlord seemed obvious, I'm glad you all like the idea.

My next recommendation is a, erm, "beach read", if you catch my drift. THE AUTOMATIC DETECTIVE, by A. Lee Martinez. The story examines a sub genre we've all read before-- "tough PI with heart of gold helping out the little guy and getting mixed up in big, big trouble".

Sure, the detective is an android. We've all seen this too. What makes THE AUTOMATIC DETECTIVE interesting is the wildly improbable retro-futuristic setting and cast of characters, as well as the "robots-eye view" that Martinez gives the lead character, Mack Megaton.

It reads fast and breezy, like a comic, and I was done with it quickly. This is no ground-breaker, but it is a FUN read, and what's wrong with that?

My Review:

message 21: by Kris (last edited Jul 30, 2008 09:11AM) (new)

Kris Johnson (kjtoo) | 45 comments Mod
Be warned: I have finished reading If I Were an Evil Overlord.

message 22: by Hotspur (new)

Hotspur (hotspurot) | 12 comments Well, snikies, I've been done quite a while. Did you like it?

message 23: by Natalie (last edited Nov 20, 2008 09:49AM) (new)

Natalie (nmetzger) | 3 comments *coughhack* man, it's a bit dusty in here. ;)

I thought I'd add another suggestion to the queue. How about one of Christopher Moore's books? More specific, how about Lamb (The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal) or You Suck?

Here are some reasons for this nomination...
1.) I've read/currently reading some of his books and have thoroughly enjoyed them.
2.) His first name is a variation of "Chris".
3.) They tend to be quick reads.
4.) goto #2

message 24: by Sam (new)

Sam (sambearpoet) | 1 comments Changer This one is a nifty take on the idea of "gods in the modern day," a different take on the "American Gods" sort of thing.

message 25: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (CassidyVictoria) | 2 comments We should definitely read Harry Potter or Vampire Academy

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