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What can i download to my kindle tonight?

(20 Posts)
LEMmingaround Mon 03-Feb-14 20:09:44

Something gripping but not action over content iyswim. I ventured into science fiction in the last book but it wasn't great - a 99p kindle jobbie called "the atlantis gene" read like a bad bruce willis movie. It gave lip-service to science, be it science fact or science fiction, as a scientist i found this irritating rather than interesting. Does anyone know of any really good science fiction/fantasy?

I like a good mystery too - doesn't have to be in the latest best seller list.

i like classics but want something easy to read, but not without substance.

Dont want much do i?

smugmumofboys Mon 03-Feb-14 20:19:26

I enjoyed the Lewis man trilogy by Peter May.

LEMmingaround Mon 03-Feb-14 20:26:09

I read those - yes, i quite enjoyed them although didn't read the first one hmm

HamletsSister Mon 03-Feb-14 20:28:05

Try "Lomgbourn" which is the story of the servants in "Pride and Prejudice". I also enjoyed, "Entry Island" the new Peter May novel, set on Lewis and on an island near Montreal.

LEMmingaround Mon 03-Feb-14 20:35:51

I tried several times to read pride and prejudice but i just couldnt get into it so not sure lomgbourn would be up my street. Might look up the new peter may one though - is it the same guy?

TheNunsOfGavarone Mon 03-Feb-14 20:59:40

The most riveting book I've read in the last few weeks was The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell - dazzling writing, easy to read, disturbing and far from lacking in substance.

Last year another poster on this site introduced me to Philip Reeve's YA series Mortal Engines, set in a post apocalyptic future where cities are built on wheels and charge about gobbling each other up - pretty much unputdownable, hugely imaginative, great fun and I'm reading the prequel series now. Clearly you have to be willing to suspend disbelief around the likeliness of the development of "municipal Darwinism" but it's well worth it!

I absolutely love several of Tad Williams' fantasy novels (Memory, Sorrow & Thorn; War of the Flowers) though others (Shadowmarch etc) leave me rather cold...... the older ones don't seem to be available on Kindle but this one is and I like the look of it. Will probably add it to my 2014 50 Books Challenge. I can't recommend as I haven't read it but it sounds like something that might be worth checking out?

www.amazon.co.uk/Dirty-Streets-Heaven-Bobby-Dollar/dp/1444738577/ref=la_B000AQ3HBI_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391459940&sr=1-4

CoteDAzur Mon 03-Feb-14 21:02:10

I can recommend you some great sci-fi, LEM.

Sci-fi used to be about space travel, first contact with other races, colonies, etc (around the time that man went to the moon). Here is some classic sci-fi that has survived from those days:
Dune - Frank Herbert - Consistently voted #1 sci-fi of all time, although it is published in 1965)
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke (Brilliant story, told by a scientist. You won't find any scientific errors there)
The Foundation (series) - Isaac Asimov (Interesting premise, told by another scientist)

This fantastic book, I would say, is a bridge between classic sci-fi and new generation sci-fi that builds on internet technology:
Hyperion - Dan Simmons (Named after the poem by John Keats, the book refers quite a bit to Keats. Interesting and poignant, it is considered one of the best sci-fi out there. And it's an easy read.)

New generation sci-fi that deals with the near future on this earth, how things change with technology that we already have (internet etc) or are about to have (nanotechnology, etc):
Neuromancer - William Gibson (The book that started cyberpunk, where Gibson coined the term 'cyberspace'. If you like it, Gibson has written several more in the same vein)
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson (No doubt one of the best sci-fi ever, impossibly connecting ancient Sumerian myths with programming languages, hacking the brain, etc. Impossible to explain. Time magazine chose it for its list of 100 Best English-Language Books since 1923)
The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson (One of my favourites, about the day after tomorrow, when nanotechnology is everywhere. Social structures have significantly changed. Little girl finds a high-tech educational book that interactively educates her and guides her intellectual development through the years. Fascinating discussions about politics, society, morals, and pretty much everything else.)
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (Brilliant new find of the past year (for me). Everyone in the world is playing this one game where keys to immense riches have been hidden. It's a fantastic puzzle, being solved bit by bit, with loads of 1980s cultural references)

If any of the above sounds interesting, let me know and I will recommend more along those lines smile

LEMmingaround Mon 03-Feb-14 23:19:02

oooh, looks like it could be an expensive evening smile thanks guys! Cote - don't bother with the atlantis gene - the premise was promising but it was badly written and rushed, whilst the science it alluded to was accurate it was clearly written by a non-scientist who had done his homework but would have scraped through wiht a pass rather than a distinction smile Nothing was explained, there is a sequel but i daren't as i will throw my kindle across the floor for sure this time - i used to have a thing that i would fling a book across the floor if i was disappointed with the ending - quite a few stephen king novels have bit that dust in this manner.

Isaac asminov was a biochemist wasn't he?

I quite like the idea of snow crash, although im not very techy in terms of computors and programing so it might go over my head.

Not sure about the aliens thing either - its a genre i haven't really explored, i read a few when i was younger, but was more into horror novels - hence the stephen king chucking - i don't like apocalyptic endings, i prefer things to be summed up and explained at the end - because i'm not very "good" at reading, things go over my head.

Thanks for the suggestions - i shall let you know what i get smile

CoteDAzur Tue 04-Feb-14 07:55:52

Snow Crash was published in 1992. I don't think it would go over your head, as a person accessing the internet in the year 2014 smile

Asimov wrote about mathematics and astronomy as well as chemistry. I'm not quite sure exactly what kind of scientist he was. I read quite a bit of his non-fiction as a teenager.

So, what did you get last night?

highlandcoo Tue 04-Feb-14 08:10:22

That's an interesting list Cote - I might have a look at some of those myself. I tend to stick to classics, modern literary fiction and crime but would like to be more varied in my reading this year.

OP you might also look at State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, one of my favourite writers. About a pharmacologist who travels into the jungle to look for a missing colleague who's been working at a research centre. Really recommend it. There's a good Guardian review which would give you a flavour of the book.

StainlessSteelBegonia Tue 04-Feb-14 11:39:21

Good list. I think I may try reading the Diamond Age, though I have a niggly reservation. I loved Stephenson's Cryptonomicon (as I work the internet-y tech area, and am a proper nerd), and found it riveting, BUT the female characters in it were pretty unsatisfying. I'm holding out that Diamond Age will have a fully rounded female protagonist AND great tech/scifi/AI speculation.

LEMmingaround Tue 04-Feb-14 11:45:34

I downloaded some samples as none of the books were free or 99p shock The very idea!!!

I downloaded Fareinheit 541 - too waffly!
Dune - didn't make any sense at al blush but was tired and not concentrating properly on account of it being samples so my brain was flitting
Then completely different - The first discworld book - and i can't even remember what its called, this was the last one i looked at before falling asleep and for some reason the giant turtle carrying around 4 elephants and a giant plate that is the world seemed to make the most sense.

So not sure what to do - might download a sample of snow crash - i guess it would be interesting to see if any of his internet predictions came true.

One you might like Cote - Book of Dave by will self, i enjoyed that and didn't throw it across the floor when i was finished, even if i did think it was a tad sanctimonious smile

CoteDAzur Tue 04-Feb-14 12:36:16

LEM - You might not get much out of the sample of Snow Crash, which I assume will be the 1st chapter. It starts out a bit confusing but then you get the hang of it. Just repeat "One of 100 best books published since 1923" smile Make sure you get to about page 200 where it all clicks into place.

Snow Crash was where the word "avatar" was first used to describe one's online persona. And it features a program called "Earth" which you spin, zoom down on etc to see real live feed on everything on the surface of the planet. I'm guessing that the creators of Google Earth read this book.

CoteDAzur Tue 04-Feb-14 12:40:02

Stainless - I loved Cryptonomicon, too, but hesitated to recommend it here because you do need to be a mathematical kind of person to appreciate it imho.

You must read Snow Crash & Diamond Age.

For you, I would also recommend the same author's Anathem. I like reading long and challenging books and this one was particularly brain-hurty. And brilliant, of course.

GypsyJo Wed 05-Feb-14 09:37:32

Two totally gripping mysteries that someone recommended to me on here and I read both and loved them -

Black is the colour by Helen Howe

As far as I can go by Lesley Glaister

Both of them were less than 2 quid too - great reads.

LEMmingaround Wed 05-Feb-14 20:37:10

I downloaded the book last night Cote - then read the first few pages and fell asleep grin Its, um, very modern language isn't it? lol Will persevere with it though

LEMmingaround Wed 05-Feb-14 20:38:51

Thats the only thing i find with the kindle and having the "shop" at my finger tips, it can pander to my dodgy attention span sometimes. I do love a long book once i'm "in".

Have you read johnathan strange and Mr Morrel? (i think thats what its called) that was brilliant, but turgid as hell at the begining.

CoteDAzur Wed 05-Feb-14 21:38:50

I loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

And then one day came across an interview with Neal Stephenson where he was saying that he is reading & loving JS & Mr N grin

StainlessSteelBegonia Wed 05-Feb-14 23:35:40

Oh, I loved that too. The author of JS & Mr N hasn't written another full length novel since. I am PINING.

CoteDAzur Wed 05-Feb-14 23:45:17

I can't wait for a sequel. Or a prequel.

I'd love one just about the Raven King.

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