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The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Where literature enthusiasts can gather to discuss novels, poetry, fiction, non-fiction works and anything else related to absorbing the written word!

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The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hades [Forge] » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:17 pm

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It's 2017, and at some point this year most of us will wind up hunting for books to read. Maybe you're working toward a target and you want a handful of books in reserve; maybe you've got a sun-soaked holiday planned with plenty of time to lounge by the pool with a novel or two; maybe you just fancy trying something outwith your usual go-to authors. Who knows? Whatever your motivations, we've got an idea that we're hoping might help.

If you could only recommend one book, what would it be? Maybe the first in a series? An epic story that really moved you? Or just one novel that you think everyone should read? That's the idea, here - pick one book that you reckon should be on everyone's reading list this year and post it below, with a couple of sentences on why. As the recommendations come in I'll add them to our very own Must-Read List for 2017. Anyone who checks something off the list can, if they feel like it, drop a note in here with their opinion, too.

Sound good?

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  • Woman on the Edge of Time - Marge Piercy [Recommended by Śaraṯkṣati]
  • Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb [Recommended by Sammy]
  • Hyperion - Dan Simmons [Recommended by Sammy]
  • Everyday Sexism - Laura Bates [Recommended by Sammy]
  • The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern [Recommended by Sammy]
  • The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield [Recommended by Nicodemus]
  • Call Me By Your Name - Andre Aciman [Recommended by Sammy]
  • Uprooted - Naomi Novak [Recommended by Sammy]
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts - Rivers Solomon [Recommended by Sammy]
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Ghostwriter » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:01 am

I just got Our Revolution by Bernie from a friend, I might read it but I havent read a physical book in quite a while. But still I hear its a good book so I recommend that one and Ill be reading it soon. :)
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:40 pm

Ghostwriter wrote:I just got Our Revolution by Bernie from a friend, I might read it but I havent read a physical book in quite a while. But still I hear its a good book so I recommend that one and Ill be reading it soon. :)
Can I recommend that we stick to books we've read? If we're choosing books that are meant to be good we may as well just get the list from the Internet. :xeyes:
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Śaraṯkṣati » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:08 am

I'll kick things off with a recommendation for a book that really plays to the strengths of science fiction without indulging in any of the usual cliches or weaknesses that characterise the genre-- Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. Right off the bat, wonderfully written, with concise, lovely prose which at no point appears full of itself or more concerned with writing impressively than writing well. The excellent writing is a vehicle for so many different emotions-- pride, triumph, fear, indignation, justice and injustice-- and throughout the book are incisive points regarding sexism, racism, discrimination against the poor, and the frequently appalling treatment which the mentally ill endure in the places where they're meant to be cared for; it's a testament to Piercy's writing that more than forty years later, these points are no less valid. And the science fiction elements are always a means by which the story is told and those points are made; they are never there for the sake of science fiction, and at no point bumble into the all too common failing of science fiction in which the fantastical elements drown out the story and become over-indulgent.

Overall, just a fantastic, unique novel which really leaves a haunting impression on the reader.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hades [Forge] » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:47 pm

Sammy wrote:
Ghostwriter wrote:I just got Our Revolution by Bernie from a friend, I might read it but I havent read a physical book in quite a while. But still I hear its a good book so I recommend that one and Ill be reading it soon. :)
Can I recommend that we stick to books we've read? If we're choosing books that are meant to be good we may as well just get the list from the Internet. :xeyes:
Yeah, I think for the sake of differentiating this idea from the butt-tonne of what's already out there, we should stick to stuff we've already read xD
Śaraṯkṣati wrote:I'll kick things off with a recommendation for a book that really plays to the strengths of science fiction without indulging in any of the usual cliches or weaknesses that characterise the genre-- Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. Right off the bat, wonderfully written, with concise, lovely prose which at no point appears full of itself or more concerned with writing impressively than writing well. The excellent writing is a vehicle for so many different emotions-- pride, triumph, fear, indignation, justice and injustice-- and throughout the book are incisive points regarding sexism, racism, discrimination against the poor, and the frequently appalling treatment which the mentally ill endure in the places where they're meant to be cared for; it's a testament to Piercy's writing that more than forty years later, these points are no less valid. And the science fiction elements are always a means by which the story is told and those points are made; they are never there for the sake of science fiction, and at no point bumble into the all too common failing of science fiction in which the fantastical elements drown out the story and become over-indulgent.

Overall, just a fantastic, unique novel which really leaves a haunting impression on the reader.
That's a solid endorsement - I might pick that one up myself. Added it to the list, for the time being.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:21 pm

I don't know why I'm struggling so much for suggestions for this!
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hades [Forge] » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:36 pm

Too much quality on your reading list, most likely
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:31 pm

Right, I have decided.

Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb
The first book of what is possibly my favourite ever fantasy series. 15, soon to be 16 books and they are meaty but I cannot think of anyone other than Tolkien who's managed to draw me so deeply into every aspect of a fantasy setting. I loved the characters, I loved the lore, I loved the world and the story hooked me from the word go. I couldn't get through the Wheel of Time series because the way RJ portrayed female characters made me so bloody angry. By contrast, Hobb has un-apologetically strong female characters who don't need to be rescued, who's main purpose isn't just to serve as a love interest for the main protagonists and who aren't made out to be bitchy, stupid and annoying.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Ghostwriter » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:17 pm

ooo, I actually read that whole series Sammy, one of my favorite reads. I love me some fantasy. I didnt know about a new book though, but... yea Ive read pretty much every single one, unless there was some recent ones the last couple years.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hades [Forge] » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:08 pm

Sammy wrote:
Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:31 pm
Right, I have decided.

Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb
Such a good recommendation, and a book I'm very glad you pointed me toward. Added to the first post.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:12 pm

Hyperion - Dan Simmons
Possibly a touch premature because I'm only half way through book 2 but, with that said... this is almost without a doubt the best Sci-Fi novel I've ever read. Simmons has essentially taken the poem by Keats and turned it into a Canterbury Tales-esque Space Opera. In book 1 you follow seven pilgrims as they tell the stories of what brought them to Hyperion, each of which could almost stand as novellas in their own right and capturing a slightly different element of the SF genre. It's very well written, the story is captivating in the way in which Simmons always prefers to show rather than tell and the way that all the threads slowly weave together is just awesome.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hades [Forge] » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:02 pm

And it's on the list. That's one I'm really looking forward to starting, now.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:56 am

Forge wrote:
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:02 pm
And it's on the list. That's one I'm really looking forward to starting, now.
I feel like you really need to get some recommendations up there.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Ghostwriter » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:44 pm

Do comics count? Theres one I highly recommend called "Sunset Stone" there's even a link I could share that has the first draft of it online public and free, but its slightly on the mature side.

Also been reading some One Punch Man~
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:34 am

Everyday Sexism - Laura Bates

I honestly think everything should read this book. It's made me angry, it's made me cry, it's made me reevaluate how even I (as a proud but very much still learning feminist) still look and think about certain things. For those seeing the title and feeling immediately put off... It's a book that is honest about its own weaknesses and shortcomings, it's a well balanced, thoughtful attack on society and a pervasive ideology that is damaging to both men and women.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:23 pm

I also thing The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern needs to get put on there after we all enjoyed it so much. :biggrin:
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hades [Forge] » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:31 pm

Agreed - Night Circus was pretty phenomenal.
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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Nicodemus » Sat May 26, 2018 12:32 pm

Firstly, third vote for Night Circus.

Secondly, I've started Assassin's Apprentice from the list and it's enjoyable in every sense of the word. Thanks for recommending it!

As for my contribution: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I'm hardly an expert on good literature, but I read this months ago and I'm still thinking about it as if I just read the last page. It's ambiguous period-wise, but in effect it flashes back from (almost) modern time to a lifetime ago. A famous author with a mysterious past, and at death's door, calls upon a book-loving biographer to chronicle her true story. Every character in her tale left an impression on me, all wonderfully developed. And by the end of the book, I felt like I'd lived in the house (the main setting) with them. The greatest strength, I think, is the information management, Setterfield delicately balancing what she gives the reader. (To the point where that's all I can say about it). This is considered a gothic novel, and I believe it will haunt most people, as it has me, well beyond reading the last sentence.

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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Nicodemus » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:13 am

Aaaaand Royal Assassin purchased.

Apprentice was unbelievable. I'd recommend that to anyone. Thanks again, Sammy.

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Re: The RPGC "Must-Read" Book List

Post by Hera [Sammy] » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:06 am

Nicodemus wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:13 am
Aaaaand Royal Assassin purchased.

Apprentice was unbelievable. I'd recommend that to anyone. Thanks again, Sammy.
Soooo glad you’re enjoying them! My absolute favourite fantasy series.
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