Help me figure out what to read next!
September 17, 2012 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Yet another "please help me find more books to read" query

Hello again fellow MeFites! I seem to somehow have exhausted all of the recommended book selections that interest me, on both Amazon and GoodReads. Generally, I end up reading urban fantasy, post apocalyptic, or dystopian books. Young Adult novels are most definitely not below me. Neither are "adult" books. Things that I have loved relatively recently: The Fever Series, Divergent Series, Hunger Games, Angelfall, Unearthly, The Hollows series (Amanda Hocking), The Daughter of Smoke and Bone etc etc etc.

Please no one tell me to read 50 Shades of Grey. Very few novels are below me, but that one qualifies.
posted by Quincy to Writing & Language (32 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Have you read China MiƩville's stuff?
posted by hoyland at 4:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

How I Live Now
Life as We Knew It (1st in a trilogy, The Last Survivors)

All are YA, but well written and enjoyed by many adults .
posted by maxg94 at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you geeky enough to enjoy MeFi's Own Charlie Stross's Laundry Files? Or his less geeky contemporary fantasy series about the Family?

I've found that lots of people who like urban fantasy and dystopian stuff enjoy Christopher Fowler's moody, dense, layered, cynical, dark, disturbing, comfortable, friendly Peculiar Crimes Unit/Bryant & May novels. They just hit a lot of the same notes, to the extent that it's an annoying hunt when I look in a used book store -- mystery? Should be there, but could be in thriller, horror, general fiction, or even f/sf (where I first found them).

You may be like me and not enjoy conventional fantasy much, but still be open to unconventional fantasy. In that case, try N. K. Jemison's Hundred Thousand Gods, Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring, Kij Johnson's Fudoki or Fox Woman, Malindo Lo's Ash or Huntress (YA), Mike Mignola's Joe Golem and the Drowning City, the Hellboy graphic novels and books, and Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora and sequel.

I'd link but I'm SUPPOSED to be doing something else.
posted by wintersweet at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2012

Do you have a list on Goodreads of what you have read?
posted by dgeiser13 at 5:12 PM on September 17, 2012

Have you read Seraphina yet? It's new. It's the best book I've read this year. Probably the best YA Fantasy I've read in a few years. Great worldbuilding, fun dragon book (not your ordinary dragons).

Matched was pretty similar to Divergent (I didn't like Divergent much-- worldbuilding and character reasons-- but similar romantic YA dystopia thing); good beach reading.

For Urban Fantasy, Charles de Lint is great; you might also check out Welcome to Bordertown.
posted by NoraReed at 5:16 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wool by Hugh Howey
posted by thatone at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2012

I recommend Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy so often here that people are going to start suspecting me of working for his publishing house or something.

spoiler alert: i do not
posted by elizardbits at 5:24 PM on September 17, 2012

YA/urban fantasy/post apocalyptic/dystopian immediately made me think of Robert Westall's Futuretrack Five, which I loved as a teenager and would gladly read again as an adult. (Westall wrote lots of excellent stuff, but F5 is the only novel of his that fits your parameters AFAIK.)
posted by pont at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2012

Stephen King's The Stand.
posted by mazienh at 5:41 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here is my read list from Goodreads. Don't judge me...

Thanks for the recommendations so far! Yay! I am excited to look into everything more thoroughly. The only thing so far that I have already read is The Stand I think :)
posted by Quincy at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2012

I liked The Rook by Daniel O'Malley.

If humor + paranormal + action work for you, A. Lee Martinez is generally entertaining. Also in that wheelhouse, MeFi's Own Charles Stross. And Kim Newman.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, don't miss Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces trilogy. Really excellent, in the general Jim Butcher "magic noir" vein but with (IMO) stronger characterization.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't know if you've read them, but Delirium, Enclave, and Birthmarked come to mind.
posted by rainbowbrite at 5:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Mortal Instruments!
posted by Sassyfras at 6:31 PM on September 17, 2012

dangit, just saw your goodreads list.
posted by Sassyfras at 6:32 PM on September 17, 2012

It's a quick read, but Ayn Rand's Anthem might fit the bill (post apocalyptic and dystopian).
posted by Sassyfras at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2012

Seconding The Last Survivors series.
Uglies/Pretties/Specials, Scott Westerfeld
Feed, MT Anderson
The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker
Oryx and Crake/The Year of the Flood/(forthcoming TBA), Margaret Atwood
The Passage/The Twelve (out next month)/The City of Mirrors (2014) , Justin Cronin
Zone One, Colson Whitehead
The Dog Stars, Peter Heller
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:47 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think you'd really like Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and her short story The Witch of Duva. The short story is set in the same environment as the novel and it totally blew my mind - it's basically a fairytale set in that world.

I also really, really liked Graveminder by Melissa Marr.

Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen are classics and I loved them so much that I'm sort of sad I only discovered them recently. Same with the Ender's Game series - have you read any of those? I liked the Ender's Shadow "parallel" novels better than the actual Ender's Game sequels (Children of the Mind, etc.) but they are all wonderful.

Wise Child and Juniper by Monica Furlong are both lovely, short-ish novels. Juniper felt a little bit like a rehash of Wise Child, but they are both interesting in their own right.

Other great series:
The Spook's Apprentice (can't say enough good things about this one!)
His Dark Materials (just in case you haven't read it)
Sword of Truth (ever seen the TV show Legend of the Seeker? It was based off these books)
Septimus Heap (a little young but fun, quick reads)

(Context: for books you and I have both rated on Goodreads, it tells me our tastes are 78% similar.)
posted by meggan at 6:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Shadow and Bone, which was just awesome. I loved it so much. Also try Graceling and Finnikin of the Rock - both of those are maybe more high fantasy than what you're looking for, but they also have great romances and excellent world-building. Chime is fantasy, kind of steampunk-y - read the first few pages of that before you buy it (if you buy rather than library) - if you hate the voice you'll just hate it.

For dystopians: I LOVED The Knife of Never Letting Go (sci-fi/dystopian), but again, you have to like the voice, so try it first - it's definitely darker than most of the latest crop of YA dystopians. Matched and Delirium are both sort-of-goofy dystopian romances, but they're a lot of fun. I also enjoyed Ship Breaker, which takes itself a lot more seriously (you get a lot more social issues and a lot less kissing).

(I'm on goodreads too, if you find it helpful. I read looots of YA.)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! And Gregor the Overlander! It's the series Suzanne Collins wrote before Hunger Games - written for a younger audience, but it's Suzanne Collins, so it's a children's series about genocide. It's great. I listened to the whole series on audiobook, which I really enjoyed if you're into that kind of thing.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:27 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Our tastes are similar, so here are a few recommendations from my reading list:
Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid's Tale
Slaughterhouse Five
Good Omens
The Lathe of Heaven
Plus a few favorite young adult books:
The Giver
The Fault in our Stars
posted by kbar1 at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thirding Oryx and Crake and oh goodness me, if you have not read The Giver please do that this instant. It is such a fantastic YA novel with enough meaty stuff for adults!
posted by ruhroh at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have read The Giver when I was younger, may consider rereading it though. Slaughter House 5 is one of my favorites! Forgot about Vonnegut. Also enjoyed Good Omens!
posted by Quincy at 8:04 PM on September 17, 2012

I recently discovered that Lowis Lowry wrote 2 more books in the same theme of The Giver which weren't half bad. Gathering Blue and Messenger I believe they are called.
posted by ruhroh at 8:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Perhaps give Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman a try? It is zany and absurd and quite delightful in a morbid fashion. Also, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes and The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem.
posted by ilicet at 8:58 PM on September 17, 2012

You haven't read Ben Aaronovitch's Midnight Riot yet? Tsk.

It's basically Harry Potter, except he's a London cop. And black. And a bit science-minded.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2012

Seconding Zoo City and Lauren Beukes' other book Moxyland - basically near-future cyberpunk set in a Blade Runner-esque South Africa. Very noir and not as western or asia-centric as much of cyberpunk is.
posted by clerestory at 11:18 PM on September 17, 2012

All These Things I've Done" blew me away, and I think I have pretty similar taste to yours. If you like it, there's a sequel coming out today. Also, the Mortal Instruments series recommended above, totally yes.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:39 AM on September 18, 2012

Short of time, so no links -

I heartily, heartily second Lois Lowry's The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. If you end up liking those, then I suggest you give other books of hers, like Number the Stars, a try. A bit young, and quite short, but it's close to those books in style, and about Denmark in WWII. Another thumbs-up for Life As We Knew It. Arghm and How I Live Now mentioned upthread made me so very sad when I read it, so I guess it worked.

My tastes are slightly tangential to yours (think Neil Gaiman instead of YA magic series, for example) but might you consider Lev Grossman's Magicians series? (The Magicians and The Magician King.) Don't want to oversell it, but it's Harry Potter meets Narnia meets college meets deadbeat unwholesome teenagers, and dark. But! If you are impatient with bean-plating teenage protagonists, YMMV.

How about James Dashner's Maze Runner trilogy? Mentioned a few times on the green, but maybe a bit young.

Another frequent suggestion for dystopia on the green, in terms of newer YA, is The Knife of Never Letting Go. More off-the-top-of-my-head* dystopian books I've enjoyed are John Wyndham's underappreciated The Chrysalids, a chilling Portugese novel called Blindness and, of course, Fahrenheit 451.

And thanks for this question! Gah, now I want to READ ALL THEM BOOKS.

*just in case these are not strictly dystopian, sorry! By my metrics they are! Eh. Okay, Blindness is like 28 Days Later, only it's blindness.
posted by undue influence at 6:33 AM on September 18, 2012

Maybe you'll find something interesting in this blog post at - 25 Series to Read if You LOVE the Hunger Games [I have no affiliation with the blog]
posted by stampsgal at 9:30 AM on September 18, 2012

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I will be coming back to this post frequently when I finish a book. Decided to give Shadow and Bone a try first, liking it a lot so far. Thanks again guys!
posted by Quincy at 7:27 AM on September 20, 2012

Have you seen the website What should I read next? You type in the name of a book or author that you like, and it lists things that you might like, based on lists of books created by registered users (so it returns results from users who listed the book or author that you searched). You don't have to register to use the site.
posted by ancamp at 12:53 AM on September 21, 2012

« Older "Nature" for humanities?   |   I think I'm genderqueer / agendered. Now what? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.