What is your most favorite book (or book series) of all time?
June 18, 2014 3:50 AM   Subscribe

I have a new tablet and I'm looking for recommendations for great books to download. I read anything as long as it's interesting. Thanks!!
posted by Amalie-Suzette to Writing & Language (21 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry for the delay on this, but without a little more specificity about the sorts of books you'd like, this runs too close to just "What's Your Favorite?" general chatfilter -- taz

In no particular order:

The Dune series by Frank Herbert.
Anything by John Irving, his early books - Garp, Hotel New Hampshire, Cider House and Owen Meany are phenomenal.
Anything by Steinbeck, but really love Grapes of Wrath
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Stand by Stephen King
Rex Stout's "Nero Wolfe" mysteries
The Harry Potter series

When it comes to non-fiction, I love history.
The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant
Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy

This should get you started. Congratulations on your purchase!
There are tons of great books out there, fiction and non-fiction, and I hope you'll use your tablet as a way to discover many of them!
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 4:00 AM on June 18, 2014

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series!
posted by coppermoss at 4:14 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Sprawl trilogy.
posted by pompomtom at 4:20 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series

All of Barbara Kingsolver's books

All of Anne Tyler's books

City of Light by Lauren Belfer

Marian Keyes's Walsh sisters books
posted by Kriesa at 4:25 AM on June 18, 2014

Wow, that's wonderfully vague - I hope you find a lot of really neat books.

Here are some series that I love:

The Benjamin January Series by Barbara Hambly - mid-19th century murder mysteries set mostly in New Orleans and with a free man of colour as the main character.

The Russell & Holmes Series by Laurie R. King - Not going to lie, these veer on trash and make Sherlockians cry. But they're delightful trash from time to time.

The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik - Regency-era battles with dragons. If you find yourself loving Aubrey-Maturin, these will delight you.

The Detective Murdoch Series by Maureen Jennings - Victorian Canadian Police detective. Not like the TV show, but so much better for me (although I do rather like the TV show).

And my three favourite books:
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Waking the Moon by Elizabeth Hand
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

And a series that I can't honestly recommend as such, but is the absolute 100% comfort food for me. Something about it is just so stupid and soothing and just what I need when I'm really stressed out. They're terrible books, though. I can't recommend them. But I love them anyway.

The Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke

Also? Before you go buying books, be sure to see what you can get for free on your tablet's store. And hit Project Gutenberg. It's a delight to hunt down all those classics that you meant to read and not have to pay for them (or reliving your childhood by digging out all the Frances Hodgson Burnett).
posted by Katemonkey at 4:32 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Some of the classics are always worth a read such as Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Lord of the Flies and Lord of the Rings
posted by max99 at 4:49 AM on June 18, 2014

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. Please dont let your opinion of the book be swayed if you happened to see that dreck of a film adapted from it.
posted by elendil71 at 5:08 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Wheel of Time series (books 1-11)
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:21 AM on June 18, 2014

Sword of Honour trilogy - Evelyn Waugh
posted by michaelh at 5:21 AM on June 18, 2014

I just started rereading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Great stuff there.

Also, pretty much everything by Neil Gaiman. Read "American Gods" first.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:31 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Mysteries.

PG Wodehouse, Jeeves and Wooster
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:31 AM on June 18, 2014

Outlander! I know it sounds weird and hokey! Try it anyway.
posted by something something at 5:37 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Since it's about to get hot, read Winterdance and Endurance, two fabulously compelling books which take place in Alaska during the Iditerod and Antarctica during the age of exploration. Both amazingly well-written, and will make you feel colder just by reading them.

(Outlander has some pretty graphic surprise rape and abuse in it, fyi)
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:44 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

As far as things published this year, Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach trilogy [Book 1] is killing it for me. Book 3 out in September.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:45 AM on June 18, 2014

Jim Butcher, both his Harry Dresden series (Modern day wizard in Chicago!)

and the Codex Alera.... which.... is.... fantasy pokemon + roman legions? And... way better than it sounds!

I also like Kage Baker and John Barnes

Baker does sort of dreamlike, wandering tales of immortal time travelers. Barnes does near-future books on memes and such (often of variable quality) and far-future books on space tourism and culture clash and such.

Jack McDevitt, who does wonderful future-space archeology.

My wife loves Charrlaine Harris' trashy soap opera-y Southern vampire books.

Also see Mary Janice Davidson.

And the Piers Anthony books- Xanth is generally mostly kid-teen friendly and the first few books are really fun. Some of his other works are LESS kid friendly and could even be triggering.

Simon R Green does summer movie sci fi- his Deathstalker series could easily be starring a young Arh-nold and the Nightside series would probably be mis-cast using Keanu Reeves for some reason.
posted by Jacen at 6:19 AM on June 18, 2014

Terry Pratchett's Discworld series is pretty much the best satirical fantasy series that will ever be written. It's brilliant.
posted by Jilder at 6:20 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds trilogy.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:20 AM on June 18, 2014

I like all sorts of books, these are not all necessarily serious, important literature, but more in the good reads category (all fiction).

The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah-sort of book I'd want to get home after work as fast as possible so I could get reading

I love historical fiction about the Tudors, and got started enjoying it when I read "The Other Boleyn Girl" a few years ago, there's a lot from that author, Phillipa Gregory, in that category, but that's a great one to start with (and it made me interested in actual British history as well)

Memoirs of a Geisha is great, can't recall the author at the moment...

The "Prey" series by John Sandford, if you like mystery/serial killer/cop stuff-excellent for a plane trip

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn I really enjoyed, this is recent and will soon be a movie

2nding John Irving, his early stuff is great

I love a lot of Tom Wolfe's books, especially Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full, and Back to blood

Dominick Dunne has a great book, based on a high society murder case from the 50's, called "The two Mrs. Grenvilles" and another juicy, L.A. based/fact based book called "An inconvenient woman"

Wally Lamb's books are good- "She's Come Undone" and "I Know this Much is True" are both great reads

For chick lit style, which I am a glutton for, Jennifer Weiner is good and well written, as is Olivia Goldsmith (loved "Flavor of the Month" and "First Wives Club"), and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich are fun, really, really easy reads.

Ernest Hemingway's The Sun also Rises, a great classic

A great book about Hemingway's 1st wife is a book called "The Paris Wife"-loved this (it's fictional but accurate-ish) and is what inspired me to read some Hemingway

Also, there a great book about Frank Lloyd Wright's mistress, called "Loving Frank", this is a great read as well.

Stephen King has some great stuff-the recent short stories collection (4 novellas really), "Full Dark, No Stars" was a wonderful bunch of creepy stories, and I've loved Misery, The Dark Half, The Talisman, Carrie, The Shining, Pet Cemetery, Cujo, Christine, Salem's Lot,

I could on and on and on about books I've enjoyed, writing this makes me want to reread a bunch!
posted by PinkPoodle at 6:27 AM on June 18, 2014

For series: hands down Iain Banks' The Culture; Pratchett gives so much enjoyment; and, just for fun, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Individual books? Much more difficult. How many most favorites can I have?
posted by Gotanda at 6:32 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (a fictional account of what boarding school is supposedly really like)
The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell (a first contact SF tale)
posted by hush at 6:40 AM on June 18, 2014

Your local library may also have an ebook lending program, you should check their website.

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King.

The Kingkiller Chronicle Series by Patrick Rothfuss

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Age of Fire Series by E.E. Knight

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde

A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
posted by okieangel at 7:04 AM on June 18, 2014

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