Need a book rec
June 26, 2017 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I apparently have an audible credit leftover. Give me some book recs, please and thank you.

I tend to like fantasy, magical realism, and paranormal fiction, urban fantasy which is usually modern setting. Things I've liked: Patricia Briggs and Seanen Maguire's stuff, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Karen Russell.

The Golem and the Jinn, Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore, Ex-Heroes, The girl with all the gifts, The good fairies of New York, the Odd Thomas books, and Davis Wellington's vampire series.

I like werewolves, feral children, parallel societies like Neverwhere, women protagonists, interesting sidekicks, and found families or people who feel like they don't belong anywhere finding their place among a small and loyal band of misfits.

One shots are fine. Series are better.

I like happy endings.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit to Shopping (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Start the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is the reader and his voice is wonderful. Book One in the series is either called 'Midnight Riot' or 'Rivers of London'.
posted by soelo at 2:06 PM on June 26, 2017 [9 favorites]

The Golden Compass is great, fits with your tastes, and is performed beautifully by a full cast.
posted by sockkitude at 2:07 PM on June 26, 2017

Plus The Golden Compass is part one of a series!
posted by sockkitude at 2:08 PM on June 26, 2017

Response by poster: Tried to read Golden Compass and it was boring. I put it down after two chapters because it didn't hook me.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 2:23 PM on June 26, 2017

There's also a sequel to The Girl with All the Gifts called The Boy on the Bridge.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:25 PM on June 26, 2017

Response by poster: Read the first two Miss Peregrine books. I won't get the third because I have the hard cover floating around the house.

I've not read good reviews for the girl with the gifts sequel, have you read it?
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 2:28 PM on June 26, 2017

Chime by Franny Billingsley, narrated by Susan Duerden
posted by carrioncomfort at 2:30 PM on June 26, 2017

Response by poster: Oh and before it's rec'ed, I've devoured the Matthew Swift Neon Court series by Webb.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 2:31 PM on June 26, 2017

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. A very strange and amazing book.
posted by ejs at 2:36 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm not 100% sure this is an on-point recommendation because my preferences are adjacent to yours rather than the same, but N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy might be something you'd enjoy. It's not set in the modern world, but I think it hits all your other requirements.

I'll second The Gone-Away World as an excellent choice. I'm still reading it, so I can't say for sure how good it is yet, but, in a similar vein, I have been enjoying Borne by Jeff VanderMeer.

Also, have you read A. Lee Martinez? His books are a little more on the goofy side, but if a werewolf and a vampire on a road trip sound appealing, you should check him out.
posted by snaw at 2:43 PM on June 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

Deanna Raybourn's A Curious Beginning!!

the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
posted by Ftsqg at 2:55 PM on June 26, 2017

Seconding Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London." Urban fantasy in a modern setting about a mixed-race male protagonist who finds his place and family in the world among a small band of misfits.

Third book, 'Whispers Underground', is all about a parallel society. The second book has a major theme with humans who have animal components, like cat-girls and tiger men. There's also a fae woman who trolls clubs, using her vagina dentata to bite off the dicks of any men who try to rape her.

There are also so, so, so many interesting secondary characters, with a particular strong-point being the lady secondary characters -- Lesley (the totally awesome born copper who is Peter's partner in a number of the books) and Sahra Guleed (the totally awesome born copper, the self-styled Somali ninja, who is Peter's partner in other adventures) and the Thames women (incarnations of the river and various tributaries, who are fascinating, richly written, powerful river dieties) and the fae.

The audio reader is an absolute delight. When Aaronovitch was picking the reader for his books, he specifically wanted someone who could do all the varied and wonderful accents of multi-ethnic, modern London, and it's gr99.
posted by joyceanmachine at 3:00 PM on June 26, 2017 [4 favorites]

Not all books are great in audio format. I have a great fondness for Terry Pratchett in audiobook form, and it's for me the preferred format. Stephen Briggs is the best reader, but Nigel Planer is good as well. If you haven't read any Discworld, give Guards, Guards! or Wyrd Sisters a try.
posted by suelac at 3:05 PM on June 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

By the same author as The Girl With All the Gifts, the Felix Castor series.

You might also like Bareback (USA title: Benighted) by Kit Whitfield, which is urban fantasy about werewolves with a woman protagonist:

For those born feet-first, life is comfortable, and one night a month they lock themselves in a secure room to fur up in peace. Barebacks like Lola, trapped in their human skin and drafted at eighteen into the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity, don't have it so easy. A full moon means patrolling the silent night in search of transformed citizens breaking the curfew. The rest of the month, DORLA agents mop up the after-effects of the trespasses, the fights and the maulings.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I loved Daniel O'Malley's The Rook. It's about a woman who wakes up surrounded by the dead bodies of her attackers, with no memory of who she is, who they are, or why she was being attacked. She slowly pieces together that she works for a sort of parallel MI:5 that deals with paranormal phenomena, but she doesn't know who to trust so she can't let on that she has amnesia.

I listened to the audiobook as well as reading the paper version, and the narrator is excellent. It's funny, exciting, smart, and has terrific female characters including the narrator.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:54 PM on June 26, 2017 [6 favorites]

It's firmly sci-fi, not fantasy, but fits your "found families or people who feel like they don't belong anywhere finding their place among a small and loyal band of misfits" requirement perfectly: "The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet" by Becky Chambers. Sweet and fun character-based adventure, crew of lovable weirdos on a spaceship traveling across the galaxy on a job. The sequel, "A Closed and Common Orbit," is different but also good.

Not sure these honestly fit your specs but two very good books: "China Mountain Zhang" by Maureen F. McHugh (couple things to trigger warn in it, anyone can PM me for info), "Lethe" by Tricia Sullivan.
posted by bizarrenacle at 4:02 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is also sort of more adjacent to your preferences, but does have the found-family element: The Goblin Emporer. It was a really good audiobook, happy ending, unfortunately (because I loved the characters) not a series.
posted by maryrussell at 5:17 PM on June 26, 2017

Not sure what the audio book version's like, but I enjoyed A Darker Shade Of Magic.

It's definitely got the Neverwhere parallel-society thing going on, it's set in three parallel universe Londons with varying access to and control of magic.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:37 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might enjoy Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. A wizard PI in contemporary Chicago. I've only read them, but the audiobooks have great reviews. Start here.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:32 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

So, you like all the books I like. The Golem and the Jinni is my go-to recommended book, but I see you already read it. My OTHER favorite recent books were The Night Circus and, oh my god, I love these books more than words, the Chronicles of Alice two book series.

And if you like the whole fairies and werewolves and other magical creatures come together to save the world while also bumbling around ordinary life thing, I suggest The Demon Lover which is the first book of the Fairwick trilogy. I know, it sounds trashy, but the series ended up being pretty good. Not as gorgeous and brilliant as the books I listed above, but still a lot of fun.
posted by silverstatue at 9:09 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'll suggest two:

First, William Gibson's Pattern Recognition. Gibson is well known as a science fiction writer, but this isn't that. It's not one of your preferred categories, either, but it is so well-written, and so, so well narrated by Shelly has a grounding in the reality of New York in the years just after 9/11 combined with obsession with viral media and an edge of the unusual, a protagonist with a talent that borders on the paranormal. Gibson is a master of observation and detail, whether of imagined worlds or our world. It's the first of a loosely-connected trilogy (neither of which is as amazingly narrated), but stands very well on its own.

Also, Mary Robinette Kowal's Ghost Talkers. Kinda science fictiony, kinda urban fantasy. Narrated by the author, who does a lot of narrating of her own books and the books of others.
posted by lhauser at 9:36 PM on June 26, 2017

The Dresden Files are one of the very best urban paranormal books. And James Marsters does a wonderful reading. It goes beyond reading. The man is an amazing talent and the stories and the world building are great.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:24 PM on June 26, 2017

I loved the audiobook of The Lies of Locke Lamora. It's set in a society loosely inspired by 15th-16th century Venice, on the dregs of an ancient alien civilisation.

There are two other books (so far) in the series, read by the same reader. Caution: do not listen if you are easily offended by profanity.
posted by snakeling at 3:02 AM on June 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Ben Aaronovitch books are great stories, but the audiobook performer makes them the best audiobooks I have ever heard. He is as good or better than Jim Dale.

Go now, get the first one, and be hooked like me: I won't read the books until I can hear Kobna read them to me, so I'm two books behind now!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:52 AM on June 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

China Miéville's The City & The City.
posted by moonmilk at 6:33 AM on June 27, 2017

I would suggest Roberto Bolaño's 2666, which is available unabridged in Audible. I took the Audible download as an add-on to the Kindle and wound up listening to most of the book. Modern setting, a kind of surreal story. Warning: full of police descriptions of sex-violent crimes against women. But I think the preponderance of these had more impact in the Audible version than in writing. The 900 pages flew by.
posted by sagwalla at 7:46 AM on June 27, 2017

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente ticks all your boxes and is available on Audible, enjoy your credit!
posted by childofTethys at 9:21 AM on June 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Late to the party, but no love for Charles de Lint?
My go-to urban fantasy writer; not all of his works are favorites, but I have yet to read a poor effort.
posted by likeso at 8:44 AM on July 20, 2017

« Older Is there a great alternative to HealthMonth?   |   Places to see between Manchester (Vermont, USA)... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.