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Bored with my books!

The Green Dragon

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Aug 9, 2009, 2:23pm Top

Anyone know some good Sci Fi, Romance, Historical, or Non-fiction books they could recommend to a teenager? I am so bored with my continued fantasy books, because the ones at my library all have similar plots once you've read about 100 of them. I also don't know many good non-fiction books because I barely read them, and I suppose it would be a good way to enlarge my vocabulary and broaden my horizons.
I'd really appreciate it if you could give me some new titles to check out.
(No mystery please, that's just not my style.)

Aug 9, 2009, 2:28pm Top

I always recommend Ender's Game first, but I do not recommend the sequels. Since you asked for historical as well, I think To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best books ever written.

I hope you find something!

Aug 9, 2009, 2:41pm Top

Try Brandon Sanderson's Elantris, then try his Mistborn series. These are all great stories with unique, believable characters and wonderful twists and turns to highly original plot lines.

If you want a fun historical mystery, try The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard. It's a murder mystery set at West Point in the mid-1800's. A retired NYC Constable is asked to help solve a murder at West Point, but finds that as an outsider at a military base he doesn't have the free reign he needs. So he takes on an assistant, an oddball Cadet named Edgar Allan Poe.

Aug 9, 2009, 2:56pm Top

I'm not going to say that you should read anything. I don't know what you like or if you are looking for something suitable for a 13 year old or a 16 year old. What I will do is point you to a couple of threads where this sort of question has been asked
And some of the groups for the types of books you are interested in


Hope you find some interesting books to read.

Aug 9, 2009, 3:12pm Top

Like Calm, I'm not going to recommend any particular books, but rather a way of looking; this time for non-fiction.

First, decide on something you're interested in, be it scence, cooking, sport, collecting, crafts, languages ... whatever. It doesn't matter what, as long as it's something. Now go to the library and see what they have in and next to that subject. Why next to? Because that's a good way of broadening what you know and so making the world a more interesting place. So for example, in the library down the road from me, the cookery books lead on to the history and technology of the ingredients -- this is where you find Mark Kurlansky's splendid books on salt and cod, of all unlikely topics to write a whle book on. Just beyond them are the books on wine and beer -- probably these would raise eyebrows if you took them out now, but oh how useful when checking on potential boyfriends later. Now it doesn't matter all that much if the books are good, bad or indifferent; for one thing you'll be returning them in due course so you don't have to waste good money buying them or good space housing them. For another, if you read enough different books up and down the quality scale you'll be able to say with reasons why one is great and another is a load of bleep. That's probably enough of a lecture for one post.

Aug 9, 2009, 3:13pm Top

Sci-Fi: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (all 5 parts of this excellent and hilarious trilogy (yes, trilogy)
Fantasy: Thomas Covenant series by Stephen Donaldson
Graphic Fantasy: Sandman series by Neil Gaiman (well everything by Neil). A series with loads of references to classical literature, myths and fairy tales. There are a few nice websites explaining every panel.
History: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote about a very notorious murder case (you can read the memoirs by Winston Churchill later).
Non-Fiction: The Sandwalk Adventures by Jay Hosler (it's a graphic novel explaining the evolution theory as told by Darwin himself to a cute tiny mite)
Non-Fiction: A brief history of time by Stephen Hawking, explaining modern physics.

Just for fun: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, about a boy on the Mississippi

All books should be available at any library worth it name.

Aug 9, 2009, 3:37pm Top

The Dune books, by Frank Herbert
The White Plague by the same author would be interesting given all that's happening now.

The Histories by Herodotus. After 2000 years, still a good read.

The Ascent of Rum Doodle is a classic spoof mountaineering/expedition book.

Aug 9, 2009, 4:40pm Top

I get sick of fiction every so often, too. I am hoping to read Flotsametrics and the Floating World soon. It is all about the stuff floating around in our oceans and why and where they go. When a bunch of Nike tennis shoes washed up on a beach a whole new social network was born: people with one tennis shoe looking for its mate. No kidding, seriously! There are lots of fun non-fiction books to read. Spend time just looking in the library.

Aug 9, 2009, 4:47pm Top

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the whole series is great
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

These are a few which I fell in love with in my late teens. Also, finding memoirs and biographies of people who do things you are interested in is a great way to work into nonfiction.

Aug 9, 2009, 7:40pm Top

I think you'd really enjoy Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. It's light science-fiction and heavy historical fiction all in one.

Aug 9, 2009, 8:00pm Top

I second MrsLee's recommendation of Rebecca, and if you like it, there's a sequel by another author that was pretty good, Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman. I also like biographies, I started reading them maybe in middle school - I'd just browse that section and find something that looked interesting, someone who's name I recognized, or a title that just pops out. If you read about a person you find interesting, you can branch out to books about that period of history, or more specifics about whatever they're involved in, so if you read about, say, Houdini and enjoyed it, you could go from there to books about how to do magic tricks or about debunking spiritualists, or even just general history of the 1890s to 1920s, when he lived, if any of those caught your imagination, or if they didn't, move on to someone else. Really, though, my favorite way to find books is just to wander through a library or bookstore and see what catches my eye. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're not, but I find things I'd never have thought of if I'd just looked for recommendations based on what I've already read.

Also, I just want to say, before you decide mysteries aren't your thing, bear in mind that the term "mystery" encompasses a lot of stuff, from cozies to hardboiled noir, to pretty much anything you can imagine, sometimes even with supernatural elements. I tend to read them because there are a lot of series, so I can follow a cast of characters over time and feel like I really get to know them. I also like a lot of the historical mysteries - I like being immersed in another time or place, it's great escapism. Just keep that in mind next time you're bored and looking for new books, you might be surprised what you find in the mystery section.

Good luck, I hope you find lots of new things to read.

Aug 9, 2009, 8:26pm Top

I second MrsLee's suggestion of memoirs and biographies. I'm not a huge fan of nonfiction, but if I find a person interesting, I'll generally read their biography. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, Marie Antoinette: The Journey (which was made into the movie starring Kirsten Dunst), and Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh were all good books, but they definitely appealed to me because I'm interested in the people behind them! Good luck!

Aug 10, 2009, 8:50am Top

What sort of SF are you after? I can't recommend from other genres or groups you mentioned.

Oh, and if you're bored with what your library has, it will quite likely have an interlibrary loan system - you fill out a form, and they get books in for you from other libraries.

If there are authors whose books you like, but they don't have all their works at your library, it's a good way of reading the rest of the books.

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