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This is great, I have my new reading list, and one in the works, you guys were right this is awesome:

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I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan....

- Benjamin Franklin

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To pick two authors whose work I much appreciate:
Sylvian Hamilton; The Bone Peddlar, The Pendragon Banner, The Gleemaiden

 

The starting line of the first novel is pretty telling:

"In the crypt of the abbey church at Hallowdene, the monks were boiling their bishop . . ."

The series (cut short by the sad demise of the author) is about a templar knight (sir Richard Straccan) who after returning from the Holy land sets out in the relics trade. The medieval world of these books comes across as an every day reality that is believable and authentic to which is added a an element of the fantastic.


Then perhaps my greatest favorite in historical fiction, the books by C J Sansom about the Tudor lawyer Shardlake in the time of Henry VIII. Very clever, insightful, gripping and toward the end of each book increasingly thrilling. Sansom brings life to Tudor England and the moral dilemma of a servant to the ruthless and narcissistic monarch. Court intrigue, bloody murder, foul plots and lethal adversaries surround a very likable, physically stunted but morally heroic Shardlake.

The series start with: Dissolution

 

There is much good out there, but these two authors are at the top of my list of recommendations.

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The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver; The Confusion; The System of the World) by Neal Stephenson, three books about the enlightenment, the royal academy, the invention of calculus, cryptography, and the idea of information as currency and currency as information. with pirates. and it ends with a bunch of ex-janissaries smuggling wootz into Japan in the late 1690's, which i thought was a complete fabrication until someone (Ric?) posted a paper with evidence that the Japanese used imported wootz for swords for a very brief period from about 1690 to 1720. probably the most impressive synthesis of historical research i've ever encountered. again, with pirates...

 

Cryptonomicon, by the same author,explores similar themes through the lens of the invention of the computer during WW2, and the attempt to set up a data haven in the 1990's, and is also well worth a read. as is everything else he's written.

 

plus American Gods by Neil Gaiman. and all of pratchett...

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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Nearly forgot Dorothy Dunnett! Just read the wikipedia entry to see if you'd be interested, and some of you will very much be. Intrigue and excellent technical descriptions of things. The House of Niccolo series is my favorite of hers, as the earlier Lymond Chronicles leans a bit more into romance novel territory, even though it never gets so far gone as to enter bodice-ripping paperback with Fabio on the cover territory...still not bad, though. You'll learn a lot about later Rennaissance Europe. Read the entry.

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+1 on Bone Peddlar. Well, 3.99 plus shipping but that's real good. Its not in my library network

I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan....

- Benjamin Franklin

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The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver; The Confusion; The System of the World) by Neal Stephenson, three books about the enlightenment, the royal academy, the invention of calculus, cryptography, and the idea of information as currency and currency as information. with pirates. and it ends with a bunch of ex-janissaries smuggling wootz into Japan in the late 1690's, which i thought was a complete fabrication until someone (Ric?) posted a paper with evidence that the Japanese used imported wootz for swords for a very brief period from about 1690 to 1720. probably the most impressive synthesis of historical research i've ever encountered. again, with pirates...

 

Cryptonomicon, by the same author,explores similar themes through the lens of the invention of the computer during WW2, and the attempt to set up a data haven in the 1990's, and is also well worth a read. as is everything else he's written.

 

plus American Gods by Neil Gaiman. and all of pratchett...

 

You made me so happy when you mentioned Neal Stephenson. He is the king of infodumps, and I love it. Probably my favorite author. He did that series with those other authors that takes place during the Mongol invasion that features lots of swords, axes and dismemberment; The Mongoliad.

 

Here are some more:

 

The Afghan Campaign by Steven Pressfield - Historical fiction about a foot-slogger soldier in Alexander the Great's army during his invasion of Afghanistan

The Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield - Historical fiction about The Battle of Thermopylae (and no, Xerxes is not 8 feet tall)

 

Anything by R. E. Howard (of Conan and Kull fame)

 

Shogun by James Clavell - Historical Fiction - The book to read about Samurai and Feudal Japan (book the miniseries was based from)

 

The Gates of Rome - Conn Iggulden - Historical Fiction about Gaius Julius Caesar

Genghis: Birth of an Empire - Historical fiction about everyone's favorite Mongol

 

Leviathan Wakes - Jamey Corey - Zombies in Spaaaaaaaaaaaace - seriously good book though

 

Oh, the site I was linking to is called Goodreads, which is like a social network for book nerds. I don't use it for that part, but I do use it to keep track of what I have read ,want to read, and just to look books up. It's pretty good.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus

http://www.krakenforge.net/

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Since Japan has entered the mix then Musashi by Yoshikawa then. Glad to be reminded of Shogun... haven't read that and I'm getting back into Japanese lately. Started watching Hari-Kiri last night on Netflix. Really cool movie.... except for the scene where the guy does it with dull bamboo blade. :o

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Thanks for the movie idea Scott. It had been in my queue but I hadn't watched it. Almost done with it... man that movie is sad.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus

http://www.krakenforge.net/

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The Last Sword Drawn on Netflix is good too. Yeah Hara Kiri got more and more depressing as it went. And the final fight scene was a little.. unrealistic to say the least. But still good movie. I love the red armor.

 

Another book that should be mentioned... The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

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I just finished the Pagan Lord, nth book in the Bernard Cornwell series I've recommended before. I recommend this series set around the time of Alfred the Great.

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Pagan-Lord-Novel-Saxon/dp/0061969702/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390921427&sr=8-1&keywords=pagan+lord

I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan....

- Benjamin Franklin

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The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle --set in the time of the hundred year war about a company of mecenarys. It reminded me of the last robin hood movie with Russel Crow.

Esse quam videri

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The Last Sword Drawn on Netflix is good too. Yeah Hara Kiri got more and more depressing as it went. And the final fight scene was a little.. unrealistic to say the least. But still good movie. I love the red armor.

 

Another book that should be mentioned... The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

 

I went and bought Musashi after you recommended it Scott. Found the ebook on sale at Amazon for 1.99. Can't argue with that price. Ya, it's a thousand pages long! Didn't realize what an epic it is. I also watched Hara Kiri as well. That was a sad movie to say the least. Good though.

 

I have another book recommendation. "The Heroes" by Joe Abercrombie. Honestly, that is one of the best books I have read... well, ever really. It's that good. Lots of stabby action. Great characters.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus

http://www.krakenforge.net/

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Thanks Wes.. will check out Heroes. I liked his other book.. The Blade Itself. And yeah.. Musashi should be required reading for anybody into swords. I love the ending....

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I have another book recommendation. "The Heroes" by Joe Abercrombie. Honestly, that is one of the best books I have read... well, ever really. It's that good. Lots of stabby action. Great characters.

 

I'm with you there, and as Scott noted, be sure to read his trilogy starting with The Blade Itself... the trilogy predates heroes and features a lot of the same characters. Abercrombie has another book coming out this year, set in the same world. I cant wait!

 

BTW I picked up the White Company after someone recommended it here, and so far its great.

I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan....

- Benjamin Franklin

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Thanks Wes.. will check out Heroes. I liked his other book.. The Blade Itself. And yeah.. Musashi should be required reading for anybody into swords. I love the ending....

 

I'm with you there, and as Scott noted, be sure to read his trilogy starting with The Blade Itself... the trilogy predates heroes and features a lot of the same characters. Abercrombie has another book coming out this year, set in the same world. I cant wait!

 

BTW I picked up the White Company after someone recommended it here, and so far its great.

 

I think I am going to shortlist a whole lot of Abercrombie's books after I am done with Musashi (which is great so far). I have been giving the rest of his books the hairy eyeball...

 

 

 

My neice gave me the Game of Thrones on CD so I could listen to it while I drove back and forth to work. I didn't expect much of it, but it is turning out to be a great high fantasy novel!

 

Yep, those books are currently the 800 lbs gorilla in the fantasy room. I have yet to read "Dance with Dragons". I'm actually putting it off to be completely honest. Glad you are enjoying though.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus

http://www.krakenforge.net/

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I just finished the Bone Peddlar that Peter recommended. A fun book.

 

White Company was great. Has anybody mentioned T.H. White's the Once and Future King? The first I started reading it .. I just couldn't get into it. But then I gave it another chance and found it to be amazing. It goes from very light hearted.. almost a parody... but then becomes increasingly dramatic and beautiful as Arthur gets older. There are some passages that send shivers down my spine. Love this passage:

 

"All the saints came out of their beehives to see them off. All the Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha du Danaan, Old People and others waved to them without the least suspicion from the cliffs, currachs, mountains, bogs and shell mounds. All the red deer and unicorns lined the high tops to bid good bye... the oghan stones and sou-terrains and promontory forts exhibited their prehistoric masonry in a blaze of sunlight - the sea trout and salmon put their heads out of the water - the glens, mountains and heather-shoulders of the most beautiful country in the world joined the general chorus - and the soul of the Gaelic world said to the boys in the loudest of faery voices: Remember us!"

Edited by Scott A. Roush
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I just finished the Pagan Lord, nth book in the Bernard Cornwell series I've recommended before. I recommend this series set around the time of Alfred the Great.

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Pagan-Lord-Novel-Saxon/dp/0061969702/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390921427&sr=8-1&keywords=pagan+lord

 

I have been waiting for the next book in this series, Seeing that it is out has made my day!

 

This thread is great, I love having a reading list this long. No more wandering around the library/bookstore/internet looking for my next read!

 

I have to say +1 to Glenn Cooks' "Tales of the Black Company"

 

I'm just waiting for an epic "Vikings vs. Zombies" book/movie...I don't think the brain eaters stand a chance against a shield wall :)

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My neice gave me the Game of Thrones on CD so I could listen to it while I drove back and forth to work. I didn't expect much of it, but it is turning out to be a great high fantasy novel!

 

I stopped reading the Game of Thrones series awhile ago because, it was just getting too far flung, too many characters, and far too many sub-plots and intrigue. When I heard that HBO was turning it into a series... Well, that was just brilliant. All the problems the book had made it much more suited to a format with visual and audio clues. IMHO :P. The audio version would probably be a bit easier to follow than the book but, perhaps, not as much so as the series. Now, I'll have to read the whole series and then watch it on DVD. Dang it!

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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The Kalevala, the Finnish epic poem from the 19th century is a good read, One of the chief characters is the blacksmith who forged the dome of the world. It is 22,750 lines of poem if you are into reading that sort of thing. The Origin of Steel is a great chapter involving the birth of iron and the first forging of steel. A heavy influence on Tolkien (Hurin, Turin Turambar, Tom Bombadil) and Michael Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone"

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