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Fiction Reading Ideas for Christmas
self | 12/2/08 | LS

Posted on 12/02/2008 4:04:58 AM PST by LS

A few weeks ago I suggested a few non-fiction books that were good reads. Here are some of my suggestions for fiction:

Caleb Carr, The Alienist. Carr is trained in history, and this long, but involved, mystery involves a 19th century serial killer in which the detective is just beginning to use some of the forensic tools available to us today. In the process, he encounters Teddy Roosevelt, Jacob Riis, and J. P. Morgan among others. Each has more than a cameo.

The Civil War trilogy by Newt Gingrich and Bill Fortschen, Gettysburg, Grant Comes East, and Never Call Retreat. Rarely do I read a book more than once, but this trilogy---a "counterfactual" beginning with the Confederacy winning at Gettysburg---is so rich with historical and biographical detail that the characters remain fresh even when you know the story. Gingrich and Fortschen weave a brilliant "what if" story of Union defeat and resurgence. (And some idiot editors didn't know that it was a counter-factual: one said, "These guys don't even know who won!")

Nelson DeMille---any. One of my favorite authors, DeMille has the ability to take an ordinary conversation and make it last for several pages, all the while absorbing your attention. Whether it's the detective in Nightfall and Wildfire or the cynical John Sutter in The Gold Coast or The Gate House, DeMille is a rare storyteller who can entertain without constant action.

Vince Flynn---any. Flynn is the antithesis of DeMille: his Mitch Rapp character is involved in non-stop action. A combination of Vic Mackey and Jack Bauer, Rapp protects us first, then fends off the government investigators later.

Tom Wolfe: I Am Charlotte Simmons or A Man In Full. Another of America's excellent storytellers, Wolfe's Charlotte Simmons is a must read for any parent sending his or her kid off to college. A Man in Full deals with wealth, power, and celebrity status in Atlanta. For someone of Wolfe's social class, he has deep insight into America's black culture and the "yout." His Bonfire of the Vanities remains a classic (forget the idiotic movie adaptation of this great book).

Finally, any of the books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, such as The Cabinet of the Curiosities or The Book of the Dead are terrific. Preston and Child have created an FBI agent named Pendergast who is simply one of the most captivating heroes in literature, a man whose strange tastes and lifestyle are exceeded only by his lack of brawn and reluctance to use brute force---a Sherlock Holmsian American character.


TOPICS: Books/Literature
KEYWORDS: books; christmas; novels; read
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While you're at it, consider the excellent Dragon's Fury series by Freeper Jeff Head. Written several years ago, this "world war III" series involves an eerie coalition of certain Muslim state, India, and China in an attempt to defeat the U.S. and her allies.

Also take a look at my 9/11 novel, September Day.

1 posted on 12/02/2008 4:04:58 AM PST by LS
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To: LS
...The Civil War trilogy by Newt Gingrich and Bill Fortschen,...

These are excellent books. Very well written and imaginative. However, I found Newt's books about Pearl Harbor sorely lacking. Couldn't finish them.

S.M. Stirling's "Dies The Fire" series is excellent. "This world is hit by "The Change" causing electricity, high gas pressures, and fast combustion (including explosives and gunpowder) to stop working. This is very bad news for the majority of the population, but the books follow some of the survivors and show how different groups choose different ways to adapt to the changed world."

2 posted on 12/02/2008 4:27:14 AM PST by FReepaholic (Diversity = .45 .357 .223 .38 ...)
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To: LS

Anything by James Jones but I highly recommend what is really THE Great American Novel. “Some Came Running.” Absolutely the BEST novel about small town American life. An absolutely INCREDIBLE novel.


3 posted on 12/02/2008 4:41:13 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Tide Turned Just a Half Year After Pearl Harbor)
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To: LS; All
Here are links to both Dragon's Fury: World War against America and the West", and "September Day"

Dragon's Fury is now available in a single, large hardback release that has been updated and is much less expensive than buying all five of the original novels in the series.


DRAGON'S FURY: WORLD WAR AGAINST AMERICA AND THE WEST


SEPTEMBER DAY

4 posted on 12/02/2008 4:52:21 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: LS
I am halfway through Gold Coast and have already purchased Gate House. Just “discovered” Nelson DeMille and I love his humor and writing style. Tom Wolfe is fabulous. Bonfire of the Vanities is one of my all time favorites. Great insight into Wall Street during boom times.
5 posted on 12/02/2008 5:01:39 AM PST by babaloo
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To: LS
Thirteen Moons, by Charles Frazier.
6 posted on 12/02/2008 5:25:48 AM PST by George Smiley (Palin is the real deal.)
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To: PJ-Comix

thanks! Never heard of that one.


7 posted on 12/02/2008 5:38:34 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: FReepaholic
Totally agree with the Pearl Harbor books. BTW, I have a new novel, "Halsey's Bluff," which is a counter-factual about the battle of Midway---Halsey is in charge, and he loses . . . but escapes to fight again!

I think it's much better than the Newt books, and I'm hoping it will be up on Amazon by Christmas.

8 posted on 12/02/2008 5:39:49 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: babaloo

Read Gate House then after you finish Gold Coast. The other books-—Nightfall, Plum Island, Lion’s Game, Up Country-—are different storylines and characters.


9 posted on 12/02/2008 5:40:53 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: LS
REALLY looking forward to that one. Will undoubtedly be a GREAT read.

Any cover artwork?

10 posted on 12/02/2008 5:57:33 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: LS

Thanks for the thread! I made a list from an earlier reading thread and am happily checking things out from my library. I will add to the list. I will also definitely get your book and Jeff Head’s.


11 posted on 12/02/2008 6:20:36 AM PST by Grammy
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To: LS; Antoninus

Ok I’m not exactly an unbiased in playing up Angels in Iron by Nick Prata (our Freeper-owned company publishes it):

http://www.arxpub.com/literary/Angels/AngelsinIron.html

When we got this manuscript it completely blew us away. It’s historical fiction on the Knights Hospitaler defending the island of Malta against Suleyman and the Turks in 1565. This thing reads like a Mel Gibson movie. We’ve been selling this book for 10 years and people love love love it. I read it straight through in one night.


12 posted on 12/02/2008 6:48:46 AM PST by Claud
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To: LS

“Nikita’s Plan” by Stephen Kenner. A real page turner.


13 posted on 12/02/2008 6:57:07 AM PST by EvenStephen (Oh where oh where did my party go?)
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To: LS

My local library has ‘The Book of the Dead’ by Preston and Child, maybe when I have time and feel like braving the cold I’ll check it out.

Personally, I’d recommend Watchmen by Alan Moore. It’s a really amazing book, and a fascinating read since the graphic-novel format allows the author to do things that just couldn’t be done in a regular book. And, if you’re even thinking of seeing the upcoming movie, the book ought to be read first.


14 posted on 12/02/2008 7:16:11 AM PST by Hyzenthlay (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Jeff Head

I do have cover artwork, but I can’t seem to extract it. I’ll send you a private e-mail with it. See if you can do anything with it. I’m told the delay was that Lightning Source had trouble with the font size and formatting, so they had to re-font it.


15 posted on 12/02/2008 8:17:07 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: LS

May I suggest:

http://jesusweptanamericanstory.blogspot.com/

“Jesus Wept” An American Story of Struggle, Sacrifice, Faith & Hope

An Historical Novel


16 posted on 12/02/2008 8:24:48 AM PST by AuntB (The right to vote in America: Blacks 1870; Women 1920; Native Americans 1925)
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To: LS
How about this:

Give me a site to link it to and I will do so:

17 posted on 12/02/2008 9:31:52 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: Jeff Head

Have you ever read a collection of short stories called “Folk of The Fringe” by Orson Scott Card?


18 posted on 12/02/2008 9:36:32 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: AuntB

Did you write it?


19 posted on 12/02/2008 9:38:13 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: Jeff Head

Thanks. You’ll have one when I have one!


20 posted on 12/02/2008 9:46:12 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: AuntB

You’ve got FRemail!


21 posted on 12/02/2008 9:52:22 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: lady lawyer
She did. Allow me to post the cover art as a link:


22 posted on 12/02/2008 9:54:29 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: LS
Finally, any of the books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, such as The Cabinet of the Curiosities or The Book of the Dead are terrific. Preston and Child have created an FBI agent named Pendergast who is simply one of the most captivating heroes in literature, a man whose strange tastes and lifestyle are exceeded only by his lack of brawn and reluctance to use brute force---a Sherlock Holmsian American character.

I recommend these books every time there is a quarterly book thread. I love them! Still Life with Crows is my favorite. I have it on audiobook from Audible.com and Rene Auberjonois is a fabulous narrator. His voice for Pendergast is so dead on. When I read their books, his voice is the one I hear in my head for Pendergast.

Douglas Preston also wrote a book called, The Monster of Venice. It's a true crime book about unsolved serial killings in Florance, Italy. It's fantastic, as well.

23 posted on 12/02/2008 9:54:41 AM PST by retrokitten (I want to rock your gypsy soul, just like way back in the days of old- Into the Mystic)
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To: lady lawyer

Yes.


24 posted on 12/02/2008 9:58:29 AM PST by AuntB (The right to vote in America: Blacks 1870; Women 1920; Native Americans 1925)
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To: AuntB

Interesting. Tell us a little about yourself, if you don’t mind. Your brief description on your blog piques my curiosity.


25 posted on 12/02/2008 10:02:58 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: lady lawyer

What would you like to know?


26 posted on 12/02/2008 10:19:43 AM PST by AuntB (The right to vote in America: Blacks 1870; Women 1920; Native Americans 1925)
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To: AuntB

Why the pseudonyms on your blog?


27 posted on 12/02/2008 10:21:28 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: lady lawyer

Why not? The pseudonym fit the story. I didn’t care to put my own name on a book.


28 posted on 12/02/2008 10:34:37 AM PST by AuntB (The right to vote in America: Blacks 1870; Women 1920; Native Americans 1925)
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To: AuntB

No, I meant why those particular pseudonyms?


29 posted on 12/02/2008 11:07:35 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: LS
Right now I am reading The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers. On deck is Your Heart Belongs To Me, the new novel by Dean Koontz.
30 posted on 12/02/2008 11:14:53 AM PST by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
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To: PJ-Comix
One of my favorite authors. From Here To Eternity and Some Came Running are excellent novels.
31 posted on 12/02/2008 11:16:08 AM PST by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
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To: babaloo
I have read a few of DeMille's novels and he is great. The first one I read of his - The Charm School was suspensefull, intense, funny, and terribly sad. I purchased Gate House but I hve to hold off on it until I get and read Gold Coast.
32 posted on 12/02/2008 11:18:18 AM PST by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
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To: LS
The Slow Moon, by Elizabeth Cox. A little dark, but absorbing.
33 posted on 12/03/2008 12:08:03 AM PST by MoochPooch (I'm a compassionate cynic.)
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To: LS

bfl


34 posted on 12/03/2008 7:05:22 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: LS

Thanks! I am an avid reader and love mystery, crime scene, classics, and spy novels. I was into Patricia cornwell for a time, but the language is a turn off. It continues to grow worse and more coarse. Yuck!

Thanks for the list of books by title and author!


35 posted on 12/08/2008 2:15:20 AM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: EvenStephen

Got it. It’s on my shelf now.


36 posted on 12/14/2008 4:12:38 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: Hyzenthlay

Got it. It’s now in the stack.


37 posted on 12/14/2008 4:12:57 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: retrokitten
Ok, read "Still Life . . ." on the plane to LA. Couldn't put it down. The more I read about Pendergast, the more I long to see a GOOD movie depiction of him.

I'd love to see him and Vic Mackey of the Shield team up :)

38 posted on 12/14/2008 4:14:05 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: 7thson

Just finished the Dean Koontz book about the Golden Retrievers. Great read.


39 posted on 12/14/2008 4:14:46 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: LS

I would love that, too, but I can’t imagine any actor that I know of doing him justice.

I told my mom about the Newt Gingrich books you recommended above and she’s going to get them for my dad for Christmas. He’s a Civil War buff and I was shocked that he hasn’t read them yet.


40 posted on 12/14/2008 7:28:02 AM PST by retrokitten (I want to rock your gypsy soul, just like way back in the days of old- Into the Mystic)
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To: retrokitten

Bill Pullam might be ok. But it would have to be someone really different. Gary Oldham?


41 posted on 12/14/2008 12:58:30 PM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: LS

Oooo...Gary Oldham is a good choice I hadn’t thought of.


42 posted on 12/14/2008 2:10:38 PM PST by retrokitten (I want to rock your gypsy soul, just like way back in the days of old- Into the Mystic)
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To: FReepaholic
I enjoyed the first two books about Pearl Harbor, and can hardly wait for the next. Of course, it is a personnel thing for me, since I was born 4 days after that event.

If anyone is into Christian fiction, Colleen Coble and Dee Henderson are very good. There are also some series about the war in the middle East that are good - Don Brown has the Navy Justice series; Chuck Holton is another.

43 posted on 12/14/2008 2:17:10 PM PST by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second)
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To: LS

Whenever I want to check on the order, etc of an author’s books, I go to http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/


44 posted on 12/14/2008 2:19:38 PM PST by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second)
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To: mathluv

Good tip.


45 posted on 12/14/2008 2:54:15 PM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: retrokitten

He plays a lot of vampires, so that kind of fits (I see Pendergast as nearly a vampire!). Perhaps Edward Norton, though not imposing enough. OOhhh. I got it! Keith Carradine. He played an FBI agent on “Dexter.” A tad old, but tall enough, can be sophisticated enough,


46 posted on 12/14/2008 3:50:30 PM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: LS
I just read Toni Morrison's Mercy, her latest. It was a bit difficult for me to keep all the characters straight at first, but after that it was easier. A marvelous work, her best yet I think.
47 posted on 12/22/2008 5:02:52 PM PST by firebrand
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To: retrokitten

Ok, “Still Life With Crows” was exceptional. Reading “Monster of Florence” now. OK, though not the pulse-bending mystery that the Pendergast books are.


48 posted on 12/22/2008 5:16:01 PM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: firebrand

Gotta say, on the advice of a Freeper, I”m working on “Prayers of the Assassin,” and am finding it tough sledding. “The Monster of Florence” is pretty good, though nothing like the Preston/Child murder mysteries.


49 posted on 12/22/2008 5:17:35 PM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: Shery

I discovered the mystery series by P.J. Parrish a few months ago. They are absolutely fabulous. Everyone I know who has read them is hooked. Be sure to start with the first one and go in order. The author’s bio will completely surprise you. Dark of The Moon is the title of the first book.


50 posted on 12/22/2008 5:18:27 PM PST by saminfl (conservative since 1964)
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