D&D General The ENWorld Summer Reading List - Nomination Thread


Limit Break Dancing
So I thought it would be fun to put together a summer reading list for those of us at ENWorld: a list of 12-20 books, each highly recommended by the staff and members of ENWorld. Something that would let folks add their favorites to a list (each book in its own thread), and let folks vote for their favorites.

I asked for nominations, and you guys really came through with over a hundred of them! As you recommended your favorites, and upvoted/downvoted the rest, several titles floated to the top of the list and some sank to the bottom. And after things quieted down for a week, I picked the top vote.

But this isn't over! One book does not a Sumer Reading List make! (And I think I finally got a handle on how to do this "choose a book from the list" thing, using the Question feature of the software. I know it's not a perfect system, previously I was going to compile a short list from this larger list, but that had its own problems. Anyway...) Pretend you are browsing a bookshelf at the library. "Hmm...this book looks interesting...this one too...this one doesn't really look interesting...ooh I love this book!...ugh, this one looks boring...this one looks good..."

We will be reading "The Book of Three" by Lloyd Alexander first, beginning on Friday April 30th. This list here will still be active, and people are still invited (encouraged, even) to recommend more books, and upvote/downvote the books already nominated. Perhaps you decide that Lloyd Alexander is the bee's knees and you want to recommend more of his work? Maybe it changed your mind about a different book? Maybe you didn't care for his work all that much, and don't want to read more? Use those up/down arrows to inform the list.

Another book will float to the top, and it will be the next one selected...probably around the second weekend of May.

Here's the rules:
  • Nominate a fantasy fiction book you would recommend to a stranger. It should be something that might inspire Game Masters and players alike, in whatever tabletop roleplaying game they are running. It can be classic fantasy fiction ala Tolkien, it can be space opera ala Star Wars, it can be dark fantasy, gritty fantasy, fantasy horror, modern fantasy, whatever you like.
  • Please list only one book per post. This includes trilogies and series! Don't put "All of the books in the Xhaslafqagrgg series, by Famous J. Author." Post each book in its own comment, even if it means creating 20 different posts. Please and thank you. Don't force everyone to downvote an entire catalog just because of one single book.
  • Tell us a little bit about it. You nominated it for a reason, so sell it to us! It's helpful to include a link to the book's website, some reviews, or maybe some cover art. Not everyone is going to automatically recognize your book on name alone, especially if it's recently-published...help your nomination get the votes it deserves.
  • Please don't duplicate any nominees. If you see your favorite book already listed, don't make another post for it! Just click the up-arrow and recommend another book instead. UPDATE: Check the "Current List of Nominees," below, to see if your book has already been nominated.
  • Remember the goal. The goal here is to create a list of fantasy novels, each highly recommended by the good people of ENWorld, from a variety of genres. We're looking for books that will inspire and spark the imaginations of players and GMs alike, giving us fodder for adventure. And who doesn't love a good book? This isn't just a popularity contest, there aren't any winners, this isn't a bookworm's humble-brag, and there's no prize for "best book" or whatever.
Thanks in advance!

117 Recommendations, Alphabetical by Author

(last updated: 4/30/2021)
Aaron, Rachel. "Nice Dragons Finish Last."
Aaronvitch, Ben. "Rivers of London."
Abercrombie, Joe. "A Little Hatred."
Akers, Tim. "Knight Watch"
Alexander, Lloyd. "The Black Cauldron."
Alexander, Lloyd. "The Book of Three." (Currently reading, April 30-May 14)
Anderson, Poul. "The Broken Sword."
Anderson, Poul. "The High Crusade."
Arden, Katherine. "The Bear and the Nightingale."
Asprin, Robert Lynn. "Another Fine Myth."
Bardugo, Leigh. "Six of Crows."
Bear, Elizabeth. "Karen Memory."
Bester, Alfred. "The Stars My Destination"
Behrsin, Chris. "A Cat's Guide to Bonding with Dragons"
Boyett, Steven R. "Ariel."
Brennan, Marie. "A Natural History of Dragons."
Brett, Peter V. "The Warded Man"
Brooks, Terry. "The Scions of Shannara"
Brooks, Terry. "The First King of Shannara."
Brust, Steven. "The Phoenix Guards."
Bujold, Lois. "The Curse of Chalion"
Bujold, Lois. "Penric's Progress."
Bujold, Lois. "The Sharing Knife" Trilogy
Bull, Emma. "The War for the Oaks."
Bunn, Cullen and Owen Gieni, "Harrow County: Countless Haints."
Butcher, Jim. "Furies of Calderon"
Butcher, Jim. "Summer Knight."
Butler, D.J. "Witchy Eye"
Carey, M.R. "The Girl With All the Gifts."
Catling, Brian. "The Vorrh"
Cherryh, C.J. "The Dreaming Tree."
Cherryh, C.J. "Fortress in the Eye of Time."
Cho, Zen. "The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water."
Chupeco, Rin. "The Bone Witch."
Clark, Susanna. "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell."
Clarke, Susanna. "Piranesi"
Cole, Nice and Jason Anspach. "Forgotten Ruin."
Cook, Glen. "The Black Company."
Cook, Glen. "Old Tin Sorrows."
Cook, Glen. "Sweet Silver Blues."
Cook, Glen. "The Tower of Fear."
Corey, S.A. "Leviathan Wakes."
Correia, Larry. "Destroyer of Worlds."
Crowley, John. "Little, Big."
Dickson, Gordon R. "The Dragon and the George."
Eisenstein, Phyllis. "Sorcerer's Son."
Emrys, Ruthanna. "Winter Tide."
Reikson, Steven. "Gardens of the Moon."
Flint, Eric and Walter H. Hunt. "Council of Fire."
Freer, Dave. "TOM."
Gaimen, Neil. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane."
Gerrold, David. "Legend."
Greenwood, Ed. "Grand History of the Realms."
Hobb, Robin. "Assassin's Apprentice."
Hughart, Barry. "Bridge of Birds."
Ireland, Justina. "Dread Nation."
Ishiguro, Kazuo. "The Buried Giant."
Jackson, D.B. "Time's Children."
Jacques, Brian. "Redwall"
Jemisin, N.K. "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms."
Jordon, Robert. "The Eye of the World."
Kay, Guy Gavriel. "Tigana."
Koontz, Dean. "Odd Thomas"
Lawrence, Mark. "Prince of Thorns."
Leckie, Ann. "Ancillary Justice."
Leckie, Ann. "The Raven Tower."
Lee, Fonda. "Jade City."
LeGuin, Ursula K. "Gifts"
LeGuin, Ursala K. "A Wizard of Earthsea."
Lockwood, Todd. "The Summer Dragon."
Lynch, Scott. "The Lies of Locke Lamora."
McGuire, Seanan. "Every Heart a Doorway."
McGuire, Seanan. "Middlegame."
McGuire, Seanan. "Rosemary and Rue"
McKillip, Patricia A. "The Riddle-Master of Hed"
McNeil, Carla Speed. "Sin-Eater."
Meiville, China. "Perdido Street Station."
Moers, Walter. "The City of Dreaming Books."
Moon, Elizabeth. "The Deed of Paksenarrion."
Muir, Tamsyn. "Gideon the Ninth."
Nazarian, Vera. "Cobweb Bride"
Nix, Garth. "Sabriel."
Norton, Andre. "Quag Keep."
Norton, Andre. "Witch World."
Novik, Naomi. "Spinning Silver"
Novik, Naomi. "Uprooted."
Nuttall, Christopher G. "Schooled in Magic."
Okorafor, Nnedi. "Akata Witch."
Ostertag, Molly Knox. "The Witch Boy."
Pratt, Brian S. "The Unsuspecting Mage."
Priest, Cherie. "Boneshaker."
Pullman, Philip. "The Golden Compass"
Rajaniemi, Hannu. "The Quantum Thief."
Rice, Morgan. "Realm of Dragons"
Ringo, John. "There Will Be Dragons."
Rosenberg, Joel. "The Sleeping Dragon."
Rowley, Christopher. "Bazil Broketail."
Saberhagen, Fred. "The Second Book of Swords."
Salvatore, R.A. "Archmage."
Salvatore, R.A. "Hero."
Salvatore, R.A. "Maestro."
Sanderson, Brandon. "The Hero of Ages."
Sanderson, Brandon. "Mistborn"
Sanderson, Brandon. "The Way of Kings."
Sanderson, Brandon. "The Well of Ascention"
Scarborough, Elizabeth Ann. "The Healer's War"
Schwab, V.E. "A Darker Shade of Magic."
Shannon, Samantha. "The Priority of the Orange Tree."
Spencer, Wen. "Tinker."
Stevenson, Noelle. "Nimona."
Tolkien, J.R.R. "The Fellowship of the Ring."
VanderMeer, Jeff. "Annihilation."
Watt-Evans, Lawrence. "The Lure of the Basilisk."
Wheeler, Jeff. "The Queen's Poisoner"
Williams, Tad. "The Dragonbone Chair."
Wooding, Chris. "Retribution Falls."
Zelaney, Roger. "Jack of Shadows."
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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
You have as many votes as you want without being able to double vote and you can remove your positive votes at a later date if you decide on some arbitrary schema such as only wanting to cast five votes. You are not ranking your votes, every one of your votes (or downvotes) adds (or subtracts) in exactly the same. So there's really no chance of bias as long as you return as you say you will.

But, with such a low ratio of votes to views - the highest was less than 2% when I wrote it, it's much more likely for the average viewer that they are unused to Question threads on ENWorld and are just forgetting to vote.

With no planned close of nominations, and a when a slowdown of nominations also meaning this will drop off the first page of recent updates, it's much more likely that the average reader will not vote at all if they wait for it to be complete. The topic has been up just about two weeks - a long time for people to put in their initial thoughts on a thread. You can consider this mature with the majority of recommendations already made - and any new you have the exact same voting power as any you vote on now.

Plus, there's no formal close of nominations with a voting period until the list is compiled.
Er...I mean, that's all fine and good, but when the nominations are done I'm going to assemble and post the summer reading list in a new thread. The top nominees in this thread will go on the ENWorld Summer Reading list, and the rest won't. So if you wait until after the nominations are all done, you'll miss your chance to upvote.
Oh, I didn't realize it was that sort of thread.
Ok, well now I'll have to go back through and actually read the list; as well as add my own :) Will do sometime soon...

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Redwall by Brian Jacques

Novel that started a timeless YA series. A young mouse connects with heroes of the past and grows into a warrior to defend his people.
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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Ok y'all, have now upvoted books I have read but were good enough I'd read again; as well as books that are already on my to be read list (Bridge of Birds and Jack of Shadows I own but I have been putting off since I read library books before books I own).

Anyway, coming in next posts are a half dozen or so books/series. For series, I'm mostly putting in the first book in the series.


Limit Break Dancing
The list has been updated; we're at 99 nominations (and counting)! I'll give it another couple of weeks before I collect the top results, so if you haven't had a chance to upvote the books you are most interested in reading this summer, you've still got a bit of time.


Limit Break Dancing
A bit more about how this will work:

Right now, we're in the "pick the books" phase of this little project. I'm asking everyone to nominate a book (or several books) that they would like to read and discuss as a group over the summer. So if you haven't done so already, please take a moment to read through the thread and upvote any books that you think would be interesting/enjoyable. Remember that we will be reading and discussing these books as a group over about 3 months...so take that into consideration before recommending a 1200-page masterpiece or a ten-book series.

Pretend you're browsing a bookshelf at a friend's house. "Hmm...interested in reading that one...and that one...not that one...yes that one...don't care about that one so I'll skip it...interested in that one..."

Toward the end of April, I'll collect the top results and compile them into a short list of 6-20, enough books to keep the average reader occupied through a summer. Then I'll start up a new thread in the Geek Talk and Media forum called "The ENWorld Summer Reading Group." And then--well, we read them. We start with the first book and work our way down the list, reading a book every couple weeks or so (depending on the page count), and chat/comment/critique/discuss it in the thread along the way.

I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am. B-)

Oh, and in related news (and if you've got a moment), check out my How Quickly Do You Read? poll.
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Sweet Silver Blues by Glen Cook - the first book in the Garrett P.I. The first six (or maybe nine) books in the Garrett P.I. series offer some great ideas for worlds with multi-fantasy-race large cities. They mix crime-noir (a dash of seasoning from Rex Stout) with a wide variety of fantasy races and ideas. Sweet Silver Blues is actually a bit different from the rest because of the amount of time spent outside of TunFaire.
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