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

CleverNickName

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!

CURRENT LIST OF BOOKS
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."
 
Last edited:

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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Or how about... Witch World by Andre Norton. I first read it some 30 years ago (wait, was 1979 over 30 years ago? sheesh!) But I def want to read it again because I don't recall a single moment of it. I recently tried to read something else of hers and was... disappointed. But I recall loving her stuff back in my teens and 20's. So once more into the breach etc etc.

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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Speaking of epic fantasy series that the author died before completion, I found the first 3 books in the Wheel of Time series at the thrift store for a dollar a piece. They are pretty far down my book list; but I'd read them if the EnWorld hivemind said I must. At least the first one. Well, at least the first 100 pages of the first one.

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not-so-newguy

Explorer
Steve Erikson "Gardens of the Moon" Book 1 (of 10) of "Malazon Book of the Fallen" series

A complex, grim-dark fantasy about a world at war. Perspectives given from a multitude of characters from all sides of the conflict. Folks who like Glen Cook will probably like Erikson.

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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Last one (for now...)

Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Just barely fantasy. It's set in Vietnam War, so it's like Historical Fantasy I guess? Anyway, it got an accolade or two back in the day.

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not-so-newguy

Explorer
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

A dystopian future fantasy novel. The protagonist/narrator is a loathsome 14 year old who has ambitions to rule. I wanted to put the book down at page 50 because I found him so repulsive, but I'm glad I didn't. Great series.

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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
This will be the first book we read, beginning on Friday April 30th. Grab your copy and meet us over in another (upcoming) discussion thread!

"The Book of Three," by Lloyd Alexander. Book One of the "Chronicles of Prydain" series. One of the finest kid-lit fantasy novels I can remember (and probably first one I ever read.)

I'd nominate the whole series, honestly, but I'll just put the first book up for the sake of brevity. The most famous book in this series is probably "The Black Cauldron" (Book 2), since it was made into a Disney cartoon.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780805080483
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Services
Paperback, 190 pages
Audiobook narrated by James Langton, 5:03:00.
Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle format on Amazon.com, and at public libraries everywhere
Support your local indie bookstore

View attachment 133826
You will post the thread in here?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
You will post the thread in here?
Yep, when we're a little bit closer to the start date I'll start the thread and post the link here. I wanna give people time to collect the book and all that before we start. Maybe Friday after next, the 23rd?

It looks like the second book is shaping up to be "The Black Company," by Glen Cook, but I think we should give until the start of the first before we select the next book, eh? Sound good?
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
This will be the first book we read, beginning on Friday April 30th. Grab your copy and meet us over in another (upcoming) discussion thread!

"The Book of Three," by Lloyd Alexander. Book One of the "Chronicles of Prydain" series. One of the finest kid-lit fantasy novels I can remember (and probably first one I ever read.)

I'd nominate the whole series, honestly, but I'll just put the first book up for the sake of brevity. The most famous book in this series is probably "The Black Cauldron" (Book 2), since it was made into a Disney cartoon.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780805080483
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Services
Paperback, 190 pages
Audiobook narrated by James Langton, 5:03:00.
Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle format on Amazon.com, and at public libraries everywhere
Support your local indie bookstore

View attachment 133826
I support this choice, but since I literally just read it a few months ago, I'm going to pass.
 



Awesome, I've been meaning to re-read both.

I just discovered that my copy of The Book of Three went off wandering, so I had to order a new copy. Not that I mind terribly, since it's not like it's expensive or out of print. Hopefully whoever borrowed it enjoyed it.

Yep, when we're a little bit closer to the start date I'll start the thread and post the link here. I wanna give people time to collect the book and all that before we start. Maybe Friday after next, the 23rd?

It looks like the second book is shaping up to be "The Black Company," by Glen Cook, but I think we should give until the start of the first before we select the next book, eh? Sound good?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I figured that since we are starting the Prydain Chronicles in a week and a half, I should go ahead and nominate the next book in the series. You know, just in case we want to keep the ball rolling.

1618856623375.png

"The Black Cauldron" by Lloyd Alexander (Book 2 of the Prydain Chronicles). This novel continues the story presented in "The Book of Three":

"More than a year after the defeat of Arawn Death-Lord's army and death of his warlord the Horned King, Prince Gwydion calls allies to a council hosted by Dallben, one of Taran's guardians. Men are disappearing throughout Prydain, while an increasing number of the undead Cauldron-Born have joined Arawn's forces. At the council, Gwydion reveals an elaborate plan to steal the Black Cauldron, the magical artifact used to create the Cauldron-Born..."

(Also, it's nothing like the Disney cartoon. Which is a bonus, in my opinion.)
 






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