Forum: Arts / Books

Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By PowerPointe
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 01:11 PM

So the time has come to stock up on reading materials... trouble is that I've almost finished my beloved mysteries by Agatha Christie, and I'm not sure what to start next. I love mystery and detective stories, and I haven't read any science fiction in a while and I'd love to get back into it. My main criteria is that I'm not into plots/characters with lots of emotional drama... one of the big reasons I like Agatha Christie is that drama is supplied by crimes that need solving, not personal angst. Dystopian fiction is usually not my favorite, but I'm willing to try it if there's a happy ending (or at least hope for the characters' futures).

Could anyone with similar reading tastes offer some suggestions? Or if anyone knows of a website that's like Pandora for books, where you can put in books you liked and it will give you the names of similar books, that would be awesome!

8 Replies to Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!

re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By moara
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 01:42 PM
I don't know how similar our tastes are, but the "Otherland" series by Tad Williams is excellent. It's just a bit long. There's a bit of a mystery thread that runs through it, too. Highly reccommended.
As is "Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson. They're a bit dystopian, but I hate books without happy endings, too.

More classic scifi is Dune, by Frank Herbert, or the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. Anything by Isaac Asimov, really.
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 09:50 PM
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

As for Sci-Fi...have you read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? Jurassic Park and the Lost World by Micheal Crichton (I haven't read them yet but they are bought and in my queue of books to read).

I loved The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury is decent (a bit dry for my tastes).

You can't go wrong with H.P. Lovecraft.
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:37 PM
Just because you said you are willing to try dystopian, The Time Machine by H.G. wells is both a little dystopian and sci fi! You can find more here www.goodreads.com . . .

good reads is exactly the website you are looking for, make a free account, rate books you have read (or add them to your list of whatever you have already read), and then click the recommendations button! by putting in Agatha Christie I found these lists www.goodreads.com . . . and www.goodreads.com . . .
Off of those lists I recommend The Girl with the Dragon tattoo (and the subsequent novels), The DaVinci Code/Angels and Demons, Sherlock Holmes, The #1 ladies detective agency (I got a free copy from a local bookstore and it was good just for some light entertainment), Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series (I just started reading the first one, these are also a lighter read).

I have to admit although I am familiar with Agatha Christie, I have not actually read any of her books (I will have to add one to my list), so I hope these things are what you are looking for! I hope you enjoy goodreads, I love that site!
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By xBallet_babex
On Sat Dec 31, 2011 09:16 AM
Have you read any Mary Higgins Clark (fast reads), Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell or Janet Evanovich books? They are all mystery writers and I don't find them to be overly dramatic. I loved the girl with the dragon tattoo series and the Dan Brown books are WAY better than the movies. I stayed up almost all night reading Angels & Demons! Kathy Reich is the author that Bones is based off of, so if you like that show, you might like the books.

I don't read a lot of sci-fi but I plan to read the Hitchhikers guide and try the Isaac Asimov series. I have read the time machine and the invisible man and they were okay. I read them a long time ago, so I think I would appreciate them more now that I'm older. I don't like the Sherlock Holmes books as much as other mystery books because you don't have much of a chance of solving the case. Half the clues aren't revealed until the end, but they certainly don't have angst-y drama in them.
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:31 AM
If you want to go a more sci fi / dystopian route, I would try William Gibson. He's definitely different, some people love him and some people hate him. He has a very distinctive writing style. I would give him a shot, as his books are all fast moving, plot heavy, and you're often left trying to figure out how things fit into each other while reading the book. I love them <3
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By PowerPointe
On Sat Jan 21, 2012 01:03 AM
Oh wow, thank you guys for all the suggestions! I think my books-to-read list has doubled in size :) Can't wait to start working my way through it! hoorayforjj, thanks for pointing me towards Goodreads... pretty amazing website. Exactly like Pandora for books!

Thanks again, everyone!
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By Live_on_Broadway
On Sun Jan 22, 2012 08:22 AM
I loved Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow. It's a bit of a lawyer/crime mystery novel, but it was really well done. (He also wrote a sequel about 20 years later called Innocent, which was pretty good too.)

I'd also recommend Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It's not a mystery per se, but the writing style is very English and very elegant.
re: Book recommendations--mystery or sci-fi fans, I need your help!
By rubyslippers132
On Fri Feb 17, 2012 03:12 AM
I'm a huge crime/mystery fan, I cannot go past James Patterson books. I think they're fantastic and make for some very compelling reading.

Also, I second the Kathy Reichs recommendation- her books are great and scientifically accurate to boot! I also enjoy Val McDermid's novels- The Wire in the Blood is a great read.

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