Monday, May 31, 2010

Best books series

So a friend just posted a long list of his favorite books on facebook. I don't have the patience or memory for that--but I do want to do a few posts about the best books out there, categorized by genre.

The first genre, my favorite, is fantasy. Fantasy authors seem to like to write in series, so here are the best series in fantasy that I'm aware of.

1. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"
2. George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones"
3. Robin Hobb's "Assassin's Apprentice" (a follow-up series, also excellent and what I'm currently re-reading, is "Fool's Errand")

A warning on Martin--he's pretty graphic.

All three series have great plot, characters, and writing style.

Some LDS writers on Hobb and Martin (Tolkien needs no recommendation):

Orson Scott Card:
"Robin Hobb...arguably set the standard for the modern serious fantasy novel."
"the...excellent heroic fiction of...Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin..."
Plus two more detailed (and raving) reviews of Hobb's work here and here. Yeah. OSC's a huge Robin Hobb fan.

Brandon Sanderson:
"Robin my opinion writes far better than I do myself."
"George R. R. Martin (is) probably the most skilled epic fantasy writer on the market right now."

This stuff (unlike most the fantasy I read as a teenager) will stand the test of time. It's not just good fantasy. It's good literature.

Any other recommendations?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

TV shows to watch this summer

Two recommendations.

The first reminds me in some ways of Firefly--great dialogue, cool characters, Western (although based in today's Kentucky, and not tomorrow's space). I hesitated to watch it at first, because it's based in the South--but it's good. Really good. Justified is definitely a PG-13, though, so don't come blaming me if you don't like the show because of that aspect--but it's the best show on TV right now that I know of. Try it out. Just one episode.

The second one I've mentioned before, but I have to mention again, if only because I don't know anyone else who's seen it, and it deserves to be watched. That show is Journeyman. I little bit of science fiction, but it's more of just a good drama with the sci-fi element creating the drama. It only lasted one season, but you can find it (for absolutely free, and no waiting for the next episode) on Hulu. Next to Firefly, it's the greatest short-lived show I know of.