Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New Jersey

    Harry Potter -- What Next?

    Because of my work schedule and my kids, I wasn't much of a book reader until recently, when I had to start commuting by train, about 45 minutes each way. With my new commute, I wanted to read something that wasn't too taxing, yet sufficiently interesting to hold my attention. So I started reading the Harry Potter series of books. Truly an epic, wonderful, enjoyable and amazing story! But now, 7 books later, I am left with the dilemma of what to read next.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for similar reading material? Something (or a series) that will take me away from my mundane world of the train and that will hold my interest and keep me from falling asleep after a hard day's work? What about The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings? Other suggestions? What about Steven King? I used to read a lot of his books, but have no idea what he's written lately that's good.

    Oh, one last thing...I hate carrying hardcovers (with the exception of HP#7) so paperback recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    Rich
    Cameron Crazies Do Not Storm The Court

  2. #2
    Definitely the Hobbit by Tolkien, if you like it then I would suggest the LotR trilogy. I have read a few Steven King books, but found them a bit more difficult to follow after having put them down over the weekend, etc.

    Where'd all the Kleenex go?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seoul, Korea
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Because of my work schedule and my kids, I wasn't much of a book reader until recently, when I had to start commuting by train, about 45 minutes each way. With my new commute, I wanted to read something that wasn't too taxing, yet sufficiently interesting to hold my attention. So I started reading the Harry Potter series of books. Truly an epic, wonderful, enjoyable and amazing story! But now, 7 books later, I am left with the dilemma of what to read next.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for similar reading material? Something (or a series) that will take me away from my mundane world of the train and that will hold my interest and keep me from falling asleep after a hard day's work? What about The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings? Other suggestions? What about Steven King? I used to read a lot of his books, but have no idea what he's written lately that's good.

    Oh, one last thing...I hate carrying hardcovers (with the exception of HP#7) so paperback recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    Hobbit/LOTR is an obvious choice, though depending on what you like to read, may or may not be to your tastes. Probably more similar material would be something like Feist's work, going with Magician(sometimes split into 2 books, Apprentice(1) and Master(2)) followed by Silverthorn and finishing with A Darkness at Sethanon. He has more books, but if you start with those you can decide if its your cup of tea.

    Considerably more dark, but enjoyable are the fantasy series of Glen Cook, his Black Company series which starts with, The Black Company I believe. Also of a rather darker nature is George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series(not yet completed) which begins with A Game of Thrones.

    And I haven't even gone down the scifi road which would go with things like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series and Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos among others.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not resigned to the "Magic" genre. Years ago I read Stephen King's "The Stand" which I thought was phenomenal. Anyone read his "Dark Tower" or "Green Mile" series?
    Rich
    Cameron Crazies Do Not Storm The Court

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area, OK, Newton, right by Heartbreak Hill
    His Dark Trilogy, the first book is The Golden Compass (now in theaters!) followed by The Subtile Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

  6. #6

    Bango Skank serves the Crimson King...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not resigned to the "Magic" genre. Years ago I read Stephen King's "The Stand" which I thought was phenomenal. Anyone read his "Dark Tower" or "Green Mile" series?
    I read LOTR, but never really liked it. LOTR is more of an epic, where there is little character development and the action/journey tells the story. At least that's my opinion. I could never keep all the characters straight for that reason.

    I just finished the Dark Tower series this year. I thought it was a good read (well, I listened to most of them on tape), and definitely helps tie a lot of his stories/themes together if you have read a fair number of his books. You'd like it if you liked the Stand, if nothing else than to understand who Randall Flagg is. I never thought it was phenomenal or in the same league with the HP books, but it was a good read. It would work well in pieces as the story doesn't move very fast. I felt like King would spend 200 pages setting up the battle, and then finish it in a matter of pages, which was kind of a letdown.

    My wife read the Green Mile, which she said was pretty close to the movie.

    Another great King read is "Bag of Bones." That's probably my favorite of his. Good story that builds throughout, with an exciting ending.

    Michael Chricton writes a pretty mean yarn too. Timeline, Prey, and Jurassic Park are faves.

    One final plug - the NC public library has a service called NCLive.org. If you have a library card, you can download audio content online and listen to books on tape. It's a free service, and therefore a heck of a lot better than audible.com. All you have to do is go to your library for a login.
    "There can BE only one."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    How would you compare this body of work to Harry Potter? According to Amazon, His Dark Trilogy is geared towards the 4-8 year old set. Is the reading that simple?
    Rich
    Cameron Crazies Do Not Storm The Court

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area, OK, Newton, right by Heartbreak Hill
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    How would you compare this body of work to Harry Potter? According to Amazon, His Dark Trilogy is geared towards the 4-8 year old set. Is the reading that simple?
    Nope, 4 is much too young. Perhaps they mean 4th-8th graders which is where Harry Potter is aimed as well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham

    Harry Potter - What's Next?

    Try the series by Christopher Paolini. Right now, Eragon and Eldest are out in paperbook. He's working on the final book of the trilogy. They are good books about the return of the dragon riders and their battle against the evil king. My 13 year old nephew recommended them to me and they are great. A movie has been made for Eragon. It has been on HBO recently.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    About 150 feet in front of the Duke Chapel doors.
    Quote Originally Posted by wandalee View Post
    Try the series by Christopher Paolini. Right now, Eragon and Eldest are out in paperbook. He's working on the final book of the trilogy. They are good books about the return of the dragon riders and their battle against the evil king. My 13 year old nephew recommended them to me and they are great. A movie has been made for Eragon. It has been on HBO recently.
    FWIW, everyone that I know that was a fan of the books ended up hating the movie. The box office numbers point to a disappointment with the general audience as well. I'd stick with the books.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    About 150 feet in front of the Duke Chapel doors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    I read LOTR, but never really liked it. LOTR is more of an epic, where there is little character development and the action/journey tells the story. At least that's my opinion. I could never keep all the characters straight for that reason.

    I just finished the Dark Tower series this year. I thought it was a good read (well, I listened to most of them on tape), and definitely helps tie a lot of his stories/themes together if you have read a fair number of his books. You'd like it if you liked the Stand, if nothing else than to understand who Randall Flagg is. I never thought it was phenomenal or in the same league with the HP books, but it was a good read. It would work well in pieces as the story doesn't move very fast. I felt like King would spend 200 pages setting up the battle, and then finish it in a matter of pages, which was kind of a letdown.

    My wife read the Green Mile, which she said was pretty close to the movie.

    Another great King read is "Bag of Bones." That's probably my favorite of his. Good story that builds throughout, with an exciting ending.

    Michael Chricton writes a pretty mean yarn too. Timeline, Prey, and Jurassic Park are faves.

    One final plug - the NC public library has a service called NCLive.org. If you have a library card, you can download audio content online and listen to books on tape. It's a free service, and therefore a heck of a lot better than audible.com. All you have to do is go to your library for a login.
    I loved LOTR, but I agree with Highlander in that the trilogy is much more of an epic tale than the Harry Potter series. Reading LOTR is more of a commitment, IMO, than the Potter books, because I think the writing is much more sophisticated and the story much slower to progress. To a lesser extent, "The Hobbit" is the same.

    Crichton is in the realm of sci-fi rather than fantasy, but he's got some good stuff. My favorites are his earlier works: The Andromeda Strain, Congo, The Terminal Man, Jurassic Park. I think his later stuff has become too formulaic and silly. And, unlike Highlander, I loathed "Timeline".
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    About 150 feet in front of the Duke Chapel doors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deslok View Post
    Hobbit/LOTR is an obvious choice, though depending on what you like to read, may or may not be to your tastes. Probably more similar material would be something like Feist's work, going with Magician(sometimes split into 2 books, Apprentice(1) and Master(2)) followed by Silverthorn and finishing with A Darkness at Sethanon. He has more books, but if you start with those you can decide if its your cup of tea.

    Considerably more dark, but enjoyable are the fantasy series of Glen Cook, his Black Company series which starts with, The Black Company I believe. Also of a rather darker nature is George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series(not yet completed) which begins with A Game of Thrones.

    And I haven't even gone down the scifi road which would go with things like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series and Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos among others.
    I'm a little hesitant to second Des's recco of Tolkien's works. I love them, but I think they require more in-depth reading to really appreciate, and that makes for poor material on a commute.

    I like Feist's Magician novel(s), but I'd stop after "Magician: Apprentice" and "Magician: Master". After that, they really start getting almost metaphysical and absurd, which didn't appeal to me nearly as much.

    I haven't read Cook's Black Company books, but they're on my "to do" list. I have just finished Martin's "A Game of Thrones", and I enjoyed it. I was talking to friends of mine and complaining about my experiences with fantasy novels. Most of what I had read in the past fell into two categories: either novels aimed at children/teens, and therefore lacking a certain complexity of character and plot (e.g., The Belgeriad, or, to a lesser extent, Harry Potter) or they were just recastings of LOTR (e.g., Terry Brooks's Shannara books). They recommended "A Game of Thrones" to me as a novel that was more mature and didn't fall into the LOTR trap, and the book delivered on their recco. It took me a while to get hooked, but having finished, I'll recommend it as well.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee

    Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials Trilogy

    Read the amazon.com reviews for The Golden Compass et al. Very highly reviewed, and many there consider it an ideal next step from Harry Potter, with more serious questions and issues but just as great fantasy. The volumes in the trilogy have won a remarkable number of critical awards, as well.

    I have just begun The Golden Compass, but have not yet seen the movie. Too early to judge the quality of writing but so far it seems fine. As I age it is harder and harder to draw me into works of fantasy - esp. movies - but if done well I can be as captivated as anyone.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not resigned to the "Magic" genre. Years ago I read Stephen King's "The Stand" which I thought was phenomenal. Anyone read his "Dark Tower" or "Green Mile" series?
    First, did you read the original or unabridged version of The Stand? I'd recommend the latter if you've only read the former.

    Ever read Shogun? I'd consider its complexity to be equivalent to the unabridged "The Stand." It's length is also similar. I wouldn't recommend the sequels to Shogun as highly, but YMMV.

    If you're willing to read science fiction, The Foundation Trilogy is pretty interesting, and probably at a "challenge" level similar to Harry Potter. It doesn't follow one group of characters, however, but the history of one world.

    A more challenging SF read would be "Dune." Like Shogun, Dune's sequels don't measure up but are still good.

    "The Hunt for Red October" is a great read. The book is dissimilar from the movie enough that if you've seen the movie the book will still offer a lot, although you'll have a rough idea of where the book is going. Again, the sequels are a drop.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Thanks. Those are good suggestions. I'm not sure I'm into sci-fi. Would you categorize HP as sci-fi?

    I think I read "Red October", and I remember reading a couple of the "Bourne" books a long time ago, but I can't remember the plots that much. I didn't see the "Bourne" movies, but I recall those books to be pretty good.
    Rich
    Cameron Crazies Do Not Storm The Court

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Thanks. Those are good suggestions. I'm not sure I'm into sci-fi. Would you categorize HP as sci-fi?

    I think I read "Red October", and I remember reading a couple of the "Bourne" books a long time ago, but I can't remember the plots that much. I didn't see the "Bourne" movies, but I recall those books to be pretty good.
    Most people would classify Harry Potter under Fantasy although it's set in roughly contemporary times. Sci-Fi as most people define it usually has future technology as background/foreground elements rather than magic. This would certainly be the case with my recommendations.

    The Bourne books are pretty good from an action perspective. You might also like some of the John Grisham books, like The Firm, etc. Like the Bourne books, you'll probably tend to forget the story specifics over time-- I certainly have that problem with them.

    It you like mystery, Coben’s Myron Bolitar series is kind of fun. The main character is a sports agent who typically gets lassoed into some mystery related to his sports agenting business. Of note for us Dukies, the main character is (fictionally) a former Duke bball player who got injured in the pros.
    Last edited by JBDuke; 12-26-2007 at 07:30 PM. Reason: fixed size anomalies

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    I second or third all the "His Dark Trilogy" recommendations. As a Harry Potter fanatic, I stumbled around reading CS Lewis and the Dark is Rising series, until I stumbled across the Dark Trilogy. Very engrossing. If anything, I would say the books are aimed at a more advanced demographic than Harry Potter due to some mature topics being discussed. Also worth noting, Pullman (the author of that trilogy) is working on sequels as we type. So loyal readers do not have to feel the sharp sting of finality with these books.
    Lance "Breakout" Thomas

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama

    Lotr

    Yeah, if you're looking to stay awake on a train ride, Lord of the Rings will definitely not help you! This series has the personal distinction for me of being the first books that were only made readable by their movies. Most characters have 2 or 3 names, depending on who they're talking to, and while I admire Tolkien's imagination, it does get tiresome to plow through page after page of unpronounceable places and people. Having said that, however, it is a tremendous series and ultimately worth the aggravation that it takes to get into.

    My next stop after Harry was 1776 so as far as further fiction or fantasy reading, I have no helpful suggestions.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I wanted to read something that wasn't too taxing, yet sufficiently interesting to hold my attention.
    I know they're aimed at a younger audience, but I try to re-read The Chronicles of Narnia every couple years or so. I'm probably repeating what you already know, but there's seven books, and each of them is fairly short. The characters do change book to book, but many characters will appear in multiple books. They're simple children's fantasy books on the surface with quite a bit of religious symbolism underneath.

    Just make sure to read in the published order, not the revised chronological order. Thus do Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe first, NOT Magician's Nephew.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    My Thoughts

    Definitely read The Hobbitt. Great book. Well paced. A little slow in a few spots, (i.e. the long song at the beginning)....but still, really good.

    Definitely do not read Lord of the Rings. The definition of slow and boring. Watch the movies instead.

    As for other series. I enjoyed The Sword of Shahara by Terry Brooks (and then the next two as well), and you can always read Piers Anthony Books. He has some fun Xanth novels, as well as the series about the Apprentice Adept (especially the first three).

Similar Threads

  1. Last Harry Potter Film
    By Patrick Yates in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-14-2008, 02:15 AM
  2. Harry Potter preview
    By JasonEvans in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: 07-18-2007, 08:43 AM
  3. Harry Potter Poll
    By Udaman in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-17-2007, 11:07 AM
  4. Harry Potter Must Die
    By BlueDiablo in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-13-2007, 09:56 AM
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
    By Udaman in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-29-2007, 07:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •