Episode 42 – Favorite Books

Let’s face it.  If it wasn’t for books, we could hardly classify ourselves as geeks.  From the stacks of tomes in our tabletop roleplaying libraries to the shelves lined with everything from history to science fiction, if a geek is anything, they are well read.  Join us this week as we discuss our favorite books and authors, as well as the works that have been most influential on our creative minds.  Be sure to grab your custom bookmark, set aside those reading glasses, and put that awesome book back on the shelf (just for a bit!) as you settle into that comfy reading chair and listen to a whole new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

(00:46) – Matt finally joins the ranks of hipsters around the world, bends it like Beckham,  and helps build a statue. – iPhone 4S, Flick Kick Football, and the D&D Limited Edition reprints.

(06:15) – Ramses lays a timed reading challenge on Robert, revels the greatest superpower of them all, and talks about the largest lollypop ever! – The Book That Can’t Wait, Batman, Iron Man, and See’s Candies

(13:00) – Karen and Ramses finally watch Inception and the X-Men: First Class sequel gets a name! Plus, Scotland gets terrorized. – Ultimate X-Men

(19:33) – Battle Royale is coming to The CW?

(21:11) – Thanks to an awesome Bane parody,  Ro-bert replaces his circuit boards and hardrives with a real actual heart, soul and feelings! – Pitch PerfectBattle of the Year 3DThe Great Gatsby and Step Up Revolution

(32:28) – It’s topic time! We start with horror as Ramses leads us off with The Strain Trilogy, Matt talks Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Karen discusses I Am Legend and Steve Niles’ Criminal Macabre.  Meanwhile, Robert read the stories of Anita Blake

(39:03) – We get to the heart of the matter and talk about what everyone wants to hear: Fantasy novels! – The Bard’s Tale series, The Wheel of Time series, The Dark Elf series, The Cleric Quintet, The Dragon Below trilogy, The Tales of the Last War, and of course The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Plus, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

(47:30) – We briefly discuss Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, the L. Frank Baum’s OZ series; Robert talks about The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss; while Matt gets his Dwarf on with the Gotrek and Felix series and Grudge Bearer.

(51:48) – Ramses hates Earth’s Ultimate Conflict but loves Johnathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series, Matt loves Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, and Robert talks about the works of Terry Pratchett like Discworld and Good Omens.

(55:35) – Karen talks about her love of Children’s Literature. – J.K Rowling’s The Harry Potter seriesLemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi.  Plus, The Tale of Desperaux, Matt “vagues it up,” and Watership Down.

(1:00:05) – Robert guilts Matt and Ramses over their failure to read Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

(1:04:18) – We close out with a brief listing of our all time favorite authors/works. – Mike Mignola, The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa, and the works of Neil Gaiman.

Closing Song – UKF Dubstep Tutorial – Presented by Dubba Jonny


11 thoughts on “Episode 42 – Favorite Books

    The First Law trilogy: Some really grit heavy fantasy Novels, light on actual magic. Almost more brutal than A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones).
    1 The Blade Itself
    2 Before They Are Hanged
    3 Last Argument of Kings

    Mistborn series: Really neat fantasy that further proves that Brandon Sanderson is incredible at inventing fun new ways to look at Fantasy as a genre. Introduces Allomancy!
    1 Mistborn: The Final Empire
    2 Mistborn: The Well of Ascension
    3 Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
    (You know anything Sanderson writes I’ll read)

    The Dresden Files: Jim Butcher does a great job introducing a modern day Wizard and magical society. Wonderfully Noir.
    1 Storm Front
    2 Fool Moon
    3 Grave Peril
    4 Summer Knight
    5 Death Masks
    6 Blood Rites
    7 Dead Beat
    8 Proven Guilty
    9 White Night
    10 Small Favor
    11 Turn Coat
    12 Changes
    13 Ghost Story

    Codex Alera: Another Jim Butcher series, starts out really strong and then finishes a bit bleh in comparison but still a great read. Love the concepts surrounding how “magic” is handled in this world. Think Avatar: Last Airbender.
    1 Furies of Calderon
    2 Academ’s Fury
    3 Cursor’s Fury
    4 Captain’s Fury
    5 Princeps’ Fury
    6 First Lord’s Fury

  2. SCI FI –

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: I don’t really need to explain this one.
    1 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy •
    2 The Restaurant at the End of the Universe •
    3 Life, the Universe and Everything •
    4 So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish •
    5 Mostly Harmless

    Wool: By Hugh Howey, currently a new obsession of mine
    Wool 2 – Proper Gauge
    Wool 3 – Casting off
    Wool 4 – The Unraveling
    Wool 5 – The Stranded
    (Wool 1-5 is collected in the Wool: Omnibus Edition)
    Wool 6 – First shift

    A Clockwork Orange: A heavy read to be sure but so good.


    The Count of Monte Cristo: One of my all time favorites, the movie was nothing compared to this book. Tons of adventure to be had, Plus REVENGENCE!

    Catch 22: Might be my favorite book of all time. Just so deliciously absurd

    A Confederacy of Dunces: Another absurd novel has me laughing out loud whenever I re-read parts.

    Invisible Cities: Italo Calvino, I can’t really explain this book very well but love it. Calvino is enjoyable across the board

    Roots: Alex Haley’s family chronicle is just as heart wrenching as it is amazingly wonderful to read.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: I even went to State on my speech and drama team in Prose using this book.

    Jeez I could go on, I read… a lot.

  4. I’ve read the Mistborn trilogy and really enjoyed it. I recently saw he wrote another one called Mistborn: The Alloy of Law but I have not had the chance to read it yet.

  5. Try “The Eight’ by Catherine Neville (modern fantasy, sort of) avoid the the sequel, she sold out.
    “Wizard War” by Hugh Cook, straight fantasy, but it will give a different feel on magic.
    If you can find it try The Keys to Paradise series by Robert Vardeman nice trilogy.
    I would also suggest the War of the Spider Queen series, just plain awesome D&D fantasy books.
    ‘The Vang: The Military Form” is a very good sci-fi book, if a little disturbing.
    Also another excellent sci-fi series, the 6 books of the Dirigent Mercenary Corps, by Rick Shelley. (I have incorporated a lot of his stuff into my Traveller game)
    Have fun, get reading! You have some catching up to do….

  6. I really got into reading in the 80’s, so many of my favorite books come from that period.
    LotR (duh)
    “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Probably the best re-imagining of the Arthurian legend in the 20th century.
    “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever” by Stephen R. Donaldson. I acknowledge that it is a LotR clone, but it has a very good anti-hero as a protagonist, and the writing style made me fall in love with the fictional setting.
    “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin. While the first three books in this series were amazing, I think the series began to get bogged down in book 4, and we waited for soooooo long for book five that I lost interest in the series. I still love the writing though.
    “The Dresden Files”: I just started reading the series last month, and have only finished book three, but WOW, talk about cinematic! I don’t know how the SyFy series failed so badly, but these books are dying to be made into movies.

    Horror: Stephen King is the absolute MASTER of late 20th century horror fiction, and I consider “It” to be his masterpiece. It is the only book I’ve ever read that actually scared me; I mean hide under the covers, jump when you hear a weird noise, heart racing when the shadow in the corner moves kind of scared. With a two part movie adaptation coming out in the next couple of years, you guys owe it to yourselves to read “It.” Some of my other favorite King novels are “The Shining”, “Pet Semetary”, “Misery”, “The Stand” and the “Dark Tower” series.

    Alternate history: I don’t know if any of you are into this genre at all, but if so, give Harry Turtledove’s World War series a try. The series is lengthy, weighing in at 10 books in all, but it’s worth the investment. It takes the premise that the Confederacy survived the Civil War to become a sovereign nation, and then looks at how history develops over the next 80 years, mostly focusing on the two world wars pitting USA against CSA.

    Sci Fi: I really enjoy David Brin’s “Uplift” series. A bit cerebral, but good sci fi should make you think a bit, IMHO.

  7. Wow, guys thanks for all the fantastic recommendations! The Mistborn Series sounds promising for sure. Ramses has read some of the Dresden books and LOVED them! The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all-time favorite books! I read IT when I was pretty young, 13, I think and it scared the hell out of me!! I agree with you on Stephen King.

  8. I humbly suggest you get a group going on goodreads.com . It wouldn’t have to be an organized book club type list, but it’d be fun to see what you and your fans (my fellow geeks) are reading… You mentioned/listed some good ones! (If you have a list going somewhere already, I apologize for missing it.)

  9. I really, really like this idea!! I will look into starting a group and announce it on Twitter once it’s up. Yay! I’m excited about this! =)

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