survey part 2

Tarja Rainio tarja.rainio at helsinki.fi
Tue Dec 28 13:35:34 EST 1999


And here are my comments on the individual books. As with survey part 1, if
it's not too much bother, could you change the references to Rainio to
Tarja. I've retained this list in its original form and only added my
comments between.

Tarja
tarja.rainio at helsinki.fi

>Here is the compilation of ³books that changed me². There are some real gems
>down in the mentioned-by-one-person list. It deserves a careful
>read-through. I have included any notes that people included.
>
>Again, please reply to this to me directly ( hedberg at vermontel.net ), and
>I¹ll send the list with everyone¹s comments out, maybe in a couple pieces.
>
>Please keep your initial comments relatively short. The next (last) round is
>a free-for-all, so you¹ll have time to say lots of stuff... Thanks.
>
>These two lists are pretty huge, and I¹d like to suggest we talk about them
>first... I¹ll compile the other lists later, to feed the discussion when
>this bunch dies down, after the new year...
>
>
>DIANA WYNNE JONES:
>
>DWJ, HEXWOOD (literally fascinated me!) -SallyO
>DWJ, FIRE AND HEMLOCK (blended myth and modern fantasy.) -SallyO
>DWJ, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE(humour, romance and because I love the
>characters.) -SallyO
>DWJ, Deep Secret - Because I think it's nearly her best. -SallyO
>Diana Wynne Jones, most of them (seriously!), but especially DOGSBODY, POWER
>OF THREE, SUDDEN WILD MAGIC, DEEP SECRET, DARK LORD OF DERKHOLM. - Philip
>DWJ, FIRE AND HEMLOCK, HOMEWARD BOUNDERS, ARCHER'S GOON - Melissa
>Diana Wynne Jones, THE HOMEWARD BOUNDERS  [there are probably a number of
>other dwj books that should go in this category]--Jenwa
>DWJ, FIRE AND HEMLOCK and THE HOMEWARD BOUNDERS - Nat
>DWJ, EIGHT DAYS OF LUKE  -Deborah
>Diana Wynne Jones, CHARMED LIFE -I saw the light =). -Rainio

As I've mentioned before, this was my first DWJ and I've been a fan ever since.

>Diana Wynne Jones, FIRE AND HEMLOCK -Max
>DWJ, THE TIME OF THE GHOST and FIRE AND HEMLOCK - Amanda
>Almost everything by DWJ, but particularly her earlier work.- Vanessa
>FIRE AND HEMLOCK, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, DEEP SECRET - Hallie
>each and every DWJ - Elise
>
>
>
>
>MORE THAN ONE MENTION:
>
>
>
>Joan Aiken, NIGHTFALL. Because it's perfect. -SallyO;  DIDO AND PA - Hallie
>
>Steven Brust, TO REIGN IN HELL--Jenwa
>Brust & Bull, FREEDOM AND NECESSITY - -Deborah
>Emma Bull, WAR FOR THE OAKS--Jenwa;  BONE DANCE, FALCON -Max
>
>Orson Scott Card: ALVIN MAKER Series, ENDER'S GAME Series, WYRMS.- Vanessa;
>ENDER'S GAME - Sarah, Jenwa; RED PROPHET - Nat; ENDER'S GAME AND SPEAKER FOR
>THE DEAD - Melissa

Card is a very good author, but the latter additions to the Ender haven't
been that great in my opinion.


>Susan Cooper: THE DARK IS RISING.- Vanessa, Nat;   THE DARK IS RISING
>SEQUENCE - Sarah, Amanda

The individual book is definitively the best in the series. If I remember
correctly I had already had my 11th birthday when I first read it, so it
didn't have the same effect of waiting to turn out to be an Old One as for
those who read it before that date.

>
>Robert Cormier, FADE - Sarah;   Nat
>
>Diane Duane, SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD - Nat;   SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD?
>& DEEP WIZARDRY -Deborah
>
>Neil Gaiman, THE SANDMAN (graphic novel)- Nat;    DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF
>LIVING  [and all of the Sandman series]--Jenwa

I have to agree with this. Despite its sometimes awful art work (the visual
aspect is very important to me), the graphic series is wonderful and
gripping.

>Robert Heinlein, THE DOOR INTO SUMMER. Because it got me interested in
>time-travel romance. -SallyO;   STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND - Philip
>
>
>Madeleine L'Engle's non-fiction work, especially THE CROSSWICKS JOURNALS,
>WALKING ON WATER, and TWO-PART INVENTION - Hallie;    A WRINKLE IN
>TIME--Jenwa
>
>
>Tanith Lee, THE WINTER PLAYERS, DRINKING SAPPHIRE WINE, THE SILVER METAL
>LOVER, WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT - Philip;  SILVER METAL LOVER -Max
>
>Ursula LeGuin, LATHE OF HEAVEN - Nat;  DANCING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, and
>LANGUAGE OF THE NIGHT - Vanessa
>
>C S Lewis, A GRIEF OBSERVED - Hallie;   THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA - Philip;
>CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, esp. The Horse & His Boy - Elise;   THE SILVER CHAIR
>(I liked this one for Puddleglum.) -SallyO;   NARNIA Series (though on more
>recent rereadings, it lacks that something.)- Vanessa
>
>Margaret Mahy, THE CHANGEOVER(a fascination with blended genres again -
>fantasy and romance.) -SallyO;   - Nat
>
>Patricia McKillip, THE RIDDLEMASTER TRILOGY - Melissa;   THE CHANGELING SEA
>- Hallie;   THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD -Max

All of these are just beautiful, and as I have commented on the first part
of the survey, The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy is one of the best fantasy
series ever.

>Robin McKinley, THE BLUE SWORD - Elise;  BEAUTY. (Perfection for me - it's
>such a charming story and she avoided the "cheap thrill" of making the elder
>sisters unpleasant.) -SallyO;  ROSE DAUGHTER,THE BLUE SWORD,THE OUTLAWS OF
>SHERWOOD - Sarah
>
>AA Milne, THE WORLD OF POOH [an omnibus edition containing "WINNIE THE POOH"
>and "THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER"] - Philip; THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER -Max
>
>L.M. Montgomery, THE BLUE CASTLE.  The first "ugly duckling" romance I ever
>read and I still love it.  -SallyO;   EMILY OF NEW MOON  [and its two
>sequels]--Jenwa
>
>Marge Piercy--Dierdre; BRAIDED LIVES - Amanda
>
>Elizabeth Marie Pope, THE PERILOUS GARD (Nearly perfect. A blend of history
>and fantasy and folklore - struck fire with my interest in cross-genre
>books.)-SallyO; - Elise; - Hallie
>
>
>Philip Pullman: THE GOLDEN COMPASS - Nat ; HIS DARK MATERIALS (series) -
>Sarah

>Dorothy Sayers, GAUDY NIGHT - Karen, Hallie
>
>Neal Stephenson, THE DIAMOND AGE - Elise;  SNOW CRASH--Jenwa

The Diamond Age was very interesting up to a certain point. I didn't like
the book's ending which I thought somewhat anticlimactic.

>Cynthia Voigt: A SOLITARY BLUE. - Vanessa, Hallie;  DICEY'S SONG - Hallie
>
>Connie Willis, DOOMSDAY BOOK - Melissa, Jenwa

A very good depiction of the time of the Black Death.


>
>MENTIONED BY ONE:
>
>THE STORY OF ENGLISH. (because I learned so much) -SallyO
>WHAT'S IN A NAME? (because it explained a lot.) -SallyO
>Readers' Digest,  STRANGE STORIES AND AMAZING FACTS and THE STORY OF
>   THE MIND - both fascinating over the years because of my interest
>   in odd spot stuff. -SallyO
>PERSUASION - Hallie
>SOUNDINGS (the Leaving Cert. Poetry Anthology we studied (11th and
>   12thgrades).  Sorry, but I really loved studying poetry in school.)
>   - Hallie
>THE ARABIAN NIGHTS - Elise
This is a classic. I love fairy tales in all kinds of forms, and I classify
this collection among my favourites. I use the term fairy tale loosely to
refer to all kinds folktales (including Grimm etc).

>RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATA (William Buck translations - wonderful!) - Elise
>THE DHAMMAPADA, (collected sayings of Buddha, various editions) - Elise
>A book of English fairy tales (sorry, I've forgotten info!) - Elise
>-----
>D.S. Allan and J.B. Delair , WHEN THE EARTH NEARLY DIED - Elise
>Piers Anthony, ON A PALE HORSE.  I don't know - this one just hit it
>   for me. -SallyO
>Piers Anthony, OUT OF PHAZE- it got me re-started on my fantasy kick.
>   -SallyO
>Jane Austen, PRIDE & PREJUDICE - Elise
A wonderful book which gives something new every time I read it.

>James Bailey, SAILING TO PARADISE (kooky at the time, but daily
>   growing more plausible) - Elise
>Beryl Bainbridge, BIRTHDAY BOYS - Karen
>Margaret J. Baker (I think), THE CATS OF HONEYTOWN. Another of those
>   first animal fantasy books. -SallyO
>Iain Banks, WALKING ON GLASS - Amanda
>Beagle, FOLK OF THE AIR -Deborah
>Samuel Beckett, WAITING FOR GODOT--Jenwa
>Wilanne Schneider Belden, MIND-CALL - Melissa
>Violet Bibby, MANY WATERS (another that joged my interest in
>   historicals.)  -SallyO
>Michael Bishop: PHILIP K. DICK IS DEAD, ALAS.- Vanessa
>Beatrice Brandon, THE CLIFFS OF NIGHT. Ireland, thriller, archeology,
>   romance, folk-lore, music - what more could I want at 17?) -SallyO
>Poppy Z. Brite, DRAWING BLOOD--Jenwa
>Vera Brittain, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH - Hallie
>A.S. Byatt, POSSESSION - Karen
This is a wonderful books with many levels in it.  A friend of mine did her
Master's thesis on this and analysed the use of different schools of
literary criticism in it.

>Roberto Calasso, THE MARRIAGE OF CADMUS AND HARMONY - Karen
>Joseph Campbell , THE POWER OF MYTH (blew my adolescent mind) - Elise
>D.H. Childress, The LOST CITIES Series  (true? false? who cares! made
>   me feel Wonder again). - Elise
>Samuel Taylor Coleridge, RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER - Nat
>Joseph Conrad, HEART OF DARKNESS--Jenwa
>Wendy Cope, SERIOUS CONCERNS -I didn't like poetry that much, but this
>   humorous collection changed my mind. -Rainio
These combine serious matters with great humour.

>Gillian Cross:  CHARTBREAKER.- Vanessa
>Primrose Cumming, SILVER SNAFFLES - (This is one of the three books
>   that introduced me to animal fantasy.) -SallyO
>Annie Dalton, THE WITCH ROSE. . (because it's so nearly perfect and
>   for a young audience too.) -SallyO
>Pamela Dean: TAM LIN.- Vanessa
>Samuel R Delany--Dierdre
>Dickens, BLEAK HOUSE - Karen
>Peter Dickinson, THE CHANGES - Amanda
>Joan Didion--Dierdre
>Dostoevesky, THE BROTHERS KARAMOZOV - Karen
>Dumas, THE THREE MUSKETEERS - Sarah
>Gerald Durrell, MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS -Max
>Monica Edwards' two series - my all time favourite series and probably
>   instrumental in turning me into a writer. -SallyO
>Eliot, MIDDLEMARCH - -Deborah
>Ende, MOMO - Sarah
Ah, yes, I'd almost forgotten this book. It's message against a time and
money driven society is great.

>Walter Farley, BLACK STALLION - Nat
Another childhood favourite -among other horse books.

>Penelope Farmer, SUMMER BIRDS - Nat
>Antonia Forest's series - can't pick a single title, but it taught me
>   a lot about character. -SallyO
>Karen Joy Fowler: ARTIFICAL THINGS, BLACK GLASS.- Vanessa
>Fynn, MISTER GOD, THIS IS ANNA - Philip
>Leon Garfield, BLACK JACK (don't particularly know why this one of his
>   stands out) - Hallie
>Catherine George, TOUCH ME IN THE MORNING and Claire Harrison, ONE
>   LAST DANCE because they showed me some category romance can be
>   a-typical and well worth re-reading. -SallyO
>Jean Gimpel, THE MEDIAEVAL MACHINE [non-fiction] - Philip
>Rumer Godden, IN THIS HOUSE OF BREDE - Melissa
>Goldman, THE PRINCESS BRIDE - Sarah
>Joan Grant , WINGED PHARAOH (wow! Go read about the first dynasty
>   after and boggle at the difference in perspective and the
>   suggestive evidence) - Elise
>Elizabeth Janet Gray, PENN - Nat
>Graham Greene, BRIGHTON ROCK -Max
>Lee Harding, DISPLACED PERSON- The first Aussie sci fi to get
>   respectable. It meant a lot to me because after this one came out,
>   the publishers stopped trying to tell me Aussie sci fi wouldn't
>   sell! -SallyO
>Thomas Hardy, TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES - Melissa
>Hermann Hesse, SIDDHARTHA - Nat
>Georgette Heyer, THE UNKNOWN AJAX- (because of the clever plot) -SallyO
>Georgette Heyer, THE TOLL GATE - (I loved the characters). -SallyO
>Homer, THE ODYSSEY--Jenwa
>Barry Hughart, BRIDGE OF BIRDS - Melissa
>Keri Hulme, THE BONE PEOPLE - Nat
>Tove Jansson, MOOMINLAND MIDWINTER -Max
>Catherine Jinks, WITCHBANK  (A really wonderful Aussie fantasy with
>   psych overtones. very clever.) -SallyO
>Guy Gavriel Kay, TIGANA -showed me that 'epic fantasy' can be more
>   than just mindless Tolkien clones. -Rainio
>Kingston, WOMAN WARRIOR  -Deborah
>E L Konigsburg, THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY - Hallie
>Michele Landsberg, READING FOR THE LOVE OF IT - Hallie
>Jane Langton, THE DIAMOND IN THE WINDOW and THE SWING IN THE
>   SUMMERHOUSE - Amanda
>Harper Lee, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Sarah
>Fritz Leiber, THE WANDERER - Philip
>Astrid Lindgren, BROTHERS LIONHEART  - Nat
>Lowry, THE GIVER - Sarah
>Alison Lurie--Dierdre
>Anne-Marie MacDonald, FALL ON YOUR KNEES - Karen
>Michelle Magorian, GOODNIGHT, MR. TOM -Max
>Jan Mark, AT THE SIGN OF THE DOG AND ROCKET.  Yet another blended
>   book. -SallyO
>Anne McCaffrey, RESTOREE. A very clever book and her best, I think.
>   -SallyO
>Ian McEwan, THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS - Amanda
>Several Barbara Michaels books - because the blended genres prove it
>   can be done - and successfully, too! Now I only have to convince
>   the local publishers... -SallyO
>Alan Moore, WATCHMEN  (graphic novel)- Amanda
>Terry Moore, STRANGERS IN PARADISE--Jenwa
>Christian Morgenstern, with English translations by Max Knight et al,
>   GALGENLIEDER / GALLOWS SONGS AND OTHER POEMS [in German, but I read
>   the English more] - Philip
>E. Nesbit, THE ENCHANTED CASTLE - Melissa
>Charlton Ogburn, THE MAN WHO WAS SHAKESPEARE (oh, such fun!  My
>   Shakespeare profs would freak!) - Elise
>George Orwell, 1984--Jenwa
>K.M. Peyton, A PATTERN OF ROSES. Another blended genre book that
>   helped set my taste. -SallyO
>Meredith Ann Pierce, DARKANGEL TRILOGY (such a vision) - Elise
>Sylvia Plath, THE BELL JAR - Amanda
>Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, GOOD OMENS--Jenwa
Just hilarious! This was  one of those 'makes you laugh out loud at awkward
moments in public transports' -books =).

>Kristen Randle, THE ONLY ALIEN ON THE PLANET - Melissa
>Rawlings, THE YEARLING - Sarah
>Renault, THE LAST OF THE WINE - Karen
>The poetry of Pierre Reverdy (esp. Couloir and L'auberge) - Elise
>Marilynne Robinson: HOUSEKEEPING.- Vanessa
>Sally Rogers-Davidson, POLYMER.  The first great Aussie space opera!
>   You go, Sally R-D!  -SallyO
>Anne Sexton, THE AWFUL ROWING TOWARD GOD (also blew my adolescent
>   mind) - Elise
>Wallace Shawn, AUNT DAN AND LEMON (Play) - Nat
>Sleator, ODDBALLS - Sarah
>Barbara Sleigh, THE KINGDOM OF CARBONEL.  the third animal fantasy.
>   -SallyO
>Elizabeth George Speare, THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND  - because it got
>   me interested in historicals and still re-reads well.-SallyO
>John Steinbeck, EAST OF EDEN -Max
>Mary Stewart, TOUCH NOT THE CAT.  more guts and romance than some of
>   her stuff, and it has a fantasy-type strand in it. -SallyO
I second that.

>Sean Stewart, PASSION PLAY -introduced me to this author's work. An
>   excellent book in which the main protagonist faces serious ethical
>   conflicts. -Rainio
>Patrick Susskind, PERFUME - Amanda
>Michael Swanwick, THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER [a recent discovery] -
>   Philip
This was a very weird book which I guess needs a reread on my part.

>Amy Tan, THE JOY LUCK CLUB--Jenwa
>Frances Temple, THE RAMSEY SCALLOP - Hallie
>Josephine Tey, DAUGHTER OF TIME - Elise
>Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, A GRAIN OF WHEAT -Max
>Thucydides, THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR--Jenwa
>Tolkien, THE LORD OF THE RINGS - Karen
I have to say I am anxiously waiting for the movies to materialize. Can't
wait to see what they have made of the book.

>Geoffrey Trease, THE SECRET FIORD.  Scandinavia, history, twins,
>   mystery, adventure - bliss! -SallyO
>Frederick Turner, THE NEW WORLD (an epic poem) - Nat
>Barry Unsworth, SACRED HUNGER - Karen
>Jack Vance, LYONESSE - Elise
One of the better fantasies.

>Jhonen Vasquez, JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC--Jenwa
>Dr. B. Weiss, MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS  (more wild suggestive ideas) -
>   Elise
>Rebecca West, BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON - Karen
>Keith Whilley, OUR AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE. Got it cheap at a market and
>   will never lose it. The most wonderful research book for historical
>   writing. -SallyO
>Edmund White--Dierdre
>Robert Anton Wilson, HISTORICAL ILLUMINATUS trilogy - Nat
>ed. Terri Windling, SNOW WHITE, ROSE RED Series - Nat
I just love these collections and Terri Windling (with or without Ellen
Datlow) has edited several other wonderful anthologies as well. I
especially like their Year's Best Fantasy and Horror collections.

>Jeanette Winterson, ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT -Rainio
I gather some parts of this book are very loosely based on Jeanette
Winterson's own life.

>Gene Wolfe, THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER (another amazing vision) - Elise
>Denis Wood, THE POWER OF MAPS - Nat
>Liz Young, NO GENTLEMAN. Very funny! I laughed all through a long bus
>   journey. -SallyO
>Gary Zukav, THE SEAT OF THE SOUL - Elise
>
>SallyO adds:
>
>And 4 short stories
>Faithful Jenny Dove by Eleanor Farjeon
>Crusader's Toby and Humblepuppy by Joan Aiken
>The Girl Who Couldn't say No by Robert Westall - perfection again.
>
>And some of my own titles, because I write to my own taste... and in some
>cases I feel I've changed when I finish writing them. These titles include
>Anna's Own, Trinity Street, Shadowdancers, Translations in Celadon,
>O'Connor's Last Stand.
>--
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