collated comments: favorite authors (LONG!)
hedberg at vermontel.net
Mon Jan 10 22:32:19 EST 2000
Here we go! If this seems a little overwhelming, just take a small nibble...
I can also send the list as a text file to those who want it without the
carriage returns that e-mail inserts. Just let me know at
hedberg at vermontel.net
Lloyd Alexander - Becca
Martin Amis - Amanda
---Elise: I didn't care much for London Fields and haven't read anything
else - I'd like to hear any discussion on him from those who know more. -
Piers Anthony - SallyO
---SallyO: I don't like all his books, but I find his best full of
imagination and some gloriously self-indulgent set-pieces.
---Elise: I went through a Piers Anthony phase, but long ago - what do you
abidingly like about him Sally?
Robert Asprin - Jenwa
Wilhelmina Baird - Tarja
---Tarja: Her cyberpunk trilogy (CrashCourse, ClipJoint, PsyKosis) just
somehow gripped me. Combines romance, adventure and intrigue in a nice way.
Iain Banks - Amanda
---Nat: Harrowing. and difficult. I¹d probably put him on my list if I read
more of his work, but I find his content painful.
---Tarja: Though he isn't on my favourite author list, he has written some
great, very imaginative works. Of the ones I've read, I liked Feersum
Endjinn maybe the most. I suppose I should look up his non-sf works as well,
since several friends have recommended them.
L Frank Baum - Jenwa
---Elise: really liked his books once I finally read them. Is this whole
allegory of turn of the century midwestern populism thing true? - Elise
Peter S Beagle - Deborah
---Elise: liked the innkeeper's song a lot, that was really very creative
and humane. Haven't read the last unicorn in Loooong ages, so can't speak to
it any longer
Simone de Beauvoir - Deirdre
---Elise: definitely I should have put The Second Sex under life changing
works, but it's been a long time and to some degree I let it be a bit marred
in my mind after reading about de Beauvoir and Sartre's relationship where,
I felt in a very hotheaded way, that she completely betrayed herself.
Sarah Bird - Hallie
Francesca Lia Block - Deborah
Edward Bloor - Deborah
---Sarah: TANGERINE really got me. I put off reading it because I thought
it looked like a mild, dull book. How wrong was I.
Ray Bradbury - Nat
---Nat: The master of American-style magic. A lot of Americans (Edward Eager
springs to mind) have apologized for magic, Bradbury simply goes and has
great time with it. His Green Town stories express perfectly why I like the
---Elise: I love how visually he writes. Loved Dandelion Wine and Something
---Sarah: I really liked FAHRENHEIT 451, but I later read an article about
him and it revealed him to be rather sexist (for example, he didn't approve
of girls playing soccer. I love soccer.) it put me off and I haven't read
Beatrice Brandon - SallyO
---SallyO: She (who was really a "he") wrote only two books in this persona;
both had to do with acting and legend.
Madeleine Brent - SallyO
---SallyO: Another she who was a "he". None of the books are really
first-favourites, but they're rather similar to some of Mary Stewart's and
are always good (if undemanding) reads. I used to enjoy playing "spot the
ingredient" because they all had certain things in common. A heroine out of
her country of birth would be helped be a wise mentor, taken to another
place (usually England) solve a mystery then return to the place she was at
the beginning before making a final return (usually) to England.
---Tarja: I haven't read any of her books for some years, but I remember
that she combines adventure, mystery and romance in a very entertaining way.
Bruce Brooks - Nat
---Nat: Raymond Carver for kids. his protagonists are overachievers,
prodigally gifted and intelligent kids who have to wrestle with a
dumbed-down world and their own human limitations. When he gets in a Groove
(What Hearts), he will in fact make grown men cry. Which is partly the
Pamela Brown - SallyO
---SallyO: (Always reliable.)
Bill Bryson - Max
William Buck (a translator) - Elise
---Elise: oh yeah wow, oh wait, that was me who wrote that
Pat Cadigan - Jenwa
Italo Calvino - Gili
Truman Capote - Deirdre
Jonathan Carroll - Jenwa
---Elise: Really interesting writer and a thinking one, too. I've only read
one by him so far but will read more
Angela Carter - Max
---Tarja: Her use of language is wonderful. My favourite is The Magic
Toyshop, though the stories in The Bloody Chamber could probably have beeen
included in my "books that changed me" -list.
---Elise: Wild Stuff. Wild Stuff.
Jack Chalker - Philip
Marion Chesney/MC Beaton (2 pen names/1 person) - Elise
Ruth Chew - Nat
---Nat : She doesn¹t go outside of what she does well, which is tame
fantasy set around Brooklyn¹s Prospect Park. Somehow, though, she taps the
wonders of ³what if² just right almost every time.
David Hatcher Childress - Elise
Storm Constantine - Karen
---Tarja: Her use of language reminds me of Angela Carter, baroque I guess
is the word. She has written very compelling weird books that are hard to
Jilly Cooper - Amanda
Robert Cormier - Nat
---Nat: ³It isn¹t very pretty/ Whata world without pity can do...² Doo wop
doo wop. Grim, bracing, effective at sock-knocking-off
---Sarah: Dark and unnerving, but you cannot put them down. I guess I
almost think of him as a real-world Tepper.
Douglas Coupland - Deirdre
---Elise: I don't know. I've thought about it. I've toyed with the idea,
but I have a feeling that even if I like his writing I will probably take
exception to him. Maybe especially if I like his writing. Do you think
there is a marketing strategy to overcome disliking liking things? Hmm, a
silly question - of course there is.
Bruce Coville - Nat
---Sarah: I just finished listening to JENNIFER MURDLEY'S TOAD and it is one
of the funniest things I have heard in ages!
Helen Cresswell - Melissa
---Elise: Bagthorpes! Haven't thought of them in ages.
Amanda Cross - Deirdre
---Nat: I read The Great Elephant Chase, and was unfortunately turned off.
The lack of sense of place, or rather the sense the author really didn¹t get
AMerican geography, was really a problem for me. Tell me her other books
Gillian Cross, - Vanessa
Annie Dalton - SallyO
---SallyO: (Her first book was imperfect but very endearing. She worte
two very good books for young readers, too. Her more technically perfect
books left me a bit cool.)
Charles de Lint - Philip
---Tarja: His urban fantasy stories and novels are usually enjoyable, but I
guess I've liked his earlier novels better.
Pamela Dean - Vanessa
---Nat: my hometown favorite,but I find myself wishing at some point in
every one of her books that she hadn¹t read QUITE so many things she feels
compelled to quote from.
Samuel R Delany - Deirdre
Peter Dickinson - Sarah
---Sarah: Besides being a great writer, he is married to Robin McKinley.
Joan Didion - Deirdre
John Donne - Max
---Elise: Busy old fool, unruly Sophie! I love Donne's love poetry. What
ever happened to that kind of appreciation? ;)
Alexandre Dumas - Sarah
---Tarja: The classic. A French serialization of The Count of Monte Christo
with Gerard Depardieu in the title role is just being shown on Finnish tv
-it is just magnificent, though they have taken some liberties with the plot
when compared to the book. This is something that sometimes (though not
always) bothers me a lot when a book has been filmed or adapted to tv.
Leslie Alan Dunkling - SallyO
---SallyO: He's such a friendly sort of writer, and I actively look for his
books on names.
Dorothy Dunnett - Karen
---Melissa: I really like her Lymond books, but they are just so *intense*.
I can never make up my mind whether to smack Francis or give him a big hug
and a gift certificate for twenty hours of therapy...
Monica Edwards - SallyO
---SallyO: A rare writer who managed about 20 books so goodit's difficult to
pick a favourite.
Greg Egan - Vanessa
George Eliot - Deirdre
Brett Easton Ellis - Deirdre
---Elise: Yargh! hee hee, what I mean to ask is, what qualities make this
writer stand out for you?
Harlan Ellison - Nat
---Nat: My favorite gadfly. Introduced me to the joys of listening to a
literate curmudgeon. And he really does know how to write a story when he
Elizabeth Enright - Hallie
Janet Evanovich - Hallie
Anne Farrell - SallyO
---SallyO Wrote four very good farm-and-family books set in Tasmania.
Katie Fforde - Amanda
Nicholas Fisk - Philip
Fannie Flagg - Deborah
---Sarah: FRIED GREEN TOMATOES is great-book and movie. I had dreams about
this one also--Idgie was on my soccer team.
Alan Dean Foster - Philip
---Tarja: His Pip and Flinx sf-novels are very entertaining one-time reads,
but not something I would want to keep and read again.
Karen Joy Fowler - Vanessa
Jostien Gaarder - Jenwa
Mary Gaitskill - Deirdre
Jane Gardam - Deirdre
Alan Garner - Amanda
---Tarja: Scary is the first word that comes to mind. Elidor scared the wits
out of me when I first read it as a child. The Owl Service is also a very
powerful book which combines myth and reality in a wonderful way.
---Sarah: I just discovered him last year. Loved OWL SERVICE, though I am
still mulling it over. ELIDOR was also good.
Jean Genet - Deirdre
Elizabeth George - Amanda
James Gleick - Melissa
Joan Grant - Elise
David Guterson - Melissa
Thomas Hardy - Melissa
---Elise: I've only read Tess, and only for school. I was deeply offended
by the ending. I find, upon reflection, that I am Still deeply offended by
the ending. There must be discussion in that!
Francis Mary Hendry (some) - Becca
Kevin Henkes - Max
Frances Mary Hendry - Hallie
P C Hodgell - Sarah
---Melissa: Add her to my list of favorite authors. Big mistake on my part.
We were talking about atmosphere in Meredith Pierce--goes double for
Hodgell. The opening of _God Stalk_ is just too creepy and complicated.
And what I like about the Kencyrath series is that each of the three books
has a different feel to it and changes your understanding of the world and
the story, but it still all fits together. I wish she would get cracking on
the fourth book.
---Elise: Oh yeah, loved her stuff. I forget whether the third book ever
came out though. I stayed away after a while because every time I checked
for it or re-read them and *wanted* the third book it never never never came
out. Couldn't take the frustration. Loved that house of the worlds winding
down into the dark - was that great or what!
Robert Holdstock - Sarah
---Elise: I've read one so far, and I've forgotten which. But there's this
girl and she keeps revisiting this scene where a briton warrior is dying
beneath a tree - and it was just SO powerful. I can still picture it all -
and it had that wild taste to it - I can't describe it, but HOldstock is
definitely succeeding in what he is going after. But, and maybe it's because
I haven't read enough of it, there's this despair and oblivion in his stuff
that just drives me away.
Catherine Jinks - SallyO
---SallyO - wrote one of my favourite fantasies, a wonderful mix of
psychology and computers and music.
JVJones - Amanda
---Tarja: I like her books, they're good heroic fantasy, but I consider them
too violent for my taste.
Jan Karon - Melissa
Erich Kastner - Gili
Joe Keenan - Deirdre
Garrison Keillor - Nat
---Nat: Why I moved to Minnesota. No, really.
---Elise: Powdermilk Biscuits. Giving shy people the strength to get up and
do what needs to be done.
Judith Kerr - Deirdre
Laurie King - Nat
---Nat: she has done the impossible: she writes Sherlock Holmes better than
Conan Doyle without making him sound ³off²
Maxine Hong Kingston - Deborah
Hanif Kureshi - Deirdre
Jeanne Larsen - Elise
Fritz Leiber - Philip
Doris Lessing - Deirdre
Gail Carson Levine - Becca
Kenneth Lillington - Nat
---Nat: witty supernatural romance for teens. WHAT BECKONING GHOST has
passages that make my skin crawl, and JOSEPHINE makes me laugh out loud. I
wish Faber and Faber would get better distributionin the states.
Alison Lurie - Deirdre
RA MacAvoy - Tarja
---Tarja: caveat: the Damiano series was nice but but not that special
(despite the Finnish witch Saara or something in it =)). The Lens of the
World trilogy is really good.
Jan Mark - SallyO
---SallyO - wrote one of the best teen romances I've ever read. AT THE SIGN
OF THE DOG AND ROCKET. Don't like all her books, though.
Julian May - Philip
---Elise: I loved the originality of the setting of the Mediterranean basin
at the end of the Holocene, but after a while her characters really annoyed
me. It's been a long time but I'm game for a re-read in order to discuss.
Ane McCaffrey - SallyO
---- SallyO - she wrote some very good books and some that are decidedly
---Tarja: Some of her Pern books are very nice reads, but the series' books
vary enormously on their readablity. I guess the Menolly books are still my
favourites since they were the first McCaffrey books I read. She has,
however, written some very bad books as well. I mean bad in the way of poor
story, characters and plotting.
--- Elise: I feel like I've entered a Mad Lib. I loved the originality of
the setting of Pern and the mysterious past and the downslide in the
society, but after a while....
Ian McEwan - Amanda
John McPhee - Deborah
Barbara Michaels - SallyO
---SallyO - I really like her habit of mixing genres.
AA Milne - Deborah
---Nat: as Dorothy Parker says, ³I fwowed up.² It¹s fun for little kids, but
I really don¹t get the adults-for-Pooh thing.
Hayao Miyazaki - Jenwa
Terry Moore - Jenwa
Daniel Keys Moran - Jenwa
Frances Murray - SallyO
---SallyO - I really like one of her books, but the others don't appeal as
Andre Norton - Philip
---Tarja: Some of her Witchworld books are very nice and moody.
---Elise: Sometimes I've loved her, sometimes hated and sometimes been
indifferent. It's a testament to such a long and prolific career. I
worshipped Forerunner Foray for quite a while - Scifi AND archaeology - what
more could I possibly ask? Which reminds me, did anyone ever read H.M.
Patrick O'Brian - Karen
George Orwell - Jenwa
---Nat: Just read Road to Wigan Pier. My god what a writer.
Ruth Park - SallyO
---SallyO: For PLAYING BEATY BOW. I don't like her others as much.
Gary Paulsen - Sarah
---Sarah: He's not just for young, male, reluctant readers! Also writes
Maggie Pearson - SallyO
---SallyO: A *really* good upcoming writer. If you haven't read any yet, try
them! They remind me a bit of early Jan Mark.
Elizabeth Peters - SallyO
---SallyO - again, some titles only. She wrote one of my very favourites,
(NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS) but I'm not very fond of her most famous series.
Marge Piercy - Deirdre
Daniel Manus Pinkwater - Nat
---Nat: Actually, his essays are my favorte. The one from CHICAGO DAYS,
HOBOKEN NIGHTS about the Maine coon cat named Charlie is one of the funniest
things I¹ve ever read.. Blue Moose is pretty great too.
---Sarah: I only managed to get through a couple pages of ALAN
MENDELSSON:THE BOY FROM MARS and then I was ill.
Madelene Polland - Becca
Kristen Randle - Melissa
Arthur Ransome - Melissa
--Nat: I love these in small doses, about one a year. I¹m in the middle of
Winter Holiday now. The archetypal Good And Spirited English Children make
me wonder sometimes, though.
Mary Renault - Karen
Judith Merkle Riley - Elise
Sally Rogers-Davidson - SallyO
---SallyO - a fairly new writer with two sci-fi titles. The first is
rip-roaring space opera and among my favourites.
Rumi - Elise
---Elise: So amazing, so wonderful...oh wait, me again
Oliver Sacks - Max
Alvin Schwartz - Nat
Wallace Shawn - Nat
---Nat My favorite playwright. An evening with will seldom be comfortable or
pleasant, but he is mostly about how abominably we treat other humans in our
Barbara Sleigh - Deirdre
Sherwood Smith - Becca
---Sarah: I found her two CROWN books too predictible to enjoy very
Muriel Spark - Max
---Elise: Sharp! I could definitely do with a re-read of Prime of Miss Jean
Brodie - Elise
Elizabeth George Speare - SallyO
---SallyO - THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND is a favourite, I don't like her
others so much.
Sean Stewart - Tarja
---Tarja: Passion Play, his first novel is my favourite. He has written in
several different genres from near-future dystopic sf to horror influenced
fantasy to mythical fantasy etc. Each of his books is different from the
---EliseYes, he's great and very disctinctive. Loved Cloud's End
Noel Streatfield - SallyO
---Melissa: Also my forgotten favorites.
---SallyO - Like Pamela Brown, a generally reliable author.
Michael Swanswick - Vanessa
Amy Tan - Jenwa
---Melissa: Also my forgotten favorites.
---Elise: Amy Tan is another supervisual/sensory writer, which I love and I
love her work. I should have put her on the books that blew my mind list.
I love the stories she tells and I feel like they are so New, not because
they are new in life, but because it was so new to me to see such
compassion, such focus on relationships and the heart in such kind and true
ways - and it was new to me to read the stories and perspectives of women -
I can't describe what it was exactly about her way of doing that - oh I'm
blathering. I also think she is a really neat lady, because I love the idea
of that Rock Bottom Remainders band she's in with Stephen King et al. She
Tennyson (Lady of Shallot + Charge of the Light Brigade) - Becca
Julian F Thompson - Jenwa
Kate Thompson - SallyO
---SallyO - Like Maggie Pearson, a fairly new writer who made a clever but
flawed debut with SWITCHERS. Number 2 is a better book and I'm looking
forward to the third one.
Sue Townsend - Amanda
---Nat: She¹s a hoot, but I find her repetitive after a while.
---Elise: Very funny, downright wicked. I also lump her in with Fay Weldon,
mentally. Is it wrong? - Elise
Barbara Trapido - Deirdre
Geoffrey Trease - SallyO
---SallyO - Ahhh - dear old Mr Reliable. I doubt if he ever wrote a bad
Vivian Vande Velde - Deborah
---Sarah: I really like her short story collections, but her novels seem so
repetitious: girl meets different/odd/altered/shapechanging guy and falls in
love. It seems she keeps the same plot and just changes the characters
Jhonen Vasquez - Jenwa
Joan D Vinge - Jenwa
Elfrida Vipont - Hallie
Barbara Walker - Max
Martha Wells - Tarja
---Tarja: She is on my must-buy list though she has written only a few
books (if I remember correctly, only four books this far). These are great
fantasy with memorable characters. I especially liked the Arsene
Lupin/Inspector Dupin pastiches in her latest work, The Death of a
Mary Wesley - Karen
Robert Westall - Amanda
---Reminds me of Robert Cormier with a little less unrelievedness. I don;
think I¹ve yet read a dud.
Edmund White - Deirdre
---Elise: Oh wow, beautiful prose, beautiful writing. So lonely seeming.
Thank you for mentioning him and reminding me.
TH White - Deirdre
Nancy Willard - Max
Tad Williams - Max
Jeanette Winterson - Max
Tim Wynne-Jones - Nat
---Nat: a gentle writer with a wonderful, quiet snese of humor. His short
stories are better than his one novel.
Jane Yolen - Sarah
---Nat: a mixed bag. Briar Rose is amazing, but with amny of her book sI
reach the end of an amazing journey to say,²That¹s it? That¹s all I came
here for. Well written, but I can¹t recall any lasting emotional imprint.
Roger Zelazny - Deborah
Douglas Adams - Amanda , Nat
---Nat: The secret to great humor writing is to make things funny in lots of
different ways. Adams at his best (and even at his middling) does this
Emma Bull - Deborah,Max
Lewis Carroll - Jenwa,Max
C J Cherryh - Karen, Philip
---Tarja: To me, she is very much a 'mood author', I have to be in a certain
frame of mind to enjoy her books or even to read them through. They are
usually worth the effort.
---Elise: I used to read her but I found we parted ways. This could be
another one where if you suggest some stuff to read I'm game for a post-read
Diane Duane - Deborah , Jenwa
---Nat: High Wizadry strays a little close to some theology I have mixed
feelings about, but other than that, she writes clearly, and spends a lot of
time looking at what it means to be really truly heroic.
---Melissa: I feel sad about this one. I *ADORED* her books when I was
younger. But I've apparently changed as a reader, and they don't hold the
same appeal any more. I can still remember what I loved about them...and I
really admire what she writes about and I wish I could be a wizard too.
Sigh.Leon Garfield - Max,Hallie
Rumer Godden - Jenwa, Melissa
Barry Hughart - Melissa, Elise
---Melissa: I'm rabid about his books. I think every thinking person on
earth should read them. Even if they hate them afterward. I heard a rumor
that he stopped writing because his books weren't well received or
something--that's a tragedy. _Bridge of Birds_ is just incredible.
Guy Gavriel Kay - Tarja, Sarah
---Tarja: He is just wonderful. He combines history and fantasy in a great
way. The fantasy content of his books has decreased book by book, but the
character and the sense of 'momentous things are happening' is
---Elise: Partly I like him and partly I want to make him work as an auto
mechanic or in a Complaint department for 3 years, and then and only then
let him write again. Blast me for it, I want you to. I just hated what he
did with his characters in his first series, but then I loved it too. Could
I be more ambivalent?
E L Konigsburg - Hallie,Becca
---Nat: I like her, but find her a litle forced, like she needs to spend
more time listening to her characters.
Madeleine L'Engle - Jenwa, Sarah
---Nat: I loved the first two Charles books, but they have not aged well. I
saw her speak once in college and was disappointed with what seemed a fairly
Maud Hart Lovelace - Jenwa,Hallie
Garth Nix - Deborah, Sarah
---Elise: Gad, what was that book? The one on the young necromancer - that
was neat. Only thing is that I was reading Game of Thrones at just about the
same time and there's this whole similarity about them, structural mainly -
anyway, it also reminds me of Paula Volsky's necromancy book - which was
Tamora Pierce - Jenwa, Sarah
Phillip Pullman - Sarah, Elise
---Tarja: The Golden Compass series is very good. I am just dreading what
he'll do in the third book.
---Nat: His other series look quite different. Anyone else read/recommend
Neal Stephenson - Jenwa, Deirdre
Mary Stewart - Philip, SallyO
---SallyO - A reliable writer, who wrote two favourite books and quite a
few other good reads. She always has the same protagonist, although she
changes names and ages.
---Tarja: In my opinion she has written the best Arthurian series this far.
Also her romance/mystery novels are fun. I especially liked the combination
of fantasy, romance and mystery in Touch Not the Cat. I, too, am a crossover
Rosemary Sutcliff - Hallie,Becca
Sheri S Tepper - Philip,Max
---Tarja: I cannot consider her my favourite author, but she has written
some very disturbing and wonderfully imaginative books. The True Game series
is a nice adventure and The Family Tree is just great fun.
---Karen: _Grass_ is one of my favorite books - when she's good she's very
very good, when she's not she's...maddening.
JRR Tolkien, - Deborah, ELise
---Tarja: He was one of my favourites when I was a teenager, but nowadays
other authors have taken his place.
Cynthia Voigt - Hallie, Becca
Laura Ingalls Wilder - Deirdre, Becca
---Tarja: Chilhood memories... The books are nice and the tv series was
nice as well.
Patricia C Wrede - Tarja , Jenwa
---Tarja: She has created two very enjoyable fantasy worlds: Lyra with its
ancient history and many races that live alongside humans and The Enchanted
Forest which is very humorous and makes fun of all kinds of fairy tale
stereotypes and tratidions.
---Elise: Loved Wrede for a while esp. in junior high. I think Daughter of
Witches was really my favorite - but perhaps I will re-read all. What I
really appreciate in retrospect about her is that she was the first writer
who got me thinking about magic and how it would work.
Joan Aiken - SallyO, Hallie, Becca
---SallyO - I prefer her single titles to her series.
Stephen Brust - Deborah , Jenwa, Melissa
---Elise: I just can't get into his tales, but I don't know why. Best I can
think of is that he and I have a really different focus on what we think is
important - so he tells what is important to him and I wonder why he is
skipping everything important to me. But I'm not sure. Maybe if you guys
talk about him some more and what you like about him, this fog will lift
from my mind.
Orson Scott Card - Nat, Sarah , Vanessa
---Nat: I like all his books (except Homebody and the Homecoming series). I
find him great to dive in, and some of his characters (Abner Doon, Ender,
Alvin and Calvin) are wonderfully drawn out and fully-rendered.
---Melissa: I remember a time when I really, really loved everything Card
wrote.Another case where my tastes have changed, because I still think he's
reallygood...I think the last thing I loved by him was _Pastwatch_.
---Tarja: I liked the earlier Ender books a lot, but the last two additions
to the series have not been as enjoyable any more.
Susan Cooper - Melissa , Nat, Sarah
---Nat: She has gotten better as an author the less she has to prove. I also
like her work in theater: The play FOXFIRE and materials for the Christmas
---Tarja: I am on of those who likes The Dark Is Rising series, but I won't
comment any further since most of the comments I would have had have already
been mentioned on the list.
Robert Heinlein - Amanda, Deirdre, SallyO
---SallyO - I really like some of Heinlein's stuff, but I also *dis*like
some, so it's more faourite books than a favourite author.
---Melissa: How many people on this list think his stories started getting
really weird after _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_? Just curious--it's not
my opinion necessarily, but there was a discussion on this topic on another
list Isubscribe to.
---Sarah: I made myself read a Heinlein last month, for I had never read
anything by him. It seemed a bit dated.
---Elise: I liked him as a preteen until it occurred to me to be insulted by
the prevalence of nymphomaniac interchangeable centerfold math geniuses, and
we had a parting of the way. I read a book called, I think, Emergent about
a girl who survives an apocalypse and who is, moreover, homo superior, a new
stage in evolution - anyway, this other book was interesting, but I found my
nostrils flaring as I sniffed whiffs of Heinlein in this young girl's
developing nympho/centerfold/math genius personality. I mean, there's just
something prurient about it that I didn't bargain for when I began. Turns
out it said in the notes the author was much influenced by Heinlein. I'm
rambling again aren't I? But I recall liking that Cat books. Thanks to you
all, I will probably re-read them quite soon.
LM Montgomery - Jenwa, SallyO, Hallie
---SallyO:For THE BLUE CASTLE, not so much her other books.
E Nesbit - Jenwa, Melissa ,Hallie
Roald Dahl - Deborah , Jenwa, Nat, Sarah
---Nat: I¹m very fond of his twisted, perverse sense of the world. I find
his grotesqueries funnier than any Warner Bros. Cartoon, and his sense of
victims getting their own back IN THERI OWN WAY is satisfying every time.
Neil Gaiman - Amanda , Jenwa, Nat, Vanessa
---Nat: I am still in awe of the Sandman series, but I also love his
stand-alone pieces: Mr Punch, Signal to Noise, Violent Cases, etc. He has a
way of passin g on profound questions to the reader without answering them
that I find uncanny. And for someone whose characters spend so much time
wrestling demons (literally) I find his work incredibly humane.
---Melissa: Also my forgotten favorites.
---Tarja: Sandman is a wonderful book. Gaiman has an unparalleled
---Elise: I have a confession. I've tried reading him, but I'm just not
into it. Teach me to see!
Tanith Lee - Philip,Max,Hallie, Becca
Ursula LeGuin, - Deborah, Deirdre, Nat,Hallie
---Nat: Like Gaiman, a tremendously humane writer. She really cares for all
her characters. Searoad is my favorite of hers, I think, though Lathe of
Heaven affected me more.
---Tarja: The Earthsea books are childhood favourites which have maintained
their place among my favourite books.
CS Lewis - Deborah , Jenwa, Sarah, ELise
---Nat: I have mixed feelings about Lewis. I loved Magicians Nephew and Lion
Witch Wardrobe, but found many of the books dragged. I find his theology
problematic, and have never been able to getinto his adult SF books. Maybe I
should try again.
---Tarja: I liked Narnia a lot as a child, but I haven't dared read these
for some time now, since I pick up too much on the allegorical stuff in
Margaret Mahy - Amanda, Deborah, Nat, SallyO
---SallyO - not for her young children's or primary stuff, but for three of
her YA novels.
---Nat: I like most of her stuff, even the younger books, though some of
them get cloying (her publishers don¹t always get the most interesting
illstrators. Her older kids and YA books are spellbinding, all of them. I
like how a feling of the world being a magical place pervades even books
with ³mundane² plot.s.
Robin McKinley - Deborah, Nat, Sarah, SallyO
---SallyO - for BEAUTY. I'm not that thrilled with her other stuff.
---Nat: I like all her work, but Beauty, Deerskin and the books set in The
Blue Sword¹s world are my favorite. She has such an amazing way with
---Melissa: see McKillip, below
---Tarja: The Blue Sword and Hero and the Crown were very nice adventures
where the girl heroine wins love and recognition in the end. As you may
guess, I identified with her when I first read them =).
Patricia McKillip - Melissa , Philip, Max,Hallie
---Melissa: Okay, I know I voted for Patricia McKillip, but there's
something about these two I wanted to talk about. Their early books are a
lot different from their later ones--and the later ones don't seem to garner
the kind of fan appreciation that the early ones do. My theory is that they
both had an idea of what kind of stories they wanted to write, and as they
wrote more books they came closer to that goal. But in approaching their
goal, they moved away from whatever it was that made their early books
appeal to so many people. McKillip's _Winter Rose_ is another Tam Lin
story, but not one that gets talked about--as opposed to _The Forgotten
Beasts of Eld_, a nearly and well-loved book. I'm sure there are other
authors like this, many of whom may be unfairly criticized for getting worse
as writers when what's really happening is the writer's and reader's tastes
---Tarja: Beautiful stories. The Riddle-Master of Hed -trilogy is one of the
best fantasy series ever.
Elizabeth Marie Pope - SallyO,Hallie,Elise,Becca
---SallyO: another frustratingly under-writing writer. I love THE PERILOUS
GARD, and I really wish she'd written more than 2 books.
---Melissa: Also my forgotten favorites.
Terry Pratchett - Amanda , Jenwa, Melissa , Vanessa
Dorothy L Sayers - Tarja ,Karen, Melissa, Hallie
---Tarja: Good old-fashioned detective stories combined with a very well
Jane Austen- Tarja, Deborah, Max, Hallie, Elise
---Melissa: Also my forgotten favorites.
---Tarja: Pride and Prejudice is probably one the best novels ever.
---Elise: Jane Austen reminds me of how I made this really, really deadly
holiday punch one year, in my more party hearty younger days. At the party
all the guys stuck to watery american beer and all the girls drank the punch
- which was delicious and sparkly and had a ring of frozen strawberries in
it - and tasted completely non-alcoholic though, in point of fact, it had
two bottles of whiskey in it. All evening the guys mocked our sissy
drinking choice and wouldn't besmirch their masculinity by tasting the
punch, much less ever being seen to like it. Gender socialization is a
Lois McMaster Bujold- Deborah, Tarja, Deirdre, Melissa , Hallie
---Tarja: Miles rules! When reading this series you can note how Lois
McMaster Bujold's writing skills have developed. The lates Vorkosigan book,
A Civil Campaign, was wonderful.
Georgette Heyer - Deborah , Karen , Jenwa, Philip, SallyO, Elise
---SallyO: Some titles only - but there are quite a few of them.
---Melissa: I just finished _Friday's Child_ and it was a lot of fun. I
started out not liking the main characters very much, but Heyer did such a
great job of poking holes in the sexual/social double standard that I really
enjoyed how the story unfolded...and ended up liking the characters quite a
bit. I really love Regency romances--also like Marion Chesney a lot--but I
can never get past the differences between modern-day historical fiction and
the accounts of contemporary writers like Jane Austen. The facts are all
consistent but the narrative voice is just so different. Actually, it's
interesting to wonder how much is hidden by those authors who were writing
in their own time.
---Tarja: Very enjoyable stuff.
Connie Willis- Tarja , Jenwa, Melissa , Vanessa, Hallie, Becca
---Nat:My fiancee informs me that she grew up playing with Connie's daughter
in Greeley, Colorado. For what that's worth. I've never read any of her
work. Maybe now's the time.
---Tarja: Great humorous works as well as more serious stories. I like her
short stories for their combination of humour and every-day occurrences. All
My Darling Daughters is perhaps the most disturbing short story I have read.
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