OT Other Books

Elizabeth Parks mep3 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Fri Feb 15 08:21:43 EST 2002

just a brief list:

Vivien Alcock: I loved her _Trial of Anna Cotman_ years ago; I've just
read _The Mysterious Mr. Ross_.  Her books tend to be sort of mysterious,
spooky at times, often aimed at younger readers (they are children's
books, but within that they're written fairly simply--it's the stories
that are unique).  Give Her a Try.

The Exiles: read the first two.  Not bad, not bad at all.  For quite a
while the first one reminded me a lot of Noel Streatfeild's The Growing
Summer/The Magic Summer (UK/US) but I eventually forgot about that and
just enjoyed them.  I don't think I loved them wholeheartedly, but they
were worth reading.  Thanks for the reccomendation!

Sherwood Smith: has anybody read stuff by him?  I read the Wren books a
while ago and came accross them online recently.  I remember that I liked
them, though I think the ending wasn't quite what I wanted it to be.

Freya North: not children's books--more Women's Fiction without being
exactly Romance (at least not in the North American sort of way.  British
romance-y books seem to contain a lot more exploration of different
partners and more self-analysis).  They're young-woman finds herself and
love books, but there's something about the way she writes and the topics
she explores (one's about a woman who spends a season each in Wales,
Ireland, Scotland, and England; one's about a journalist following the
Tour de France for the first time) that appeals to me.

The Mediator books: by Jenny Carrol, aka Meg Cabot.  Picked these up out
of curiousity because I _liked_ the Princss Diaries.  Sort of the Sixth
Sense meets Buffy.  These are YA all the way--no real hidden meanings or
anything--but they're sort of fun.  Get them out of a library,
though--don't buy them.

Tanya Huff: found a new volume of two of her books: Gate of Darkness,
Circle of Light and The Fire's Stone.  Especially liked the second one (in
part because I'm one of those straight girls who goes gaga over m/m
stuff).  The titles are a little cheesey, I think, but the books are a
Good Read (I liked them better than most of the Four Quarters books :).  I
also read a couple of the Blood books she wrote recently--they seem a
little underdeveloped but not bad.  Maybe I'm just comparing them to all
the Laurell Hamilton books I was reading at the time--those books are so
full of sex and violence and power that anything else seems a little tame.
I think both series are girly vampire books--you know, vampire has some
tragic past going on, he's hot, there's a kickass woman as the main
character, etc.  I liked them better than most of the Anne Rice books I've
read (two week phase.  If that.  I thought the Vampire Lestat was
brilliant.  Several of the others bored me senseless.  I also felt sort of
silly reading Anne Rice books--I remember when the first movie came out
there was a big article in the Washington Post about readers of hers who
actually drank blood.  I was about eleven.  It freaked me out).

Quest for a Queen: I read _Quest for a Maid_ by Frances Mary Hendry when I
was in elementary school about six times--I could never find any of the
sequels/prequels/companion books that I needed to make sense of it.  I
came accross one in Hay-on-Wye called The Jackdaw.  I haven't read it yet
but I'm hopeful!  These books are set in Elizabethan London--and I've just
looked at it and realized that the two books aren't part of the same
trilogy--this one has to do with Mary Queen of Scots, and Quest for a Maid
I think had to do with politics somewhere Scandinavian.  It was a striking
book--the relationship between the narrator and the older sister reminded
me in some ways of a relationship in DWJ, now that I think about it.

The Tale of Murasaki, by Liza Dalby.  In no way fantasy or ya--it's
written by the only westerner to become a geisha, about the woman (known
as Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote the first novel--The Tale of Genji.  I
reading it because I love early Japanese poetry (tanka, especially--not so
much with the haiku) and because there were several really interesting
women writing at that time.  Murasaki is the best remembered.  The book
(it's Dalby's first novel, but she's got some other books about women and
Japan) is written as a sort of diary, incorporating elements of the real
Murasaki's diary as well as some of her poetry, and it's really
interesting.  Some of the things about the society bother me, but it's a
really good look at the power struggles and society of that time (slight
before 1000 CE).

Jacqueline Kirby books by Elizabeth Peters.  This is NOT A RECCOMENDATION.
I like her other stuff--mostly--and the Richard III book I found
intriguing because of the historical stuff, but (to agree with Sally, I
think it was) I don't like this series.  I don't like the character, I
don't like the views presented on things (ie, in the book that takes place
at the romance writer's convention.  I'm not all that into romance books
right now, but I was once, and I get really annoyed when people bash them
for so many reasons).

Troy.  Can't remember who it's by, but it's a ya book that was all over
the place in London.  The story of two girls during the seige at Troy.
Just wondering if anyone had read it.  Oh--Adele Geras.  That's the

The Wind Singer by William Nicholson.  This is another one that caught my
eye in a bookstore but I wanted to get some outside opinions before I read
it.  Anyone?

and last but not least--another web comic.
http://boymeetsboy.keenspace.com  Let the url give you a hint as to the
content--it's an amateur comic but it's updated daily (always tells you a
little about the author's dedication) and it's sweet and it's got me
listening to punk music.

and that would be my 'brief list.'



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