Treasured Favorites, Round 1

What books I have read and re-read are many.  Some are special treasures.  Here are a few:

  1. Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World

    Excellent writing, as much of Dahl’s works are, including the more famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.   Beyond the quality of writing, I like Danny because it’s more realistic and because of the imagery of the young boy doing brave things, but, most of all, I like Danny because of the warm relationship between father and son.  The humor also helps.

  2. Francis Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

    My favorite of Burnett’s novels, this story is engaging and even captivating.  It’s also one of my favorite go-to’s when I read writing advice — it breaks many of the modern tidbits pundits try to make into rules.

  3. L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

    The richness and depth of the newly-married Anne and Gilbert outstrips in some ways the delightful stories of younger Anne living at Green Gables.

Favorite Fantasy Reads

Where should I start when reading fantasy?

As with science fiction, this is a tough question — for the same reason.  Fantasy worlds can be entirely different than our own, eerily similar, or a mash-up of the radically different and the every day.

Fantasy can be humorous (Anthony’s Xanth series or Terry Pratchett‘s works), character-driven (Alan Dean Foster’s Flinx series), epic (Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings), a mashup with science fiction (Anne McCaffrey’s Crystal Singer), fairy tales, portal fantasies, and much more.

Read on for the list.

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Starting Science Fiction: My Recommendations

“If I want to start reading science fiction, where should I start?”

Tough question.

Science fiction encompasses a wide range of sub-genre, ranging from space opera to alternative reality, from military sf to time travel, from alien contact to apocalyptic thrillers.

So, here’s some of my recommendations:

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Kowal’s Advice and Works

Recent read: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Antoinette Kowal.

I’ve enjoyed listening to Kowal’s advice via Writing Excuses and decided to give her books a try.  I liked the work, reminiscent of Jane Austen with a fantastical touch, and found it a bit unexpected — but I’m not sure why.

I’m looking forward to finding some of her short stories, especially “In Want of a Nail”.

December Reading Corner

Recent Books

  • Turning to the fantasy genre, I read Deerskin by Robin McKinley, a nicely done story; then started a re-read of Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Cycle, a favorite of my youth.
  • Re-read Crosstalk by Connie Willis
  • The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson.  Mainstream fiction?  Chic lit?  However you define it, an excellent read with surprising depth.

Recent Articles

Merry Christmas!

October Favorite Reads

A busy month, this October.  Here’s few that I liked:

I keep looking through the library and online for a good sf read, but so far I haven’t really liked anything.  Let me know by one of the thousand ways to contact me if you have a good read in any genre.

Well, no, not horror, I don’t read that.  Well, no, not erotica.  I don’t go there.  No, not that dark gruesome mystery or violent-filled thriller, either… I’m not a picky person, really.

Returning to Mystery

My father was a fan of Agatha Christie.  Lying around my childhood home were almost every one of her mystery novels.

I devoured those books.  In turn, those books set my expectations to a rather high standard, so much that for years I could barely read a page or two into any other mystery.

Now, a personal renaissance has led me back to the genre.  Here are a few favorites:

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Book News: What I Read Recently

  1. Grounded by Neta Jackson: a Christian novel quite a cut above the usual, and not the ubiquitous romance.
  2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: a literary read of contemporary life with a main thread of fantasy woven in expertly.  The end wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted.
  3. Spin State, Chris Moriarty: I tried, I really tried to get into this recent sf work, but I couldn’t.