What are your favorite reads?

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Recommend some books - I need some new reads - winter is coming and I read a lot in the winter. I love exchanging book recommendations.

I'm engrossed in Caroline Adderson's "A History Of Forgetting". It's about an older gay couple - one of whom is suffering from Alzheimers - the other of whom is a hair stylist who works for a woman who owns a pair of rosy colored glasses.

With dog stories and quaint themes like his older customers giving him the clothing of their dead husbands and smelling of mothballs - it's a wonderful book.

-- Catherine (catherine@cmjcom.com), October 13, 1999


books? ah, now you're talking.
current re-reading favourites, books that pull me back again and again, are barbara kingsolver's essays, "high tide in tucson" and annie dillard's eyeopening book "pilgrim at tinker creek" (both amazing in the way they look at loooking). steven jay gould is making my head hurt in wonderful ways. i'm in a scary non-fiction mood at the moment.
i'd say geoff ryman's lovely, poignant book, "waz" but it's far too sad. gregory maguire's "wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the west" is far more juicy.
george perec always makes me purr with ideas, and "life, a user's manuel" takes an awful lot of beating.
tove jannson's moomin books are the best things for late night reading aloud, drifting into sleep.
http://www.heyoka.com/heyoka/words/books.html is an annotated list of last year's reading, if that helps.

-- heyoka (katie@heyoka.com), October 14, 1999.

Trust you me, heyoka has excellent taste in reading.

Here's my recommendations: "A Vaudeville of Devils" by Robert Girardi "Tam Lin" by Pamela Dean Any of the Harry Potter books "The Gun Seller" by Hugh Laurie "The Liar" by Stephen Fry "Written on the Body" by Jeanette Winterson "The Forgetting Room" by Nick Bantock

Loads more, maybe I will come back later... :)

-- krystyn (eisllew@msn.com), October 14, 1999.

Oops. Another one I just thought of.

"Goodnight, Nebraska"

-it's an incredibly well-crafted story with a nice payoff for your troubles. Excellent character examinations. My scurrying mind devoured it.

-- krystyn (eisllew@msn.com), October 14, 1999.

Well, for something fun I've been re-reading the Dragon Knight series by Gordon R. Dickson. Light, fun stuff. For heavier things, I was reading a collection of Anthony Trollope's short stories. I think he was around in the 1800s or so. In any event, his stories are great...quite witty and the language he uses is very evocative. If you can find a biography of Hildegard von Bingen, or a collection of some of her works, that is great, powerful reading as well. And for another silly suggestion, Elizabeth Peters egyptian mysteries!!

-- Kate (chris.gould@sympatico.ca), October 14, 1999.

Just thought of some more: George MacDonald's The Light Princess is a favourite of mine, and Mariel Keyes' series Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, rachel's Holiday, Last Chance Saloon et al...quite funny in a Bridget Jones sort of way, but meatier...nice thick books to curl up with.

-- Kate (chris.gould@sympatico.ca), October 14, 1999.

For those who like science fiction, nobody ever wrote like Cordwainer Smith. No one ever will. "Think Blue, Count Two", "Golden the Ship was---Oh! Oh! Oh!" "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard"...all wonderful. I'm also fond of R.A. Lafferty, who wrote rings around himself. I'm a fan of Mervyn Peake's wonderful GORMENGHAST trilogy, a fantasy that has no trace of Tolkien, Dickensonian groteseques for characters in a Kafkaesque background, written by an illustrator who painted as well with words as he did with drawings. In mainstream fiction, Robertson Davies' THE DEPTFORD TRILOGY I recommend without hesitation. In fact, anything by Davies. It doesn't get much better than that.--Al

-- Al Schroeder (al.schroeder@nashville.com), October 14, 1999.

Oooooh, books! For fun, I *love* Terry Pratchett - the king of the fantasy send-up. I'm reading _Carpe Jugulum_ now, far too quickly. And I dove through the Harry Potter books over one weekend - wonderful, quick, charming reads. I just finished _Memoirs of a Geisha_ and it's a lovely book - enthralling. The first book in a long time that had me deciding that I'd have a little mailbox chat with the author if the plot didn't resolve itself to my satisfaction - I was that involved. My all-time favorite (well, one of them) is _Remains of the Day_ - take a look, if you haven't recently. The Booker Prize nominees are always worth at least a glance, imo.

-- Catherine (hinesc@mindspring.com), October 14, 1999.

I wonder if you have read any Karen Connelly? Canadian writer of supreme talent. I highly recommend her. Also I suggest the strange but delightful Australian novels by Kate Grenville, "Dark Places" and "Lillian's Story". There's "Cosmo Cosmolina" too by Australian writer Helen Garner. You could also lash out with another classic Australian writer, Tim Winton, who wrote the wonderful "Cloud Street", or "Bliss" whose author's name escapes me momentarily. All of these novels possess a kind of magic narrative quality, delicate pathos, strange beautiful lives. Perfect for cosy winter reading! I think all of them are available from Amazon.

-- Kathryn Ash (kashink@ozemail.com.au), October 14, 1999.

Well, I was going to try and figure out what my favourites were. But that turned into a 10 minute discussion with myself and I STILL hadn't come to a consensus. So instead I am going to look over my last year's reading (since January) and tell you which ones I liked best. But first, a second to Tove Jannson (or Jansson, or whichever)'s Moomin books. They are marvelouswonderful. Now. Recent good stuff: Kage Baker - Garden of Iden; the SARK books; Nora Gallagher - Things Seen and Unseen: A Year Lived in Faith; Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (who was a kickass kid's book editor and a great correspondent besides); Win Blevins - Rock Child: A Novel of a Journey (his other book, Stone Song, is even better); anything by Francesca Lia Block; ditto Edward Abbey; Richard Zacks - An Underground Education; Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes - Chris Crutcher; Wade Davis - One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rainforest; Treya Killam Wilber and Ken Wilber - Grace and Grit; Stephen J. Bodio - On the Edge of the Wild: Passions and Pleasures of a Naturalist; Pam Houston - Waltzing the Cat; Bryan Magee - Confessions of a Philosopher: A Journey through Western Philosophy; Dorothy L. Sayers - Gaudy Night; Charles de Lint - Moonlight and Vines; David Denby - Great Books. And, not this year, but really cool: Philip Pullman's Dark Materials series - ie The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife. Wow. This turned out a lot longer than I meant it too. But I was concise and discerning, I swear! I liked ALL the books I read this year, and I narrowed it down to ... lessee... um... 16 recommendations from 101 books. HOLY SHIT! I didn't know I read that many books this year... Heh.

-- Marianne Aldrich (marseillaise@hotmail.com), October 14, 1999.

I totally agree with kathyrn, lilian's story is a real favourite. bliss was written by peter carey, who also wrote "oscar and lucinda". i think he's a wonderous writer.

-- jo (jgillespie@swin.edu.au), October 15, 1999.

you people are all so well read....Janet Frame autobiography is in my hand now.....Joseph Campbell is also in the car.....

-- cris (catnun31@yahoo.com), October 22, 1999.

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