Recommend a book for me to read
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I suffered through, uh, I mean, I went through my first full-blown critique of my first short story in my Creative Writing class on Monday. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be. People made valid comments. The most important thing I learned: I need to stop telling when I should be showing. That one keeps getting me.

And since the prof said the only way I'm going to stop is through practice, I thought I would read some books outside of my usual repertoire to see how the pros write. I know it won't help me completely (I think the best way would be a Pavlov's dog approach; someone needs to hit me every time I do a telling statement instead of a showing one ), but it'll be good for me to check out some other writing styles and see if I get inspired during the Christmas break.

So, suggest a book for me. And it can't be sci-fi, fantasy, or horror. I read that kind of stuff all the time. Unless you think this book is the most awesomest thing ever then maybe I'll check it out. And possibly no bestsellers. I have no ambition to read The Da vinci Code , though mainly because the thing looks really long and I won't have that much time.


Thursday, November 23, 2006 4:01 PM


Ooh! Ooh! Aah!
Just remembered a few more books:
Travelling With Clara (nonfic)
A Walk In The Woods (nonfic I think)
The Memory Of Running

Thursday, November 23, 2006 3:59 PM


No sci-fi, fantasy, or horror?
Well, that lets out just about everything I tend to read!

There was one fairly good book hubby borrowed recently. I can't remember all of the title but it was "somethingsomething" Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Farm.
Story about a woman and her (also a woman) partner who end up raising sheep. Non fiction.

Other than that I can only recommend almost anything by some of my favorite authors:
Terry Pratchett
Niel Gaiman
Steven Brust
Connie Willis
Jasper Fforde
Barbara Hambly
Lois McMaster Bujold
Charles DeLint
Christopher Moore
Brian Jaques (children's)
Neal Stephenson
Tom Stoppard (playwright)
Diana Gabaldon
Ellis Peters

Some miscellaneous books:
Memoirs of a Geisha
Girl With A Pearl Earring
The Secret History Of The Pink Carnation
Accordion Crimes

Be prepared to have your beverage become nasally mobile with some of these authors. You have been warned. Also you may not be able to put the books down. Some of them are quite thick, start weight training now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006 2:28 PM


Ok...literary suggestions...let's see:

1) The Green Mile by Stephen King - it's funny, but this story is one of only two King novels I have read completely and not had to give up part of the way through. That and I think it's a great story that conveys a great idea without getting preachy or long-winded.

2) Any one of the "In Death" series of books by J.D. Robb. While they are set 5 decades from now...there are still great crime thrillers (with more than a touch of fluff and romance) and quick reads.

3) "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara - as a Browncoat and writer, you have to read this! It inspired Joss to do Firefly (totally or in part)! Plus it's edumacational;)

4) Any of the Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs, cuz while the books and the TV series are only marignally related to one another...they are fabulous reads;)

5) "Fifth Business" by Robertson Davies - as a Canadian and student of Queen's Univeristy, I sorta have to pimp Davies' work...but I thoroughly enjoyed how he explored the theme of actions with their consequences over a 25 year period. That and it explores Western history;)

Thursday, November 23, 2006 7:20 AM


Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. as far from sci-fi as you can get. only 112 pages, set during the Depression in Monterrey, not much happens , but let an old master wow you with poetic words. Lovely little character portraits.

Tho', if you're trying to write yourself, it may make you insanely jealous. " How does he do that?"

Thursday, November 23, 2006 5:12 AM


Good books - The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez Reverte

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

The latter one particularly really drew me in, and I was slightly dazed when it finished.

I'd recommend C J Cherryh's Foreigner sequence, but we're up to book 9...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 7:33 PM


Actually, I know the perfect book for you to read. A true classic. While it involves talking animals, it is by no means a fantasy. If anything, it's a nightmare written as a political allegory.

I am, of course, talking about ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell. Ever since it came out, it's been considered one of the best foctional books ever made. It'll help you understand how the fall of one opressive ruler (Czar Nicholas II) gave way to the rise of an even worse ruler (Stalin) and how one of the most powerful political ideologies (Communism) came to be. It's also a very thin book that you can polish off in a day.

Another book that you can polish off real quickly that's insanely funny, is BIG TROUBLE by Dave Barry. The movie it's based on is all right. But the book is infinitly funnier.

Another book that's borderline fantasy, but incredibly grounded in the real world is THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold. It's a story about a 13 year old girl who was raped and murdered, and the book is told from her perspective as she looks down from heaven on her family and watches how they deal with her disappearance and death. I know it sounds like a fun read, but it's one of the most beautiful and inspirational books. And unless MGM steps in for Peter Jackson and gets his money that New Line's holding out from him so that they can have him direct THE HOBBIT, the adaptation of this book is going to be his next project. And that makes me more excited than anything else.


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