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[personal profile] constance_b
Haven't been on line much either, which means I'm fanfic deprived. Fic deprived altogether, really, I've tried all the novels I got for Christmas and didn't finish a one of them because they're all crap. If anyone could recommend me a book that doesn't suck, I'd be very grateful. Preferably one by someone who isn't dead.
I've spent most of January re-reading my own small library and it's depressing how many of my favourite authors, outside fandom of course, died long before I was born. Re-read Emma, that's still a great book. So fantastic, in fact, I may have to send hate mail to the next person who compares it to anything written by a Bronte. Unless it's something like 'Austen is so far superior to the Brontes it's hard to draw comparison.'
And I re-read all my Reginald Hills. He's not dead yet, that cheers me up. A brilliant writer who I'd recommend to anyone. Well, anyone English, they're set in Yorkshire and the language might be impenetrable to an American. Great who-dun-its, but don't let that put you off if you don't like mysteries, this guy rises well above. Such a love of words. Here's a tiny little quote: It was, he acknowledged later, an attempt at comfort on a par with assuring Mrs Lincoln she'd have hated the rest of the show.
Then A Town Like Alice, which my Dad gave me when I was eleven and it made me cry for days then. Only hours, nowadays, but that's just because I can read quicker now. The guy might have had some dodgy political ideas but boy could he tell a story. If there's anybody left in the English speaking world who hasn't read Nevil Shute you should go and do that right now. (And it's nowhere near as depressing as I just made it sound.)
Skipped PG Wodehouse, read those last winter. Yesterday it was Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, even the Even British Nuclear Fuels rushed out a statement to the effect that it was a one in a million chance there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all and the site of the explosion would make for a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn't actually anything to do with them at all. No rational cause could be found for the explosion - it was simply designated an act of God. But, thinks Dirk Gently, which God? And why? What God would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15.37 to Oslo? of that book makes me giggle.
So that's what I like. If any of those are on you favourite author list I'd really appreciate you taking the time to recommend me something new.
My best Christmas present was a CD, the 30th anniversary edition of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, another thing my dad got me hooked on at a young age. Here's a little quote from that (Stephen Fry, I think), you have to say it out loud, and if you're American for 'Piers Morgan' read 'Condoleeza Rice'
Definitions - Countryside: The Killing of Piers Morgan

Date: 2007-01-27 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been planning to read that book by Douglas Adams. My friend has dearly recommended it to me and it sounds brilliant. I haven't got around to it yet though.
I don't know if I can recommend anything to you. I don't know if we have the same taste in books. I don't think we do. I hated Emma but that might be because I was 13 and didn't really get it. I read Pride and Prejudice about a year ago and I absolutley loved it so maybe I should try to read some more Jane Austen books. But I read fantasy mostly, like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I don't know if you like those kinds of books so I'll just shut up now.

Wow, anyone who talks about books can really get me going! LOL!

Date: 2007-01-27 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My little brother made me read the first 4 Harry Potter books, they're okay but not something I'd go mad about. Lord of the Rings is my Emma, I read when I was too young to really follow and haven't ever gone back to it.
Douglas Adams is hysterically funny and definitely falls into the fantasy catagory, I'd love to be able to read it again for the first time.

Date: 2007-01-27 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've really loved a couple of Stephen Fry's novels - I want to say The Liar and Hippopotamus (?), but it's been a couple years back and several dozen stacks of mindless mysteries in between. I love his sly sense of humor. I read a great blurb for Hugh Laurie's madcap spy novel, but haven't read it yet.

Date: 2007-01-27 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great recs, sadly I've read them all. Stephen Fry is a very funny guy, and he's written another called Making History which is more of a slash-romance-timetravel-novel, which is also very good.
Hugh Laurie's is a very boys own adventure in first person, well written but you suspect it's a tiny bit of a Mary Sue.

Date: 2007-01-27 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you like Douglas Adams, what about Terry Pratchett? The Discworld series has that same clever, dry humour.

What were the books you didn't like?

Date: 2007-01-27 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My little brother's always telling my I should read Pratchett, but as he's fifteen I ignore everything he says. I'll give them a try.
I think the Da Vinci code was the worst book I got for Christmas. Was a bit sceptical to start with, being an Atheist, but I never got far enough into the thing to find out if the plot was as ridiculous as it sounded. Such horrible clunky sentences.
And a huge hardback copy of Jane Eyre, from someone who knows I like Austen and thinks they're the same thing. Someone wasted a whole tree printing that one. And the third in the series of that Ladies Detective agency thing by Alexander MacCall Smith. Errg. And something by Ian Rankin.

Date: 2007-01-27 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My favorite Douglas Adams! I love "The Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul"!

I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, but if you like Douglas Adams have you read Bill Bryson? My favorite is probably A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (, which is about hiking the appalachian trail. Possibly funnier if you're a hiker! I also loved A Short History of Nearly Everything ( which is about science.

Carl Hiaasen is one of my favorite writers; witty and well plotted. His new one is Nature Girl ( You have to love a writer who's heroine is bipolar; and involves the attempted torture of a telemarketer.

Date: 2007-01-27 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Carl Hiaasen is entirely new to me, and published in the UK too, according to Blackwells online. I'm going shopping tomorrow...
I read the Bill Bryson book set in England, which put me off a little bit. I guess, being English, I didn't see what was so funny.

Date: 2007-01-31 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I recently re-read both Dirk Gently novels - I much prefer them to the Hitch-hiker series.

Best book I've read in a long time has to be "Sunshine" by Robin McKinley (which I guess would class as urban fantasy) - I read it over a weekend and just didn't want to put it down. Didn't get to the middle and have to read the end though boredom.

I'd second the rec for Pratchett, though the series doesn't really get going until the third or fourth book so unless you're a stickler for reading things in order I'd try one of the Witches or the City Watch books first.

Again in the supernatural/fantasy vein - the Dresden books by Jim Butcher are well worth a read.

A couple of crime writers I enjoy (both American) are Lawrence Block (Matt Scudder series) and Carol O'Connell (Mallory series - the heroine is a sociopath and a police woman). The writing style is a bit difficult, and they do need to be read in order, but worth sticking with.

Date: 2007-02-04 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Have to confess I never finished the hitchhiker book, never mind the series. The first couple of chapters were hilarious but then it lost me.
Have read a Lawerence Block, and did get to the end but you're probably right, I need to dig out the first in the series.
And that leaves three authors completely new to me, thank you!


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