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Thursday, May 5, 2011

An Excuse (or Two) and Book Recommendations

Heya Blogfans!


Last week was rather unsettled at Hubris House due to about twenty six tornadoes across our state and the, seriously screwed up, weather that moved along with it. We're fine- didn't even lose a roof tile- but writing didn't seem very important last week. Then the garden needed work and that was so enjoyable that other things sort of crept in to take the place of writing. It was wonderful to have a break (not from the blog so much as from trying to be a writer- the life of a wbw sucks) Also I had a couple of excellent books to read which is always a nice break. Hey I don't know what to tell you. Writing, for me, is just an extension of reading because, when it goes well, it's like reading times 100 but reading is pretty good on its own and well worth missing a post or two.


Okay, the truth is that I've been working on a review for a book I really enjoyed but can't seem to help having some issues with. That sucks because the author is a gentleman (yeah that's part of the problem- I told him I was thinking of writing a review. Note to self: don't do that in the future) and an excellent writer. I'm sure people more whatever than I have brought up the same issues as I have and he has chosen to either work on them or not. Thinking of him as a person makes it impossible to say bad things  to the blog reading public. If it's so important I can't get past it I'll just email him. While I was trying to think my way around this review a friend on facebook asked me my favorite question:


I need a good book to take me on an adventure, have any suggestions?


Hell Yeah!


The following book suggestions are specifically tailored to her  (and are, by no means, an all inclusive list). I know this friend in real life. She's in her twenties (although I'm not sure how that's possible since I knew her when she was but a wee little kid,) very intelligent and ambitious with an excellent sense of humor. You may not fall in the age demographic but I know you'll enjoy some of these books. Just as a note here- I have a super high tolerance for crude language and earthy situations. I have no tolerance for gratuitous violence or cruelty to animals. Some of the books I recommend are kind of perverse and not meant for children or really prudish people. Any of the Southern or British books are fine.  


Kerri-   


Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (it starts with One For The Money- I like the series up to about the the thirteenth book- it's basically the same book over and over again and it just stops being fun after a while. Stephanie never grows as a character and her love life is always the same mess (to the point where I couldn't care less who she ends up with.) The series just stopped being interesting after the thirteenth book. Evanovich started a new series that's different enough to be interesting but the same enough to be funny- the first book is called Wicked Appetite. Evanovich's work is not intellectual in the least but I still laugh when I think about some of the situations Stephanie gets herself into. In a way I admire Stephanie because she (often literally) rolls with the punches and she gets herself involved with wacky offbeat people that anyone from our city can relate to easily. The books take no time to read and will lighten any mood. 


For sheer adventure and suspense I suggest Lisa Scottoline. Her first novel Everywhere That Mary Went is sublime. Her novels (and writing) evolve, and they're all good and easy to find, but there's something about her first book that's touching in a way her others are not (These are legal thrillers, fyi.) I really love Katherine Neville's books The Eight and A Calculated Risk but her later books are kind of hit or miss. She does conspiracy and intrigue a thousand times better than Dan Brown. Don't pick up either of these books if you have to put it down again any time soon. 




If you want to travel to the UK without leaving home  I think you'd like Rhys Bowen and her Evan Evans books (Wales) , M.C. Beaton and her Hamish Macbeth series (Scotland,) Ian Sansom and his Mobile Librarian series (Northern Ireland). I enjoy P.D. James and Martha Grimes' detective books (I *love* Martha Grimes' Hotel Paradise books- they're just terrific reading but not super adventurous.) If you want to travel *in time* to the UK, I like Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalymple books. Carola Dunn is pretty freaking cool as a person, by the way. She has a dog with the same name as mine and, not coincidentally, a love for the same author.  


Would you like to go South? Southern themed books are very popular right now. Some of my favorites that I think you may also like: Sharyn McCrumb, Donna Andrews, Joan Hess (she is hilarious and  Maggody, and its citizens, bring to mind the town we lived in. After Janet Evanovich, I'd read Joan Hess' Maggody series.)


If you want to go off planet entirely you can't go wrong with Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. 


Oh and a stand alone book I think everyone should read: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. 


And an author who falls under the authors-I-think-you'd-love-but-don't-tell-your-mother-you-heard-it-from-me category: Christopher Moore. His vampire books are awesome (Bloodsucking Fiends,You Suck, Bite Me) but I love his other stuff more. If you could only read one novel by Moore I'd chooseLamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. It is funny and thought provoking at the same time. David Sedaris is another author who falls under this category. His non fiction is terrific. I'm not so sure about his latest attempt at fiction (to the point where I have heard excerpts and decided not to read the book.) If you listen to audio books Sedaris is a must (with the exception of his fiction, as mentioned previously. )


Aren't you glad you asked? I am :-)


Until next week, my loyal blogfans and Kerri. Please forgive typos and grammar issues- I promised this post in a timely manner and it has not been subjected to much (any) editing. 


Yours,
S.H.



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