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2nd-Mar-2009 03:47 pm - Horror Writers?
flower sheep
I've been an excruciatingly lazy reader so far this year and I just don't seem to be able find things that interest me. What I have been doing is re-reading things I like, and there is nothing wrong with that but I need something new now. So can you recommend me good horror writers? I'm in that kind of a mood and I'm waiting for some Ligotti from the library but it might take a while. Any one have a horror writer up their sleeve I don't know about? :) 

In the meantime 5 Favorite books to re-read

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
Gauragangur by Ólafur Haukur Símonarsson (very funny book for young adults)
And I never get tired of re-reading the last chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce.

24th-Jan-2009 04:24 pm - Fairy tale retellings
Does anyone else enjoy retold fairy tales? I love them but haven't read any in awhile and am seeking recommendations for more.

To get an idea of what I like, plus to give you all some recs, I've listed some of my favorites below:

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

And for something semi-related, I thought I'd add this, just because I like it: DysEnchanted
3rd-Jan-2009 03:14 pm - 2008 Book Recs
Here are the books that I would recommend from my reading list of 2008. Many of these books are from the list of 1001 books to read before you die which I have found to be a invaluable resource.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry- This is an excellent, if heartbreaking novel about India after the British withdrawal. It is beautifully written and filled with interesting characters.
All is Vanity by Christina Shwararz (The author of "Drowning Ruth.") This is a dark comedy about a woman trying to write a novel and the results that befall her and her best friend as a result.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson.- A family drama filled with interesting characters and situations. It is set in 20th century England.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides- The novel which inspired the movie. Beautifully written and heartbreaking.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.- A fun novel that pays tribute to Gothic literature.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro- A dystopian novel.
Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates.
Journey to the River Sea Eva Ibbotson- Children’s Novel
Pictures of Hollis Woods Patricia Reilly Giff -Children’s Novel
The King of Atolia Megan Whalen Turner- Children’s Novel
A Complicated Kindness Miriam Toews - This novel is hilarious, with a fantastic heroine.
Stones from the River Ursula Hegi - This novel, which follows the life a dwarf woman, is set in 20th century Germany.
The Mermaid Chair Sue Monk Kidd
On Beauty Zaddie Smith
Mistress of the Art of Death Ariana Franklin - A medieval thriller. This novel was well paced and interesting.
21st-Dec-2008 03:37 pm - Book club?
fotc phasers on funky
I really want to start a book club. I love discussing books with people and I think the club format would make me more disciplined about getting the books finished. I would really like it to be small and active with a fairly fast reading pace (2 or 3 books a month -- depending on the books of course). I made a community for it, readingparty,so if people were interested I'd love it if they came on over! Hopefully this will result in reading some good books and making some new friends!
15th-Dec-2008 08:30 pm - Wally Lamb
Has anyone read Wally Lamb's new novel, "The hour I First Believed"? I really liked his other novels. Thanks.
7th-Dec-2008 05:01 am - Top five underrated writers.
And why, if you don't mind.

John Hersey.

He's known primarily for his book length article, Hiroshima (some of you may have read this in school), but not many people are familiar with his fiction. It covered a broad range of topics, and despite some aging, remains no less powerful today.

Alan Moore.

Wait, what? I know everyone has heard of him. He's a legend. Watchmen was on Time's 100 best novels list. Still, I don't think many people really grasp what he was doing. I know that sounds pretentious as hell, but his earlier work is quite hard to find (and ridiculously expensive). Despite his most famous works, I think it's his lesser known stuff, "Supreme," "Top 10," but most especially "Miracleman," that really shines. The effects of his work is still being felt and understood.

Marta Randall.

Despite not having written a book in nearly 25 years, and an output of short fiction best described as "sporadic," She's been a mover and shaker in the SF community for decades, serving as a teacher at both Clarion East and West, serving as both vice and president of the SFWA, and as an editor at times. Her work has been neglected for far too long.

Joe R. Lansdale.

How the hell is this man not more popular? Seriously. When it comes to horror, no one can touch him. He's written so much and so many awards it's shocking. You want mysteries? He's got that. Western more your thing? He's got you covered. Horror buff? You betcha. SF? Yessir. Even his lesser stuff is still ridiculously fun.

His good works are classics of the genre.

Mary Gentle.

A British fantasy writer. Her early work isn't much to write home about (her first 3 books aren't essential), but she's come into her own in the last 15 years or so with a string of groundbreaking novels that never seem to do well. Last I checked there were only 3 in print in the US one of which is over a decade old. Her work isn't always the easiest to understand, but there's nothing else out there like it.

Now it's your turn ladies and germs. What do you have for me?
1st-Dec-2008 05:54 am - Fantasy.
Recommend me some.

To give you an idea of what I like, here's a short list.

I apologize for how broad this is.

Kelley Link - Magic For Beginners
Robert Holdstock - Mythago Wood
John Crowley - Little, Big
Mary Gentle - Grunts
Molly Gloss - Wild Life
Alan Garner - Strandloper

The more children's or YA stuff the better, but I'm looking for all kinds.

Thanks, y'all.
30th-Nov-2008 11:53 pm - November Reading List
It's that time again. Time to point out what you read last month.

For me, it was a slow month. I started strong and then got hooked back into video games thanks to Digimon World Dawn and Animal Crossing City Folk.

The October Country Ray Bradbury (Yea, I know, a month late, but I spent October with Poe's works.)
Eulalia! Brian Jacques
Geronimo Stilton, Secret Agent (Don't judge me. Being a furry makes you do weird stuff.)
24th-Nov-2008 07:58 pm - pomes
a piteousness of doves
In an attempt to widen my reading horizons, I thought I'd ask you all for your five favourite poems. I don't read much poetry, and when I do, I do so in (very very) short bursts: I can't seem to get to grips with more than one or two poems at a time. Hence asking about favourite poems rather than favourite poets, though you're more than welcome to list those, too!

Off the top of my head, and then arranged alphabetically by poet's surname, here are mine:

Musée des Beaux Arts, W.H. Auden
A Subaltern's Love Song, John Betjeman
Autobiography, Louis MacNeice
Recuerdo, Edna St Vincent Millay
And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas

Go comments!
9th-Nov-2008 04:52 pm - Twilight. Here it goes.
English Major
Alright, I am going to read that Twilight book. I already have my reservations about it, given that the excerpts that I've read seem to be using adjectives to prop up limping dialogue, and that the vampires evidently sparkle.

At best, I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised. At a different best, I hope that any rage will be tempered with gales of laughter.

Weigh in on Twilight in the comments.
6th-Nov-2008 06:54 am - October's reading
Eros dwelling in destruction
So, in efforts to prod this community into activity, whatever did you lot read in October?

I didn't read all that much (damned college getting in the way of my reading), but here's my list:

  • The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard
  • The Unlimited Dream Company by J.G. Ballard
  • A Universal History of Iniquity by Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Story of A Nobody by Anton Chekhov
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (re-read)
  • The City of the Soul by Lord Alfred Douglas
  • The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud
  • Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
  • 6th-Nov-2008 11:46 am - List of 5 Favorite Classics
    sleep heart sheep
    I've been thinking about this for quite a while. More or less since my application to Booklisters because on my top 15 I had very few "classics". So I've been thinking, trying to decide. First what is a classic? And then trying to find my favorite classics.
    It wasn't easy. That's for sure.

    I won't get into any talk about what a classic is or isn't. I'll just tell you that I left out a few books (Like The Stranger by Camus, Independent People by Laxness (which was on my 15 best list) and The Trial by Kafka) because I didn't think they quite fitted in the term "classic". You might think differently, though.

    So here is my list of 5 favorite classics:

    1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
    2. Inferno (first part of The Divine Comedy) by Dante Alighieri
    3. Ulysses by James Joyce
    4. Egils Saga Skalla-Grímssonar by Unknown
    5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    What are your favorite classics

    (Ulysses is on this list because I quite enjoy picking it up and reading it at random. The text in it is astounding so it's there even if I find the story a little 'thin' :))

    29th-Oct-2008 11:17 pm - Community promotion.
    Hello again, y'all.

    I have a task for anyone interested.

    If anyone wouldn't mind, we could do with a bit of promotion. I still want to see this community grow.

    I know there are lurkers here, so in a bit of meta, this counts as me promotingg.
    18th-Oct-2008 04:58 am - Things of note.
    My my my.

    Updates seem to be sporadic these days, don't they? I'll admit I've not been the greatest moderator ever; this is something I hope to remedy. I love this group.

    So so so.

    Where to begin?
    Where indeed?Collapse )

    And that's it for now. Thanks everyone.
    8th-Oct-2008 07:53 pm - The Nobel Prize in Literature 2008
    The Nobel prize in literature will be announced tomorrow. Now I know I'm very late with this (I have no excuses except that I've been a bit computerly challenged lately) but do you guys have an idea who will get it?
    Who do you want to get it? 

    And since I'm so late with this, how do you like the person that will get it, tomorrow? (This question you will not be able to answer for at least 12 hours though;)) 

    (And on the side what do you think of the prize itself?) 

    Happy Reading People,
    6th-Oct-2008 06:27 am - House of Leaves
    Hi everyone,

    I haven't been active lately. I have been doing my teaching practicum at an elementary school, so basically I am teaching a grade 4/5 class full time, plus class work. It's fun but busy! Hopefully I will be able to be more active.

    Now, the topic of my post. I recently read "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. What did everyone think of the novel? Discuss!
    5th-Oct-2008 12:07 am - Top five!
    It's been some time since we did one of these; my fault, there's no excuse really (I'm not in school and usually work slightly less than 40 a week), but to make up for it, here's one that struck me just now as I was packing up my books (again).

    Five books you don't like by authors you do.

    As they come to me:

    Time Master - Robert L. Forward

    Usually his stuff is lot of fun. He's not Charles Sheffield, but his work is, otherwise, consistently entertaining..

    Misspent Youth - Peter F. Hamilton

    From the author who penned the Night's Dawn trilogy and Fallen Dragon, this is simply inexcusable.

    The Orthe series - Mary Gentle

    I know these represent her earliest works, but still, even for the genesis of a career, there is an irritating and distractingly obvious "first novel" feel to them.

    Iron Council - China Miéville

    A good example of why I detest most fiction with politics on the brain.

    The Pyrates - George MacDonald Fraser

    Even if one is aware that it is a parody of all the clichés that abound in films and books regarding pirates, it's still just a terrible, unfunny waste of time.

    And now it's your turn, my beauties.

    Let's see what you've got.
    2nd-Oct-2008 05:26 am - Autumn.
    Well, it's getting near the end of the year once more.

    Since there's a been a noticeable lack of activity round these parts, I thought I'd just toss a conversation starter out there for anyone interested:

    Name one book that is associated permanently with this time of year (and the winter), and why.

    For me, I'm jumping back many years to my childhood. I'm don't even recall when this was, but I remember, I was with my family up in Illinois, visiting with an uncle for the Christmas season.

    My siblings and I had all brought books with us. Among the ones I had was Salamandastron by Brian Jacques.

    To give a bit of context, I was enthralled. I'd never read anything like it. I blew through that in three days (fast for me for the time) and then went out and gobbled up the other books in the series up that point.

    This stands out because it marked the first time I'd ever exhibited a fixation with a book series. I was young at the time and inexperienced in matters like that.

    If only I'd known where it would lead...
    29th-Sep-2008 04:04 pm(no subject)
    Happy Banned Books week, everyone.
    28th-Sep-2008 02:16 pm - Hello? Anyone around?

    Is this community still alive? Where'd everyone go? Let's talk! What did everyone read in September? What do you plan to read in October?

    My September reading list is rather short, classes have started up again. But, I'm as an english major there's always something to read.
    -Shakespeare's RIchard II

    4th-Sep-2008 10:26 am - Books for August
    Books: Girl with book
    (Cross-posted several places - sorry if you see this more than once).

    Links go to my review at bogormen

    Ahern, Cecelia: Where Rainbows End, 8/10
    Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women, 9/10

    Bagshawe, Louise: When She Was Bad, 9/10
    Baker, Peggy B: The Scrapbook, 7/10
    Barclay, Florence L.: The Rosary, 10/10
    Brennan, Kate: In His Sights, 10/10
    Book of the Month Brooks, Geraldine: People of the Book, 10/10

    Duncan, Lois: Stranger With My Face, 8/10

    Flacco, Anthony: The Hidden Man, 6/10

    Guccione, Leslie Davis: Tell Me How the Wind Sounds, 6/10

    Holst, Hanne-Vibeke: Kronprinsessen, 9/10

    Jackson, Neta: The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down (Book 2), 10/10
    Jackson, Neta: The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real (Book 3), 10/10

    Mandela, Nelson: Long Walk to Freedom, 10/10
    Meltzer, Brad: The Book of Lies, 8/10
    Meyer, Stephenie: Breaking Dawn, 10/10

    Travers, Pamela L.: Mary Poppins, 5/10

    Various: Horror.dk, 7/10
    Vork, Teddy: Hvor skyggen falder (Where Shadows Fall), 7/10

    Walker, Alice: The Colour Purple, 7/10
    3rd-Sep-2008 09:53 pm - Now that it's September...
    Wow, time is just flying! September already.

    So what did you read in August?
    31st-Aug-2008 05:10 am - Here Be Monsters
    Converse: black
    Hiya! I just posted a bit of meta I wrote about six months ago, on the portrayal of monsters in fiction - the themes that keep coming up, what defines a monster, how their portrayal has evolved. Here's the link. Come talk monsters! Or check out the bibliography, there's some good stuff.