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Monday, January 18, 2010

S.O.S.! I Need a Book!

Books are yummy. So yummy, in fact, that I'm devouring them. So far this month I've beta-ed two books and have eaten, er... read the following:

1. March- Geraldine Brooks
2. Hush, Hush- Becca Fitzpatrick
3. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
4. Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford

I just started Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. (Thanks Amalia & Debra for the recommendation!) So far it's good- I'm hoping it can take my mind off The Hunger Games. I can't get that series out of my head!

Today's post is basically me asking for book recommendations, in the guise of a question of the day. If you had to be stranded alone on a desert island for the rest of your life and could only bring one book, what would it be?


Dominique said...

If I could only take one book with me to a desert island, it would probably be the Annotated Pride and Prejudice (book by Jane Austen. Annotations by David Shapard). I'm a sucker for a good love story.

If you're looking for a good read, I suggest Crown Duel/Court Duel by Sherwood Smith. Fascinating world that is well built. Deep, interesting characters. Great story. Well paced plot. Definitely worth the reading.

ann foxlee said...

Hmmm.....only one book, huh? Maybe Howl's Moving Castle. Fantasy, romance, and since Diana Wynne Jones is just my favoritist writer, it would take a while to be bored of it :-)

aelko said...

Hatshepsut; Great!, Also I must ....
I like a Book of love story, too.


Matthew Delman said...

I'd go with Terry Pratchett's Jingo, Night Watch, or Making Money.

Gary Corby said...

You're asking us for book recommendations? I hope your server has enough room.

A modest selection:

Tik Tok - John Sladek. When nice robots go bad.

A Bad Day For Sorry - Sophie Littlefield. When an American housewife goes bad.

The Ghosts Of Belfast - Stuart Neville. When an IRA assassin goes even worse.

A Trace Of Smoke - Rebecca Cantrell. Stunning mystery set in 1931 Berlin.

The Crying Of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon. Gravity's Rainbow is his really famous book, but I think The Crying Of Lot 49 is more fun.

Doctor Mirabilis - James Blish. How do you write a for-real genius as a believable character? Blish shows us how with his fictionalized bio of mediaeval scientist Roger Bacon.

The Richard Sharpe stories of Bernard Cornwell. Watch in awe as Sharpe and Harper cut swathes through 30,000 French per battle.

The Adam Dalgleish stories of PD James. I can’t for the life of me work out why all her characters don’t just kill themselves in various orgies of self-indulgent depression, but by God she writes well.

The Roderick Alleyn stories of Ngaio Marsh. Forget Christie and Allingham; for my money Ngaio Marsh’s Alleyn is the best of the Golden Age detectives. Start with the second in the series, Enter A Murderer. Alleyn is very shaky in the first book, but by the second he has a solid voice and Marsh has him under control.

The Epic of Gilgamesh. An epic poem from bronze age Mesopotamia, it’s one of the oldest stories known; it might be the oldest surviving narrative in the world, certainly much older than both Homer and the Bible. It tells the story of Gilgamesh, King of Ur, and his quest for immortality (plus lots of sex and violence...they knew how to write genre in those days). The Epic of Gilgamesh has the original version of the biblical Flood story, a variant of Eden, a serpent who steals the tree of life, and other features that clearly show at least some of the Bible’s early books are retellings of Mesopotamian myths. But before you get to all these pre-biblical references, in the first sections of the epic you have to read piles of erotica and adventure.

The Flanders Panel – Arturo Perez-Reverte. Also The Dumas Club.

The Flashman Papers, edited by George MacDonald Fraser. Brigadier-General Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC KCB KCIE is a hero for our times.

The Gordianus the Finder stories of Steven Saylor. Tales of an honest, sensitive, new age guy, who finds himself mired in the vicious politics of late Republican Rome.

The SPQR stories of John Maddox Roberts. Tales of an aristocratic young trouble-maker, enjoying every moment of the vicious politics of late Republican Rome. It’s a wonder Decius Metellus and Gordianus never met.

The complete Sherlock Holmes stories – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes, every one of them. It’s necessary for the good of your soul.

A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore. The first three of the Earthsea novels by Ursula K. LeGuin. Much better than Rowling’s stories.

The Void Captain’s Tale – Norman Spinrad. Highly creative use of language, merging English, French and German (mostly) into a future Sprach.

All the Greek stories of Mary Renault. Simply the best Greek historical novels of all time.

Master And Commander – Patrick O’Brien. And all the other Aubrey-Maturin novels too.

Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny. If you like this, read the first series of Amber stories too, starting with Nine Princes In Amber.

I guess I better stop.

Gary Corby said...

I may have exceeded the quota of 1. Sorry about that.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've got Catching Fire & Hush, hush in my TBR pile!

My #1 book to bring would be Lord of the Rings.

Dreamstate said...

One book? That's just mean. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

And if you're still looking for books to beta...

Steph Damore said...

Thanks for your list Gary--I'll have to check them out too.

As for only bringing one book, I'm cheating and bringing a Kindle. Hopefully the island has WiFi :)

Valerie Geary said...

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Amalia T. said...

I've been reading over and over again: Shards of Honor, and Barrayar, by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's sci-fi, but with an emphasis on characters and relationships, and I can't get enough of them. I also really enjoyed the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, if you haven't read them. They make you feel like a teenager again, I think, but in a good way.

I'm not sure if you're a sci fi person, but if you are let me know and I'll name you a few more :)

L. T. Host said...

I can't remember if you've read them or not; have you checked out the Percy Jackson series? They're pretty good.

Anissa said...

Asking writers to choose one book is just plain mean. I'll be back once my brain starts functioning. ;)

Voidwalker said...

Honestly if I had to have only one book 'till death do us part' I'd opt for the bible. It's got action, adventure, sex, scandal, murder, love, sacrifice etc... it's packed.

BUT, I know that's not the recommendation you were looking for.

So, as for a good read, I'm currently reading Tokyo Vice. I won't go into detail, but it's pretty awesome. I'm going to finish it very very soon, cuz I can't seem to put it down.

Bane of Anubis said...

Duncton Wood.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

ONE BOOK? God forbid! That is just plain cruel, Stephanie!

Well, because it's only ONE, I have to say the Bible. If you were to let me have a few more, I'd throw in the Inkheart Trilogy. :-)

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Only one book? Are you MAD??? I'd take "A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle. It makes me laugh, and if I'm alone on a desert island I'm thinking laughs would be in order.

However, given I'm alone on a desert island some book entitled "How to Survive on a Desert Island" might be the wisest pick.


Lorel Clayton said...

Love all these ideas, but Elspeth is right about the "How to survive..." book. That's what you really need.
I'd have to choose something I could read over and over (which I have): "Ten Points for Style" by Walter Jon Williams. Always makes me laugh. Since that's out of print, how about "Magician" by Raymond Feist.

Debra Giuffrida said...

Gary Gorby said...
The complete Sherlock Holmes stories – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes, every one of them. It’s necessary for the good of your soul.

All the Greek stories of Mary Renault. Simply the best Greek historical novels of all time.

I can't agree more! Oh and throw in Kate Mosse's Labyrinth if you haven't read it already. It is absolutely a must for us historimaniacs. Twists and turns and lovely research!

Terresa said...

I would bring Man's search for meaning by V. Frankl. That is one meaty book.

PS: I just finished Catching fire. I'd curious to see what you think of those books. I enjoyed them but didn't expect Katniss & Peeta to return to another Games (even as a Quarter Quell kind of thing). It seemed a little rehashed to me, and then a little too quickly tied up at the end. Although you know I'm going to read book #3 in that series when it comes out!

Also! Gabaldon's Outlander series. I've read through Voyager in that series and loved each and every bit of her books. She packs it all in and is so brilliant, it leaves me gaping...Do share your Outland-ish (pun intended) feelings as you read!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Heavens! I guess I asked for it, didn't I? Today has been swamped at work, but I'm looking forward to adding all these to the pile!

Terresa- That would be my one critique of Catching Fire- I didn't expect the Quarter Quell games. There better not be a game in Book #3 or that will really be rehashing. It did feel quick at the end, but I could have gone on for another 100 pages. I do recall looking at the slim number of pages left and wondering how the heck Collins was going to wrap it up. But you know I'm preordering #3 in August. I need closure!

Jade said...

My one book on the island-thing would be Catch-22. I freaking love that book.

As for recommendations...The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Wake by Lisa McMann, the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Those are just the ones I can see without turning my head. Also, I just read Shiver and I'm also enjoying the Chronicles of Vlad Tod by Heather Brewer.

Dawn Simon said...

I don't know--it's too hard to choose. Definitely something I haven't read, since I'd be reading it a lot. ;) Also something long. Though if I was going to be stranded on an island, that would affect my decision. Maybe: HOW TO TURN SALT WATER TO FRESH IN FIVE EASY STEPS or HAMMOCK MAKING FOR DUMMIES.

I'm going to start THE BOOK THIEF soon, once my son finishes it.