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I was going to start a thread about worst authors, but...(12 posts)

I was going to start a thread about worst authors, but...Kristin
Apr 28, 2003 6:18 AM
But I'm not sure that Gregg has enough disk space for that. How about a thread about best authors/novels? I'm trying to become more well read, but searching for a good novel is like trying to find a cocktail party at a landfill.

A few years ago, I found a crapload of RD condensed books for $.25 each and bought them up. God, these authors are terrible. I'd guess I find about 1 or 8 worth reading. Nance, Girsham, etc... Hollywood turns these ideas into great movies, but the novels suck. Nance can't seem to develop his character's, so he restorts to using their names over and over ad nausium. I was trying to read "Blackout" and am now pissed off because I want to know the outcome; but don't want to read anymore of the book.

So what authors/novels do you love? Which do you hate? Why?
This should get you started.bnlkid
Apr 28, 2003 6:46 AM
I'm not sure what genre you prefer, but here are few great books to get you started.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
Passage by Connie Willis.
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.
Anything by Michael Connelly(The Poet was my favorite).
Anything by Tom Robbins(Still Life With Woodpecker my favorite)
Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathen Lethem.

These books should be enjoyable no matter what genre you prefer. If you like Science Fiction and/or Fantasy, I have few I can recommend. Also in the courtroom/legal thriller, no one writes better than Scott Turow. Excellent character development as well as a moving plot in each of his books. Hope this gives you a good start.

Apr 28, 2003 6:57 AM
My favorites seem to be historical novels, autobiographies (the Autobiography of Jane Pittman was very very good), and stories about the aftermath of disasters. Don't ask why, I just seem drawn to stuff that describes how people overcome and cope with disaster. Courtroom dramas are alwasy good too.
In that case....bnlkid
Apr 28, 2003 7:10 AM
You would really enjoy "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. It's the story of the Mt. Everest disaster that occurred in 1996. It's part autobiographical, disaster, and historical all in one.

"Den of Thieves" by Jon Stewart is another disaster novel. Ok, not really a disaster, but it is a historical novel about the insider trading scandal of the late '80's that included Michael Milken, Ivan Bosky, and Seagal to name a few.

"Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis that I mentioned above is sort of a historical novel in that it takes place during the black plague. Scientists discover a way to journey back through time. It also involves romance. I think you would like anything by Connie Willis. She also wrote "Lincoln's Dreams" and "Passage".
Well, a few ideas...Charlie Amerique
Apr 28, 2003 7:39 AM
Alternate history books by Harry Turtledove: Guns of the South was very good as was The Two Georges (George Wahington and King George) as well as his WWII books.
Survival after a disaster, an oldies but a goodie is Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven.
Courtroom cramas, nothing better than To Kill A Mockingbird. A classic...

CA (A voracious reader)
True Crime Books?ColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 8:18 AM
A couple good ones...

In Cold Blood...Truman Capote
Executioners Song by Norman Mailer
If you like vivid characters you'llOldEdScott
Apr 28, 2003 6:48 AM
never forget, a great love story, humor, horror, and adventure, and you want to stay up till 3 a.m. reading because you can't put a book down, read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.
too many to count but here's a startColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 6:55 AM
My faves...not neccesarily yours though. I tend to like rather twisted authors. I stay far away from Grisham et al.
modern authors:
Thomas Pynchon...hard to get through but a great "writer"
William T Vollmann
Chuck Pahlahniuk (Fight Club, etc)
Russell Banks
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
David Foster Wallace
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
JG Ballard (Crash, Atrocity Exhibition)
Jorge Luis Borges (Ficctiones)

and some classics:
James Joyce
John Steinbeck
Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)/lso see Bram Stoker's Dracula
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Joseph Heller (Catch 22)
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
George Orwell (1984 and Animal Farm)....

and many many more. so much good stuff out there. there's too little time to read crappy fiction.
Thanks. Those are really twistedKristin
Apr 28, 2003 7:23 AM
That explains some things, hehe...

Actually, I'm not against twisted. As long as its well written, has substance, and causes me to ponder. (Anything that makes you ponder is worth doing.) I disliked the entire concept of American Beauty. The characters were so broken that I felt uncomfortable watching whole chunks of the film; but it expressed some ideas extremely well and I found myself contemplating it weeks later. So, to me, it was a good film--even though I didn't like it. I'm looking for books that will do the same. Though some books, like A Walk In the Woods, by Bryson or anything by Bombeck, are great for comic relief.

I don't know what grade level my reading is. I picked through Out of Silent Planet over several weeks and found it somewhat challenging. Partly because of Lewis' endless side notes, and partly because I could never quite picture the Odyssa (sp?). The closest I came to was the image of a large, upright otter. Anywho. Perhaps I should try some more challenging works and see where I stand.
Twisted, but fun reads...Brooks
Apr 30, 2003 3:54 PM
"Basket Case" and "Sick Puppy" by Carl Hiaasen. Good hammock or airplane reading. Well written, funny, and twisted. Easy conversational style. Hiaasen is a journalist in Florida and these two books are set there.

I agree with the other poster on Scott Turow. I think his legal dramas are better than John Grisham's. Grisham has a hard time figuring out how to end his novels. The movie "The Firm" had a much more plausible ending than the book.
Last book read: Pat Conroy's "My Losing Season"torquer
Apr 28, 2003 8:14 AM
He's not Nabakov, but this book was certainly a page-turner.

Its a coming-of-age novel, describing Conroy's last year at The Citadel, and focussing on his basketball team's season.
Themes include:
Family: Conroy has previously written about his relationship with his abusive father in "The Great Santini" (made into a movie). In this book, he shows his father to be even more of a monster; he also notes his father's transformation into something recognizably human later in life, although this is one theme not really fleshed out.
Authority: He's at The Citadel. He lives for his coach's approval. His coach is as emotionally abusive as his father was physically abusive.
Sports: It mirrors life; it prepares us for life's greater challenges; yadda yadda yadda. These sentiments are trite but true, and I enjoyed the descriptions of the games.

Most memorable line (paraphrased): coach sums up Conroy's value to the team: He did more with the limited abilities available to him that any other athlete he had coached.
Given my own undistinguished athletic career, that line certainly resonated with me.
Here's four good onescarnageasada
Apr 28, 2003 11:56 AM
All of these I would put on the same shelf as Shakespeare or Cervantes. Quite capable of changing your life if hemmed inside on a rainy day.

Perfume by Patrik Susskind
(An historical
novel set in France two hundred years ago. Most original work of fiction I've ever read. Bizarze, yet nearly impossible to put down. If you don't like what you read in the first few pages put it down immediately as most of the book will likely stay with you the rest of your life.

Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's on everybody's hip list but it's still the greatest book about love written this century.

Extravagaria (Poems) by Pablo Neruda.
Forget Neruda's love poems. This collection hosts the most accesible and powerful poems written this century

Life in the Tomb by Stratis Myrivilis.
Greatest war novel ever written. Set in WWI. Written by a Greek in the trenches. All's Quiet on the Western Front, Band of Brothers, Going after Cacciato, Saving Private Ryan etc., are lugubrious jokes next to this work. Wouldn't be any more wars if this book were required reading or maybe there would be many more wars. That kind of book.