Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thinking BOOKS...

Just before the New Year closes - I'm back from Thailand (where I had a fab time what seems like years ago already, and took over 400 photos!) and promise to blog a bit more diligently in 2007. (Sounds suspiciously like a new year's resolution to me - I'd better stop that right away! Get a grip!).

One of my all time favourite authors:
Octavia E. Butler has published 10 science fiction novels over the last 20 years and has been nominated for numerous awards in the field, winning three of its highest honors: the Hugo, Nebula and James Tiptree awards. In 1995 she was awarded a MacArthur Grant -- part of the genius program to reward those who push the boundaries of their fields.
Novels & Series:
Patternmaster (1976)
Mind of My Mind (1977)
Kindred (1979)
Survivor (1978)
Wild Seed (1980) (Tiptree Award winner)
Clay's Ark (1984)
Xenogenesis Series:Dawn (1987)Adulthood Rites (1988)Imago (1989)
Parable of the Sower (1994)
Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995)
Short Fiction:
"Speech Sounds" (1983) (Hugo Award winner)
"Bloodchild" (1984) (Hugo and Nebula award winner)

I've just finished 'Clay's Ark' - a short but thought provoking tale of alien invasion and a bleak look at the future of humanity. I find it's selling for over £18 on Amazon! And I'm offering it up for nothing on the next Bookswap here (That'll be the 'B' one)
Hmm - I've also read 'Kindred' and the xenogenesis series. Still leaves a few more.

Amazon has a place to make LISTS soooo,

Here's my 21 all time favourite unputdownable reads... (my age? - I wish!)

The World According to Garp (Black Swan) by John Irving

£6.39 Used & New from: £2.00
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
The first Irving novel I read - an epic of women, wrestling, humour, tragedy.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

£4.49 Used & New from: £1.14
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
Absolutely compelling - I learnt so much about the Belgian Congo, and Africa.

The Stand (The Complete and Uncut Edition) by Stephen King

£6.29 Used & New from: £2.39
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
I've been a Stephen King fan since I found Carrie in a second hand bookshop. This is probably his best: Apocalyptic, huge! King tells a thumping good yarn.

His Dark Materials Gift Set: "Northern Lights", "The Subtle Knife", "The Amber Spyglass" : His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

£13.86 Used & New from: £13.71
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
Was recommended this by the teenager next door: fab, escapist and better than Harry Potter.

Kindred (Bluestreak) by Octavia E. Butler

£6.41 Used & New from: £3.91
Average Customer Rating: 5*
First Butler book I read: sadly she died this year, so there'll be no more from this brilliant author. Butler explores race and gender in this magic story.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

£6.39 Used & New from: £2.98
Average Customer Rating: 5*
I was trapped in hospital with nothing else to read or I probably wouldn't have finished this classic anti war tale: I was so glad I did - wow.

The Lord of the Rings (3 Book Box set) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Used & New from: £20.00
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
As a hardened fantasy reader, I've got to include this! Just skip the tedious historical battle stories and stick to the nitty gritty.

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake

£10.40 Used & New from: £4.99
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
Another blockbuster and cult classic that I adore. These books had me laughing out loud at times. Totally surreal - the last book in the trilogy upsets all your assumptions. Masterpiece.

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

£5.99 Used & New from: £0.01
Average Customer Rating: 5*
Read this years ago, but it has stood the test of time. Romantic but good escapist stuff of the kind I eat up.

The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper

Used & New from: £30.00
Average Customer Rating: 5*
Another of my favourite authors: interesting questions posed in a great story.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

£6.39 Used & New from: £3.52
Average Customer Rating: 5*
Steinbeck is another excellent storyteller - this tale is the story of a family forced to evacuate the 'Dust Bowl' during the Great Depression in USA.

Fear Nothing by Dean R. Koontz

£6.39 Used & New from: £0.01
Average Customer Rating: 4*
Couldn't include King without putting in Koontz. This story features one of my favourite characters, Christopher Snow, and I love Koontz' humour.

Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore

£5.59 Used & New from: £0.60
Average Customer Rating: 4*
No 13 - how appropriate. I was introduced to Mr Moore by bookcrossing. He makes me laugh out LOUD. This was the first I read - but go read em all.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

£7.99 Used & New from: £4.00
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
I sense themes emerging in my list. This book is a bit of horror, scifi, fantasy, and humour but, above all, a bloomin' good yarn.

Dune by Frank Herbert

£6.39 Used & New from: £0.01
Average Customer Rating: 5*
I wasn't that bothered by the sequels, but this first book is masterful. Herbert creates an entirely believable, fascinating new world called Arrakis.

Watership Down (Puffin Books) by Richard Adams

£5.59 Used & New from: £0.01
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
An epic tale of bunnies with all my favourite components.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

£6.39 Used & New from: £0.67
Average Customer Rating: 4*
This is the only book by Mieville I've read, but I'll be back, to be sure. Fantastic, wierd imaginings - brilliant writing, and British too!

The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid

£5.59 Used & New from: £0.01
Average Customer Rating: 4*
Hard to know which of McDermid's novels to choose - they're all great, but in the end I went for the Tony Hill (psychological profiler) + Carol Jordan (DI) no. 1. McDermid was my intro to this genre.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang

£6.79 Used & New from: £5.00
Average Customer Rating: 4.5*
Read this whilst traipsing around China. It is the story of three generations of women with the huge backdrop of China's tumultous history in the twentieth century.

Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart

£14.27 Used & New from: £12.19
Average Customer Rating: 5*
I read this a long time ago - and remember being entranced. I lived not far from Caerfyrddin (Merlin's hill) hence my interest. Stewart puts a new twist on the Arthurian legend..

Toxic Shock (A V. I. Warshawski Novel) by Sara Paretsky

Used & New from: £0.01
Which VI Warshawski novel to pick? could have been any of them! VI is my kind of hero - tough, sassy, James Bond kind of luck but my kind of politics.


Yvonne said...

Happy New Year and thanks for the reading suggestions to keep me busy this year. Hope top meet up with you at a show again

Rain said...

Happy New Year! I hope it's a good one.

Glad you had a good time in Thailand. Any chance of a shufty at these photos then? ;)

ra said...

Happy new year you glad to see you back.
I loved "The Poisonwood Bible" too. I read "The Bean Trees" first and liked that too.

Badger said...

Ooh, a lot of great choices there, specially Gormenghast and American Gods.

TutleyMutley said...

You know what blogger is like, Rain. It'll take me a while but I will get them up on display, I promise!

I've read the Bean Trees too, Ra - she tells an excellent yarn!

Hmm, sounds like we've got similar tastes badger! Are you related to the (were/weir) badgers in our village, I wander? One of my best mates, Mon, is a badger.

Dan said...

Good list, I've read most but not American Gods which is on my wish list. Happy new year!

sarala said...

I love VI Warshavksy (I spelled that wrong but I'm stuck, sigh) plus Paretsky lives near me (not that I've met her that I can think of). Dirk sent me your way.
Both my kids were delivered by midwives--they were a blessing and made pregnancy, labor and delivery a much more pleasant experience for me. You do a good thing with your work.

Riggwelter said...

Gormanghast is a great trilogy isn't it, must remember to get that back off my mum next time I see her!
There are some interesting books in your list too...I can feel a book buying spree coming on! If you enjoyed Merlin, you'll probably like the Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead too.
Oh and I forgot to put them in my list but check out Robert Rankin.