Favorite Books / Authors

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I think this was asked once, but I cannot find that thread. Anyway, I just finished a Koontz novel, which was pretty good. His books I hear are all set in this area, Orange County. Anyway, I would love some recommendations for favorite fiction. I just returned from the library with Catcher in the Rye (which I have never read, and always wondered what the big deal was), and Pride and Prejudice.

Thanks in advance. :o]

-- (cin@cin.cin), April 24, 2002


I recently reread Catcher in the Rye, having first read it 30 years ago. I liked it a bit better as an adult than as a callow teenager. Nonetheless, it was only mildly interesting as a prolonged character study of an only-partly-formed character. You sympathize with Holden Caulfield, if only because he is so sincere and so inept.

As for favorite authors, Bill Bryson is good for humorous light fare. I'm just starting Up From Slavery, the autobiography of Booker T. Washington. After that, I intend to dip into some of Grimm's classic folk/fairy tales. I find I've been buying a lot of poetry, lately -- dipping into John Dryden and E.A. Robinson, whom I've never really read before.

I'm not a good one to ask for recommendations, since my reading is all over the map and hardly anyone else would duplicate my wierdly eclectic tastes.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), April 25, 2002.

Anything by Isaac Asimov, but especially his Foundation and Robot series.
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, have read it at least 30 times and always have a copy within reach.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), April 25, 2002.

You must be a speed reader and a masochist, Cherri. I read Atlas Shrugged once and decided to stick with light stuff like Dostoyevsky.

-- (lars@indy.net), April 25, 2002.

Nip, think you'll love E.A. Robinson. The man wrote too much but snagged a basket of pulitizers while still alive. A dark sort. Eros Turranos my favorite. Don't get lost in Tillbury Town.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), April 25, 2002.

Cherri, Isaac wrote 'Asimov's Guide To the Bible". Copy is at the store so I don't have pub date handy. The same critical, inquisitive mind turned historical tutor. It's a great read. Recall a passage wherein he describes a temple built to the Egyptian god Amon Ra in the great depression area of the desert west of the nile. He notes that caravans used its ruins for refuge for centuries and burned camel dung therein for warmth. The nitrate salts that eventually covered the ceiling of the dome became know as the "Salt of Amon" or sal ammoniac. A nitrogen salt little thought of today but became huge in the chem biz and the name remains. Other delightfully done links will amuse and and inform most anyone.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), April 25, 2002.

If you like murder mysteries, I recommend Ross Thomas.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), April 25, 2002.

The TB2K forum. It's all I read!

-- Y2K Pro Phat Olson Land (I@can.read!), April 25, 2002.

How ironic that you would post this thread yesterday Cin. Last night, for the first time in a long while, I attended a book signing in the city of Orange. The author was T. Jefferson Parker and he has been one of my favorites for some time now. His first book was 'Laguna Heat' and all of his novels take place in Southern California…Orange County in particular. I was really stoked to meet ‘Jeff’ last night and that adds a new dimension to reading his works.

'Black Water' is his latest and I highly recommend.

-- So (cr@t.es), April 25, 2002.

BTW Cin, did you know that we cruised by Dean Koontz’s home on Linda Isle last summer?

-- So (cr@t.es), April 25, 2002.

I don't read books much anymore because my eyes be doing tricks on me. Time was I favored Elmore Leonard for adventure/mystery and Peter DeVries for humor. Leonard has a great ear for street dialog and his criminals tend to be vicious but bungling fuckups. DeVries is just flat-out hilarious and a master of language.

-- (lars@indy.net), April 25, 2002.

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was the first of its kind and still one of the greatest novels of all time. You can read it free online at: http://www.underthesun.cc/Classics/Tolstoy/karenina/

Anything by Rohinton Mistry is a brilliant read...

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), April 25, 2002.

Robert Jordan

James Clemens

J.R.R. Tolkien (naturally)

Anne McCaffery

Terry Goodkind

L.E. Modesitt Jr.

---just to name a few...

Scratchin at the bookcase...

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), April 25, 2002.

Jackie Colins

Danielle Steele

Barbara Cartland

Anything with Fabio on the cover...

I just finished "My Fair Viking" by Sandra Hill. I loved it! Here's the review from Amazon:

"Two years without a woman, and the first one that arouses me is wearing chain mail and scratching at her groin," Adam, the hero of this bizarre but humorous historical, muses upon meeting Princess Tyra of Stoneheim, a Viking warrior who wants nothing more than to be viewed as "one of the guys." Since the death of his sister, renowned Saxon healer Adam refuses to see new patients, but this doesn't sit well with Tyra, who has come seeking help for her comatose father, King Thorvald. The formidable young woman takes Adam by force to her Norse homeland, where he agrees to try trepanning Thorvald's skull in exchange for a night with Tyra. Tyra, meanwhile, has plans to renounce her birthright and join the Varangian Guard in Byzantium; she's a serious fighting machine who has little interest in marriage, but her four younger sisters are forbidden to marry until she has either wed or left the country. The verbal and physical sparring between Adam and Tyra is delightful, and Hill's (The Blue Viking) secondary characters including Adam's single-minded Arab friend, Tyra's scheming sisters and an accident-prone orphan boy provide comic relief. A singular blend of humor and romance, this breezy read will appeal to fans of Viking romances as well as mainstream historicals.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), April 25, 2002.

OK, seriously.

The last four books I've read were;

"Black Hawk Down" by Mark Bowden

"Blood Work" By Micheal Connolly

"Napalm and Silly Putty" by George Carlin

"The Warrior Elite, the Forging of Seal Class 228" by Dick Couch

Currently reading "Up Country" by Nelson DeMille, in the batter's box waiting it's turn is "Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), April 25, 2002.

Unk, you goofball, I almost believed, okay not really. Of all those recently read books (or past), which would you recommend?

Socrates, I didn't realize we had passed Koontz's home; way cool. I'll look for Jefferson Parker, and thanks.

LN, I started to read Catcher in the Rye, but frankly it's boring so far. I found a section at the library for Classics, I felt like I'd struck gold. Thanks for the recommends.

Cherri, not sure I could get into sci-fi, but I will definitely look for Ayn Rand. Her name comes up a lot here (assuming she's female), and I'd forgotten to look for her. Thanks Cherri

Dog, we just watched Lord of the Rings, and were just in awe. They had a trailer at the end of the movie for the The Two Towers, coming out this Christmas. Well we couldn't wait, and went directly to the book store to buy it. So far so good. Thanks for the recommends, I'll check those names out.

Thanks also to Lars, Carlos, Peter, Pro. I'll keep eyes out for those.

-- (cin@cin.cin), April 25, 2002.

ps Unk, I haven't read much of romance, but my favorite book thus far is Wuthering Heights. I also really loved the movie, as well as Sense and Sensibilities, Little Women, Emma, and most of those time period movies. Hey I'm a chick, it's allowed ;o]

-- (cin@cin.cin), April 25, 2002.

Another I thought of since my last post is David Eddings. He has written a couple series of books, that are simply amazing romps of the imagination. He has some of the most descriptive and concise visuals of any author I have read in recent memory, and has an intensely funny sense of humor that breaks out in his writing once in awhile.

Cin, I highly recommend his works if sci fi/fantasy is your bag. His books are hard to put down.

My wife loves Ann Rice books, and I really like Stephen Hunter, if I stray off my fairly steady diet for fantasy novels. I have read "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien, 10 times in the past 30 years. It is the founding tome of the genre, (well actually "The Hobbit" is the first if you want to go technical on me) and I am thoroughly hyped about the three movies. The first one was excellent, but I was a little put out by the absence of Tom Bombadil.

Speaking of technical... Unfortunately my "hot readers" as of late are typically written by folks like Chilton and Haynes, with such mind-numbing titles like: "1986-1993 Ford Bronco", "1991-1995 Toyota MR2"...

Chewin' on a crescent wrench... (eewww...)

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), April 25, 2002.

cin, I think you would not like "Black Hawk Down" very much at all, it's quite brutal. George Carlin's book was funny, but it's not a straight through reader, more of a sitting on the bowl read. "Warrior Elite" was enjoyable, but I don't know if it appeals to folks unless they already like reading about the military. I guess that leaves Micheal Connolly. "Blood Work" was good, as was every other book of his I've read. If you like a good cops and robbers mystery give anything he wrote a try. His books (like Koontz) are also set in your neck of the woods

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), April 26, 2002.

"Unintended Consequences" was interesting. I loaned it to my elderly aunt, forgetting about the gruesome sex scenes. (Gruesome is in the eye of the beholder...and auntie beheld.) The gov won't ban it. The plot won't work in real life, or at least, not as well.

Got a shelf of Kipling, Ayn Rand, history books everywhere, every old "classic" I could find plus a bunch of plain old boring books, and a study of WWII fatal wounds -- good thing that one has black and white photos. The rest is sci-fi or kid books.

-- helen (books@everywhere.and.nothing.to.read), April 26, 2002.

Cin, you might want to start out with "The Fountainhead" before you go to "Atlas Shrugged".

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), April 26, 2002.

Ahhhh, books!

I happen to like well written romance - Georgette Heyer is classic. She also wrote a few mysteries. Ann Maxwell / Elizabeth Lowell writes very well, I'll buy anything I see by her. She also wrote some SF in the '70s or early 80's, hard to get, but quite enjoyable. She has written some great adventure type stuff with her husband as A.E.Maxwell. Jayne Ann Krentz / Jayne Castle / Amanda Quick writes such good romance that they sell it as regular fiction now. Kay Hooper is now writing adventure/mystery type stuff, but I've enjoyed everything I've ever read by her.

SF/Fantasy - Asimov, Brunner, Clark, Alan Dean Foster (especially his Flinx series), Randall Garrett (probably out of print, but worth the read),Heinlein (of course!), Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, Spider Robinson, Christopher Stasheff, Timothy Zahn, Roger Zelazny. And many more...

General Fiction - Tom Clancy, Pauline Gedge, Kay Hooper

Non-fiction - lots of stuff. I read an especially good book recently by some group that does management seminars, although I can't say I enjoyed it - the book I'll love to hate for years, I think : Leadership and Self-deception. I have no idea if it's available publicly or not. It's actually written almost as fiction, a parable if you want to call it that.

Mystery - A.E. Maxwell wrote some of this several years back; Fiddler and Fiona series. Agatha Christie (of course!)- her Miss Marple ones I like better than her others. Anne Perry - especially her Monk ones. Tami Hoag's fiction is dark but good, she comes from the romance genre, too.

That should be enough to get you started ;-) Hope you enjoy!

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), April 27, 2002.

Wow Tricia, thank you! I'm assuming that those names in the first paragraph are pen names?

Thanks Helen

-- (cin@cin.cin), April 27, 2002.

Cin, I think that Ann Maxwell is Ann Maxwell, but she writes more commonly as Elizabeth Lowell. A.E. Maxwell is what she uses when she writes with her husband, Evan. Jayne Ann Krentz is also a real name, I think. She pens under Jayne Castle (I gather that's her maiden name), and under Amanda Quick. She has used other pen names in her past, but her writing has greatly improved since she used them. Georgette Heyer may have been a pen name. She's been dead for many years and her books are still in print. She single handedly began the genre of historical romance. I think Kay Hooper writes under her real name. She did write as Robbins (I don't remember if it was Kay Robbins or some other first name), but again, her writing has improved since then.

If you read something by some of these people and enjoy it, let me know. I could quite likely figure out something else you'd enjoy, too! (I remember hearing that Edmonton had the highest per capita library usage of any city in North America... loooooooooong cold winters here ;-)

-- Tricia the Cancuk (jayles@telusplanet.net), April 28, 2002.

The New International Version Study Bible is my favorite in that area; in fiction, I've lately been reading David Weber's Honor Harrington novels (can't wait for the new one in October!), Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series (a new one next month!) and a few others.

I like space opera; I can't help it. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), April 29, 2002.

My favorite sci-fi novel is Time Bomb: 2000, by Ed Yourdon.

-- (ha@ha.ha), April 29, 2002.

Pages (in paperback) bout 90 thru bout 115 in Red October (gave my copy away) riveted me. Have bought most every Clancey book since with disappointment.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 01, 2002.

I think that I have enjoyed most all of Clancy's books. I read mainly fiction, mostly mysteries. I would recommend any of the "Prey" series of mysteries by John Sanford. The series is based around a cop living in Minneapolis and I think that all of them are very good. I would also recommend any of the Patricia Cornwall books but especially the Kay Scarpetta series. For sheer entertaining tall tale adventures the Dirk Pitt books by Clive Cussler are usually entertaing reading, though the last couple have not been as good as the first ones.

Currently, I am re-reading "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein. Science Fiction used to be my favorite and it has been years since I have read anything by Heinlein.

In a week or so I won't be worrying about reading anything but a scorebook as Babe Ruth season starts with a vengence. We are going to suck sooo bad.

Hey Deano, you really need to send me a couple of pitchers.

-- Jack Booted Thug (governmentconspiracy@NWO.com), May 02, 2002.

The Way of the Wolf by Martin Bell. You hafta be over 40 to "get it".

-- helen (unfortunately@got.it), May 02, 2002.

Cin, I'll second JBT's choice of Patricia Cornwell, although I don't know if ya could handle the descriptions of the murder scenes and autopsies. Great reads tho if ya like the medical end of mysteries!

-- Aunt Bee (Aunt__Bee@hotmail.com), May 02, 2002.

I too enjoy the Kay Scarpetta series. Also like James Patterson's Alex Cross stuff. And Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt, AND the Prey series...sheesh, I gotta get outta the house once in a while, I mean, like, go to someplace other than the library.

Hey, does anybody here remember "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators"? Man I loved those books when I was a kid! I used to drive my mom (not to mention my siblings) bonkers staying up til the wee hours (2 or 3 am) reading under the covers with a flashlight. Once I'd finished with all of the Hardy Boys stories, I then raided my sister's bookcase and read all of her Nancy Drew stories too. I think I was the only boy in town who knew who Ned Nickerson was, LOL.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), May 02, 2002.

Oh, JBT, since you were a sci-fi guy, did you ever read John Norman's "Gor" series?

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), May 02, 2002.

Unk, I've read Gor..I also am a Patterson fan, and yes, I read all those teenage sleuth stories. What, you never heard of Cherry Ames,RN, and her twin brother, Charlie ? Cherry used to solve mysteries, and how could anyone not mention the Bobbsey twins? Does anyone remember their names? I think there was a Nan, and the twins were maybe Freddie and Flossie. I've never in my entire life met a female named Flossie.

As for other forms of literary amusement, one of my favorites is a tale by John Ball, author of In the Heat of the Night..a charming little love story set in Tokyo sometime in the 60's, between an American and a geisha.

And we cannot forget Danny's Difficult Dinosaur, a story I have read about a zillion times to all 5 of my kids, and my 2 grandbabies. A classic.

-- (Cynthia@would read till her eyeballs fell.out), May 02, 2002.

Bee, I happen to dig medical thrillers, for instance Robin Cook, but I'm not sure if I could do gruesome crime scenes.

Speaking of gruesome, I am now reading Shadows of Evil by Carlton Smith, which is a true crime about a one-time friend of mine, Adam Ford. (I swear he was the nicest guy)

Still working on the Pride and Prejudice, which I like very much. But alas I am a slow reader.

Thanks everyone for more recommended reads.

-- (cin@cin.cin), May 02, 2002.

Well today I've finished Pride and Prejudice. (Like I said, slow reader; I prefer to savor every word) I loved it! I just love those English victorian-ish novels where women were feminine in their flowing hair and gowns, men asked for father's consent to marry their daughters, and it was unheard of for a couple to "try each other out" until after marriage. And after supper a stroll in the garden and fresh air instead of "The Weakest Link" or "Jeopardy". Ah if only I had a time machine.

I now have a desire for devouring these classics. I have just returned from Borders with another Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility, and Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Oh and a hardback Mary Higgins Clark that was only a buck, which has started out well this evening. =o]

-- (cin@cin.cin), June 01, 2002.

Ah, Mary Higgins Clark, My Mom would keep her eye out and grab a couple, one for her and one for me. I thought I had them all but found one I had not read at the churches garage sale yesterday,
I just finished stranger in a strange land last week, got me in the mood to reread "I will fear no evil" and "Time enough for love". I just spent two months going though the boxes Dad sent over after Mom died.
They, like I, cannot give away a book. I found three copies of Atlas shrugged and have spent the past few days just opening the book to whereever it fell open and to read until I fall asleep.

Is the Isaac Asimov book called "in the beginning", the one you were referring to? Or is it a different book?

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), June 01, 2002.

I just finished "Dumbya: Killa in our Midst" by Comrade Oglabachev.

-- beware (right@wing.conspiracy), June 01, 2002.

Did you read "The Russian Milkmaid" by I. Sukatitsky?

-- (Comrade Olga Korbet @ gulag.17), June 01, 2002.

No bodice rippers for me. Celestine Prophecies, One Mind, Many Masters, Soul Traveler, Far Journeys.

-- Aunt Bee (Aunt__Bee@hotmail.com), June 01, 2002.

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