Monday, December 29, 2008

I've got book vouchers, what should I read? Just to enjoy or to become a better Susan, I don't mind.


Anonymous Ivan said...

I've recently hugely enjoyed Dennis Overbye's "Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos." I don't know if it will make you a better Susan, but I thought it was educational and touching as well as entertaining.

For entertainment, if you haven't read any of Boris Akunin's stuff, check out "The Winter Queen."

Since you like John Crowley you might want to take a look at Paul Park's "Roumania" series. It's a bit derivative and seems to be going on longer than I find justifiable, but it has the lovely twilight feel of some of Crowley's shorts as well as many touches of his themes (especially "Aegypt"). The first book is "A Princess of Roumania." On a related note, I finally got round this year to reading Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale," which is very "Little, Big"-ish though not in a derivative way -- well worth your time. And I think I've already mentioned Elizabeth Hand's "Saffron and Brimstone" to you.

M John Harrison's "The Course of the Heart" has recently been republished in an omnibus with one of his others ("Signs of Life" I think). Can't remember the title of the omnibus, but "Course" is one of Harrison's best.

I suspect you may already have read Donald Norman and Edward Tufte, but if not I think you would enjoy them given your psychological interests.

Have you seen Linda Medley's "Castle Waiting"? Possibly too simple for your taste, but charming in its way. For more outright entertainment have a look at Mark Oakley's "Thieves and Kings," which takes the traditional fantasy epic and puts it through a filter composed of three parts "Calvin & Hobbes" to two parts "The Princess Bride," though be warned it doesn't really gel until the second book (and that the books are appearing at a glacial pace).

Oh, and Tove Jansson's Moomin comic strips, currently being republished in hardcover by Drawn & Quarterly.

Hmm, I could probably go on for hours pulling random things off the shelves, but should probably better stop at some point...

3:57 PM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

Thank you! I've printed that out and put it in my bag for ease of reference in bookshops.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Mashugenah said...

I haven't read anything amazingly meritorious recently, so instead let me delve back into the past and recommend the first two books by Barry Hughart. "A Bridge of Birds" and "The Story of the Stone" respectively.

You know that I am prone to criticism and generally I am not effusive, but these two books are perhaps the best two fiction books I own; certainly, after long pondering, these two are all I can wholeheartedly recommend at this time.

9:58 PM  

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