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28 April 2010 @ 05:25 pm
book fail  
My main resolution for 2010 was to read at least two books a month for pleasure. I think I've failed every month so far except January. How sad is that?

In somewhat related musings, I wish there were a Pandora for books. I've been doing this thing lately where I check out books that I want to read, and then am never in the right mood to read them. And I love browsing in the bookstore (did this today after lunch, because I've been feeling rather blah, and just as the books were starting to make me feel jealous and claustrophobic, I saw the best thing: three kids stretched out across the children's book aisle, clearly together, but all absorbed in their separate reading), but it would be nice to have a better way to target the things I like, too.

So I wish I could submit a list of authors and books and get back things I would like. (Dear imaginary recommendation system: I like Robin McKinley, especially Beauty and The Hero and the Crown; Jane Austen; early Patricia McKillip; Neil Gaiman, especially Sandman, Neverwhere, and Coraline; fantasy with resourceful girls as heroines; Tam Lin; time-slip narratives; historical fiction not about famous people; stories about immortals, especially ones who are not vampires; and fairies.) And that such a system would do a better job than Netflix, which has a tendency to recommend The Last King of Scotland based on my enjoyment of Ever After. (I suppose that the title of the former sounds a bit like a fairy tale, but really.)
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tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 28th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
I haven't, actually (unless one counts Good Omens, which one doesn't)--there's just so much out there!
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tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
It's probably embarrassing that I haven't read that one yet--and I call myself a Shakespearean. :)
Neaneadods on April 29th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
!!!!!!! Get thee to some Pratchett! I'm not that fond of Wyrd Sisters - he wrote it when he did knee-jerk parody instead of fully-formed books. Yeah, it's a parody of Maccers, but it's still meh in comparison to the later stuff. Skip ahead to Witches Abroad and Lords and Ladies. Mostly because you need to read W.A. before you read L&L, and L&L is one of the most fun takedowns/reimaginings of Midsummer Night's Dream you'll ever read.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendations: my problem with prolific authors is that I can never seem to find a decent starting place.
Neaneadods on April 29th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
On the up side, there are lots of good places to start in Pratchett's big world. My usual suggestions are:

Wee Free Men (technically a children's book, but you're never too old for a good story)

Witches Abroad


Going Postal

If it were closer to Christmas, I'd say The Hogfather.

*OR* you could skip Discworld altogether and try Nation. It's not part of his sprawling metaworld but it's very typical of his writing. Absolutely brilliant book, and my usual Pratchett rec for people who aren't sure about fantasy.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'd actually wanted to read Wee Free Men but wasn't sure if I'd get anything out of it, so it's good to hear that you recommend that as a starting point!
Neaneadods on April 30th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
Tiffany Aching is a brilliant heroine. Pratchett actually won an award from the Girl Guides for writing a "real girl" in Tiffany.

And bonus plus, the fourth Tiffany book is supposed to come out in the fall.
tempestsarekind: ofeliatempestsarekind on April 30th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
Definitely adding it to the list--thanks!
Valancy: ExtensiveReadingvalancy_s on April 28th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
You have read Diana Wynne Jones, yes? I feel like we've discussed her but I can't remember.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
I have read Diana Wynne Jones, yes--not *all* her books, but that just means I still have some to look forward to. :)
Valancy: LibraryMargaretvalancy_s on April 29th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
Fire and Hemlock?
tempestsarekind: queen of fairiestempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
*see icon*
Oh yes--one of my favorites!
the most saint-obsessed Jew you'll ever meetrymenhild on April 28th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
You should read Diana Wynne Jones, yes. Also Seanan McGuire's October Daye books -- so far there are two of them, Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation. October ("Toby") is a half-faerie detective, whom McGuire has described as "the bastard child of Veronica Mars and Jareth the Goblin King". If noir with fairies and plenty of banter sounds good to you, you'll like these.

There are very interesting immortals in Kage Baker's Company series. Most of the characters are time-traveling immortal cyborgs who go around preserving items that would otherwise be lost to history (like the Library of Alexandria) so a twenty-fourth century megacorporation can sell them. Most of my favorite characters are not the ones Baker thinks are the protagonists. (That's historical present tense, sadly. Kage Baker died very young, a few months ago. Fortunately she finished the series first.)

Finally, if you're looking for a booklog by someone who also likes McKinley, McKillip, resourceful girls and quite a lot of things which you like, read back through bookelfe's journal. She is three quarters of the way I find novels these days.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thank you for the link! And for the suggestions: I've read the Company novels--though I didn't know that about Kage Baker, and I'm very sorry to hear it. I suspect my favorites aren't the supposed protagonists, either, because I'd like to throttle one of the protagonists every time he shows up. But I love the cast of secondary agents, especially Lewis. (I mean, I would, wouldn't I?)

I'll have to look for the Toby Daye books--they sound familiar, now that you mention it.
the most saint-obsessed Jew you'll ever meet: cosmia I'm dreamingrymenhild on April 29th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
*grin* Lewis is my favorite too.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Seriously, I would read about him forever! His bits in The Sons of Heaven break my heart.
the most saint-obsessed Jew you'll ever meetrymenhild on April 29th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
He's been unconscious for decades and the first thing he does is quote Taliesin. ♥
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
I know! And then he makes people better with stories. *_*
Spackle: stack of books and also teaspacklegeek on April 29th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
Have you read either of Kristin Cashore's books yet? Graceling was her first, and Fire her second. I read them in order, mostly because they're both new and the second one wasn't out yet last summer, but they're companions, not sequels, to one another. Although I do recommend Graceling first. I loved it - and then I read Fire, and that one absolutely blew me away.

I also recommend Holly Black, just generally. She writes good stories, too.
tempestsarekind: queen of fairiestempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Yay Holly Black! I quite like her (even if I haven't read The Spiderwick Chronicles yet; I tend to fail at reading whole series).

I haven't read Kristin Cashore yet, but I've seen Graceling in stores and didn't know what to make of it. I'll have to add it to the list.
Spackle: ireland: cliffs of moherspacklegeek on April 29th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
I think you'd like it. The way she writes her characters leaves me feeling like they're real - they react to things in ways that make sense to me. It's a subtle thing, but it fleshes out what is a fairly standard quest-story, and makes it into something almost unique.

tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Sounds good!
litlover12 on April 29th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Amazon's not bad with the recommendations. You don't necessarily have to buy something to get them, either. They'll make some based on the books you've viewed.
tempestsarekind: freema reading is sexytempestsarekind on April 29th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
This is true--thank you!
pink for pterodactyl: pd:three in a doorsignificantowl on April 30th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
I like goodreads.com. Lots of reviews and lists and such. I'm terrible at remembering to review, though, and terrible at reviewing when I do remember!

(edit to remove ID'ing info since this is public)

Edited at 2010-04-30 12:57 am (UTC)
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 30th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever been to that site, actually (or if I have, I don't remember). Thanks for the suggestion!

(edited for typo.) (Argh, two of them.)

Edited at 2010-04-30 04:57 pm (UTC)