Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lighter Stuff

I need a change of pace, so let's talk about some books and authors.

Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors. I picked up Soul Music in a Winn-Dixie across the street from me, read it, and started getting all his other books. (I have a weird thing - when I find a favorite author, I can tell you where I got the book and what it was. Stephen King = Pet Sematary, from a local grocery store. Harlan Ellison = Stalking the Nightmare, a local used book store. Peter Straub = Floating Dragon, local bookstore, on special sale. Kurt Vonnegut = Player Piano, another local used bookstore. Hey, I've already admitted I'm strange.) Terry Pratchett has a whole world, the Discworld, where almost all his stories take place, and it's funny, witty and often with some deep thoughts behind the story as well. Read Men At Arms, Hogfather, Reaper Man, Wyrd Sisters, Soul Music, Witches Abroad, The Truth, Going Postal, The Fifth Elephant, Feet of Clay...any of these will get you hooked on this series, and it will be an addiction well worth feeding.

Another one of my favorite authors is James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, from, as the movie came out.) Now, he's rough, no doubt about it, and his stories can be hard to follow, but it's well worth it. He writes in a style like Hemingway gone hard-core 50's gangster. Try reading American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand.

How about some lighter stuff, i.e. David Eddings? (Pawn of Prophecy, from my grandmother) This is not what you call deep stuff - he writes in five book series mostly, and you can pretty much tell where it's going from the first book down, but he writes well, and his characters are well drawn out. I read this when I don't really want to tackle anything hard; something to while away some time when I'm ready to go to sleep.

Robert McCammon (Boy's Life, from a bookstore to read on the plane to Europe for a summer semester) was a surprise. I had thought he was a knockoff Stephen King, and I was wrong. Boy's Life is one of my favorite books of all time, and I recommend almost all of his books, with the warning that the early ones show a writer in learning. He's admitted that basically he learned as he published, so while Night Boat is kinda schlocky, Mine and Swan Song and Stinger are exponentially better. Give him a go.

There's some suggestions to weigh down your bookcases.

No comments: