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Recommendations?

Books I'm interested in:

* The Outlander (Series) by Diana Gabaldon
* Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clarke
* The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
* Angel Time (Song Of The Seraphim Series) by Anne Rice
* The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

And quite possibly every book ever written by Alice Hoffman (In Chronological Order, starting with "Property Of" and ending with "The Story Sisters")

Any recommendations on which one I should start with? I plan to read them all, but is there one in particular that you think is worth reading more than the rest?

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
marycatelli
Nov. 14th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, 'cause The Ladies of Grace Adieu

shadowenangel
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
Everything else by Neil Gaiman is just (or almost) as amazing as The Graveyard Book. His other children's books might be a good place to start.

You might also try Garth Nix or Dianna Wynne Jones for other good fantasy/adventure stuff.
cristalmarie
Nov. 15th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Which books by them should I start with?
shadowenangel
Nov. 16th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
For Gaiman, I think Stardust or Neverwhere would be a good place to start. For Nix, I'd say The Old Kingdom Trilogy; the books are a bit long, but they're a quick read. For Jones, Howl's Moving Castle is fantastic, very light and lots of fun, and I've not read Fire and Hemlock, but I've heard good things.
cristalmarie
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
Oh! Howl's Moving Castle? I loved the movie! What's The Old Kingdom Trilogy about?
shadowenangel
Nov. 17th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
the book Howl's Moving Castle is different from the movie, but just as good (if not better).

the wiki page for the Old Kingdom Trilogy Series (apparently there's a fourth book coming out) is here. It's got magic and machine guns and kick-ass women and captured princes and all kinds of adventure.
sunlitdays
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
Yeah, anything by Gaiman is awesome - also get his combo with Terry Pratchett - Good Omens. Gaiman's Neverwhere is one of my faves for any
author, not just him.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel takes patience, just a warning. lol I kept wanting to give up on it, but it was worth it, in the end.

The Outlander Series is good in the beginning, but I lost interest towards the last two or three of the series, but the latest one has me happy again.

You might want to try Jasper Fforde too- he's clever and the books can be ingenius sometimes.



Edited at 2009-11-15 01:12 am (UTC)
cristalmarie
Nov. 15th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely going to read Neverwhere. What's Good Omens about?
sunlitdays
Nov. 16th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
Good Omens is basically about Armageddon; told with a very humourous outlook. It's really not like any other book I've read, to be honest. I'd say this Amazon snippet sums it up:

Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame) may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon) of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both. Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor; the result is a humanist delight to be savored and reread again and again. You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time...

It honestly can be read again and again. It's that good and that funny.
cristalmarie
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Ok! That definitely took it to the top of my pile!
laced_victorian
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I definitely vote for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but if you want to get a feel for Clarke's writing I would suggest reading a sample or two out of the Three Ladies of Grace Adieu (though i wouldn't recommend the title story in case it spoils JS&MN for you).

It takes a little patience, but it is so worth it. And the footnotes are awesome! It's like stories within the story and really aids in weaving the whole world together so you feel completely immersed.

Hope that helps! And let us know how the others are .. I'm def interested!

Edited at 2009-11-15 01:51 am (UTC)
mocroidh
Nov. 15th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
The Outlander series is one of my favorite book series of all time, so I would suggest starting with that. I agree that the first few books are better than some of the later ones in the series, but they're all good, and you get so invested in the characters that it really doesn't matter. The real problem with some of the later books is that not much happens in the story, but Gabaldon's so good with all the historical details of everyday life in the 18th century that it's still gripping. And the American Revolution is in full swing in her latest book, so there's tons of action there.

I've also read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, and most of Alice Hoffman's books - my favorite of hers is Practical Magic.
_starsinmyeyes_
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
I really liked the graveyard book! I love everything by Gaiman though.
unfettrdphoenix
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Outlander series!!
grace_san
Nov. 15th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
I would also suggest starting with the Outlander series.
charliekat
Nov. 15th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
If you require a heroine that is strong, don't read Outlander. It was so ridiculous I couldn't finish it.

But if you want a historical romance that doesn't make you a little nauseous, try Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. It's AWESOME!
stellamaris
Nov. 15th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
B-b-but...she grappled with a wolf and put together his hand after it had been smashed to bits!
charliekat
Nov. 15th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
And when she wandered away from camp her husband beat her up, then she managed to come to the conclusion that she deserved it.

Wow, what a gal.
stellamaris
Nov. 15th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, wow. I don't remember that.

It's been like 10 years since I read them and I was a kid ten years ago.
cristalmarie
Nov. 15th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Holy! You serious? This happens? The husband you refer to, is it the one in the past or the one in the future? If it's the hero of the story then I'm going to have to think twice about it... >:(
stellamaris
Nov. 15th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
It's the guy from the past.

However, as I recall, most (all?) of her characters, male and female, are fair game when it comes to dealing out the violence/sexual assault/etc. They all end up on the receiving end of one or the other or both at some point.

I guess I have to reread them though.
cristalmarie
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
Hmm. I guess I'll have to check it out and see the context, is the author trying to maintain historical accuracy and that's why she chooses to do these depictions or is it just her style in general no matter what story she writes?

Great, now just out of curiosity I'm gonna have to start with this book. Lol.
stellamaris
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
I think she was pretty meticulous in her research for the books. Like it or not, 18th century attitudes toward women were very different.

Both MCs have their faults and their redeeming qualities. I'm going to dig out my copy of the first book and see if I can find that scene.

charliekat
Nov. 15th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, the guy from the past. It's described as him beating her "into an inch of her life" and embarrasses her in the clan by the other clansman knowing that he did that.

The kicker is when she decides it was her fault and she deserved it.

The husband also says he was beaten as a child by his father but he remembers it fondly as being a way his father displayed his love for him.

So if you're okay with those types of things, then read the book. I wasn't, but no one ever told me this and I ended up buying the book and wasting my time with mediocre historical fiction and lots of descriptions of beatings.

Like I said though, if you want a good historical fiction romance, try Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. The hero/love interest is a REAL hero, one you can really gush over!
cristalmarie
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
I will definitely add this one to my list as well!
malwethien
Nov. 15th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell!!!
wilhelmina18
Nov. 16th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
The Graveyard Book is fantastic but I recommend reading Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Books beforehand - it inspired Gaiman to write The Graveyard Book and reading it first (at least the stories about Mowgli) really makes it so much better. Of course, it's a great story by itself but it's neat to see how Gaiman uses Kipling and where he changes things from the original story.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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