K is for…

KK is for keepers, killers and kissers:

Kay, Guy Gavriel
Keats, John
Kellogg, Marjorie B.
Kessy, Ken
Keyes, Daniel
King, Laurie R.
Kushner, Ellen

There might be some gushing in this post. Just a little bit. You have been warned.

Guy Gavriel Kay has been recommended to me a bunch of times, so he was put on my wishlist last year. When I happened to find River of Stars on the shelf at a local bookstore when I went back home for the holidays, I just had to have it. Of course, it helped that my brother was paying as punishment for not bothering to buy the older sister he hadn’t seen in over two years anything for Christmas. How rude!

I’m a little bit in love with John Keats–don’t tell me I can’t love a dead man! He wrote some damn good poetry, had a tragic life, and he was handsome! Between his birth on Halloween (possibly) and his death at the age of twenty-five, Keats wrote arguably some of the best poems of the romantic period, perhaps rivaled only by Wordsworth and Coleridge. My personal favorite is and always will be Ode to a Nightingale (which emo me read all kinds of pain in). Like most of his family, Keats died of tuberculosis, in the arms of his best friend–a painter by the name of Joseph Severn (and naughty me imagines all sorts of extra bits in that relationship). His last request was that he be buried under a tombstone with no name or date, only the epitaph, “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water” in reference to his poetry having been given a frosty reception by critics during his life. If only he could have known how popular his works would become after his death.

I haven’t read Marjorie B. Kellogg‘s The Dragon Quartet yet. I bought it back when I binge bought everything that said ‘dragon’ in the title, or had a dragon-looking thing on the cover. It still looks good to read to this day.

If I had read a synopsis for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest before picking up the novel, I likely wouldn’t have read it. There’s something about stories that feature forcible incapacitation–mental especially– that get under my skin. It’s probably better that I didn’t know what I was getting into. Ken Kessy wrote the book very well. The voice and narration is incredible, and unreliable in all the right places for the reader to understand what is actually going on. In the end, I did enjoy it to a degree but it was still a difficult book for me to get through.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is another book that has been recommended to me a lot by friends. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s still got it’s place on my bookshelf, so that counts for something. It escaped the sad purge of books I needed to go through when I moved to Japan.

Laurie R. King‘s God of the Hive is on my reading list for 2014, though I’m not sure how much I’m going to enjoy it. The main character is supposedly the wife of Sherlock Holmes, which sort of twists the latter character out of shape a little bit. In any case, it’s on my shelf, and so it deserves a read. This is another book that was gifted from a friend during her own purge.

Finally, Ellen Kushner sits within my top five favorite authors. Her novel Swordspoint is in my top three favorite books and I still remember it with fondness and giggles. I’m itching to go back and read the entire series again, but new books need to take precedent over old ones until I can figure out how to wire books directly into my brain.

 

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I’ve got a bunch of K authors here but I sure could use some more. Have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments.

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20 thoughts on “K is for…

  1. Stopping by on the 12th day of the #atozchallenge. Having a good time today blog hopping, saying hi and moving on. What would we do without our list of books to read. I have solved my shelf problem with my Kindle. I resisted at first, but even published an e-book because of their success.If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardening and related topics this month. Come and visit.

  2. I’m also a big fan of Keats’ poetry. I had no idea he died so young, though; can you imagine what his later works would’ve been like, if he’d lived longer?

    Two of my favorite writers with ‘K’ names are Stephen King and Dean Koontz, love those guys! I think all their books are great, especially “Cell” and “Insomnia” by King and “Life Expectancy” by Koontz.

    • It has been said that if Keats had been able to live a full life, his works and his talents would have exceeded those of Shakespeare. As it was, he was only published for four years before he died. Very sad.

      I have a couple books by King on my kindle, but none by Koontz. I’ll add him now, thanks!

  3. I was gong to mention Flowers for Algernon, and I’m glad some other of your followers did this. I would recommend reading Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, which is about Ken Kesey and his close friends, call the <eery Pranksters, and thieir cross-country trip in a school bus nicknamed "Further" – a great tale and insight into the time.

  4. When I was in high school I read Flowers for Algernon over and over. It had been excerpted in our eighth grade reader, and the movie Charly, based on the book and starring Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom, made a deep impression on me. I tried reading it again a few years later, and was struck by how sad it was. It’s worth reading.

    Another K author is Jonathan Kellerman. He writes novels from the perspective of a psychologist named Alex Delaware. They’re pretty standard mysteries in the police procedural vein, but pleasant enough to read. Jonathan’s wife Faye also writes mysteries with a distinct Jewish bent, and their son Jesse has written a few books of his own.

    • It’s funny how books can stick with us, huh? I have quite a few books that I know have deeply influenced my life over the years.

      Do you know of any any particular gems among their titles? 🙂

  5. I have a Keats poetry book, Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, and The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay. Not very many “K” books to go on. Love your dragon figurine. I have several on my bookshelves as well, along with Hobbit and LOTR figures.

    • I used to have The Jungle Book, but I think I gave it to a young neighbor. I brought lots of my little figurines over when I moved. I’m glad now for the chance to show them off.

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