M is for…

MM is for manipulation, murder, and make believe:

Machiavelli, Niccolò
Martin, George R. R.
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McCall Smith, Alexander
McGinn, John
McKillip, Patricia A.
McKinley, Robin
McMullen, Sean
Miéville, China
Montgomery, L. M.
Morrison, Toni

Ah! Look at all those names! Never fear, I haven’t read all of them, so this post shouldn’t take up too much space. Let’s get to it.

I love Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, though here’s my dirty little secret: I haven’t finished it. I started it, loved it so much that I didn’t want to finish it and then… didn’t. I have this horrible problem with books that I love. When I get near the end, I slow down to a complete stop to keep holding on just a little longer. Machiavelli was many things, but chiefly his passion was politics. There is some debate as to whether or not The Prince was intended as a satirical piece or not–or indeed who the book’s audience was intended to be. Written as something of a despot’s handbook, it has ruffled some feathers through the ages.

I may irritate some fans here, but I don’t really care for George R. R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones. I started reading it about six years ago, and couldn’t get further than 200 pages in. The prose is very well put together, I’ll give him that, but the problem I have with it is that if every single character died on page 201, I wouldn’t care at all. If I can’t care about the characters, then I can’t care about the book, sadly.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson may sit on my TBR list for a while. I’m trying to get over my sci-fi bias, but it’s going to be a slow process, especially since I’m not over fond of zombies (?) either.

What can I say about Anne McCaffrey? I loved her books tenderly in high school, and I’m afraid to pick them up now and have the magical memory I hold of them broken. She slipped through my above mentioned sci-fi bias so beautifully that I can’t even be upset. I read most of her Pern books and the few I haven’t read I’ve been slowly collecting over the years with the hope of one day re-reading the entire series.

I know that Alexander McCall Smith should be with the ‘S’ authors, but somehow it ended up here, so here it will be addressed. McCall Smith is a hugely prolific mystery writer. His book The World According to Bertie was gifted to us with a bunch of other novels and hasn’t been read yet, and as it’s in the middle of the series it might be a while yet before we get to it.

John McGinn‘s Chili Birds is another book Alex won at a book launch. She’s apparently really good at launch games. Anyway, we haven’t read it yet, but I like the cover. Sleek and simple. Very nice.

I’ve heard good things about, and have received many recommendations for Patricia A. McKillip‘s books. I’ve bought a couple of them now and hope they live up to expectations.

I haven’t read Deerskin by Robin McKinley but Alex has and her opinion of it is not kind. From what she told me while reading it, I’m rather hesitant to pick it up myself but as it is on my shelf, I’ll probably read it eventually.

Many years ago, Alex recommended to me a book called The Glass Dragon, so I went to my local book store and found two books with that title by different authors. I bought both, but haven’t read either yet. That I also happened to have Sean McMullen‘s Voyage of the Shadowmoon is just a coincidence.

After I bought Perdido Street Station by China Miéville, the recommendations and accolades for it came pouring in. My curiosity is high for this one, and not a day goes by that I don’t consider bumping it higher up on the list. Discipline, me. Discipline.

I loved L. M. Montgomery‘s Emily of New Moon way, way more than Anne of Green Gables. I identified so much with Emily–not that my father died of tuberculosis and left me in the care of a mean relative to attend a cruel school–but the way her imagination takes off at random times and she escapes into it. How she sees and experiences the world. As I read it, even as an adult and separate from the author by almost a century I couldn’t help thinking “yes, this is exactly how it is”. It’s a very charming story.

I added Toni Morrison‘s Beloved to my 2014 reading list from Crash Course’s new literature series. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve been warned to expect lasting trauma from it. We shall see.

Have any more ‘M’ authors for me? Not that I need more. (Who am I kidding, I always need more.)

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22 thoughts on “M is for…

  1. My “M” shelf is dominated by Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series, also the British author Ian McEwan – he wrote Atonement which was filmed with Keira Knightly a few years ago. As a librarian, I entirely agree with McCall Smith being under M by the way – definitely correct!

  2. Thank you for clearing that up. When an author has two last names I never know how to file it. I had that Problem with Jean Craighead George earlier, and I’m going to have it with another author too, but since I only have her for Q, that’s where I’m leaving her.

    And thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Pingback: M is for… | Dean K Miller

  4. I will not incriminate myself other than to say your list is rather imposing and I have not ventured into the waters very far. But now I have a great reference. My goal…get my name on that list somehow! 🙂

    • The TBR list is never ending, for sure, I’m dreading the day when we physically run out of space for bookshelves. We’re going to have the buy a new house at that point. Kekeke~ You’re welcome to try. What do you write?

      • NJ: my only novel length draft is adult fiction. My first book contains personal essays, memoir shorts, poetry. Personal introspection, grace and humility in life’s simplest moments. (Thanks for asking.)

  5. I’m watching The Borgias at the moment, and apparently Machiavelli’s Prince was based partially on Giovanni Borgia, so I’ll definitely have to have a read, because that dude is more than a little whacked-up.

    I’m a big fan of Christopher Marlowe – I discovered him in a class at university and have been infatuated ever since, especially thanks to Doctor Faustus 🙂 Some great M’s there!

  6. Let’s see… M… Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Machiavelli’s Prince (though I haven’t read it), Robin McKinley, Patricia A. McKillip — I’ve read and very much liked quite a few of her books, particularly the Riddlemaster of Hed series, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables — I’ll have to look up Emily, haven’t heard of that one, Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (I like King Arthur legends), Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, and George R.R. Martin’s Storm of Swords (haven’t read — I’m not really a big fan of his). I had more Ms than I thought.

    • Hehehe. It’s certainly true. There’s always something interesting to read among the several books that I’ve started.

      These days though, I find that I start reading a fresh book before I’m finished another so that I can get into a certain frame of mind for writing. If I don’t let too much time pass between the start and the finish of a book, I’m usually fine with reading multiple books at the same time. I’m have to start from the beginning of Game of Thrones, though. *sigh*

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