B is for yellow bricks, lost boys, and a bolshy B biblio:
Barrie, J. M.
Baum, L. Frank
Blake, Margaret Rose
Brett, Peter V
Brite, Poppy Z.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson
Wow, I have a lot of B authors! I’ll try for quick commentary to keep this under
500 1000 words:
David Ball‘s Empires of Sand is an 800 page historical novel. I’m 100 pages in and it’s enjoyable so far, if a bit confusing. It jumps like a nervous frog through perspective and setting with little warning, so it can be hard to keep track of whose head you’re in as you read. It is also the second book on my 2014 reading list.
I have not yet read Peter Pan, or any other of J. M. Barrie‘s works, but fun fact, he was only about five feet tall, and once asked Arthur Conan Doyle to help him finish and revise an opera he was working on.
When I read The Wizard of Oz for the first time I was struck by how perfectly childish the writing was. I appreciate it when authors can tell their stories truly from the perspective of their characters, as L. Frank Baum does in The Wizard of Oz.
Not pictured but read is Peter Beagle‘s The Unicorn Sonata which I quite enjoyed, but wished had a more solid ending. I haven’t read The Last Unicorn, but I have seen the animated version, which doesn’t count at all.
Alex and I both bought Elizabeth Bear‘s Range of Ghosts at the same time and for the same purpose: to see how other writers are adapting culture into fantasy. We still have an extra copy floating around the house, fate undecided.
I loved The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. If you like satirical humor, you just might like it too.
Alex won The Ring of Curses by Margaret Rose Blake at a novel launch party, and I have to admit, this YA looks pretty good. The series title is Merlin’s School for Ordinary Children, which is a nice take on the magical school theme in YA. I look forward to reading it.
Just as Well I’m Leaving is a biography and travelogue by Michael Booth about Hans Christian Andersen, which makes me wonder why it’s not higher on my reading list than it is.
Ray Bradbury wrote many books over multiple genres and is considered a writing legend for his contribution to American literature. Sadly, he passed away in 2012, but not before leaving us with works such as The Halloween Tree and Something Wicked This Way Comes (pictured) among many, many others.
Peter V. Brett is a new addition to my book shelf. Recommendations spurred me to buy The Warded Man which I haven’t had a chance to sample yet.
Poppy Z. Brite has been one of my favorite authors since high school and probably always will be. Lost Souls remains my favorite book, and has held that position for over a decade, despite some pretty heavy competition. Writing in the horror genre, Brite combines skin crawling imagery with deep human emotions to create stories that have given me nightmares more than once.
I read the first five books of Terry Brooks‘s Magic Kingdom of Landover series in a week and was disappointed there weren’t any more. Then I discovered that there are! I’m looking forward to finishing this series, and starting Shannara which has always been absent from my reading lists.
It’s nice when one’s favorite authors are prolific. Whenever I want a smart story told by a snarky protagonist in a fun, tangible world, I reach for one of Steven Brust‘s many books. Hawk, the latest addition to his Dragaera series is set to come out this autumn, and I’m so filled with excitement I can hardly contain it.
I’ve had Chris Bunch‘s Storm of Wings on my shelf for years, and haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’ll need to fix that soon, I think.
A Clockwork Orange is easily one of my favorite books. That Anthony Burgess wrote it in only three weeks, and still managed to pack it so full of hidden allusions and meaning still boggles my mind.
I have not read any of Frances Hodgson Burnett‘s writing yet, but I loved the film adaptation of A Little Princess.
Jim Butcher‘s Storm Front: Soon… soon.
Which of these books have you read? Do you have any favorites by the authors mentioned above? Let me know in the comments.