Tangent Reviews: Beneath Ceaseless Skies #198

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is always a delight to read. I don’t always necessarily like all the stories that they publish, but they tend to pick up stories with either very lovely prose or incredibly thoughtful speculative fiction. Issue #198 features a story about the life of a puritan settlement in America battling against the constant threat of the devil, and a haunting eco-tale about the ghosts of whales harnessed to the lanterns that burn on their oil.

“Or I Wil Harrie Them Out of This Land” by Thomas W. Waldroon
“Whale-Oil” by Sylvia V. Linsteadt

I loved the voice in “Or I Wil Harrie Them Out of This Land,” though the length made the story a bit tedious, and many of the strands it starts felt a bit unfinished by the end. “Whale-Oil” is a story that bleeds vivid colors into the reader’s imagination. With a fairy tale feel and brilliant imagery, “Whale-Oil” is a great piece of speculative fiction.

Read the original stories in issue #198 at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. My full review is available at Tangent Online Magazine.

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The Freedom Maze: Afterthoughts

The Freedom Maze
by Delia Sherman
255 pages
four_half-stars_0

 

It’s rare for me to find a youth novel that combines good writing, thought provoking and dark subject matter, and a genuinely interesting story as well as Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze does. After The Magician’s Nephew and The Neverending Story it was refreshing to read a middle grade that had some teeth. Dealing with issues of both American slavery just before the Civil War and 1960’s expectations of womanhood, femininity, and growing pains in the American South, Sherman is unafraid to cast her protagonist into the fire, giving readers a deeply moving account of the struggles of marginalized peoples in two past eras.

The Freedom MazeBuckle up, this one could get spoilery.

The book opens with Sophie, the young, teenaged protagonist, in a car with her mother, driving through Louisiana one rainy day in May. They’re on their way to Sophie’s grandmother’s house, the ancestral home of the Fairchilds and once the site of a prosperous sugar plantation. The plantation is all in the past, now and most of the estate itself has gone to seed. To say that Sophie isn’t looking forward to the weeks she’s going to be spending with her family is an understatement, but her mother’s got a new job and her father’s run off to New York with another woman and it seems like no one’s got any time for Sophie anymore. Unless it’s to point out her faults and failings. Sophie is dumped without so much as a goodbye from her mother, into the care of her two aunts.

It doesn’t take long before Sophie is bored out of her mind with inside activities, and takes to exploring the ruins of the estate. Inside the overgrown garden maze on the property, Sophie encounters a strange talking creature, and tired of the boredom and semi-neglect from the adults in her life, she wishes it would send her on a storybook adventure.

This is most certainly a lesson in ‘careful what you wish for’.

She’s sent on an adventure all right, straight back in time one hundred years to 1860. Oh, she’s still on her ancestor’s property, except now it’s a fully operational sugar plantation, with slaves and everything! Unfortunately for Sophie, when she first interacts with her great-great-great-great kin, her skin has been so browned from playing out in the sun in 1960 that they mistake her for a slave! Fortunately her Fairchild nose gives her a slight reprieve, and after briefly convening, the 1860’s Fairchilds conclude that she is the daughter of the black sheep of the family, Robert, who’s ever had contrary notions in regard to colored people.

I should note here that I was intrigued from the start by Robert Fairchild and dearly wished he’d have more of a role in the story. He gets a bit of an epilogue at the end, but I still craved more. Ah well.

In a state of shock that she truly has been sent back in time one hundred years, Sophie dumbly agrees to the assumption that her father sent her to the plantation from New Orleans to be raised as a lady’s maid, before he ran off to France himself.

This is where Sophie’s troubles truly start.

The narrative exposes the bitter, ugly truth of slave life through Sophie’s experiences which I won’t summarize here for fear of not doing it justice. Like waking from a dream, over time Sophie begins to blur past and present and before long forgets she was ever from 1960 at all. However, much of her pluck and courage remains in her personality, which both creates trouble and solves it.

I’ll leave it to you to read it and find out what happens in the end. I wasn’t disappointed, and I hope you won’t be either.

One of the things I truly loved about this novel was the believability of the voice and the characters. In the afterword, Sherman admits that this book took eighteen years to write, and the care and attention to detail and historical accuracy are clear on every page.

As a middle grade book dealing with the highly charged and emotional subject matter of slavery, The Freedom Maze walks a fine line between white washing history and making the story inappropriate for the target age group. Fortunately, Sherman pulls off this delicate balance spectacularly, giving the reader a story that is both daring and safe, thought provoking and whimsical. Sherman accomplishes this with a great balance of the darker aspects of slavery and calmer scenes of childhood. This alternation between heavy and light at times made the book feel as though it was meandering away from its point, however the way everything ties up in the final third of the book makes it all fall into place in the end.

The Freedom Maze is one of the rare books which I feel isn’t limited to children, teens or adults. The writing, the characters and the story itself can appeal to any age. As a piece of historical fiction it is vividly, at times disturbingly accurate. As an MG fantasy it doesn’t break any molds, but it does add spice to the genre. As a coming of age story it is certain to strike a few cords in anyone’s soul, young or old. This is a book that can and should be read by everyone, and I highly recommend it.

The next book on my reading list is The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec, 2014.

 

S is for…

SS is for self-righteous, shameless, and sickly:

Sabatini, Rafael
Salvatore, R. A.
Sanderson, Brandon
Sapkowski, Andrzej
Shikibu, Murasaki
Sinclair
, May
Shakespeare, William
Sophocles
Spyri, Johanna
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Suzuki, Koji
Swift, Jonathan

I thoroughly enjoyed Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. Like The Scarlet Pimpernel, Scaramouche is set in the French Revolution. It’s hero Andre-Louis is neither a supporter nor a detractor of the revolution, but a cynic who finds both sides equally ridiculous. He is, however, swept up into the fervor against the aristocracy when his best friend is murdered before his eyes by an unapologetic dick of a nobleman. To save his own neck, Andre-Louis flees to the country where he undergoes many changes of occupation before finally returning to deal justice for the death of his friend. Scaramouche has some great humor, amazing prose and a great ending which had me at least squirming.

I’m a huge Drizzt fan. I’m just going to say that now. R. A. Salvatore‘s Dark Elf trilogy hooked me hard, and I’ve nibbled up every book I could get my hands on since. I’m not even sure why. That sort of infallibly good hero type character isn’t one that I usually like. I think there’s just something so tragic about Drizzt’s story that endears me to him.

I have not read any of Brandon Sanderson‘s works. I know that makes my fantasy education incredibly lacking (it’s not the first time I’ve had to admit it during this challenge and it won’t be the last). I got these two books for Christmas last year which made me greatly happy. I’ll get on reading them probably next year.

The same applies for Andrzej Sapkowski. I picked up The Last Wish at the beginning of last year and shelved it. It was put somewhere on my TBR list and I haven’t gotten to it yet. I think it may be on my 2014 reading list, actually.

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu is my favorite work of Japanese literature–and I haven’t even finished it yet. This hulking volume written almost a thousand years ago is considered to be the first example of a novel. It follows the sexual adventures of the illegitimate prince Genji as he sleeps his way through most of the royal court (including his stepmother) and gets into worlds of trouble in the process. Shikibu herself was a court lady, unusually educated for her time. She wrote The Tale of Genji as an entertainment piece for the empress, delivering it in installments for the ladies of the royal court to listen to. Because she wrote about such raunchy topics, and also because of how she addressed certain events and people in her semi-fictional royal court, she was denounced by religious leaders at the time, who told her she was heading straight for hell. Whether or not Shikibu ever cared what they said is a mystery, as is who wrote the final chapters of The Tale of Genji. There is some evidence to support the theory that it was written by her daughter after her death.

May Sinclair was the pen name of British writer Mary Amelia St. Clair. She could not have had two differently paired parents. Her father went bankrupt and became an alcoholic before he died when she was still young. Her mother on the other hand was strictly religious. May was involved in social activism as well as the super natural, being a member of both Woman Writers’ Suffrage League and The Society for Psychical Research. Her short story collection Uncanny Stories is one of two she wrote, in addiction to other contributions to English literature as a whole.

There’s not much I can say about William Shakespeare that the world doesn’t already know. As far as literature is concerned. Shakespeare was a master. As far as teenagers are concerned, he’s the bane of English classes. To date I’ve read seven of his plays and a handful of his sonnets. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is still my favorite, followed closely by Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.

I’ve only read Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and while I was already familiar with the story before I started it, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Only seven of his one hundred and twenty-three plays have survived to this day in completion. He was the most celebrated playwright of his time for fifty years, and doesn’t have a small amount of fame these days, either.

I know the story of Heidi, either from having read it as a child, or having seen it as a movie. It’s foggy now in adulthood, which means I should probably read it again. Johanna Spyri wrote Heidi in just four weeks, and like much of the rest of her writing, the story is set in the Swiss countryside. She was socially active, and wrote stories which reflected this. Before she died in 1901 she had written over fifty stories.

I haven’t read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, but I have read The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson had a difficult childhood. He came from a family of poor health, and the location they moved to to alleviate their symptoms only worsened his. He only moved to a more forgiving climate after his father died. After much bouncing around in life, he finally settled in the Samoan Islands, where he became something of a local celebrity there. There are too many interesting things about this writer to list on one post that’s supposed to be under three hundred words. If you’re curious, I highly recommend reading about his amazing life.

Ring, Spiral, and Loop are the three novels in Koji Suzuki‘s horror/thriller Ring trilogy. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the American film adaptation of the first novel, and I’ll tell you now, if there was ever a case of the book being better than the movie, it’s this one. Even the Japanese adaptation, Ringu is horrible by comparison. All the thoughtful, philosophical parts are cut out. The characters are changed and the interesting characters removed completely. Hell, the mail character isn’t even a woman! I highly recommend the first two books in the series (available in English), though the third one sort of lost me. It’s almost as though it’s from a completely separate series, and I don’t care much for precocious children stories anyway. I didn’t finish it.

I haven’t read Jonathan Swift‘s Gulliver’s Travels in its entirety, which is strange considering we have two editions of it. I read parts of it in high school, along with a few of his other works, and I really respect him as a writer. He packed a lot of political satire into his writing, much of which is still funny today.

Best enjoy this abundance of authors now, we’re heading into another decline after this. However, if you’d like to help me increase my S author collection, I always love hearing your recommendations in the comments below.

Q is for…

Q is for quick, cheat a little for an author today: Q

Quinn Yarbro, Chelsea

 

 

I think I first read Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro when I was about twelve years old. I’m not sure if it was exactly age appropriate literature for a middle schooler, but I loved it and still love it to this day. I found it in among my aunt’s library during the time I used to spend at her and my uncle’s cabin in the summer. Maybe I was going through a vampire stage at the time, but the historic setting, the intrigue and yes, the vampires all came together to tickle my imagination in wonderful ways. Probably the best thing about the book is that it is only one of many which feature the same characters. I never knew it was a part of a series when I first picked it up, and now that I do, I’m going to have to snap up all the rest of the books as well.

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So I only managed to come up with a single Q for today, and by cheating no less. Have any other Q authors I can try? Let me know in the comments.

O is for…

OO is for opulence, oppression, and OMG great book:

Orczy, Baroness Emma

 

 

OK, so just one today, but this is a must read if you like historicals with a dash of romance, a lot of cunning, and close escapes. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a historical novel written by Baroness Emma Orczy. It’s first iteration was actually a play produced in 1905. The story is set during the Reign of Terror days of the French Revolution. Marguerite St. Just is living in a loveless marriage. Oh, there was love once. Her dull witted husband once fawned over her and showered her with gifts and affirmations of love, but when Marguerite unintentionally sends a marquis and his sons to the guillotine, the well of affection suddenly dried up. Now she must deal with his witless conversation, his boorish laugh and his increasingly cold shoulders. It’s almost too much for the intelligent, beautiful actress to bare! Wouldn’t life be so much better if she was married to the dashing scoundrel who, through amazing guile keeps spiriting guillotine doomed French nobles out of the country, right under the noses of their intended executioners? The one known by no other name than the Scarlet Pimpernel? The fantasy is enough to set a young lady’s heart aflutter!

I’m sure you know where this one is going, but it’s a great read nonetheless.

Baroness Orczy married the son of a clergyman and the couple, though having a very loving relationship, did not have a lot of money. She started her writing career after the birth of their first and only child, but had only mediocre success. The novel adaptation of her Percy Blackeney short stories went to twelve publishers and while it was in submissions limbo it was accepted to be adapted for the stage.

Emma’s subsequent success after the publication and wild popularity of The Scarlet Pimpernel seems to vary depending on what source you read. Some say that she was a one hit wonder, and nothing she wrote after The Scarlet Pimpernel had much success. Other sources claim that the works that spun off from the original novel continued to be hugely popular, which increased her standing as an author as well.

Whatever the case may be, The Scarlet Pimpernel is in my opinion an excellent book. The suspense will keep your butt clenched to the edge of your seat, and the tender romantic scenes will melt your heart. It’s not even a very long book, so it won’t take up a year to read either.

 

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I is for…

I is for incomplete:I

Iggulden, Conn

 

 

One of the nice things about living in Kyoto is that small and used bookstores are still in big demand here. This could be because Kyoto is a cultural city that prides itself on its integration of old and new, and used bookstores sit very nicely in the mean. What’s even nicer is that there are a few English only used bookstores, where foreigners can dump their collections before returning home, to lighten their loads. It was at one of these stores that I picked up Conn Iggulden‘s The Death of Kings and The Field of Swords as part of my bid to read more authors I’d never heard of before. Unfortunately, in my rush to grasp hold of more books, I failed to notice that The Death of Kings is the second book in the series, and The Field of Swords is the third. Oops. It’s on my TBR list, but the first book is still on my Amazon wishlist.

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OK, obviously I need some help with this one, guys. Have any good ‘I’ authors you can recommend me? Let me know in the comments.

G is for…

GG is for Graceless, geisha, and gargantuan novels:

Gaiman, Neil
George, Jean Craighead
Gibbons, Stella
Gilbert, Henry
Golden, Arthur
Goldman, William
Goodkind, Terry
Green, John

OK, we’ve had one too many light posts in a row, so G is going to bring our word count back up. Brace yourselves, here it comes.

What can I say about Neil Gaiman that the world doesn’t already know? The man is a fantastic author who can weave a fantasy world which can suck the reader in and keep a piece of them there forever. Do I have personal favorites? Of course. Anansi Boys is in my top five favorite books, kept there perhaps in part by my love of spiders, but also just because the story itself is so captivating, the myth and magic so realistic, and the humor so silly at times that I can’t help but fall in love again every time I read it. Neverwhere, of course is another favorite of mine, one which I find myself continuously inspired by. Likewise, Good Omens, written with Terry Pratchett also impressed me with its wicked humor and devilishly good story telling. But I don’t need to spend many words convincing you that Gaiman is worth a read. The only question that needs answering is which book next?

Jean Craighead George wrote what is probably my favorite book from my childhood, My Side of the Mountain, about a young boy named Sam who runs away from his cramped city apartment to cut himself out a life in the forest. The story spoke to the inner wild child in me at a time when I cherished my yearly summer escapes on my own to my uncle and aunt’s rustic cabin in the country. Pictured is George’s other famous work, Julie of the Wolves, which I haven’t read but if it is as good as My Side of the Mountain I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons is the kind of book which requires a lot of prior reading to fully understand all the nuances and allusions. Written as a parody of the popular genres of the time, Cold Comfort Farm pokes fun at tropes with a post modern character who breezes into the plot and undermines them all. Like many authors who become famous for one work at the expense of all their others, Gibbons resented how Cold Comfort Farm earned her the reputation of a one work novelist, despite having published twenty-two other books.

This recounting of the tale of Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert obviously isn’t the first. Stories of the famous moralistic bandit date back to the 13th century and have of course been embellished. Robin Hood started out as a commoner, for example, and over time has been elevated to the position of disposed nobleman fighting against an unjust usurper king.

I haven’t read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden yet, though I want to. Golden has had an enviable scholarly career with an M.A. in both Japanese history and English. Subsequent to the publication of Memoirs of a Geisha, Golden was sued by Mineko Iwasaki–one of the geisha interviewed for the book–for failing to protect her identity. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

I haven’t read William Goldman‘s The Princess Bride yet, though I only just got it for my birthday last year. Like Burgess, Goldman also wrote a novel in three weeks: The Temple of Gold. I just might have to check that one out too.

I started reading Terry Goodkind‘s Sword of Truth series in high school and read it pretty faithfully through until Chainfire. At that point, I felt so bad for the main character that I couldn’t read any further. I have to wonder what Richard did to Goodkind to receive such constant, terrible abuse.

I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars (pictured) or any of John Green‘s other books yet, but I do follow many of his YouTube channels, and greatly appreciate the Crash Course program he and his brother host. Without a doubt Green has a passion for words and learning, which makes him all right in my books.

 

You made it through to the end, now it’s recommendation time. Are there any books by the above authors I absolutely must read? Did I miss any fantastic ‘G’ authors? Let me know in the comments.

F is for…

FF is for fat, fantasy, and filling space:

Feist, Raymond E.
Fielding, Helen
Flewelling, Lynn
Forester, C. S.

The only book out of these four that I’ve read is Bridget Jones’s Diary, so unless I can pull up some interesting information on C. S. Forester, that’s the only one I’ll talk about in detail here.

 

I have been recommended books by Raymond E. Feist for a long time. That Magician: Apprentice has finally made it to my shelf is a good sign that it will be read sometime, possibly soon. It is, after all, the sixth book on my 2014 reading list.

I read Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding in university. Of the books with female characters which we read in that class, I didn’t feel all that excited about it at the end. Perhaps it was because there was little in Bridget that I could personally relate to. Her problems as a woman didn’t connect with my problems as a woman (we have very different priorities) so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery.

Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling is another fantasy book with LGBT themes that I want to read. If only I had clones of myself to read all the good books on my shelf. Sci-fi, you have failed me.

C. S. Forester wrote many books about navel warfare, including Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (pictured), which was made into an A&E television series. Interestingly, he also knew Roald Dahl, and encouraged him to write about his experiences in the Royal Air Force.

 

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Getting tired of me saying that I haven’t read these books? Which ones should I absolutely read soon and why? Let me know in the comments.

 

C is for…

CC is for controversy, courtesy, and social commentary:

Card, Orson Scott
Castiglione, Baldesar
Carvantes, Miguel de
Chaucer, Geoffrey
Clavell, James
Coatsworth, Elizabeth Jane
Crow, Kirby

 

A friend gave me Ender’s Game in university and told me it was a life changing book. While I’m generally wary of book recommendations given by friends (complete strangers seems to give my no problem) I did in fact, enjoy Ender’s Game quite a lot. I have also liked some of Orson Scott Card‘s short stories in the past. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to enjoy Card’s writing as much as I did before I learned about his stance in regard to LGBT issues. The case could be made that the art should not be punished for the artist, but I don’t think an artist can remove his or herself entirely from their art, therefore I won’t be able to read anything else by Card without seeing negativity in it. Just my thoughts.

The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione is the third book on my 2014 reading list. It is a courtesy book or a book of good manners, and much like Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji is exemplary of Japanese Heian court life told in fiction, The book of the Courtier exemplifies Italian Renaissance court life. In this book written over the course of many years, aspects of what makes a respectable courtier are told through fictional dialogue. This book is a research read for me, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t also be pleasurable.

Published between 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is considered to be the first modern European novel. Cervantes had a few adventures of his own before writing Don Quixote among which included his capture by pirates while working for the Spanish Navy, five years of slavery, and arrest for bookkeeping discrepancies while working as a tax collector.

In high school, we read selections of Geoffry Chaurcer‘s Canterbury Tales and I remember liking them a lot. Chaucer uses the stories of the pilgrims in the book to criticize English society of the end of the 14th century, though he himself was a courtier.

I have been itching to read James Clavell‘s Shogun for a long time, having received several glowing recommendations for it. Alex added it to our mutual book shelf from her collection, and so it is now on my reading queue to be read I don’t know when.

The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth is one of Alex’s favorite childhood books. Her descriptions of it remind me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richarch Bach, which I’ve read twice and both times received a different message.

I bought Kirby Crow‘s Scarlet and the White Wolf as another tentative step into LGBT fiction. I have been disappointed by the genre before, but I have also been charmed by it. It’s really hit or miss, so I’ve been hesitant to read this one. I get a lot of recommendations to read Crow’s writing though, so maybe this one will be an experience of the latter kind.

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Are there any others by the above authors you would personally recommend? Let me know in the comments.

B is for…

BB is for yellow bricks, lost boys, and a bolshy B biblio:

Ball, David
Barrie, J. M.
Baum, L. Frank
Beagle, Peter
Bear, Elizabeth
Bierce, Ambrose
Blake, Margaret Rose
Booth, Michael
Bradbury, Ray
Brett, Peter V
Brite
, Poppy Z.
Brooks, Terry
Brust, Steven
Bunch, Chris
Burgess, Anthony
Burnett, Frances Hodgson
Butcher, Jim

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. Barries 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.