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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: Connie Willis

Connie Willis is one of the great ones of science fiction, in my opinion. She’s probably best known for her time-traveling Oxford series, which was certainly my entry into her work and which remain my favorites. But she’s also co-written several books with Cynthia DeFelice and has a wide range of other works. With the exception of The Doomsday Book, which I loved but am not sure I can ever re-read because it’s so sad, her books tend to be a mixture of funny and emotional, with quite a few muddles and misunderstandings along the way. In the Oxford books, she has created a future that I care deeply about, even though I know it will never actually come to be, but which I want to return to again and again.

Favorite books by Connie Willis
To Say Nothing of the Dog
All Clear
Blackout
“Fire Watch”
Promised Land

All of my Connie Willis reviews
To Say Nothing of the Dog (2010)
Blackout, briefly (2010), twice and All Clear (2011)
Fire-Watch, briefly (2010)
Inside Job, briefly (2011)
Water Witch, briefly (2010)
Bellwether, briefly (2011)
Promised Land, briefly (2012)

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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: Terry Pratchett

I was planning to write a favorite authors post today and talk about Connie Willis. And I will definitely talk about Connie Willis soon, because she is wonderful, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about Terry Pratchett a little bit.

I’m actually a very late-comer to Pratchett fandom. I read a few of the main Discworld books in 2009, but I bounced pretty hard off of them and decided that Pratchett might not be for me. Then for a reason I can’t now remember, I decided to try the Tiffany Aching books in 2012 and I loved them. And then several people told me to try the City Watch books and I tried Night Watch and cried a lot.

I still bounce pretty hard off of the main Discworld books (I WANT to like them, but something about the satire? irreverence? I can’t quite put it into words? doesn’t quite work for me) but I love both the Tiffany Aching and Watch books so much that they’re one of those series I retcon into thinking I’ve read them for far longer than I actually have. They’re a wonderful mix of trenchant and kind. I’m so grateful for his stories and so sad that they’re finished.

Favorite books by Terry Pratchett
1. A Hat Full of Sky
2. Night Watch
3. I Shall Wear Midnight
4. The Fifth Elephant
5. The Wee Free Men

All of my Terry Pratchett reviews
Mort, briefly (2009)
Reaper Man, briefly (2009)
Good Omens, briefly (2011)
The Wee Free Men, briefly (2012)
A Hat Full of Sky, briefly (2012)
The Wintersmith, briefly (2012)
I Shall Wear Midnight, briefly (2012)
Night Watch (2013)
Feet of Clay, briefly (2013)
Jingo, briefly (2013)
The Fifth Elephant, briefly (2013)
Thud!, briefly (2014)

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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: Melina Marchetta

When I was actually a teen, I was really not a fan of realistic YA at all. Partly this was because there wasn’t much that wasn’t in the after-school special genre, partly because I was pretty sheltered, and partly because I just loved fantasy so much. Regardless, it wasn’t until much later that I started discovering that there were books I liked in realistic fiction. And one of the very first ones I found was Melina Marchetta. I had heard about Jellicoe Road and gulped it down and loved it instantly. I have liked all of Marchetta’s realistic fiction and absolutely loved both Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son. I have to thank her for opening the doors of realistic fiction to me.

Favorite books by Melina Marchetta
1. Jellicoe Road
2. The Piper’s Son
3. Saving Francesca

All of my Melina Marchetta reviews
Saving Francesca, briefly (2010)
The Piper’s Son, briefly (2011)
(On the) Jellicoe Road (2010) and again briefly in May 2010 and June 2010, andagain briefly (2011)
Finnikin of the Rock, briefly (2010)
Froi of the Exiles, briefly (2012)
Quintana of Charyn (2013)

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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: Elizabeth Marie Pope

Elizabeth Marie Pope wrote only two fiction books, and yet she is so very much a favorite author that I had to include her in my list. I first discovered her when I was in middle school which, as I’ve already talked about, was a very important time for me reading-wise. I picked up The Perilous Gard in my school library and thought the description sounded interesting. I didn’t expect to fall completely and whole-heartedly in love with Kate and Christopher and the setting of the Perilous Gard itself. It’s a book I loved when I was in middle school, and high school, and college, and still love, without reservation. The Sherwood Ring is also a lovely book, complex enough to be interesting, but also funny and a little bit sad.

And sometimes I still wish that Pope had written more books, although the two we have are so wonderful.

The Perilous Gard
The Sherwood Ring

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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: Gillian Bradshaw

I’m pretty picky about my historical fiction. It’s easy for a few wrong details or some jarring dialogue to jolt me out of the story. Fortunately, Gillian Bradshaw manages to combine thoroughly researched books, compelling characters, excellent dialogue, and fascinating stories and settings. While I don’t love all of her books equally, I’m struck by how well she manages to convey a feeling for time and place. When her books are at their best, they’re truly wonderful.

Favorite books by Gillian Bradshaw
1.The Beacon at Alexandria
2. Island of Ghosts
3. Imperial Purple
4. The Bearkeeper’s Daughter
5. Cleopatra’s Heir

All of my Gillian Bradshaw reviews
The Beacon at Alexandria(2013)
London in Chains (2013)
Island of Ghosts, and Hawk of May
Kingdom of Summer, briefly (2013)
The Bearkeeper’s Daughter, briefly (2014)
Imperial Purple, briefly (2014)
The Wolf Hunt (2014)
Alchemy of Fire (2014)
Cleopatra’s Heir, briefly (2014)
Render Unto Caesar, briefly (2014)

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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: R.J. Anderson

I first heard about RJ Anderson’s books because she’s been an active member of the Sounis LiveJournal group, which is to say that we have some personal connection. But I just love her books, for several reasons: she writes stories that feel fresh, I like her characters, and I feel like we share a set of references and interests that make her books feel like coming home. Whether she’s writing about faeries or science fiction, she’s also committed to showing diversity in a quiet but very real way.

Favorite R.J. Anderson books
1. Knife
2. Ultraviolet
3. Quicksilver
4. Arrow
5. Swift

All my R.J. Anderson reviews
Knife briefly (2009), and again (2009)
Rebel, briefly (2010)
Arrow, briefly (2014)
Swift, briefly (2014)
Ultraviolet (2011)
Quicksilver (2013)

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bookish posts

Favorite Authors: Sarah Rees Brennan

I first read a Sarah Rees Brennan book with a good deal of trepidation, because it’s titled The Demon’s Lexicon and I Don’t Do Books about demons. But I had heard really good things about this one, and I thought I should at least try. And then it turned out to be completely and totally awesome and I became an SRB fangirl for life.* Her stories are all different, but they have threads in common–strong characters, friendship, family. Love is important, but it can’t always save you. Magic is beautiful, but it’s also deadly. Power is a weapon that will turn on you if you don’t wield it carefully. I have rarely found another author who manages to write such perfect, terrible, heartbreaking things. My heart is always wary when I read something new because I know that somehow it is going to be crushed–and I’ll love it.

(Also she came to Indianapolis and I met her and she was awesome!)

* Yes, this is a terrible reference. Sorry not sorry.

Favorite works by Sarah Rees Brennan
1. The Demon’s Surrender
2. “The Queen of Atlantis”
3. The Demon’s Covenant
4. Untold
5. Unspoken
6. The Turn of the Story

All of my Sarah Rees Brennan reviews:
The Demon’s Lexicon, briefly (2010)
The Demon’s Covenant (2010) and again, briefly (2010)
The Demon’s Surrender (2011)
All three DL books at once, briefly (2012)
Unspoken (2012)
Untold, briefly (2013)
Unmade (2014)

(Plus some short story reviews, collected in this tag.)