Enquirer Home Page | Twitter | Back to Improbable Island

 Forum Index > Off-Topic > Out-of-Game New Topic Post Reply
 Your favourite authors
 |  Printable Version
Zolotisty
 Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 01:02 AM UTC  
Forum Moderator
Moderator

Status: offline

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 570

C- Can I give you a list of books I've enjoyed instead? 'Authors' is too hard.

In no particular order, and not necessarily favorites, but just things I have liked reading: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. The Schroedinger's Cat Trilogy (and likewise Illuminatus!), Robert Anton Wilson. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver. The Road, Cormac McCarthy. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman. The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami, East of Eden, John Steinbeck. And.. hmn, it's hit or miss with Neal Stephenson and Charles de Lint. Some Vonnegut. And most of the big names when it comes to literature and sci-fi/fantasy more specifically..

Teethed on Carroll, Yolen, Jacques, Doyle and Christie growing up. I learned a lot about humor from Bierce, Parker, Thurber, Wilde and Twain. For contemporary humorists, I like Sedaris and Hodgman a lot.


BARK BARK BARK.
 
Profile Email
Quote
Gorbert
 Thursday, May 21 2009 @ 03:47 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 350

Quote by: Zolotisty

C- Can I give you a list of books I've enjoyed instead? 'Authors' is too hard.

In no particular order, and not necessarily favorites, but just things I have liked reading: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. The Schroedinger's Cat Trilogy (and likewise Illuminatus!), Robert Anton Wilson. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver. The Road, Cormac McCarthy. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman. The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami, East of Eden, John Steinbeck. And.. hmn, it's hit or miss with Neal Stephenson and Charles de Lint. Some Vonnegut. And most of the big names when it comes to literature and sci-fi/fantasy more specifically..

Teethed on Carroll, Yolen, Jacques, Doyle and Christie growing up. I learned a lot about humor from Bierce, Parker, Thurber, Wilde and Twain. For contemporary humorists, I like Sedaris and Hodgman a lot.



I remember The Little Prince. I should probably reread it, since the last time I was 13 and didn't really understand any of it.


 
Profile Email
Quote
crashtestpilot
 Monday, May 25 2009 @ 05:20 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 10/29/08
Posts: 351

Bernard's list and my list have a lot of intersection.
But I also like history.
More than I did in college.
A lot more.
Turns out there's stories, there. Who knew?

Seriously, the way history is taught from HS through grad school is an abomination.
It's a fucking story.
Should be taught that way.

Writing papers on marxist and non-marxist interpretations of the Industrial Revolution in England -- and the fact that I have -- makes me want to chop my fingers off in a very non-marxist way.

Manchester has it right. Tell the story. Judge the characters. But above all, read every piece of documentation you can get your hands on.
Arms of Krupp? American Caesar? Goodbye Darkness?

Master works.

I'm pleased I got to interview him before he died. I'm not pleased it was after he had a stroke following his second volume on Churchill.

I will forever miss that man's truncated potential. He was a powerhouse.

-CTP


 
Profile Email
Quote
Hairy Mary
 Saturday, May 30 2009 @ 04:14 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 1083

Lots of great authors/books already mentioned, which I won't repeat. But how come nobodies mentioned Mervyn Peake with "Titus Groan" and "Gormenghast"? I rarely if ever read books twice. I've read those about 5 times each now. About to start again.
Warning: Not very fast moving, but the world is so richly observed, and bizaar, they have to be read. At school, readers were pretty much divided into Tolkienites and Peake Readers depending on whether you preferd things happening or looking good.

Zol - I'm just about to start "The man who would be Thursday" Good to know it's got your recomendation.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Hairy Mary
 Monday, June 01 2009 @ 10:46 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 1083

Um no mention of 'Through the looking glass and what Alice found there' yet either. There is now.


 
Profile Email
Quote
crashtestpilot
 Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 05:22 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 10/29/08
Posts: 351

The reason I haven't listed Gormenghast is because I couldn't imagine reading (again) 900 pages about dusty rooms.
-CTP


 
Profile Email
Quote
Stanlygirl
 Friday, July 03 2009 @ 10:56 PM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 06/23/09
Posts: 30

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Seems to me that at least some of you lot will be big readers, given that you're enjoying a text-based adventure game. I'll get the ball rolling.

Tied for first place - Terry Pratchett and Spider Robinson.

Yeah, sorry - my favourite authors aren't what you'd call heavy reading. That's probably why they're my favourites - their books are clever, and they ask questions and invite you to think about things, but they're still easy going and accessible enough to reach a mainstream audience in the disguise of light entertainment, which I think is a very, very good thing.

Pratchett needs no introduction - and if he does, then go read the "Guards" or "Death" books in the DiscWorld series. They're a good start. Don't bother with the RinceWind books - or if you do read them, read them only for the sake of completeness. They're not as good as the rest.

Spider Robinson - wonderfully optimistic, light-hearted science fiction. It takes its sweet time to get anywhere, but it's a good journey filled with fun characters, interesting questions and truly awful puns. Particular favourites: "Lady Slings the Booze," "MindKiller," "The Best of All Possible Worlds" (anthology edited by Spider). I think the only Spider Robinson book I didn't really enjoy was his most applauded work "Variable Star," adapted by Spider from a novel outline by Robert Heinlein discovered after Heinlein's death - it suffers from the pacing problems that Spider gets himself into every now and again, only amplified ten times over. Things Happen in the beginning. Nothing Happens for a few hundred pages. Things Happen at the end, and nobody really does anything about them. The Things That Happen at The End could have easily happened without the several hundred pages of Nothing Happening and in this case, the protagonist never quite manages to be interesting enough to hold my patience (in addition to being a bit of a jackass). I'd like to see more Spider Robinson in the next Spider Robinson book. Wink

I digress. Who are your favourite authors, and why?




Is there a page limit? Or a number limit, like top 100?


 
Profile Email
Quote
Bernard
 Saturday, July 04 2009 @ 05:48 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 10/26/08
Posts: 368

Quote by: crashtestpilot

The reason I haven't listed Gormenghast is because I couldn't imagine reading (again) 900 pages about dusty rooms.
-CTP



Shizzle, and I was going to recommend 'How Clean Is Your House' by Kim and Aggie to you as well.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Epaphus
 Sunday, July 05 2009 @ 05:29 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 311

A caveat. In a prior life, many years ago, I was an English professor before I decided to leave academia and get a Real Job. Wow, what a mistake.

My favs split neatly into "authors that entertain" and "authors that challenge." Ultimately, I think the best authors manage to straddle the categories, but that's something I have trouble justifying to my more academically minded friends, who insist entertainment must automatically be pop culture, and pop culture isn't really capital-C Culture.

A second caveat. I'm a postmodernism and an experimentalist, so tend to go for things that are drenched in irony and subversion, whether playful (among the authors who entertain) or formalistic/structuralistic (among those who challenge).

In the "entertain" category, I do like Jim Butcher's Dresden novels, especially the early ones, and I was pleased that several other people have mentioned him. I'm also fond of Chuck Palahniak's novels. I like Edgar Pangborn (_Davy_, one of Spider Robinson's favorite novels), Philip K. Dick, James Tiptree Jr., and Robert Heinlein, for many of the reasons CMJ likes Pratchett, though my choices rely less on humor and more on empathy for their investigations of how we humans make our way in the world.

In the "challenge" category--and feel free to start cringing any time you like--I'm a big fan of Guy Davenport, who writes these dense, *densely* packed narratives cobbled together out of French and German modernism, ancient Greek masters, and just about anything else he can get his hands on, following William Burroughs' edict that authors should steal anything that isn't nailed down. Throw William Burroughs onto my list too, and some of the Blank Generation writers he influenced, like Dennis Cooper. Richard Brautigan, particularly _Trout Fishing in America_, where Trout Fishing starts as an activity and turns into a character. And Walter Abish (_Alphabetical Africa_). Kenneth Patchen (_Sleepers Awake_ and _Journal of Albion Moonlight_). Gertrude Stein's shorter "plays." Marguerite Young (_Miss Macintosh My Darling_). Italo Calvino (_If on a Winter's Night a Traveler_). Jorge Luis Borges.

There. Far too much information about far too many dusty old tombs--er, I meant tomes.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Bodoni
 Sunday, July 05 2009 @ 07:08 PM UTC  
Forum Badass
Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 74

Heh, too many to mention.

I love Vernor Vinge, Barbara Hambly, Diana Wynne Jones, Heinlein, and most of the Golden Age writers. My grandfather was a big SF fan, and allowed me to start reading his library when I first showed interest in it at the age of 8. He had saved all of his magazines, and I loved going over to his house and reading the back issues of Analog. I still subscribe to it, though I'm probably going to drop it, as I feel that it's dropped in story quality.

My daughter worked at a couple of used book stores, which allowed her to bring home books and read them. Of course I read them too, and got exposed to a great many authors that I otherwise wouldn't have picked up.

Generally, I read SF (don't call it sci-fi around me) and fantasy, but I'll also read mysteries (love Nero Wolfe stories, but I'll pass on most of the other Stout novels), mundane fiction, and even some men's adventure or romance novels.

My favs split neatly into "authors that entertain" and "authors that challenge." Ultimately, I think the best authors manage to straddle the categories, but that's something I have trouble justifying to my more academically minded friends, who insist entertainment must automatically be pop culture, and pop culture isn't really capital-C Culture.
What he said. While sometimes I like to read something that's basically just cotton candy for the brain, I generally want to read something that makes me think. Sometimes this leads to me throwing a book against a wall. For instance, I read the first Laurel K. Hamilton book, and got to the point where the heroine got into her car and drove someplace. The car that had been totaled a few chapters earlier. This absolutely disgusts me.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Marly
 Thursday, August 13 2009 @ 02:33 AM UTC  
Forum Contender
Contender

Status: offline

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 67

I'm a rather simple reader, by comparison to many of these lists. o_O

I read Diana Wynne Jones growing up, when a friend recommended the Dark Lord of Derkholm to me. Loved it, read the rest of her books I could get my hands on. Before that, there was Patricia A. McKillip with her Harpist in the Wind trilogy.

Lately, it's been Lois McMaster Bujold, and I've been introduced to Terry Pratchett and loving him. I don't mind Rincewind's stories so much as others seem to, since sometimes I feel just as useless and scared, but to each their own. Big Grin

Lindsey Davis is also rather fun historical fiction. Lately I've taken to poking around in the history stacks at my library, and finding the more gossipy books to read. That's a lot of fun...


 
Profile Email
Quote
Duskrunner
 Thursday, August 13 2009 @ 02:21 PM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 27

Ohhhhh.....

George R.R. Martin (and yes, I see all of those hidden references. Ace High and the Jokers made me squee, just so you know), both his huge Fire and Ice series as well as his short stories (Nobody Leaves New Pittsburgh, The MeatHouse Man, A Song for Lya, etc)
Robert Heinlein.... yeah... all of it. But Time Enough for Love holds a special and coveted place in my heart.
Neil Gaiman (We need more references here, because there is little in modern literature out there as Improbable as he), American Gods, Neverwhere, and everything else, but especially his Sandman graphic novels. Not in to comics? Yeah....you've never seen a comic like this, I promise.
Alexander Dumas. I could re-read the Count of Monte Cristo every couple months and not get tired of it.
Lewis Carroll. Come on, you aren't surprised, are you?
Yamamoto Tsunetomo. He's only got one title under his belt, but it's my 'backpocket' book. The one I always have with me. Hagakure.
Orson Scott Card. No more needs to be said really.
Scott Lynch. Not a very well known author, but his first two books, Lies of Locke Lamora, and Red Seas Under Red Skies, blew me *away*.
Dan Simmons. His Hyperion books are a must read in my mind.

::stops there. She could go on for hours::


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
 
Profile Email
Quote
Marly
 Thursday, August 13 2009 @ 06:14 PM UTC  
Forum Contender
Contender

Status: offline

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 67

Quote by: Duskrunner


Alexander Dumas. I could re-read the Count of Monte Cristo every couple months and not get tired of it.
Lewis Carroll. Come on, you aren't surprised, are you?




Ooooh, how could I forget Dumas and Carroll? I love reading Dumas, especially one chapter at a time, since I believe the Pere was published in serial installments. I wrote a paper once comparing the Count of Monte Cristo to the Great Gatsby.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Gorbert
 Friday, August 14 2009 @ 03:06 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 350

Matthew Stover certainly comes to mind. Remember how much Star Wars: Episode III sucked? Because George Lucas is a senile old bastard who can't right a decent plot? Matthew Stover wrote the novelization of that movie, and not only made it decent, he turned it into pure gold. (Yes, I am a Star Wars nerd.) So, my hat's off to that man.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Duskrunner
 Friday, August 14 2009 @ 03:18 AM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 27

Nor can he write a love scene out of a paper bag. ::sage nod:: Thank god Ford could improve. Too bad Christensen could not.

Glad to know there is another SWs junkie out there.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
 
Profile Email
Quote
chicagopolska
 Sunday, August 16 2009 @ 06:42 AM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 18

I am a depressing little reader it seems.

Well, as my title should tip off, I'm madly and irrevocably in love with Oscar Wilde. To a totally unacceptable degree, probably because he pulled off social commentary, comedy, and the destruction of the self so flawlessly. Also, I kind of like the pomp. The first book of his I ever read was The Picture of Dorian Gray, and it remains my favourite.

I started reading Paulo Coehlo last year at the insistence of several Brazilians, and he's taken a spot at the top of my lists, I'll read anything of his and so far have always been impressed. The best for me is a tie between The Witch of Portobello and The Alchemist.

Beyond those ones, my tastes split between classics, inherited science fiction, and books that made it nearly impossible to answer my AP essay about the juxtaposition of humor and horror, since most of my tastes involve...no humor.

A few that pop up right now? Asimov's Foundation Series, Sturgeon's More Than Human, Garcia's 100 Years of Solitude, Kafka's The Trial, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Chinua Achebe for both Things Fall Apart and Anthills of the Savannah, Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure (possibly my favourite book of all time), and David Copperfield. I like the human experience. *shrug*

If we're doing poets, EE Cummings is my personal favourite.

Oh, and I have a soft spot for Henrik Ibsen for telling society to go fuck itself with A Doll's House.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Mr Geppetto
 Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 08:58 PM UTC  
Forum Badass
Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 79

Yay, we're discussing books! As I tend to go by authors (when I read a book I like, I try to read everything I can get my hands on by that author and it usually works) here's a list of authors. Some of them have been mentioned before, some not. Here it goes:

SF - Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert (Dosadi Experiment is my favorite), Arkadi&Boris Strugatski (Roadside Picnic the fave), Asimov, Ursula le Guin, Vernor Vinge,

Fantasy - Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle (guess they go in here), Tolkien (although the only one I totally enjoyed enormously is The Hobbit, the others had some meh parts for me)

Cyber-punk - China Mieville

Fun-SF- Douglas Adams, the one and only
Fun-Fantasy - Pratchett (the Discworld series, especially Small Gods and Guards, Guards!), Jasper Fforde (only the Thursday Next series, couldn't get my hands on anything else)

Humorous - Tom Sharpe, PG Wodehouse, Jerome K Jerome

Magical realism - Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie

Others that I don't quite know where to put, but like enormously: Borges, Vargas Llosa (especially Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter), Vonnegut, Pynchon, Chuck Palahniuk, Burgess, Updike (the Bech series), David Lodge, Huxley, Bulgakov (Yay! for Master and Margarita).

Phew. It's hard to make a list. I'm gonna submit it now before I start feeling bad about those I left out....


 
Profile Email
Quote
Cousjava
 Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 01:54 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 244

In order, roughly:

Tolkien - Lord of The Rings, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, etc.
Steven Erikson - The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time
C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia, The Cosmic Trilogy, The Screwtape Letters
Raymond E. Feist - The Riftwar Cycle
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Terry Brooks - Shannara
Terry Pratchett - Discworld
Jasper Fforde - Thursday Next, Jack Sprat
John Wyndam - Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes
Terrry Goodkind - Sword of truth


A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a trombone; what else does a man need to be happy?
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Azhron
 Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 06:45 PM UTC  
Forum Contender
Contender

Status: offline

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 57

In order of them rambling across my mind:

Terry Pratchett-Mainly the Lancre witches stories and the Watchmen, but I really think you are being a bit unfair to the Rincewind story arc(the later books are pretty good)

Libba Bray-Actually just Going Bovine, which is one of my favourites

Charles de Lint

John Green-The only realistic fiction I can stand

Douglas Adams-Of course

Markus Zusac(not sure about spelling)

Jasper Fforde-Particularly the Thursday Next series

Piers Anthony-Xanth novels(I despise them, yet can't stop reading them. They're wonderously horrid.)

and more or less everything else I pick up. I'm not too choosy.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Joseph Kemys
 Sunday, June 13 2010 @ 09:09 PM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 05/28/10
Posts: 15

I see a lack of Horror here, so, Brian Keene.


That's it, I'm not really much of a reader as of late. Though, I'm looking to get a few more of his books next time I can find them.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Content generated in: 1.63 seconds
New Topic Post Reply



 All times are UTC. The time is now 12:52 AM.

Normal Topic Normal Topic
Locked Topic Locked Topic
Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
New Post New Post
Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
View Anonymous Posts 
Anonymous users can post 
Filtered HTML Allowed 
Censored Content