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Recommend a book.

I have two books for the trip, but I'm obsessed with redundancy in books. What if I crack open the Jim Butcher and loathe it? What if Horse Heaven begins to make me depressed because I can't handle reading about anything bad happening to animals? I suppose I could re-read something I already know I love, but I just never do that. I need newness. Some or all of the following things are what I'm looking for:

- fantasy novel (magic, unicorns, blahbitty) (shut up it makes me mentally comfy)
- southern humor (think Roy Blount or John Kennedy Toole)
- characters with humility
- yet characters that are still heroes
- and are heroes without being impossibly beautiful
- wacky nonstandard gender role stuff
- surreality
- an overall positive outlook about the world, or the pretend world the book is set in
- regular people gettin' by

I have fallen away from fantasy novels in recent years with the exception of humor stuff like Pratchett. But Mo recommended Little, Big to me a few years ago and when I finally got around to reading it I found it was the perfect book for me, apart from the One True Book for me, which is as you all know Handling Sin.

There was some fantasy writer that seemed to fit all these conditions whose writing annoyed the piss out of me - I'll try to remember who it was. [edit] Aha! It was Charles de Lint. I tried to read Dreams Underfoot and found it a little too twee and perhaps obvious. If something seems obvious to me, the most oblivious reader short of a mid-sized pond pebble, that's bad. I think it also seemed a little dated, something other "drawing the fantastic into a contemporary realistic world" books somehow manage to skip around. I suppose you can add "timelessness" to that list above as an option.

I might or might not have time before I leave to hit a Border's so all this may be moot, but I'd still be interested in any recommendations anyone has.

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( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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kazoogrrl
May. 4th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
You might like Cecelia Dart Thorton - the trilogy that starts with "The Ill Made Mute". I found it to be an almost perfect set of books, though the ending was only . . . ok. It's cool because she puts together a world where the fairytales and folk myths of our world are real (i.e. fairies and such are real, and not that nice. Lots of stuff pulled from Irish, English, French, Norwegian folk tales).
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
Thanks! That sounds like a good one to try.
angela_la_la
May. 4th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
I tried hard to think of a book that had the foibles of Southern unicorns who are rather plain looking yet always look on the bright side of the mushroom kingdom they inhabit, but I can't.

I will however put on the broken record of "if you haven't read any Ursula LeGuin yet, why the heck not?!" Her Earthsea series is her most fantasy-oriented (wizards and dragons and whatnot), but I think you might also like The Telling. It's more SF than fantasy, but it deals a lot with spirituality and has a r3sb1an protaganist to boot.
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
"As Harriet wandered down the lazy summer Georgia streets she scratched her beard in contemplation of just how she'd get her bike fixed, when suddenly she noticed out of the corner of her eye a glinting silver horn..."

Yeah, I guess "some or all" isn't necessarily what I meant there. Scratch that "or all".

*runs downstairs to see if she already has a LeGuin book*
Nope. I have Lackey and Zimmer Bradley (and Feist and Brust) but no LeGuin. I used to just buy the first book in a bunch of series for times like this to have something around.
(no subject) - angela_la_la - May. 4th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 4th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angela_la_la - May. 5th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin - peregrin8 - May. 4th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
summer_queen
May. 4th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
*chews on you*

De Lint is *wonderful*. Maybe you just need to pick another title ("Dreams Underfoot"'s probably not the best place to start). I think I started with "The Little Country" and then moved into his Newford stories.
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
I felt pretty bad about that paragraph because you GAVE me the de Lint book, but I can't help that it wasn't to my tastes. I'd be willing to give him another try with another title. I'm pretty forgiving with first stabs. :)

But I think you also gave me the Butcher book (thank you!!) which I'll be digging into. It was either going to be that or the Brust book you gave me! ... or Diana Gabaldon.
(no subject) - summer_queen - May. 4th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 4th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - summer_queen - May. 4th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - debela - May. 4th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 4th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dazzedelf - May. 4th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 4th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
traceracer
May. 4th, 2006 10:34 am (UTC)
Have you tried any of the Sharon Shinn angel books? Archangel was pretty good.

If only there was new Kay around, you'd be set.

What about another Malone book?
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)
Never read any Sharon Shinn. I'll check her out. There is still one Kay book out there I haven't read, but I find that his books that aren't the Fionavar ones make me want to slap him upside the head.

Sadly, I've read all the Malone books already. :)
dazzedelf
May. 4th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
I'd recommend Charles De Lint but it appears April tried and failed. Steven Brust writes a nifty little series, but I'm not sure if that's what you want either. 2 authors that come to mind right now, is George R.R. Martin, Songs of Ice & Fire series. (First book is called Game of Thrones), I would also recommend the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb (First book is called Assassin's Apprentice)
paleotheist
May. 4th, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC)
OMG - I totally second those recommendations!!!
(no subject) - dazzedelf - May. 4th, 2006 12:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
eeedge
May. 4th, 2006 12:04 pm (UTC)
Have you read the Southern Vampire novels by Charlaine Harris? They are not particularly gross or scary, and the characters are very nicely done. Dead Until Dark is the first. They fit well in the fluffy fantasy set for me. (I don't think we've seen a unicorn, though...)
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
I love the Charlaine Harris books!! So, er, yes, I have read them. :) I think there's a new one I haven't read yet though.
paleotheist
May. 4th, 2006 12:50 pm (UTC)
I have a couple good fantasy series on hand at home. Let me know if you'll be at softball tonight and I'll try to remember to bring them for your perusal. Borrowing is way cheaper than buying!
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
Hopefully I'll be in the air over the midwest by the time you're taking the field! So I won't be able to drop by. :-/
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
Heh. I've never read any of those, but remain skeptical. What makes you want to recommend them given that I've already stated I've not been a fantasy fan for a while?
(Deleted comment)
tzel
May. 4th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
I dunno, I still say give George R. R. Martin a try. The most brilliant character in the book is a deformed dwarf, the coolest is an 8yr old girl who wants to be a master swordsman, er, person and her father lets her try, the strongest is a mother who goes after her enemies and gives military advice to her bannermen, The most awesome is a 13yr old girl wed to basically Gehngis Kahn who decides that no one will tell her what a mere woman-child can and cannot do. There's plenty of other secondary characters that are women who are fighters and non-traditional and manage to garner respect because of it. Moreso in the second book than the first, but still.
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
I plan to, via the tapes you loaned me! I dusted off my tape player last week even.
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
Yes - that was definitely part of my problem with it.
zorah
May. 4th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
You don't need books - you'll have MEEEEEE! Ash assures me that I will be able to fling myself at the organizers and offer my volunteer skillz and just hang out at Camp being useful. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! She says they always need people. So I am driving down tonight with the Ashtastica, at least partway and will be there all weekend. I can be your groupie!

Also: Ash is doing drums too!
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
Holy crap - you know what that means.

That means I will SEE YOU TOMORROW!!!!

How many times fo I get to say that to you? Like twice in my life, HELLO.

Wow.

Although unless you're coming on the plane with me, I'll need a book. :)
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
May. 11th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
Re: Murdoch, Tepper, Fry
The Iris Murdoch is intriguing. Any particular ones I should start with? (Of course, now I don't need a plane book, but I still love to find new authors.)

Read and loved Making History. At the point I've read all the Fry, unless he's come out with something new while I'm not looking.
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
May. 11th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
Intriguing!! Thank you for the suggestion I will seek this one out!
spleenless
May. 4th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
Not a book but a place - check out Daedelus Books in Columbia for a great selection of interesting and CHEAP books. I go there regularly and am always interested in some of the selections the staff comes up with. One Southern quirk book I like was picked up there - Noodling for Catfish by Keith Sutton. I've gotten a ton of cool things there.
snidegrrl
May. 11th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
I've been there once - and I'm always afraid to go back because I'm afraid I'll get lost in Columbia. Very silly!! I should make a trip back at times like these, though.
jlfranklin
May. 5th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
Three books, all non-fiction (so they don't meet any of your criteria), all ridiculously cool:

Being Digital, Nicolas Negroponte
In the Beginning was the Command Line, Neal Stephenson
The Pinball Effect, James Burke
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