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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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tzel
May. 5th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
Tamora Pierce
I totally forgot about these books. They're YA and I have only read the first book. (I read it when it came out and never found the rest of the series.) Audible just reccomended it to me and it might be up your alley:

Alanna, The First Adventure: Song of the Lioness, Book 1

Alanna of Trebond is no ordinary girl: her dream is to become a knight. So she disguises herself as a boy and begins training at the palace of King Roald. Alanna quickly finds out that the road to knighthood is not an easy one, but her skills and stubbornness help her become friends with Prince Jonathan and his followers. At the same time, Alanna makes an enemy of the prince's uncle, the overly charming Duke Roger.

Here begins Alanna's first adventure, one that will lead not only to fulfillment of her dreams but to a magical destiny that will make her a legend.

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