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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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Comments

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.
summer_queen
May. 4th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Ah! The Brust. Take that one. Much love for that book. ^__^

I'm not terribly big on traditional fantasy any more, to be quite honest. David Eddings is squarely to blame. Though I am, if it takes me decades, going to get through the Song of Fire and Ice series. I swear it!
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
Does the Brust book follow the stuff I mentioned above? I shied from it because it looked so... scary on the cover. I need a fluffy blanket of book.

I haven't been able to read fantasy much since I realized that alot of the stuff I read as a kid I can't really get into anymore. Moorcock? Ugh. I bet if I tried to read the Magic's Whatever series by Lackey now I'd be rolling my eyes. I just have a different idea of heroes than I used to.

But there are those rare books that just surpass.
summer_queen
May. 4th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Does the Brust book follow the stuff I mentioned above?

Uh, no, alas it does not. It is, however, a damn fine book -- the kind I enjoy merely wallowing in. ^_^
debela
May. 4th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
Gabaldon worries me a bit for you - I'm pretty sure you'll want to throttle the hero.
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
I'm still going to give it a shot, but consider myself warned. So many of my friends have got such terrific enjoyment out of them I can't not try.
dazzedelf
May. 4th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC)
I started with Moonheart and Spiritwalk. I find that Tamson House is usually a better place to start. If you want to try something the newford series, I always recommend Somewhere to be flying first. And then move on to Dreams underfoot, or moonlight & vines.
snidegrrl
May. 4th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
The names of the books are so... Moonheart? I mean... it just turns me off for some reason. It's unsubtle.