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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.



May. 4th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
Re: LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin
I didn't really think you would :-)

...anyway some of her least space-voyagey things are the Earthsea books (I think there are 5 or 6 now... she was writing them pretty boy-centric at first and then she did some interesting feminist re-visioning of the same world in the later books -- but the initial trilogy is really good too) and later books like Gifts and The Telling (which take place on other planets but aren't at all space-hardware-y)...

May. 5th, 2006 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin
Peregrin: there is a LeGuin community!
May. 5th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
Re: LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin LeGuin
thanks; I am there!