This list was begun March 16, 2004 and lists only what I've recently read. Actually, not all of what I've recently read, but some have been returned to the library already and there were so many of them that I've forgotten the authors. From now on I'll make a note of each!
I have to add some of my favorite books, though.
Children of Men, PD James.
PD James usually writes mysteries, which I read and enjoy greatly for their moodiness and Old World slowness. This is something very different, a speculative fiction work that was wonderfully satisfying all the way through.
Animal Doctor, By P. C. Jersild Translated by David Mel Paul and Margareta Paul from the Swedish.
This reminded me a bit of Stanislaw Lem and those others who write of endless bureaucracies and how an emotional human being fits into such a thing. Great characters, thoughtful writing, and a clean, cold Northern essence.
Glyph, Percival Everett.
This book varies from snobby pretentiousness to very amusing social satire. A sort of reverse Forrest Gump, the protagonist Ralph is a baby who has an IQ of 450 and who writes erudite notes and reads voraciously between diaper changes. Ultimately it was a disappointment because the author relied too much on austere philosophical meanderings.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, JK Rowling.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling.
The odd thing about the Harry Potter books is that for hundreds of pages you are convinced that nothing at all is really happening, and then things suddenly come together. Rowling is quite good at this!
All of the Stephanie Plum novels, the latest two I recently read.
Hard Eight, Janet Evanovich.
To The Nines, Janet Evanovich.
Dhalgren, Samuel Delaney.
I read everything that I find by Samual Delany. This book goes right to my gut.
Solaris, Stansilaw Lem.
The Cyberiad, Stansilaw Lem.
Also every other book he has written. Read him.
Hackers, Steven Levy.
How we all ended up with computers on our desktops, and the personalities and events involved. I could barely put it down to eat.
Any books that I can find written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.
Tripmaster Monkey, Maxine Hong Kingston.
The Tin Drum, G�nter Grass.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, JRR Tolkien.
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck.
This is my favorite book of all time. I have read every book Steinbeck has written, many of them numerous times.
All books written by Margaret Atwood, author of A Handmaid's Tale.
All books written by Marge Piercy, author of Woman on the Edge of Time.
2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke.
Diana Gabaldon Books
Dragonfly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Water Witch (with Cynthia Felice)
Promised Land (with Cynthia Felice)
To Say Nothing of the Dog This is one of those incredibly enjoyable books that I recommend to everyone.
Passage Brain death and the Titanic meet. I couldn't stop reading it, though it disturbed me to find out there was so much detail available about the Titanic. The ultimate mystery novel.
The Forest, Edward Rutherfurd. A long history of England with intertwining families throughout the centuries.
The Starry Child
Circle of Time, both by Lynn Hanna. She's trying to be Diana Gabaldon but isn't putting the time and effort into it. By the second book it's so contrived as to be boring.
Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland, W.B. Yeats. I read this as a child and it scared me so bad I didn't reread it until now. Why the little people/fairies/etc. make mortals cart around corpses is something I'm still figuring out. Could be they are saying, "Hey STUPID, you are MORTAL! Get your act together NOW!" Besides those types of stories, there are lots of others, and many written in Irish/English dialect. If you haven't read this, and you are into Irish lore, you have missed a classic.
The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris. I finally read this book from which the famous movie was made. Even knowing how things turn out didn't make it any less fascinating, and it is well-written, an added and required bonus if I am to finish a book. I like Clarice Starling because she embodies the person in me that is real, who has both feminine and masculine traits, not just some author's idea of what "woman" is. I get the idea that as a kid she also considered herself a person before she considered herself male or female.
Don't Mess With Mrs. In-Between
JFK is Missing!
Who Killed Marilyn Monroe?
Almost any blurb you read will describe Liz Evans' Grace Smith books as "England's answer to Janet Evanovich." I suppose it is a good way to sell books, and there is a slight resemblence but some nice differences, too. For one thing, these plots are a lot more involved, and the books are more detailed and longer than any Stephanie Plum novel. For another thing, Grace Smith is more my cup of tea. She's less concerned with men than Stephanie is, doesn't do the makeup thing, the clothes thing (in the four books I've read, she's still wearing the same three outfits!) and she's somewhat tactless. The thing she has in common is that she's out there being active, doing stuff, getting into a mess and many of the situations are quite funny, no doubt about it! These aren't just fluff, and the definitely aren't romances, and they are well-written.