*Sarah Speaking: I realize it’s evil to hit you with essentially 2 promo posts in a row. But today we’re going to be running around like crazy people (ducttape-grandkids coming mid-week) and yesterday night Valeria-cat announced she wasn’t feeling so good by peeing all over our bed. Twice. So, I’ll write post on Monday. These two days I run around like crazy -SAH*
De Gusta-Books Non Est Disputandum by Foxfier
Look, if you like a book, you like a book. It’s really not something that will change when someone says “I don’t like it.” In matters of taste, it’s not up to debate.
Recent…ish… there was a kerfuffle over some list or other of “how dare you read these books? They’re bad!” where it was a definite purity spiral, and from the selection and justifications it was questionable if folks liked ’em, or just thought that they should like them.
(Think in terms of the difference between books you want to read, and books you want to have read, and books that you want folks to think you read.)
Sad how little that narrows it down, isn’t it? Anyways, long story short, instead of laughing or complaining, it was suggested that somebody try to get folks to write lists of good stuff to read. Guess who the “somebody” is today….
The format is title and author, link if applicable, what it is, and if you’ve got something besides “I just really liked it,” list that.
So, for example:
Daring Finds series by Elise Hyatt, an Odd and quirky crafting series with romantic sub-plot, and I like it because it’s fun, of the “his men would follow him anywhere, if only to find out what happens” sort.
The duology of A Net of Dawn and Bones and Seeds of Blood, by C Chancy; near future broken masquerade (“magic and monsters come out of the shadows”). Definitely not a romance-type urban fantasy, think more like the Dresden files, but with non-romantic duo instead of Harry as the main character. I like it because Chancy takes her subjects seriously, as well as telling an interesting story. Things are plausibly explained in-world, and not in a way that is actively painful if you’re familiar with the subject; it opens in hell, for goodness’ sake, and actually sells it.
And so on, however many books you want to list.
You don’t like someone’s list?
Make your own list, with the books you do like, and why! Spread the treasures! You get inspired to make a list, link to the person who inspired you– or just reblog them, and then join in, too, whatever works.
Let’s try to spread some positivity, right?
Frontier Magic, by Patricia C Wrede. Magical AU American history, post 1800.
First series I talked my daughter into reading, largely on the basis of “Well, you liked The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.” Part of the fun is seeing the translation and logical continuation if you change one thing.
…I have been informed by the two eldest that I am adding Marda Quincesinger, Postulant, by Maggie Hogarth It is “basically fantasy– dragons, talking animals. Fantasy.” She likes it because it’s awesome!
Shadows by Robin McKinley, an alternate world roughly modern-day fantasy.
“It’s got a good story line. It’s interesting to read.”
Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, by Richard Scarry. It’s a simple story with a lot of fun, fanciful cars in an anthropomorphic animal world. The littles love it because finding Gold Bug is fun.
Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin. It’s a bedtime story book. Simple, cute, survives being read every night for a month straight, and the kids start picking up words by exposure.
Alright, back to what came to mind when I thought of good books I wanted to share.
Radiance, by Grace Draven. Romance, fairly physical, slightly dark/epic fantasy setting. I like it because the characters start out acting like adults in a rather painful situation, and (I hope I’m not spoiling too much) eventually fall in love; what really stood out was that there was a lot of physical touch that had nothing to do with romance.
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers, and I’m linking the whole series because it’s good. It’s a now-historical mystery series, was current-day when it was written between the world wars. Generally starts with a murder, which is generally solved by the end. A lot of non-slapstick, understated or ironic humor, including the entire novel Strong Poison towards the middle of the series, where the plot line is “female author suspect of killing her ex-lover using methods from one of her novels.” In a novel. By a lady. Who did that kind of research…. thus showing that the worry of “does my search history make me look like a serial killer, or a writer?” predates the internet!
Father Brown’s Mysteries, by G. K. Chesterton. Historical fiction, pre-WWII England, basically the spiritual grandfather of mystery novels. They’re legally available for free all over the place. It’s kind of like if Columbo at his most bemused was transported back into pre-war England, and had some adventures and solved (rather good) puzzles.
Bound to the Alien Engineer by C. V. Walter. It’s book two in a series, definitely not-sweet romance, near future sci-fi, and you’ll hurt yourself laughing because it’s about a bunch of scifi fans trying to find out about their friend, by shaking down the guys cosplaing as big, blue aliens from a fandom nobody recognizes.
Exile’s Honor, by Mercedes Lackey. Fantasy, intelligent spirit-bond animal subtype. It’s awesome because Alberich is a snarky, honorable, somewhat grumpy with absolute justification, hard working character of towering awesome. Read it against my better judgement– I find the mind control ponies of Valdemar to be creepy– and I love this book.
Absolutely anything with Hoka! in the title, by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson. Classic scifi (think Spaceman Spiff type scifi) comedy. You see, there’s a race of ADHDAF extreme RP, cosplaying teddybears that are strong enough to actually pull it off….
Hank the Cowdog, by John R. Erickson. The adventures of a ranch dog in Texas, who is not nearly as intelligent as he thinks he is, in a way that a five or six year old can recognize and find funny well into adulthood. Last on the list because this will be really long…. these were the first books I was allowed to read after my mom got word that the school library was restricting me to books they thought I could handle. Which was so restricted I’d have to work up to Color Kittens. She didn’t maim anybody, I promise, though I won’t say it wasn’t a risk.
For these, I actually love the audio books best– they were books on tape when I was a kid, read by the author, and they are incredible. We have both the audio editions and several of the book bundles, you can find them searching for Hank the Cowdog Set”.
So, folks– make a list, or several– what’s your De Gusta-books?