Weekly Geeks: Recommendations

August 16, 2010 at 12:10 am 8 comments

This week, we were supposed to simply reuse a prompt from the WG archives, preferably one we hadn’t used before. As I am fairly new to the whole WG process, it was fairly easy for me to find this little gem:

ask your readers for recommendations. Choose a genre–any genre–and ask for recommendations. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Consider it as an “I’m looking for….”

So, readers! I am always on the lookout for excellent historical fiction, classics I haven’t gotten to (Hardy, Tolstoy, Forster, etc.) and fantasy fiction that does not feature a woman with boobs and a sword on the cover.

While I have you here, though, I should offer a few recommendations myself. The entire blog is basically recommendations, but here’s what I’d recommend in the categories I’m looking for (and a few others):

Historical fiction: Loved Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin, but also Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White. Those both happen to be about prostitutes, I guess, but that’s, uh, not a requirement…

Classics: Whoo, boy! This is a tough on, and I’d recommend visiting our Classics Challenge Page for some good ideas. Great Expectations is a great classic to start with, and Dickens in general — GE has a good deal of dialog, is shorter than most of Dickens’ work, and it has a very compelling storyline, filled with love and scandal and dangerous midnight escapes.

Fantasy: You all know by now that I love Neil Gaiman, but I also love Robin Hobb and (for the young adult fantasy fans) Tamora Pierce. Probably Neil Gaiman is the only one that you won’t feel embarrassed while reading on the subway. Maybe throw some Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and a little Perdido Street Station or The Scar in there for variety.

Read anything good lately, in my requested categories or otherwise? Tell me about it!

— KT


Entry filed under: Weekly Geeks.

Rereadings: Tennyson The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Britney  |  August 16, 2010 at 4:40 am

    I just read Emma Donoghue’s upcoming book (Room) and now I need to go find my copy of Slammerkin and read it. Room was impossible to put down (though not historical fiction).

    I read the fourth in the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner a few weeks ago and it was really good. :)

    Also in fantasy, I recently read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison and I enjoyed it, though I didn’t really love the ending. It’s about a woman who is called to her grandfather’s kingdom to become his heir and she gets tangled up in the local politics and meets all the gods, who have been stripped of their powers and lurk around the palace. I’m looking forward to seeing how Jemison further fleshes out the world in her second book.

    One of my favorite YA fantasy writers is Robin McKinley – if you haven’t read her before I’d suggest starting with Beauty or The Blue Sword, which are my favorites.

    And I’m currently reading Assassin’s Apprentice and I’m really enjoying it. I can’t believe I only heard of Robin Hobb recently!

    • 2. Kate  |  August 16, 2010 at 7:05 am

      Thanks for the recommendations! I read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms a while ago but never got around to reviewing it — I, too, am anxiously awaiting the second book!

      • 3. Britney  |  August 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm

        Well, you know what they say about great minds.

        I just finished Assassin’s Apprentice and now I feel like I need recommendations. I have Royal Assassin (and yes, the version with the horrible cover) but I don’t want to start it right away.

      • 4. Kate  |  August 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm

        If it makes you feel better, once you finish the Farseer Trilogy (series? Are there four?), there’s the Golden Man series with the same characters! And after that, there is something about a soldier that is her new series — same idea, less talking to animals, I believe.

  • 5. Maire  |  August 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Your call for recommendations made me want to delurk! I just finished the first and second books of George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. I know it’s been really popular for a really long time, but I only recently heard about it. His series has some really wonderful female (and male) characters in it, and the writing is quite good. I’m not typically a fantasy reader, but I just loved these books. And now I’m excited to read some of the fantasy that you recommended, since now I’m not afraid of the genre :)

    • 6. Britney  |  August 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      I want to read this series because it’s so well-regarded but the fact that there hasn’t been a new book in a few years kind of turns me off. I don’t want to get sucked in only to have no end in sight! But my roommate just read the first two books and her boyfriend told me to read them after she finished, so I might read them anyway.

      I love fantasy but I am usually reluctant to read it (especially older titles) because the design of the books turns me off.

  • 7. Emilee  |  August 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    For classics, I recommend Dostoyevsky. One of my favorites is William Faulkner, but he should only be read when you’re feeling very brave and literary.

    • 8. Kate  |  August 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks for the recommendations! Faulkner takes fortitude, for sure — I probably should read more of him.


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