Thursday, February 28, 2008

FAQs About My Own Reading Library

Tip: if you're looking for book recommendations beyond what you see here, click on the label "books" at the bottom of this page. That'll take you to just about all the posts I've ever written in which I recommend books.


Have you read Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley?
Gee, what gave you that impression? :o) I LOVE Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley; they have definitely inspired me. When my editor emailed me to tell me that Tamora Pierce was blurbing Graceling, I burst into tears. I ran to tell my sister, secret code name: Cordelia, who was luckily talking on the phone at the time to my sister, secret code name: Apocalyptica, so we were able to have an impromptu family celebration. (12/1/08)
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Can you recommend some good YA fantasy?
I can indeed. I've never read anything by Tamora Pierce or Robin McKinley I didn't like. With Pierce, the Alanna quartet is a great place to start; with McKinley, The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, and Deerskin are among my personal favorites. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials cannot be beat. Cynthia Voigt has an inter-related quartet of books called the Novels of the Kingdom that aren't technically fantasy (nothing impossible happens), but they have a medieval fantasy feel. They are: Jackaroo; On Fortune's Wheel; The Wings of a Falcon; and Elske. I've also just started reading the Megan Whalen Turner Attolia books, starting with The Thief -- WONDERFUL.

Digressing slightly from fantasy, Margaret Mahy writes beautiful YA magical realism; The Tricksters is one of my favorite books (not to mention the book that inspired the title for my blog). And for plain old women-having-romantic-adventures-in-beautiful-locales stories (not YA, usually not fantasy, nonetheless fantastic), do you know the novels of Mary Stewart? They're a little dated and sometimes hard to find (check your library), but Nine Coaches Waiting will always be in my top ten. In addition to her adventure tales she wrote a wonderful series that's a King Arthur retelling from Merlin's point of view (starting with The Crystal Cave). Good stuff. (12/1/08)
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I'm a bit of a packrat when it comes to books. You couldn't pry them from my cold, dead hands. Do you get rid of your books once you've read them, or do you hoard them like a little squirrel hoards nuts for the winter?
Well, my squirrel friend, I don't read books. Ha! Just kidding. Truth is, I read an absurd number of books, BUT, I also seem to have anti-packrat genes. I don't mean that I hate packrats, just that I definitely am not one myself. ^_^ I tend to only keep books that I love madly and/or books that have sentimental value. Of course, that still leaves me with a ton of books. But let's just say I've got hundreds of books, rather than the tens of thousands of books I would have if I kept everything. Actually, I tend to do most of my reading from the library. Then, when I stumble across a book that I ♥♥♥, I put it on my purchase list so that I can own it and have it forever.

Some books I recently purchased after reading them from the library: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (which I loved so much that I bought several copies, to spread around); Dead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters (my favorite so far in the Brother Cadfael mystery series); Alchemy by Margaret Mahy (I am steadily building my collection of Mahy books; one day I will OWN THEM ALL!). Some books I've recently read, loved, put on my list, and will purchase soon: Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller (DO READ IT! With tissues in hand!) and Dairy Queen and The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (have you met D.J. Schwenk yet? You should).

I've started getting a lot of free books, too, now that I'm going to trade shows and so on. I keep the ones I love passionately and pass the others on.

I love my book policy, because it allows me to spend lots of time in libraries (♥) and it allows me to minimize my belongings, which is good for a person who moves a lot, and also makes each possession that much more precious... (2/2/09)
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Off the top of your head, what's a good book you've recently read?
Zel, by Donna Jo Napoli. (10/19/09)