Friday, May 1, 2009

Books and Rain

It's been raining for days and is predicted to continue for many more! Everything is extremely green outside, and it's gone from barren to lush in less than a month. At times it's cozy staying inside listening to the rain and reading, but it's messing up my weekend plans because the juried crafts fair starts today and ends Sunday. This rain will definitely decrease attendance. TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists) has a variety of quality pieces and is always a highlight. I've been even after the rain ended and not so great.

The Renaissance Festival
begins this weekend and continues through May, so I might get to go and check out the jewelry. I'm not all that interested in the rest of it but enjoy walking around there but not in the rain.

It rains a lot in Tennessee and rivals the Pacific Northwest in number of days of rain. It's also very humid here which makes the state pretty but feels like trying to breathe under water at times. We're the allergy capital of the country, so this rain might help wash away some of this pollen that's making us all miserable.

Fantasy and science fiction are not the kinds of books I generally like to read. That's why I didn't read the Harry Potter books until they had all been published. I gave in and then loved them. It was a surprise to me, but they are so well-written with a great storyline. These books introduced me to an entire world that was unfamiliar but became real to me. I wanted to continue knowing about the characters and care about them. Rowling deserves all the praise, money, and awards she's earned. Because of her, I might try some more fantasy novels. My son has recommended a few he thought I'd like and was right.

I'm a horror novel wimp and can't handle those. I don't like romance novels, either. As an English major and teacher, I've read the classics and enjoyed most of those. I hated Lord of the Flies and have never read Tolkein. I liked teaching The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Streetcar Named Desire, Our Town, The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun, and all kinds of American Lit. I also taught British Lit and enjoyed teaching Shakespeare and all that other wonderful literature.

I do like good writing wherever I find it and have favorites. Some books I read for escape are in the mediocre-to-good category of writing. William Berhardt's mystery novels are definitely formulaic with endings that are pulled out of the air, but I like the characters. John Grisham's novels keep me interested even though they all follow a formula. I used to read Tom Clancy's novels and enjoyed them but haven't read any for a while. I've read mystery novels by Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, Steve Womack, and some others and enjoy the suspense. I also like Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Maeve Binchy, Frank McCourt, Elizabeth Berg, and have recently discovered Jodi Picoult. There are many others I can't remember now, but I also read a lot of non-fiction and like biographies/memoirs. Some writers I won't read again unless I know the ending won't piss me off. Two that come to mind are The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Last Time They Met (Anita Shreve). I hated the endings of those so much that I emailed them and let them know. I won't read anything else they write unless I know they don't end like those did. I ask someone without letting them give anything away because I want to read a book in order and don't understand people who read the end first or let someone tell them how it ends.

I have this one ready to read when I finish the others on my list. I loved the beginning. I'll tell you about it later on after I read it.


What about you? What are some books/authors you like?

11 comments:

frogponder said...

Before I forget, yes, you can get English version Harry Potter books, through Amazon Canada.
I think Charlie recommended G.M. Ford and I read them all BUT one of them I came close to complaining about (the last of the second series). I went online and found out I wasn't the only one who was upset. After the author pulled that he tried a stand alone and I won't try it I'm that ticked off.

The few fantasies I like all have some grounding in the real world. The Stookie Stackhouse books are like that. There is another vampire series I liked set at the end of Depression Era Chicago, author is PN Elrod and the first six books are collected into two sets.
The Dresden Files started out with a nice mix of reality and fantasy but have gotten too much into the fantasy universe for me but I'll still read it.

Eric Arvin said...

I loved The Scarlet Letter. I'm reading another Hawthorne book now, The Marble Faun.

Vaklam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vaklam said...

I agree with frogponder about The Dresden Files. In related news, Melissa has done some art for the upcoming Dresden roleplaying game.

My favorite series of all time is by Julian May. It's an eight-book series consisting of The Saga of Pliocene Exile (4 books), Intervention (which was broken into Surveillance and Metaconcert), and the Galactic Milleu Trilogy. It's science-fiction world building at its finest.

Joy said...

Thanks, FP. I think I'll read the Stackhouse series now that you and some others recommend them.

Eric, after reading your post about The Marble Faun, I decided to read it since I missed it somehow along the way. I learned about it but never read it.

Brian, do you think I'd like the May series? I'm thinking no on the Dresden series after what you and FP said? That's so neat about Melissa's doing artwork for the Dresden game.

Berry Blog said...

Uhhhhhh...I think Superman, Tarzan, Beetle Bailey,Dagwood and Blondie, GI Joe, and any of the classics.

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