Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

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Halicar
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Halicar »

PhoebeCoco wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:30 pm I am in my late 50s - is it too late for me to read and appreciate "Atlas Shrugged"?
Probably. As I mentioned in the "books that changed your life" thread, that book is infamous for being beloved by teenagers. As a manifesto, it's certainly thought-provoking--especially to a young person--but as a novel, it's pretty bad. I would say an adult who has been exposed to a variety of ideologies would be unimpressed.
gamboolman
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by gamboolman »

For fun read, recommend the following to start with and if you like it, then there are more behind it
Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia
backpacker61
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by backpacker61 »

RobertAlanK wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:14 pm
shorty313 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:10 am
123 wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:32 pm
BogleTaxPro wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:44 pm Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine. It's NOT science fiction, it's a wonderful depiction of life in small town america.
+1 My favorites as well.
I remember HATING that book in high school English class. Maybe it’s time for a re-read. That and My Antonia were low on my list.
I will say that I loved Dandelion Wine as Bradbury poignantly captured the nostalgic fondness I feel for my childhood growing up near Chicago as he had 20-30 years before.

But for another wonderful option on a related theme but from a different part of the country, I highly recommend the novel Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon.
I recall being very moved by Dandelion Wine when I read it also.
Another one I enjoyed, in a somewhat similar vein, is Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell.
Considered a Canadian classic, growing up on the Saskatchewan prairie.

I also went through a phase of reading many Chekhov short stories.

Not fiction, but my biggest reading project was Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which took me a couple years (I'm not a fast reader).
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
backpacker61
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by backpacker61 »

shorty313 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:10 am
123 wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:32 pm
BogleTaxPro wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:44 pm Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine. It's NOT science fiction, it's a wonderful depiction of life in small town america.
+1 My favorites as well.
I remember HATING that book in high school English class. Maybe it’s time for a re-read. That and My Antonia were low on my list.
FWIW, I almost never enjoyed reading for English class, but I loved to read outside English class.
Perhaps try them again when no one is compelling you to read them.
I enjoyed both My Antonia and Oh, Pioneers!.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
Seasonal
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Seasonal »

Halicar wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:04 pm
PhoebeCoco wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:30 pm I am in my late 50s - is it too late for me to read and appreciate "Atlas Shrugged"?
Probably. As I mentioned in the "books that changed your life" thread, that book is infamous for being beloved by teenagers. As a manifesto, it's certainly thought-provoking--especially to a young person--but as a novel, it's pretty bad. I would say an adult who has been exposed to a variety of ideologies would be unimpressed.
I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes about books: "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by av111 »

Woodshark wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:51 pm I have to admit to a decades old addiction to anything by John D. Mcdonald. His Travis McGee series in particular.

“I know just enough about myself to know I cannot settle for one of those simplifications which indignant people seize upon to make understandable a world too complex for their comprehension. Astrology, health food, flag waving, bible thumping, Zen, nudism, nihilism—all of these are grotesque simplifications which small dreary people adopt in the hope of thereby finding The Answer, because the very concept that maybe there is no answer, never has been, never will be, terrifies them.”
― John D. MacDonald, A Deadly Shade of Gold: A Travis McGee Novel

“If there was one sunset every twenty years, how would people react to them? If there were ten seashells in all the world, what would they be worth? If people could make love just once a year, how carefully would they pick their mates?”
― John D. MacDonald, One Fearful Yellow Eye: A Travis McGee Novel

"Bugs would eat the wax. Chaw the old canvas. And one day there will be a mutation, and we will have new ones that can digest concrete, dissolve steel and suck up the acid puddles, fatten on magic plastics, lick their slow way through glass. Then the cities will tumble and man will be chased back into the sea from which he came...”
― John D. MacDonald, The Deep Blue Good-By
+ 1 for John D Macdonald and Travis McGee. My go to for dramatic thriller fiction. Thanks for reminding about the writing. I have been meaning to read these again

Also recommend Bourne identify by Robert Ludlum
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by cinghiale »

Wonderful stuff, everyone!

Lots of old favorites here, including John D. MacDonald, James Lee Burke, and Arthur Conan Doyle. And better yet, plenty of new authors and/or new titles to add to the reading list.

One author not yet mentioned: Sebastian Faulks. Well-crafted plots, well-developed characters, and great European locales. Hard to pick a favorite. Go on Amazon, pick out an intriguing story line, and give Faulks a try. You will be placing yourself in good hands.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Petrocelli »

zanerta wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:55 pm Mother Night by Vonnegut and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Mother Knight is outstanding. I forgot about it until I saw your post.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Petrocelli »

Mark Twain.

Huckleberry Finn.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by eucalyptus »

Borges. Also, Calvino.

For a long flight or train, though, hard to beat Preston and Child.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by rm »

Jeffery Archer
All his short stories are awesome. Some of his main books are also good - fast paced with a good arc (Prodigal daughter, not a penny more not a penny less)

Oscar Wilde
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by bertilak »

doctorfaust wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:30 pm My favorite book, depending on my mood when you ask me, is either William Goldman's The Princess Bride ...
It is extraordinarily well done. I like it so much I don't want to read anything else by Goldman as I think it might "break the spell" of Princess Bride.

But, it is not my favorite book. I think that has to go to ‎Rudyard Kipling's Kim. I have only read a smattering of Kipling's other work. The Man Who Would Be King is probably at the top of the list of "other" Kipling works.

Another favorite book: The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. This is so well written that he manages to keep up the suspense when you know from the start that the assassination plot against de Gaulle failed. (The 1973 movie with Edward Fox is outstanding. The 1997 Bruce Willis version is a waste.)

As far as favorite author, that's a tough one I'd have to think on.
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Robert The Bruce
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Robert The Bruce »

Man, What a list!
I count over 100 favorites, 95 of which I haven’t read - I just put in my request to the local library for The Princess Bride, sounds like quite an adventure. The rest I have added to my ever growing list of must reads.

Thanks Bogleheads! I know it’s weird but I have been holding my 100th post for something original, however this would seem to be a worthy use.

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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by bertilak »

Robert The Bruce wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:00 pm Man, What a list!
I count over 100 favorites, 95 of which I haven’t read - I just put in my request to the local library for The Princess Bride, sounds like quite an adventure. The rest I have added to my ever growing list of must reads.
Add it to your movie list as well. Goldman also did the movie's screenplay. Part of the charm of the book are Goldman's introductions. He does not claim to have written the book but to have edited the actual author's scholarly work and retained only the "good parts." They describe both the "editing" of the book and the making of the movie and are as fanciful as the book itself.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by SteadyOne »

“Solaris” by Stanisław Lem.
“On the Road” by Jack Kerouac
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by birnhamwood »

The entire oeuvre of Somerset Maugham. Everything. The novels, plays, short stories, essays, etc.

I have never been able to improve upon any sentence he has written.

I'm particularly partial to his short stories, collected in EAST AND WEST, and I forget the title of the second volume.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Hayden »

Preston and Child. I love the Pendergast books.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by BBBob »

The Bernie Gunther series (starting with the trilogy Berlin Noir) by Philip Kerr. IMO, they’re better than Raymond Chandler and Micky Spillane. Takes place in 1930’s – 1950’s Germany against a background of Nazi takeover and defeat. The protagonist is a cynical ex-cop turned PI named Bernie Gunther. Think Bogart playing Sam Spade or Marlow. Think Casablanca. Vivid and gritty…great dialog.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by BBBob »

Raybo wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:15 pm The Devil In the White City
+1!!
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by BBBob »

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. Not an easy read...I read (and have re-read) 1-2 chapters a day or so, and then think about it. A search for the meaning of "quality" during a cross country motorcycle ride. Fascinating book with an interesting backstory. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_t ... aintenance
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Artful Dodger »

bertilak wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:18 pm
doctorfaust wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:30 pm My favorite book, depending on my mood when you ask me, is either William Goldman's The Princess Bride ...
It is extraordinarily well done. I like it so much I don't want to read anything else by Goldman as I think it might "break the spell" of Princess Bride.

But, it is not my favorite book. I think that has to go to ‎Rudyard Kipling's Kim. I have only read a smattering of Kipling's other work. The Man Who Would Be King is probably at the top of the list of "other" Kipling works.

Another favorite book: The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. This is so well written that he manages to keep up the suspense when you know from the start that the assassination plot against de Gaulle failed. (The 1973 movie with Edward Fox is outstanding. The 1997 Bruce Willis version is a waste.)

As far as favorite author, that's a tough one I'd have to think on.
I'll have to add The Princess Bride to my reading list. Lots of recs here.

I read Kim when I was very young, and liked it, but don't remember much. My parents had a two volume set of Kipling, and I much enjoyed the Jungle Book stories and Puck of Pooks Hill stories. I have his poem, "If" on my office wall, and read it often.

I read / listened to Day of the Jackal a few years ago, and agree it was mesmerizing, even though you knew the outcome. I was interested enough to read the back story on the French turnover of Algeria, and the French nationals and cadre of French generals' plotting. Plus, there's that whole Carlos the Jackal influence on the Jason Bourne books. The Odessa File was my favorite Forsyth book.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by helwardman »

My favorite author of many years is Christopher Priest.

The Glamour is definitely my favorite of his, with The Affirmation a close second.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by tenkuky »

To everyone on this thread who recommended Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian...
Thank you (I think! :shock:) for a read that consumed and terrified me this week.
I finished it partly exhilarated, mostly drained and convinced I had just read the most profound piece of fiction in my life.
Sriracha
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Sriracha »

Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Tolstoy - Anna Karenina

Tolkien - Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Herbert - Dune
Grew up reading Stephen King. Still a fan.
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coalcracker
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by coalcracker »

Shogun by James Clavell.

The political twists and turns blew my mind, and setting of 1600s Japan was so transporting.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by FCM »

Joe Pickett crime novel series written by C.J. Box.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by book lover »

George Orwell: 1984.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Sriracha »

coalcracker wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:31 pm Shogun by James Clavell.

The political twists and turns blew my mind, and setting of 1600s Japan was so transporting.
Really enjoyed that one myself. I read it when I was maybe 14 and it totally made me want to visit Japan. I ended up spending my college junior year studying there. Best experience of my life (outside of personal relationships).
Don't reach for yield.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by gr7070 »

I read almost exclusively nonfiction.

However, I can't recommend highly enough the fiction book: Power of One.

As for nonfiction there are a million incredible stories that are true, which adds greatly to the story to me, and told with incredible skill.

John Krakauer is an incredible non-fiction author.

There are other great books like Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, Skeletons of the Zahara, The Hot Zone, Killing Pablo, Unbroken, Shadow Divers, on and on and on.
Last edited by gr7070 on Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Limoncello402 »

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or the Whale
So shoot me...
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by bertilak »

Limoncello402 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:45 pm Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or the Whale
So shoot me...
Not my favorite, but I did like it so if someone shoots, it's not me!

Moby-Dick is one of those books that take some effort to "get into" but once you make that effort, you are trapped!
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by cantabtim »

BBBob wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:26 am The Bernie Gunther series (starting with the trilogy Berlin Noir) by Philip Kerr. IMO, they’re better than Raymond Chandler and Micky Spillane. Takes place in 1930’s – 1950’s Germany against a background of Nazi takeover and defeat. The protagonist is a cynical ex-cop turned PI named Bernie Gunther. Think Bogart playing Sam Spade or Marlow. Think Casablanca. Vivid and gritty…great dialog.
Yes, they're one of my favorites also. Binge read through the local library's complete collection. I was obsessed :happy So sorry there will be no more.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by apple44 »

BenBritt wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:23 pm Fitzgerald -----The Great Gatsby!
Yes! My all time favorite book!
But my all time favorite fiction author is Jane Austen.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by apple44 »

tenkuky wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:41 pm Watership Down by Richard Adams
Never look at a bunny rabbit the same again

Men will never rest till they've spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals
Yes I love that book! I can't wait for my children to be old enough to read it so we can discuss. :D
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by SgwayMontrose »

To reinforce some mentioned above-
Dune- truly spectacular universe building

John D McDonald - TRAVIS McGee yes but also find “Condominum”. The parallels between what is written in that book and 2008 are stunning. Comforting to know that there is nothing new under the sun. With Mr. McDonald the awareness of the Human Condition is strong.

James Lee Burke - prose that reads like poetry. Most authors I wish were more concise but James Burke is such a pleasure to read.

Check out Charles Willeford and his Hoke Mosley character. “Miami Blues”, upon which the movie was based, is a place to start. Fantastically close to the earth.

Seems no one has yet mentioned Elmore Leonard. Go read Elmore Leonard
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by BuddyJet »

Mine are In Dubious Battle by Steinbeck and Darkness at Noon by Koestler
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by El Greco »

Here are 4 of my favorites:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.- "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater"

John Irving- "A Prayer for Owen Meany"

Larry McMurtry- "Lonesome Dove"

Nikos Kazantzakis- "Zorba the Greek"
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by pezblanco »

SgwayMontrose wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:11 pm
Seems no one has yet mentioned Elmore Leonard. Go read Elmore Leonard
Not true! :happy

What are some of your favorites? I just read (or maybe reread) Unknown Man No. 89 ...
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Herekittykitty »

Glory Road by Robert Heinlein. What a rip-roaring hoot!!!

I read it a couple of years after it came out. I loved the fantasy, imagination, adventure - it opened up the universe for me.

(It didn't hurt that while the hero was a man, there was a strong smart female character. For a 16 year old nerdy girl in 1966 that was great.) I

I've read it again in the past year and it is still great fun. And a great novel as I see great novels.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by crobux »

John Le Carre
Martin Cruz Smith
Craig Thomas
Alan Furst
Len Deighton
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by investingdad »

Stephen King

Favorite is tough....

The Stand and 11/22/63 are fantastic.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by SgwayMontrose »

pezblanco wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:33 am
Not true! :happy

What are some of your favorites? I just read (or maybe reread) Unknown Man No. 89 ...
I hear you about the “read (or maybe re-read)” it’s happened to me with more than a few.
“Swag” comes to mind, “Get Shorty” movie and book both. He knew people. If you are digging Elmore then seriously find a Charles Willeford book. Elmore was a big fan too.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by ElJefeDelQueso »

BogleTaxPro wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:44 pm Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine. It's NOT science fiction, it's a wonderful depiction of life in small town america.
+1
daveokc
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by daveokc »

Great Thread!

1. Gene Wolfe - Latro in the Mist
"This omnibus of two acclaimed novels is the story of Latro, a Roman mercenary who while fighting in Greece received a head injury that deprived him of his short-term memory but gave him in return the ability to see and converse with the supernatural creatures and the gods and goddesses, who invisibly inhabit the ancient landscape." I would categorize this a Historical Fantasy. Gene Wolfe writes as if the ancient Greek gods existed, but are completely undeserving of human worship.

2. J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion
As good as you have heard.

3-Gene Wolfe - Book of the New Sun
Science Fiction set in the far, far distant future, when the sun appears to be dying. No surviving memory of America, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism... or anything in our world. Hard to describe. One reviewer said it was as if Gene Wolfe re-wrote the New Testament and set it in the distant future. Fascinating. Disturbing. Unforgettable.

Those are difficult reads. For something lighter I like:

Elmore Leonard - all his stuff is good. Try starting with Pronto.
Larry McMurtry - Lonesome Dove
Gene Wolfe - The Wizard Knight series
The Odessa File - Frederick Forsyth
Raymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely
Calhoon
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Calhoon »

For favorite book it would have to be either No Country for Old Men or Blood Meridian, both by Cormac McCarthy.

So my favorite author would probably be Cormac McCarthy...but I didn't like much of his earlier stuff and I thought The Road was just okay.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Barkingsparrow »

All-time favorites:

Dune - Frank Herbert
Musashi - Eiji Yoshikawa
Anything by Jack Vance
Black Company series - Glen Cook
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by pezblanco »

SgwayMontrose wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:17 pm
pezblanco wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:33 am
Not true! :happy

What are some of your favorites? I just read (or maybe reread) Unknown Man No. 89 ...
I hear you about the “read (or maybe re-read)” it’s happened to me with more than a few.
“Swag” comes to mind, “Get Shorty” movie and book both. He knew people. If you are digging Elmore then seriously find a Charles Willeford book. Elmore was a big fan too.
Thanks for the tip ... I had just got "Miami Blues" not too long ago. I haven't read it yet.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by pezblanco »

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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Dottie57 »

One of my favorite set of fiction books is Mary Stewart’s. “The Merlin Trilogy”.

Leon Uris - fiction set in a somewhat realistic historical setting.

Other history based fiction by Margaret George.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by jcar »

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
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