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

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

Post by Finridge »

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.
k b
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by k b »

This chain is in its 4th page and still no mention of The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco?!

Also the Cairo Trilogy by Naghib Mahfouz. Very slow start, but a truly extraordinary end!

Plus, of course Ma Ramotswe's No1 Lady's Detective Agency.
ByThePond
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by ByThePond »

Many, many books and authors mentioned above would make my list, but the top of the list would also be the Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. Please don't tell anyone, but I've read it over a dozen times.

To add three other authors of great series:

Harry Turtledove's several alternate history series. He's a master in my book. (groan) Good historic research and fiction blended well. It's interesting to identify the real characters and events, and their pivotal importance.

Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series. Interesting insights by comparing modern America to 17th century Europe in an alternate history setting.

S. M. Stirling's Dies the Fire series, similar in some ways to The Stand by by Stephen King. His other works are good too.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Caboose »

Peter Taylor - In The Tennessee Country
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by jima »

Raybo wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:15 pm I realize this isn't the topic, but I rarely read fiction. Instead, I thought I'd add my favorite non-fiction author. It is Eric Larson. He has written several excellent books: The Devil In the White City, Dead Wake, The Splendid and the Vile (newest). I've read them all.
Totally agree, Erik Larson is my favorite author too. I am always sad to have one of his stories come to an end, just want them to keep going. Even if you prefer fiction, you will still like his books because they read that way. You might even suspect he is making up some details but then he includes hundreds of end notes with sources for most of them.

Devil in the White City may be my favorite, although In the Garden of Beasts would be right there.
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IceNine
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by IceNine »

hicabob wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:53 pm Kurt Vonnegut. Hard to pick a favorite since I have devoured them all but perhaps Slaughterhouse-Five.
+1 on Slaughterhouse Five. But, my favorite is Cat's Cradle (that's where I got my username). Third would be Breakfast of Champions (that's where I got my avatar).
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Freetime76 »

Used to be David Brin’s Earth, for decades.

:shock: :shock: Until I read Seveneves (Neal Stephenson) this summer. Wow. The first half of the book, especially. Blown away, and I don’t like short books or cookie cutter fiction.

Both share a theme of the earth being renewed by near extinction of the human race, political corruption, and Big Brother...and the ultimate victory of Nature.
Cheers.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Small Law Survivor »

mindboggling wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:19 pm
Texgal17 wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:56 pm Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
His son James McMurtry, is an awesome singer-songwriter as well. I’ve seen him in concert a few times....
Yes, yes, yes to both of them! :beer
Yup, agree. Wish James would come back to Boston (when touring resumes. IF touring resumes ...?)
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by bertilak »

anoop wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:06 pm Herman Hesse - Siddhartha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhartha_%28novel%29
You might enjoy Rudyard Kipling's Kim. Another "journey" book also set in India. This one is in the late 19th century. A river is a recurring theme. Here is a passage where an old soldier, retired after many battles, remarks on the busy Grand Trunk Road as he walks along it with Kim and the lama for a short while.
  • All casts and kinds of men move here. Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunnias, pilgrims and potters – all the world going and coming. It is to me as a river from which I have withdrawn like a log after a flood.
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HomerJ
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by HomerJ »

bloom2708 wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:08 pm Oh. Tough one. Kind of like trying to pick your favorite song or movie.

If I have to pick one author. John Irving.

I've read all his books. Multiple times. The Hotel New Hampshire or Son Of The Circus are both great. Garp is good.

Quirky and odd at times. Fun reads.
I love Cider House Rules

Owen Meany was decent too, although it's not one I've read multiple times like I did with Cider House
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
gretah
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by gretah »

Louise Penny
Top Canadian fiction writer of the past decade. Our hero is the head of homicide detectives in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Terrific writer. Read the oldest one first and work your way toward recent. The stories build (rookies make detective, etc).

+1 on Somerset Maugham

+1 on Laurie R King
Most recent couple of books not so great but the previous ones are riveting.

Also recommended
Donna Leon
Murder mysteries mostly set in Venice, Italy. Terrific novels until the last 4 or so. Recent books have obviously been written by ghost writers. Previous books all full of atmosphere and suspense.
Enganerd
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Enganerd »

tenkuky wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:47 pm 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.
I had a similar experience. I read the book then listened to the audio book. I am not sure why this book is so consuming. Excellent writing and an epic western tale but there is something else that makes it feel profound but I do not know how to explain it.

So what do you think happened in the jakes in final pages? The judge's embrace then later the guy is shocked when he looks inside.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by tenkuky »

Enganerd wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:05 am
tenkuky wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:47 pm 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.
I had a similar experience. I read the book then listened to the audio book. I am not sure why this book is so consuming. Excellent writing and an epic western tale but there is something else that makes it feel profound but I do not know how to explain it.

So what do you think happened in the jakes in final pages? The judge's embrace then later the guy is shocked when he looks inside.
I don't want to guess, that's the part that haunts me and makes the book mesmerizing. I read several analyses which suggest very different things. No spoilers for anyone on this thread who 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 tenkuky »

And again thanks to the board and this thread for the recommendation; I finally finished that monster of a book Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.
Totally consuming and the scientific detail is superb.
Next up: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
Bogleheads has contributed as much to my expansion of fiction literature as my financial knowledge :beer
Keep 'em coming!
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by ensign »

John Updike, “Rabbit, Run”.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by CWhea1775 »

Great thread!!! Thanks for all the new suggestions and reminders of old favorites.

One author I have not seen here yet is Deon Meyer. Current South African Mystery writer, very gritty, good, and a whole different world for me - police work in post-apartheid South Africa.

But my recommended book of his to start is not a mystery, but particularly appropriate for today's world - "Fever" - about a pandemic and post-pandemic survival, also set in South Africa.
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Artful Dodger
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Artful Dodger »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:11 pm Evelyn Waugh. Brideshead Revisited.
I listened to recently on Audible. Kind of dreamy and mournful, though I loved the prose. I never got the underlying Catholic reference. I married in, went through classes, catechism, etc. and became good friends with our priest. Maybe it's a version of Catholicism lost in history before I joined the American church which is more integrated in society.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Artful Dodger »

jima wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:59 pm
Raybo wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:15 pm I realize this isn't the topic, but I rarely read fiction. Instead, I thought I'd add my favorite non-fiction author. It is Eric Larson. He has written several excellent books: The Devil In the White City, Dead Wake, The Splendid and the Vile (newest). I've read them all.
Totally agree, Erik Larson is my favorite author too. I am always sad to have one of his stories come to an end, just want them to keep going. Even if you prefer fiction, you will still like his books because they read that way. You might even suspect he is making up some details but then he includes hundreds of end notes with sources for most of them.

Devil in the White City may be my favorite, although In the Garden of Beasts would be right there.
Enjoyed Devil in the White City as well. One of my disappointments with this whole Covid shutdown was missing Larson presenting The Splendid and the Vile at the St. Louis County library's speaker series.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by tenkuky »

Again returning to this thread to thank boarders for recommendations. Recently finished both Mother Night and Slaughterhouse 5 by Vonnegut.
Preferred SH5 and really enjoyed his writings.
"and so it goes". :happy
Next up... Devil in the White City. :beer
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by sasquatch12 »

My favorite fiction author is Neil Gaiman and my favorite book of his is American Gods.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by xsas »

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.
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Post by tenkuky »

And Devil in the White City was fantastic!
So many little threads of history woven in and I enjoyed the map and detail (having previously been in Chi-town myself).
Next up: Lonesome Dove :beer
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by shariq1989 »

Jeffery Archer. Kane and Abel
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Ralph Furley »

Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by MP173 »

I may have already responded to this thread...but I am a big fan of Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke. Just about everything by both authors is outstanding.

Now, I am going to give a couple of "second tier" mystery authors who I really enjoy. By "second tier" I am meaning absolutely no disrespect. These are both solid authors, they just do not have the following of Connelly and Burke.

David Housewright has a series of McKenzie novels of a former cop in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
John Virden is an author who was recently recommended and I have read two books both excellent - "Think of a Number" and "Eyes Shut Tight" are both about a former NYC cop Dave Gurney.

Also Robin Yocum is very good. No series charactors but he writes of small town Ohio.

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

Post by mak1277 »

I love Cormac McCarthy. I re-read The Road every couple of years. But I literally cannot get through Blood Meridian. I have tried at least 4 times to read this book and just don't get through. I don't mind the violence and gore, I just can't get sucked into it. Maybe I'll try again someday.

For me, I'll pick Richard Russo as my favorite (a better version of John Irving IMO). My favorite of his is Straight Man, although Empire Falls is pretty clearly his best.

Colson Whitehead is catching up though.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by heartwood »

MP173 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:26 am I may have already responded to this thread...but I am a big fan of Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke. Just about everything by both authors is outstanding.

Now, I am going to give a couple of "second tier" mystery authors who I really enjoy. By "second tier" I am meaning absolutely no disrespect. These are both solid authors, they just do not have the following of Connelly and Burke.

David Housewright has a series of McKenzie novels of a former cop in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
John Virden is an author who was recently recommended and I have read two books both excellent - "Think of a Number" and "Eyes Shut Tight" are both about a former NYC cop Dave Gurney.

Also Robin Yocum is very good. No series charactors but he writes of small town Ohio.

Ed
Without going back to check, but I've also probably responded to this thread. My favorite author of the moment is Michael Connelly. I've enjoyed all his stories and various characters. I started his new Lincoln Lawyer book, The Law of Innocence, yesterday. It's mainly I'm part way through and regret it's going too quickly.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by cs412a »

The Odyssey of Homer. I prefer the verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

Dickens and "Tale of Two Cities". I struggle with Dickens' contrivances and how so many of his characters seem either too extremely virtuous or evil. Still, Dickens has (to me) a magical ability to make me feel part of the story and in his world virtue is often rewarded while vice is punished which satisfies me.

Although Dickens is my favorite author, my favorite book is War and Peace. Contrasted to Dickens, the characters are more real in that everybody is flawed and the many of the bad guys have redeeming qualities. It raises questions about humanity, power hierarchies and whether our choices are truly ours and to what extent are they determined by outside forces.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by VictoriaF »

cinghiale wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:32 am 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.
Thank you, cinghiale, I'll check Sebastian Faulks out.

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Post by VictoriaF »

anoop wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:06 pm Herman Hesse - Siddhartha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhartha_%28novel%29
Thank you for a reminder, anoop,

Siddhartha has been on my reading list for a while. It's time to read it,

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

Post by LilyFleur »

heartwood wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:23 am
MP173 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:26 am I may have already responded to this thread...but I am a big fan of Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke. Just about everything by both authors is outstanding.

Now, I am going to give a couple of "second tier" mystery authors who I really enjoy. By "second tier" I am meaning absolutely no disrespect. These are both solid authors, they just do not have the following of Connelly and Burke.

David Housewright has a series of McKenzie novels of a former cop in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
John Virden is an author who was recently recommended and I have read two books both excellent - "Think of a Number" and "Eyes Shut Tight" are both about a former NYC cop Dave Gurney.

Also Robin Yocum is very good. No series charactors but he writes of small town Ohio.

Ed
Without going back to check, but I've also probably responded to this thread. My favorite author of the moment is Michael Connelly. I've enjoyed all his stories and various characters. I started his new Lincoln Lawyer book, The Law of Innocence, yesterday. It's mainly I'm part way through and regret it's going too quickly.
I love Michael Connelly. I'll have to try that one.
In book club, we recently read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, a winner of the Pulitzer. I loved it so much I actually underlined as I read. (I'm a former English teacher and I really enjoy beautiful writing.)
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by VictoriaF »

I like British authors, and my favorite is Iris Murdoch. Her language is rich and her plot always has some unexpected turns.

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

Post by bertilak »

cs412a wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:57 am The Odyssey of Homer. I prefer the verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum.
A favorite of mine, too. I like the Fagles translation.

Two other interesting versions:
  • A prose version by T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) sometimes credited as T.E. Shaw. My version has an intro by Bernard Knox who also did an intro th Fagle's translaton. You could call Lawrence's version "poetic prose." Knox points out that Lawrence's experiences put him in a good position to have a real "feel" for the story.
  • A prose version for children by Gillian Cross, illustrated by Neil Packer. (https://www.amazon.com/Odyssey-Gillian- ... 763647918/). The extensive illustrations are an important part of this version. See the Amazon link. I think you'll either love 'em or hate 'em.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Sandi_k »

Also worth reading due to lyrical prose: John Connolly, and his Charlie Parker mystery series (up to 18 now).
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by tonysk »

Nothing can beat Don Quixote by Cervantes. If you want to take up this challenge I suggest the Yale course by Prof. González Echevarría, fully available on YouTube.

For something more contemporary, The Overstory by Richard Powers. The prose is stunning and a great and timely work especially for someone who has an affinity for trees.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Newby61 »

John D. McDonald - Travis McGee series. Have read them for nearly 40 years and they are just as good today.
Pat Conroy - The Prince of Tides. You can almost smell the South Carolina low country tides in his novels.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Bmac »

Given how many spy/mystery authors have been mentioned, I'm somewhat surprised that the following have not been mentioned, so I'll throw them out there so others might explore:

Ian Rankin-(John Rebus series)
Jussi Adler-Olsen (Department Q series)
Karin Fossum (Inspector Seder series)
Mick Herron (Slough House series)
Arnaldur Indriadason (Inspector Erlendur series)
Stuart Macbride (Logan McRae series)
Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander series)
Peter May (Blackhouse Trilogy, The Enzo Files series, The China Thrillers series)
Jo Nesbo (Harry Hole series)
Hakan Nesser (Inspector Van Veeteren series)

All great British and Scandinavian Noir.


And for pure comic gold, check out The Bo Tully Mysteries by Patrick F. McManus.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Kitty Telltales »

VictoriaF wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:11 pm I like British authors, and my favorite is Iris Murdoch. Her language is rich and her plot always has some unexpected turns.

Victoria
Which of her books would you recommend one read first?

Thanks for the tip!

I read James Michener’s Chesapeake the summer of 2019, and then travelled along the Eastern Shore of Maryland after attending the Bogleheads Conference in October. Reading such historical fiction about a location before traveling helps to stir up the imagination and refresh the little history. I read Edward Rutherfurd’s London before a visit there and it made the trip all the better.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by Caduceus »

I love Neil Gaiman, A.S. Byatt, and Donna Tartt for the sheer beauty of their language. I have a special affection for the The Goldfinch because I remember taking that (big) book up with me on an international flight that lasted something like 18 hours, and reading the entire thing on that plane ride in the darkness of night ... while everyone was sleeping, the sounds of the engines were whirring, and it was just the most magical experience ever.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by life in slices »

Big fan of Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy writer) who has many excellent books/series

Book 4 of the "Stormlight Archives" (can't recommend the series enough) is out today
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by jcar »

John Jakes, Theodore Dreiser, Herman Wouk.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by crobux »

IceNine wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:42 pm
hicabob wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:53 pm Kurt Vonnegut. Hard to pick a favorite since I have devoured them all but perhaps Slaughterhouse-Five.
+1 on Slaughterhouse Five. But, my favorite is Cat's Cradle (that's where I got my username). Third would be Breakfast of Champions (that's where I got my avatar).
Per your avatar. I remember that!
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by hirlaw »

My Present Go-To reads:
Preston and Child: The Pendergast Series

James Rollins: Sigma Force Series

Past Favorites:
John D. McDonald: Travis McGhee series

Tom Clancy: Favorite is “Red Storm Rising”

Michael Crighton: Tough call on favorite, maybe “Rising Sun”

John Grisham: His earlier books, like “The Firm”

Nelson DeMille: “The Charm School”

Robert Harris: “Fatherland”
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by quantAndHold »

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

Some might note that I've answered this question multiple times, with books that are not at all even similar. What can I say? Marilynne Robinson is my current author crush, and Gilead is her best. Next month might be something different.
Caduceus wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:19 pm I love Neil Gaiman, A.S. Byatt, and Donna Tartt for the sheer beauty of their language. I have a special affection for the The Goldfinch because I remember taking that (big) book up with me on an international flight that lasted something like 18 hours, and reading the entire thing on that plane ride in the darkness of night ... while everyone was sleeping, the sounds of the engines were whirring, and it was just the most magical experience ever.
I could also go for Donna Tartt, but it would be Secret History. The Goldfinch was good, but Secret History was what got me to read The Goldfinch.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by tc101 »

evelynmanley wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:32 pm Wendell Berry's Port William series - short stories and novels:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Will ... ell_Berry)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
+1
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Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Post by tc101 »

Also Hemingway:

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Farewell to Arms
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mak1277
Posts: 1628
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

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

Post by mak1277 »

quantAndHold wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:16 pm Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

Some might note that I've answered this question multiple times, with books that are not at all even similar. What can I say? Marilynne Robinson is my current author crush, and Gilead is her best. Next month might be something different.
Caduceus wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:19 pm I love Neil Gaiman, A.S. Byatt, and Donna Tartt for the sheer beauty of their language. I have a special affection for the The Goldfinch because I remember taking that (big) book up with me on an international flight that lasted something like 18 hours, and reading the entire thing on that plane ride in the darkness of night ... while everyone was sleeping, the sounds of the engines were whirring, and it was just the most magical experience ever.
I could also go for Donna Tartt, but it would be Secret History. The Goldfinch was good, but Secret History was what got me to read The Goldfinch.
Gilead is something. I haven't read the third in that series yet, but I do have Housekeeping in my "to read" pile.
mak1277
Posts: 1628
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

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

Post by mak1277 »

tc101 wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:51 pm Also Hemingway:

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Farewell to Arms
Can anyone really *like* Farewell to Arms, though?
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