[LMB] OT: ISO Calibrated Book Recommendations

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Wed Aug 29 19:04:25 BST 2007

--- Scott Raun <sraun at fireopal.org> wrote:

> I've got two books (OK, book and a series) I've been trying to get a
> calibrated recommendation about recently.
> 1) _The Lies of Locke Lamora_, by Scott Lynch

Haven't read it yet. Plan to.
> 2) _Old Man's War_, by John Scalzi (and sequels)

I read the first one.  Found it... readable, very easy to read, entertaining, but not memorable or
substantial.  Basically there was nothing there for me, but I wasn't bored enough to stop reading.
There was a... I'm not sure how to describe it... a sort of blithe suerficiality to it that was
fun, but not emotionally engaging.  Not, in the end, much point, either.  Perhaps if I read the
sequels I'd get the point, but I probably won't bother, unless I'm stuck on an airplane for twenty
hours and there are no more palatable books around.

> My favorite currently writing authors include Lois McMaster Bujold,

Spot on.

> Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, 

I read one of theirs - no, correction, started it.  In mid-series, probably a bad idea. At some
point in the third chapter or two I got the mental image that I was reading about unillustrated
manga characters.  This notion was so distracting that I had to stop readig.

> David W*b*r, Steve Brust, Terry Pratchett,
> and P.C. Hodgell. 

I've only read Pratchett there, and mostly adore his books, though there was at least one that was
unreadable and a few I found dull.  They were the exception not the rule: mostly I find him broad
and wise and wonderful, and he's one of the few authors who can make me cry. (I do not usually
find him funny, except for his footnotes. Which can have me in stitches sometimes.  Even the fact
that he has footnotes puts me in stitches.  I have a kink for footnotes, which is probably a sign
of being over-educated.)

> (This is NOT an exhaustive list!) I'm not certain
> why, but I have a weakness for Mercedes Lackey. 

I read one of hers.  It was pleasant but forgettable.

>  I cannot read Neil Gaiman - I can see the
> horror underpinnings, and that makes it unreadable. 

I absolutely love his comic books - not every one of his comic books, but most of them.  (Best:
"Season of Mists", "Signal to Noise").  Also really loved "The Books of Magic".  But when he
writes prose... Okay, he and Pratchett did amazingly well together, and Gaiman has some short
stories I love.  (Esp. "Troll Bridge", and the one about St. George, whose title I forget.  Is it
"Chivalry"?)   I've read the first half of "American Gods" twice and haven't managed to make it
through to the second half. I find there's something a little stodgy about his prose when he's
doing novels.

> If you want an opinion on any other authors / books for calibration
> purposes, feel free to ask!

I don't know how to compare since we operate on another spectrum - mostly I haven't read what
you've read.   Which probably indicates differing interests rather than different stylistic

What authors do you like who aren't currently writing?


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