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top page-turners

Messing around with ink again. This is me twigging out, waiting for my Christmas DFC double issue to arrive:

Yesterday, buried in snow, David Lasky (dlasky) gave me two good websites for looking up work by Frank King (Gasoline Alley) and Gluyas Williams. Thanks for that, David!

Sarah's Top 20 Page-Turners
I've been seeing a lot of lists on LiveJournal blogs for 'End of Year' wraps. So here is a list (in no particular order) of my best reads, pretty much off the top of my head, so I might have missed a few. I haven't picked these for literary merit or anything, just ones I curled up with and couldn't put down. I'll try to make a comic about them when I get a spare moment.

The Day of the Jackal by John le Carré
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Gemma Bovary by Posy Simmonds
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett
Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoy
The Twenty-one Balloons by William Pene du Bois
Thomasina by Paul Gallico
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
The Secret Histories by Donna Tartt
The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis
Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot & Carlton Lake
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Just curious, what are your best reads? Let me know your top five, ten or twenty, or leave a link if you've done something similar on your blog! Or even better, if you've done a comic about your fave book or books. I don't know if Catcher in the Rye was his favourite, but I loved penrod_pulaski's version, Robin in the Rye.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
In recent years, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norris by Susanna Clarke, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. And here's a few books that made a huge impact on me in my youth: If On a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa, and The White Hotel by DM Thomas.
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool, thanks for those recommendations! I have the Susanna Clarke book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. Excited about that one! :-D And I'd really like to read more Italo Calvino, the graphics tutor in college got me onto him.

Loved 'Cloud Atlas', and I think way too much about that story about the woman who works in the McDonalds type restaurant and looks forward to retirement in Hawaii. That was so spooky. The guy trying to run away from the nursing home was pretty funny, too.
Dec. 19th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
item by item
a) You're welcome!
b) you do nice things with ink.
c) I've heard Tolstoy mentioned here and there recently (including being quoted by Chris Ware). And then Jim Woodring talked about Anna Karenina at Friends of the Nib not too long ago, and I decided that it's really time I read that book. ANd now you mention it. So I'm gonna.
d) I'd like to re-read The Magician's Nephew.
e) Robin in the Rye is awesome!
f) I am currently enjoying "Kink", the memoir of Dave Davies.
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: item by item
I wanted to mention 'War and Peace' as well, it's a smashing read! I very nerdily took it to the Blue Moon camping fest out at Salmon-la-sac and sat there reading it by the campfire for a couple days while all the hippies were spaced out on shroomie tea.

Edited at 2008-12-19 05:47 pm (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Two books this year that have stayed beside my bed most of the year:
Words and Pictures by Quentin Blake which I found in Oxfam (but still paid quite a bit for: they know the worth of books in Oxfam). Wonderful book. There is a bit where he explains how his approach to drawing is to achieve a balance between observation and imagination.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. Very entertaining and encouraging. I got this off Amazon after Graham Lineham mentioned it in the transcript of some Sitcom writing workshop on the BBC writer's room website.
Dec. 19th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Bird by Bird is great, and that Quentin Blake book sounds fabulous.

[runs off to look for it online]
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yay, thanks for the links! :-) I love Perry Nodelman's 'Words About Pictures', a bit of a picture book bible for me.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh cool, you know Enders Game, too! One of the guys in my book club brought that, and no one voted to read it, but it had such a hideous cover and looked so absolutely terrible that I thought I must read it, just to see how bad it could possibly be. And it was SOOOO good! I read it three times in a row!

It's one of those books that helps me realise that, if I think I don't like a genre, it just means I haven't tried hard enough to find what's good in it.
Dec. 19th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
I do like the Invention of Hugo Cabret. Really magical.
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Awesome! That one's sitting on my shelf just waiting for me! (After Mousehunter, of course!) ;-)
Dec. 19th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
I don't really do top tens and such because my favourite books depend a lot of the moment, but I were to make a list right now, I'd say :

William Faulkner : "Sanctuary", "The sound and the fury"

R.L. Stevenson : "The Master of Ballantrae" "The Wrecker"

Joseph Conrad : "Almayer's Folly", "Nostromo", "Victory", "Fortune"

Terry Pratchett : "Night Watch", "Small Gods"

Neil Gaiman : "Neverwhere"

J.M. Barrie "Peter Pan"

Rudyard Kipling : "The Jungle Book", "Kim"

Joseph Kessel : "Les Cavaliers"

And every other book by these authors
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I must go read some of those! They're all books I feel I should have read, and I've only read a bunch of Gaiman's books and Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'. I got a bit snobby about Conrad after reading some of Chinua Achebe's stuff (Achebe absolutely detests Conrad), but I must go back and read some of his other works so I don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Which Conrad book would you start with?
Dec. 19th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Where to start with Conrad ? Tricky question... All the books I've read by him were good. Maybe "Victory" or "Chance" (the one I mistakenly called "Fortune", which is its french title)

Of course I forgot to mention Graham Greene, Hemingway, Steinbeck and Caldwell in the list, but I love their works too.

Also : Chandler and Hammett. (and Chester Himes !)
Dec. 20th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
Ooo, thanks for those! :-)
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
Beowolf by Seamus Heaney
Shogun by James Clavell
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Redwall by Robin Jaques
She by H Rider Hagard
Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stuart and Chris Riddell
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
At the Mountains of Madness by H.P.Lovecraft
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Dec. 19th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks for those! I keep dipping into Heaney's Beowulf, but must go and read it through properly. I went through a huge Murakami phase awhile back. I'm not even sure I really loved his books, but I couldn't stop reading them for some reason.
Dec. 19th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm...a few more than ten, here...

- The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon)
- A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (David Foster Wallace)
- The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
- Almost anything by PG Wodehouse
- Franny and Zooey (JD Salinger)
- Middlemarch (George Eliot)
- Adrian Mole: The Cappucino Years (Sue Townsend)
- The Ancestor's Tale (Richard Dawkins)
- The Omnivore's Dilemma (Michael Pollan)
- The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
- On Beauty (Zadie Smith)
- A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole)
- Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
Dec. 20th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks so much for those! I've read about half of them; a friend in Moscow once gave me 'Middlemarch' as the book she said best explained her whole life, she really was passionate about it.

Oh, my goodness! I just looked out the window and the person in the flat across the way is dressing up as Santa Claus! I must go get my camera, ha ha...
Dec. 20th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hiya Sarah,
It was awesome seeing you yesterday! Thanks for your help with my story.
My page turners:
TWILIGHT (of course)
The Line of Beauty, by Alan Hollinghurst
Emma, by Jane Austen (though you know my feelings about the main character)
The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett (sooo strongly recommended)
Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers
Persuasion, by Jane Austen
Wise Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys
The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber
I'll try and think of some more! It's rare that a book just pulls me in, but it DOES happen.
Ciao bella!
Ellen L.
Dec. 20th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Great to see you, too!
Twilight! Haha... it's nowhere near my favourites list, but yes, it's certainly a page turner, that one! I'm still going to get you for that lost half day. ;-D

Thanks for those others, I don't know anything about The Thin Man, I'll have to look into that one.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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