Mar 29 2005

Jerome K. Jerome

British humorist Jerome K. Jerome's stories are like slightly sub-par P.G. Wodehouse novels. (Ordinarily that would be a criticism, but most of Wodehouse's stories are works of such staggering ge...

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Mar 29 2005

Beverly Cleary

I love Beverly Cleary's books. Mostly because they're awesome, of course, but also because Ramona, Beezus, Ellen, Henry Huggins, and all their friends live in the same neighborhood that my late, ...

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Mar 29 2005

Edward Gorey

Contrary to popular myth, Edward Gorey was not British. In fact, he only traveled outside of the United States once, on a trip to the Scottish Isles. Gorey was born in Chicago in 1925, he studie...

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Mar 20 2005

Frank & Ernestine Gilbreth

Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey are the co-authors of Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes, two classic memoirs that no one from a large family should miss. Frank Jr. an...

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Mar 20 2005

Alfred Bester

Although he had worked as a writer for comic books and radio and his novel The Demolished Man won the first Hugo Award in 1953, Alfred Bester was never really what you'd call a household name. Be...

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Mar 20 2005

Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson is the creator of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin and Hobbes, in Watterson's own words, was about "private realities, the magic of imagination, and the specialness of cer...

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Mar 20 2005

David Macaulay

David Macaulay is the author of a series of semi-fictional books about how things are built. His stories about the construction of cathedrals, castles, mosques, and pyramids, all of which are ill...

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Mar 15 2005

Eloisa James

Eloisa James is the pen name of Mary Bly, a professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance studies at Fordham University. Ms. James is one of the few absolutely reliable writers of historical romances....

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Mar 15 2005

Much Ado About You, by Eloisa James

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To paraphrase Jane Austen, there are few romance novelists whom I really love, and fewer still of whom I think well. Eloisa James is one of the few writers whom I both love (well, more or less) and think well of—at least well enough to shell out the full cover price for, an honor that I reserve for a mere handful of authors. Her eight romance novels are fresh, well written twists on old favorites...

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Mar 2 2005

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron

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I enjoy books about home restoration. I once wrote a term paper passionately defending Martha Stewart's status as an American icon. I have a serious crush on Alton Brown and an even more serious one on Red Green. And while I am rarely tempted to actually attempt any of the projects that I read about or see on television, I always find the sight of other people creating stuff to be tremendously satisfying...

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Feb 28 2005

Gertrude Chandler Warner

A teacher for 32 years, Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote and re-wrote her first book, The Boxcar Children, testing it out on her students until she had honed it into a story that was both easy to re...

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Feb 28 2005

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Pilot, poet, and novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had one of those adventurous, emotionally messy lives that produce remarkable art but always seem to end badly. (And early.) Sure, he wrote and...

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Feb 28 2005

Maud Hart Lovelace

For a state that I associate mostly with soy bean farming and Biodiesel, Minnesota is peculiarly rich in Wordcandy goodness. A surprising number of famous American authors (Garrison Keillor, Laur...

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Feb 28 2005

Noel Streatfeild

Ballet Shoes is the first and best novel in Noel Streatfeild’s 10-book-long series about the lives of British child actors in the first half of the twentieth century. (Only a few of these books h...

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Feb 28 2005

Eleanor Cameron

Born in 1912, writer and critic Eleanor Cameron is best remembered as the author of the charmingly bizarre Mushroom Planet books. The first book in this imaginative, entertaining series, 1954’s T...

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Feb 13 2005

Bill Willingham

Comic book writer and artist Bill Willingham has achieved Wordcandy-status based on the sheer awesomeness of Fables: Legends in Exile, his current series for Vertigo. In Willingham's Fabletown, a...

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Feb 13 2005

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Scottish author, physician, and Spiritualism expert, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best remembered as the creator of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Although one might quibble over the true literary "ge...

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Feb 13 2005

Teresa Medeiros

It is rare for me to recommend a writer of historical romances that feature a pre-Regency setting. I'm sure that there are plenty of very entertaining books out there with medieval or Elizabetha...

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Feb 12 2005

Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson, like fellow Wordcandy authors Neil Gaiman and A.S. Byatt, occasionally seems like he's written entire novels for the sole purpose of flaunting his intelligence and bone-deep hipne...

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Feb 11 2005

A Civil Contract, by Georgette Heyer

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Georgette Heyer's A Civil Contract is quite possibly the world's most prosaic romance novel. If bodice-ripping paperback covers make your eyes twitch, if soppy love stories leave you feeling fain...

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Jan 26 2005

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken

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From fairy tales to Edward Gorey, we here at Wordcandy have long enjoyed stories about bad things happening to good children. British author Joan Aiken has been a steady contributor to this fine literary subgenre, from the 1962 publication of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase to the recent (posthumous) publication of the last book in her Wolves Chronicles, The Witch of Clatteringshaws...

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Jan 24 2005

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins was a close friend of Charles Dickens, and his books, while less famous, share many of Dickens’s strengths. (Collins was also less of a tool on the personality front, apparently.) ...

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Jan 24 2005

J. M. Barrie

Like A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh series, Scottish author Sir J. M. Barrie's most famous work walks a fine line between preciousness and genuine fun--and manages, most of the time, to keep its ba...

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Jan 24 2005

Mike Carey

Mike Carey is the author of a four-issue comic book miniseries from Vertigo entitled My Faith in Frankie. While this book won’t be the title that converts the English-speaking world into comic b...

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Jan 24 2005

Herbie Brennan

As with pretty much all fantasy stories published in the past decade, Herbie Brennan’s Faerie Wars series is routinely compared to Harry Potter, although the two series have almost nothing in comm...

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Jan 13 2005

Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones

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Please note: the plot of Diana Wynne Jones's novel Deep Secret is convoluted, the characters are slow to develop, and Jones's conception of magic is not the usual whiz-bang Harry Potter-style acti...

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Jan 7 2005

Barbara Vine

Barbara Vine is Ruth Rendell's self-described "softer, more feminine" alterego. While the Vine novels are considerably longer and they do differ slightly in tone from the Rendell books, don't pic...

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Jan 7 2005

Truman Capote

Truman Capote was a high school dropout-turned-journalist-turned-novelist-turned-socialite who achieved tremendous success at a remarkably young age, produced one of the most iconic novellas of th...

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Jan 7 2005

Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell has written some of the most ruthlessly unpleasant books we’ll ever recommend here at Wordcandy. The tone, characterization, and plotting in her psychological suspense/British police...

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Dec 31 2004

Cameron Dokey

Cameron Dokey is yet another author of re-told fairy tales. (Pretty soon we're going to need a special icon for just for those, aren't we?) I've read more imaginative and richly characterized ex...

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