Aug 14 2004

Michael Chabon

While all of Chabon's books are excellent, two in particular are Wordcandy. His young adult book Summerland is a gorgeously written novel that does for American mythology what Susan Cooper and Ll...

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Aug 14 2004

Catherine Clark

I know very little about this woman. She lives in Minneapolis, and she has a very pretty website. Her books Truth or Dairy and Wurst Case Scenario are fun stuff--the rambling journals of a self-...

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Aug 14 2004

Colette

Both Colette’s life story and the vast majority of her books read like a really far-fetched story arc on Sex and the City… if SATC was set in turn-of-the-previous-century Paris. While Colette is ...

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Aug 14 2004

Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer is one of the many, many fine authors to have been relegated to the "If you loved the Harry Potter books, try ___" list, which always irritates me because it seems like so many o...

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Aug 14 2004

Susan Cooper

My little brother is incapable of reading Susan Cooper’s two-time Newbury Award-winning The Dark Is Rising series without giving this whiny speech about how none of the books’ suspense actually wo...

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Aug 14 2004

Jennifer Crusie

Jennifer Crusie ties with Lisa Kleypas for the number one spot on my “Best Romance Novelists Currently Writing” list. While the two authors may seem to have little in common (Crusie writes sharp,...

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Aug 14 2004

Suzanne Enoch

The books of Suzanne Enoch, who is an otherwise only slightly above-average historical romance novelist, have been elevated to Wordcandy status for two reasons. First, she can write a non-annoyin...

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Aug 14 2004

Janet Evanovich

When I was poking around Ms. Evanovich's website I came across the following quote, and since I can't imagine a better description of her heroine than the following line, I'm just going to steal i...

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Aug 14 2004

Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Diary is one of those mega-successful books, like the Harry Potter series or Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries, that it's just plain stupid not to at least try. Besides b...

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Aug 14 2004

Louise Fitzhugh

Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 novel Harriet the Spy introduced readers to a new type of children’s book: a post-Dick and Jane story where everybody, including the heroine, was pretty screwed up. Everyth...

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Aug 14 2004

E.M. Forster

E. M. Forster, author, critic, and member of the Bloomsbury Group, wrote two great books, Howard’s End and A Room with a View, and several reasonably good ones, many of which seem to have been mad...

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Aug 14 2004

Chris Fuhrman

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Chris Fuhrman’s first and only novel, opens with the following paragraph:“By eighth grade, Jesus Christ had been bone meal and rumors for most of 1,974 years, bu...

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Aug 14 2004

Neil Gaiman

Despite the fact that he's always photographed dressed up in black t-shirts and leather jackets, looking like he'd be happier with a skull in one hand, Neil Gaiman is actually capable of being a t...

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Aug 14 2004

Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood is a perfectly respectable romance novelist. She has a very limited output and is similar in sensibility to Judith McNaught, although without, happily, the weird sex stuff. While a...

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Aug 14 2004

Elizabeth Gaskell

The only one of Mrs. Gaskell's books that I have read is Wives and Daughters. I thoroughly enjoyed it--it has the sprawling plot and occasional heavy-handed moralizing of a Dickens novel, enliven...

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Aug 14 2004

Chris Crutcher

If Chris Crutcher wrote for adults rather than kids and was about fifty times less entertaining, I bet the people from Oprah's Book Club would be knocking his door down. Crutcher's books feature ...

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Aug 11 2004

Garrison Keillor

If you read nothing else by Garrison Keillor, at least read the "99 Theses" footnote in his book Lake Wobegon Days. If you discover that you too appreciate the glory of meandering, Midwestern Lut...

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Aug 11 2004

Laurie R. King

Best known for her Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mysteries, Laurie R. King is a highly literary mystery/suspense novelist with a tendency to develop stories around her other interests, particularly...

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Aug 11 2004

Annette Curtis Klause

Annette Curtis Klause has only written a handful of books, and I disliked one of them (Silver Kiss) and was too turned off by the hokey cover and title to read another (Alien Secrets). The third,...

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Aug 11 2004

Diana Wynne Jones

I read The Lives of Christopher Chant and Charmed Life as a child, loved them, and then lost track of the author. Re-discovering Diana Wynne Jones as an adult has been a delight. While I find th...

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Aug 11 2004

Louise Rennison

Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson books (the series that begins with Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging) combine the agonizing adolescent dorkiness of Sue Townsend’s early Adrian Mole diari...

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Aug 11 2004

Caroline Stevermer

Caroline Stevermer is a woman who clearly isn't afraid of a little experimentation. Her alternative history/fantasy stories feature truly unusual settings, characters, and resolutions, and even i...

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Aug 11 2004

Dodie Smith

While Dodie Smith is best known as the author of 101 Dalmatians, she also wrote the strange and wonderful mid-20th century coming-of-age novel I Capture the Castle. I Capture the Castle was a cul...

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Aug 11 2004

L.J. Smith

Being a fan of L.J. Smith is somewhat trying, as we’ve been waiting for the final book in her Night World series for the better part of a decade. So while I cannot in good conscience describe tha...

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Aug 11 2004

Julia Quinn

While I have enjoyed every Julia Quinn book currently in print, I do have some ongoing problems with her writing: she's nowhere near as well researched as, say, Lisa Kleypas, and I find many of he...

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Aug 11 2004

Megan McCafferty

While there is little to distinguish Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling novels from the slew of other young adult diary-style novels, they are perfectly respectable entries in an enjoyable and rap...

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Aug 11 2004

Judith McNaught

Ordinarily I would put information like this in the Bitter Aftertaste section, but my feelings about Judith McNaught are so mixed that I have to begin with it: her romances feature some of the cre...

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Aug 11 2004

Arturo Perez-Reverte

Arturo Perez-Reverte’s books always fall apart in the last few chapters, but the rest of the story is so much fun that you have to forgive him. If you’re looking for enjoyably atmospheric mysteri...

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Aug 11 2004

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Like the books of Judith McNaught, the plots of Susan Elizabeth Phillips's books all-too-frequently hinge on some (at best) very questionable sex. Unlike Judith McNaught (who honestly doesn't see...

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Aug 11 2004

Daniel Pinkwater

Daniel and Jill Pinkwater are my idols. Their collaborations (he writes, she illustrates) have produced some of the weirdest, funniest little kids’ books on the planet (including The Hoboken Chic...

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