Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Recommended Reading

2012 Book List  :  THE SHORTLIST! NonFiction
Michael Chabon Maps and Legends: reading and writing along the borders
*Michael Dirda On Conan Doyle
Susan Hill A bit of singing and dancing
*Tony Horwitz Midnight Rising
St. Clair McKelway Reporting at wit's end : tales from The New Yorker Nancy Pearl After Life (Book Lust Rediscoveries)
*Jonathan Yardley Second Reading
Mark Haddon The Red House
Susanna Kearsley The Winter Sea
*Hilary Mantel Bringing up the Bodies
*Paula McLain The Paris Wife
China Mieville The City and the City
Stef Penney The Invisible Ones
Alexander McCall Smith
Jacqueline Winspear Elegy for Eddie
Mrs Queen Takes the Train
Mr Rosenbloom Dreams in English
Simon Beckett An Unmarked Grave
*John Connolly
Elly Griffith House at Sea End
*Deborah Harkness Shadow of the Night
Susan Hill Betrayal of Trust
Craig Johnson Walt Longman series
*Laurie King Beekeeper's apprentice:series
*Ian Rankin Standing in Another Man’s Grave
Imogen Robertson Instruments of darkness
Robin Sloan Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore
Julia Stuart Pigeon pie mystery
Charles Todd The Confession, Unmarked Grave
Science Fiction
Richard K. Morgan The cold commands
*Patrick Rothfuss Name of the Wind; The Wise Man's Fear Book 1,2
Carol Carr India Black (series)
Gail Carriger Timeless series
Alan Bradley Flavia De luce
*Kristin Cashore Bitterblue
Adam Gopnik The Steps Across the Water
*Terry Pratchett Snuff, Dodger
*Andrew Motion Silver (Treasure Island)
Marigold Hotel, Batman, Bond (skyfall) Avengers, Serenity, Hugo, Rise of the Guardians, Pi, Sherlock

* are the 15 best books of the year

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beach Reads 2012

I am trying to define what constitutes a beach read. Heaven knows I love to read almost all genres, regardless of season. So far this summer, a number of books stand out that I would like to recommend.
*Simon Beckett An unmarked Grave Elly Griffith House at Sea End *Mark Haddon The Red House **Deborah Harkness Shadow of the Night Susan Hill Betrayal of Trust *Katherine Howe The house of velvet and glass *Craig Johnson Dark Horse (Walt Longman) Laurie R King Keeping Watch **Laurie King The beekeeper's apprentice : series *Hilary Mantel Bringing up the bodies *Paula McLain The Paris Wife China Mieville The City and the City *Stef Penney The Invisible Ones Thomas Perry Poison Flower, The Informant (butcher boy sequel) *Oliver Potzsch The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale *Imogen Robertson Instruments of darkness James Runcie Canvey Island **Natasha Solomons Mr Rosenblum dreams in English Olen Steinhauer An American spy **Charles Todd The Confession, An Unmarked Grave **Jacqueline Winspear Elegy for Eddie **A study in Sherlock : stories inspired by the Holmes canon ed Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger ; stories by Alan Bradley ... Science Fiction Moses Siregar The Black Gods War Dave Duncan Against the Light Charlaine Harris Deadlocked Sookie Stackhouse China Mieville Un Lun Dun Karen Marie Moning Into the Dreaming **Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter The Long Earth **Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1 and The Wise Man's Fear Book 2, Romance MC Beaton Sweet Masquerade *Carol Carr India Black (series) **Gail Carriger Timeless Madeline Hunter The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne Jayne Ann Krentz Twist of fate; Crystal Gardens; Falling Awake Amanda Quick Quicksilver Childrens **Kristin Cashore Bitterblue **Adam Gopnik The Steps Across the Water **Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children

Friday, July 6, 2012


I reread few books because I was gifted with a photographic memory (which certainly helped at exam time) and speed reading (aquired with much practice). I also record each reading experience in a journal (now 5 volumes) which releases a floodgate of information at the mention of a title, a line, as sequence, a location etc. Still, every five years I find a comfortable chair and immerse myself in Tolkien. Shakespeare is welcome at any time. I never tire of Robert Frost. There are times, however, that I never want to reread a book. The memories are too graphic, violent or tragic or epic. Beloved by Angelou comes to mind, as well as Hawaii by Michner. The former is seared into my mind and with the latter I doubt I will ever have enough time to read Michner again! I suspect I will reread the 1000s of pages of the Game of Thrones series (or will the movies be enough?). In rereading, there is usually something new revealed, often enhancing my initial impressions. I suspect years and experiences contribute greatly with my feelings and interpretations on many books. Sometimes I want to reread a book to see what I missed the first time, other times I simply want to return to that special place or time. I too often don’t want to read the latest trend or what’s on Oprah’s list. I am always hunting for the next book, or the next new author. Jonathan Yardley’s publication of Second Reading, Notable and Neglected Books Revisited, inspired me to revisit a few classics and old favourites. There are 60+ book reviews in this collection which had me seek out a few authors I had passed over- I had never heard of Paper Tigers by Stanley Woodward, nor The Fathers by Allen Tate. But when I discovered that most of one of my book groups had never read Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier, 1938), I knew we had our classic selection for the year and I checked out the BookGroup in a Bag at the Library. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again”, is the unforgettable opening line. I didn’t remember how melodramatic it now seems, and was far more impatient with the unnamed non-Rebecca wife. But this is a classic gothic novel, and much of our book discussion centered on that history. Gothic novels have haunted castles or mansions, windswept moors, usually obsessed handsome dark brooding men with defenseless young women, a few family secrets in and atmospheric romantic suspense plot. They are often adored by readers (and bestsellers!) and even more often deplored by reviewers. Some of the best gothic novels are Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and William Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom! I would also include works by 19th century writers Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker and Elizabeth Gaskill. DuMaurier’s were also written as escapism and entertainment between the wars, and have delightful, accessible prose for easy reading. The physical descriptions of the various settings of Rebecca are vivid and richly detailed. I absolutely love books and/or movies where the house is just as much a character as the people in the book! And I enjoyed learning that the house actually exists, and the success of her book enabled her to renovate the ruin and make it her home for a number of years. Much of the novel was written while she was staying in Egypt where her husband was stationed, and may also be filled with the longing and nostalgia for home. In Rebecca, the plot has the unnamed narrator recall her past: As the companion to a rich American woman vacationing in Monte Carlo, she is courted (apparently unknowingly) by a wealthy Englishman, Maxim de Winter. After a week of courtship (not even recognising the proposal), she marries him, and they move to his Cornish mansion, Manderley. There she discovers that his first wife Rebecca is still alive in the memories of all the estate inhabitants, but especially its domineering housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, one of literature's great infamous female villains. I was actually horrified that the narrator feels relieved that Max didn’t love Rebecca when he reveals that he murdered her! (Remember the Hitchcock film has a different ending!) But because of the film, Rebecca has been in print since 1938. Additional Reading: I loved the comment that “If I wanted to go to Manderly again, I would just reread Rebecca.” Still, there are several books that have been approved by the du Maurier estate: Mrs de Winter (1993), by Susan Hill is a sequel originally written in the 1980s. The Other Rebecca (1996), by Maureen Freely is a contemporary version. Rebecca's Tale (2001), by Sally Beauman, is a narrative of four characters affected by Rebecca. (My bookclub’s best comment: “Rebecca left no man untouched.” Daphne by Justin Picardine, is also a fascinating fictional account of DuMaurier. NB In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, in the bookworld, they have accidentally cloned Mrs. Danvers which they use as troops against The Mispeling Vyrus, and other threats. Quotes: Maxim de Winter to the 2nd Mrs. de Winter “Do you remember that cliff where you first saw me in Monte Carlo?... That was where I found out about her... She stood there laughing, her black hair blowing in the wind, and told me all about herself - everything. Things I'll never tell a living soul. I wanted to kill her. It would have been so easy. Remember the precipice? I frightened you, didn't I? You thought I was mad. Perhaps I was. Perhaps I am mad. It wouldn't make for sanity, would it, living with the devil. "I'll make a bargain with you," she said. "You'd look rather foolish trying to divorce me now after four days of marriage. So I'll play the part of a devoted wife, mistress of your precious Manderley. I'll make it the most famous showplace in England, if you like. Then people will visit us and envy us and say we're the luckiest, happiest, couple in the country. What a grand show it will be! What a triumph!" I should never have accepted her dirty bargain, but I did.” Maxim to the 2nd Mrs. de Winter “But you. I can't forget what it has done to you. I was looking at you, thinking of nothing else all through lunch. It's gone forever, that funny, young, lost look that I loved. It won't come back again. I killed that too, when I told you about Rebecca. ...It's gone, in twenty four hours. You are so much older.” Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper to the 2nd Mrs. de Winter “So this is what's been happening during my illness! Tennis lessons, my foot! I suppose I have to hand it to you for a fast worker. How did you manage it? Still waters certainly run deep. Tell me, have you been doing anything you shouldn't?... But you certainly have your work cut out as mistress of Manderley. To be perfectly frank with you, my dear, I can't see you doing it. You haven't the experience. You haven't the faintest idea of what it means to be a great lady. Of course, you know why he's marrying you, don't you? You haven't flattered yourself that he's in love with you? The fact is that empty house got on his nerves to such an extent, he nearly went off his head. He just couldn't go on living alone... Hmmph, Mrs. de Winter! Goodbye, my dear, and good freaking luck.” Mrs. Danvers to the 2nd Mrs. de Winter “Why don't you go? Why don't you leave Manderley? He doesn't need you. He's got his memories. He doesn't love you. He wants to be alone again with her. You've nothing to stay for. You've nothing to live for really, have you? Look down there. It's easy, isn't it? Why don't you? Why don't you? Go on. Go on. Don't be afraid.” Book of the Moment Michael Dirda’s On Conan Doyle (2012) just won a prestigious literary award! I have been reading it off an on since publication both because I love Sherlock Holmes and because I adore Dirda (yes, read all his books, would that I had access to his Washington Post columns!) This is a personal account of Dirda’s love affair from an early age with Sherlock Holmes through to his joining the Baker Street Irregulars, the famous group of fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He doesn’t give away any of the plots, generally discussing the fiction and nonfiction works, in a slender book. The section at the end on books that feature Sherlock is worth it alone for your next read (and he also lists a few of the best websites). I was just in Edinburgh, following a literary guide to Scottish authors and have been an avid fan of the new PBS series of modern Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Don’t forget the fantastic Mary Russell series by Laurie R King!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Children's book review: Adam Gopnik

Young adult fiction is definitely for grownups! But also perfect to share with your grandchildren! No matter how old they get, they will ask you for recommendations! Sales of fiction for 14-20 year olds have increased dramatically in the last few years. The hunger games alone sold 23 million copies and at was before the movie came out. I still find it difficult to recommend because it is children killing children but i read the books because they remain in the top 10 banned books since publication. And i have had great discussions with friends, children, librarians and strangers about those books. More importantly, there were also 10,000 different Y/A books published last year. How to chose is difficult. But it is great fun for most adults to lose themselves in imaginary words and the innocence of childhood all the while finding a great book to share with children. Adam Gopnik's The Steps Across the Water (2010), superbly illustrated by Bruce McCall, is another creative imaginative masterpiece by this fabulous journalist and author. Rose is a young child living in NYC with her adopted parents and brother (Oliver was the subject of an earlier book and another must read!) She knows she has a lovely family but she is lonely and wonders who she really is. She desperately wants a dog and she loves snow globes. One day she sees a crystal staircase arching like a rainbow over the central park lake (no one else believes her of course). But later she discovers another entire world UNork peopled with fascinating, intriguing and some scary characters! Gopnik has a great deal of fun with names in the alternative universe ( times square squared), unique situations (food being shot at you with cannons, just open your mouth) and everyday parental quotes you've said ("If it weren't for the coffee and email. I wouldn't know I was alive" Rose's Dad. Also " school, which meant they're progressively draining my bank account..."). This book deals with themes of identity and the meaning of home in beautiful language. It is a charming story that will warm your heart and be read many times for generations. Quotes "Medusa Books? You mean your father's never taken you there? Well, that's a long overdue polka on your dance card, Miss Rose." ""Where was it published? Do you remember that?" Alexandra frowned.m"London? Hong Kong? Maybe Mars?" it if would be the most normal thing in the be published on Mars." Rose's favorite thing to do when she was frustrate and confused was to eat something delicious and it was her personal opinion that when you weren't frustrated and confused it was still a good idea to eat something delicious. Rose : "You're only as big as the last brave thing you've done." Thought by another great children's writer: A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in It, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them. Lemony Snicket

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 Reading List

2011 Book List
There were so many books that I thoroughly enjoyed this year; this is that list. Still it is a partial list, as ones I would recommend (I don't include any others that just didn't do it for me). The ones labelled ** are those that I categorise as YOU MUST READ THIS; * are the excellent reads. Those were the ones instantly recalled when I set to write the list (I am always asked for the 10 best, or the 50 best...) I made a New Years Resolution list, which included the statement "I will read no more than 4 books a week." Then someone pointed out "BUT Helen, that is still over 200 books a year!" Well, sleep is for amateurs, or when you are dead, or both. Enjoy
Non Fiction
*Elizabeth Tora Bailey. The sound of the wild snails eating
James Buchan Frozen Desire: meaning of money
Andre Dubus III Townie: A Memoir
Thomas Friedman. That Used to be US
Marjorie B. Garber The use and abuse of literature
Lori Gottlieb Marry him : the case for settling for Mr. Good Enough
**Adam Gopnick Winter: windows on five seasons,
*Adam Gopnick Table comes first (France Family and the meaning of food)
**Andrew Greig. The Loch of the Green Corrie
Simon Loxley The Secret history of Letters
Edward Hoagland Sex and the River Styx
**Tony Horwitz. Midnight Rising: John Brown
Victoria Golden McMains (2000) The Readers’ Choice: 200 bookclub favorites
**David McCullough The greater journey : Americans in Paris
John McPhee Silk parachute
Frank Muir An irreverent and thoroughly incomplete social history of almost everything
Frank Muir Oxford book of humorous prose: from William Caxton to P.G.Wodehouse: a conducted tour
Adam Nicolson Seamanship : a voyage along the wild coasts of the British Isles
Adam Nicolson.God's secretaries: the making of the King James Bible
Adam Nicolson Sea Room: an island life in the Hebrides
Jane and Michael Stern 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late: and Best Places to Eat Them
Susan Allen Toth. England for all Seasons
Anna Pavord Plant partners
David L. Ulin.The lost art of reading : why books matter in a distracted time
Simon Winchester The Alice behind Wonderland, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles
Jehanne Wake Sisters of Fortune
*Jonathan Yardley. Second Reading
30 books on the global climate change (McKibben, King, etc)
100 banned books

Kate Atkinson Started early, took my dog
Jean M. Auel The Land of Painted Caves: Earth's Children Series, Book 6
Gil Adamson Help me, Jacques Cousteau
Stephanie Barron Jane and the Canterbury Tales
*Simon Becket The Calling of the Grave
*John Connolly The Burning Soul
Laurence Cosse A Novel Bookstore
Sara Donati The endless forest
Nicholas Drayson Confessing a murder
Gerald Elias Danse Macabre
Dick / Felix Francis Gamble
Susan Fraser King Queen Hereafter
Elly Griffiths The Janus stone
Martha Grimes Fadeaway child
**Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches
C.S. Harris.Where shadows dance
**Susan Hill The Betrayal of Trust
Claude Izner ; translated by Isabel Reid Murder on the Eiffel Tower .
Claude Izner ; translated by Isabel Reid. The disappearance at Pere-Lachaise : a Victor Legris mystery
Judith Koll Healey The Canterbury Papers (04), Rebel Heiress (09)
*Laurie R King. Touchstone, Mary Russell series (Mrs Sherlock Holmes)
Michael Koryta So cold the river, The ridge
Archer Mayor Tag Man
Sharyn McCrumb The Ballad of Tom Dooley
Larry Millett The Magic Bullett
**Tawni O'Dell. Fragile beasts
Brigid Pasulka A long, long time ago and essentially true
Anne Perry Acceptable Loss, A christmas homecoming
Deanna Raybourn The dead travel fast, Dark Road to Darjeeling
*Mary Doria Russell Doc
C.J. Sansom Heartstone
Alexander Mccall Smith The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party Book 12
*Julia Stuart The tower, the zoo, and the tortoise
Andrew Taylor The Anatomy of Ghosts
**Charles Todd A Lonely Death, Bitter Truth
*Nicola Upson. Angel with two face/Two for Sorrow featuring Josephine Tey
Jill Paton Walsh Attenbury Emeralds
Wendy Webb Tale of Halcyon Crane
**Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs Series!

Louis Bayard The school of night
**Lauren Belfer A Fierce Radiance
*Vanora Bennett The People’s Queen (Chaucer)
Chris Bojahlan (all)
*Geraldine Brooks Caleb’s Crossing
Eleanor Brown Weird Sisters
**PD James Death comes to Pemberley
Sandor Marai Esther's inheritance; translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes.
Sander Marai Portraits of a Marriage
Steve Martin An Object of Desire
David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
Kamala Nair The Girl in the Garden
*Robin Oliveira My Name is Mary Sutter
Felix Palma Map of Time
**James Robertson And the Land Lay Still
*Mary Doria Russell Doc
*Alexander McCall Smith The Forgotten affairs of Youth
P. G. Wodehouse My Man Jeeves

Judy Collins Sweet Judy Blue Eyes
Elizabeth Chadwick The Greatest Knight (3 vols)
Amy Krouse Rosenthal Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life
A.A. Gill The Angry Island: hunting the English
A.A. Gill Previous Convictions: assignments from here and there; AA Gill is Away
*Gregory Maguire Making mischief : a Maurice Sendak appreciation
**Tony Horwitz: Midnight Rising: John Brown
*Simon Winchester The Alice behind Wonderland

Diana Gabaldon The Scottish Prisoner
Jayne Ann Krentz Arcane In Too Deep
Amanda Quick Quicksilver
Stephanie Laurens Earl of Glencrae
Christina Dodd Taken by a Prince, Bella Terra
Madelaine Hunter

**Alan Bradley – Flavia DeLuce!
*John Connolly The Infernals
*Kate DiCamillo. Magician’s Elephant
Gregory Maguire Three Rotten Eggs (2002)
Gregory Maguire The next queen of heaven
Walter Moers The alchemaster's apprentice : a culinary tale from Zamonia /by Optimus Yarnspinner ; translated from the Zamonian and illustrated by, whose German text was translated into English by John Brownjohn.
*Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrin’s home for peculiar children
**Brian Selznick. Wonderstruck

Science Fiction
Dave Duncan Pock’s Arena, Speak to the Devil
Charlene Harris Sookie Stackhouse
Karen Marie Moning Shadowfever
**George R.R. Martin A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons: Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 1 - 5
Naomi Novik Tongues of serpents, Crucible of Gold
*Terry Pratchett Snuff

Monday, January 2, 2012

Paula McLain The Paris Wife
One good book leads to another – if you have read Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, you have your next book: The Paris Wife. I liked that he finally recognised what he had lost with his divorce, from this comment: “I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her (his first wife, Hadley)." McLain writes primarily in Hadley’s voice providing her version of events. A previous biography (Sokoloff, 1973) is quite good, but this novel portrays the woman who loved him, for himself, and is fascinating! Paula McLain painstakingly researched the biographies, letters, and Hemingway's novels, to accurately detail their lives, including their marriage (1921-1926). She is also a poet, which is evident in her fine language craft and evocative prose which captures the glamour, emotions and trials of the 1920s, Europe and especially Paris.

Hadley (Elizabeth Hadley Richardson 1893-1979) was a 28 year old midwestern girl when she met the 21 year old Hemingway who was already brash and ambitious. You are caught up in their whirlwind courtship and the infinite possibilities that await them in life (even knowing the baggage that came later, you love the current story). Her inheritance enabled them to move to Paris and initially provided Hemingway with the stable environment which promoted his writing and provided him with material/experiences.

The reader is charmed by the warm generosity, beliefs and support of Hadley, delighted by the glittering expatriate world which is littered with well know literary and artistic figures as Gertrude Stein, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Ford Maddox Ford, Jean Rhys, and many others, and heartbroken when their marriage dissolves; Unable to survive the fame, the drinking and womanizing, especially in wake of the birth of their child John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway “Bumby” and her family values.

Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises during this time frame, dedicating it to her (and their son) partly in recognition of her sacrifice to his art. The royalties were hers as well. I will always wonder if she had stood up to him more, what greatness they could have achieved together. He desired her because she was not the independent, modern woman, but forgot she was her own person. She struggled to find her place in his ever changing world. While she embraced his adventures, the outdoors, the bullfights, etc their romance didn’t survive the drinking, jealousy, celebrity, ambition, depression and angst.
McLain is also sympathetic to Hemingway, recognising his early troubles, from his controling mother, the trauma of the great war and his depression. We know the man he became. Hadley married journalist and political writer Paul Mowrer in 1933 (Pulitzer 1929), eventually moving back to Chicago. He was also the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire (1968). Bumby (1923-2000) went on to become an American writer and conservationist (he finished the memoir, A Moveable Feast).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

20111 Book List

Non Fiction
Elizabeth Tora Bailey. The sound of the wild snails eating
Andrew Greig. The Loch of the Green Corrie;
David McCullough The greater journey: Americans in Paris
Susan Hill The Betrayal of Trust
Tawni O'Dell. Fragile Beasts
Lauren Belfer A Fierce Radiance
James Robertson And the Land Lay Still
Tony Horwitz: Midnight Rising: John Brown
Brian Selznick. Wonderstruck
Science Fiction
George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire Series

Best Books 2011Non FictionElizabeth Tora Bailey. The sound of the wild snails eating
Thomas Friedman. That Used to be US
Adam Gopnick Winter: windows on five seasons,
Adam Gopnick Table comes first (France, Family and the meaning of food)
Andrew Greig. The Loch of the Green Corrie
Edward Hoagland Sex and the River Styx
Tony Horwitz. Midnight Rising: John Brown
David McCullough The greater journey : Americans in Paris
David L. Ulin.The lost art of reading : why books matter in a distracted time
Simon Winchester The Alice behind Wonderland, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles
Jonathan Yardley. Second Reading
30 books on the global climate change (McKibben, King, etc)
Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches
Susan Hill The Betrayal of Trust
Laurie R King. Touchstone, Mary Russell series (Mrs Sherlock Holmes)
Tawni O'Dell. Fragile beasts
Anne Perry Acceptable Loss
Charles Todd A Lonely Death, Bitter Truth
Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs Series!
Lauren Belfer A Fierce Radiance
Vanora Bennett The People’s Queen (Chaucer)
Geraldine Brooks Caleb’s Crossing
PD James Death comes to Pemberley
Robin Oliveira My Name is Mary Sutter
James Robertson And the Land Lay Still
Mary Doria Russell Doc
A.A. Gill The Angry Island: hunting the English
Tony Horwitz: Midnight Rising: John Brown
Alan Bradley – Flavia DeLuce!
John Connolly The Infernals
Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrin’s home for peculiar children
Brian Selznick. Wonderstruck
Science Fiction
George R.R. Martin A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons: Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 1 - 5
Terry Pratchett Snuff