Pollyanna’s Book List for the Ages, or This Week, Anyway

Anna-Liza here. If I can coordinate a bit, maybe Lyda will be joining me.

Hey, Lyda here. Cool, we’re co-authoring! I’ll do my part in blue so ya’ll don’t get confused. Or, more confused than usual when reading PRS…

It’s pretty darn tough to put together the “definitive book list” for people like Lyda and me. We keep adding to it. And then there’s the “categories”. Too many are just not categorizable. My favorite books are sort of rooted in some genre or other, but reach out and embrace a few others.

I’ll give it a shot, ask Lyda to add her own notes. Or maybe we’ll do one list each, and then do a “merge” of the stuff we both like. I don’t know, bear with me. I think we’ll begin with fiction.

  • Rex Stout: anything about Nero Wolfe, which is actually more about Archie Goodwin. I like his Dol Bonner book, too, and enjoy her infrequent appearances in the Wolfe books. I’ll have to check this out…
  • Elizabeth Peters: The Amelia Peabody mysteries. I have enjoyed  her other books, but these are the only ones I like to reread. The characters are delicious, the melodrama is hilarious, and Egyptian archealogy from the 1880s to about WWI is a pretty darn fascinating backdrop. Going to library now…
  • Neil Gaiman: my favorite is American Gods, but Good Omens, on which he collaborated with Terry Pratchett, is way up there, too. Some of his stuff doesn’t work for me, but I figure that’s all part of the charm. Anyone who collaborates with Terry Pratchett is good for me!
  • Susan Wittig Albert: Her China Bayles mystery series, set in the Texas hill country, about a woman who gave up a highly successful, fast-paced legal career and bought an herb shop in a tiny Texas town. Her best friend, Ruby, is a spectacular redhead who owns the neighboring New Age shop. Very fun, very real characters. Love these books! I’d forgotten these…
  • Roger Zelazny: The Amber series was wonderful, but I tend to like almost everything he ever wrote. He was a masterful short story writer–not an easy thing to do. Haven’t read him in a long time. Hmm…
  • Terry Pratchett: I actually like the newer books better than “The Color of Magic” but that’s just me. My favorites feature Sam Vimes because I’m in love with him. I read them all endlessly. The Discworld feels like home to me now. For me, I have only read a few of Pratchett’s books, and it was Good Omens that got me in the door. I like them, but I can only read a couple at a time before I need to read something else for a bit.
  • Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide books of course, also “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” and “Long Dark Teatime of the Soul”. Basically everything he wrote. We may have mentioned him before…
  • Mary Stewart: Wonderful writer. One of my favorites of all time. It’s been quite a while since I read her stuff. I have the Merlin trilogy still. She also wrote my favorite romantic mystery, “Thornyhold.” Just the right blend of stuff (and not at all scary, no murders even, just some weird things that end up neat). I practically know it by heart.
  • Georgette Heyer: Okay, this one is one of my “guilty pleasures”. It took me a while before I would admit that Regency Romances are my favorite fluffy brain candy–but really, there are very few outside of Heyer’s that I really like. My copies are very, very worn. I’m sorry, Lyda, did I addict you, as well? Yes, it’s all your fault. I haven’t even branched out, I just re-read “Bath Tangle” when I need a fix.
  • Star Trek novels I’m really sorry, but I do have to be honest. I love these things. They’re more brain candy, but I can’t resist them any more than I can resist Rowan Kidsilk Haze at 50% off. I just figure that you ought to know what kind of a dork you’re dealing with, here. Oh, for me, original cast Star Trek novels only. I enjoyed other Star Trek series, but I don’t read the novels. Lyda, do you have any ‘fessing up to do in this area? It’s not my fault; a friend gave me a whole box of them! What was I to do? Poor lonely books, I had to read them. I still sometimes check these out at the library.

Anna-Liza, should we do classics & kid’s books in a separate post? Yes, I think that would prevent post-fatigue. Does Arthur Conan-Doyle count as a “classic” author? Yes, absolutely. And P.G. Wodehouse, Heinlein, and… 

And non-fiction, we’ll have to do that. Except maybe I should leave out knitting books. Knitting books deserve a post of their own, or several. I bow to your experience here. I know nothing as knitting books yet. But yes, definitely a separate category.

I’m guessing our readers might have their own opionions about the knitting books. Right, ya’ll? Could be a lively debate…

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