Read this and had to share: Margaret Atwood on Game of Thrones: ‘Real people, every murderous one’. Well, if George pops off before the series is done, maybe she can finish it for him. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
I keep a record of what I read in LibraryThing. I haven’t recorded every book I’ve ever read, because I don’t remember (boy, I wish I had started keeping a list at the age of 5 or something). But I have recorded almost 1,200 books, so I thought I’d take a look at my authors list and see which authors were most influential on me.
It seems I read widely, because there are only 2 authors with more than 10 listings, and only one, Stephen King, with over 15 listings. I think being an eclectic reader is a very good thing. For purposes of this little poll, done for my amusement only, I decided to count any author with more than 5 listings as highly influential.
Here they are then, in order of influence:
- Stephen King
- Ursula K. Le Guin
- Neil Gaiman
- Jonathan Lethem
- Edward Gorey
- Christopher Moore* (once, maybe, but not anymore)
- Margaret Atwood
- Jane Austen
- Michael Chabon
- Fred Chappell
- Nick Hornby* (like Moore, this one is dubious, unless it’s him writing about books and reading)
- Kim Stanley Robinson
- Octavia Butler
- Tom Perrotta
- Ray Bradbury
- Roald Dahl
- Kazuo Ishiguro
- Shirley Jackson
- Francine Prose
What’s the point? None, really, just thought it was interesting data.
I have just discovered a new genre: cli-fi, or climate change fiction. Set in the present or near future, these novels imagine a changed world once the effects of climate change are really beginning to be felt.
It’s not such a new genre to me, after all. I read David Brin’s Earth and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain quite some time ago, and science fiction writers have been speculating about climate change for a long time now. Cli-fi now seems to be gaining some literary legitimacy, though, with writers like Ian McEwan (Solar), Margaret Atwood (the Oryx and Crake trilogy) and David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks) tackling the subject.
If you are interested in this sub-genre, I highly recommend you start with Rivers by Michael Farris Smith. Set in the near future on the Mississippi coast, which is ravaged by perpetual storms and has been abandoned by the US government, this is a beautifully written and powerful novel.
For further reading, here’s my cli-fi list on LibraryThing.
In a recent post, I discussed trying to read books written by women. This led me to consider which women authors I would recommend, and I came up with a list of books by women that I think are entertaining and enlightening reads. Of course, I am not the only person to have come up with such a list, and if you are so inclined, you can find 50, 100, or even 500 more books by women to fill up your “to read” shelf.
Here is my list (my absolute favorite books are starred and my favorite women authors are bolded):
- Kate Atkinson: Life After Life: A Novel
- Margaret Atwood: Cat’s Eye; The Handmaid’s Tale*; Oryx and Crake*
- Jane Austen: Emma; Persuasion; Pride and Prejudice*
- Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre*
- Octavia Butler: Lilith’s Brood*; Parable of the Sower*; Parable of the Talents
- Kate Chopin: The Awakening
- Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca*
- Jean Hegland: Into the Forest: A Novel
- Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley
- Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)*; The Sundial*; We Have Always Lived in the Castle*
- P.D. James: The Children of Men*
- Nancy Kress: Beggars in Spain: The Original Hugo & Nebula Winning Novella
- Madeleine L’Engle: A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet)
- Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
- Ursula K. Le Guin: Always Coming Home*; The Dispossessed; The Lathe Of Heaven: A Novel; The Left Hand of Darkness*; The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories; The Word for World is Forest
- Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird*
- Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus*
- Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife
- Flannery O’Connor: A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories*
- Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar
- E. Annie Proulx: The Shipping News
- Mary Doria Russell: Children of God (Ballantine Reader’s Circle); The Sparrow: A Novel (Ballantine Reader’s Circle)*
- Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane*
- Sheri S. Tepper: Grass
- Jo Walton: Among Others
- Kate Wilhelm: Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang: A Novel
- Connie Willis: To Say Nothing of the Dog*
- M.K. Wren: A Gift Upon the Shore*