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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Dec 21 2004

Oscar Wilde

Son of an Irish ear and eye doctor and a flamboyant nationalistic poet, Oscar Wilde is best known for his deliciously giddy plays "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "An Ideal Husband". His oth...

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Dec 8 2004

P. D. James

English mystery novelist P.D. James is best known for her Adam Dalgliesh novels, although I expect that her two Cordelia Gray novels (which loosely connect to the Dalgliesh series) picked up in ci...

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Dec 8 2004

Laura Esquivel

Laura Esquivel's fame hit the high-water mark with the 1993 release of Like Water For Chocolate. (The book and film versions of Like Water For Chocolate were released in the U.S. at the same time,...

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Dec 7 2004

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is one of the very few "important" mid-to-late 20th century writers whose books are not, actually, complete downers. That's not to say that his books don't have their emotionally se...

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Dec 7 2004

Nick Bantock

A mystery/romance told entirely through letters (which have to be taken out of the book and read) and lushly illustrated postcards, Canadian author Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine stories are th...

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Dec 7 2004

Robert Graves

Although Robert Graves primarily thought of himself as a poet, he is best known as the author of the 1934 novel I, Claudius. A chatty faux-memoir, I, Claudius is possibly the most educational pot...

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Nov 29 2004

Rumiko Takahashi

Rumiko Takahashi is the creator of four long-running, influential, and insanely entertaining manga series--Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½, Maison Ikkoku, and InuYasha Sengoku o Togi Zoshi--as well as a h...

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Nov 29 2004

Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is the writer of the Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard mysteries, as well as the extremely successful Sookie Stackhouse supernatural romance/suspense series, about a telepathic barma...

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Nov 29 2004

Brothers Grimm

Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were a pair of 19th century German scholars who began collecting ancient German folktales as a way of researching the philological aspects of law. Naturally, I ha...

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Nov 29 2004

The Annotated Brothers Grimm, edited by Maria Tatar

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Relying on the Disney versions of Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast to give you a sense of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales is about as effective as trying to pass a mythology class...

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Nov 29 2004

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick was a pretty messed up guy- he was married multiple times, struggled with poorly diagnosed mental illness for much of his life, and never approached the success of fellow writers Fr...

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Nov 29 2004

Cynthia Heimel

Where did Cynthia Heimel go, anyway? She disappeared after the release of her 2002 book, Advanced Sex Tips for Girls: This Time It’s Personal (that would be the one with the cover featuring a wom...

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Nov 16 2004

Blue Dahlia, by Nora Roberts

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Nora Roberts’s Blue Dahlia reads like a mix’n’match of about fifty of her previous books. As such, it’s a perfect introduction to her work--like most of Roberts’s books, Blue Dahlia is an enterta...

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Nov 14 2004

Kelley Armstrong

The lust, angst, and violence quotient in Kelley Armstrong's stories of werewolves and witches is perfectly balanced between Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate and Laurell K. Hamilton's A...

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Nov 14 2004

Susan Juby

Susan Juby is the author of Alice, I Think and its sequel, Miss Smithers, a hilarious and deeply bizarre series of teen books about a young Canadian misanthrope with ten less-than-successful years...

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Nov 14 2004

Berkeley Breathed

With cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, all roads seem to lead back to Bloom County. As the writer and illustrator of Bloom County, Outland, and now Opus, as well as a handful of children's books, alm...

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Nov 13 2004

Raymond Chandler

Compared with fellow Black Mask writers Cornell Woolrich and Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler was a man with a successful career, a working set of social skills, and a downright chatty (one migh...

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