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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Nov 13 2004

Cornell Woolrich

Alfred Hitchcock must have taken one look at the Cornell Woolrich's stories and gotten those little cartoon dollar signs in his eyes. Between 1954 and 1958 he turned Woolrich's nail-biting short ...

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Nov 4 2004

The Mouse That Roared, by Leonard Wibberley

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When Leonard Wibberley's The Mouse That Roared first appeared as a serialized story in the 1950s, I'm sure the idea of the United States being invaded by a tiny nation armed with ridiculously inadequate weapons was just too precious. Unfortunately, in a post-9/11, box-cutter-filled world, some of the central jokes in this story hit pretty close to home...

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Nov 3 2004

Mary Kay Andrews

As you could probably guess from the titles of her stories (Savannah Blues, Little Bitty Lies, and Hissy Fit), Mary Kay Andrews is a very Southern writer. Her intelligent, entertaining books are ...

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Nov 3 2004

Dorothy Gilman

According to the Internet, novelist Dorothy Gilman's real last name is "Butters". Now, while I can see that "Dorothy Butters" may not scream "hardboiled suspense writer", I think that it is the p...

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Nov 3 2004

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is like God's gift to fantasy fans. Some of his books might blend a bit together, but Pratchett is witty (capable of making puns funny--it's true! Yes, it can be done!) and he ca...

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Nov 3 2004

Frances Hodgson Burnett

The English-American writer Frances Hodgson Burnett actually has two claims to Wordcandy fame. Not only did she write two classic YA novels, but one of the aforementioned classic novels (1909's A...

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Oct 17 2004

Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde is the author of a series of dazzlingly silly and imaginative alternate universe/adventure/detective stories, including The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, ...

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Oct 17 2004

The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the Baroness Orczy

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The Baroness Orczy's 1905 novel The Scarlet Pimpernel is pure, unadulterated wordcandy. It's like the literary equivalent of Scharffen Berger chocolate. This book is gorgeously written, perfectly...

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Oct 17 2004

Monica Hughes

Monica Hughes, arguably the first Canadian writer of YA science fiction, published close to 35 books, many of which focus on the delicate balance between humans, scientific progress, and nature. ...

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Oct 17 2004

C. S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia are Wordcandy classics, and I am afraid that yes, you do have to read them. If you read them as a kid, it was probably pretty easy to just ignore all the anvil-s...

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Oct 16 2004

John Ney Reiber

The character of Timothy Hunter--the original black-haired, bespectacled British boy wizard--was introduced in a Neil Gaiman-penned miniseries in 1990, and DC's Vertigo Comics has trotted him out ...

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Oct 7 2004

Baroness Orczy

The Hungarian-born novelist Emma Magdalena Rosalia Maria Josefa Orczy is best known as the Baroness Orczy, the author of the Wordcandy classic The Scarlet Pimpernel. Orczy began her career as an ...

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