Aug 11 2004

Megan McCafferty

While there is little to distinguish Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling novels from the slew of other young adult diary-style novels, they are perfectly respectable entries in an enjoyable and rap...

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Aug 11 2004

Judith McNaught

Ordinarily I would put information like this in the Bitter Aftertaste section, but my feelings about Judith McNaught are so mixed that I have to begin with it: her romances feature some of the cre...

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Aug 11 2004

Arturo Perez-Reverte

Arturo Perez-Reverte’s books always fall apart in the last few chapters, but the rest of the story is so much fun that you have to forgive him. If you’re looking for enjoyably atmospheric mysteri...

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Aug 11 2004

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Like the books of Judith McNaught, the plots of Susan Elizabeth Phillips's books all-too-frequently hinge on some (at best) very questionable sex. Unlike Judith McNaught (who honestly doesn't see...

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Aug 11 2004

Daniel Pinkwater

Daniel and Jill Pinkwater are my idols. Their collaborations (he writes, she illustrates) have produced some of the weirdest, funniest little kids’ books on the planet (including The Hoboken Chic...

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Aug 11 2004

John Lanchester

I have only read the first of John Lanchester's books, 1996's The Debt to Pleasure. This wickedly amusing book begins as an epicurean memoir and ends up as the only horror/cookbook hybrid I've ev...

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Aug 11 2004

Madeleine L'Engle

Despite being the author of over forty books, including the Newbery-Award winning children's classic A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle spent years working as a librarian at the Cathedral of St....

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Aug 11 2004

E.L. Konigsburg

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg is the only author to have both won the Newbery Award (for 1968’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) and been the runner-up (for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth...

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Aug 11 2004

Meg Cabot

The majority of Meg Cabot's books are pure Wordcandy. When she is at her best (the Princess Diaries series, contemporary romances like She Went All the Way and The Boy Next Door, the 1-800-WHERE-...

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Aug 11 2004

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is best known for his cheerfully creepy children's classics, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches an...

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Aug 11 2004

Jill Pinkwater

Daniel and Jill Pinkwater are my idols. Their collaborations (he writes, she illustrates) have produced some of the weirdest, funniest little kids’ books on the planet (including The Hoboken Chic...

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Aug 11 2004

Charlotte Bronte

Although Jane Eyre is commonly described as a Gothic love story, only about half of the book is devoted to Jane's romance with Mr. Rochester. The first quarter of the novel focuses on Jane's mise...

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Aug 11 2004

Fanny Burney

Fanny Burney's first and best-known novel, 1778's Evelina, is usually described as the first novel of manners. Burney had originally intended the book to serve as an instruction manual for young ...

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Aug 11 2004

A.S. Byatt

A. S. Byatt is smarter than you are. She knows it, and when you read one of her novels, you'll know it, too. When she's in a rub-this-in-your-face mood, this can make wading through one of her n...

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Aug 11 2004

Lewis Carroll

Like Edgar Allen Poe, Lewis Carroll's books are too-often critiqued in the context of his private life. Highly intelligent, talented, and socially ambitious, Carroll's romantic inclinations were ...

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Aug 10 2004

Lloyd Alexander

I used to work at a major chain bookstore. Every few hours, like clockwork, a desperate-looking parent would turn up and announce that their kid had recently turned off Grand Theft Auto for the f...

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Aug 10 2004

Tanuja Desai Hidier

Tanuja Desai Hidier is in a band, has directed a short film, written some short stories, and is the author of the novel Born Confused. All of her artistic endeavors apparently deal with the theme...

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Aug 10 2004

Nick Hornby

Having read Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelity, I can understand why The New Yorker asked him to be their pop music critic. Many people feel this was mistake, but you can see why they made it: Hor...

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Aug 10 2004

Stella Gibbons

Far too little is known about Stella Gibbons. She was English, she has a nephew who has been struggling to get her the recognition she so richly deserved, and she clearly understood just how ripe...

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Aug 10 2004

William Goldman

If you've only ever seen the film version of The Princess Bride, you owe to yourself to check out the totally kickass book it was based upon. My copy (with the complete title: The Princess Bride:...

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Aug 10 2004

Graham Greene

Graham Greene's steady success as a writer and critic ensured that he pretty much skipped the standard years of being a starving artist and went straight to solid sales and critical acclaim, but y...

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Aug 10 2004

Laurell K. Hamilton

While the (admittedly impressive) sex and ass-kicking sections of her novels garner the lion's share of attention, Ms. Hamilton's real genius is for creating lavishly imagined worlds for her chara...

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Aug 10 2004

Dashiell Hammett

Possibly the first (and definitely one of the best) of the "hardboiled" mystery writers, Dashiell Hammett's spare, sharp prose can be found in the gloriously atmospheric The Maltese Falcon and gid...

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Aug 10 2004

Frank Herbert

Dune is the only book Frank Herbert ever wrote that's worth reading. Take my advice: avoid the sequels, and only watch the movie for its high camp value. If you can forgive him for turning one g...

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Aug 10 2004

Georgette Heyer

I firmly hold the following to be true: Georgette Heyer was an amazing writer.She is tragically underappreciated (particularly here in the United States).The fact that no one has made a film vers...

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Aug 10 2004

Jane Austen

Jane Austen is my favorite author. Her books are dazzlingly, astonishingly good. She took one simple plotline and turned it into six completely unique novels. There is no resemblance between the...

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Aug 1 2004

Isaac Adamson

The first thing that attracted me to Isaac Adamson’s 2001 novel Tokyo Suckerpunch: A Billy Chaka Adventure was its gloriously lurid pink-and-yellow cover art, which, along with the book’s title, s...

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Aug 1 2004

Joan Aiken

Few Wordcandy authors are as uneven as Joan Aiken--but then few authors are as prolific or as ambitious, so we have to forgive the occasional bomb. Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books, tackling...

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Aug 1 2004

Douglas Adams

Obituary writers across the globe must have had a field day when Douglas Adams died. It was a short life, but he packed a hell of a lot of action into his forty-nine years.The Hitchhiker's Guide ...

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Feb 13 2004

Evelyn Waugh

Satirical novelist Evelyn Waugh wrote novels that were wickedly funny, sharply critical, and slightly insane. Like his contemporary Graham Greene (who considered Waugh to be the greatest novelist...

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