Posts tagged with action-and-suspense

Aug 14 2004

Philip Pullman

I think lumping Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy in with the Harry Potter books is criminal. If you must compare Pullman's work to something, try Susan Cooper, and please don't press a...

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Aug 14 2004

Ann Radcliffe

The most famous of the 18th century Gothic novelists, Ann Radcliffe is not everybody's Wordcandy. As I do not feel that I can improve upon this truly masterful description of Mrs. Radcliffe's fav...

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Aug 14 2004

J.K. Rowling

If you don't know who J. K. Rowling is, you've been living under a rock. If you have rejected reading her books out of a knee-jerk reaction to their overwhelming popularity or the belief that no ...

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Aug 14 2004

Josephine Tey

Josephine Tey is not an easy writer to pigeonhole. All of her books are mysteries, but they vary so much in tone and style that it’s difficult to classify them. Brat Farrar, for example, has lit...

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Aug 14 2004

Wendelin Van Draanen

Once, during a long-ago NPR interview, I listened to an Amazon.com employee blithely recommending Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes mysteries to the parent of a five-year-old. Um… no. (Unless y...

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Aug 14 2004

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton was an extraordinary writer, but I think that most people would agree that reading one of her full-length novels is plenty. While I do have a certain masochistic affection for the P...

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Aug 14 2004

Patricia C. Wrede

While most of Patricia Wrede’s early fantasy books read like sub-par Robin McKinley, her Dealing With Dragons series and her fairytale adaptation Snow White and Rose Red are both very entertaining...

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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

L.J. Smith

Being a fan of L.J. Smith is somewhat trying, as we’ve been waiting for the final book in her Night World series for the better part of a decade. So while I cannot in good conscience describe tha...

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Aug 11 2004

Caroline Stevermer

Caroline Stevermer is a woman who clearly isn't afraid of a little experimentation. Her alternative history/fantasy stories feature truly unusual settings, characters, and resolutions, and even i...

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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

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

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

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

Diana Wynne Jones

I read The Lives of Christopher Chant and Charmed Life as a child, loved them, and then lost track of the author. Re-discovering Diana Wynne Jones as an adult has been a delight. While I find th...

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Aug 11 2004

Laurie R. King

Best known for her Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mysteries, Laurie R. King is a highly literary mystery/suspense novelist with a tendency to develop stories around her other interests, particularly...

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Aug 11 2004

Annette Curtis Klause

Annette Curtis Klause has only written a handful of books, and I disliked one of them (Silver Kiss) and was too turned off by the hokey cover and title to read another (Alien Secrets). The third,...

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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

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 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

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

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 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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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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