Today's Categories. Two non-romance

Mapletree is coming up with the list of best books ever--at least in the last 25 years

I can't do it. I think I can come up with the worst ever, thanks to the bitches. (My votes were Bridges of Madison County and Atlas Shrugs. God, I hated BoMC. LOATHED it. I wonder if I reread it all these years later I still would.)

But the best ever--I can't seem to manage it. I can only come up with lots of categories and plenty of leaders in them.

Creepiest
I keep coming back to Perfume. You'd think I haven't read any other book, I talk about it so often, so I guess this one wins. I've actually read a bunch of books that set out to be scary and usually end up kinda gross (The Closer for instance). The Silence of the Lambs didn't keep me awake. And I laughed at that Hannibal book (it was read aloud on tape). I've read a bunch of Stephen King, and he succeeds. As my son said--too late for both of us--don't read his stuff while on vacation in Maine. But for some reason Perfume is stuck in my brain. Maybe because most of the books I've read are mainstreamy mass-markety and that one was slightly literary? Or maybe because it was flat out creeeeeepy.

There's no getting around the fact that any non-fiction about ebola virus, genocide or extremist politics is far worse (or better, depending on your POV) than fiction for scary.

For the last few years I've mostly read romance. I suppose I should stick to that?
Yes, but first. . .One more non-romance category:

Academic Funny Fiction.
People keep giving my husband the professor books about life in academia. There are some good books out there. Makes sense--writers hang out at universities. It's a strange world and fun to describe.

Two of my favorites are Moo by Jane Smiley and a book called The Big U by Stephenson. I think the winner for this group has to be Lucky Jim though. Moo is a close second. Oh, wait! It has to be written within the last 25 years?
Moo wins! The crowd goes wild!

Tomorrow: Regency. It was supposed to be underappreciated authors, but I couldn't think of any new names. Honestly I better start reading all of these lists other people keep making. Add to mine, too, please.

Comments

  1. ROFLMAO! I just bitched about TBoMC over on Dee's blog (think that was the one). - hehehe

    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, FRIEND!

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  2. For books about academic life I strongly recommend Changing Places by David Lodge, and a sort of sequel, Small World. Malcolm Bradbury's Rates of Exchange is also good. These are british authors, so have a bit of a British flavour, although Changing Places is about a swap between an academic from the University of Rummidge (basically Birmingham (the original one, not the one in Alabama) and Euphoria State (basically Berkeley).

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  3. yeah, I've read David Lodge (we have Therapy on tape--reads aloud beautifully) I like his books enough to get them from the library but not buy them. I'm not sure why I don't love him. Maybe because he does something like Evelyn Waugh but not as well?

    Actually I should not critique Changing Places since I can't remember anything it except the moment when both professors are in the sky--one flying to England the other to California.

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  4. oh.

    The airplane bit I remember is from the back cover. It really has been a long time. . .I recall that Zapp, the California prof, was wonderfully obnoxious.

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  5. I tend to forget the books I hated, and the ones I love line my shelves.
    The ones I hate line my dustbin.
    I'm also getting pickier as I get older.

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  6. Well if your husband hasn't read it, I laugh out loud (many many times) when I read Straight Man, by Richard Russo. It's hee-larious.

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  7. Perfume is an amazing book - breathtakingly original, in idea and execution, and brilliantly written. A fantastic example of writing an evil character, too - so deep in his POS (Point of Smell) that as a reader I understood what drove him to pursue his goal (even while it creeped me out...)

    I can understand why some people think it's way too creepy to read, and I (an ardent pacifist and non-violent person) would normally steer a thousand miles clear of any book getting into the head of a murderer, but this book was so well conceptualised and written that I'd read it again. I think the reason why it's so disturbing to some is because it is so well done.

    I think it's the only book with the focus on a murderer/villain that I've read more than 3 pages of.

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