Saturday, August 16, 2008

Desert Island Keepers II

Moth said --

Oooh! I want to play the desert island game. Here's my six:

1. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
3. Agnes and the Hitman by Crusie/Mayer
4. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
5. Brother Cadfael's Penance by Ellis Peters
6. One of Terry Pratchett's Guards books
but I'd just have to close my eyes an grab because I just couldn't pick ONE in cold blood...

Actually...I am rather well-endowed. I would so be willing to stuff a book down my cleavage to have extra reading material on a desert island.
In that case, I should be smart like Jo and say a ship building book- instead I'd probably take another Pratchett.

I will read Agnes and the Hitman. I haven't bought it yet because there is physically no more room on my TBR shelves.
Agnes can only squeak in on the left side when I pull a book out of the right.

Nine Coaches is a leading entry in my internal 'What the Hell is That Title Supposed To Mean' contest.
While excellent, it's not my very favorite Stewart ...

(jo ponders which is her favorite Stewart ... ponder ... ponder ... maybe My Brother Michael.)

Gaiman I haven't read. I know him only as a blogger.

A fine and proper Cadfael to choose. I would probably have picked One Corpse Too Many by the merest hair's-breadth. Her series is so consistently dense and so good that any one of them could represent the body of work, so to speak. Penance is arguably the one with deepest emotional stakes for Cadfael himself.

Terry Pratchett is someone I enjoy, but not one of the thirty or so S.F. writers I seek out.
Pratchett sold his first story when he was 13.
(Definitely kissing cousin to envy.)


  1. You must read Agnes and the Hitman! It's so good! I don't know if you read the first Crusie/Mayer colab but I feel like they ironed out a lot of the kinks from that book in this one. It's very funny, and a little violent- in the cool, emotional satisfying way. I read it and went back again two days later to read it all over again.

    Nine Coaches is a leading entry in my internal 'What the Hell is That Title Supposed To Mean' contest. It's from the quote at the beginning of the book: "Nine coaches waiting — hurry, hurry — Ay, to the devil...." from Tourneur: The Revenger's Tragedy. *shrug* Actually, it was a toss up between NCW and This Rough Magic. NCW won because I seem to reread that one slightly more often for some unknown reason. Although it might be Raoul. I don't think I've read My Brother Michael...

    Neil Gaiman is a genius. And I say that without any exaggeration and (very little) fan-girling. The man is Brilliant. Although, I wouldn't recommend American Gods for your first Gaiman. Maybe Anansi's Boys. It's HILARIOUS and has two really sweet romances in it. Because you have so much leisure time for reading I'm sure... ;)

    I love Cadfael. Again, OCTM was definitely in the running. Altho I also love, love Virgin in the Ice and Pilgrim of Hate because I love me some Olivier. I think BCP won out because the emotional stakes were SO high AND there was Olivier AND, I dunno, it was a really satisfying way to end the series.

    I know what you mean about the envy of Pratchett and Heyer's young pubs. Looking at them just makes me feel inadequate somehow, lazy.

  2. Now that you bring it up, I might just have to take back OCTM and opt in for Virgin In the Ice. VITI is a cozier, more intimate, tale.

    And it has one of EP's great lines ...
    (paraphrasing poorly here, since it's been a decade since I read the book ..)

    "And what was God doing while the Sister was being raped and murdered?"
    "He was preparing a throne beside him for a saint without spot."

    I ponder upon Ellis P's heroines from time to time. They're strong and passionate and all that is admirable -- but somehow one dimensional.

    I know this is because E.P. is NOT writing lovestories. The heroines are not given a POV. The books are shortish and focused on the mystery.

    But once I've enjoyed the mystery and the history and Cadfael himself ... I go off feeling nouvelle-cuisine hungry for more insight into the heroine.

    Is it fair to whine about this?
    It's really not, is it?

    I had remembered the source of the NCW quote was in the front of the book. I remain fuzzlepuffed, though, trying to fit it to the story.

    Don't get me wrong ... I am pleased to see weird titles. I like it when they don't have much, if any, to do with the story. The randomness of it reinforces my ongoing befuddlement with reality and is thus, in its way, reassuring.

    Agnes will get her turn. Yes, indeed. I'm a nervous after the last one ...

    Gaiman, huh? I'm almost hesitant to find a new writer I like. Then I'd want to read al his books and I have no TIME. I can only put off washing the kitchen floor for so long ...
    We're beginning to stick.

  3. I thought the heroine in The Rose Rent was well developped. But that was probably because she WAS the center of the mystery. That's another of my favorites actually. :D

    So nice to find a Cadfael fan. *happy sigh*