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Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:57 pm Post

To Kill a Mockingbird

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Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:06 pm Post

Far From The Madding Crowd

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Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:23 pm Post

The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

It wasn't the first work of spec fic I had ever read (that would be Stranger from the Depths by Gerry Turner) but it was the first spec fic novel that really lit my pilot light for the genre. Because of my enjoyment of this particular little adventure, I read the rest of Clarke's works in one summer when I was a wee lad living in Hawai'i at Hickam AFB. I was living in 'paradise' and still found myself flopped on the rough carpet in the base library in front of the shelf filled of paperback science fiction that scores of young G.I.'s had given to the library when they had moved on to other assignments.

Clarke had a deft way of cleverly and smoothly incorporating the odd bit of LGBT content into his works from time to time. For me it was like magic to read those few pages wherein he made mention of people like myself, within a science fiction universe, no less. No big thing. No heavy handed obtrusiveness. Just... there, like everyone else around me.

The City and the Stars itself includes no such content, but had I not read that one novella, I would probably not have read the rest of his works until who-knows-when later, and would not have received that reassurance, so early on, that there was a place for me in the future. It was like an invitation from Clarke, letting me know that I existed and was in fact not invisible.

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Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:31 pm Post

This is cheating the "one-only" regulation just a wee bit...

Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey series... Master & Commander etc. There are 20 books in the series. They're so very well written, technically and historically; the characters very quickly become your friends (I cheer for them); and the plots are riveting. There are twenty (and a half) books but they flow in series so they're one gigantic book.

I just finished reading The Children of Witches by Sherri Smith and loved it. It's set in 1700s Germany (think witch hunts); she's married to the local tavern-keeper and has two sons. One is special. He's so special that the local priest takes him to help manage the town's children who lead the witch hunts. At about the two-thirds mark, as riveted as I was, I wanted to put the book away for fear of the way it was looking to end. But stopping mid-book is against my rules and so I crept forward. I'm not going to break the rule about reviewers spoiling the ending except to say, "I loved it". I re-read it and have kept it for another read. Very well written. Beautiful characters. Intriguing and exciting and emotional.

Can I write about my favourite eBook? I've resisted the eBook thing but I love my iPod Touch and I secrretly think I will love reading books on an iPad. It was Amaranth by Sal Maa-Neco. I got it from and I read it on my iPod Touch using Kindle. It's a fascinating romp / story as told by an old man recalling his childhood friend and their adventures growing up in Istanbul. I've been to Istanbul and I think that's why I bought this book, and I'm a sucker for boy/childhood adventure stories in exotic locations (I blame Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson). I'm fairly hard-hearted but I cried reading this book - and I wasn't expecting that. But I also laughed aloud and it's been a while since I did that reading a book. This was certainly a very good introduction to ebooks, and I think I'm sold on them. Reading on my iPod Touch was far better than I was expecting. I liked the way the writer was able to incorporate colour pics into the story. Having written about Amaranth, I think my next thing is to re-read it.

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Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:22 pm Post

I'll go with Michael Steele's answer and say A Tale of Two Cities, oops, I mean...

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Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:34 am Post

The book that has probably influenced me most in my life is called Scepticism Inc and by Bo Fowler.

But my favourite book is probably Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne because I could reread it hundreds of times without it losing much.