Sunday, December 14, 2008

PBW Holiday Giveaway #4 -- Playing Favorites

The winner of PBW Holiday Giveaway #2 -- Times Change is:

Crista

Crista, when you have a chance please send your full name and ship-to info to LynnViehl@aol.com, and I'll get your package out to you. Thanks to everyone for sharing their favorite SF/F reads with us.

One question I dread during interviews (and probably why I dodge them so often) is "Who is your favorite author?" I always say something like I can't pick one and then name every writer I can think of who has a book on my keeper shelf. I always miss someone, too, and hate myself afterward.

There are a couple of authors whose books I would buy even if they published their grocery lists (what does Linda Howard eat for breakfast, I wonder?) but I have no permanent, exclusively number one favorite. That would be like sending me into a French bakery and telling me I can only buy one specific pâtisserie for the rest of my life.

Today my favorite author is a historian I've been reading for the last couple of days. She never fails to immerse me in whatever time and place she chooses. I envy her characters. On the page she's charming, intelligent, beautifully devious, and makes writing look as easy and automatic as breathing. Want to know who she is?

A couple of nights ago my favorite author was someone I discovered by accident back in 2001 (I was sucked in by a great title and killer cover art.) I didn't expect anything more than a decent story, but in this case, I got great story. I found an e-book version of a story of hers that I'd somehow missed -- must have been in an anthology -- and downloaded it to test the whole Adobe thing. I didn't really have time to read the story that night, but of course she owned me after the first page and I was up until 2 am finishing it.

There are so many writers I admire for different reasons. I want to praise them all, and nag my readers to buy their books, and see to it that they're going to keep writing. I give away their books like presents because to me they are gifts. I miss favorite writers who have retired from the game (Sharon and Tom Curtis) or who aren't here anymore (Oscar Wilde.) I do what I can here on PBW to support my favorite authors and the books they write because I see it as in investment in my reading future -- and great books have to be shared with others.

Things you can do for your favorite authors that don't cost anything:

1. Talk about their books to other readers. This is pretty obvious, but I don't think readers know just how powerful they are. As a writer who has not been an overnight success, I can absolutely guarantee you that I wouldn't still be working in the biz if it wasn't for word of mouth. One concrete example: by talking about it, my readers actually brought one of my novel series (StarDoc) back to the market, and gave me the opportunity to write and publish more books (which is the best gift you can ever give a series author like me.)

2. Ask your local library to carry their titles. With the way the economy is going, more and more readers are getting their books from the library, so you'll be doing them a favor by stocking it with great reads. Also, many readers won't first buy books by an author who's new to them; they check them out at the library to give them a test drive. If the book isn't available, no test drive.

3. Pass along a favorite book to a family member, friend or someone you know who enjoys reading. Sharing books also helps during tough financial times; I pass along all of the hardcovers I read now to others whom I know can't afford them. I also find people are more likely to read a book that I personally recommend and give to them. Finally, it's a great way to recycle books and give the author another shot at acquiring a new reader.

4. Write about them online. We're all busy, and the time we're able to spend online is generally pretty limited, especially during the holidays. But when you take a few minutes and tell people online how much a favorite book means to you, whether it's on your blog, a discussion board or elsewhere, you do something that is more real and effective than the even priciest advertising.

5. Write to the author and tell them how you feel about their work. There are mysterious forces at work in the universe, and readers are one of them. I swear, it's the weirdest thing, but you guys have downright spooky timing. Each time I've thought seriously about throwing in the towel -- and there have been more than a few of those -- an e-mail or letter arrived from a reader telling me how much they enjoyed one of my books, or asking me questions, or just saying "Please, write another story about [insert character name.] And that was enough to give me hope, make me feel that I wasn't doing all this for nothing, and keep me going.

As for me, every time I go into a bookstore, I know there are undiscovered favorites in there, just waiting for me to find them. Being a devoted reader means being on an endless treasure hunt. Someday, I know, I will find them -- and when I do, you'll hear all about them.

For the fourth PBW Holiday Giveaway, I have:



A Gift Bag of 9 PBW New and Old Favorites

-- unsigned hardcover copies of Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin, The Ruby Key by Holly Lisle, The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi, and The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid.

-- unsigned trade paperback copy of Maximum Exposure by Alison Kent

-- unsigned paperback copies of Cry Wolf and The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs, Kidnapped! by Jo Leigh, and The Wild Road by Marjorie M. Liu

To have a chance to win this giveaway, in comments name a story or book that you would most like other people to read (or, if you can't pick just one, toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Monday, December 15, 2008. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner the gift bag with the 9 PBW New and Old Favorites, plus an extra stocking stuffer -- a signed, printed* copy of my December Darkyn novella e-book release, Master of Shadows. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something from PBW in the past.

*Printed by me on bond paper and placed in a three-ring binder.

97 comments:

  1. The Lorax. Great for children and adluts the same.

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  2. The Anita Blake series

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  3. I just read "Belong to Me" by Marisa de los Santos and I loved it!! It is the sequel to "Loved Walked In" and was even better than the first. Made me cry, a good cry, which is the highest compliment I pay an author.

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  4. I work in a bookstore, so all I do is recommend books to people. :)

    Karin Slaughter's Blindsighted
    Harry Potter series
    Spiderwick Chronicles

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  5. I just read this book and thought it was pretty good 'Claimed by Shadow' by Karen Chance

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  6. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye. It's a grand, sweeping epic of the kind not seen today. It's a huge tome full of history, atmosphere, and passion. Even now, decades after I first read it, the characters still seem so real, so alive. I read lots of new releases and thoroughly enjoy them. But The Far Pavilions is the kind of book I love reading again every few years, just for the sheer pleasure of Kaye's mastery with words. It's a classic.

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  7. So many books, but I have to list Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley. His writing is spare but manages to be beautiful, lyrical even, in spite of that. It was required reading for one of my creative writing classes in college and knocked me on my ass.

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  8. I'm not sure I could pick just one book. Perhaps my favorite book as a child, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

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  9. Shaun Tan's The Arrival. It's one of the most amazing books I have ever, ever seen. No words, though. If you need words in your book then I suggest Lili Wilkinson's Scatterheart.

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  10. Green Rider by Kristen Britain. A really enjoyable read and a lovable heroine!

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  11. Anything by Robert Jordan. (Is it horrible for me to hope that the last book in the Wheel of Time series is on his puter? I gots to know how it ends!)

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  12. A hilarious book that makes me smile no matter what - The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz.

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  13. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

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  14. Sheila4:01 AM

    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It's been more than a year since I've read this book and I find myself thinking of it at least once a week. Really need to read this book again.

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  15. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

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  16. The Painted Man by Peter V Brett. Great fantasy novel with an amazing premise that really stands out from the crowd of quest novels and stories about wars between empires.

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  17. There are so many great books but one of my all time favorites is "Villains By Necessity" by Eve Forward. I think people would get a kick out of the bad guys portrayed as the hero's on a quest to mess up harmony and all for the good of the world.

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  18. Apart from mine? Um...Neil Gaiman's "American Gods"

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  19. Right now I chose My Favorite Witch by Annette Blair, because that's what I'm currently rereading. Good romance book.

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  20. Do I have to pick one? Right now, I would recommend Wen Spencer's books, since they are awesome. Tomorrow it might be Patricia Briggs, or a new author.

    My favorite authors changes with time.

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  21. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett. He's probably my favourite author (with many close contenders) but Discworld is not for everyone. However everyone should read a book by him and I think this could be it :D

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  22. J.D. Robb's "in Death" series is great, and every woman deserves a Roarke in her life.

    And I also love JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood. Those guys crack me up.

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  23. Currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and is it ever food for thought. I'm seriously considering foisting this book on everybody I know for Christmas.

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  24. Do I have to pick now? How about ARTEMIS FOWL? :)

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  25. So many books I'd recommend, depending on genre and mood, that it's so hard for me to just recommend one. I guess The Curse of Chalion by Luis McMaster Bujold would be it, then -- but I reserve the right to change my mind every five seconds!

    (Thanks to everyone for giving me ideas of what to next put in my TBR pile!)

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  26. Juliet Marillier's "Sevenwaters" trilogy, a great historical romance. ;)

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  27. Ingeld's Daughter by Carla Nayland which can be downloaded for free at
    http://www.carlanayland.org/ingeld/index.htm

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  28. Pam S.8:57 AM

    Love the classics, "Interview with the Vampire" and "Lord Foul's Bane".

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  29. Dreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas. The characters are not from England's Haut Ton but from the rising middle class.

    Also Diana Gabaldon's series beginning with Outlander.

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  30. Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey, the only book that has ever prompted me to voluntarily watch an opera.

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  31. Nalini Singh's Pys series, first book, Slave to Sensation. Wonderful characters, and you get some romance along with a fascinating and intriguing plot.

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  32. One of my favorite authors is Scott Westerfeld. I loved the Uglies triology. YA

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  33. So many to choose from, how do I pick just one? How about "Oh My Stars" by Lorna Ludvik. That was a book purchased on a whim and a story that truly surprised. Which is hard to do. :)

    -DiDi

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  34. Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

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  35. Anything by Agatha Christie or Shakespeare. Talk about knowledge of human nature.

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  36. Crianlarich mentioned "The Far Pavillions" by M. M. Kaye which is a really good book. I really have to read it again. Thanks for reminding me ;-)

    Most of my favourite authors are long dead. And most of them are quite well-known, so there is no need to promote them. I occasionally recommend Georgette Heyer to those who love historical romance and I even lent a book to a male person to prove my point that she wrote better books than Barbara Cartland. ;-)

    The only author (not dead) I dared to write to were you, PBW. It's kind of hopeless to promote your books here in Germany because they're not available in German and have to be imported from the US if you insist on buying them.

    But maybe that'll change some fine day...

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  37. This is a hard question, because what I love in stories isn't always what other people want out of stories. Most of my favorite books are dark and tragic and probably depressing. XD I think I'm going to go with Jostein Gaarder's The Solitaire Mystery.

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  38. oh, lord. how to narrow it down? Well, two, The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King hopefully starts them down the wonderful path to the entire series. Yes, I'm a Sherlock geek. And then Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily.
    Thanks for all the giveaways, chica!

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  39. I really enjoy Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series. Enjoyed watching True Blood too!

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  40. I'd like to know first a bit about a person's reading tastes before recommending but for people who like science fiction with some romance, I'd recommend Lois McMaster Bujold's Cordelia's Honor.

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  41. George R. R. Martin's Ice and Fire series - though he needs to write them faster....

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  42. Tina C.1:34 PM

    Ooh, too many to pick just one...maybe Moon Called by Patricia Briggs or Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

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  43. There are many authors I would try and get people interested in but the last one was Diana Gabaldon. I gave her first Outlander book to my daughter's future mother-in-law and now she is hooked and is reading the rest of the series :D

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  44. The Maërlande Chronicles, by Elisabeth Vonarburg

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  45. I picked up *Hunting the Corrigan's Blood* by Holly Lisle on the strength of the teaser "Welded into a space station locker. Bound to a corpse. Left for dead. How much worse could a girl's life get?"

    Not only was the teaser impossible to ignore, but also the book was one of the most enjoyable and creative reads I've ever encountered.

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  46. I really like Shelly Laurenston's shifters and Kresley Cole's valkries. Both series are funny and (mostly) well-written. I just don't know anyone to recommend them to ;)

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  47. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I read it at least once a year.

    E

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  48. Either one of Deanna Raybourn's books ~ Silent in the Grave or Silent in the Sanctuary. Both are absolutely wonderful.

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  49. Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series and Francine River's "Redeeming Love."

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  50. I can't think of any one specific book. I love a lot of the paranormal romance authors. I just read a reprint from Angela Knight & Diane Whiteside that was good - Captive Dreams.

    Wild thought - What if the Darkyn really exist?? Maybe wishful thinking.

    (If you've read the book or the description, my random thought would make sense!)

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  51. Oh, so many books - most of my favorites tend to be YA. It's hard to have an absolute favorite.
    The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues by Ellen Raskin (also The Westing Game);
    The Thursday Next series by Fforde;
    The House of the Spirits by Allende;
    I saw Donaldson mentioned earlier, but I'm much more partial to the Mordant's Need books - A Mirror of her Dreams and A Man Rides Through.
    There are so many - since I read so many genres, I'm not picky - but I usually try to recommend 'in genre' for people I know.

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  52. Ummm, one I nearly always recommed is Daughter of Hounds by Caitlín R. Kiernan.

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  53. Anonymous3:52 PM

    I recommend reading the Crimson series by Trisha Baker and the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey.

    Terri W.

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  54. Sally3:56 PM

    A few fantasy favorites off the top of my head:

    1. "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents" by Terry Pratchett. It was the first Discworld novel I ever read and still my all-time favorite of his, though I don't hear people talk about it much.

    2. "The Hounds of the Morrigan" by Pat O'Shea. Irish mythology and two adorable young protagonists make for a sweet, at times poignant read.

    3. "The Hobbit" by JRR Tolkien. A classic, and still my favorite story to curl up with.

    4. "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende. I loved the film as a kid and when I picked up the novel a few months ago I found I preferred it to the movie. Beautiful imagery and moral.

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  55. Elizabeth Hoyt's Prince trilogy.

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  56. Keita Haruka4:45 PM

    I'm going to name two series that I feel is...truly excellent, one series from the two genres I enjoy reading the most.

    In fantasy: Raymond E. Feist's and Janny Wurtz's "Empire" trilogy. I chose this series because it follows the life of one woman as she's thrust completely unprepared into rulership, how she struggles to come to grips with power, love and the limitations of her culture...and eventually...how she changes it, and more importantly, how she grows as a person. This series had a huge impact on me. I first read it when I was 16. It's 10 years later now and it still awes me.

    In sci-fi...Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" trilogy is just...awesome. It follows the lives of several characters over the course of centuries, from the coloniation of Mars to its independance, and how those personalities influenced events. Some of the things in "Red Mars" are only explained at the end of "Blue Mars". :P Its a magnificent series that I would recommend to anyone.

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  57. Any book by Dorothy Sayers.

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  58. Hi Lynn,

    'Kiss of Heat' by Lora Leigh is one of the most emotional of her stories I have read.

    Thank you,
    Susan

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  59. Gah. No idea. Um, um, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson? Today anyway. ;)

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  60. I have two favorites. Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels series. This is a dark fantasy and not for the weak of heart but I love her characters.

    Also anything by Janny Wurts. Who is also an artist and gets to do her own covers.

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  61. Anything by Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower seems especially relevant these days.

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  62. Partners in Necessity (3-novel omnibus) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    Bellwether by Connie Willis

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  63. -Ambulance Ship by James White and the others from Orbit Hospital, I read the books sure three or four times .Today I begin reading -Even Vampires get the Blues by Katie Mac Alister.

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  64. I love the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas. It never fails to amuse me. I can still laugh out loud when I'm reading it.

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  65. My recommendations? "Solstice Wood" and "Harrowing the Dragon" by Patricia A. McKillip. I didn't expect to like them--especially "Solstice Wood"--but I got completely drawn in. I haven't been able to read more of her work yet, but I certainly plan to.

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  66. Talyn, by Holly Lisle. It's got everything a good fantasy should have.

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  67. Anyhting by Lois McMaster Bujold.

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  68. Between Silk & Cyanide by Leo Marks: funny, fascinating, heartrending autobiography of a cryptographer during WWII.

    84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff: correspondence about books and writing and life and powdered eggs between a New York author and the employees of a London bookstore (which was owned, incidentally, by Leo Marks' father).

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  69. I wish more people would read Diane Duane's work, she's brilliant.

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  70. I know you said one...but I couldn't pick just one. I always am trying to get friends (and strangers) to enjoy my favorite reads. Anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lora Leigh, you, Lynn, Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole. Individual non-romance books are Jurassic Park, Jubal Sackett, Angels and Demons, Storming Heaven by Kyle Mills, ummm, that's all I can think of. 2 tired to think.
    Thank you, Lynn.

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  71. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Currently reading Patricia Brigg's "Cry Wolf". . .dropping name in hat.

    Marelou

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  72. Ender's Game. Orson Scott Card. Loved it.

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  73. Stephen Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

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  74. ManiacScribbler9:12 PM

    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones...And then watch the anime movie. They don't match, but the movie brought the book to my attention. hehe
    My library out where I live, though, used to not take titles recommended to them, so, you definitely need a willing participant library.
    ManiacScribbler =^..^=
    Sorry for the mini rant...haha

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  75. It's really hard to pick just one, so I'll name a few that I haven't seen mentioned:

    Anything written by James Rollins

    The Corps series by W.E.B. Griffin

    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

    Persuasion by Jane Austen

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  76. Karen W.9:39 PM

    THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak. My favorite book of the last couple years, and I read 150+ books a year!

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  77. I second The Lorax.

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  78. Okay, my favorite book ever, one which I re-read every year (and am currently reading) is Gone with the Wind. I love it.

    But recently, I read Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, and I really liked it. I'd recommend it. I'm looking forward to the next one.

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  79. An author whom I find enthralling and read all of her books is Mary Doria Russell. Wonderful writer, unique stories and memorable novels. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  80. I recommend whatever book I am loving at the time lol. I have a terrible memory

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  81. Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series.

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  82. Probably either Bladedancer or Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I love introducing people to some of my favourite authors and getting them addicted. :D

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  83. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson.

    Someone mentioned Robert Jordan- well, Brandon Sanderson is finishing the last book with Mr. Jordan's wife's help (as well as the original notes and outlines). Should be out by the end of 2009 hopefully.

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  84. I can't think of one "universal" book that would be good for everyone, especially when personal tastes matter, but these were, in their own way, good reads: Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf.

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  85. I have one that I swear will bring tears to everybody's eyes...Cry No More by Linda Howard. This is an awesome book. I never ever cry, but this one definitely touched me.

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  86. Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey, Judith Mc Naught's historical books, Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas

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  87. I love the Xanth series by Piers Anthony - he has a very cleaver use of language (and as someone in their early 30's i often have to re-read what is written but the style would not be too hard for early readers).

    One book had the characters travelling to the Isle of View - which when the Isle was mentioned most other characters replied I love you too.



    mostly when i pick up a phrase from a book and start using it - i wish my circle of friends had read the book too so they knew what i wa talking about

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  88. I have to pick Hunter of Worlds, one of the first books (1977) by C. J. Cherryh. Like the tardis, it is bigger on the inside.

    No, wait, it would have to be Talyn by Holly Lisle. No- too strong for some I've given it to, so make that The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey.

    Yargh! Just one? Too hard to choose.

    Name in hat, please.

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  89. Everyone should read Sarah Waters' "Affinity". Also, "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. Also--

    *is carried off struggling*

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  90. The Thief books by Megan Whalen Turner

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  91. Actually just had to do this for book club, but it's almost impossible to narrow it down.. I ended up picking Princess Bride by William Goldman, because it has it all (adventure, romance, humor, etc)

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  92. Two books that I read over and over again are "The Princess" by Lori Wick, and "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers :)

    please count me in for the giveaway! :) thanks!

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  93. I would say The Giving Tree.

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  94. I'm big on recommending War and Peace (believe it or not). It's so intimidating for most people, but it's actually a fantastic read.

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  95. Anonymous2:07 PM

    I can't possibly pick just one, so I'll name several!

    My favorite new-ish authors are the fabulous Ms. Viehl, Kresley Cole, and Ilona Andrews.

    My three favorite books of all time, which I'd recommend to anyone are:
    1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    2. Rebecca - Daphne DuMaurier
    3. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
    ~JK

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  96. Michelle W.5:20 PM

    I can't pick just one, I'm constantly reading evrything I can and reccomend everyone do the same!

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  97. (These giveaways are so fun! Thank you!)

    The Van Gogh Cafe by Cynthia Rylant, it's a kids chapter book, but the stories are about the day to day goings on of a little cafe run by a man and his young daughter and the odd small magics that happen.

    Short, sweet and one of my favorite cheer up gifts for anyone.

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