Catching up with a few more book recommendations:

To Say Nothing of the Dog, with which I have begun to mend my ignorance of Connie Willis’ novels, and

Uglies, in which Scott Westerfeld has fun with semi-dystopic near future SF YA.

If you have read either book, feel free to discuss in the comments.

0 Responses to “”

  1. rj_anderson

    I have read both. Liked Uglies. LOVED TSNoTD and have read it multiple times. My favorite by far of all Willis’s books. Actually, it’s in my top ten favorite books ever.

    • Marie Brennan

      I really do prefer it to The Doomsday Book, and not just because that one’s depressing. The monomaniacal behavior of the characters in TDB felt frustrating and (after a while) unrealistic; in TSNotD, it fits right in with the whole crazy feel.

  2. lanerobins

    Oh To Say Nothing is such a wonderful book! I’m with you; I enjoyed it far more than the grindingly tragic Doomsday Book. I’ve learned to pick and choose with Willis. Bellwether is also wonderful, but I’ve shunned Passages.

    Haven’t read Uglies yet, though I keep meaning to, since I enjoyed his Midnighters series quite a bit. They’re the kind of YA that if I’d read while I was actually a YA, would have shaped a lot of my daydreams and fantasies.

    • Marie Brennan

      I was prepared for tragedy in TDB, but the pacing just dragged for me in the first half, while everybody was running around not able to figure out what was going on.

      I’m in the middle of the first Midnighters book right now. It hasn’t grabbed me, but I can’t quite put my finger on why.

    • diatryma

      Passage was bad. Willis has a thing for putting two scientist characters together to work on the intersection of their unrelated fields, but in Passage, they stopped acting like scientists and started acting like philosophers. The ending didn’t work for me at all; it smacked of Meaning.

      • lanerobins

        All that and weepy too? No, I’ll stick with Bellwether, which might not have the scientists acting like scientists–I seem to recall a lot of Meaningful Questioning–but at least it was with a humorous bent!

  3. dawn_metcalf

    Read both. Loved both. HIGHLY recommend both (although for different reasons) yet both are phenomenally-written books!


  4. mrissa

    Have you read Jerome K. Jerome?

      • mrissa

        Worth your time. He had me convinced that some of my schooling was a conspiracy to keep me away from the better bits of British literature, because here was one that was funny, and they only gave us Return of the #@#$%$!@ Native.

    • diatryma

      One of the better Christmas presents I’ve given was Three Men in a Boat, an ex-library large-print copy, to my then-nearly-blind father. It was the first book I’d seen him read in quite a while.

  5. janni

    I was mixed on Uglies, mostly because I had a hard time liking Tally, but I loved both Peeps and the Midnighters books.

    • Marie Brennan

      Tally’s not entirely likeable, but I was interested in her. Which is a balance that does not always work for me.

      • diatryma

        Uglies et al are among the only books that my mother, my sister, and I have all read and liked. When Mom finished one of them, Baby Sister said, “Didn’t you just want to slap her?” Yes, for many values of her.

  6. oneminutemonkey

    My favorite Connie Willis, which I tend to read every so often, is Bellwether. Wacky social sciences and weird romance and sheep!

    I love Scott Westerfeld’s YA stuff… it’s a whole lot of fun and he does good work with nifty ideas. So Yesterday was also very nicely done.

  7. aliettedb

    OOh, I love To Say Nothing of the Dog. It’s got that priceless humorous voice that made me laugh out loud several times.

  8. doriscrockford2

    I also love TSNotD. ‘Bellwether’ is another CW favourite, and if you enjoy her time-travel stuff, there’s a WW2 story called ‘The Fire Watch’ (in a collection of the same name) that is in the same universe. I did read ‘Passage’, and at the time I thought it could have been edited to be at least 1/3 shorter than it was. I understand what she was doing, but it got a bit tiresome. But after I finished it … It’s one of those books I find myself frequently thinking about. It’s definitely left a mark.

  9. d_c_m

    For what it is worth, I am a Westerfeld fan. 🙂

  10. calico_reaction

    UGLIES was really enjoyable, and I want to read the rest of the trilogy but I haven’t been able to make myself pick them up. My fault: I went straight to Wikipedia after reading UGLIES and read the plot summaries for the next two books. 🙂

    I love Connie Willis. I haven’t read enough of her work, but I do mean to read this one one day. 🙂 Have you read either PASSAGE or DOOMSDAY BOOK?

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