So, at Archon, it was amazing how often I’d say something like, “But there’s an excellent older female protagonist in Bujold’s PALADIN OF SOULS. In fact, Cordelia Naismith is also a great older woman protagonist.”
And then whomever I was talking to (Sharon Shinn, say) would admit that they hadn’t read much by Bujold although they did want to, someday, when they had time . . .
And I wanted SO MUCH to be able to just write out a top-ten list of books and make Sharon read them! Because she would love them! And who knows when she will ever find time to get through her whole current TBR pile to the books I WANT HER TO READ.
You ever feel that way? Because I feel that way all the time. So even though I have no authority to assign books to anyone, I’m going to indulge myself for a moment and pretend I can.
IF YOU LOVE ROMANCES, YOU MUST READ —
The Medair duology, by Andrea Höst
Archangel, by Sharon Shinn
Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Beacon at Alexandria, by Gillian Bradshaw
Seriously! I’m not kidding! Doesn’t matter whether the setting is fantasy, SF, or historical — all of these are great stories and also great romances. Trust me: if you love romances, you will love these.
IF YOU LOVE STORIES THAT IMMERSE YOU IN THE PROTAGONIST’S DAY-TO-DAY LIFE —
The Touchstone Trilogy, by Andrea Höst
A Stranger to Command, by Sherwood Smith
Thursday’s Children, by Rumer Godden
It’s hard to write a book that has that day-to-day feel and also captures the reader’s attention. All of these do exactly that. There is a strong theme of learning something or developing your ability to do something in each of these books. Don’t tell me you don’t like SF or don’t like fantasy or don’t like historical settings. If you love the day-to-day feel of a story, you will love these.
Let’s see, what’s another category of books I keep wanting to make people read? Oh, here’s one:
IF YOU LOVE GREAT SPACE OPERA —
Tanya Huff’s VALOR series
Too many people who really enjoy space opera — adventure stories with space ships instead of swords, as my agent commented recently — anyway, if you already love the Vorkosigan books (and who doesn’t?), then don’t turn your back on military SF, which intergrades very thoroughly with space opera. The one military SF series I most want to make people read is the Valor series, which I just stumbled upon by accident. Lots more people ought to read it.
So, put down all those shiny new books that just got released in September and read the above titles immediately. I’ll expect a book report on all of them before Halloween. Twelve pages minimum, double-spaced.