I do quite a lot of reading. This is because I do not sleep well on occasion and I don't watch much television. I also have plenty of reading time on my bus commute to work (although I often loose track of where my stop is when I am reading a good book).
I do not have partnerships or deals with any of the online book sellers (amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, etc.) on principle. If you want to buy a book go search for it online or better yet, go to your nearest independent book store.
Some of my favorite authors (especially recently):
Peter S. Beagle
Beagle is best known for his novel The Last Unicorn which I read years ago and still love. He has also written a number of other novels and short stories over the years. I recommend anything he has written purely on the basis that it is consistently enjoyable fantasy and he written with a different style to it each time he comes out with a new novel or story. I buy all of his new novels as soon as I can get my hands on one. His first novel A Fine and Private Place can still be found from time to time in print. Also his recent short stories and novels Tamsin, Giant Bones and The Innkeeper's Song can be found in book stores and are good reads in their own right.
Poppy Z. Brite
Until recently she wrote some of the only horror fiction that I actually read and I am not a fan of horror (unless you count vampire novels). I do recommend her horror novels although some of them are gruesome in detail ( Exquisite Corpse in particular). Although some of the horror in her novels is gory it never seems so. She writes so skillfully that even the most gruesome bloody bits are extremely readable.
Recently she has begun writing about the restaurant world. Her recent novels Liquor and Prime are examples of this. While these could be considered more mainstream fiction they are still as well written as all of her previous works. I enjoyed them and I will continue to be a fan of her writing no matter what genre she chooses to write in.
Known (especially recently) for her novella The House on Mango Street and for her novel Caramelo both of which are good, Cisneros also writes very enjoyable poetry. Whether you like her novels and short stories or not her poetry is excellent. I recommend anything that she has written and hope that she writes more soon.
Ok, so Brian Froud is not an author. He is an artist and he has several books of his artwork out and I recommend all of them (both his humorous works and his serious works). I first became interested in Brain Froud's work through his work on Jim Henson film's.
Robin McKinley has won awards both for young adult fiction and for her more adult fiction although I've never separated the two. I simply read any of her novels no matter where I happen to find them in the book stores and I recommend that everyone else do the same. She has created some of my very favorite characters and she writes female heroines like no one else does.
I only began reading her novels very recently. I am not sure why other than the fact that there are so many authors out there sometimes it is difficult to choose. As soon as I read the recently reprinted Riddle Master trilogy I wondered why I had not read novels sooner. She writes like I wish that I could write. She writes like very few authors out there. She also writes some very compelling fantasy. I read many of her novels in one sitting.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
I've had a vampire novel/short story fixation for years. I am not sure why but I began reading them in high school and just never stopped. Although I can say that my tastes have matured since then. I began reading Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles ( Interview With The Vampire , The Vampire Lestat etc.) Shortly after high school I discovered Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and then wondered why I hadn't found her sooner. If you are a fan of vampire fiction and you don't know St. Germain, then you haven't read.
Her website is often down when I try to check it. She has written all sorts of things from novels to short stories, Science fiction to Horror. What she is best known for is her vampire series the chronicles of the count St. Germain. The series began in the 1970s and has continued on into the present. There are currently 16 books in the series and the first three books in the series have recently been reprinted after being out of print for several years. Aside from the St. Germain novels I highly recommend her other novels including the Sisters of the Night series about Dracula's vampire wives. She was able to write the first two novels. Intended to be a trilogy, the third novel was never published that I know of for editing reasons (her web site might have more details on this). I also enjoyed an off shoot of the St. Germain chronicles the first two books in a trilogy about the character Madeline de Montalia Out of the House of Life and In The Face of Death . So far the third book in this trilogy has not been completed. The only true horror in her vampire series is the fact that the main characters happen to be vampires otherwise all of these books resemble historical fiction.
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