|What can I say: I like cheesy covers!|
Irving, John: John Irving is a great example of why censorship is unnecessary. When I was growing up, one of my brothers had The World According to Garp on his bookshelf. I decided to read it. There was a general feeling in the house that it would be over my head and contain material inappropriate to my age. Nobody stopped me. I read three pages and got so bored, I put it down.
There's a lot to be said for NOT making things "off-limits."
Irving, Washington wrote the classic "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." However, for scary atmospheric literature, I prefer his New York City-based tales, including "The Devil and Tom Walker."
Ishiguro, Kazuo: I read Remains of the Day for my first A-Z list. It's good.
Jackson, Shirley wrote the short story "The Lottery." I hate it. Here's why.
James, Eloisa is a romance writer of extremely clever books. She belongs to that class of writers of erotica romance, a genre that still occasionally gets scoffed at, who are extremely well-educated--Ph.Ds in English history and everything. James's books resemble Restoration Comedies, clever dialog included. Consequently, although I think she is one of the most talented genre romance writers on the market, I don't read a ton of her stuff: it tends to fall more into World than Character romance. That said, her pay-offs are always amusing.
James, Henry is one of those authors I tackled in college. He's good if somewhat wordy--though not as impenetrable as Joyce (see below). He wrote the utterly bizarre but immensely clever "Turn of the Screw." I recommend it. It has a literary gloss, so a reader can feel very intellectual--it's also sick, twisted, and scary, so a reader can just enjoy the fun!
James, P.D.: Mystery writer of another broody detective, Dagliesh. I quite like her Cordelia Gray series. She wrote a non-fiction book about mysteries which I don't recommend since I found it rather disappointing, being a rehash of stuff written by other mystery critics. For thoughts about mystery fiction, I recommend Dorothy Sayers instead.
Jeffries, Sabrina is a romance/erotica writer. I have mixed feelings about her books. On the one hand, I quite like the problems she sets up, including a kind of Daddy Long Legs novel where the heroine is, unbeknownst to herself, writing the man she jilted several years earlier. And her plots always pay-off psychologically at the end. On the other hand, sometimes her characters do the dumbest things . . . She skates the line between problems-caused-by-real-needs-and-wishes and problems-caused-because-person-A-forgot-to-tell-person-B-some-simple-thing-that-has-resulted-in-massive-misunderstandings. *Sigh.*
|Anjelica Huston: From The Witches.|
Jewett, Sarah Orne: For years, I associated Sarah Orne Jewett with that-stuff-you-have-to-read-in-high-school, specifically "The White Heron." However, in recent years, as part of my New England Mythology and Folklore class, I delved into her Country of the Pointed Firs. I recommend it! She's early modern with clean, fresh prose--not late modern when everyone got a little too jaded.
|And there's the juxtaposition.|
Joyce, Rachel wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, one of the books read by my bookclub. It is a worthwhile read!
I'm saving Diana Wynne Jones for the children's list.