B is for Books

Bach, Richard: I must have read/listened to Jonathan Livingston Seagull about twenty billion times as a young teen. I cannot imagine reading it now with any degree of even mild tolerance. Some things last from our youth. Some things just do not.

Baldwin, James: Not a favorite author but I do agree with numerous high school teachers who classify him as a great author. His writing is powerful. I still remember it although I don't think I've read anything of his in over fifteen years.

Balogh, Mary: Mary Balogh is a romance writer (PG-13/R). She tends more towards world romances where we watch the hero and heroine relate to many people rather than focus exclusively on their relationship to each other. I tend to prefer the latter type of romance to the former. She is a skilled writer; out of her books, I recommend First Comes Marriage.

Balzac, Honore de: I read Balzac for A-Z Book Review, Part 1. I gave him a positive review though I haven't read him since.

Bantock, Nick: I read the Griffin & Sabine books back when they first came out and enjoyed them. They are very clever, being basically pop-up books for adults. I get a big kick out of pop-up-play-with-your-reading books, but I do usually just go to the kids' section, so I can get the pop-up books that come with toys. I suppose Nick Bantock is a way for adults to do the same thing without feeling silly.

Barrie, J.M.: Yep, I found Peter and Wendy in the adult section! It is a rather unusual book, written after the famous play, and has a melancholy edge that is probably more respective of Barrie's view of the world than his fictionalized persona (that he helped create around himself). I wrote a short story about Peter Pan a number of years ago, and it was the book, not the play, that inspired me.

Barron, Stephanie: As a Jane Austen fan, I've tried very, very hard to like Stephanie Barron's mysteries with Jane Austen as detective. They aren't badly written and I don't remember having any problems with Barron's portrayal of Austen--though I might now that I've done more research on Austen. But the books don't grab me.

Barthelme, Donald: I read about two things by Donald Barthelme and didn't need to read anymore. He's very, very good at what he does. But his writing is kind of like Cubism as an Art Movement: needed to be done, was done exceedingly well by someone (Picasso), *big shrug*.

Beagle, Peter: Probably best known for The Last Unicorn, but I always rather liked A Fine and Private Place.

Bierce, Ambrose: Another high school-assigned author. His short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is worth reading.

Borthwick, J.S.: A mystery writer. Her books are set in Maine! I quite enjoy them and get a kick out of the Maine references--although one of the most enjoyable, The Garden Plot, takes place on a European Garden Tour.

Bradbury, Ray: A true great although I rarely read him now-a-days. However, I must have read The Martian Chronicles a half dozen times when I was younger. I highly recommend it; in fact, I think I'll check it out the next time I'm at the library!

Bradley, Marion Zimmer: I have to mention Marion Zimmer Bradley, not because I am a fan of The Mists of Avalon--part of which I did read when I was younger--but because she gave me one of my first breaks as a writer. Her magazine accepted one of my first short stories (the very first was accepted by Space & Time).  I received and signed my acceptance letter about a month before she died; the story--"A Janitor's Closet"--was published in #47, and I was paid comparatively well for it. I've always had a fond place in my heart for MZB for giving me that opportunity.

Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre is no hands-down one of my favorite novels ever! I've written about a couple of the television versions here.

Buck, Pearl: I read The Good Earth in high school. It isn't really my kind of read although it is extremely well-written. I think the woman is more interesting than the book. The author's link in this case is to her humanitarian organization rather than to a bibliography.

No comments: