Book Recommendations

originally posted by R’is’n

"The Myth of Laziness" by Dr. Mel Levine.

I caught sight of this title, and jumped on it. Read 3/4 of it in the bookshop this afternoon.

For anyone who ever struggled with this label from teachers & parents, or found themselves frustrated with their children/students (as I did recently) for struggling over seemingly simple tasks - you have to read this.

The concepts on learning & neuroscience are pure 'out of the box' thinking - and have huge implications for education and child-rearing, as well as making you never want to hear of or use or even think of applying the label 'lazy' to another human being, whatever age, ever again.

originally posted by Hunter

For the Australian readers, Kate Forsyth has just released a new book called The Tower of Ravens which is the first book of a new trilogy set in the world of Eileanan - about 25 years after the end of the first series. The story follows Rhiannon, a half satyricorn half human girl outcast from her herd trying to find her way in Eileanan along with her winged horse and Lewen, son of Lilanthe.

I also note with slight disappointment that the final book in Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars series (called Crown of Stars) is now not due until May 2005 (according to Time Warner UK books web site). Oh well…

originally posted by max

just read 'Anvil of the World' and alot of it is tongue in cheek funny. I thought it was verry entertaining. also on tape was Orson Scott Card's 'Shadow of the Hegemon' and Roger Zelasney's 'Nine Princes of Amber'. Also finished Ursula Leguin's 'The Dispossed' and 'Rokanon's World'. I recommend all of them, they were really entertaining stories!! Alot of fun to read and to listen to them.

originally posted by Cheryl

I have a question why do so many female authors write about heroines and not heroes. That's why I really appreciate Janny for giving us Arithon. I just don't understand why Kate Forsythe and certain authors can't write a trilogy about a hero. I think a variety is good. I'm just wondering why it's like that anymore. Where have all my heroes gone LOL

originally posted by Hunter

I think Kate's answer to this question is that there is already far too many books written with heros and the females are the scantily clad maidens in distress waiting to be saved by the Conan-esque sword wielding hero, dispatching evil with grim certainty.

Have you read any books where the female characters have been written by men? How about David Edding's female characters? Ray Feist's female characters? egad…

I do remember asking Janny how WoLaS would have worked if say Arithon was female - she said it just wouldn't and didn't elaborate.

If you read CJ Cherryh's Morgaine series, this turns a lot of preconceived notions of male and female on their head as Vanye is really the helpless male following the lead of the grim Morgaine. I think female authors write a lot of female heroines to play with the concepts of gender and gender roles to avoid the sword and sandals type mentality.

I would have thought more heroines was better than fewer…

originally posted by Cheryl

I know most females prefer heroines. I've gone to the bookstore of late. Sometimes several in a row and just all of them are heroines. I understand why their would be a few like a variety I would like that but all of them. I just think where is the hero anymore. They still exist but it's getting less and less if you really notice like I do once a month. I think it's good their are heroines I just wonder why I never can find the hero book like Janny's series anymore. Go Janny good response LOL grin grin. I'll try that Morgainne series then if it is a hero in trouble and the woman saves him I like that. Just not that old fashioned heroine damsel in distress thing. I know fantasy's trying to get rid of that idea they are doing a good job. I was so desperate for a good hero I had to go write my own but their are good one's just seem to come in spurts. Yeah I know the men don't seem to know how to write women very well. LOL I think women write men the best it's that sensitive side I guess that makes them special with writing about heroes like Arithon. How would we like Arithon if a man had written him I wonder. I like David Edding's but for hero stuff his women are a bit cliche. PS I love Kate Forsythes covers of her books I've tried her and liked her work. But didn't read more she has a hero I do like in there.

originally posted by Hunter

I think I did CJ Cherryh a disservice in describing the Morgaine series. Basically Morgaine is half-qhal - an alien/human mix - who is basically going through world gates, closing them behind her to forestall further catastrophe caused by her qhal kin. Vanye is an exiled swordsman she meets going through one of the worlds. He becomes her companion but it is Morgaine who is the driven one, fighting on. An image of them (another excellent Michael Whelan painting) can be seen here (link removed)

The first three books were the first books CJ Cherryh released, in the 1970s. Exile's Gate was a book released a decade later. Very enjoyable.

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There are a few male authors who can write a darned good female character - in my opinion, anyway.

Guy Kay
Marvin Kaye
Charles DeLint

Those three spring to mind right off the bat –

in film, James Cameron did a very nice job, too, with his female characters in Abyss, Terminator I, and Aliens.

I don't think it's a case of, men can't write women characters, so much as, that which is *acceptable* in society preventing them from doing what they could do, if the "balance" between thought and feeling were EQUALLY valued, vs, "feelings" (and emotion in general) being considered "for women, children, and the old."

This distorted concept is loosening up, but - "emotion in the boardroom" is still labled PMS - and a "woman's" thing, and therefore, not desirable.

It's society's labels that people are afraid to transgress - not lack of ability, in my sense of things, anyway.

To my eye, there's a general lack of discernment between true emotion (what you spontaneously, genuinely, feel NOW) sentiment (what you "dwell on" to escape what you feel NOW) and melodrama (what you exaggerate or 'act out' in order to manipulate somebody ELSE's feelings into sympathy or opposition to your own - in short, a designed manipulation) - they all get 'lumped' as silly, or undesirable, and the genuine first one gets dumped out with the bathwater, given that the latter two are not looked on very kindly.

Though each one has its proper place.

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originally posted by Cheryl

I was kind of jesting with my men comment on writing women. I do like Raymond E. Feist's women characters. He's one of the few that give them emotions I enjoy to read. I like Terry Goodkind's females they are strong as nails and sensitive too. I guess it's the author themselves how they write it that makes the difference not really mattering the gender of the author. I just seem to have a whole lot of favorite authors that are female and I thought that was the reason why but the men are great with action. Thanks for that link Hunter I'm trying to read Cherryh's earlier books. Oh by the way did anyone see her newest hardback out in the stores? It's the sequel to Hammerfall I forget the name. I can't buy it yet but I plan to later. I need to read a few of mine before I pile more on top of the list. grin

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originally posted by Walt

If you want a series that really switches the stereotypes, try Melanie Rawn's Exiles series (where maybe, just maybe, Captal's Tower will be out about the same time as Traitor's Knot). Women are the dominate force in Exiles' society, where men are the nurturing parents and more concerned with fashion than fighting; a society where women have all the rights and men only what their spouses/mothers give them. A rather delicious twist. I love Melanie's Dragon Prince/Star characters as well: they're the ones that led me to discovering Janny.

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originally posted by Auna

I rather liked Lady Polgara :stuck_out_tongue:

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originally posted by Dorothy

And I liked Velvet.:smiley:

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originally posted by Cheryl

I liked Polgara too. Not much on C'nedra I thought Garion deserved better than that LOL just my thought though. I read Mageborn Traitor first and loved it but I never finished Exiles. I like the idea it's interesting and her magic's great. I'm reading the dragon prince series now and into Stronghold. I really enjoy these books. I recommend Melanie Rawn too. I'm late in discovering her but better late than never.

originally posted by Hunter

Walt - Captal's Tower will be out just prior to the events of The Day after tomorrow coming true… Just checked Ms. Rawn's website and no confirmation of this book even starting to be written. My wife has been waiting in vain for this book.

Feist's female characters have always been caricatures as far as I'm concerned. To do the Empire series, he needed someone who could write the character of Mara.

The next Cherryh book I'm waiting on is Destroyer, the first book in a new trilogy set in the Foreigner world… more Bren, Banichi and Jago! Due Feb 2005 I think…

originally posted by Cheryl

I know I'm really looking forward to Destroyer. I saw that on the Daw newsletter. I love to read more Bren. I read recently on Rawn's website that she is writing the Captal's Tower now and she asked her fans to refresh her memory on the series so it looks like she's going to write it for sure. Your wife will get that book someday in a year or two. I'm glad she decided to write it.

originally posted by David Gardner

Individually I didn't mind most of Eddings' characters (female or otherwise). But all of his women has similar characteristics: they all went absolutely dopey when confronted with a hot warm bath, they all sniffed haughtily (see: Jordan, Robert where the women cross their arms over their chests, tug their braids in anger and then sniff with disdain at every opporunity) at a moment's notice and continually commented on the limited brain power and the follies and foibles of men.

Unless you were a "dear boy" or "such a nice boy" (titles which were constantly ascribed to the male characters who were totally naive), you were a slightly tolerated beer drinking scoundrel. :wink:

But, I love reading the books. I can't stop in fact. I'll go for years without reading them, but when I do it's like slipping into a nice pair of worn in shoes after you've been ice skating in tight, rental skates for 3 hours. :wink:


originally posted by Memory

Hah! Good descriptions, David! I am another who has been waiting years for The Captal's Tower :smiley:

originally posted by Cheryl

I think you would be a good writer yourself David. I'm surprised men like Robert Jordan if he's that way LOL I haven't read him yet. I'm one of the last fantasy readers to not have read him I know!!!

originally posted by Walt

You're not alone in passing on Robert Jordan Cheryl… still haven't given in on that one!

As for waiting on Captal's Tower, this only heightens my appreciation for Janny, Trys the Gryphon, and this board. What a true blessing it is to have this communication between the maestro and her doting rable-rousers to pass the time between volumes!

originally posted by Cheryl

It just boggles my mind to attempt to read RJordan. I think it would take me years. I hope to try sometime but it's a daunting thought lol I feel the same way Walt. And it's not much longer till Traitor's Knot. What happened to the title Stormed Fortress did I miss something.