The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Good Stories - non baking books

KipperCat's picture

Good Stories - non baking books

Here are a few books I'd like to recommend.  I'd love to see some of your favorites - or just anything that's a good read.  Browndog and weavershouse, you started this idea, but I hope others can name a few also.

any of Anne McCaffrey's books

The Man Who Used the Universe
  by Alan Dean Foster

The Furies of Calderon (beginning of a series)
  by Jim Butcher

One For the Money (beginning of a series)
  by Janet Evanovich

mkelly27's picture

Ender's Game

Orson Scott Card 



Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

Trishinomaha's picture

Especially the JP Beaumont series. My husband and I have read all of them and passed them on to my Dad who passed them on to his "Lady" friend. Good, fast-moving police-mystery type books

Bread Alone, The Baker's Apprentice and Isabel's Daughter by Judith Ryan Hendricks. The first two are based around a bakery in Seattle and the third takes place in New Mexico.


Floydm's picture

I've spent all summer reading Journey to the West. Not just reading it, but watching a number of the movies and TV shows that have been made based on it. My kids are obsessed with it too, constantly pretending to be the Monkey King and Pigsy. I recommend it heartily.

browndog's picture

Wow, I can see why it took Floyd all summer to read 'a book'. And much to my surprise it does not relate the hardships of conquering the American frontier.

Kippercat, so you also have a taste for fantasy. I read a lot of McCaffrey back in the day, and my son just chewed through all nine of Butcher's The Dresden Files. Have you read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? In my top, say, three, probably, but might bore some folks to ire

Little, Big by John Crowley. Quiet, elegant, hypnotizing.

And Weavershouse, I think, will back me up--anything by John McPhee. You only think you don't want to read an entire book about oranges...

JMonkey's picture
Little, Big by John Crowley. Quiet, elegant, hypnotizing.
Hey! Another John Crowley fan?! Have you read his Aegypt quartet? He finally published the fourth book, Endless Things this year, and I've been savoring it for a couple of weeks. Beautiful, beautiful books.
browndog's picture

I have not read Aegypt, only just discovered Crowley with Little, Big, and that only a month ago. Is the tone similar? I am definitely a groupie on the weight of this one book alone, and will be searching out what else he has to offer.

weavershouse's picture

I looked on Amazon for Aegypt figuring I should start at the beginning. Well, the lowest price was $38.00 but it's been reissued as THE SOLITUDES and out in October, $10.85. Guess I'll wait and make the series a winter read. Others in the series sells for high prices in used condition. I'll worry about them when I get there. 
So browndog, is this J Crowley any relation to our angel/demon friend?                                                               weavershouse

browndog's picture

Must be second cousins at least.

I actually saw a paperback for only $25...Good Lord. I'm putting my library's inter-loan on it, though I prefer a copy without a deadline. Interesting about the name change and October reissue. Maybe something similar is in the works for the rest of the series.

JMonkey's picture

The early books in the series have been out of print for a while, unfortunately, and are only now coming back into print. The first book was published in 1987, I think.

The entire series is named Aegypt but due to his initial publisher, the first book (which was supposed to be called, The Solitudes) was instead called Aegypt. I believe they're correcting that with the new printing.

The books in the series are:

  • The Solitudes
  • Love and Sleep
  • Daemonomania
  • Endless Things
The tone is certainly akin to Little, Big but less dreamlike. The story covers a small town in the 1970s somewhere in Western Mass or Upstate NY, to historical characters like Giordano Bruno and his memory house, to John Dee, court magician to Queen Elizabeth, and the angels with whom he spoke, to ... well, it's expansive. And beautiful.

Here's John Crowley's blog. And here's the Wikipedia entry on John Crowley. A small press is also working with Crowley on a new edition of Little, Big that looks pretty interesting. More info here.
browndog's picture

Thanks for the links, Jeff. I am a lurker at his blog, with its morsels of his liquid prose. Am just returning to the fantasy genre after some 25 years neglecting it. Shouldn't have waited so long for Crowley.

browndog's picture

JMonkey & Weavershouse, just got my copy of Aegypt from Amazon, some psyched to crack into it. I feel like a miser with a new gold coin. Maybe I'll just hold it and stroke the cover a lot, all the while muttering oddly to myself.

JMonkey's picture

I savored Endless Things for as long as possible, but finally finished it a few weeks ago. I imagine, come the New Year, I'll read the whole thing through again. Along with Little, Big

I hope you enjoy the series as much as I did.

T4tigger's picture

If you like recipes, the Diane Mott Davidson cooking mysteries are great.  If you like cats, the Cat Who... series by Lilian Jackson Braun are a good read.   I also love anything by Tom Clancy and John Grisham

verminiusrex's picture

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (met him, he lives about an hour or so away in the Kansas City area!)

the Foreigner series by CJ Cherryh (met her twice at conventions in the 90's)

The Jhereg series by Steven Brust (met him twice, a friend dated him in the 80's)

 Ok, that covers about 30 books, and 3 authors I've actually met briefly.  And I'm still reading their stuff.

dstroy's picture

For the Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans, which from the suggestions so far it looks like there are a few here, I have been enjoying Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series this year. In fact, at the moment, I'm at a loss for what to read because I just realized that the reason my hold for the next book from the library hasnt arrived yet is because the darned book doesnt come out until mid November. Alas!

I also enjoyed The Snow Queen and The Summer Queen by Joan D. Vinge

Oh! and another enjoyable read: The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. That's more along the lines of folktale, but a fun one.

Most of the other stuff I've read this year has not been stuff I'd highly recommend. I've been turning to Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels when in between good series - those are a lot of fun and always fun to reread - he's to fantasy what Douglas Adams is to sci-fi.
JMonkey's picture

Slow River, by Nicola Griffith, is one of the best near future science fiction stories I've read in a long, long time.