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Reading Mixes
10th-Dec-2007 09:27 pm - Mystery reading mix
crouching dragon
A list of book recommendations based on the theme "mystery" compiled collectively by the members of bibliophages:

Mystery reading list
21st-Jan-2007 05:22 pm - General Fiction Mixes
roses (by iconz_kthx)
Compiled with help from many people at this post. Suggestions welcome!!

The Psychology of Science
Books with nuanced depictions of the personal lives of research scientists.

1. Intuition, Allegra Goodman
2. Timescape, Gregory Benford
3. Bellwether, Connie Willis
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One and One is Three
Short stories told from different viewpoints that add together to become more than the sum of their parts.

1. The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
2. J.D. Salinger's "Glass family" short stories and novel
3. Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich
4. Come to Me, Amy Bloom
5. Not the End of the World, Kate Atkinson
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YA in the next post.
This is a rather old reading list that I discovered mixed in with notes for a paper I was writing for my global conflict class back in spring of 2005. We had just read Benjamin Barber's Jihad vs. McWorld and I was inspired to create a list of sf that covered the themes of that book.

Air, Geoff Ryman: from viewpoint of developing country, in which the globalist spread of technology is ambiguous in its effects
The Sky Road, Ken MacLeod: tribalism, postmodern politics, rejection of technology, the globalization of popular culture
The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson: the only 1990s entry in this list, and was largely about cultural tribalism; also, set in China
Iron Sunrise, Charles Stross: cultural homogenization (the literal McWorlds, I seem to recall)
Empire of Bones, Liz Williams: non-Western globalization, with an India where modernity is being opposed
roses (by iconz_kthx)
First, I want to ask if anyone can recommend enjoyable fanatsy books written from the perspective of the villain? (Clarification: I don't mean antiheroes or heroes with questionable motives, I mean a story whose central protagonist is the villain in another story.) So far I have:

Wicked by Jerry Maguire
The story of Elphalba, the Wicked Witch of the West. This book takes the mostly nonsensical land of Oz and makes it into a real country with real society and politics (just like it takes a formerly two-dimensional character and gives her real motivation). I liked it but thought that some parts were...a bit of a stretch. Maguire has also written Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, from the POV one of Cinderella's older sisters.

"Medusa" in the fantasy anthology Firebirds, edited by Sharyn November
Via scratchmist. Another retelling, from Medusa's POV. About half of this anthology is retellings (the other half is homages XD). I haven't read Firebirds but I see from the Amazon.com description that it has contributions from some of the biggest names in YA fantasy -- Diana Wynne Jones, Nancy Farmer, Garth Nix, Lloyd Alexander, Sherwood Smith, Patricia A. McKillip, Meredith Ann Pierce, Megan Whalen Turner -- so it might be worth picking up.

Villains by Necessity, Eve Forward
It's silly, it's predictable, it's an extremely flawed tabletop RPG. Also, it's out of print. (Errrr sorry.) But anyway: a hundred years ago Good triumphed over Evil. People are nicer, the days are longer, the sun is brighter, everything is growing and nothing is dying, and if this keeps up soon the whole world will be engulfed in pure light and everyone will become an enlightened spiritual being! In other words, the world as we know it will end. Six evil people who don't like this idea team up to save the world by the power of their ev0l.

The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Dianna Wynn Jones
An interdimensional moneymaking scheme is charging "tourists" for the privillage of visiting "Fanatsyland", where they are guarenteed an Epic Adventure against a Dark Lord, with Elves. The story is told from the perspective of the natives, who are sick and tired of the whole exploitative affair. Sequal to The Tough Guide to Fanatsyland, but Dark Lord will make sense even if you haven't read the prequel (I haven't).

I would expand this list to manga, but then it would NEVER END.

edit - another book for the literary villain pile:

Grendal by John Gardener
Amazon.com says: Grendel is a beautiful and heartbreaking modern retelling of the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster, Grendel, the villain of the 8th-century Anglo-Saxon epic. This book benefits from both of Gardner's careers: in addition to his work as a novelist, Gardner was a noted professor of medieval literature and a scholar of ancient languages.

edit2 - commenters have contributed:

Jaquiline Carey's Baneswaker series (link)
The Winter Prince by Elizabeth Wein (link)
Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb (link)
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (link; also, this is literature, not fantasy)


Second, skimming through the online lesson plans at http://www.readwritethink.org, I came across a few book lists I thought might be of interest:

(fractured fairytales)

(victorian ghost stories (bonus: can read online))

(dystopian literature)

And also, some poetry: Very Famous Traditional SonnetsCollapse )
30th-Jun-2006 07:58 pm - Child's World Final Mix
roses (by iconz_kthx)
Thanks to everyone who suggested books for this. I promised a final list with all contributions included, here it is:

***Main List***
These are books where adults are either missing or distanced:

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (sub_divided)
I think everyone knows this one. Three kids from London go to a world where children never grow up, and every day is an adventure. They fight Pirates (grown-ups) and Indians under the leadership of Peter Pan, a cocky boy who never ever wants to grow up.

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (sub_divided)
Book two of the His Dark Materials trilogy. A boy from earth goes through an interdimensional portal to another world, where invisible monsters inhabit the cities, sucking out the soul of any adult who touches them. Plot revolves around solving the mystery of the difference between children and adults.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (sub_divided)
A group of British schoolchildren marrooned on a desert island rapidly turn to savagery and cannibalism. I really hate this book because I don't feel it accurately reflects reality, but every now and then you hear rumors about a Japanese experiment that really did this; supposedly after a month on the island some children had been killed by other children. I'm 90% sure this is an urban legen inspired by Battle Royale, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW.

The Girl who Owned a City by O.T.Nelson (v_voltaire)
A disease kills everyone in the world over the age of 12. Most children form gangs, fighting each other for supplies, but one ten-year-old girl is trying to build a city of children so they can reform some sort of civilized society. I have no idea how it stands up to time, but I loved this book when I was a kid and remember being fascinated by the survival and political themes.

The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher (rabbitprint)
Three books in a futuristic setting where people, once they come of age, are fitted with metal caps which make them obedient to the aliens who have settled on the planet. Because of this, most human adults -- save for a tiny hidden society -- are controlled, while uncapped children must try to change the world.

These books feature children making their own rules while still living in an adult world:

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (rabbitprint)
There are adults, but it's definately the children who make their own society and turn things around. (Compiler's note: in Ender's Game, frighteningly intelligent children are taken away from their parents and sent to "Battle School", an orbiting space station, where they are groomed as genius military strategists. The kids are grouped into cell blocks and armies, and though everything is arranged by adults, the grown-ups are not as in-charge as they think they are.)

Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt (v_voltaire's father)
A story about a 13-year-old girl and her two younger siblings who were abandoned by their mother. They walk across several states to try to get to other members of their family, hoping they'll adopt them so they won't have to be split up in foster homes.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (v_voltaire)
The classic story about a brother and sister who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Phineas by John Knowles (v_voltaire's father)
Takes place in a British boarding school, apparently full of metaphor.

These fantasy books have children for main characters, but um, I'm not sure they qualify outside of that (still, they're great books):

Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (twillightsrain)
These books are all plot driven by children. In fact, when the main characters get too old they can't go to Narnia anymore. xD

Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix (chaos_r)
Recced by an old friend. Greatest trilogy of kids' books ever. The actual concepts appeal to me far more than the His Dark Materials.

Original post was here. Thanks again to contributors! Though the post title says Final Mix, of course additional suggestions are still welcome.
23rd-Jun-2006 10:45 am - bookage.
I've been kinda off reading in RL recently... I really need to get back into it after exam period.

So here are some goldies.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Hey, this book won a Pulitzer. If that's not enough reason to read it, let me tell you it's one of the most heartrending books I ever had the pleasure of reading. Got recced it by a pair of really cool people I met at Oxford for my interview. It starts off as a series of letters addressed to God, and it works from there. It's a bittersweet tale of a life set in the deep American South between the wars, from the view of a black girl born into poverty and segregation. If you can get over the PITY ME and just simply read the damn book, you'd be surprised by how thought-provoking it really is.

(it's also been made into a 1985 film that was nominated for 11 academy awards although it didn't win any.)

And a little further from now;

Paradise Lost by John Milton

This will get you some stares. Holy crap he/she reads MILTON! Despite the rep and some seriously creatively messy use of language, Paradise Lost is actually a ridiculously interesting work. He's still got better description than anyone else I know. It's almost as influential as Marlowe's 'mighty line'. Epic poetry doesn't get any better than this. Hate it or love it, it's still the gold standard, and if you get what Milton means, you're A-OK.

Western Superhero Comic:

The Authority by Warren Ellis/Bryan Hitch and Mark Millar/Frank Quitely (+ et al)

Comics are not just for kids. I've pimped this before in my elljay, but The Authority are just... wow. Probably the most controversial group of superheroes in existence. The narrative is widescreen, the violence is incredibly, and I MEAN incredibly, graphic... the Millar/Quitely run is so politically explosive as to almost be too explicit for print.

Let's just say this. The Authority group of superheroes just get the job DONE through any and all means necessary. They don't pull punches.


-Two of the Authority members are gay and are married to each other.
-Drug addiction in the Authority member The Doctor
-Suicide bombers
-Presidential candidates making out with each other on live television through the use of voodoo
-The twisting and perversion of the Authority by the group of nations G7
-Refugees from war-torn nations
-Mindless "superhero drones" that do whatever the government tells them to
22nd-Jun-2006 11:55 am - Science
Books to read to edumacate yourself about science.

This has a decidedly physics lean to it. As I like physics.

Cut for teh sprawlCollapse )
18th-Jun-2006 03:56 pm - Call for help! Child's World.
roses (by iconz_kthx)
I asked meril about this and she said it was okay, so...I want to put together a list called Child's World (for books with missing or distanced adults), but I can't think of more than a few titles for it. Rather than try to find more on my own, I thought I'd post what I have, ask for additions, and then re-post with all of the additions (plus comments) included.

Basically, the list would be a collective effort. Mix-making by committee! ...Anyway, it's worth a shot.

Child's World

-Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I think everyone knows this one. Three kids from London go to a world where children never grow up, and every day is an adventure. They fight Pirates (grown-ups) and Indians under the leadership of Peter Pan, a cocky boy who never ever wants to grow up.

-The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Book two of the His Dark Materials trilogy. A boy from earth goes through an interdimensional portal to another world, where invisible monsters inhabit the cities, sucking out the soul of any adult who touches them. Consequently, the grown-ups have all left, and a group of wraith-orphans has moved in. Has a lot to say on what makes children different adults.

-Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A group of British schoolchildren marrooned on a desert island rapidly turn to savagery and cannibalism. I really hate this book, I'd prefer not to include it.

If you know any other books that fit...? Or if you think you might know someone else who'd know, if you could direct them here...?
roses (by iconz_kthx)
Deux mixes pour vous.

Supernatural Oneshot Manga
Not all properly oneshots, but these are all standalone stories about, ahh, ghosts mostly. I'll be keeping my comments brief, because the stories are brief and I wouldn't want to ruin them. Uploaded to a free filehosting website so you can download them.

Kobatotei Ibun chapter 1
A boy and a girl meet at a festival. Understated.

Kobatotei Ibun chapter 2
Kobato's friend meets a strange woman by the roadside. Funny.

Natsukashi Machi no Rozione
A strange little boy attaches himself to...I think she's a girl, but it's hard to tell actually. Largely incoherant, but the art is cute.

Gekka no Kimi
Young spiritualist tries to exorcise three former student council members. Hilarious.

Shokugyou Tenshi
Non-human boy makes friends with a kind mother and daugher. Sweet.

Mushishi chapter 7
Clubfooted girl is in charge of a living library. Strange.

***Collapse )

European Historical AU American Comics
Though I think a few might be British. Non-manga, at any rate. Mostly steampunk/gothic horror, good writing, great color art. DISCLAIMER: I am entirely dependent on falxumbra and v_voltaire and memlu for exposure to good American comics, I don't read many myself.

1602 written by Neil Gaiman, drawn by Andy Kubert, colors by Richard Isanove.
Alternate reality (maybe, heh heh) with Marvel superheroes populating seventeenth century Europe. A large part of what makes this series enjoyable is recognizing that Sir Nicholas' apprentice Peter Parquagh, the science geek, is that Peter Parker, so some knowledge of Marvel universe characters is helpful. But you don't have to be a comics guru or anything -- if you watched Saturday-morning X-men, or saw the movies, you'll be fine. Has a mystical conspiracy sort of plot and great writing. There's also a sequel called 1602: New World, where the characters settle in America. I haven't read the sequel so I can't say whether or not it's any good.

Legaue of Extrodinary Gentlemen written by Alan Moore, drawn by Kevin O'Neill.
Victorian-era literary characters fight crime work as secret agents for the British government. Set in 1898, in alternate-reality ("steampunk") Europe. If you've seen or heard about the movie you're probably familiar with the concept; the comic's better.

Girl Genius, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio, drawn by Phil Foglio.
More alternate history than alternate reality. The Industrial Revolution became an all-out war when certain people were discovered to have "sparks" -- that is, a nearly mystical affiniity for Mad Science. Borrows very stongly from boys' adventure stories, but with complex politics and very intricate worldbuilding. Steampunk. The series is slowly being moved online, where you can read it as a MWF -updated webcomic.

The Shade, written by James Robinson
I read this as a standalone Gothic Horror-type story about a young amnesiac who is betrayed by the family that takes him in, discovers his powers, meets Charles Dickens, etc. According to v_voltaire, it's a miniseries based on the then-ongoing series Starman. Starman is a modern-era series, but since one of its main themes is legacy, there are many one-shot flashback issues to American colonization, the wild west, the 40s, the 50s, the 70s, and the 80s. They give a real emphasis on the artstyle and themes of the times. This story is CREEPY. The family, especially, are totally insane in a very skin-crawling way.

Hatter M, written by Frank Beddor & Liz Cavalier, drawn by Ben Templesmith
New series, a spin-off of The Looking Glass Wars but can once again by read as a standalone (if you sense a pattern, you're right). Hatter Madigan isn't crazy, he's a government agent from Wonderland who's been assigned to the protection of it's future queen, the accidentally-born-in-our-world Alyss Heart. Seires is light on historical accuracy, heavy on bladed kung-fu, quirkiness, cheesiness, and awesomeness. And great art. You can read the first issue online.


The Amazing Screw-on Head by Mike Mignola
CRACK PARODY ONE-SHOT. Won an Eisner Award. Is being turned into a television show. Here's the Sci Fi channel's summary: In this hilarious send-up of Lovecraftian horror and steampunk adventure, President Abraham Lincoln's top spy is a bodyless head known only as Screw-On Head. When arch-fiend Emperor Zombie steals an artifact that will enable him to threaten all life on Earth, the task of stopping him is assigned to Screw-on Head. Fortunately, Screw-On Head is not alone on this perilous quest. He is aided by his multitalented manservant, Mr. Groin, and by his talking canine cohort, Mr. Dog.

The Professor's Daughter written by Joann Sfar, drawn by Emmanuel Guibert
40 page novella about a woman who falls in love with a mummy. Yeah, an Egyptian mummy. He walks and talks! In one scene, he meets Queen Victoria. This is a very cute, charming, whimsical story.


If you have any suggestions, please suggest them. Neither of these lists is at all comprehensive.
13th-Jun-2006 05:57 pm - interesting related link
enjoy everything
The Paired Reading Page, with books paired by similar themes.

The page hasn't updated for quite a long time so doesn't include recent books at all.
8th-Jun-2006 12:14 am - first post
tired postingzzzz
Welcome to reading_mix! You can find out more about the community on the user info page. In the meantime, to get you inspired, take a look at the list of mixes created for the challenge that originated this idea.
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