The list author says: "These are things I like...a novel which introduces me to a new world and a different time, teaches me a few things, and gives me a character who pushes his way through the obstacles. My special weaknesses are tony British schools, Victorian class distinctions, biblical trivia, obscure art forms, and offbeat, but not loathsome, characters...(and fellow readers who click the "HELPFUL" button at the top right of this page)."
"Set in the semi-tony St Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, this fun psychological thriller kept me guessing to the end and alway marveling at the masterful intertwining of class, intellect, generation, and sexual resentments. A masterful addition to the British school and literary thriller genres."
"A page turner to make you think about pre-adolescence, wartime, and child rearing. The book's WWII setting is engrossing, and, while Frayne does exhibit some of the carefully orchestrated plot trickery we've grown accustomed to, the richness of his plot and characterizations is a gift to all readers."
"Officially a sci fi book, this book is also a romance, a quest, and an examination of tribal migration. In a future but more primitive century, Mara and her brother must travel north because of climate change, salvaging and interpetting the wreckage of the 20th century as they go."
"Hollywood did wrong by this wonderful romance by A.S. Byatt. Written during the heyday of the Deconstructionist and Woman's Studies movement, this novel follows a variety of misfit English professors as they travel, compete, and fall in love, while in hot pursuit of clues to an unlikely Victorian romance between two (fictional) iconic poets."
"The best novel from one of the best historic novelists. The book follows Richard III through his reign; explores his relationship with King Henry and Eleanor of Aquitaine, his famous brothers, & the controversy over the Princes in the tower. It's as enjoyable as history can be...to quote The Lion in Winter: "Of course he has a knife...We all have knives. It's 1183 and we're barbarians!""
"A brilliant book which uses the idea of The Transit of Venus, a known astronomical event marking Venus' observed passage across the sun, to develop a novel about love and aging. The characters pass each other, also in transit, throughout their lives, and their vivid youthful loves and missteps with one another provide the framework for their entire lives."
"A fun what if mystery about odd Catholic academics searching for the 5th Gospel. The lead characters, an alcoholic professorial has been with an encyclopedic knowledge of Catholic trivia and his frumpy doctoral student with misplaced academic ambitions, are a pleasure to get to know as they romp through the continents pursuing the lost Gospel."
"This sci fi novel brings you the glamor of two believable space traveling civilizations involved in a culture war...with a bright and beautiful young orphan caught in the middle. The boy is alternately indoctrinated by and goes undercover for both civilizations, and his wounded angst over his mistreatment, and mentoring by men in power is both moving and sexy in the hands of this author."
"In this guilty pleasure sci/fi - fantasy whose genre is, I'm now told, "misplaced modern" 21st century gal pal Mirium Beckstein time travels to an alternate place in history which looks a lot like a medieval America. Beckstein finds out she's time traveling nobility and has to work against the patriarchal powers that be as she jumps between a number of alternate universes."
"An utterly absorbing murder mystery and melodrama..this book is the best so far that I have found from that rather new genre I will term "autism fiction". A young autistic girl is found dead and a bunch of quirky kids and quirky adults must figure out what's gone awry. Fascinating novel of family, romance, secrets and alternative personalities."
"I haven't tried this one yet, but it definitely meets my critera for interesting historical novel with linguistic and geographic trivia. I'm a little leery of its being in epistolary form, not usually something I love, but I do plan to give it a go. Selfish Brits of all walks of life colonizing Tazmania...let me at it!"