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Recommended Authors

I seem to get most of my recreational reading done in airports or on airplanes these days.  A side benefit to reading on the plane is that if you have your nose stuck deeply in a book, the people sitting next to you don't feel compelled to tell you their life story.  Or tell you what a wonderful/crappy job the government is doing with airline security.  So if you would like a couple of recommendations, these are some of the authors whose books I try to toss in my bag anytime I'm heading somewhere.  

Bill Bryson.  By far and away the funniest travel writer alive today.  One of the few writers to make me laugh until I cry--or until the drink comes out my nose.  

Laurell K. Hamilton.  I suppose you could classify her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series one of my Guilty Pleasures; which coincidentally is the name of the first book in the series.  Kind of like Buffy: the Vampire Slayer for adults, the series takes place in an alternate St. Louis populated by some very strange creatures.  Things will be less confusing if you start at the beginning of the series and read the books in order.

Carl Hiaasen.  Hiaasen writes funny and strange mysteries with a south Florida orientation.  Since he's a reporter for the Miami Herald, one suspects that he doesn't have to make a lot of this stuff up.  

Christopher Moore.  Another author with a penchant for the humorous/bizarre.  Often as laugh-out-loud funny as Hiaasen but with a more supernatural twist.  

Terry Pratchett.  A British author whose excellent Discworld series is finally catching on in the United States.  The Discworld books, set on a flat planet carried on the backs of four elephants atop a planet-sized turtle, are witty parodies with a heavy emphasis on really bad puns.  

J. K. Rowling.  Yes, the Harry Potter books.  If the protagonists weren't children, these wouldn't be considered kids' books.  Kind of like the "Hardy Boys" meets "Lord of the Rings."

Vernor Vinge.  Not one of the more prolific writers on the list, but his Across Realtime (which was originally published as two novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime) is outstanding, as are his subsequent novels.



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