Monday, April 03, 2006

Books and more books

I like books that can teach me things, so it's not surprising that many of my favourite authors are experienced in the field about which they write. Obviously most authors can write accurately about topics by getting information from people who are in the field, but there's usually a disclaimer saying that details may be changed to fit the story, or due to author's error. The thing is, I like to know that what I'm reading is actually true, at least for forensic procedures and scientific facts, that kind of thing, but maybe that's just me...

Kathy Reichs writes about a forensic anthropologist who mainly works in Montreal, and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. The author is also an expert in this field and lives in those places.
Linda Fairstein runs the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Her heroine is a prosecutor within that department.
Jillianne Hoffman and her main character both work in the State Attorney's Office, Patricia Cornwell's heroine is a Chief Medical Examiner, as is she, and Jonathan Kellerman is a child psychologist, and this often comes into his books (slightly too much, if you ask me).
John Grisham is a lawyer, Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and many other scientific/medical thrillers (and creator of ER) is a doctor.

Nevada Barr writes about a crime/mystery solving ranger working in various US national parks. She describes the scenery and job very well, which makes sense, considering that she is a park ranger herself.
Abigail Padgett's main character is a child-abuse investigator who has manic depression. The author used to be a court investigator and is now an advocate for people with mental illness. She also has a strong interest in the deserts of the southwest USA, and this features heavily in the books.

One of my all time favourite series of books are the Earth's Children novels by Jean M. Auel. These books follow the adventures of a prehistoric woman travelling through ice age Europe. The best thing about these stories is the amount of detail in which everything is described, from animals and plants, to art and tools. She does an enomous amount of research for each of the books, contacting experts in every aspect of life in prehistoric times. I find all of her books (much as I hate this word) unputdownable, and I tend to get completely lost in them.

Latest book buys

Kathy Reichs - Cross Bones
P.J. Tracy - Dead Run
Tim Severin - Viking : Sworn Brother
Lee Child - One Shot
and two Buffy The Vampire Slayer books, Afterimage and Carnival Of Souls, but I won't mention them too loudly.


At 6:53 am, Anonymous Accipiter said...

I actually have a copy of Clan of the Cave Bear. I've never been able to get more than a third of the way through it, though. It just hasn't ever really caught my interest. Maybe I'll give it another try some time. Or I'll just go and watch the movie. . .

I can't say that any of those books you bought sound familiar at all, nor do the authors. Oh well. From the titles, most of them sound like mystery and historical fiction books, or some such types. I hope you enjoy them. Most recently, I bought Flashman and the Tiger, A Doc Savage collection, something by Asimov (I forget the title), and a collection of writings in Middle English. They should keep me entertained for a few days, at least.

(And I won't tell anybody about your Buffy books if you don't tell anybody about my Asterix the Gaul comic books.)

And my word verification for the day is "foxysex". I don't even want to know what subliminal message they're trying to plant. . .

At 9:21 am, Blogger Mort said...

Acci, Flashman rules, and I have only ever met one person who has even heard of Doc Savage. But then thast could be because i'm from the UK.

Oh, and Asterix is pretty cool too.

At 3:18 pm, Blogger LaMa said...

Jean Auel sucks big time. Being a professional Palaeolithic archaeologist, I am not impressed by the scientific backing of her stories. It's archaeology of the '60-ies she is using.

At 10:10 pm, Blogger Hieronymus Anonymous said...

I've never actually read any of the authors you've mentioned (I know! What the hell?) I don't think, but several of them are ones I keep meaning to...

LaMa, do you know what? For those of us who aren't 'professional Palaeolithic archaeologists', we don't give a crap. She may be using outdated scientific theories, but if she can spin a good work of fiction, we don't care.

There's no need to say that one of someone's favourite authors 'suck'.

At 7:47 am, Anonymous accipiter said...

Mort, I've been working on putting together my collection of Doc Savage stories for years. So far, I have a grand total of 3 out of something like 13 omnibi. Not an easy collection to collect! But the stories are rather fun in a silly and campy sort of way. I only saw the movie once about a dozen years ago, but from what I remember of it they caught the spirit of the stories rather well (Magical green glowing flying snakes! Yay!).

And I think that LaMa hit on part of the reason why I had a hard time getting into Clan of the Cave Bear.

At 5:56 pm, Blogger Charybdis said...

Flashman does indeed rule. I tried to get Boo addicted, though without apparent success. I never got into Doc Savage. I tried, but never really liked it, which is odd because I liked plenty of other pre-Golden Age stories.

In my experience Michael Crichton writes screenplays and not books. He used to be better, long ago, but after the 80's he basically fell apart as a writer. I admit to never having read Jurassic Park though. The Andromedra Strain is still his best book that I've read.

I'm currently reading The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene. It's a good book so far.

At 11:53 pm, Blogger Mouse said...

Bear in mind that, although some of the theories used in Clan Of The Cave Bear are now considered to be outdated, the book was published in 1980.

At 10:07 am, Blogger Hieronymus Anonymous said...

Chary, I really liked the Flashman book you sent me. I just haven't got around to getting any more of them.


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