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last updated : April 11th 2010

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Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: April 28, 2010 06:23PM

Talking about making up words, which idiot invented the term "quadrilogy" rather than use the perfectly acceptable "tetralogy" or even "quartet"?


My computer beat me at chess, but I won at kickboxing

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: April 28, 2010 09:59PM

Um, you maybe? I don't think I've ever seen "quadrilogy" before you mentioned it! I agree, it is quite the awkward mouthful and nowhere near as elegant a word as the other two.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: April 28, 2010 11:40PM

It was first used, I believe, to describe the box-set containing 4 "Alien" films and I have since seen it on a "Die Hard" box-set.

(edited for epelling)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2010 11:42PM by SkidMarks.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: CannibalRabbit (
Date: April 29, 2010 01:41PM

What about a trilogy in four parts? Is it up to 6 parts now? And does that make it a double trilogy?

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: April 29, 2010 06:58PM

It probably does, but even though H2G2 and RR's Brentford Trilogy made it up to ridiculous numbers, it doesn't forgive Quadrilogy for a 4 part set.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2010 07:08PM by SkidMarks.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: geg (
Date: April 29, 2010 10:32PM

I know "quadrilogy" has only been around since the 19th century, but you really should try and move with the times.

Besides the Romans had the best helmets.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MistyCat (
Date: May 01, 2010 12:40PM

Violetmoon, it's almost fifty years since I read the Moomintroll books, and more than fifty years since I discovered Stephen Leacock. Leacock made me laugh, but I remember much more of Moomentroll and his beloved Snork Maiden. Leacock is probably a bit dated now and the Tove Jansson books are a bit childish, but they were definitely feel-good books.

Best book list time again
Posted by: zendao42 (
Date: May 02, 2010 12:34AM

I'm finally back to confirm all things Chris Moore related for the list-
the books make you feel good & make you spray drinks out your nose from laughing so hard-
in fact, his blogs & in-person appearances do the same thing, but this list is for books...

Did we have a ruling on Gaiman? If not, I'll say that he's on my list-
oh, & I'll go ahead & confirm LeGuin's EARTHSEA while I'm at it..

I just noticed that the list of authors' names for my blog is right beside me-
the ones that haven't been confirmed are:


The list is based on authors with multiple books that I read repeatedly- your mileage may vary

So, are we sticking to funny & light-hearted or is this extended to thought-provoking?

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: Violetmoon (
Date: May 02, 2010 01:28AM

I say "thought-provoking" is OK as long as it's not the depressing thoughts. The Narnia series can be thought-provoking if you let it, or it can just be fun.

MC, thanks for the info, I'll go look into Leacock and Moomintroll... children's books can be a lot of fun.

I'll second Roald Dahl. Not sure why I hadn't thought of those books, I guess it's been too long since I last read any of them. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the book I remember Mom reading to me best. My "to read" book pile is getting a little out of control!

Oh, thought of another. Baxter Black. "Cowboy Philosophy" is what he calls it. Short stories, just a few pages long, and the images he can bring up frequently bring tears to my eyes from laughing so much. Wry humor.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MistyCat (
Date: May 02, 2010 11:27AM

<removed double post>

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2010 05:11PM by MistyCat.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MistyCat (
Date: May 02, 2010 11:27AM

I suppose that "feel-good" has multiple interpretations. I'll think about it in terms of one mentioned author, John Varley, since I have at least six books of his plus a dozen-odd of his stories in various anthologies.

His Gaean Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, Demon) made me feel good, but I wouldn't call them "feel-good."

"In the Hall of the Martian Kings" I would call feel-good stories.
"The Barbie Murders" was excellent.
"The Ophiuchi Hotline" (funny, I'm not sure of the spelling (and I'm too lazy to go to my bookshelf to check) but I remember Varley saying, "It's pronounced 'Off-e-YOO-ki '")

In fact, all things Varley belong on the list.

zendao42, got a favourite Varley story (or book?) I couldn't pick one, but "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" would have to be high on the list.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: May 02, 2010 04:37PM

If we're allowed nonfiction now, then I nominate Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Also, I most certainly second the nomination of Gaiman!

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MistyCat (
Date: May 02, 2010 05:12PM

Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach - yes, yes, yes!

I'm on my fourth copy. Worn out one, lent two. (There seems to be no such thing as "lending" a book.)

Hofstadter makes me feel good.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: May 03, 2010 02:21PM

Yeah, I really need to get a hardcover version or something. My copy is on the verge of falling apart.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: gailfus (192.227.62.---)
Date: May 10, 2010 05:41PM

I'd like to add Neil Gaiman's "Fragile Things." I haven't had it long and only cracked it open to read the first couple of items to my 15 year old (who promptly requested to borrow it), but i must say I love it already.

In thinking about feel good books, I can't say I've read any recently. I feel good when I read a good book, but I don't necessarily read light-hearted stuff often, and now that I reflect on this I probably should. Jasper's all the silliness I go in for, I guess, and his silliness still makes one think very hard while reading...

I do get out my Laura Ingalls Wilder set every now and then, and that's mostly feel good, but I haven't done that in a while as my copies are all falling apart and I'm afraid I will lose pages. Not much of a surprise as I've read them many, many times over the years (my mother bought them for me for Christmas when I was 9 or 10, so they are at least 35 years old). James Herriott is a wonderful feel good author, too, really. I remember laughing aloud over his books. Haven't read them in years, though. Pity...He's been replaced by Stephen King's Dark Tower series (on Wizard and Glass currently, and liking it immensely).

My son was talking to me while I was trying to set my office to rights yesterday, and asked me how many books I had going right now--the answer was six in print and two on my iPhone. And none are feel good books, except Gaiman. No wonder I'm so d**n depressed!




"In the absence of clearly defined goals we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia." - Unknown

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: Violetmoon (
Date: May 10, 2010 09:41PM

I'll second James Harriott. I nearly mentioned him in my last post, as I saw the book's dust cover and just *sighed* contentedly. But I had to admit I can not remember a single bit of the stories. I just remember I really liked the books. It has been entirely too long. Oh dear. Another for the "to read" list. The list is getting very long, but what a wonderful problem to have!

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: geg (
Date: May 11, 2010 10:09AM

Absolutley adamant about the feel good factor.

This list was born when yet another "best 100 books ever" list was published, containing nothing but doom, gloom and misery. I wanted to try and challenge the apparently fixed idea that anything fun and lighthearted was incapable of being good literature.

Curious that It seems to have ended up being a list of authors rather than books.

Right this is where I think we are.

1) All things FForde
2) All things Douglas Adams
3) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.
4) Neil Gaiman
5) All things Harry Potter
6) Artemis Fowls.
7) The Narnia series
8) The Temeraire series
9) Bridge of Birds Barry Hughar
10) Terry Pratchett
11) P.G. Woodhouse
12) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
13) Moomintroll by Tove Janssson
14) Stephen Leacock
15) James Herriott
16) The Wizard of Earthsea Quartet (Le Guin)
18) Roald Dahl
19) Chris Moore

Non Fiction
20) Douglas Hofstadter: Godel, Esher, Bach

Proposed and awaiting a second:
Yes Man by Danny Wallace
To Say nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
The Darklord of Derholm by Diana Wynne Jones
The Darling Buds of May - H.E Bates
Shadowmagic - John Lenahan
John Varley
Laura Ingalls Wilder - although I remember having to stop reading this to the little gegs because it was too depressing, what with all the illness and the starvation and the death.
The Chronicles in Amber series by Roger Zelazny.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas.
The Lord of the Rings books,
Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson,
Ringworld books by Larry Niven,
Chuck Palahniuk's books.
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: CannibalRabbit (
Date: May 11, 2010 12:24PM

Love James Herriot, even read the one of the biographys. Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas is something that I could read (and listen to) over and over again.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: May 11, 2010 06:44PM

I am not sure that all things DNA qualify: "Last Chance to See" and "Mostly Harmless" don't really fall into that category and as a dedicated PTerry fan I would suggest that some of his best books are uplifting, but not necessarily feel-good.

Another stand-alone feel-good book? How about "THe Flying Sorcerors" by Larry Niven? I also like the already-mentioned Ringworld series, but think this is him at his most playful.

Re: Best book list time again
Posted by: Violetmoon (
Date: May 11, 2010 09:53PM

MistyCat - I looked up Stephen Leacock, and ended up here:


It's an animation of one of his short stories. It's pretty funny.

As for lending books, I've had pretty good luck with the help of PostIt notes. One note goes on my refrigerator with the book title and the borrower, and the other note goes in the book, with my name on it, with the suggestion that it be used as a book mark. If I don't get the book back by the time it was promised, I ask polite questions. Sometimes.

I also treat books like money. If I'll be upset if I don't see it again, I don't lend it. Works well for me, anyway. I'll lend a few dollars to most anyone, once (grin), and a $5 book is a $5 book - I can get another one, probably at the used book store. But don't ask to borrow any of my hardbacks. Sorry. You can sit on my couch and read, but my hardbacks don't leave the house.

I think I have a Larry Niven book that I bought just because I liked the artwork on the cover. I'll have to find that book and see... Larry Niven got me to Jerry Pournelle, which got me to his "View from Chaos Manor" homepage (blog). Jerry just makes me laugh, but I'm not sure I've read anything by him, other than his webpages. Most of his books don't look like they meet the "feel good" criteria.

Hmm, well, I just read his recent blogs and they aren't funny, except when you see a note about his vet, and the pizza they bought on the way home, at the bottom of his view of recent economic insanity. I think that is what makes me laugh...

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