Sun
Aug 15 2010 11:13am
OK, where do I start with that? T.

This week our series of where to start reading different authors gets to T.

This is a list of my personal recommendations for where to start reading writers I read, it’s not comprehensive and it doesn’t attempt to cover writers I don’t read, have read from the library and forgotten about, have lent to my friends and family so they’re not on the shelf, or otherwise neglected. Please add these authors yourselves, along with sensible suggestions for where to start reading them. Also, don’t hesitate to argue with me, or with each other, if you think there’s a better place to start.

With Tacitus, you definitely want to start in internal chronological order with The Annals of Imperial Rome, and work forward, even though he wrote the other way around, constantly going back into history to find the causes of what he’d already written.

Judith Tarr—you could start with her elf monk books, The Hound and the Falcon, or with her collaboration with Turtledove Household Gods (post).

For William Tenn, I’d suggest starting with the NESFA volume Here Comes Civilization, a collection including Of Men and Monsters (post). Or you could start with the other NESFA volume, Immodest Proposals. Tenn wrote wryly funny clever SF short stories. I started with “The Liberation of Earth” in the Best Penguin SF collection when I was about six, and I’ve been collecting his collections ever since.

Sherri Tepper has written a lot of very good SF. I suppose the best place to start is The Gate to Women’s Country, which is an example of the “civilized women in city, rough men in wilderness” genre, but very cleverly done. Or you could start with Grass which starts a loose series. Tepper’s an excellent writer who really draws you into her worlds, but she doesn’t seem to like people very much, which I find offputting.

Lisa St Aubin de Teran writes memoirs, and memoirs thinly disguised as novels. I find her quite addictive. The best place to start is definitely Slow Train to Milan, which is nominally a novel. If you like that, you will like the others.

Josephine Tey wrote very English cosy mysteries. You should start with The Daughter of Time, which is about a Scotland Yard detective in hospital trying to solve the mystery of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower. If you already like cosy mysteries and you haven’t read any Tey, try Brat Farrar which I think is her best book. (Incidentally, if you like my Small Change books, it is possible to read all of Tey as occurring in that universe.)

D.M. Thomas is a British literary writer, start with The White Hotel, which is a weird but brilliant book about the Holocaust.

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet, start with Under Milk Wood or online here.

Amy Thomson is a terrific SF writer, start with her first novel Virtual Girl (post) or whatever you can find, it’s all great.

Thucydides’s The Peloponessian War is a classic in all senses of the word.

James Thurber—start with The Thirteen Clocks, which is weird satiric fantasy.

James Tiptree Jr. is another writer who should be started with her short fiction, not her novels. Try the collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, which is in print, or any other one you happen to find.

If you haven’t read J.R.R. Tolkien, go as fast as you can and buy The Lord of the Rings and read it now, quickly, this afternoon, before somebody spoils it for you. With most of these books it doesn’t matter whether you ever get around to reading them, but this is the best book in the world, and you can only read it once for the first time. Make it today, you’ll be glad you did. You can read The Hobbit first, but you don’t have to. (Incidentally, if you have kids, do not deny yourselves or them the pleasure of reading them LOTR aloud when they are six or seven.)

Sue Townsend is an English writer who has been writing the diaries of Adrian Mole since he was thirteen and three quarters in the early eighties, on to the present where he is in his forties and having prostate problems. I can’t offhand think of any other books that do this—she can’t have planned it in advance, because they cover events that hadn’t happened yet when she started writing. They have covered life as a loser in England over the last thirty years and aren’t finished yet. They’re funny and sad and clever and I have read all of them. Start with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, and go on from there.

Anthony Trollope takes up the next three physical shelves, and single-handedly accounts for me thinking T was going to be another long letter. Many people start Trollope with The Warden, which is the first of the Barchester series, but I suggest starting with a good standalone novel rather than committing yourself to six books. The one I’d suggest as characteristic and standalone is Is He Popenjoy? But Trollope’s very best book is Phineas Finn, and though it’s part of the Palliser series it can be read alone.

Harry Turtledove writes alternate history. His short stories are wonderful, or for a novel I’d suggest starting with The Guns of the South (post) or the fast moving Crosstime books, starting with Gunpowder Empire.

Lisa Tuttle writes brilliant creepy fantasy—start with The Mysteries (post).

Next week we’ll be doing U and V together.


Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published eight novels, most recently Half a Crown and Lifelode, and two poetry collections. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

47 comments
Rob Munnelly
1. RobMRobM
Surprising lack of genre writings with this letter.

Lots of non-genre authors: Thoreau, Twain, Tolstoy, Tennyson, Turgenyev, etc. Too many to discuss. For a specific nongenre book, I also like John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces - whose oddball main character is one of a kind.

Rob
John Adams
2. JohnArkansawyer
Lawrence Thornton's Imagining Argentina.
David Levinson
3. DemetriosX
Steve Rasnic Tem: I know his short fiction best and suggest starting there. His wife Melanie also writes, but I'm not really familiar with her stuff.

Walter Tevis: Generally thought of as a mainstream writer, but The Man Who Fell to Earth andMockingbird are both SF.

Thucydides: I agree he's worth reading, but look for a modern translation, preferably one with good annotations, and keep a map handy. The Landmark Thucydides is probably your best bet.

John Kennedy Toole: A Confederacy of Dunces was published posthumously and earned a Pulitzer. It's an odd look at New Orleans in the 60s. The protagonist is rather insufferable, but it's something everyone ought to read once.

Tolkien: If, for some bizarre reason, you haven't read Lord of the Rings and you just can't get past the first couple of chapters, then try The Hobbit first. I've know a few people who haven't been able to really get to the beginning of the action in LotR until The Hobbit gave them some investment in the events in and around Bag End.

P.L. Travers: Mary Poppins. Darker than the film in many ways and significantly different. In fact, she was so disgusted with the film that she forbade Disney from filming the later books in the series.

Tom Tryon: An actor and writer, he wrote mysteries and horror. I'd suggest trying either The Other or Harvest Home.

Harry Turtledove: I'm in general agreement with Jo, but his short fiction is also quite interesting. Try Departures. If you like humor, then The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump is pretty good. And if historicals are more your thing, then look for books he's written as H.N. Turtletaub and start with either Justinian or Over the Wine Dark-Sea.

Mark Twain: I'd start with Huckleberry Finn if you're older than about 14 and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer otherwise. If you're an adult, you can really start anywhere, but stay away from his later stuff until you love him. He grew rather bitter and cynical in his later years and it shows in his work.
Kenneth Sutton
4. kenneth
Tepper: I don't know if I would put it that she doesn't seem to like people, but her books are often quite grim. Your suggestions are good, serious, standalone books, but my absolute favorites are the first three "True Game" novels and the three Mavin Manyshaped. The books set in that world go a bit downhill from there, in my opinion.

Trollope: I've only read the Barchester and the Palliser series. The Warden is wonderful, but I found Barchester Towers, the second in the series, to be the most difficult of the bunch due to a particularly unpleasant character. I agree that Phineas Finn is the best of the bunch.

Thucydides: Donald Kagan's The Peloponnesian War isn't a classic, and isn't Thucydides, but it is quite wonderful.
Christopher Key
5. Artanian
This is a pretty slim letter, but one author I'd add is Travis S. Taylor. Depending on one's tastes I'd either start with Warp Speed, if one runs to straight sci-fi, or One Day on Mars if the idea of a cross between 24, Mil-SF and Mecha sounds good to you.

His collaborations with John Ringo you'll either like all of them or hate all of them.
Nick Eden
6. NickPheas
I really didn't get the appeal of Phineas Finn - I thought The Way We Live Now far better.
john mullen
7. johntheirishmongol
I'm shocked no one has mentioned Tolkein. I prefer the Hobbit to start.

I have read Travis Taylor and I will second the recommendation above. His personal story is pretty good too.

Although there aren't a lot of T's (and I suspect we skip U although I do recommend Leon Uris), Harry Turtledove writes enough for 3 writers. I preferred the ww2 alternate history to the civil war one, because although its alt history, it doesnt really add any scifi to it, and it treats the south rediculously
Kate Shaw
8. KateShaw
I love Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief. (I always shelve her under T; she might be considered a W author). I've read it probably a dozen times. It's set in a country resembling ancient Greece, with rich worldbuilding and an engaging main character.
Laura Conrad
9. laymusic
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace if you like disaster novels; Anna Karenina if you prefer soap opera. But you should read both of them.
Dru O'Higgins
10. bellman
Geoffrey Trease. A children's author, not genre, but Cue for Treason is wonderful.
Michal Jakuszewski
11. Lfex
Karen Traviss has written mostly Star Wars novels, but her original series starting with City of Pearl is also quite good.

George Turner was an Australian author of rather grim dystopian fiction. My favorite was standalone novel Brain Child, which was sometimes called modern version of Olaf Stapledon's Odd John.

Ian Tregillis is a new author whose debut novels Bitter Seeds (first part of the trilogy) was published this year. I liked it a lot and I wlii certainly buy next two installments.
Phoenix Falls
12. PhoenixFalls
I'm with Kenneth @4 -- I never thought of Tepper as disliking people, though now that Jo's brought it up I can maybe see that. Agree with Kenneth too that The True Game might be a more fun place to start than a lot of her more dystopian stuff. And actually I might also recommend starting with Six Moon Dance on this thread, mostly because I found it incredibly joyous, and the ending still makes me grin -- which it's true is not a tremendously common thing in Tepper novels. :)

Agree that Tiptree should be read through her short stories, but if you hate the short story form and refuse to read her that way she did write a couple novels. I actually found her novel Brightness Falls From the Air years before I found her short fiction, and while it doesn't have quite the same impact as her short fiction I still thought it incredibly moving.

I really thought I had more T authors than that, but I suppose I was misled by the number of Tolkien volumes on my bookshelves. Chalk me up as another that always recommends starting with The Hobbit, especially for people who don't already read epic fantasy doorstoppers, because by this point I assume that every fan of epic fantasy doorstoppers has read Tolkien -- at least, I hope they have!
René Walling
13. cybernetic_nomad
E.C. Tubb, if you like old fashioned space opera, then definitively try some of the Dumarest of Earth series (it's like 30 books or something) the first book is The Winds of Gath, he also wrote under several pen names.

About Tolkien: my favourite quote about Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings was actually by a French critic: "the anglophone world is divided in two, those who have read it, and those who will"
Michael Ikeda
14. mikeda
Stephen Tall wrote a series of stories about the crew of the starship Stardust. A number of the short stories were collected in Stardust Voyages . There's also a novel The Ramsgate Paradox .

Kathy Tyers wrote Shivering World .
Jo Walton
15. bluejo
I'm going to do U and V together next week.
Claire de Trafford
16. ClairedeT
Sheri Tepper is one of my all time fav authors; not quite so keen on the more recent stuff which is a little more repetitive themewise. I would second all the recommendations above and add the Marianne Trilogy which is a gem (these were all printed as one in the UK hence my singular!). I reserve Grass, Raising the Stones and Sideshow for those times when I am in need of comfort reading along with Dan Simmons's (did we mention him in S?) Endymion books.

I envy all of you who have yet to experience Tolkien for the first time - enjoy.
Mary Aileen Buss
17. maryaileen
Another good place to start Thurber is with one of his essay collections, such as My Life and Hard Times.
Susan Loyal
18. Susan Loyal
Second the votes for Karen Traviss, starting with City of Pearl, and Ian Tregillis, starting with Bitter Seeds.

I'd like to add Anthony Trollope's grandaughter, Joanna Trollope, who also writes novels of manners. You can start almost anywhere. The Choir and The Rector's Wife seem especially close to the family tradition. My favorite is Other People's Children.

I'd agree with Jo that Josephine Tey's best novel is Brat Farrar, but my favorite is Miss Pym Disposes.

Amy Thomson's The Color of Distance is stunningly good, and I'd say far better than her other novels, so I'd recommend starting there.

Megan Whelan Turner is wonderful. However, when I read The Thief (where truly you must start), I was left wondering what all the wild superlatives had been about. Fortunately, I liked it enough to read The Queen of Attolia. And the King of Attolia. Frankly, I don't remember sleeping at all until I was done. So start with The Thief, but keep going.
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
Some miscellaneous shorter work, while I'm thinking of them.

Thurber - Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the quintessential Thurber. "Ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.....The Old Man'll get us through," they said to one another. "The Old Man ain't afraid of hell!" . . .

"Not so fast! You're driving too fast!" said Mrs. Mitty. "What are you driving so fast for?" "

+++++

Twain - For a really short work, I like the McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm which has one of the funniest one liners anywhere. "I just said to Mrs. McWilliams that I had had enough of that
kind of pie; so with her full consent I took the whole thing out and traded it off for a dog, and shot the dog."

Rob
Steve Oerkfitz
20. Steve Oerkfitz
Wilson Tucker-The Year of the Sun is probably is best book. I remember enjoying The Lincoln Hunters but it's been decades since I've read it last.
Ron Griggs
21. RonGriggs
To round out the T's, I have to mention Kilgore Trout, author of Venus on the Half Shell. Kilgore himself is a fictional author created by Kurt Vonnegut.

All the evidence points to Philip Jose Farmer as the the real author of Venus on the Half Shell, but I enjoyed pretending to myself that the book is in fact the work of a fictional character.
Rich Horton
22. ecbatan
Steve appropriately made the "Quiet" in his recommendation of Tucker's Year of the Quiet Sun very quiet!

William Trevor is an Anglo-Irish writer (by which I mean he was born and raised in Ireland, and has lived in England for more than 50 years (he's 82 now)), justly best known for his short stories, which are quiet, generally rather sad, one might say morose, but beautifully written and very affecting. They tend to concern middle class life in Ireland. I'm not sure where best to start -- pretty much any short story collection. One novel I've read is Felicia's Journey, which won the Whitbread Prize and also became a film starring Bob Hoskins -- it's a fine novel, also quite sad, about an Irish teenager who comes to England to find the boy who knocked her up, and instead ends up taken in by a rather creepy old man.
Nick Rogers
23. BookGoblin
Craig Thomas wrote several books in the military fiction genre, but his best (by a rather wide margin) were Firefox and Firefox Down (which some people might remember as a Clint Eastwood movie from the early 80's).

The Firefox books were a sort of day-after-tomorrow techno thriller for the (pre) Tom Clancy crowd. While the movie is absolutely awesome on it's own merits, the books really work better as a pair.
Robert James
24. DocJames
This is such a marvelous series of blogs. Such lovely old friends to be reminded of, such enticing new books to want to get to know.

Many thanks for doing this.
Nancy Lebovitz
25. NancyLebovitz
I've been waiting for T because I recently discovered Delia Marshall Turner. Start with Nameless Magery, but there's only one more novel-- Of Swords and Spells.

I'm amazed her work isn't better known, it's lively and intelligent and it has golden age pacing, but the books have awful covers and undistinguished titles.
Susan Loyal
26. Kvon
To round out the Amy Thomson recs, I started with Storyteller, which is a good standalone novel.

I always thought Tepper was just anti-male, but your hating humans theory goes along with her ecological views better. She's one I like to read in small doses. But Gate to Women's Country still sticks in my mind for the ideas.
Susan Loyal
27. a-j
Please add my vote to those who think you should start Tolkien with 'The Hobbit'.
James Thurber - agreed that 'My Life & Hard Times' is an excellent starting point, though 'The Wonderful O' is good as well. Puffin Books in the UK used to publish the latter in a single volume with 'The Thirteen Clocks' illustrated by Ronald Searle. Worth amazoning* that edition.
(*is that a word? doubt it)
Fans of the 'Magic Roundabout' (not the film version) may not be aware that Eric Thompson (father of Emma) wrote a series of books based on the characters. 'Dougal's Scottish Holiday' is an excellent starting point and a hilarious read.
Harry Turtledove - I would suggest starting with 'How Few Remain' which is a stand-alone book, but also acts as a prologue to the alternate WWI etc series.
'The Warden' has the virtue of being a comparatively short novel for the nineteenth century and a charming novel. William Thackerey's 'Vanity Fair' is most definately not a short novel but a great read, not read anything else by him, have been advised to leave it there.
'War And Peace' is often cited as a notoriously difficult book ("it's not War & Peace after all") but I found that once you get past the first chapter, which is hard going, it's a great read. I would suggest starting there rather than 'Anna Kerenina'.
Gabriele Campbell
28. G-Campbell
Nice to see Tacitus on that list. :)

Definitely give Tolstoy a try. If you don't want to tackle a big book like War and Peace (though it's one of my favourite books ever) or Anna Karenina, try his earlier stories, something like The Cossacks.
Gabriele Campbell
29. G-Campbell
Here's one for those who aren't scared by epic poetry: Fridthjof's Saga by Esaias Tegnér, a 19th century Swedish writer. Avaliable in English at Gutenberg.

(Heh, I should backtrace that reading list and add some Scandinavian writers.)
David Levinson
30. DemetriosX
a-j @27: I think I'm going to disagree slightly with How Few Remain as a good starting point for Turtledove. Unusually for one of his works, all of the viewpoint characters are famous real people. Not that he doesn't sometimes use a famous POV, but normally the majority of "screen time" goes to regular people. I think it undercuts his most common theme that ordinary people, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, are capable of extraordinary deeds.
Susan Loyal
31. Tocks Nedlog
Not sure why anyone -- no matter how much they love it -- would recommend starting Tolkein with LOTR. Far more advisable to begin with The Hobbit.

Mark Twain also wrote A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.
Gabriele Campbell
32. G-Campbell
Got another one:

Nigel Tranter. He wrote a whole bunch of historical fiction set in Scotland, most famous are probably the trilogies about Robert the Bruce and the Stewarts. Entertaining stuff, and acceptably well researched.
Gabriele Campbell
33. G-Campbell
Tocks, I read LOTR and the Silmarillion and loved them but it took me three attempts until I managed to finish The Hobbit, and more because I thought I had to. It has too much of a children's book feel for me.
Pamela Adams
34. Pam Adams
(Incidentally, if you like my Small Change books, it is possible to read all of Tey as occurring in that universe.)

Sigh. Now I have to worry about Alan Grant and the Ashbys versus the rising tide of fascism.
Declan Ryan
35. decco999
Has no one a Patrick Tilley book on their shelf? I enjoyed "The Amtrak Wars" series (six books) way-back, but perhaps they are aimed at the young adult market. Still, they rank highly in my list of favourites. His "Mission" novel is an interesting read but I could take-it-or-leave-it, I'm afraid. For a bit of fun, try "Star Wartz"; you cannot but enjoy it.

Someone above mentioned Craig Thomas. Superb cold war thriller writer, with common characters repeating throughout his works. Some of the novels are a little dated now, with the demise of the USSR and such like, so check publication dates to be sure you pick-up at a point in history you like. I'll guarantee you'll be exhausted from excitement and suspense at the end of every book.
Susan Loyal
36. David DeLaney
Not many here for me to comment on, so I'm writing longer notes about them, it seems.

Sheri S. Tepper - I confess to having an attachment to her True Game series over nearly anything else she's written. It starts off as a seemingly-typical fantasy setting where the Game rules all and the Gamers have odd powers, and even odder titles ... but even in the first book, pieces of the background are creeping in. (The True Game only rules one area of the world. The humans came here by spaceship Some Time Ago. There are villains behind villains behind villains...) By the time you get to the end of the third trilogy, well, it'll have been absolutely heartbreaking SEVERAL times. "In the tower hangs a bell that / cannot ring alone. / Shadow Bell rings in the dark, / Daylight Bell the dawn..."
Her Marianne books have something of the same feel to them. I'll read other books she's written, but they don't catch me up the same way. The True Game nonet starts with _King's Blood Four_, and has also been brought out as three trilogy-omnibuses, in which case start with _The True Game_.

Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote more Oz books than anyone else, including Baum himself. See the B entry, or the lengthy Oz-reread blog series here, for more info. Start her contributions at _The Royal Book of Oz_, I believe.

J.R.R. Tolkien - And if somehow you don't like The Hobbit AND can't get started in LotR, _The Silmarillion_ has four different stories in it, in four different styles, covering four different periods of that world. The second is long; the other three are fairly short. (I lump Valaquenta in with the Ainulindal\"e - sue me.) Looking over his other works ... I have to say that the Long-Expected Party is probably about the best place to start his works (start of _the Fellowship of the Ring_).

P.L. Travers ("Who?") wrote a series of books about a no-nonsense English nanny with a magical side. Yes, _Mary Poppins_ starts them, but it's by no means the only book - I have five of them, and there's eight total, it seems. _If_ you can, find the unexpurgated/unabridged editions...

Harry Turtledove - He's another author with more series than you can easily shake a bookmark at - the Videssos books start with _The Misplaced Legion_, the Darkness series (about a fantasy version of events rather similar to World War II's) starts with _Into the Darkness_, etc. _The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump_ is a standalone about an EPA agent in a highly-magical alternate USA. _Agent of Byzantium_ and _Down in the Bottomlands_ are also standalones with early divergence points. He _has_ written some straight SF and straight fantasy, but yes, nearly everything he touches has alternate history in it somewhere.

--Dave
Susan Loyal
37. Anastasia44
Laini Taylor - she writes YA fantasy, but her Blackbringer, a fairie fantasy, has had a tremendous response. I read Lips Touch: Three Times, a collection of 3 novellas, and it's really great, especially the last one which somehow feels like a meld of Carol Berg's Rai-Kirah, Snow Queen, and Pandemonium.

Anna Tambour - an Australian author, Spotted Lily is her novel about a writer who sells her soul to the devil. I haven't read it yet, but heard good very things about it, and also her collection of short stories, Monterra's Deliciosa & Other Tales.
Susan Loyal
38. coalbiter
#10 - A big yes for Geoffrey Trease!

Also Henry Treece. The Viking trilogy for children: Viking's Dawn, The Road to Miklagard and Viking's Sunset, is a good place to start. Or his sequence for adults set in Ancient Greece: Jason, Electra and Oedipus.
Susan Loyal
39. HelenS
I thought I posted before, but perhaps I only previewed. I am very fond of Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire books (which take up Trollope's world some decades later), despite her reactionary politics. I recommend starting with _Summer Half_, as I don't much care for the very earliest books. But I read the books all out of order and it didn't really much matter.
Jo Walton
40. bluejo
I hate and strongly disrecommend Thirkell's Barchester fanfic books, especially for fans of Trollope. Small minded and shallow.
Susan Loyal
41. legionseagle
Pam Adams @34 I've just finished a re-read of The Franchise Affair, partly inspired by this post, and could quite easily see Robert and the Sharpes, for three, going along with a fascist regime provided it pandered to their prejudices and it was people like Rose Glyn who got it in the neck first. They'd dismiss people who criticised the status quo as "Watchmen types" and, provided the fascist authorities wore the right sort of tweeds and didn't buy their silver be perfectly happy to accept them as People Like Us.

I was a bit shaken the first time I read the Franchise Affair, about 35 years ago, at the idea that even if Marion got her watch back she would be unable to bear the thought of wearing it because of its association with Rose Glyn, and the "Omigod this author considers this viewpoint normal not pathological" factor was even stronger this time round.
Susan Loyal
42. HelenS
bluejo@40: I thought I remembered that you disliked Thirkell, and I can see how her books strike you that way. I cannot explain exactly why I can put aside their "small-minded and shallow" elements and get a good deal of pleasure out of them regardless, but I certainly do not expect everyone else to feel the same, and I hope you won't hold this particular liking against me, especially as I most definitely don't agree with Thirkell's political or social views.

I do also read Trollope, but I forget for long stretches that there is any connection between the two.
Susan Loyal
43. DianaH
Thank you, thank you for the tip-off that there are more Adrian Mole books! I read a few as a kid and loved them, and then somehow forgot about them...I can't wait to see how he's faring in his forties!
Susan Loyal
44. filkferengi
Sara Teasdale writes excellent, short lyric poetry. Several of her books are up at Gutenberg.

Patrick Thomas writes the Murphy's Lore series, similar in feel to the Callahan stories, only with a wider mythological cast. Start with _Murphy's Lore_, a short story collection. There are also several novels.

Vicki Lewis Thompson writes fun romance novels, most with 'Nerd' in the title.

Kathy Hogan Trochek's Garrity Callahan mysteries are riveting; start with _Every Crooked Nanny_.
Susan Loyal
45. Nicholas D. Rosen
Speaking of Tolstoy, let me recommend Resurrection, which seems to me to be at least as good as Anna Karenina. (It's been so long since I read War and Peace that I'm not going to attempt a comparison.)
mark tranter
46. antiloquax
This is not a genre writer, but then neither are Tacitus or Trollope ...
Elizabeth Taylor: either Angel or A Game of Hide and Seek (links point at wikipedia pages).
Rich Horton
47. ecbatan
Elizabeth Taylor is an excellent recommendation ... I'd add Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, one of a number of first books about elderly people that appeared in the UK around that time (add Muriel Spark's Memento Mori and Kingsley Amis's Ending Up for two more examples); and also Palladian.

--
Rich Horton

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