Help? Despair! And a Joyful Holiday to You.

First, the help. Which I realize I've been asking for a lot. It comes via the despair, and is asked for on behalf of Chestnut, who is frustrated with The Ways of the World.

What Chestnut would like is Someone (an Author) who is as funny and wise and satirical as Terry Pratchett, as willing to take on the foolishness of the world with a fond and sharp tongue. Also? It would help if said Someone were not yet dead, so s/he could be depended upon to produce more books. And also, she hopes, this Someone will already have written a bunch of books for her to begin reading now, while the Someone gets to work on writing more.

See, Chestnut believes (as do I, really) that times such as these, filled with Demagogues, Inexplicable Jury Decisions, Terror and Loss, not to mention weird 70-degree forecasts for a New York Christmas Eve—these times demand funny, biting books that don't shy away from looking despair in the face, and then (if possible) laughing merrily or ranting appropriately, or…you know, something

Do you guys have a Someone for her?

And the Joyful Holiday to You is just what it sounds like. I wish you all many happy books to read, and discoveries to make. Read high and low and wide and deep, and enjoy it all. 


12 thoughts on “Help? Despair! And a Joyful Holiday to You.

  1. Hmmm. Before I got to the “funny, biting books” part, I was thinking of Sigrid Undset’s quartet of books — Kristin Lavransdatter. They are quite beautiful and engrossing but pretty serious. And, of course, Undset is long dead (although she is one of the first female Nobel prize winners). And this might be sacriligious in these parts, but I swear those Alexander McCall Smith books are a balm to the soul. Sweet, witty, charming, often very funny and well written. I heard him speak once long ago, and he was so charming and smart and I sort of fell in love with him.
    Joyful holidays to you, as well, Diamond. Thank you for another wonderful year of good blog posts!


  2. Ok not as good as Pratchett and the author is dead- but I enjoyed the Myth series by Asprin (starting with Another Fine Myth) fantasy and lighthearted puns.


  3. Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi are two particularly warm humanists with a sense of humor. Will try to think of more who are also not dead.


  4. Jasper Fforde! Might be more ridiculous than satire, but he is very alive and quite funny. I’ve read two of his series Thursday Next (which has some reliance on a broad knowledge of Jane Eyre and its ilk and which gets weirder past book 4). and the Nursery Crimes (of which there only appears to be two). There also seems to be a fantasy series for kids, The Chronicles of Kazam, but I can’t remember how old Chestnut is, and one science fiction. Plenty to get her started.


  5. Living People: George Saunders, the Dave Eggers memoir, Neil Gaiman
    Dead People: Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, Philip K. Dick, Jane Austen


  6. Sorry I am so late.
    Gosh there is nothing quite like Terry Pratchett, but here ae some suggestions.
    I can’t remember how old Chestnut is so forgive me if I suggest something too young…
    Frank Cottrell Boyce He writes very funny middle grade novels
    especially The Astounding Broccoli Boy
    Hilary McKay very funny British author of middle grade novels
    P.G Wodehouse Not biting but very funny. “What what, is this a house for some apes?” is a catch phrase in my family.
    Science Fiction/Fantasy author Kage Baker
    Sadly she is now dead, and many of her books out of print, but she is funny and biting, and wonderful. She is really worth looking for!
    Her Company series starts with In the Garden of Iden. Time Travel has been invented, but isn’t practical. Instead people from the future “The Company” send a few agents into the past to turn regular people into immortal cyborgs who work for them collecting art and investing money, which they pass along to their masters in the future. Funny and exciting.
    Her Fantasy Ermenwyr trilogy is about how a Sauron like Dark Lord figure is created. Book one is Anvil of the World.
    And last of all if you want to feed your despair at the crazy world we live in, and laugh about it I suggest my favorite political blog written by Roy Edroso, with brilliant commenters.
    I read it out loud to my 13 year old


  7. I came here to say Jasper Fforde. Warm, funny, ridiculous and satirical. Not entirely upbeat, even the kids’ ones. The aimed at adults ones aren’t inappropriate or incomprehensible to kids.
    I think they are very English, which may or may not bother Chestnut.
    Gaiman is of course excellent, but I fills a very different niche for me than Pratchett. For me he’s about dark fantasy, not humour or satire. And he writes for several different ages, so Coraline might be too young for her and Smoke and Mirrors is probably too old and too dark.


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