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Random Book Promoting

So. I decided to list a bunch of books I looooooove but that most people I know haven't read. Why? BECAUSE. Deal with it.

Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams - Kinda like Watership Down with cats, this tells the story of Tailchaser's journey as he searches for a friend of his that disappears off the farm the feral cat colony frequents. The cats have their own mythology and legends, including the idea that humans are just deformed descendants of cats, as well as some mythical cat-gods. I remember at one point he runs into dogs, and is in some kind of forced labor camp for cats...it basically blew my mind and I thought about it for weeks after I finished it.

The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt - I read a lot of Natalie Babbitt as a kid. She does a good job of adding in fantasy elements. Anyway, this book is about the first dictionary ever made. Problem is, nobody can come up with a definition for the word "delicious". So, this page gets sent out to collect votes for it. Well, obviously, all the bakers say it's fresh bread, all the butchers say it's a good cut of meat, etc, and they can't seem to find a consensus. At some point, there's a mermaid in there too but I don't remember why. I think he had to find her doll or something?

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - Puns. This is a giant book of puns. SO MANY PUNS. Basically, this kid is transported to a land (via a tollbooth) where English idioms and words are personified. He meets a watchdog, who is literally a dog with a clock in his side, named Tock, who actually goes tick. His brother, Tick, goes tock. Tock saves him from the Doldrums, a colorless, bland place where nobody laughs or thinks. It's inhabited by Lethargarians, who do nothing all day. At one point later in the book, people give speeches and have to literally eat their words. It's basically Shakespeare's porn (he loved puns man...and syphilis jokes.) written at a 4th grade level. It's amazing and it sparked a love of English and grammar in my life. Also, creativity and a love of making jokes about history and language.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin - This is a book an important work of feminist science fiction. Everyone says so. Apart from that, it's just good. Technically, it's part of a series in the Hainish universe, but can be read stand alone. Genly is an ambassador from this big League of Worlds (kinda like the Federation), who visits the planet Winter to ask them to join. Winter is cold and wintery all the time, obviously, and is basically split into two main countries, one that's sort of medieval seeming, and one that's more modern seeming. The people are the big thing, though. They're gender and sex-less except for one part of the month, where they basically turn into a gender (could be either, could switch each time, it's not their choice) and breed. Interestingly, there has never been a war on this planet, perhaps because of this. It's basically awesome and if you don't like Le Guin, go punch yourself in the face.

Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart - This book's subtitle is "A novel of ancient China that never was", which is pretty accurate. Set in ancient china, a strange sickness sets in on a small town during the harvest and affects only the children. A medical genius with an alcohol problem is found in the city and asked to help, since none of the non-alcoholic doctors will come. He determines that they require the Great Ginger Root of Power to cure it. Number Ten Ox, the narrator, and the scholar go on a pretty ridiculous adventure to find it, with lots of Chinese mythology thrown in the mix. I honestly loved it. Calli suggested it to me (as she did the Le Guin), and I sped through it in like 3 days. So good!

That is all. READ THESE BOOKS.

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