As you know by now, Old School Wednesdays is a weekly Book Smuggler feature. We came up with the idea towards the end of 2012, when we were feeling exhausted from the never-ending inundation of New and Shiny (and often over-hyped) books. What better way to snap out of a reading fugue than to take a mini-vacation into the past, right?
Logo designed by the wonderful KMont
We asked YOU for your favorite old school suggestions – and the response was so overwhelmingly awesome, we decided to compile a goodreads shelf, an ongoing database, AND a monthly readalong/book club. (Note that we’ve removed books that we have already read, or that we selfishly want to review as solos on Wednesday!)
It’s time for our November poll! The official October OSW readalong happens next week, on Wednesday October 29 (get thee a copy of Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson now!), but the clock stops for no one… so we are looking at November!
You can vote on which title you’d like to read next month by using the poll embedded below. The readalong will take place on November 26, 2014.
Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr
Based on the premise that Alexander the Great was destined by the gods to be pharaoh of Egypt, and that the Egyptians knew it, Judith Tarr weaves a bright thread of magic into history–wherein the Priests of Amon send the Pharaoh’s daughter Meriamon to convince Alexander to come and take his rightful place.
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
Emily Starr never knew what it was to be lonely——until her beloved father died. Now Emily’s an orphan, and her mother’s snobbish relatives are taking her to live with them at New Moon Farm. She’s sure she won’t be happy. Emily deals with stiff, stern Aunt Elizabeth and her malicious classmates by holding her head high and using her quick wit. Things begin to change when she makes friends, with Teddy, who does marvelous drawings; with Perry, who’s sailed all over the world with his father yet has never been to school; and above all, with Ilse, a tomboy with a blazing temper. Amazingly, Emily finds New Moon beautiful and fascinating. With new friends and adventures, Emily might someday think of herself as Emily of New Moon.
The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson
Yoshifuji is a man fascinated by foxes, a man discontented and troubled by the meaning of life. A misstep at court forces him to retire to his long-deserted country estate, to rethink his plans and contemplate the next move that might return him to favor and guarantee his family’s prosperity.
Kitsune is a young fox who is fascinated by the large creatures that have suddenly invaded her world. She is drawn to them and to Yoshifuji. She comes to love him and will do anything to become a human woman to be with him.
Shikujo is Yoshifuji’s wife, ashamed of her husband, yet in love with him and uncertain of her role in his world. She is confused by his fascination with the creatures of the wood, and especially the foxes that she knows in her heart are harbingers of danger. She sees him slipping away and is determined to win him back from the wild … for all that she has her own fox-related secret.
Magic binds them all. And in the making (and breaking) of oaths and honors, the patterns of their lives will be changed forever.
A Red Heart of Memories by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
From Bram Stoker Award winner and Nebula and World Fantasy Awards finalist Nina Kiriki Hoffman comes a novel of two young people who live outside ordinary reality-and who are about to discover life’s extraordinary possibilities…
Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan – he who was called “The Butcher of Komarr” – and would consequently become an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his.
Sick of combat and betrayal, she was ready to settle down to a quiet life, interrupted only by the occasional ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. But when the Emperor died, Aral became guardian of the infant heir to the imperial throne of Barrayar – and the target of high-tech assassins in a dynastic civil war that was reminscent of Earth’s Middle Ages, but fought with up-to-the-minute biowar technology. Neither Aral nor Cordelia guessed the part that their cell-damaged unborn would play in Barrayari’s bloody legacy.
Get voting, and we hope to see you on November 29!
Got a suggestion? Have an amazing book, published at least five years ago, that you would love to nominate for the OSW monthly readalong? Speak up and submit your favorites! (If you have problems with the form below, you can also access it HERE.)