My wonderful friend Marie wrote about recently “discovering” Neil Gaiman. She was a true high school nerd-goth, and I felt like the more irresponsible friend for not informing her sooner. I immediately posted a quick comment of a few authors she shouldn’t miss. Since I wrote it on my phone, I had no idea how long the “comment” was or how many errors I’d made until I read her responses later. After I fixed the errors, I thought I’d share it here, since I’m not yet satisfied with my unfinished LOST posts.

One of Gaiman’s first books, Good Omens, was written with Terry Pratchett, who is medieval-victorian-fantasy-hilarious-almost-Douglas-Adams-but-not and currently my favorite author. You have no idea how hard it is not to go out and buy every one of his books, but I’ve heard that sleeping and eating are things one must do.

I avoided The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for years, thinking it was serious sci-fi. Somehow I never quite realized the picture on the cover was a planet sticking out its tongue. (Although I think Thor ended up with me simply because I responded “… like the Thor in The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul rather than “… like the guy in Adventures in Babysitting.”)

Also avoided Vonnegut, since my mom bunched it in with books from her “sordid novel” class — mostly high school modern lit like The Pearl and Sister Carrie. I also mixed up Slaughterhouse 5 with The Jungle.

Jasper Fforde is perfect for anyone who finds Jane Eyre hilarious and likes the idea of the cast of Wuthering Heights attempting some serious group therapy.

I now understand why Watchmen is considered one of the great books one the 20th century (instead of just a great graphic novel.) It actually took me longer to read than a novel of equal page length.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is worth the length and initially slow pace. (Susanna Clarke is strangely the only female author on my list.)

The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay is good when you’re wanting a Brooklyn guy book.

Trollope & Dickens (who you must already know) are the Victorian lit versions of great tv series (which they were — and must be why they make for excellent Masterpiece Theater material.)

I really need to read more female authors, but I haven’t found a wealth of quirky female satirists.

Oh… go see Coraline in 3-D. It’s quite splendid.