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Authors We'll Miss: Ursula Le Guin

by Becky C | Jan 26, 2018
Ursula Le Guin

Perhaps known best for her literary science fiction, Le Guin is one of few authors whose works can be found in libraries' collections for children, teens, and adults.  A prolific writer, she wrote across genres (and truthfully wasn't all that concerned with labels anyway).  In addition to her novels, she wrote poetry and short stories.  The one description I think holds true for all of her work?  Thought provoking.

If you haven't read anything by this groundbreaking author yet, but would like to, Mindy and I have a few recommendations for getting started.  Mindy is one of our readers advisory rock stars at ACPL -- she reads A LOT and has a good sense of what books to recommend at any given time.  She's also a huge fun of Ursula Le Guin so she was the perfect person to team up with for this post. 

If you like Science Fiction, the Hainish stories are a solid choice.  This is a series that comes with the question -- do I read them in publication order or chronological order?  There's no wrong or right answer to that question as Le Guin herself indicates in this introduction -- and rather than summarize this "universe", I'll recommend that you click on the link, as Le Guin addresses the individual titles AND her writing process in a wonderfully conversational way.  Titles in this series include:  Planet of Exile, Rocannon's World, City of Illusions, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, The Word for World is Forest, Four Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling.

If you like Fantasy, particularly if you like the Harry Potter series, The Earthsea Cycle is highly recommended.  The world building is exquisite (and its wizard school was around long before Hogwarts).  As this is a continuation of a story, so you'll want to read them in this order:  A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, The Other Wind, Tales From Earthsea, and The Daughter of Odren.

If you're looking for something light and fun, try the Catwings series.  It's a kids series but don't let that stop you -- it's about cats with wings.  What could be better?  The books you are looking for are Catwings, Catwings Return, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, Jane on Her Own, Tales of the Catwings, and More Tales of the Catwings

One final recommendation for this post is the memorial written by Margaret Atwood.  While there are many lovely memorials being written for Ursula Le Guin this week, Atwood's is a heartfelt testimony from one literary great to another. 



Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..

4 comments

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  1. Becky K | Feb 12, 2018
    Thanks for commenting, Jean!  Please let us know which books you choose and what you think of them.
  2. Jean Wyss | Feb 06, 2018
    Will definitely be reading this author.
  3. Becky K | Feb 02, 2018

    I love the Earthsea books.  Thanks for commenting!

  4. Kayla W | Jan 30, 2018
    It always hurts to see a great mind pass, but for me it seems to be even more so when it's a sharp, female wit.  I've been meaning to read more than her book, *Steering the Craft* - maybe I'll pull my omnibus of *Earthsea* out from wherever it's hiding.

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