Thursday, November 17, 2011

Companionable Reading, volume 2

Last week we reviewed a number of companion books of prolific authors.  To continue this week in the same vein, we'll suggest companion books to the works of authors now deceased.

A comprehensive, A-to-Z reference on the works of the award-winning mystery writer, Dick FrancisThe Dick Francis Companion by Jean Swanson and Dean James provides quotes, little-known facts, and book-by-book sysnopses along with information on the memorable characters of Francis's novels and facts about the author, his early career as a jockey, horseracing, and more.

The New Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie edited by Dick Riley and Pam McAllister.  Published on the 25th anniversary of Agatha Christie's death, this work is a grand salute to the queen of mysteries with contributions by sixty writers--all celebrating the Christie touch. It is filled with wonderful and surprising things about her books, her characters, the movies and plays based on them, and Dame Agatha herself.

Tolkien: the Illustrated Encyclopedia by David Day was the first encyclopedic illustrated guide to the world of Middle Earth and the Undying Lands, this book brings together every important aspect of Tolkien's vast cosmology. More than five hundred alphabetical entries cover five major subject areas: history, geography, sociology, natural history and biography. The maps, genealogies and time-charts, together with the illustrations of characters, places and events, reveal to the reader the full dramatic sweep and splendor of Tolkien's world.

Companion books are wonderful if you need to refresh your memory about the work of a certain author or if you would like a list of characters from a long-running series. Many are also just plain entertaining.

Leslie and Maryellen @ Warrenton

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