Recommend a book with "fire" in the title please

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Recommend a book with "fire" in the title please

1spiralsheep
maj 15, 8:33am

I've been doing a reading challenge involving the five elements. I've read books with titles including the words "Earth" and "Underwater", and I have books with "Air" and "Aetherical" (and "Spirit" too).

I don't have a book with "fire" somewhere in the title so I'm asking for recommendations.

I searched on the word "fire" and found that many of the most popular results are genre novels that are part of a series and so no use to me for this challenge.

Please enthuse to me about your favourite book with "fire" in the title. I read widely and only avoid horror and graphic violence.

2lilithcat
maj 15, 8:44am

The Fire next Time, by James Baldwin
Fire Shut up in my Bones, by Charles M. Blow - memoir by the NYT columnist
Luka and the Fire of Life, by Salman Rushdie (This is a sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, so you could read both and have fire AND water!) - https://www.librarything.com/work/10092398/reviews/64915435
Triangle: the Fire that Changed America, by David Von Drehle - about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire - https://www.librarything.com/work/147851/reviews/46226563
Fire from Heaven, by Mary Renault (historical fiction about Alexander the Great)

3N1na
maj 15, 8:53am

4tealadytoo
Redigeret: maj 15, 9:01am

A Fire Sparkling - Julianne MacLean
Blue Fire - Phyllis A Whitney

Fire and Ice - Dana Stabenow. (This is from a mystery series, but it's book 1, so may be ok for you.)

5Bookmarque
maj 15, 9:01am

Funny, I just started White Fire today - it's part of a series, but works as a stand alone, too.

6thorold
maj 15, 9:07am

A recent one I enjoyed was The fire starters by Jan Carson — an odd mix of Northern Ireland politics and magic realism.

A S Byatt's Elementals: stories of fire and ice might fit your theme, but it's short stories, not a novel.

William Golding's Fire down below is excellent, but the third part of a trilogy.

There's always Nabokov's Pale fire if you are looking for something more serious.

Otherwise I second the suggestions in >2 lilithcat: of The fire next time (essays, not a novel) and Fire from heaven.

7tealadytoo
Redigeret: maj 15, 9:48am

I really liked Charles Todd's Wings of Fire. It is part of the Ian Rutledge series, but reads well enough as a stand alone.

8spiralsheep
Redigeret: maj 15, 1:45pm

Ooo, lots of lovely suggestions here, including some I definitely haven't heard of before. I'll be checking those out. Recs from human brains are almost always better than search algorithms. Thank you! And keep the recs coming, please.

9susanbooks
maj 15, 12:04pm

The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward has some amazing pieces in it (the title is an homage to Baldwin's book)

Memory of Fire is the name of an amazing trilogy of nonfiction novels about the history of the Americas by Eduardo Galeano

After the Fire, A Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld is a vg novel set in Australia

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman is a vg novel (until the last 30 pages when it goes off the rails, but I pretend that part never happened & it's worth it, nevertheless)

Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, & Other Identities is an incredible work on race by Anna Deavere Smith. (Fire's a plural but I thought it might be okay.)

Since I'm allowing plurals: Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser is such a great biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. You learn so much from it, not just about Wilder, but about the US's westward expansion generally.

And seconding Nabokov's Pale Fire

10spiralsheep
maj 15, 12:27pm

>9 susanbooks: Plurals are good as are -fire (e.g. bonfire) and fire- (e.g. fireweed).

Thank you for all those lovely recs!

11susanbooks
Redigeret: maj 15, 1:30pm

>10 spiralsheep: My pleasure! I live for this stuff! Since "fire" can have various forms:

Firing Back: Against the Tyranny of the Market by Pierre Bourdieu is SO good on monetizing intellectual production & not at all a difficult read.

If you like Persephone, Virago type books, Moor Fires by E. H. Young starts slow but really picks up & is so, so good.

The Fires of Autumn by Irene Nemirovsky is also vg.

12Aquila
Redigeret: maj 15, 4:44pm

Fire and Hemlock, one of Diana Wynne Jones' best books.

13karenb
maj 16, 2:36am

Though it is part of a genre series, Fire Logic by Laurie Marks is the first in the series and thus will work as a standalone. It's a really good book, if you like that sort of thing.

Seconding James Baldwin, as he's worth reading any time.

Burning roses by SL Huang is a novella that mashes up the fairy tales of Hou Yi the Archer and Little Red Riding Hood -- many years after the fairy tales ended. Diverse, current, and well written.

Burn by Patrick Ness is a dystopian YA that takes place in Canada during a long-running pandemic lockdown. Touches on current political trends some (as you may guess). Also involves a cult, super powers, and dragons.

Firewatching by Russ Thomas is a contemporary police procedural, sort of, in a small village outside Sheffield (England). Protagonist is openly queer, why yes there is an arsonist, with distinct characters whose viewpoints we see. (Not everyone likes reading that.)

Happy reading!

14SandraArdnas
maj 16, 7:18am

Fire in the Mind biography of Joseph Campbell
Fire Watch short story collection by Connie Willis

15spiralsheep
maj 17, 4:50am

Thank you all! These suggestions are very helpful and I now have more than one book with "fire" in the title that I want to read. :-)

16susanbooks
maj 17, 11:17am

Which ones are you picking?

17terriks
maj 17, 12:26pm

May I slip in one more? :)

Fire by George R. Stewart An oldie (he also wrote the better known Earth Abides). It's low key by today's standards, about firefighters in a wildfire that takes over a national forest.

18spiralsheep
Redigeret: maj 17, 12:33pm

>16 susanbooks: Answering that would involve also explaining why I'm not picking others (mostly because I've read a surprising number of them already, or a close equivalent in the case of non-fiction). Bearing in mind the kind and generous quantity of recs, explanations would take more time than I have at the moment, especially as the recs were spread over three threads and included recs for "aether" and other titles. But....

I've now read Aetheric Mechanics by Warren Ellis (graphic novella). And my first "fire" read is likely to be Fireweed by Jill Paton Walsh (ya novel) simply because I have limited sources of books due to the effects of the pandemic and that title was easily available to me. :-)

I can also rec my previous elemental reads: The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria (autobiography), and The Underwater Museum : the submerged sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor (art and environmentalism).

I have Unlocking the Air and Other Stories by Ursula Le Guin (short stories) on my To Read shelf.

I'll probably also read Spirits in the Dark by H. Nigel Thomas (novel) this year which is an alternative fifth element to aether (I note there are also many works called The Fifth Element and even The Fifth Elephant >;-) ).

19spiralsheep
maj 17, 12:30pm

>17 terriks: I'm sure I'm not the only person who'll use these recs so by all means keep posting. :-)

20SandraArdnas
maj 17, 1:09pm

>18 spiralsheep: Oh, I like the idea of the 4 elements theme read. Might do one myself

21susanbooks
maj 17, 1:57pm

>18 spiralsheep: No need to explain why you didn't pick some. This is a great thread :)

22vwinsloe
maj 19, 9:14am

Has no one mentioned Little Fires Everywhere?

23lilithcat
maj 19, 9:24am

>22 vwinsloe:

You could read the previous posts and find out!

24spiralsheep
Redigeret: maj 19, 10:11am

>22 vwinsloe: No, surprisingly! And that was one of the newer books I expected to be mentioned because I've seen several people's reviews on talk recently, along with Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, which was mentioned in the second reply, and Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.

25vwinsloe
jun 12, 11:06am

>23 lilithcat:. Have you not heard of a rhetorical question?

26lilithcat
jun 12, 11:11am

>25 vwinsloe:

You'd be amazed (or perhaps not) at the number of people who don't bother to read entire threads before posting.

272wonderY
jun 12, 12:29pm

>17 terriks: Ah! I’ve read that one. Giving it the correct touchstone
Fire

28karenb
Redigeret: jun 12, 3:06pm

Is it too soon to ask how the reading is going, or even which books you started or selected?

29spiralsheep
jun 12, 4:02pm

>28 karenb: I read Fireweed, by Jill Paton Walsh (4* and one minor historical nitpick :D ).

Apart from that, the situation is still much the same as I explained in >18 spiralsheep:

I need to read an "air" title, probably Unlocking the Air, to complete my set of five elements:

- The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria (autobiography)
- The Underwater Museum : the submerged sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor (art and environmentalism)
- Fireweed, by Jill Paton Walsh (YA historical fiction)
- Aetheric Mechanics by Warren Ellis (graphic novella).

Of course, I could continue into the East Asian elements and then I'd need to add wood and metal. Perhaps The Greenwood Shady by Elizabeth Cadell, which is already on my To Read shelf, and I did joke about reading something unexpected such as What Does This Button Do? An Autobiography, * May Contain Flying Metal, by Bruce Dickinson. I bet it's in my local library! >;-)

Or maybe I should start a thread for "-metal-" recs and see what people suggest....