Since I’m still pretty new to the blogosphere, I’m still in the process of brainstorming and developing post ideas. And, as a writer, it seems only natural for some self-generated content to include some of my favorite books. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and the books aren’t arranged in any particular order, but they’re some of the first titles that come to mind when I think of some of the books that have had the biggest effect on me.
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. When people ask what my favorite book is, this is my most common answer. I vaguely remember being really intimidated by its size as a young kid, but eventually mustered myself to tackle it. And when I did, it blew my mind. The self-referential narrative and scores of characters with unique stories expanded my idea of what I thought a book could be, and, ultimately, inspired me to start creating my own stories.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (and whole Narnia series) by C.S. Lewis. The Neverending Story may have got me started on storytelling/creating, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe got me started on reading. I wasn’t much of a reader at a really young age, but my mom insisted that I read the Chronicles of Narnia. I in turn insisted that I start with LWW because my brother and I watched the animated 1979 version on VHS. By the time I finished, I was hooked. I devoured the series, moved on to other fantasy books, and never looked back.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. My mom (sense a theme here?) read this to my brother and I when we were young kids, and I fully intend to do the same with my own one day. It took me quite some time after that to move on to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I really loved how The Hobbit gave us a shared family memory.
Sabriel by Garth Nix. I read this classic YA adventure on a week-long Boy Scout trek. I had no idea what to expect, but was drawn into the world Nix created and revealed through Sabriel’s eyes. The combination of reading such a an engaging adventure while hiking through the Northern California forests made reading this book such an unforgettable experience. Even better, I was able to share this story with Nix in person at an author event where he signed and personalized it, and we were able to talk about our scouting experiences together!
Neverwhere and Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Once again, what made these books so special was their stories plus the memory of where I read them. I actually bought my copies of both books while studying abroad in London, and read them that same semester. It was so cool reading Neverwhere while living in London and able to go out and walk to the different places it references in London Below, and I really enjoyed reading Stardust at a time when I was going out every weekend and exploring other parts of England.
Like I said at the beginning, this is just a smattering of my favorite books, but there’s probably a reason they’re the first few to come to mind. I’ll most likely revisit this idea over a number of posts, but hopefully won’t resort to this theme too, too often, haha.