Monday, September 24, 2012

50 Favorite Reads

Hi all

Recently, Mr. Joe Hill, son of Stephen King and an awesome writer in his own right, posted a list of his 50 favorite books on his website. If you haven't been following him or his amazing career, you should check out his website now:

In the comments section of his latest post, I posted my own list of 50 favorites. While I was putting together my list, I found it very difficult to pick just 50. The ones I wound up with are by no means a definitive list, even for myself. A month from now, if you asked me to put together a list of my 50 favorites, it would probably change a bit, although I'm sure some will always be staples on that list.

Regardless of what books appear on my list, however, the reason for each appearing on it is always the same. Usually there's something about the book that, either while I'm reading it or after I've put it down, hits me like a ton of bricks. Like a "Wow, what did I just read?" moment.

For a novel like The Stand by Stephen King, for instance, it's the amazing scope of the work that hit me. A cataclysmic event that affects the entire world. An epic quest to save the rest of the good people remaining against an evil force. Characters that you fall in love with that jump from the page, vividly painted, and the ones you cry over (yes, dammit, I did) when they don't make it. Characters who are not all good and not all bad, but a mix of both. Flawed. And in that sense, perfect to read about.

For a novel like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, on the other hand, it's the sheer absurdity of the novel that gets you. Sure, the plot doesn't really go anywhere throughout the entire series. You're not sure what the point of the books are. It's the RIDE that's important here. It's a wild, zany ride that you can laugh out loud about (in libraries, with repeated warnings to quiet down), with characters that are some of the most outrageous in science fiction, and poking fun at things in life that just don't make any sense. Arthur Dent is the clueless everyman, trying to understand the meaning of life and not getting very far in the process, and you can sympathize with him because, let's face it, who really has the answers to these things?

So I'm not stealing Joe Hill's idea, I'm not going to ask my followers to list their own 50 favorite books. Of course, if you want to, feel free. I'll include my own list again below. However, what I would love to know is, what did your favorites do for you that launched them into the top positions on your list? If you were to sell one or two of your favorites on your list, how would you describe how they moved or changed you?

I look forward to hearing your comments. In the meantime, here's my own list of 50, in no particular order:

1. The Stand by Stephen King
2. The Talisman by Stephen King, Peter Straub
3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
4. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
5. The Wish List by Eoin Colfer
6. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
7. The Hobbit by J. R. Tolkien
8. The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. Tolkien
9. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
10. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
11. The Green Mile by Stephen King
12. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
13. John Dies at the End by David Wong
14. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
15. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
16. The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde
17. 1984 by George Orwell
18. The Giver series by Lois Lowry
19. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (I like the series, but the first book blows the others away)
20. Ring series by Koji Suzuki (first movie was great, but the books will blow your mind like the movies never did)
21. Watership Down by Richard Adams
22. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
23. The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft
24. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
25. The Books of Blood series by Clive Barker
26. Weaveworld by Clive Barker
27. Strange Highways by Dean Koontz
28. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
29. Firestarter by Stephen King
30. Flowers in the Attic series by V. C. Andrews
31. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
32. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
33. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
34. Room by Emma Donoghue
35. Everlost series by Neil Shusterman
36. Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
37. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
38. Evil Genius series by Catherine Jinks
39. The Odyssey by Homer
40. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
41. Eon/Eona, by Alison Goodman
42. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
43. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
44. Holes by Louis Sachar
45. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
46. It by Stephen King
47. Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke
48. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
49. On Writing by Stephen King
50. The Novels of Tiger and Del series by Jennifer Roberson

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Goodreads Review of Son by Lois Lowry

Hi all.

Sorry for my absence, but the day job and other things have been keeping me incredibly busy lately. I'm hoping to get back to regular posts in my blog soon.

For now, I have put up another book review for one of the books I received at Book Expo America 2012. It's for Lois Lowry's latest book in the Giver series, Son.

Come check out the review here:
Enjoy! And do add this one to your TO READ list.

More reviews to come soon.