Stardust by Gaiman and anything by McGuire
Discworld by Pratchett with wit that inspires.
Books that take flight like a bird on the wing
These are a few of my favourite things.
Okay, so. I find it hard to answer the question “What’s your favourite book”. I don’t have a favourite book. Perhaps I might in a given moment, but that says more about my mood when asked than it does overall preference.
I do have favourite authors, though.
Neil Gaiman. The man can write and narrate. I’m fairly sure I could listen to him reciting the proverbial phonebook, but he’d have to find one first. I might not love all of his books equally, but I do at least enjoy every little thing he’s written, and love quite a lot of it. From his whimsical short stories to his entrancing novels. He does good screenplays, too. ‘Stardust’ is an audiobook I often turn to when I’m feeling stressed, listening to him reading it is soothing in a way I can’t adequately put into words.
Sir Terry Pratchett. I’m still not over his untimely departure from us, even if his final novel was very much a farewell to his readers. It wasn’t closure enough. Nor were the epic tweets he’d written in advance to be released. Mind how you go, Sir Terry. I find that you can just enjoy his books as light, fluffy reads by only paying attention to the surface, in which case they’re amusing. But if you start to think about what he’s actually saying, there’s layers and layers of meaning, most of it satirical and exceedingly witty.
Jim Butcher is one of those writers that grew on me. I started reading him after encountering a short story based in the universe of his Dresden Files series. It made me laugh out loud, so I bought the first book. The first three were light reads. Then it started getting epic. Then it started with the emotional gut punches while still having bits that made me laugh. Yes, some of it is downright ridiculous, but if you can get past that, you’ll find a lot worth reading.
Seanan McGuire has a very near and dear place in my heart. She’s a brilliant writer, to start with. That would be enough, but the truth is that I used to play online, text-based roleplaying games with her, a very long time ago, and she was part of a crowd that hung out with me on a chat-based place. We were never close or anything, I likely remember her a lot better than she does me, and she met me in my unfortunate early days of gaming, I’m sure I was an annoying pain in the backside then. Neither one of us plays those games anymore, but because I also used to get her amusing little emailed newsletters before she started actually publishing, I knew enough about her to recognize her work when it got released. Girl freaking won the John W. Campbell award for best debut novel. That wasn’t enough, so she later won a Hugo for best novella. Of everyone I’ve read, McGuire is the one that convinced me it was possible for me to also write. Plus, I just plain love her books. At least the ones in the fantasy genre. I don’t do horror… but she does, so if you’re into that, check her out under the pen name Mira Grant as well.
David Eddings still has a place in my heart, though I’m not sure his books have aged so well. They’re sort of a guilty pleasure for me. I do still reread them. And at least some of the women in them are strong and independant, though many are written as unfortunately manipulative. Still, I was madly into his stuff in junior high, so reading him is a nice trip down memory lane.
J. K. Rowling does need a mention, though my adoration has cooled in recent years. I’ll always love the Harry Potter books, but enough is enough, lady.
Guy Gavriel Kay and Charles deLint are fantastic Canadian writers. Kay writes poetically without being overblown about it. deLint’s world is one I want to live in.
Now. All of those are fantasy authors. Largely, that’s what I read. It’s what I like. And I’m not going to pretend to really dig Wuthering Heights. The only Pride and Prejudice I enjoyed was the version with zombies in. Though I don’t usually like zombie stories.
I do occasionally enjoy a good book out of the genre. ‘You’ was great, though I’ve never wanted to revisit it, probably because it’s also disturbing. I even enjoyed the first two Dan Brown books before he fell into the trap of being formulaic. But I always come back to fantasy. Just as well, since it’s also what I like to write.
There are more. I could make this into a very, very long post, but I’ll leave it there for now.
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