Another reading theme for Post 6 in the Indie Block Party: What are the top 5 books you absolutely love?
This is harder, perhaps, than listing my Top 5 Movies, games/MMORPGS, and even music. Immediately reminds me of BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs where celebrity ‘castaways’ name their top eight record choices, plus a book and a luxury, as well as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and The Bible (or similar text). Except here it is just books, I’m no celebrity – yet – but I can pretend to be a castaway.
So what five absolutely loved books would I take to this desert island… where my Kindle won’t be charged for more than a few chapters. Need to be paperbacks or hardbacks then.
1. J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: this has always headed my list of favourite books and it is nowadays classed as a classic. Other options of that ilk, Classics, would include Great Expectations, Heart of Darkness, 1984 and others, but this is the one I re-read every few years. It has always inspired me whether I need to escape into another world or in my writing. Is that the same thing? And I have been able to see my vision of Middle Earth on screen plus been there in a gaming world. That is also echoed now in the Professor’s words. (As is the Blog title). I also have the hardback set that I read in my late teens back in the late 1970’s.
2. Charles de Lint’s Greenmantle: staying on the fantasy theme although de Lint is the master of blending genres, in this case fantasy and crime. Of course John Buchan had already used the title and I remember following Richard Hannay through thrilling adventures, when I was in my teens. But de Lint’s Greenmantle is both magical and gritty. Urban fantasy at its very best. And I re-read it a few months ago.
3. Linwood Barclay’s No Time for Goodbye: to me this is a crime-thriller novel that I can re-read, even if I vaguely remember the circuitous complexities of the plot, which is so well woven. Barclay is a master of the art of leading you astray and yet it all fits logically, when you reach the end. My crime novel of choice would have been Agatha Christie’s Murder of Roger Ackroyd, but I’ve read it too many times to get lost in its cleverness. So now I choose Barclay. Would a series count as one book?
4. Anne McCaffrey’s The White Dragon: once I discovered McCaffrey’s Pern series about dragons, Thread and so much more, I was hooked. Of all her Pern books this is the one with the best characters, best plot, and best surprises – especially if you’ve read all the books before this one. Sadly lost my copies of the Pern books so must go online and order at least this one before I leave for the island.
5. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist: such a small book and yet vast in its depth. The Alchemist is gold dust… magical fairy dust from a true artist, poet, and alchemist. If you haven’t read it – why not? If you have, then re-read, or try his other masterpieces. It opened my mind in the same way that Antoine de St Exupery’s The Little Prince http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Prince did.
Well that’s it, folks… or is it:
6. Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: I know this is more than five but I’m using the Infinite Improbability Drive. Plus there has to be humor and for me this was a laugh that I could re-live over and over again without the joke getting stale. And bonus this is the beginning of “a trilogy in five parts”. (Another review at: http://www.intothebook.net/2011/10/hitchhikers-guide-to-galaxy-douglas.html)
Okay I’ll stick by the Catch 22 rules, forget I had a cat called Oliver, and head for Casterbridge, all to avoid another War and Peace.
Feel another Blog creeping up on me – Lord of the Lists. What Lists should I have? Movies, MMORPGs, music, maybe even poems.
What do you suggest?
Please visit the Blogs of other Indie Block Party participants via: http://felwetzig.com/indie-block-party/
- Todd McCaffrey (ed.) – Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern (sffbookreview.wordpress.com)
- Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (jaustin265.wordpress.com)
- The Alchemist (501strangethoughts.wordpress.com)
- An Equal to Anne McCaffrey? (There be dragons ahead) (hollyemmaice.wordpress.com)
Interesting choices – I’ve read a couple of these and may check out the others, thanks! I’d be so hard-pushed to choose 5 (I’d be asking does a series count, too!). I hoped to clear out my bookshelves recently and keep only favourites – and I think I gave the grand total of six books out of hundreds to charity!
Thanks Linda. Can sympathize with keeping most of the books – sounds like me a few years ago… and the bookshelf is getting overcrowded again. Either new a new bookshelf or a new home… latter may be best choice, especially as I may be inheriting a load more from my mum. And I need to get some of Pern books! (I keep removing slithers of wall-paint with my wheelchair in this one.)
Tolkien! Love him. And dragons…ah, you know I have a special place in my heart for them : )
Smaug – the name strikes terror across the world…
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