Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Favorite Books

Kim came up with this week's topic, and I am having a very hard time with it.  I divide books I read into two categories: books I enjoyed and books I love to the point of obsession.  I do not read books I don't like, because normally, I will drop books like a sinking ship drops unnecessary weight within the first two pages if I don't immediately fall in love with it.  I'm a tough customer. So here is the list I came up with, based on books I can think of off the top of my head right now and fit into the "books I love to the point of obsession" category.

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  All right, let's be honest here.  Anyone who has glanced at my blog in the month of May (when my blog became a place of worship to this series) knows I have an unhealthy obsession with it.  And why should I not?  It's Greek mythology, isn't it?  I have not a bad word to say about it.  Everything, everything in this series is perfect.  This is the only series (yes, you read that right, not even HP) where I felt a sense of hollow loss after it was over.  You mean I never get to hear Percy narrate again?!  Egads!  My life is over.  

2. Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Yuppers.  Such an emotional story, and so well-written.  Not enough people have read it.  I cried like a baby while reading it, and I was ten.  That's pretty moving stuff. The pages of this book are dog-eared, and the cover is ripping.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia.  Super obvious, right?  My fifth grade teacher read the whole thing aloud, and I've loved it since.  I own it, of course, and I will PWN you at Narnia trivia.  The Horse and His Boy is my favorite in the series, mainly because Aravis is such a BAMF. This is classic. Everyone loves this series.  Everyone wishes Aslan would show up in their room and tell them stories.  Okay, at least I do.

4. Zel or really, anything by Donna Jo Napoli.  We've been over this.  She's my favorite author.  I love her stuff to pieces, but I think Zel is the one I've read the most.  It's a retelling of Rapunzel.  I love retellings of fairy tales, and she tends to do a lot of those.  She's got a new book out: Smile based on the Mona Lisa.  There are tons of books about potential Mona Lisas, but I have no doubt, even before having read it, that Ms. Napoli's will be the best.  

5. Rose Daughter.  This is another retelling, except of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley.  I wouldn't recommend this unless you enjoy description, and you love lyrical uses of language. There are copious passages about just roses, what they look like, how they smell.  This is not an action book.  The plot moves slower than frozen honey.  But it's beautiful, and for some reason, I keep reading it.  Therefore, I conclude I must actually like this book.  

6. A Hive For the Honeybee.  This is a gigantic metaphor/allegory about life.  No, I'm not kidding. On the surface, it's a childlike story about a hive of bees, particularly Thora and Belle, two worker bees, and two drones who are their friends.  It's totally deep, though.  Children can read it for its entertainment value, and adults can read it for the allegorical meaning.  I signed my name for two years in my email as "Thora," so you know I must've adored this book.

7. Wolf Tower.  This is a series, but it steadily deteriorated in my opinion.  The first book was the best.  Claidi is an awesome heroine.  She kind of reminds me of Aravis.  The text is in diary form and is one of the few books where it doesn't seem lame.  And the fantasy world created in this book is absolutely believable.  I wanted to live in the city of Peshamba for pretty much all of junior high.  I wanted to be Claidi.  I thought I'd throw this in, a faster-moving book to balance out my literary leanings of 4 - 6.

That's it.  Of course, I love too many books to list.  I don't rank my favorite books.  That's not how things work in my brain.  I wouldn't be able to tell you what my absolute favorite book is.  I have about five hundred, and each is a favorite in a different way.  So don't ask me why certain books aren't on this list (such as Harry Potter).  They're probably on the massive, unranked list in my head.

See what the others like to read:

Thursday: Moi, bien sur


  1. I share #s 3 & 5 with you. My absolute favorite author is Patricia McKillip. :D

  2. ... oddly enough I have not read practically any of those. I got halfway through the first Percy Jackson book before I got overloaded with homework (ah, that was a nice day...) and it was really, very good. And I've read Wolf Tower, which not a lot of people I know have, but that was a while ago...

  3. Rose Daughter sounds really good! I'll have to add it to my ever growing TBR pile.

  4. An interesting list. I was wondering, is the Olympians series YA? I am a big fan of mythology (ANY mythology) in writing, but it has to be done well. I think I'll put up a post with my own list, giving you credit of course for inspiring me :)

  5. Rose Daughter is very good! People who do not enjoy literary, however, better go for Robin McKinley's "Beauty," which is also a retelling, but in much more exciting terms. Yes, she did two retellings of B&tB.

    Eric--Percy Jackson is middle grade. It's in the same category as Harry Potter; they're both technically "children's" books, but I know scores of adults (usually parents who ended up devouring the series faster than their kids) who loved it.