I figured I’d go next for playing Dungeons and Dragons and talk about playing the different races. Previously I’ve done series on classes and backgrounds, but there’s another piece to your character creation, and that is picking your race. For this series, I’m going to […]
Tag: JRR Tolkien
I’m continuing my way through the Dresden Files series, and I was noticing something in Jim Butcher’s writing style that I really appreciate, and that got me thinking about other book series as well. That idea being, how much do you describe about the world you […]
Kristen and I have been writing on this blog for a while, so I’m sure you kind of feel like you know us because of what we’ve written about, what we write about often, and what we tweet about. But we wanted to give you some more to go on — so we’ve come up with a bunch of ideas for top 5 lists (Movies, Board Games, Video Games, Anime, Superheroes, TV Shows, and Books) that we wanted to do to give you more of an idea of our tastes and what we love!
I’m starting off with my Top 5 Books.
Now, I’m going to add a disclaimer — when I say books, I mean top 5 books or book series. Some series are just too good to split up into single books, and I expect that more often than not you’re going to see series on my list.
Let me say that creating this list was harder than I thought; getting criteria in my head as to what should make my list was tricky, and there’s always something nagging in the background like, “but there’s probably a book you’ve forgotten.” Hopefully I didn’t make a glaring miss on my list. When choosing, I thought about the number of times I’ve read the book, if I’d want to read it again, and how much I’ve enjoyed the book, and I think I’ve come up with a pretty solid list.
5. Lord of the Rings
Starting off with a trilogy and a classic. Lord of the Rings is really the standard when it comes to epic fantasy. One of my favorite aspects is the journey from being silly Hobbits into more developed characters with depth in the case of Sam, Merry and Pippin. These stories inform all epic fantasy now as well, which I love. Plus, the story speaks so well to humanity and how sometimes it’s the least that can do the most and that it isn’t always about being the biggest hero; it’s about how, to quote Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility.
4. Swallows and Amazons
This is definitely a lesser-known book series, but it was one that I grew up with. It takes place in 1930s and follows around a group of kids who have amazing adventures on the lake where they are summering. The kids call themselves the Swallows, as the Swallow is the name of the small sailing boat they use in their adventures.They find an island in the middle of the lake where they can camp, and the Swallows do, only to find out that there is another group of kids, the Amazons, who have already laid claim to the island. This is a wonderfully fun series and a fast one to read, as it’s targeted toward children. If you have kids or if you enjoy children’s and middle-grade fiction, you will enjoy these books. The kids get into tons of trouble and go off on tons of adventures, and generally it’s just a blast.
I’m a big horror fan and a big Stephen King fan, so there was no way I was leaving this off the list. Often with Stephen King, I feel like his endings can be a bit rushed or a bit odd, but It doesn’t feel like that at all to me. The story paces out perfectly, and with the intertwined generational story giving you information as you need it, it makes it really interesting. For horror fans, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. If you hate clowns, probably skip it, though.
2. Harry Potter
This is another middle-grade/YA series, but one that everyone definitely knows. It’s just so much fun; it’s epic, it flows well, and it allows you to get lost in the fun of the story. It’s not without its faults, but the fact that I’ve read through the series three times means that I really do love it. Harry Potter really allows me to escape into a world that is wonderful, and as someone who loves the fantastical, it’s easy to imagine what it would be like to live in that world and what sort of amazing adventures could be had joining Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Now, I will say, for being #2 on my list, this almost didn’t make the list, as I have other very fantastical books that I love as well, but Harry Potter as a collection of fantasy/magical books is just too wonderful not to put on the list.
1. Dresden Files
This is another fantastical series that I really really love. I’m not done with the whole series yet (nor is Jim Butcher), but I love everything about it. It has that wonderful urban fantasy element to it that I really enjoy, as it makes it feel like supernatural things could be hiding just out of the corner of my eye in reality. Bringing in fey, vampires, werewolves, wizards, and so many more monsters, it’s fantastic while still being grounded. It is also interesting because Harry isn’t a great person for a main character. He has a lot of flaws — he’s stubborn, reckless, and has plenty more unsavory traits as well. But that makes the books better than a lot of other series, in my opinion, as you feel like you’re able to relate to him more than with some heroes, and that isn’t something that a lot of series do all that well. I’ve only read through the first eight books once, but after reading that far I know I want all the books, and I know I’ll want to read them again, which is a sign of a good series.
Some books that were close but didn’t quite make it are Inkheart by Caroline Funke, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
But what other books do you think I would enjoy? What are your five favorite books?
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This is the topic I was going to write on last week, but here it is now — the first of two parts on writing characters. Protagonists These are the good guys, the main characters of your story — for that reason, they are generally more […]