Monday, February 10, 2014

Ten influential books....

So I haven't posted in a while but thought I would take some time tonight.  I had a friend recently say she had been asked what ten books most influenced her.  She couldn't quite narrow it down to ten and she owns less books than me!  But I'm going to try.....

Hers was just a list but I'm going to add why or as much as I can tell you from my scrambled brain.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
I love the concepts and the exploration of both Welsh mythology as well as Native American.  In addition, the flying horse is really cool!  I like the whole series but this is my personal favorite.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis. 
Well, really all the Narnia books but again, this is the one I like the best because of both the wonder and the redemption in the story.  Here is the one I read first and the one that stayed with me the most.  I always look in closets to see if there might be a doorway.....

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper
This one is really the whole series.  I can't pick one I like the most, they're all good.  I love the rich mythology woven into them, please don't use the movie as a gauge, the books are sooo much better.  I've loved them since I was in junior high and had to buy them as an adult to read over and over.

Nancy Drew mystery series by Carolyn Keene
These influenced me to write.  Not well, terribly in fact, but my first stories were knock off's of these. I loved the mysteries and they truly were the first I read.  I've found better since but I still can't pitch the books I had as a child.  And I read these in fourth and fifth grade. 

Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini
Before you exclaim that these are not books, I will point to the fact that I have the graphic bound novels.  The art I fell in love with when I was ten and the stories compelled me when I grew older.  They were truly rich and beautiful stories and I still love them to this day.  And squealed when the authors were at a comic convention.  They had to go on my list because they are what propelled me into loving fantasy and elves.

Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
I read this in high school or possibly earlier.  The adventure and the knights I fell in love with.  I'm still a sucker for adventures like this and the three musketeers by Alexander Dumas.  I am putting these two together as I needed room on my list and they are a similar type of story and the same reason for enjoying them.

The short stories by Asimov
While I may not read much science fiction, he made me fall in love with his robots and I have loved science fiction since even if I don't always follow the science.  And I love my scifi shows!

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
I really shouldn't have to say why I like this one but the language, the beauty, the tragedy and the joy.  And the unicorn...

God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell
I read this in college, it stayed with me twenty years and even when I half forgot the name of the book and the author, it stuck with me enough to make me track down the book and buy it.  I love the characters, their imperfections and their struggles in an imperfect dark world.  And yes, I highly recommend the series.

Prince of the Godborn: Seven Citadels by Geraldine Harris
Again all about the characters and the journey.  Also I read it in high school and had to find it twenty years later.  Still haven't bought it but I discovered tonight they have kindle versions and the prices are much lower than the limited editions I saw a couple years ago when I was broke so that may change. 

So that's ten and I bet you thought I was done...Well, there is more.

Shakespeare for sheer language and because there is Puck

Anything by Pratchett for humor and Neil Gaiman for whimsy and a certain darkness and sometimes humor.

The Last Herald Mage series by Mercedes Lackey. 

This one gets an honorable mention because I loved the character and her character influenced me in ways I am still discovering but mostly because it showed me there could be stories about people who were different than the norm and I needed that and I think so does this world.  Most of the stories I favor are about being different, so all of these have that in common.

I could go on, there are so many but those are some of the ones that influenced me the most.  Now, make your own list.  Don't think too hard and it can be for better or worse.  I picked better but that's me.  Tag, you're it!