favorite books

(written around December of 2007)

I have been a life-long reader and have read too many books over the years to remember them all, even to remember the ones that I have loved. But I will try.

To start with:

The Book of Mormon and the Bible, because I do love scripture.

When I first started reading, I read the Pee Wee Scout books and loved them. I also read Boxcar Children and Babysitters Club. I believe I read the Secret Gardenwhen I was third grade, but I don’t remember a thing about it. Somewhere along the line, I discovered fantasy series and became an avid reader of the Redwall Books and The Lost Years of Merlin. Young adult fantasy held my interest for a while more, and I enjoyed The Chronicles of PrydainThe Dark is Rising andHarry Potter when I was younger (Harry Potter I have continued to like as I’ve gotten older as well).

When I was in high school, I discovered Shannon Hale. She had been my favorite author ever since, and I have loved her books. Book of a Thousand Days may be my favorite novel. I also loved The Goose GirlEnna Burning, and River Secrets. I enjoyed Princess Academy, but not the extent of the other four.

I continue to read and love young adult fantasy. Not so much with adult fantasy–I’ve read some books and have easily forgotten them. I read Lord of the Ringsin junior high, and came away from the books confused. I need to read them again. I have enjoyed a few adult fantasy novels, mainly Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (though it is an adult book and I have problem with about 15 pages in it). My current favorite for fantasy series is Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom. I enjoy fantasy that does not fit into traditional genre descriptions, such as Garth Nix’s writing, also including is Sabriel series and some of Neil Gaiman’s writing (I’ve read Neverwhere and Coraline).

I also enjoy other non-fantasy young adult novels a lot, such as Holes. The Westing Game I read when I was younger, along with And Then There Were None, both of which I loved at the time. Newbery books are always good, such as The Higher Power of Lucky, a very recent read, and Bud, Not BuddyElla Enchanted,The GiverA Wrinkle in TimeHatchetThe Blue SwordRamona Quimby (read when I was younger), Bridge to Terabithia, E.B. White’s books, etc. I keep remembering random books I’ve read when I was younger, such as The Lottery Rose. Loved them all, I think. At least read them all.

I like the Julie of the Wolves books and Wayside School series. I haven’t read so much historical fiction over the years, not that I remember and is worth mentioning. My historical reading has come primarily from classics.

Speaking of classics, when I was in ninth grade I read The Scarlet Pimpernel. It is the original superhero book (I love superheroes as well, though there aren’t a lot of good book offerings–I enjoy the old Superman comic books). I have loved classical literature ever since, though I discovered in college that books lose much of their appeal when viewed in the setting of a literary movement. Don’t study literary movements. Just read the books.

Some of my favorite classics include: Great ExpectationsA Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Count of Monte Cristo (took me a year to read), Old Man and the Sea, Of Mice and Men (the language is bad in that though), The Great Gatsby, The Odyssey, etc. I also enjoy children’s classics, especially Peter Pan.

In addition, some beloved books I’ve read in the past: All Quiet on the Western Front, Anne of Green Gables (though I didn’t like entire series), most anything by Road Dahl, Chronicles of Narnia (all of them) and the Screwtape LettersFlowers for Algernon, Housekeeping, The Outsiders, Plato (I find it funny), To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (first book to make me cry), Nine TomorrowsI Dare You, Julius Caesar and other Shakespeare plays, sort of Ender’s Shadowseries (but I’m still bitter about it), House of Stairs (because it was so bad), and I once had a time where I kept reading biographies and movies that were paired together, such as A Beautiful Mind, Seabiscuit, and Cinderella Man.

Books I’ve read in more recent times that continue my love of reading: Hidden Talents and True TalentsCosmicomicsTheodore RexEarthsea books, especially the first three, InkheartKing of Attolia and Howl’s Moving Castle I wasn’t quite sure what to make of when I read it, now I love both of them.

You may think that I put up here every book I read. I have not. I have skipped many young adult books, fantasy books, and classics that I have read and not enjoyed so much. You don’t have to know which books they are, because this is my “favorite” books.

I also tend to read books that are read and beloved by a great many, but I’m all right with that. I enjoy good literature, overall, though it does have to appeal to me personally as well. It has to be entertaining.

If you want to know, I look for books that have strong characters, really good endings, unique (but not too out there), compelling, interesting, etc. It has to have decent prose (not full of cliches), but that isn’t my greatest priority. I am more of a fan of plot and character.

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