Tuesday, October 23, 2012

paper & ink

I love to read. There is not much that compares to the time spent deep in the pages of a book, becoming entwined with the adventure, glimpsing into another’s challenges and being with them as they succeed (or fail) at what life throws at them.

While I have enjoyed a many great deal of books there are a few that rise above the rest. These books are ones that have embedded themselves so deeply that their ideals and inspirations have woven themselves through my heart strings becoming a part of me. This is not just a list of favorites. These are the books that make up my reader persona. [that’s a real thing- I’m pretty sure]

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I was 14 the first time I picked up The Sorcerer’s Stone. Still young enough to think of myself as growing up with the novels. It will always be at the top of my list. Sometimes it sounds juvenile admitting that Harry Potter is my favorite book. I guess that makes me one of “those”, whatever that means, but when you spend ten years absorbed in a story, waiting in angst for the ending, all the while never wanting it to be done, how can it not affect you so deeply?

The world Rowling created is so real and fantastic and clever. She spells out every child’s dream of being able to do magic, in a world where flying is normal and pictures can talk. Where even children can take on evil and defeat it.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Shrouded by controversy this trilogy tends to get a bad rap. Yes the author is atheist and yes he kills “god” in the story. But its a great story nonetheless. I love the characters and the somewhat “steam-punk” era that its set in. 

It was after reading this trilogy that I realized my favorite genre: fantasy. 

King Raven Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead

Robin Hood is a story I have heard and seen countless times growing up. Same old, same old. While I do love the many renditions of the story this one is by far the best. Lawhead's knowledge of Britain is clearly extensive as he was able to dredge up a story that is a more likely scenario of the anti-hero we know as Robin Hood. His character surpasses the original Robin Hood in valor and integrity, while plotting creative retaliation on his enemies.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

If you have read this book, then you know why it has made my list. While romance novels rarely touch my shelves, this story beautifully composes the story of redemption in a tangible way, the power of unconditional love and the hope of second and third and fourth chances. I cried a lot.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

Anyone that considers this purely a love story has missed the best parts of Jane Austin’s work. She is witty and clever. She uses lots of irony and satire [a few of my favorite things] to put a hysterically ingenious twist on the typical love story. Every time I read the book or watch the movie I realize some clever bit that I had never noticed before. Well and Mr. Darcy.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I can’t remember what types of books I read before reading this one. Everything I knew about books and reading changed. Perhaps because this was the first book I read that wasn’t required reading or on my mother’s shelf. Perhaps because it wasn't some random selection at the library, perhaps because it is just that awesome. Ever since, Card has been one of my favorite authors. His writing is outstanding and one of my greatest inspirations as a [hopeful] writer. Plus Ender is a third, and being a third born as well, we are pretty much the same.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

I didn’t want to flood this list with a bunch of C.S. Lewis books, which would be easy for me to do. He is my inspiration as a Christian, as a writer, as a person. The first memories I have of my Dad reading to us at night was of the Chronicles of Narnia. I remember staring at this cover wondering why a girl in a funny dress that covered her head was fighting a man with a sword.

See what I mean?
Reading The Great Divorce was more of a life altering moment. Not blatantly, but it was a moment in which I realized how narrow minded my view of God was and how he is so beyond what I can fathom. C.S. Lewis offers a tiny glimpse into that knowledge and shows how one dimensional our views can be, and how they can hinder our understanding.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

So random its genius, or maybe its so genius its random? There were times when I was reading this series that I could not stop laughing [enough to get weird stares from my husband]. There were also moments that I realized I had no clue what was going on or what he was talking about. But there were a few moments where everything came together and chaos all fit together and made sense. Its brilliant. Just brilliant.

Abram’s Daughters by Beverly Lewis

In steps random books about Amish. This is the first series I read of Beverly Lewis and about the Amish. Growing up in Colorado the only thing I knew about Amish people was that they dressed strangely and didn’t like electronics. Not only are they great reads but they also inspire me to work hard and want to bake pies.

The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

I have already talked about these books in previous posts. While its been more recent that I read this series, I was totally sucked into these books. What can I say? I read the Goodkind....[and there it is]

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers

Just kidding. [making sure you're paying attention- for the record, I super dislike]

I’m cutting myself off. I realize there have been many books that have shaped me. Hopefully I continue to find them.

Yours Truly,