I saw this tag at Way Too Fantasy and couldn’t resist giving it a go. The graphics are so cute!
- Link back to the original creator: Kat @ Novels & Waffles
- You can use any of the graphics in this post, but please credit the creator (who is Kat, again).
- Tag as many people as you want (or none — no pressure!)
Let’s eat some waffles!
Ooh, this is a tough one. I actually don’t read a lot of classics — I feel pressured to like the book because so many other people rave about how good it is, and that tends to make me surly. However, there are a few classics that I read so young that I wasn’t really aware of the pressure to like them, and one of them would be The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. I still have my dad’s worn out paperback copy with the yellow pages from the sixties, the one where I’ve had to tape the cover back together in places. I love the story for itself and reading it is definitely like coming home, but now that I’m older and more restless I don’t often return to that particular home.
This was the hardest question in this tag for me, but ultimately my response is Dragonology by Dugald A. Steer and Ernest Drake, and illustrated by Wayne Anderson, Helen Ward, and Douglas Carrel. This is a kid’s book, but so what? The illustrations are gorgeous, and I loved the riddles and tactile patches of “dragon scales” in the book. I tried the dragon summoning spell. (It didn’t work… or maybe it did, but the dragon in the vicinity had a cold and didn’t feel well enough to come?) I absolutely loved the whimsy of this book and how it treated the existence of dragons as a precious secret that was entrusted to the young reader.
I hang on to the books that meant a lot to me in the past. However, I changed a lot through my adolescence and early adulthood (who hasn’t, haha) and for the most part I’m glad I’m no longer the person I was. Because of my mental illness, most of my nostalgia is tinged with sadness. I’ve already mentioned The Lord of the Rings in this post, which was my bit of happy nostalgia, so I’m gonna go for With the Lightnings by David Drake. This is the first book in the RCN series, and I encountered this book just before my worst downward spiral into depression began. It’s a space opera that is heavily based on the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian, and this adaptation stars a sharpshooting asexual librarian by the name of Adele Mundy. I really identified with Adele when I was very, very depressed — she’s cold, she’s emotionally distant, and she enters the book with no friends, no family, and only her work as a librarian to give her a reason to keep living each day. She can’t even enjoy the taste of food. Over the course of the story, she forges a friendship with a spaceship captain named Daniel Leary, goes on a wild adventure, and earns the loyalty of Daniel and his crew. She gains friends and, even better, a family and support system with these people in spite of her own mental troubles (which weren’t even remotely resolved by the end of the book). Adele and With the Lightnings really helped me when I was depressed, and it’s one of the few books from that era of my life that I can come back to and still enjoy now that I’m in a better place.
Definitely Basil from The Dragon of Avalon by T. A. Barron. Basil is a dragon — but a very, very small one. He’s constantly overlooked and disregarded because of his size, but he makes up for it in heart and a willingness to help his friends. I loved Basil’s journey through the different realms of Avalon. This is the only book where I reached the last page, felt a rush of disappointment, and then flipped back to the beginning and read the whole thing over again because I couldn’t bear to leave the story and characters behind.
I did not have to think hard for this one. Without a doubt, it’s The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco. Even just thinking about it makes me cry. The book is all about death and remembrance, and how being loved by someone makes you “real.” Seriously, I’m getting all teary-eyed just typing this.
This one took a bit of thinking, but for me it’s definitely Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton. (You know, the guy who wrote the Jurassic Park books?) From the title you’d think this is a horror novel, but it’s actually historical fiction. Imagine Beowulf, but told through the eyes of a traveling Muslim scholar from Baghdad who has been press-ganged into a suicide mission by a bunch of Vikings. Also, there are Neanderthals. This book also has the driest prose I’ve ever encountered in fiction, but Crichton’s imagining of the (translated) voice of a 10th century Arab scholar sounds very authentic. There’s also a movie adaptation called “The 13th Warrior” with Antonio Banderas and Omar Sharif and it’s one of my childhood favorites.
My favorite childhood series was definitely The Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky. I still have all the books lined up on my shelf and can’t bear to get rid of them. However, those books don’t receive a lot of reading. A series that I’ve finished and haven’t mentioned previously on this list is the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. (I also have the spin-off book, The Ring of Solomon). Bartimaeus is a lively and very cynical narrator with quite a bit in the way of hidden depths, and I loved Nathaniel’s character development. I also loved how the djinn famously hate their servitude and (for the most part) take every opportunity to rebel and even kill the human magicians who enslave them.
I actually don’t have any bookish accessories! I feel like I should, though.
Alright, that’s it! I’m gonna tag Sarah @ Suits of Stories (optionally, of course). If you want to do this tag, please feel more than free!