Lists are always fun: to create as well as to read. So here’s my attempt at some lists of what’s in my collection. Most of these I’ve read more than once, and some (such as those discovered when I was young) dozens of times.
I’ll start with Category/fantasy writers, Subcategory/series discovered in my childhood: Tolkien, of course, but also: Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, Ruth Stiles Gannett’s My Father’s Dragon, Edward Eager’s Half Magic, and E Nesbit’s Psammead.
Category/fantasy writers, Subcategory/series discovered in my adulthood: Joan Aiken’s Wolves of Willoughby Chase (how did I miss this one when I was young?), Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials, H Potter (who can resist JKR?), Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy, Michael Buckley’s Sisters Grimm, Diana Wynne Jones anything (I must have slept through the 1970s/1980s to have missed her), Lev Grossman’s The Magician. I’ll stop here.
Category/fiction writers, Subcategory/series: Eric Kraft’s Peter Leroy books. If quirky humor with a dollop of thoughtfulness, wrapped in memoir, is your thing, Kraft is for you.
Category/fiction writers, Subcategory/19th Century British Authors: Jane Austen, of course, the Brontes, Charles Dickens, R. L. Stevenson, but also (recently) Elizabeth Gaskell. Cranford is funny, My Lady Ludlow complex and weepy, North and South sweepingly political while also romantic in an old-fashioned way that modern readers, including me, find humorously overwrought. That’s just a fraction of Gaskell’s works, through which I’m slowly reading.
I’ll keep expanding this list, so check back every now and then.