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.
Category/fiction, Subcategory/fat books: Moby-Dick, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet, Proust (currently at the 25% mark, and still working on it), Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Dickens.
Category/fiction, Subcategory/quirky: Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao.
I’ll keep expanding this list, so check back every now and then.
I very much enjoyed Nesbit’s Five Children and It too (see my review http://wp.me/s2oNj1-it) and am looking forward to The Borrowers now that I’ve obtained a decently illustrated hardback edition (I don’t count the three or so TV/film versions I’ve seen so far as ‘reading’ it). Your other recommendations (apart from Tolkien of course) are new to me, so I’ll keep a lookout for them.
The Borrowers has been my go-to series on rainy winter afternoons since my pre-teens. The movie versions don’t do them justice. I’m heading to read your review right now.
So many of my own favourites here – Borrowers, Joan Aiken, E Nesbit, Pullman – that the unfamiliar ones are definitely going on my ‘to read’ list. Thank you for sharing them.
You’re welcome! My list of favorite changes so often, though, I have to update it periodically. Usually my favorite book is whichever one I happen to reading, but these are ones I’m always happy to reread.
Don’t overlook E. Nesbit’s The 3 Children and IT, and of course, Railway Children. Plus, a newbie:
U. K. Leguin’s Voices.
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The Railway Children is one of my faves. I’ll have to look for Voices — didn’t know she had a new one. Did you see that she had declined to write the intro to a Sci-Fi compendium comprising only male authors?