For this, the sixth post in the Indie Block Party we are supposed to list our favorite top five books.
I think the people behind the brainstorming of this party are meanie-heads. Five books? Asking a reader to name their top five books is just cruel! But, at least it’s a cruelty they also have to endeavor to accomplish, too, so maybe the last laugh is on them?
I’ve talked before about my perfect books, those books that hit every need a reader might have, all in one tome. Since I can’t list all of Charles De Lint’s books and stories as number one on my list of favorite books (or can I?) I suppose I’ll have to pick one. Except that makes my brain hurt a bit. I opted for Memory and Dream because that book started the obsession, for me. That was my gateway book into the awesomeness of his mastery. But, really? Almost all of them belong in this number one spot. His tales just hit every need, from the high to the low, and I leave the reading nourished and wrung out and hopeful and with eyes open just a little bit wider to the worlds around me.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Since writing that post, I’ve re-re-read Sunshine out loud for story time, and my praise of the story has only grown because of it. Look, I read a lot of books out loud for story time. Some of my favorite series, my favorite writers, but I’ve discovered that some of my favorite story tellers are a bit weaker in the technical aspects of writing. They don’t pay attention to sound, or at least their aesthetics and mine are not the same. I’ve had beloved works by authors I adore which I’ve had to stop reading out loud, because of it. Not so, with Sunshine. I wish that this was a series, so very badly.
The Scar by China Mieville. I’ve tried more of his work. It’s stuff I need to be in the mood for, and some I haven’t cared for, but, this. Oh, this. One thing that all these books have in common, what gets them onto this list for me, is they recall to me the limitlessness and the awesomeness of story telling. Story telling can be amazing. It can be so very freeing. There are no limits, save what you decide to have. And reading outside your favored genre can help remind you of that. I’m not typically interested in steampunk stuff, but really? I want awesome stories. The setting matters not as much.
Okay, and yeah, you know, it takes place largely on a ship. Of course I’d love that.
Mark Chadbourn’s Age of Misrule trilogy. Yes, it’s a trilogy. Look, I read fantasy, okay. It’s what they do. You can’t count just one book as one book when it’s a series of two or three or more. You can’t, and you won’t expect me to. So there.
My perfect book list is longer. It needs updating. But, to pick five right now? (or eight, depending on how you’re counting), these are the ones.