Freedom and Necessity
This is a superb book done as a series of correspondence between four
main characters as if written in the 1800's. The two authors kept in period
very consistently. The other really cool thing about it was you could argue
both that there was a supernatural element and that there was not a
supernatural element. I'm fairly certain that was deliberate.
Alice in Wonderland
This is ostensibly a child's book, but there's a lot there for adults. Carol
has such a great sense of humor and imagination. I consider it a classic.
This is a modern reworking of the old fairy tale that is fairly faithful (or so
I'm told) to the original. I hesitate to say this because it comes out wrong,
but it really describes what I mean best: it's a girl's book. That said, I
still enjoyed it. It is a great story (no matter how it is done or how many
times it is done), and this author worked in all sorts of good detail that
didn't detract from the fairy tale at all.
Red Shift This is a bizarre book. It is supposedly a children's book, I think.
Phew, maybe a simple unbiased child's mind would understand what was going
on better than me! I read it twice in rapid succession and decided that I
caught just enough of the intricate multiple layers of symbolism that I liked
it. Every single detail, every word, every action is important. The whole
thing is based loosely on a famous Scottish fairy tale, called "Tam Lin".
There are multiple stories, each set in different times but the same place,
but (and here's where it starts to get weird) they are interconnected in the
most bizarre ways. Absolutely fascinating. At least it's short!
I'd better be careful here as this is a lot of people's all time favorite
book. Let me just say that it was a little too hard for me to follow to fully
appreciate. In some ways it is the ultimate modern fairy tale. The characters
are very vivid and colorful. The story repeatedly takes bizarre turns and
fantastic things happen all over the place as if it were perfectly normal. I
felt like I was reading a history from an alternate reality where the fantastic
happens every day. I'm afraid I missed almost all the brilliant symbolism and
deeper meaning, though. It's a long read, so I've been hesitant to do what I
gotta do: reread it!
Ursula K. Leguin
A Wizard of Earthsea
This is a classic fantasy book in the vein of Tolkien. It tells, in the style
of an epic history, of the beginnings of a famous wizard in the world of
Earthsea. It isn't necessarily very imaginative or original, but Leguin tells
the story with such confidence and grace that it works.
This interesting novel follows the life of the Wicked Witch of the West from
Wizard of Oz. It is a fascinating character study in evil. Some people don't
think her character is very believable; whatever the case, I thought it was
George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire
This is a fantastic epic series in the political fantasy genre. The characters
are excellent, and the plot is complex and compelling. There are a
number of scenes that simply blew me away. (Like the one with Dany and the
pyre at the end of the first book!!) There's really not much in the way of
magic, but I didn't miss it. I'm on the third book at the moment. The forth
is coming out soon, I think?
Interview with a Vampire
These are the first two of a series of vampire books. I haven't read the
others, such as Queen of the Damned yet. The first is pretty good and
necessary reading, but I liked the second much better; the character Lestat is
just about the most vivid and entrancing I've ever seen. It is absolutely
incredible. Rice develops an enormous complex history of her very realistic
variety of vampires. The books are rather dark and mysterious, but it's the
perfect mood for the subject matter.
J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter series
I've read them all with growing eagerness. It might start as a child's novel,
but it becomes increasingly complex. My favorite is probably the "Prisoner of
Azkaban", but if Rowling ties up the loose ends of "Order of the Phoenix" that
one might end up my favorite. She has a wonderful imagination and gentle sense
J. R. R. Tolkien
Hobbit and Ring trilogy
What do I need to say? I've read this 6? 7? times. It gets better with each