I really admire David Eddings and his novels. I do see repetition in his stories, but they really made me love fantasy novels and made me the fantasy person I am today. I enjoyed every series and every adventure of his characters.
Douglas Adams books were hilarious and I think I’ve read almost all of his books. One day I’ll find a copy of Thanks for All the Fish.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls was my favorite book when I was little. I probably owe that author for a lot of teary reading when I was little. I also like a lot of William Blake poetry, but he was a tiny bit crazy…
J. R. R. Tolkien is another a favorite too. He gave us a world that was fantastic and had a melancholy way about it that isn’t really present in other fantasy stories were every other guy has some crazy magical-fireball-powers-and-secretly-was-raised-by-fairies.
When I was younger I really treasured my dad’s collection of Piers Anthony books. They were entertaining and fun fantasy. They were easy to read and perfect for elemetary school. At the same time I also loved Brian Jacques Redwall series, particularly Taggerung and Marlfox. I’ve seriously reread those books atleast 10 times.
There’s probably more, but these are the ones that impacted me the most.
I’ve thought about approaching fantasy novels, and I feel like I could have some short stories locked up in my head- but that’s were the stories stay. I’m not able to process my thoughts and physically write them on paper. I can’t type them either. I’ve tried to type some things up, but whatever my hands type doesn’t come out as alive and breathing than what I see in my head. I thought maybe I could try a graphic novel approach or a hybridization where there are words and compainion images, but I don’t think I’ll ever be organized or be able to push myself that far. That’s why I respect people who have been able to publish a book (even if its something atrocious like those vampire novels) because they’ve made their imagination into someone else’s recreation.
I subscribed to The Daily Post when it first came out. And when I do look at the blogs I read, I read down to the first paragraph and never get any farther. I’ve never answered one of the daily topics even if I found a few that were interesting. So today I’ll take a crack at it:
Topic #347: What ordinary skill are you bad at?
I am bad a reading books. And I mean reading them in the correct order. I think part of my brain is incapable of reading all the chapters of a book page by page. If I like a book I will probably read the first 5 chapters. Once I hit the inciting incident, or whatever the academic types call the part where stuff first starts getting interesting, I skip to the back and read the end. I’ll read the last few pages were everything is all tied up and all the main characters are happy or there’s a clifhanger. I did it with the Princess Bride, The Prince of Thieves, The Pawn of Prophecy, etc… Sometimes I skip around and read future sections where I notice interesting things happening, or interesting chapter titles. I don’t know why I read the ending while I’m still in the middle of the story. It’s hard for me to resist doing it. Friends tell me that it’s not how to read a novel, but I still do it anyway.
I always groan inwardly if I watch a movie based on a book. I always sigh when I read a book that later becomes a movie.
The problem is that I’m always torn between liking the book or the movie. Either I saw the movie before reading the book, or read the book before the movie was made. It tampers with my future opinion, and I become increasingly dissatisfied with both. It’s like they ruin each other.
Sometimes I give up entirely and say that each were ‘great in their own way’. Which is closer to a lie than an opinion.
I just saw the last Harry Potter movie; Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows (part 2). I sat in the theater, and almost fell asleep. I knew what was going to happen the whole time. I’d already read the book, and I felt like I was only interested in watching the white CGI dragon fly across the screen (which lasted….5 minutes?). The problem was that I came to the movies wanting to really LIKE it. After I walked out of the theater, I wanted to reverse time and waste my money on Cowboys & Aliens because at least then I would have had to pay attention to the storyline.
But the last movie I saw was Priest, based on a Korean comic. I thought the movie was cheezy. I thought the comic had a smoother blend of Priest vs. mutated vampires. But then I realized some of the movie’s action scenes were cool even without watching the 3D version. Then I came to the conclusion that the whole movie was too predictable.
Currently I’m reading the book The Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. It’s now published as The Town, because it became a major motion picture with that name. Honestly I picked it up at the Borders Bookstore sales because I saw it while in line and I loved the movie. But now I can’t decide if I simply like the book because I liked the movie, or the book was better because it inspired the movie. Or I only like the book because the ‘best’ parts (like dialogue, robbery scenes) were put into the movie. Or the movie was better because I like Ben Afleck.
Do I feel obligated to finish all books I start reading?
Yes and No. All the books I pick now have a screening process to go through first. I look for any sort of title (more intriguing the better), read the back summary, and flip through some pages. If the book fails to hold on to my interests, I don’t check it out. If I bring it home and it’s starting to bore me (or the story doesn’t hold up, etc), I finish it to the end, and criticize it’s weak points later. It’s been a long time since I gave up on a book.
When I was younger I read every last page of any book I got from the school library. I never ‘gave up’ on a book, possibly because I was only in elementary school, and I had not developed a ‘taste’ for anything in particular. Every book I picked up was something I liked. Maybe I was lucky.
It was only until about 5th grade I couldn’t bear to finish a book. It simply didn’t make me interested in reading it. I had read all of Brian Jacques’ Redwall Series available in the library for school, and I wanted to read something extra on the side. I picked up a random book from my bookshelf of old books for the weekend. I am pretty sure it was One-eyed Cat by Paula Fox, and I recall letting it sit on my shelf, with a bookmark set in the second chapter. I couldn’t read it. It was awful and its chapters seemed to only become more boring. I secretly left it on the bottom shelf. Deep down inside I felt like I was cheating or lost some kind of weird pride I had in myself.
After that, I remember trying to pick more carefully, and I read more fantasy than realistic fiction. I scanned the first few pages, and picked more fantasy titles. In 8th grade I attempted to read Usula K Leguin’s Left Hand of Darkness. Admittly, I didn’t realize it was not like the Earthsea books she wrote. I can probably comprehend the novel now that I’m older, but back then, each sentence was more and more confusing. I gave up after the fouth chapter.
It’s not worth it to me because I can’t slip a bookmark between the pages or watch the papers yellow. I know it sounds cheezy, but I don’t like the digital feel of e-readers. I already own an iPhone, a Mac, and have a GPS blah blah blah. I don’t feel the need to digitize every single facet of my life. Everything is already compilcated enough and loaded with things that beep and entertain us and feed our shortening attention-spans.
I just want to slow down every once and awhile and turn the pages of good book.