Some folks are going to read this and say, “What a philistine! Why, he has no literary taste at all!” I can’t help that. Anyhow, I enjoy reading other bloggers’ lists of their favorite books, so why not post one of my own?
Here they are, in no particular order.
*The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I don’t have to explain this choice, do I?
*The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Not only is this, for me, the model of what a Christianity-based fantasy ought to be: but it also features the most fascinating story-start I’ve ever read. It’s been around for going on 70 years, and people will still be loving it 100 years from now.
*20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. When I’m reading this, I never want it to be over. We’ll never quite figure out what makes Captain Nemo tick, but that only makes him perpetually intriguing. You don’t expect this kind of depth of character in a science fiction novel from the 19th century–or any other century.
*Freddy and the Ignormus by Walter R. Brooks. Fantastic children’s fiction laced with humor that will delight adult readers. Freddy the Pig takes on a terrifying challenge which may or may not be real–and who but Walter R. Brooks would ever describe a beetle as “motherly”?
*Nemesis by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple takes on an investigation without knowing what the crime was, or even if there truly was a crime. More than just a puzzling whodunit, Nemesis explores the deep working of God’s justice in a fallen world.
*The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. More than any other book the creator of Tarzan ever wrote, Chessmen takes you to a place you never imagined, and makes you think it’s real. Plus it offers the most entertaining non-human character you’ve ever met–Ghek the Kaldane, all head, no body, who, in spite of himself, learns how to be human.
So there you have it–books that I come back to again and again, always with pleasure, and which have taught, and continue to teach me, much of what I know about writing.