Out of all the books in the world, from all of history, what are your top five favorite books?
Here are mine:
|#1: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
An excellent fairy-tale with speculative fiction elements sprinkled with bits and pieces of events from the author’s childhood. I absolutely loved the language of this story–his best work yet.
|#2: Blackoutand All Clear by Connie Willis
These two novels are sci-fi time-traveling books that are mostly set in England during the Blitz of World War II. While it is sci-fi, it often reads like historical fiction. Connie Willis did her homework on this era, and the suspense in this is so tight that I stayed up into the wee hours devouring these two books.
|#3: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book gives an excellent view of prejudice and racism in our country’s past, but from the point of view of a child. The loss of innocence that comes with growing up and realizing that people can be very cruel and hateful, makes for an excellent story, excellent read, and excellent lesson.
|#4: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I loved teaching this novel as much as I love reading it. It’s the ultimate lesson in censorship and fast-living. I love technology, but even I understand the importance of stopping to smell the roses. Bradbury does an excellent job of covering just that topic.
|#5: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
To me, this is the ultimate fantasy novel. I know many would argue a case for Lord of the Rings, which would be my #6, but MZB took the story of King Arthur and gave it quite the feminist twist. I love this novel for its beauty and complexity.
Edit: Since finding out about Marion Zimmer Bradley’s role in the sexual abuse of her own children, I will no longer list this novel as a book I enjoy. I honestly can’t see it the same way, knowing what I know. More on that here.