I don’t do tags often, since work doesn’t permit much free time of late. But this one seems fun. Besides, it’s a holiday as I am drafting this. (Confession: All my posts are scheduled and I’m not really here.)
Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It is deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.
Dear David Foster Wallace, you are an enigma. A genius, but a puzzle all the same. No matter how daunting a book gets, I try to finish them all. Sadly, Infinite Jest turns out a challenge that I just cannot accomplish.
It is admittedly brilliant. I have had lines highlighted and re-written, for I truly fell in love with his poetic observations. Yet my focus meandered as the story did. For a year, this book has sat at 26% on my Kindle. Someday, I intend to get back to my personal Everest.
Milk Chocolate – This is a book you’d recommend to absolutely EVERYONE.
Show me someone who doesn’t love Neil Gaiman, and I’ll show them the way to the door. His highly inventive mind so often perfects the blend of fantasy and tinges of horror, enrapturing with not just tall tales but lingering experiences.
In American Gods, a mix of personified metaphors spawns an inspired mythology, portraying ancient Gods alongside the new. This page-turner is just the top of the Gaiman pile that I will readily shove to any self-confessed bibliophile.
Black Jellybeans – Why do these exist?!
With Dexter Morgan, Jeff Lindsay has created the perfect psychopath to love and hate. Unfortunately, the novel series suffers from an extraordinary case of inconsistency. This is a shame, given how much I enjoyed the first three books, much more than the telly adaptation.
Then came Dexter in the Dark. Reinventing his Dark Passenger as a supernatural entity, the revelation felt like a betrayal that never sat well with me. Things picked up in Dexter by Design, but every book that followed simply made me cry blood out of boredom.
Gummy Spiders – Eek! You made sure to check under your bed every night for a week after reading this scary one.
Stories by Clive Barker and Stephen King were what inspired me to get into writing. So, this was a toss-up between my heroes with Books of Blood and Nightmares and Dreamscapes. The former eventually won out by a slight inch, after excessive contemplation.
But there is no reason to miss out on either. Both short anthologies are wildly varied in scares, yet dependable for originality and quality. While fiction never quite terrifies me, these guys sure know how to make my skin crawl.
Jumbo Lollipop – This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!
Looking out for hard sci-fi, I picked up Too Like the Lightning off a book recs list. I was not expecting how towering the novel would be. It is enormously complex, and impressively dense. Besides, this ambitious endeavour is only the introductory first chapter to a two-parter history.
By sheer world-building, historian Ada Palmer has crammed insights on philosophy, theology, gender studies, world politics, economics and linguistics into a single book. Not a criticism! If anything, this is the most fascinating story I have read in recent years. Patience will beget an intellectually rewarding experience.
Cotton Candy – Admit it, you loved this when you were younger (you probably still do). Think children’s or MG fiction.
Roald Dahl really ought to make the list, given how many times I have read Matilda and Rhyme Stew. But The Wind In the Willows is the warm, endearing story that has stayed with me since childhood.
In his enchanting adventure, Kenneth Grahame evokes endless wonder in a fantasy world seen through the eyes of a child. Just a few chapters later, and Mole already feels like an old friend. Such charm is hard to find. As is inspiration that urges us to take a blithesome step out of the old life, and into the new.
Thanks for getting through this hefty list. Keen to do your own list? I couldn’t decide who to nominate. So consider yourself tagged, so long as you are reading this. 😉