Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. Since I can’t think of anything, I’ve decided to do this tag created by Drew, the Tattooed Book Geek, which asks us to discuss our favorite genre.
That title is quite a mouthful, but I like it. Here are the rules:
Credit badass Drew cause he created the tag. ✓
Answer the questions. ✓
Tag people. ✓
And now I begin.
What’s your favorite genre?
Specifically young-adult and middle-grade fantasy. I started reading adult fantasy more consistently a few years ago and I love it, but I haven’t yet read many books from that category.
Who’s your favorite author from the genre?
Umm… hard question. I would say J.K. Rowling, but I’ve only read the one fantasy series by her, same too with George R.R. Martin. So, because I’ve read more than one of her series and have enjoyed them all, I choose
What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?
Escapism. I love that it introduces me to new worlds where possibilities are endless because of that awesome thing called magic. To me, fantasy is a hopeful genre because of magic. Magic can be used to destroy a world and vanquish people, but it can also be used to create and heal. No matter how dark a story is, the presence of magic (of that special someone with the untapped ability), hints at the presence of hope.
What’s the book that started your love for your favorite genre?
It was either C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. I can’t recall which one I discovered first, but when I read them, I was immediately hooked on fantasy and wanted, craved, more. Both stories feature kids using a portal to leave the real world and have adventures in an unknown one filled with endless possibilities.
I read both when I was very young living in Jamaica. I had yet to see snow so in Lewis’s story, it was the mysterious land swathed in snow, as much as the magic and weird creatures, that drew my interest. With Ende’s novel, I was first attracted to the book’s format. There were illustrations at the beginning of each chapter and the text was in different colors, which delighted me. I was even more pleased that I had fun reading the story.
If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a nonreader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?
I enjoy reading young-adult fantasy, but I prefer young-adult fantasy novels from my younger days, which are a bit different from how young-adult fantasy is written now where there’s a strong emphasis on romance. So my recommendations will skew toward older books.
I would recommend Tamora Pierce’s books, of course, because they are wonderful, simple adventure stories that are easy to get through. I think they would be great starts for someone new to reading who would like to build an interest in the books. I’d suggest starting with one of Pierce’s more recent novels first, though her first series, the Song of the Lioness, would be a better place to start. Her writing improves as the books go along so I don’t think the early ones will leave a great impression writing-wise, however the story is great.
If the person is interested in myths and legends, I would recommend the Lost Years of Merlin series by T.A. Barron, which is a retelling of the the great wizard’s formative years. I didn’t like the first book much when I first read it, but the series certainly improves as it goes along.
If the person is already a reader and would like to try a young-adult fantasy novel with great writing, I would send them to Robin McKinley, who’s also great at fairy tale retellings. McKinley is a great writer; I love her prose; she’s also great at world building and showing how much the characters are a product of their world and how much the world is influenced and changed by the characters. I would first recommend The Blue Sword, the first book in the Damar duology, because I love how descriptive her prose is in that book. As for one of her fairy tale retellings, I’d recommend Spindle’s End, which is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I love the world building in that one.
As for more recent young-adult fantasy novels, I’d recommend the Harry Potter books, of course, and the Seraphina duology by Rachel Hartman, which is a well-written series about dragons.
For books that would be great introductions to adult fantasy, I’d recommend the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, which is a young-adult series but the issues it tackles and how it’s written calls to adult fantasy, and the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, which is an adult series but is written in a way that makes it perfect for the young-adult to adult transition.
Why do you read?
To escape. To find hope. To connect. To dream. To rest. To think. To learn. To feel.
Who do I tag?
And everyone who sees this post! 😛
What I’m reading this weekend:
Umm… I don’t know yet. I finished most of the bunch I started couple weeks back, but am still working through Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I haven’t yet returned to Parasites by Rosemary Drisdelle, so I might take a look at it tonight or tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.