Monday, September 23, 2013

30-Week Blog Challenge Week 4: Favorite Books!

I'm back with the Monday blog challenge! The lady in charge is Marie at Mom Gets Real. The questions are right here:


And Week 4's prompt is . . .

Favorite Books!

Are you kidding me? Ugh, what a thing to ask an author and passionate reader. But luckily, I have . . . a favorites list already compiled! Time to share. I'll organize by author, and put a cut on the blog for people who don't want to scroll for ten years. Browse for your favorites and please suggest some for me based on your tastes, though!

  • Douglas Adams: The Deeper Meaning of Liff (humor: list of absurd definitions for words that need to exist)
  • Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (humorous science fiction: a guy who accidentally hitchhikes on a spaceship after the Earth is blown up)
  • Richard Adams: Watership Down (general fiction: a group of rabbits are forced to leave their warren and search for a new home)
  • K. A. Applegate: Animorphs series: (kids' science fiction: a group of young teens have to save the world from an alien invasion by using alien technology to transform them into animals)
  • Francesca Lia Block: Dangerous Angels and Necklace of Kisses (YA/magical realism: a group of offbeat people form a family after a genie gives them almost everything they wished for)
  • Francesca Lia Block: Ecstasia and Primavera (YA/magical realism: a gifted family lives in a strange world where getting old is outlawed)
  • Francesca Lia Block: Girl Goddess #9 (YA/magical realism: girl characters are explored in various magical short stories)
  • Vanna Bonta: Flight (science fiction: a SF writer has his character come to life and must explore reality and identity to be with his love)
  • Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (YA general: a group of lifelong friends have separate summer adventures and share a pair of pants to communicate and bond)
  • Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre (general fiction: a woman's life as she is educated, becomes a governess, and falls in love)
  • Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights (general fiction: a love story and family saga combining codependency, cruelty, and passion)
  • Octavia E. Butler: Earthseed books (science fiction: a girl in the dystopic near future must fight for the future of humanity despite her disadvantages)
  • Octavia E. Butler: Patternist series (science fiction: a superhuman "breeds" people with odd talents, which eventually creates a master race of telepathic people who undergo various sagas)
  • Octavia E. Butler: Xenogenesis series (science fiction: aliens want to incorporate humans into their race through a symbiotic relationship, soliciting the help of a woman leader to bring their races together)
  • Stephen Chbosky: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (YA general: A teen boy shares observations through written letters, describing his high school life and dark secrets)
  • Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl series (kids' fantasy: a child genius discovers the existence of fairies and plots to steal gold from them; later in the series they become allies against larger threats)
  • Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games series (YA dystopia: an oppressive society forces its poor to send children to a death match every year, and one girl who is chosen revolutionizes the society through her participation)
  • Scott Cunningham: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs; Living Wicca; The Truth About Witchcraft Today; and Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (New Age/Craft: good practical books for those interested in solitary Pagan paths)
  • Roald Dahl: James and the Giant Peach (kids' fantasy: a boy goes on an adventure inside a huge peach with sentient bug companions)
  • Roald Dahl: Matilda (kids' science fiction: a girl is a misfit in her own family and her school because of her intellect, and after she develops unusual powers she has the power to change that)
  • Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion (social science/skepticism: explores the reasoning behind belief in deities and why the author believes they are ill-conceived)
  • Diane Duane: Young Wizards series (YA fantasy: child wizards learn their craft, experience rites of passage, and travel around the universe fighting the Lone Power)
  • Lois Duncan: A Gift of Magic (YA science fiction: a girl with an inherited psychic talent struggles with family life and her outsider experience)
  • Stranger with My Face (YA science fiction: a girl who can project astrally finds and fights her twin sister who can do the same thing)
  • Katherine Dunn: Geek Love (speculative fiction: a circus family with five warped-but-proud children experience circus life and its dark aftermath)
  • Garth Ennis: Preacher (science fiction/horror graphic novels: a religious man gets possessed by an entity that gives him a Word of God power, and he and his odd companions get caught up in a bizarre series of events)
  • Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex (general fiction: story of three generations, culminating in a protagonist with an intersex condition who must come to terms with his identity amidst family connections)
  • Mark Frauenfelder, Carla Sinclair and Gareth Branwyn: The Happy Mutant Handbook (humor: quirky guide on being eccentric and having joyful fun through various life hacks and pranks)
  • Usamaru Furuya: Short Cuts (humor graphic novel: panel-style manga often featuring schoolgirls and absurd cultural commentary)
  • Neil Gaiman: American Gods (fantasy: a group of ancient gods in human form lock horns with newer gods and the protagonist is caught in between, forging his own identity amidst the chaos)
  • Neil Gaiman: The Sandman (fantasy graphic novels: a group of "Endless" siblings representing various personifications of human experiences have a series of epic and personal adventures interacting with our kind and each other)
  • Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha (general fiction: a girl grows up to become a geisha in order to find love and command power in one of the only ways available to her)
  • Steven Gould: Jumper (science fiction: a teenage boy discovers he can teleport and uses his talent to run away from abuse and carve out a place for himself in the world)
  • Shannon Hale: The Actor and the Housewife (general fiction: a Mormon housewife meets a famous actor and they proceed to find out whether a man and a woman--both married to other people--can be true lifelong friends despite the odds against)
  • Shannon Hale: Book of a Thousand Days (kids' fantasy: a maid is pleased to go into confinement with her princess, but then their world goes to war and she finds herself forced out of support positions to become a leader through her unusual talents)
  • Shannon Hale: The Books of Bayern series (kids' fantasy: people with unusual abilities to command wind, fire, or even other people exist in this world, and each book examines a personal journey inside of a large-scale plot)
  • Shannon Hale: Princess Academy series: (kids' fantasy: a girl from a backwoods mountain culture is educated with other girls to become the possible bride to a prince, and discovers her own talents, using them to find strength in culture and togetherness)
  • Alex Haley: Roots (general fiction: a family saga of slavery, brutality, and eventual empowerment)
  • Sam Harris: The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation (social science/skepticism: examination of benefits and drawbacks to faith-based life and answers to questions about the place of Christianity in American society)
  • Pete Hautman: Godless (YA general fiction: a teen decides to make up his own religion and is a bit surprised when its popularity gets away from him)
  • Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time (science: layman-appropriate science concepts about the Big Bang and extreme conditions in our universe)
  • Robert Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land (science fiction: a man raised on Mars returns to Earth and starts a social revolution when he is reacclimated)
  • Joseph Heller: Catch-22 (general fiction: the absurdity of war is examined fully by insiders as they find themselves unable to escape)
  • Carl Hiaasen: Skinny Dip (general fiction: a man tries to kill his wife but she survives and teams up with an ex-police officer to blackmail and punish the culprit)
  • Eva Ibbotson: Which Witch? (kids' fantasy: a dark sorcerer needs to marry a witch so he holds an evil spell contest, but the witch who's in love with him is unable to perform dark magic, so she needs help to win his heart)
  • Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata: Eyeshield 21 (sports graphic novels: a manga about a demonic quarterback who recruits a reluctant running back and keeps his identity secret to protect him)
  • Ken Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (general fiction: a man escapes incarceration by pleading insanity and revolutionizes the asylum while he's there)
  • Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (speculative fiction: an intellectually disabled man is given an experimental treatment to increase his intelligence, after which he finds that his humanity and right to happiness is no more respected than before)
  • Sue Monk Kidd: The Secret Life of Bees (general fiction: a teen girl with no mother figure escapes law enforcement with her nanny and finds some connection with a group of woman beekeepers who help her find her roots and herself)
  • Stephen King: Carrie (science fiction/horror: a teen girl who is bullied secretly possesses amazing powers, which she will have to unleash if she is betrayed)
  • Stephen King: The Dark Tower series (fantasy/horror: the story of the Gunslinger and alternate worlds)
  • Stephen King: Firestarter (science fiction/horror: after a medical experiment, a man and a woman develop odd powers and their daughter inherits them, and the people responsible for doing it to them wants them back)
  • Stephen King: On Writing (autobiography/writing reference: the life story of a writer and a bunch of useful tools for authors)
  • Stephen King: The Shining (science fiction/horror: a child with telepathic awareness goes on a retreat to a haunted hotel with his family, and his father is driven mad by the ghosts)
  • Stephen King: The Stand (dystopia/horror: after a synthetic disease kills most of the people in the world, the survivors find themselves choosing sides for a final battle)
  • Barbara Kingsolver: The Poisonwood Bible (general fiction: a preacher father takes his family on a mission to the Congo, and each of his four daughters is irrevocably changed by Africa in her own special way)
  • John Knowles: A Separate Peace (general fiction: boys at boarding school let you peek into their lives and observe their trust and sorrow)
  • Nancy Kress: Beggars in Spain (science fiction: genetic engineering has allowed parents to produce kids who don't sleep, and this follows the life and family of one of them as she contributes to her world and lives as an insider and an outsider)
  • Wally Lamb: I Know This Much Is True (general fiction: a man's twin brother is schizophrenic, and he must live with the family drama and frustration as he strives to define his own life and relationships)
  • Gail Carson Levine: Ella Enchanted (kids' fantasy: at birth, a girl received a blessing that was really a curse--she is obedient and does anything anyone says, and this is the story of how she bears her curse and defines herself)
  • David Levithan: Boy Meets Boy (YA general fiction: in a town that's nearly a utopia for LGBT tolerance, a teenage boy explores his relationship with a guy whose environment is not nearly so forgiving)
  • Gregory Maguire: The Wicked series (general fiction/fantasy: the Wicked Witch of the West went to college with Glinda the Good Witch, and they both got involved with politics and changed the face of Oz--this is their personal story as well as that of the surrounding characters and descendents)
  • Yann Martel: Life of Pi (general fiction: a boy is lost at sea on a tiny boat with a tiger, and his spiritual journey is chronicled)
  • George R.R. Martin: Wild Cards (science fiction: after an alien virus warps a small population of humans, most of the affected people are disabled by it and a very few develop superpowers--various short stories depict their lives)
  • Edain McCoy: The Sabbats (New Age/Craft: a book about celebrating the Pagan holidays and all the symbolism and ideas you can use)
  • Eloise McGraw: The Moorchild (kids' fantasy: a half-fairy child is abandoned to humans and must grow up as an outsider while wondering where she really belongs)
  • Keith Miller: The Book of Flying (fantasy: a mild-mannered librarian is in love with a winged girl, so he goes on a quest to find out how he too can fly)
  • Christopher Moore: Bloodsucking Fiends (fantasy: a woman becomes a vampire and struggles with her new life, so she acquires a companion and battles absurdity and other vampires)
  • Christopher Moore: Lamb (general humorous fiction: a childhood pal of Jesus and uncredited thirteenth apostle has debauched adventures of various sorts alongside the Christ story)
  • Jaclyn Moriarty: The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie (YA fiction: a quirky and not-well-liked girl obsesses over documenting her teenagerhood and finds some odd relationships with others through a class project)
  • John Novak: How to Meditate (New Age/Spirituality: a short meditation guide with exercises and philosophy)
  • Chuck Palahniuk: Choke (general fiction: a sex addict has a complicated relationship with his mother and deals with multiple relationship and self-image issues)
  • Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club (general fiction: psychological drama about a man who finds a way to buck the system until it starts to buck him back)
  • Julie Anne Peters: Between Mom and Jo (YA fiction: a son of lesbian parents finds his relationship with his non-biological mother is threatened when they break up, since they weren't legally married)
  • Julie Anne Peters: Far from Xanadu (YA fiction: the only lesbian in town has a crush on the new girl, and wrestles with unrequited love and unresolved father issues)
  • Julie Anne Peters: Keeping You a Secret (YA fiction: a girl discovers she's a lesbian and has to deal with everything she'll have to give up to pursue her relationship)
  • Julie Anne Peters: Luna (YA fiction: a girl with a transgender sibling struggles to accept her sister and act as an ally despite her own insecurities)
  • Rodman Philbrick: Freak the Mighty (kids' fiction: a gentle giant faces discrimination because his father is a criminal, and he teams up with a genius who has medical issues to fight the world together)
  • Dav Pilkey: Captain Underpants series (kids' humorous fiction: two obnoxious kids hypnotize their principal into thinking he's an absurd superhero, but then they have to watch as he actually does try to fight crime)
  • Daniel Pinkwater: Young Adult Novel (YA fiction: absurdist kids explore Dadaism and whether meaninglessness means something)
  • Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials series (YA fantasy: a girl who can read a mysterious artifact and a boy who possesses a special knife must travel between universes and try to conquer oppressive supreme forces to return love and free choice to the world)
  • Daniel Quinn: Ishmael (speculative fiction: frame story about caring for the environment and its creatures, relayed through a hyperintelligent ape instructing a human)
  • Wilson Rawls: Where the Red Fern Grows (kids' fiction: a country boy celebrates his relationship with his hunting dogs and goes on adventures with them)
  • Louise Rennison: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series (YA fiction: a rude British schoolgirl has friendship drama and boy troubles as she matures)
  • Mike Resnick: Will the Last Person to Leave the Planet Please Shut Off the Sun? (science fiction/various: short stories, some with twist endings or philosophical revelations)
  • Spider Robinson: The Callahan Chronicals (science fiction: a "cross-time saloon" has some interdimensional and extraterrestrial visits, but the camaraderie of the regulars here is universal)
  • Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Satran: Beyond Jennifer & Jason (reference: a baby name book with naming trends and opinions)
  • J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter series (kids' fantasy: a boy discovers he's a wizard and goes to wizarding school, where he forges friendships, makes enemies, and fights the Dark Lord)
  • Louis Sachar: Holes (kids' fiction: a boy with bad luck gets sent to a punishment camp, where he and another inmate change their luck and teach authorities a thing or two)
  • Louis Sachar: Sixth Grade Secrets (kids' fiction: a girl starts an exclusionary club and ends up fighting a rival club after their method of ensuring loyalty blows up in their faces)
  • Louis Sachar: There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom (kids' fiction: a problem-child boy has always failed when he tries to be friends, so he resigns himself to being a bad kid; a counselor helps him turn that around)
  • J.D. Salinger: Catcher in the Rye (general fiction: a college kid gets expelled and wanders around trying to find his place in the world, occasionally judging, wondering, and giving/getting advice)
  • R.A. Salvatore: Dark Elf trilogy (fantasy: a dark elf rejects his kind and pursues more traditional friendship and alliances with races that usually hate him)
  • Pamela Redmond Satran & Linda Rosenkrantz: Cool Names for Babies (reference: baby name book that discusses trends and how to make names cooler)
  • Eric Schlosser: Fast Food Nation (social science: exposes many uncomfortable truths about the fast food industry and makes environmentally sound recommendations)
  • William Shakespeare: Hamlet (dramatic fiction: a prince is suspicious of the new king who took his dead father's place on the throne and in his mother's bed, so he tries to expose the deceit and goes somewhat mad in the process)
  • Shel Silverstein: The Missing Piece Meets the Big O (kids' fiction/poetry: a triangular "missing piece" looks for another piece to fit into until he meets a piece that is fine on its own, and strives to emulate it)
  • Dan Simmons: The Hollow Man (science fiction: a telepathic man met a telepathic woman and found some relief from an oppressive world, but then he lost her to disease, and gets caught up in a criminal plot)
  • William Sleator: The Boy Who Reversed Himself (kids' science fiction: a girl meets a mysterious boy who turns out to know secrets about going to the fourth dimension, but when she tries to impress someone else with it, she gets trapped there)
  • William Sleator: Interstellar Pig (kids' science fiction: mysterious neighbors teach the protagonist a weird game about aliens, but he finds out it's all too real and gets caught up in the alien drama)
  • William Sleator: Singularity (kids' science fiction: twin teenage boys find a room where time goes faster because of a physical anomaly, and one of them decides to use the effect for his own purposes)
  • Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events (kids' humorous fiction: a group of three orphans are constantly on the run from their evil guardian, eventually getting caught up in a conspiracy while generally being very unlucky)
  • Jerry Spinelli: Milkweed (YA fiction: during the war, an orphaned child manages to pursue a joyful existence on the streets, with the events shaping him long into adulthood)
  • Jerry Spinelli: Stargirl (YA fiction: a new quirky girl in school gets everyone's attention, but when a boy wants her to be more conventional for everyone's sake, she has to figure out what she's willing to do for love)
  • Ivan Stang: The Book of the SubGenius (humor: explanation of a satirical religion revolving around being a slacker, worshiping a salesman, and being superior to everyone else)
  • Tom Stoppard: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (dramatic fiction: Hamlet's friends only exist to play a part in the larger drama, and when they have no lines, they're stuck in an existential quandary)
  • Patricia Telesco: A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook (cookbook: Pagan-friendly dishes and lore for the kitchen)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings series (fantasy: a group of hobbits have to destroy a ring of power in order to save Middle-Earth and its people)
  • Lynne Truss: Eats, Shoots & Leaves (reference/language: punctuation rules are humorously discussed, along with frustration over people who don't follow them)
  • Jhonen Vasquez: Squee (humor/graphic novel: bizarre situations affecting a young boy usually include unlucky adventures and alien visitations)
  • Joan D. Vinge: Cat series (science fiction: a half-alien teenager has to learn to use his dormant telepathic powers and help a group of other outcasts fight a psionic criminal--he goes on to form other relationships and explore his roots)
  • Rebecca Wells: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (general fiction: a mother/daughter feud has the daughter trying to understand her mother through the help of her mother's lifelong friends)
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome (general fiction: a tale of adulterous yearnings pitted against moral obligations)
  • Elie Wiesel: Night (biography: a man tells the horrific stories of his young life in a concentration camp)
  • G. Clifton Wisler: The Antrian series (kids' science fiction: a child finds out he's an alien and has to fake his own death to go off with his mentor, always frustrated by his inability to belong)
  • Timothy Zahn: A Coming of Age (science fiction: children on a colonized planet develop telekinetic powers for a short portion of their childhood, and their position in society seems somewhat stable until plots develop to extend this window and cause a possible second age of darkness)
  • Paul Zindel: The Pigman (YA fiction: high school kids amuse themselves by pranking an old man until they realize they actually care about him, but their actions have consequences)
End of list! I have some books on here that I developed an attachment to when I was younger, but I'm harder to impress now so I don't add stuff to this list very often. When something is good enough to join the list it's a big deal! :)


  1. I love a lot of these books and I think that you have great taste. ;) But I have one specific question for you: what did you think of the fourth, and adult fiction, follow up to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series? Maybe a topic for an email depending how much you have to say, if you've read it. :)

    1. Haven't read it yet! It's on my to-read list and I own it, though.