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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

For Fantasy Readers.

Jeanne, here, posted a 100 best children's books list. Book lists are always fun. The problem is that while I read, & still read, widely, my first preference has always been for fantasy ~ a genre that is notably missing from many of these lists yet has some of the best writing & best children's authors going. To get a reader to suspend reality long enough to read an entire novel requires talent. So I have made a Best Ten list of my own; fantasy authors that are worth every moment to read. Missing from my list are most of the stand~bys that sometimes make regular lists ~ The Wind In the Willows [I can't abide talking animals], The Hobbit [Tolkien needed a ruthless editor who could stop him waffling], The Wizard of Oz [ho~hum] & Pinocchio, which I just plain didn't like.

So here we go:

1.The Owl Service ~ Alan Garner. This has got to be about the best ever YA fantasy.

2. Sabriel ~ Garth Nix. Innovative & genuinly original with very strong writing.

3. The Spellcoats ~ Diana Wynne Jones [she writes for a variety of ages; this one's for older children]

4. The Children of Greene Knowe ~ Lucy M. Boston

5.The Little Prince ~ Antoine Saint~Exupery

6. The Dark is Rising [2nd book in The Dark is Rising series] ~Susan Cooper

7. Linnets & Valerians ~ Elizabeth Goudge [Lots of lovely books to choose from with this lady]

8. Andra ~Louise Lawrence

9. A Wrinkle in Time ~Madeline L'Engle

10. The Last Battle ~ C.S. Lewis.

Even better about 1/2 are Christian writers! Some more than others but there it is.

So, if you like fantasy, which ones have you read? Or, even better, whom do you read & like? Do share.


Bonnie said...

I have only read the CS Lewis. I will have to print your list and head to the library. Always looking for something good to read. Right now I am reading New York, next is London. I like historical fiction, but mysteries are my favourite!

Ganeida said...

Bonnie: I'm not surprised you don't know most of these. Nix is an Aussie; most of the others are English with the exception of L'Engle. I adore historical fiction & ♥ mysteries as well. Almost anything except Romance & Horror. Romance just makes me laugh & the other gives me nightmares.

Are you all ready for your guests?

Persuaded said...

Ha! Hahahahahaha!!! I can't believe that you don't like the Wind and the Willows... I utterly despise that book, and I thought I was the only one. That has been my dirty little secret every since I was 8 or so and a favorite aunt gave me an absolutely beautiful copy of the book, with absolutely beautiful illustrations. I never could force myself past the first couple of chapters and I thought there was something wrong with me for not loving it like everyone else.

And The Hobbit? All my life I have never been able to force myself past the first coupla chapters (and man-o-man was that an effort. Those chapters are soooooooo long!) I am not reading it aloud to Noah and Millen and they are loving it, but I can barely get through the chapters without entering some sort of hypnotic-trance-of-boredom. I can't believe that we both of us didn't like these "wonderful books."

And yet again, I guess it seems to make sense;-)

Persuaded said...

Umm, I meant "I am now reading it aloud to Noah and Millen," not "I am not reading it aloud..." Sheesh, talk about your Freudian slips8-O

Ganeida said...

Diane: A close look at my list [or preferably if you actually know the works] reveals a very odd characteristic; each & every one of these is strongly & firmly based in reality. This has been a growing trend in adult fantasy also & I personally think it makes for much better writing. Garner has an incredible *sense of place*. You can smell his dirt, he's that good. I've read most of his stuff but this particular one is the jewel in the crown. Ditto Boston's work, which I discovered as an adult, though it lacks Garner's cutting edge . I didn't like her as a child.

Wynne Jones is brilliant but many Christians object to her work. I don't like her *magical* stuff much but when she leans more towards mythos she's very good. Lawrence walks a line between fantasy & scifi. I'm not normally big on scifi but I like her stuff.

I thought everyone knew The Little Prince. It's one of those children's classics I just expect eveyone to have read at least once. Author ~ French pilot. Crashed in the Saharah just like this book begins. He disappeared over the Mediterrean during WWII

I think you have good taste not to like Windy willows & waffly Tolkien ~ but then I would. wouldn't I? ☺ I've read them both but they just don't do it for me.

kimba said...

Read Garner and his name brings it back and gives me nightmares. Lewis bores me to tears and I don't know the others.

kimba said...

btw I loved the Wizard of Oz though I had to hunt it down. Baum seems to be forgotten.

Ganeida said...

Kimba: I know how you feel abot Tolkien & Garner. ☺ Baum I read once & have never wanted to re~read, so it's not on my list. Ok for once I guess...

Siano said...

Okay - here's my 20c worth. Add Elidor, The Wierdstone of Brisingham and Red Shift, to the Alan Garner list, especially Red Shift, though it's for older YA than the others. All the Narnia series are classics, IMO.

Siano said...

Oh - and I loved Wind in the Willows anf the A. A. Milne books, but then I would - I like creature features and can cope with talking animals - to a point LOL

Siano said...

Sorry - am on a roll here. I also loved the Flambards series (K.M Peyton).

Ganeida said...

Siano my ♥, I was only choosing the book I thought best otherwise my list would have been all Garner & Lewis! ☺ Milne I loved & I guess you could call it fantasy but how do you lump Flambards in the fantasy basket? I prefer the Pennington books if you want to talk Peyton.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I LOVE Wind In The Willows! I've read it to the kids twice. :-)

And how can you get to The Last Battle while not abiding talking animals?! In order to get to that books you have to wade through pages and pages of beavers, horses, fawns, lions, etc. that all talk! :-)

Ganeida said...

Gombojav Tribe: I remember you saying you were reading WitW. Narnia also has fauns & dyrads which are my thing. lol The animals drove me batty & there are such a lot of them! Note that it is last on my list ~ & for a reason.

Siano said...

Oops. Sorry - me not reading the subject line properly was what led to Flambards putting in an unexpected appearance. You're right; it's definitely not fantasy! And now I realise why you didn't mention the Pennington series before(d'oh!)

For me, the irony in all this is that I still maintain I don't like fantasy - much.