Wanted: Book Lover

I guess weird job titles call for weird application requirements. Here’s a list of five of my all-time favorites…

1. Stardust (Neil Gaiman)

Neil Gaiman is “The Man”, in my most humble opinion. Yes, I’ve only heard of him and sought out his works after I saw the movie Stardust, but he quickly climbed to the top of my favorite authors list. ‘Ingenious’ is how I would describe Gaiman in a heartbeat. His works, which extend beyond the realm of books, are truly masterful, and while I haven’t read them all, I’ve loved the few that I’ve read so far. Stardust is the quintessential Gaiman book that I will probably forever associate with this prolific author, simply because it’s what lead me to the discovery of him. Words simply escape me, which is a rare feat, but it should give you an idea how much I adore this book.

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)

I am obsessed with the Harry Potter series to say the least, but this is probably my favorite out of all seven books. In my opinion, this third installment was a milestone for the internationally acclaimed author. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was a notable departure for the popular title from children’s literature to young adult novel. Rowling’s writing grew dramatically, as did her characters, and they were all evident in this book. And while there were many great books under Harry Potter’s belt, none was quite as memorable as Prisoner of Azakaban for me.

3. Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)

Seriously, who hasn’t heard of the Twilight saga? While admittedly my original intentions for buying into the series were questionable at best–it got so popular that curiosity got the better of me, ergo I joined the bandwagon of gaggling pre-pubescent girls to find out what the hooplah was all about–I actually grew to like the vampire cultic books, to the point where I get defensive about how awful I found the recent movie adaptation. Yes, I’m a walking paradox sometimes, I know. Despite the internal conflict this saga has brought me however, there are many strengths about the series that I believe shouldn’t be ignored, and deserve to be recognized. To say that it’s a different flavored vampire story is an understatement, however true. The underlying love story, the core underneath the supernatural layers, is as universal as pie.

While Breaking Dawn may seemingly be Stephenie Meyer’s piece de resistance, I found Eclipse to be my favorite out of the four. ‘Riveting’ easily comes to mind whenever this book is mentioned.

4. The Giver (Lois Lowry)

Everyone whom I recommended this book to had told me how much they enjoyed it. Lois Lowry’s The Giver is a pleasant children’s novel that pulls at your heartstrings. It’s an intelligent coming-of-age story that’s as constant and classic as Dickens, in my opinion. To me, it’s like a rite of passage, much like Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist (although not as popular, which is a shame), wherein you have to go through it (or read through it, as the case may be) sometime before you start to grow up, like when you’ve finally expunged at least some of the teenaged angst from your system, or found a sense of emotional maturity, or gained a better understanding of life and loss. In my case, it was when I was in college, in my late teenage years. Easily one of the greatest piece of children’s literature of our generation. If not, then it should be.

5. Angels & Demons (Dan Brown) / Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Gregory Maguire)

The fifth slot would have to be a tie between these two. They are completely different stories, making deciding a fifth impossibly difficult.

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code single-handedly took the world by storm, but I actually thought Angels & Demons, it’s prequel, fared way better. While I cannot say that Dan Brown’s works are some of the greatest books known to man (the writing is simply not quite at par, for some reason), his books hold some degree of great praise, and deserve every kudos thrown their way. Angels & Demons is no exception. Although it wasn’t as controversially informative as The Da Vinci Code, it was just as well-researched, and the gruesome murders make for better elements of suspense. To say that it was a gripping tale would be too easy.

Gregory Maguire’s Wicked tells the tale of The Wizard of Oz’ Wicked Witch of the West. In short, it’s a prequel, a “how she came to be” kind of story. It’s an interesting twist on a classic fairy tale told from a totally unexpected perspective. The book is surprisingly fresh; complicated and deep (even politically inclined sometimes), yes, but fresh nonetheless. The same could be said about Elphaba as Heath Ledger’s The Joker in The Dark Knight, that there were moments when you actually feel for the (classic fairy tale) villain, and understand where she’s coming from. Wicked gives us one of the most complex characters of our time, and for this reason alone, much credit is due.

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~ by iamnotfrodo on December 13, 2008.

One Response to “Wanted: Book Lover”

  1. i remember the day you lent me The Giver, i had a blast reading it I just had to get my own copy 🙂 Happy Birthday!

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