Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Top 10 Tuesday: Books to remember!
Top Ten "Older" Books You Don't Want People To Forget About... Or 8 Books you need to remember (and read!) and 2 that it's really ok to just forget about. Seriously, just let them go. (Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)
The Chrestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones
Because of the powerful love people have for Harry Potter (understandably), The Hunger Games (understandably) and Twilight (not so understandably!) I feel like very few people are likely to find this series unless handed to them directly. The first in the series, Charmed Life, was first published in the late 1970s so they're a little older than the examples above, but they're phenomenal YA fantasy novels filled with magic, alternate worlds, dragons, multiple lives and darling characters without being too fantasy.
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis
Things move fast in the comic world, and it doesn't take long for a phenomenal series to be knocked off it's perch by another fantastic series. Transmetropolitan is outrageous, gratuitous, dangerously honest and kicks complete ass. The protagonist, Spider Jerusalem, is a futuristic and slightly more outrageous (if that's even possible) version of famed writer Hunter S. Thompson and it really celebrates that gonzo style of journalism. It will blow your mind.
The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
After the failure of a movie I feel like it's important to stand by the book and let you all know that it's fantastic, and interesting, and well-written, and funny and insightful and outrageous and basically everything the movie didn't quite manage to be. The Rum Diary follows journalist Paul Kemp (one of HST's alter-egos) through a debaucherous alcohol fueled adventure in Puerto Rico during the 1950s.
And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs
Both Burroughs and Kerouac are (rightly) known for some prolific books, but this collaboration is possibly my favourite book from both of them. Alternating chapters, the book is loosely based on an unfortunate series of events that lead to one of their friends killing another of their friends. This book came before the momentous books they would eventually write and it provides a unique look into two young men as they try and find their writing styles.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This book is, hands down, one of my favourites, and it's possible that if the movie hadn't come out last year I never would have found out that it existed! It's beautiful and sad and tells an impossibly good tale of three friends growing up together. I won't say more for fear of spoiling it (it's the kind of book that is best when you know very little) but I can't emphasise enough how important it is TO READ THIS BOOK!
April Fool's Day by Bryce Courtenay
I'm not sure how well known Bryce Courtenay is to anyone reading this that isn't from Australia, but he's a hell of a story teller best known for telling epic stories that usually span multiple years, if not generations. April Fool's Day is epic in both in size and scope but unlike his other work this book is non-fiction and focuses on only one life, the life of his young son Damon. Damon was haemophiliac and contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion and died at 24. This book will break your heart, but it's an amazing look into the life of a young man who didn't let his illness define him or hold him back.
How I became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely
This book seemed to slip under most people's radar when it was released in 2009, but found a resurgence in popularity last year and rightly so. This book is freaking hilarious, which isn't surprising considering Steve Hely is an American TV writer currently writing for The Office. It's also biting satire of the current state of mainstream and uber popular fiction, and while it isn't perfect I'd love to see it have another spike in popularity.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I know what you're thinking, this book is EVERYWHERE but that's for a good reason, it's fantastic! I included it in the list, because I'm meeting more and more people who are deciding to watch the show without reading the book, and you really must read the book! The TV show is fantastic but, and I'm sure most of you will agree, it can't quite reach the heights of the book and I doubt it ever will. READ THE BOOK GUYS!
And now for a couple of books that you can put away and forget about!
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I'm sure there are a few of you who would disagree but this is a terrible book and it needs to disappear. Like, right now. It's had its moment in the sun (so to speak!) and it's time to let a decent book get a little bit of the glory. Want to read a love story with vampires? Read Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, it is one of the best books to come out in recent years. Want a YA with heart? Read Harry Potter, The Chrestomanci Series or Looking for Alibrandi. There are so many better options, so why waste your valuable reading time on something that fails to meet the simplest of criteria?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Perhaps I'll be in the minority with this one too, but ugh, yuk this book is terrible. I didn't like the style or story line, but where it meets the most ire from me is with the characters. They're insufferable, horrible people who never show the slightest speck of love for anyone, let alone each other. I was so close to burning down the entire world after reading this, simply because it would be the most effective way of eliminating this book forever.