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Talking Meme day 21: Booksies

For day 21 of the December talking meme classics_lover asked me for my top 5 favourite books (I've decided to split the book and author questions into two, for reasons.)

...Well.



This must be what my mother felt like when I kept asking her to pick her favourite child when I was a kid.

So, books! As you probably saw a few days back I really love books and will read most books pretty happily. I was always a bookworm as a kid, and as such I’ve found a lot of books that I really enjoy over the years. I can generally find at least one good thing to say about most books that I’ve read, and so this question is REALLY RATHER HARD for me. I mean, books! BOOKS! ;;

…Saying that, though, I can just about narrow it down to my top 5. So come with me, into a world of imagination and me flailing about random fictional characters!

5. The Girl With all the Gifts – MR Carey

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.


I read this book early this year (in March, I think?) and it still holds the title of the best book that I’ve read this year. And, quite honestly, one of the best books I’ve read overall. Generally I don’t care for zombies all that much, but this does them in such a wonderfully fresh way that I honestly didn’t mind them. And, beyond that, also answered a question that I’ve had about zombie books for years now! Excellently plotted, compellingly told and outright beautiful – this is definitely one of my favourite books.

4. Deep in the Woods – Chris Marie Green

With the female master of the London Underground in her hands, stuntwoman-turnedvampire hunter Dawn Madison must fight off her followers, a vicious pack of undead teenage girls who put the vamps Dawn had to deal with in Los Angeles to shame...

Okay, so I’m going to start this by saying that this is objectively not a good book. The entire Vampire Babylon series is basically a long exercise in trash – with sexy vampires, rambling writing and a protagonist who very rarely does anything but whine.

AND I LOVE THEM. I picked this one because it’s probably the closest to an actually good book, but I honestly adore every single book in this gloriously trashy series. The main character is a little whiny, yes, but is also really great and has cool mind powers. The writing is rambling and obviously hasn’t been proofread a lot of the time, but it’s super compelling and very easy to get into. And the vampires are frequently stereotypical sexy vampires, yes, but are also all really compelling characters who manage to be both utter bastards and really sympathetic figures all at once.

I LOVE this series with all my heart. And, yeah, it probably isn’t objectively good – but it’s absolutely wonderful, and I’d definitely recommend picking them up if you don’t mind a little trash along the way. PICK THEM UP FOR CLAUDIUS ALONE. CLAUDIUS IS GREAT AND I LOVE HIM.

3. Demon Thief – Darren Shan

Kernel Fleck has always known he's weird. He sees lights. Strange, multi-colored patches of light, swirling through the air. But it's not until a window opens into a demon world, with horrific consequences, that Kernel discovers his powers. As a Disciple, his mission is to hunt vicious, powerful demons to the death...

I mentioned this series a few days back At least I assume I mentioned this series a few days back, I’m writing these out of order because I’ll be away for a good chunk of the last ten days of December so, but this is my favourite book from my favourite series so I’m going to mention it again here. The Demonata, again, probably isn’t the best series objectively – but I love it. The characters are really compelling, the plot is just the right amount of weird and I really like the universe that everything exists in. It’s weird and colourful and just really compelling to me.

This is my favourite book of the series because it focuses around two of my favourite characters (Kernel! Nadia!) while telling a really interesting story. It’s one of the more unconventional books of the series, and I just love how much it embraces the universe around it. The Demonata universe is dark and nasty and full of demons, and this doesn’t shy away from that darkness but still remembers to have a hell of a lot of fun with it. It’s really compelling, and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking to pick up some dark fantasy/Fantastic horror anytime soon.

2. The Odyssey – Homer

The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey through life.

…I mean, that description seems rather misleading to me. But it’s the first one I found and I’m going to babble on about this book at great length anyway? So.

Anyway, to me the Odyssey is perhaps one of the first works of fantasy we have and I absolutely love it as a result. I actually read it before I read the Iliad, and it’s still my favourite of the two. I just find the whole story really compelling, the characters really interesting and the whole world absolutely wonderful to spend time in. The Odyssey is the story of one man (guess his name, folks) and his desperate mission to get home, and does everything absolutely wonderfully. It’s beautiful, touching and actually a hell of a lot of fun to read. And I’d recommend it to anybody without hesitation.

(Personally, I do really like the Fagles translation. I mean, I was snobbishly warned off it by my lecturers – BUT THEY CAN’T SEE ME ON THE INTERNET~.)

1.Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.


I first read this when I was thirteen, and it’s been my favourite book since then. It’s just… So good, on so many levels. It’s such a feminist book, especially considering when it was written, and is also a really motivating one. It’s one of those books where terrible things happen, but it’s still really easy to read and really compelling. I love following Jane’s journey from bratty child to determined woman, and I love seeing how she influences the world around her. It’s just a really lovely, compelling, extremely interesting book that was deeply formative for me. And, for that reason and many others, it’s probably my favourite book of all time.

(Plus, Jane. I IDENTIFY SO HARD WITH JANE YOU HAVE NO IDEA.)

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
classics_lover
Dec. 21st, 2015 12:55 pm (UTC)
:D :D :D

I haven't read most of these, but I'll probably get some book tokens for Chrimbo so I might...

The Girl With All The Gifts is one I've been wondering about on and off all year, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it :)

Also this. Just sayin'. *innocent face*
After looking up the Fagles translation I figure he must be doing something right. £57 pound sterling (sterling! not even Euro!) for a second hand paperback?!? Definitely he did *something* right. I get very agitated over Sterling prices for things.

I remember two of my English lecturers getting into a shouting match over which was better, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. I managed to read about half of WH for the course before calling it a day and deciding to avoid anyone called Heathcliff ever again and sided with Jane Eyre (JE wasn't on the course so that was an easy win, lol). And I've seen more tv/film adaptations of Jane that I really enjoyed. I'm keeping my eye out for a nice edition to get and keep forever (what's that you're saying about judging books by their covers? But I want a pretty one!)
doreyg
Dec. 29th, 2015 10:21 am (UTC)
I'd definitely recommend the Girl with all the Gifts! It truly was an absolutely excellent book, extremely well plotted and with so many great characters. It was really diverse, too!

Oooooh, that is a pretty cover. Unfortunately I already have, like, three editions of the Odyssey so it might be pushing it a bit to get more. XD

As I recall Waterstones had a few really pretty editions in stock before Christmas. I'm not sure if they still have them, or if it was just a limited run, but they're leather bound and so lovely P had to drag me away from them!
lost_spook
Dec. 21st, 2015 01:13 pm (UTC)
Aw, Jane Eyre! It really is such an amazing, formative book when read as a teen, isn't it? :-)
doreyg
Dec. 29th, 2015 10:23 am (UTC)
It is! I'd say that I've gotten a little further away from Jane as I've got older, but I still fondly remember how much I identified with her the first time I read it. :D
batmarg
Dec. 21st, 2015 10:06 pm (UTC)
Love Jane Eyre and The Odyssey. (Though I think I'm in the minority that like Wuthering Heights better than Jane Eyre)
doreyg
Dec. 29th, 2015 10:37 am (UTC)
I do like Wuthering Heights! I think it's just that I read Jane Eyre at a far more formative time, so it's forever going to be my favourite. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )