My Top 10 Recently Read Books
Whereas the last list (“My Top 10 Most Influential Books“) focused on books I’d read at least ten years ago, all of these I’ve read within maybe the past five years. The selection is a pretty good insight into the types of books I’ve been reading, except that I haven’t listed any YA fantasy/adventure books (that will be another top 10 list entirely!). As always, in no particular order:
- Little, Big by John Crowley
- Lud-In-The-Mist by Hope Mirrlees
- The Truth About Dragons by Hazard Adams
- The Magicians (Trilogy) by Lev Grossman
- Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison
- Jurgen by James Branch Cabell (click to read on Project Gutenberg)
- The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
- Troll: A Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo (also published as Not Before Sundown)
- The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll
- The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany (click to read on Project Gutenberg)
Many books on this list are older and somewhat obscure. They all happen to be fantasy to one degree or another, but generally atypical of the genre. I might have listed better known books, but I like to share the neat books I find that you might not otherwise come across.
The final book in The Magicians trilogy just came out, and I gobbled it up just as quickly as I’d gobbled up the first two. They’re brilliant – essentially an adult take on C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, with familiar elements from Harry Potter and similar fantasies, but crazier, more unpredictable and more, well, adult. No typical boy heroes here, although most characters have their heroic moments. Most of the characters need redeeming; a common criticism of the books is that the main character, Quentin Coldwater, is unlikable (personally I think that fallibility just makes him more interesting). In the wake of Game of Thrones, and the announcement that a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is in the works, it is unsurprising–but exciting!–to hear that SyFy is adapting The Magicians!
If you leave a comment and would like me to expound on why I love these books, I’d be happy to oblige. Mostly we just get spam “louis vuitton” gibberish comments, so it would be nice to have a flesh and blood person write in!
I’d also love to know what your recent favorite reads are!