I was lucky that both my parents love to read, and I grew up surrounded by books, and being read to as a young child.
Back then reading was like magic to me and I couldn’t wait to learn.
Since then I have learned how to read by myself, and here are five books/series that stick in my mind as memorable. In no particular order:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
My third grade teacher gave me this book to read. Not as part of school or an assignment, he just gave it to me after class one day and told me I should read it.
I read it that night (it’s quite short). I gave it back the next day and he asked me what I thought.
I told him I thought it was a dumb, boring story about a seagull and that I had better books to read.
I’ve read it a few times since grade three. Suffice it to say my opinion has changed.
Spoiler Alert: It’s not really about a seagull at all.
The Original Dragonlance Chronicles (Trilogy – Dragons of Autumn Twilight/Dragons of Winter Night/Dragons of Spring Dawning) by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman
Did I mention I have read a lot of fantasy novels? I have. I certainly haven’t read every fantasy novel written, or even all of the good ones, but not for lack of trying. Actually it is possible I have read most of the good ones, and maybe half the bad ones 🙂
I know that there are fantasy series out there that are ‘better’ than the original Dragonlance. I know that anything done by R.A. Salvatore has better action, that Robert Jordan will be more epic. I know that George R.R. Martin writes much better intrigue and plots, and that no one tops Brandon Sanderson’s creativity and visual imagery.
Yet despite all of that, the original chronicles has brought me the most enjoyment. It was the first (and only) fantasy novels that have brought me to tears – twice. ( _____ dies, you know it’s coming and you still cry; and later _____ dies too and you cry again).
For me it is definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. If you enjoy reading fantasy (and even if you don’t) and you haven’t read the original Dragonlance, do it. I promise you won’t regret it and you’ll possibly cry (twice).
Spoiler Alert: The good guys win?
The Bible by various authors
Long story short:
I was once told, and believed, that the bible was true.
Then I read it.
I’ve been an atheist for a while now.
Spoiler Alert: He might not be coming back.
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
Have you ever heard the story of Aron Ralston? He was the hiker who got his arm trapped by a boulder and after five days finally had to cut off his own hand in order to survive?
What happened to Joe Simpson is even crazier.
If you’re the kind of reader who can really put themselves into a story when you read, then clear your schedule, buckle up and prepare yourself to be immersed into a real life epic of mountaineering, impossible choices and inescapable odds.
Spoiler Alert: He has to live right? He wrote the book, didn’t he?
Garbage Delight by Dennis Lee and Frank Newfeld
This book is just strange. It is a compilation of poems with illustrations and it’s just weird.
I probably read that book at least three hundred times between the ages of five-ish and ten-ish. Long after I had every poem memorized I would still read it. It creeped me out and fascinated me at the same time.
Once in a while it still pops into my head. I half remember lines from a poem, or I recall an illustration. It has seeped into my sub-conscious. It may be alien mind control.
I haven’t seen it for years (decades I guess, yikes!) but I think I still remember one of the first poems in the book (the second or third maybe?) This poem was presented in squares on the page with illustrations, sort of like a comic. I think it went like this
Peter Was A Pilot
He Flew A Jumbo Jet
He Crashed into Lake Ontario
And Got His Bottom Wet
What I want to know is, what happened to everyone else on the plane? The picture showed the pilot in the water, I think, but were there other people on the plane? And was the pilot wearing stripes? For some reason in my minds eye I see him with the typical pilot scarf, cap and goggles, but wearing what looks like pyjamas or something? Probably not, but that’s what I picture in my head.
Definitely a book I need to find and give another read. I feel like it might be even creepier to read as an adult.
Spoiler Alert: How do you spoil a book of illustrated poems? Especially weird ones.
If you are looking for a new book to read give any of these a go (the Bible is a bit long, maybe hit the New Testament first), and let me know what you think. Did it deserve to be on a list of memorable reads?