Wednesday, October 2, 2013

5 literary suggestions

Hey everyone!It's been a while since my last post, so I figured I'd update.



What I want to talk about today isn't so much something like my writing style or inspirations, but more just books that I really enjoy and would suggest to almost anyone.Granted, everyone has an opinion, especially in something as subjective as literature.




I don't think I can fit everything I love about literature on this list, but these are listed rather off the top of my head.It is a numbered list (mainly because everyone, including me, does well with that sort of thing) but they aren't in order of preference.



Enjoy!



1. LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY

I classify this as one 'book' as that's always what I've read it as.Tolkein's epic tale is revered by many and is the jumping off point for most modern fantasy stories.He truly defined the way many perceive fantasy today.

The books are heavy and the prose is very descriptive.The reader truly sees the world through Tolkein's words.Most know the general story here and my purpose isn't to give you a synopsis, but rather to explain why I like the stories so here we go:

I first read the trilogy when I was just turning 11.It struck me as strange because, even though I'd read Phantastes and had my first foray into epic poetry through the Illiad, I hadn't truly found a fantasy world I was truly drawn into.And, yes, I read the Chronicles of Narnia.Something within the adventure, Frodo setting off in the Autumn with the leaves changing color... something about that sparked within me the same feeling of a longing for adventure that the hobbits felt.Though, likely, it was truly more akin to the feeling one gets at the beginning of The Hobbit as that tale is a little less dire.

Stories like Lord of the Rings stick in one's mind.They inspire and encourage.I think the line in the movies, one that Sam says, explains it well.

"IT'S LIKE IN THE GREAT STORIES, MR. FRODO, THE ONES THAT REALLY MATTERED.FULL OF DARKNESS AND DANGER, THEY WERE.AND SOMETIMES YOU DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW the end, because how could the end be happy?How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?But in the end, it's only a passing thing.The shadow, even darkness must pass.A new day will come.And when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer.Those are the stories that stayed with you, that MEANT something.Even if we were too small to understand why.But, I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.I know now.Folk in those stories had lotsa chances of turning back, only they didn't.They kept going, because they were holdin' onto something. [...] That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fightin' for."That's how LotR makes me feel when I read it.



[Note: Yes, I own Extended Edition DVDs of the movies.I love watching them.]



2. DRACULA

From uplifting to something people see as... not so much.Most people, especially in western cultures, actually know very little about Bram Stoker's book or his version of vampires.Isn't it the way, though?One grows up with cultural awareness of something and then one finds out one is incorrect.This has happened to me more often than I'd like to admit.

Dracula is an old novel and it is written in the style of journal entries, newspaper clippings, and letters, all from perspectives of different characters.It is a wonderful horror novel and gave me many a fright when reading late into the night.

Anyone who knows me very well has at least an indication... I love vampires.I grew up watching horror movies (thanks to my dad) and vampires are second only to ghosts when it comes to creatures.But, even so, I didn't know anything about the book, really, until I read it.

Unfortunately, as happens sometimes with literature and the big screen, reading the books has ruined every film adaptation I've seen.Well, that's not entirely true... I like the old Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee versions (really, though, old horror films are amazing to watch, even if many of them aren't really terrifying anymore).But I could not stand Bram Stoker's Dracula.Ah well, it happens.

The only time in modern film that I've enjoyed an adaptation of Dracula (using "modern" loosely here) is in Van Helsing.It was just a wonderful action movie and, therefore, it didn't matter to me whether they got the mythology right as they never claimed to try to.

Really, though, if you want to read a great vampire novel that's creepy and strange and dark, read Dracula.That's certainly my pick for an October read.



3. ENDER'S GAME

This kind of coincides with the movie coming out, I suppose, but my mom read this book to me when I was a small child (censoring some of the language) and I've loved it ever since.This is, perhaps, the first sci fi literature that I truly enjoyed that didn't spawn from a manga or anime.

There is a sort of darkness or hopelessness presented throughout much of it, that's true, but it's a good story.The thoughts presented and explored in the work are really fairly wonderful and amazing.I wouldn't suggest it for too young a reader as it has quite a lot of foul language, but the story is phenomenal and I really hope the film does it justice.



4. ROBOTECH

Jack Mckinney's novel adaptations of the Macross manga/anime series are truly wonderful.I don't remember how many books are in the series but it goes from the finding of the SDF-1 (Space Defense Fortress 1) to the Invid invasion.It even goes into The Sentinals series which was originally slated for an anime adaptation.That never materialized, however.

It's very technical at times, but I never would've guessed, had I not known, that these were adaptations.Truly, they are amazing books.Obviously, I suggest Macross/Robotech as an anime (or manga) as well.However, not everyone is cool with anime or manga, so the novels are great.

And if you are into anime and you do happen to like giant mechs and such, I definitely suggest Macross Plus (either the movie or the episodes).Just make sure the kids don't see certain parts.



5. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

Ray Bradbury's stunning novel about an evil circus/carnival is a need-to-read.Seriously.I watched the movie (which is great, too, btw) but the book is absolutely breath-taking.

As a young girl I read it very quickly and I have reread it several times since then.Even though I know what's coming, the twists and turns still manage to astound me.This is dark and dangerous magic that can be experienced time and time again.

[That being said, I was very sad when Mr. Bradbury passed away.I know it's been a little over a year now but his stories and writings were integral to my childhood and I was truly upset when he died.May his memory forever live on in his stories and wonderful words and love of all things fantastic.]



So there we have it!5 of my top recommendations!I realize 2 of those are series.The nice thing about a series, though, is that if you don't like the first one you don't have to continue.I hate to say things like that, but it's very true.



Enjoy reading this October!Try out some scary stories and maybe scarier movies.I suggest the old version of Woman In Black (not the one with Daniel Radcliffe.There's a story behind that one for me, though).Also, the movie of Salem's Lot.I never read the book and I know many don't find the movie terrifying but... it just takes a smidge more imagination.



Oh!Also! Halloween!Dress up and have a party or go trick or treating!It's such a fun holiday.
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