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In our very first podcast, we play a fun game where we guess the works of fiction based on the first line. Because some of these are our favorite books, we thought it would be fun to share our favorites with our listeners. Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter which of the books are your favorite and why. We may mention you on our podcast!
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein packs a monstrous punch. The author's ability to weave poetic narrative into a plot which causes its readers to grapple with universal principles of the human condition continues to inspire writers in both the sci-fi and horror genres. Breaking away from traditional gender roles, Mary Shelly (the daughter of famous first wave feminist Mary Wollenstonecraft) creates a novel which examines creation and parenthood from a chilling perspective. Although I have read and taught the novel many times, I still find new perspectives and insights in its pages.
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game transports its readers into a world of conflict, competition, and survival. Card uses the futuristic war about the alien "buggers" to expose the base instincts of all of us. Weaving a captivating narrative of personal growth and sacrifice, Ender's Game leaves its reader with a compelling twist that challenges us all to see the world from our enemies perspective. This book is a critical piece of literature in our era of violence, conflict, and political division.
William Golman's Princess Bride carries readers into a land of adventure, courage, friendship, and true love. This captivating tale is a cozy read with unique characters which speak to the heart of what really matters. One of the only movies that live up to the book, both renditions of the story bring a warm smile to my face. Reading this to my sweet daughter was a once in a lifetime experience.
Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
This one is all about the nostalgia for me. While I enjoyed the series, I do feel like the first book is the strongest. But this one makes my list, because one of my sons loved the books and the movies and we would sit on the couch cuddling under blankets, watching the movies.
The Wizard of Oz – Frank Baum
Even though this book starts with a really slow beginning, it’s still one of my favorites. As a child, I’d read this one and all 14 of the Oz books obsessively. I had them memorized. I’d thought if I wished hard enough, I could go to Oz and meet Dorothy and Ozma. A huge thank you to Frank Baum for sharing his world with me and thousands of other readers and inspiring my own world building.
The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood
While this book is troubling to read and the television series is disturbing, I can’t leave this one off my list. A wonderful cautionary tale about what happens if we’re not careful in what we give our government the power to do. And on that note—please vote this next election. Make your voice heard or you don’t get to complain about what happens.
Moon Called- Patricia Briggs
I’m not a huge fan of shifter or vampire books, but I love this series. And this book started it all. I love how the characters develop over time and the originality of Ms. Brigg’s world building.
Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo : Leigh Bardugo is an excellent author, and there's something extra special about her fantasy heist novel duology, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks: I read this book a few years ago, but it holds a special place in my heart because my husband and I listened to the audiobook while driving through Norway on our honeymoon. It has a unique magic system and one of the best reveals I've ever read.
Moon Called - Patricia Briggs: This series is a quintessential read for those who love urban fantasy. They balance humor and serious topics well. Rather unique for this genre, many of the characters are in healthy, stable & supportive relationships.
The Martian - Andy Weir: As an engineer, it is difficult for me to read science fiction. Many books in the genre either play loose & fast with the laws of physics or put technology instead of characters at the heart of the story. The Martian avoids both these pitfalls. It is funny, believable and a joy to read.
World War Z - Max Brooks: Do not judge this book by its movie. Written as if it's a series of non-fiction interviews, it is unique and fascinating. The audiobook has a full cast of voice actors and is also excellent.