Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Growing up, if I was reading a book, you can bet the cover either featured a dude in armor, a dragon, a wizard or some combination of the three.

I lived for fantasy! I was in second or third grade when the local librarian recommended A Spell For Chameleon, by Piers Anthony. Before that, I'd read any kids books I could find, especially loving books like Half Magic and Castle In The Attic, but once I realized the breadth of books available in the "grown up" section of the library, I went crazy.

I read everything I could, important books, long books, short books, elaborate series and collections of short stories. I loved it all, but I eventually found myself drawn towards light fantasy. Tolkien was great and all, but it all seemed so important. I wanted to have a good time reading and it didn't take long to hone in on a few faves.

Lawrence Watt-Evans is my favorite author, bar none. His books are fun and good hearted and always clever. I started with The Misenchanted Sword and enjoyed it so much that I stole the book from the library (I later donated a new copy, wracked by the guilty thoughts that I was depriving others from reading it) and I own every book he's written since. I buy any copy of his I can find and give them away to people because I don't think enough people read him.

Some other faves from that time  - C. Dale Brittain (Funny, fresh takes on wizardry) Piers Anthony (Who I don't really dig anymore) Terry Brooks (Which I haven't read in a long time) the Dragonlance Series (This either) and Terry Pratchett (Who took me a while to warm up to, but is at the top of my list now, naturally)

And I stayed pretty faithful to the sword and sorcery set for a very long time. Every once in a while, I'd pick up some sci-fi and even rarer, a horror of some sort, but it was usually all shining armor, all the time.

In recent years, I found a new appreciation for thrillers and crime novels, eagerly devouring old 60's pulp and recent authors like Marshall Karp and Victor Gischler, and for the most part, my fantasy addiction retreated to it's underground lair, to languish on the paperbacks of yore. But every once in a while, I feel the urge to dive back in. I've read three Watt-Evans novels in the last week and just downloaded Brittain's catalog (Or what's available... She's devilishly hard to find!) It's been a lot of fun and kind of a palette cleanser.

Is this normal? Have you always read the same genre of books, or do you bounce around a lot? What were/are some of your favorites?


  1. Definately bounce around, you miss so much treasure limiting yourself to one genre. I remember being made fun of in grade school for reading Lord of the rings when most kids my age thought chapter books were a waste of time. "Book worm" seems to be the most popular way for past acquaintences to describe me.

    Swords and sorcery books have probably been my favorites but I enjoyed the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown because I loved the challenge of guessing the mystery before the end. In middle school I went through a Louis L'amour phase. I always thought he was good at getting the hero all shot up and almost dead, but somehow dragging him back to health in time to kick some butt and get the girl in the end.

    I got into high school and got hooked on military fiction. Tom Clancy and Dale Brown were some good ones.

    As an adult I've drifted back into children's books, Harry Potter, of course, and the Redwall series. I also got hooked into "Hank the cowdog". These are hilarious! Young adult fantasy again seems to be where my interest is right now. Eragon and the Inheritance cycle is pretty decent although it's taking him a beastly long time to realease the final book. Dragons will always have a special place in my heart. The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy, awesome mix of horror and humor. The Artemis Fowl series was good too.

  2. I skip around. Horror (or whatever you want to call VC Andrews), Romance, Fantasy, Historical, and I love old lit classics like Austen, Tolkien, and Shakespeare.

  3. Randy - I loved EB too, and read a lot of L'Amore in high school. I need to get back into kids books, but I have a tendency to write like the books I read, so I've kept to crime and thrillers lately.

    But I've been missing Moonstone Bay lately, so who knows.... Skullduggery Pleasant has been staring at me from my bookshelf with vacant eyes...

  4. Lindsay

    You like long, boring books. Hahahah ;)

    I should read some VC Andrews some day. They don't sound like my cup of tea, but they sound interesting.