Monday, April 2, 2012

My 5 Favorite Books

            As a random little thought I figured I would do a top 5 list because lists are mentally very easy to digest and a recent movie release, along with anticipation for a movie coming out later this year has me thinking.  What are my top 5 favorite books?

            Number 5, and the spurring to write this, "The Hunger Games".  Since the movie is a very accurate and faithful adaptation, and it has made half a billion dollars already I feel redundant explaining the premise of young woman chosen to participate in a gladiatorial combat with other children.  The book is violent, and does an excellent job satirizing modern television, the disparities that exist between the rich and poor, all while framing through a single character that is ostensibly unlikable, having grown very bitter because of the absolute boiling crock-pot of shit her life has been.  It also has some good lines in it, strangely, my favorite line did not make it into the movie, even though the scene it is in did.  Whatever.

Have not read the other two... And I don't know if I ever will.
             Number 4, the movie adaptation of this, or at least part 1, will be out later this year, "The Hobbit".  As a kid the animated adaptation of this book was frequently, if not constantly checked out from the library, and while I read huge numbers of books (mostly Goosebumps, Animorphs, Spooksville, and other kids series) I actually didn't know that "The Hobbit" was a book for a long time, and only got around to reading it in high school, and I have since re-read it.  It is a lot of fun and the definitive classic in its genre, it is tightly written, and that works to its advantage, something its sequel does not have working for it.  This may make me a freak by nerd standards, but I find "The Lord of the Rings" over written and poorly paced.  Currently my epic fantasy thirst is being quenched by the "Game of Thrones" series (which I did a blog of) and I refuse to call it the "Song of... Whatever" because that is a stupid title for series of books, again something that might make me a freak among nerds.

This was a big part of me starting into fantasy.
             Number 3, this is actually my favorite part of a series of books that are all pretty good, though I think the last 2 are the weakest ending on downer notes rather than the jokes and good fun of the other 3, this is "Life, the Universe,and Everything".  It is the third book in the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy in five parts.  It takes place as a group of renegade killer robots dressed as Cricket players set out to find and activate a weapon that will destroy all of creation.  The origins, the machinations, and the way all of the heroes of the series are drawn together to help solve the problem are bizarre and fun.  Sadly, since they tried to turn this book series into a movie franchise, and got someone infinitely unqualified to write and direct it doubtless this movie will have to wait another decade or two before it gets its turn at bat, hopefully with Edgar Wright or Steven Moffat at the helm.  Or both if there really is a Santa Claus in the hearts of children everywhere.
This really doesn't come up in this installment.
             Number 2, this one makes me think back to how my brother told me, "you (Josh) always identify with assholes in control of things," a fact I can't deny, this book is "Ender's Game".  Written by an author who has in recent times gone Christ-crazy and rages against the liberals of the world, the book explores how the smartest boy in the world is shaped by a militant world alliance to save humanity from the Alien bug menace which has twice invaded our space to horrifying result.  Ender, so nicknamed by his sister who could not pronounce Andrew, is a misanthropic child murderer who grows more and more distant as he figures out how to outsmart everyone.  Actually this book is considered the holy script of nerds everywhere because it isn't about a meat-head who gets handed power by a wise old wizard, but instead gets put through hell by his mentor figure, you know, like every father who has ever told their child, "You can be anything you want to be... So long as you are some kind of Doctor."

The timeline of this series gets a bit complex.
             My favorite book, much like the others follows a rather misanthropic person... Huh, just realized that... Huh, that probably means I am less than stellar person... Moving on, it is about the nature of religion in American society, it's "American Gods".  The man called Shadow is released from prison and encounters a con man called Wednesday who takes him down numerous rabbit holes to meet the living ideas of various traditions and superstitions that came over from the old world, and they are dying off in favor of modern ideas made of silicon and celebrity.  The author, Neil Gaiman, said he started off writing it in the first person but found he had to switch off because the main character was so listless and detached, rather a fish out of water story in which the fish was happy to suffocate without flopping.  It also does the original Heroes Journey to great impact.

I'm 70% sure this man is not a wizard.

1 comment:

  1. Have you read the Song of Fire and Ice series? (It's the series that started the HBO series The Game of Thrones.) That's definitely a favorite series of mine.