29 July 2011

30 Days of Books: Days 24-30

This is the last post in my 30 Days of Books meme. Earlier posts: Days 1-7, Days 8-14, Days 15-21, and Day 23.

Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read

(29 July 2011) Another toughie; I'm probably the one my peers wish had read their books.

Okay, I wish more of my friends read "Makers," by Cory Doctorow--or anything by the guy, really, but "Makers" and maybe "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" especially. I have my issues with his writing, but he's good at making realistic and compelling predictions of the future with his fiction.

Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most

(30 July 2011) This one's a no-brainer if you've been following these posts; it's Claidi from Tanith Lee's Claidi Journals. I've already described her under "favorite female character." Her very ordinariness compared with other females in my YA books makes her realistic and relatable. At the same time, her discovery of her own will throughout the series is inspiring.

Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something

(31 July 2011) "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth," by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. For better or worse, this book changed the way I looked at the Bible and, I guess in the end, conservative Christianity in general.

Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending

(01 August 2011) I think I'll give this one to Chapter 33 of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," by JK Rowling. This is actually my least favorite book in the Harry Potter series, but that chapter was one of its saving graces.

If you've already read the book or seen the film, you'll know it's the one about that most reviled Hogwarts teacher, Severus Snape.

Day 28 – Favorite title

(02 August 2011) "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish," by Douglas Adams. Just one part of Mr. Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" five-book (six if you count the authorized sequel by Eoin Colfer) "trilogy," this book wasn't much liked by its author because of all the publishers' interventions. I like the title, though, because it reminds me of this song number from the opening of the movie:

Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked

(03 August 2011) Another tough one. I don't know of any book that was hated by everyone I knew. I think I'll go with the X-Men 2 movie tie-in novel by Chris Claremont, because of the perception that tie-in books aren't as great as the movie.

I decided to ignore that perception for this book because it was written by Chris Claremont, the guy who wrote the original comic behind the movie. (So, yes, he wrote a book based on a movie based on his own comic.) The book itself is an original take on the old Jean Grey / Phoenix story and a really good one; I actually ended up enjoying it more than I did the film.

Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

(04 August 2011) If you've been following these posts, you can probably guess what series this book is from, if not its actual title. My favorite book of all time is "The Law of the Wolf Tower," by Tanith Lee—the first book in the Claidi Journals.

As far as I'm concerned, though, the rest of the series does not exist. It jumped enough sharks to stock a Sea World and almost ruined the magic of "Wolf Tower" for me—almost. Whenever I mentioned the Claidi Journals in these posts, it was with a slight grimace, because I'd really like to forget about the other books.

The reason I still like "Wolf Tower" is that it stands so well on its own. It has everything I still look for in a good book: a likable protagonist, a compelling story, an interesting conflict, and a universe that, though colorfully painted, leaves plenty of room for imagination. On top of that, it has a little romance and swashbuckling to liven things up every now and then, so it was a real winner with me when I first read it as a teenager.

It happens that I recently reread "Wolf Tower," just to see if it was still relevant to me in my 20s. Through all the pretty trappings I mentioned above, Claidi the hero came shining. With no superpowers, no magical blood, no genius brain, and no great beauty, she became special only through the decisions she made with her wits and her gut. Claidi arrives at the end greatly changed and much stronger, but still wholly herself. That's the kind of hero I'd like to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment