borusa: (Taren)
([personal profile] borusa Dec. 13th, 2013 02:19 am)
"In your status update LJ post, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take but a few minutes, and don't think too hard -- they don't have to be the "right" or "great" works, just the ones that have touched you."

1. A Rag, A Bone and a Hank of Hair - Nicholas Fisk. More in terms of tone than in terms of plot. I remember this scaring and enthralling me. Strangely, I don't own a copy, which means I've probably only read it three or four times.

2. The Magicians - Lev Grossman. Covered in LJ posts passim.

3. The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper. I shouldn't need to explain.

4. I Flew With Braddock - possibly Gilbert Lawford Dalton. My Dad had a copy of this - it's boy's own adventure stuff, set in the second world war, from the 1950's. It's a link to Dad, and great fun, and I've read it about a thousand times and there are NO PROBLEMATIC ELEMENTS HERE AT ALL. (There are problematic elements. There are also some pictures of planes and a nice reassuring blue cover and a contents page. That's all).

5. Dragonsinger: Harper Of Pern - Anne McCaffrey. Yes yes yes I /know/. But still!

6. Shadow Man - Melissa Scott. Sure, the setup is a little obvious in its metaphor (as a result of radiation exposure received during a colony ship flight, mutations mean that there are five genders. There are twin planets, one of whom does not officially recognise this fact), but the play out of the social consequences is excellent.

7. The Dispossessed - Ursula Le Guin. More than the Left Hand Of Darkness, I think because it spoke to issues I felt more strongly about when I was a teenager and read it for the first time. I think its power rests in the advertised ambiguity. Owes a fascinating debt to Stranger In A Strange Land.

8. Citizen Of The Galaxy - Robert Heinlein. The Heinlein Juveniles aren't as controversial as the "adult" books, but in some ways they're purer storytelling. This one has one message: slavery is wrong and bad, and pretending it doesn't exist is the privilege of the rich, who benefit from it.

9. Among Others - Jo Walton. I read this almost immediately after "The Magicians". It's just the most magic book about being an outsider and finding a home amongst SF fans. And there are fairies, maybe, and odd parents and strained relationships and everything.

10. Fire And Hemlock - Diana Wynne Jones. I think this is the densest and most interesting (if far from the safest) of DWJ's books. It's the one that I go back to and worry away a plot details, at relationship moments, at moral questions. I'm not sure that it's perfectly structured (HMC has a much better structure, for example) but there are layers upon layers in it.
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