Book Meme: Day 04

Day 04 – Your favourite book or series ever

I don’t have just favourite book ever. I can’t. It’s like having a favourite food – how can I judge one taste to be better than another when they’re so different? It’s like comparing oranges to chocolate cake. You can’t.

When I was a kid my favourite series was Nancy Drew. I loved Nancy Drew. So what if she’s an overly perfect 1950s good two-shoes role-model? Even then I recognized that the books were flawed, but I also loved that a female protagonist ran around having adventures and solving crimes with her two best girlfriends, that she was independent and competent and clever and polite. She saved the day. I loved that.

Later on my favourite book series was the Heralds of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey. In the first book, Arrows of the Queen, a shy 13 year old girl is Chosen by a big white horse to leave her life of drudgery and become the Queen’s right-hand woman, have some adventures, fall in love and generally Fix Everything. Be still my pre-teen heart! It was glorious.

My favourite books now aren’t as easy to identify. I love The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle because it’s a word-for-word replay of one of my favourite movies. (Shush, you. I know the book came first.)  It’s whimsical comfort food.

I’m also a huge fan of Salamander by Thomas Wharton, even though I’ve only read it once and that was over 5 years ago. That book, however, was a faithful friend in a foreign country when I was on a Trip from Hell. It got me through a rough spot and I’ll always be thankful for that. Plus it’s a great novel.

And then there’s the YA book Juniper, by Monica Furlong. It’s about a Cornish princess whose claim to the throne is usurped by the birth of a brother. Instead she is sent off to learn to be a wise woman and hates every second of it. I carried this book around with me for years – it’s small, light, and I could start anywhere and be engrossed. I don’t know if it’s because I identified with the sibling rivalry, or of not fitting in, or because the spoiled, bratty princess actually changed and grew – I loved this book.

Then I bought the sequel (prequel?) Wise Child, and didn’t like it nearly so much. Although I don’t think that’s the book’s fault, but rather mine for having unmeetable expectations. It was like reading Lirael after devouring Garth Nix’s fantabulous Sabriel… it’s impossible to live up to!


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