The most important question for writers and readers! Our favorite books tell people a lot about who we are and what we like. It's impossible for me to pick my all-time favorite, because I find myself enjoying different books for different reasons, but with equal amounts of passion.
When I was just starting to become a serious reader, in the middle school years, I was drawn to book covers with animals. If there was an animal on the cover - especially a wolf or a dog - I'd be reading it. No cartoons either! I was a picky kid.
So, I read books like Child of the Wolves and Julie of the Wolves. I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading them. Sometimes it was difficult, because the subject matter was a little above my level. But gosh darn it - I wanted to read about Wolves!
You can bet your grandma's pants that I also read Jack London's works, Call of the Wild and White Fang. For a seventh-grader, those books were also a bit difficult, but I stuck to it, and as I got older, I understood the story better, and I still enjoy them to this day.
The first book I remember falling head-over-heels for was Gary Paulsen's Hatchet. Of course, it was the beautiful surrealistic cover art - that included a howling wolf - that drew me in. Spoiler alert - there are no wolves in the story that I can remember. My disappointment was overwritten by the style of Paulsen's writing. Up until now, I was use to stories that told you what happened. Paulsen's work made me feel something. It opened my eyes to what writers could actually do to with words. Later on, I wrote more of his works including Dogsong and Tracker.
Shortly after that, I picked up some books at my school's annual book fair. One had a picture of a horse looking off into the distance called War Horse. (The funniest part was the double-take I had when I was in the middle of reading the book and looked up to see the movie trailer on TV). The other book I picked up was Wolves of the Beyond by Katheryn Lasky. This was another turning point, being the first world-building fantasy about animals. A few years later I picked up Lasky's Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and loved it just as much!
I remember the 'age' of school when Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Hunger Games was hot. I was still a middle-schooler. It took a while of my classmates recommendations before I picked them up. Diary of a Wimpy Kid had me hunched over laughing, but I don't believe I ever read the entire series. Like many other fans, Hunger Games had me on the edge of my seat. That was the book that introduced me to dystopian worlds.
Like I said before, I can't exactly pick of favorite. Some of these books rank higher than the others, but if I had to save only one from a burning building, I'd be at a loss. This is the case of my most recent obsession - The Percy Jackson books.
I had read Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus in elementary/middle school, but it wasn't until I re-read them in high school that I fully appreciated the witty work of Rick Riordan. It was the first time a character was speaking to me - and that character happened to be a sarcastic little sh** who I loved more and more. Some stories, like Hunger Games, are plot-driven. Harry Potter was world-driven, focusing mainly on world-building. Percy Jackson was driven by a host of wonderful and interesting characters.
2014 - 2018, when I was going to high-school, (god, it hurts to write that) was a big time for Rick Riordan fans. Percy Jackson and the gang were back in Heroes of Olympus, and spin off series were starting their engines. It happened to be at this time I was working on The Runestone Guardians, more specifically I was working on the world-building and culture. I wanted to add elements from the real world, like our mythology stories. Instead of doing the cheesy and overdone Olympic gods (Zeus don't strike me down you know its true!), I wanted something 'new' and 'different' and 'underrated'.
So I used Norse Mythology. (lol).
I was scoping the internet, looking for information on the gods and the stories (this is how my Marvel Movie obsession began). A dear friend of mine said: "Hey, you know the author of Percy Jackson? He has a new Norse series out."
I had never jumped on Google so quickly.
It was true! Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard had been released! And I was hooked like a walleye on a lindy rig (excuse my Minnesotan). I bought the first book, and pre-ordered the next two. Like Percy Jackson, the strong point of the series was diverse characters and their witty rhetoric. The aesthetic element of Asgard and Norse monsters added another layer of awesome.
And that bring me today. Unfortunely my reading escapades had slowed down a little. I spend more time on research articles than on fantasy worlds. That, and also working away on my own books and ideas. But a true reader will always come back for more. It's only a matter of time before I find my next obsession in a book page.
I would love to hear from other readers about their journey into awesome books, so leave a comment below!
Ha det bra!