It’s 1/25/2013, and I’m updating because I haven’t done so in several years. Whoops.
Ender’s Game. You must read this book, even if you’re not a sci-fi fan. No previous knowledge of sci-fi is required. But you must read it.
Eragon… because it’s my guilty pleasure series. It’s cliche’d, but it’s entertaining, but it’s hackneyed, but it’s entertaining, and dragon fangirl. :3 *headdesk*
The City of Ember–the first one. The second one started into a bunch of babble about pacifism, and I lost interest.
Of all the Hunger Games books, I think the first one was fantastic and worth rereading. The others were all right, but after the initial (really good) idea got told in the first one, it turned to kind of a lot of drama. Catching Fire was better than Mockingjay… Mockingjay just dissolved into torturing the characters a lot. They’re not for kids, if you haven’t figured this out yet.
Stork by Wendy Delsol. Unique powers, Icelandic mythology, and fantastic execution by the author.
I have never read Lord of the Rings. I’m working on it, okay? It’s not the kind of book you can put down and just pick up later. I know you were wondering where it was. It’s on my shelf. Just let me get to it, okay?
So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane–not bad, Ms. Duane! Not bad at all.
The Riddles of Epsilon by Christine Morton-Shaw–One of my favorites, and it’s competing with Ender’s Game here.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Fudge-A-Mania and all the rest of Judy Blume’s hilarious series. I used to love these and I’d recommend them.
Anything by Daniel Pinkwater, especially The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, The Artsy Smartsy Club, The Neddiad, The Yggyssey, and The Education of Robert Nifkin. That last one is NOT a children’s book.
Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full Of Sky, and Wintersmith are all excellent, and also books suitable for children but they are not childish. They’re one of those books that, like Coraline, get scarier the older you are — little kids just see the funny bits. Mort, Sourcery, The Color Of Magic and The Light Fantastic are more really good ones. Oh, and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. They’re full-length novels, though, so if you’re a kid, you’d better have a seriously good attention span.
Anything by Dan Gutman, especially: The Get Rich Quick Club, The Homework Machine, and the all-wonderful The Kid Who Ran for President. All kids’ books I used to enjoy immensely.
James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series – These are entertaining, but frustrating if you’re the kind of hardcore reader who wants everything to tie up and have explanations. It’s kind of sloppy in that regard. And it does kind of go downhill after the second book and they turn into books giving you a Message about Saving the Earth. If I wanted to read about global warming and recycling, I wouldn’t have picked up a sci-fi thriller, thank you. The fifth one was interesting, though. Oh, and they’re not really for little kids, I spose I should say that… what with all the child abuse and gory fighting and whatnot…
Julia Golding’s Companions Quartet: Secret of the Sirens; The Gorgon’s Gaze; Mines of the Minotaur; Chimera’s Curse. Okay, so Julia doesn’t know how to choose a title… but her storyline isn’t bad. Totally addicting and totally makes you want a pegasus. Which is part of the reason why Xavier keeps them in Phoenix. :3
The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood. Kind of a fun book to flip through if you’re a writer, but not specifically for fantasy.
The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease. So you can spy on other people in restaurants and read between the lines… it’s a book that’ll tell a million stories, if you know what I mean…
Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual by Lenore Thomson. A no-nonsense book on MBTI and cognitive functions. Extremely well thought-out.
Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML. If you can’t figure out why formatting your entire web site on a table layout is a bad idea, or you get glitches, broken links, wrong path errors and can’t manage to get the validators to agree with you… or if you still think a crowd of sparkly .gifs and marquees looks good and should have survived the 90′s… then PLEASE spare the Internet the sight of your mangled wreck of a web site and get this book. It isn’t confusing and technical, but it’ll teach you how to do things that you really should know how to do. It doesn’t take an hour to put in a <div>. You format with CSS, not with that old dinosaur, the <font> tag. And if you do nothing else, then please just put on a declaration so that the computer techs emailing you about why your web site doesn’t work (yes, we can see the code you used… there’s a way) will know which version you’re using.
The 39 Clues series. I just geek over these I’m a total Janus. ^^
The Bone comic books. A little strange, but beautifully illustrated, very well plotted, and a very well-told story.
The Daring Book for Girls–Very useful for a kid girl trying to find something to do.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer–just the first one, and get the real book, not the comic. The rest of the series, I’m kind of lukewarm on.
Margaret Peterson Haddix’s “Found.” A halfway believable time travel story involving stolen orphans whose real identities are whens even more than they are whos… and the whos are pretty impressive. “That’s only a minor Chinese princess from the fourth century…”
BOOKS THAT WILL WASTE YOUR TIME–DON’T EVEN BOTHER
Wings by E.D. Baker. The heroine is a blonde, blue-eyed, “delicate,” “graceful” dancer who happens to turn out to be a fairy princess and captures the eye of a guy within her damsel-in-distress role in the book. Not only that, but she’s a complete nitwit. Don’t even bother. Even though the plot might have been set up pretty darn well (Tamisin is the daughter of Tatania/Titania, the fairy queen from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and could have been pulled off if done correctly, the characters–even apart from Tamisin–were completely unbelievable. And not in a good way. There was even one of those cliche half-cat guys.
I don’t even remember the name of this one… it was something about a character nicknamed Holly-Heart or something. My grandma, who, when she was alive, was absolutely horrid at picking out gifts for my folks and me (as, apparently, she wanted us to all be Hallmark-channel, Barbie-loving, Precious Moments-style children) picked this out. Another nitwit character! AND there’s barely any plot whatsoever! It’s the typical divorcing-parents-and-boy-crazy drama. I have one good thing to say for this: It at least makes my books look good by comparison.
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging–I have actually not read this one. It was insanely popular in my middle school, and I’ve made fun of it in several different books. I don’t want to know. But I just wanted to note that this book actually does exist. I did not make it up.