Smoke and Mirrors – Neil Gaiman
I first read this book when I was eleven. I had (and still have) a deep love for fairy tales and my father recommended a story called Snow, Glass, Apples. It was terrifying and probably deeply scarring but also magical and fantastic and really inspired me. If I was on a desert island I would take this book. Read Murder Mysteries, Snow, Glass, Apples, Troll Bridge, and all of them.
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Another book recommend to me by my illustrious father. It’s been a favourite since I first read it, particularly because it’s by two of my favourite authors. It’s also been signed by them both which makes it doubly precious. The autumn before I turned fifteen I decided my life goal was to get it signed by both of them and through some wonderful and serendipitous coincidences I met Neil in October and Terry in December, within three months of making that a goal.
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
I think I saw this in a bookshop and decided to by it simply because it was Neil Gaiman and had a gorgeous cover. I love it, it’s a marvellous fairytale and a beautiful love story full of adventure and good vs. evil. Also witches, lightning catchers and true love.
Blankets – Craig Thompson
If I could draw like one person, or have one person agree to illustrate my
writing it would be Craig Thompson. I adore his art style and the honesty
he puts into this coming of age story. It’s about religion, love and family
and Craig’s relationship to them all. A first love story remembered with
such honesty it makes your heart ache.
Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman – Richard P. Feynman
This book is wonderful, I thought I needed some non-fiction on here and
this is it. I’m not very sciency at all and I tend to not read that many
biographies but I really love this book. It’s how to take one Nobel Prize
winning physicist and make him not just a name you’d hear in a class or in
a history book, it makes him a real, fascinating and wonderful person. I
wish I could have met him.
The Amber Spyglass – Phillip Pullman
The third book in a trilogy that I adore and definitely my favourite by
him. It’s a series about parallel universes starting in an Oxford not
unlike ours and ending up going as far as heaven itself. This along with a
lot of books by Tamora Pierce introduced me to a rather strange and bookish
idea of romance which has managed to stick with me until now at least. A
wonderful book with great characters and plots that have really stuck with
me. “Tell them stories” is one line in particular that had a lasting effect.
Maskarade – Terry Pratchett
I’m putting this book on the list to represent all of Terry Pratchett’s
books but it could as easily have been Feet of Clay, the Last Hero, Mort or
Reaperman (Or any of them to be honest). I’ve been reading The Discworld
since I was 12 and have adored and reread them many, many times since. I
found this copy in a clearance bookshop for four euroes. It’s a magically
beautiful edition… And it’s signed!
The Cats Of Seroster – Robert Westall
I found this on my brother’s bookshelf and quickly adopted it as my own.
It’s an awesome and incredibly detailed work of fantasy. It sends shivers
down my spine again and again. Something I love about this book is that I
honestly can never quite remember the end.
Trickster’s Choice – Tamora Pierce
This is another place where I use one book to represent an author’s entire
bibliography. I grew up wishing I lived in the world that she’s created. I
love this book because it took a land I knew really well but changed it all
by going to a different country and a different situation I loved the
intrigues and the setting and all the glorious characters.
Counting Stars – David Almond
Another book of short stories. These stories really stick in my mind and my
subconscious, they’re set in New castle I think but they really make me
think of home (Ireland) in many ways with the role of the church, the
family and the community playing roles I don’t generally associate with
England. They are truly beautiful stories of love and faith and wings and
I wish I’d had a good book of poetry, or some more non fantasy books but
mostly I love poems for being poems not for the books they are, and I
prefer anthologies but could bring any good ones to find for this. Also I
give myself a month before I start thinking of a whole other list that I
should have written but for today (And hopefully tomorrow) this is good