July 29, 2011

Random Q&A #4: So who do you read?

This is such a dangerous question... 

I love the classics. I mean the golden classics: Homer's Iliad and Odysey and Vergil's Aeneid are good starting points.

The other "classics" I'd highlight include Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, Milton's Paradise Lost, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice or Beaudelaire's Small Prose Poems: all of them noteworthy works and recommended readings - though, of course, I'm just naming my favorite handful!

A list of realism writers should include Fyodor Dostoevski's Crime and Punishment, Tolstoy's War and Peace and Perez Galdos' National Episodes. All of them master the art of creating an epic story through round characters following real (or plausible) events and there is much to be learnt and enjoyed.

Fantasy must-reads include George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire along with the obvious choice of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: both series should give you a vision of what a good epic should be all about. Terry Pratchet's Discworld has an amazing way of telling stories which are several levels deep in complexity and R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms books are a testament to interesting secondary characters, full of potential.

Then, there's Frank Herbert's Dune, a masterpiece of sci-fi and philosophy which should not be overlooked, and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, a study of human nature and conflict. Since we're in the genre, Isaac Asimov's Short Stories may be pointed out as a sci-fi version of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected.

And there is more. There is always more...

If you'd like to know what I'm reading now, check the small reviews on this blog about whatever book has caught my fancy at the moment!

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