Another Top 5 Friday. Favorite books this time, with the one stipulation that no more than one book by any author appear on the list. One thing I like about making these lists is that they help me realize things about my tastes that I wouldn’t on my own. Four out of the five books on this list deal with metafictional themes, as do some that just missed the list, like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
The Dragon Reborn. Robert Jordan – The Dragon Reborn is on this list as a placeholder of the Wheel of Time as a whole. I unabashedly love the series. The world Jordan created in this series is just so well realized and the characters that populate it are so real. TDR is the book where the series really comes into its own, with the protagonists finally starting to act as much as react to the events going on around them. I love this book.
All-Star Superman. Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely & others – I debated on whether or not to include a comic on this list, but since All-Star Superman is a completed work in and of itself and it is stupendously great, I put it on here. Honestly, this is just one of the best things I’ve ever read.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Michael Chabon – Chabon is the best and this is his best work. Kavalier and Clay is about two young Jewish comic book creators and their personal and professional struggles starting in the late 1930’s. I don’t want to give anything away; just read it.
The Princess Bride. William Goldman – I had long loved the movie, so when I heard there was a book, I quickly snapped it up. Written by the same person who wrote the screenplay, the book is largely the same as the film, but where it deviates it generally improves. I realize the book came first, but that is the opposite of how I encountered them.
Shades of Grey. Jasper Fforde – Another author I love. Fforde’s Thursday Next books are uniformly excellent, but with Shades of Gray he takes things to another level. It is more serious than the Thursday books, but it doesn’t lack the wit. It is a simply amazing dystopian story.