So dear Elizabeth put forward the idea to revitalise theme week and lo and behold, we have done so! I do enjoy theme weeks, working to a topic is more my thing.
For a lot of readers, being asked to choose your favourite (or favourites) book(s) is (are) like choosing between your children. Nevertheless, I’ve followed suit this week and narrowed down my top three, and even managed to put them in an order. It was a tough task but I know you all believe in me.
3) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
In this day and age, a Harry Potter book is more likely than not to appear on any regular reader’s top list. The sheer readability and success of the series alone has guaranteed that, in addition to the spin off media, film coverage and massive fan base supporting them. Picking a favourite took some doing but in the end, it’s book number seven that I keep closest to my heart. Why? It’s a fantastic way of finishing the adventure that loyal fans had been following for years, it’s well-written, charming and ties up enough loose ends to be considered a success. It’s also the one I remember the most clearly due to events, and the one that I associate with the most as an “adult”. I respect J.K. Rowling for her ability to take our childhood literary friends and murder them in cold blood to enhance the plot too, it’s beautiful.
2) Lord of the Flies – William Golding
I have a tendency to refer to this novel as the “best coin flip result” ever. While not technically a coin flip, our class at school had to choose between doing Of Mice and Men or Lord of the Flies, and to this day I stand by my choice. Beneath the ominous sounding title on the cover lurks a story that reaches into the darkness of humanity and leaves you thinking. Like number three on this list, it’s also not afraid to play with your attachment to characters. The novel is about a bunch of schoolboys in the war who crash on a desert island and are forced to survive. Battle Royale and the Hunger Games paid attention and so should you.
1) Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
It was a close decision between this and Lord of the Flies but at the end of the day I have to give my number one award to Geek Love. A beautifully-written foray into the lives of a family of circus people, parents who intentionally mutated their children with cocktails of radiation in order to give them a place at the carnival, and the adventures that follow. It’s so far off track from the norm that it’s deliciously addictive, and culminates in a conclusion that gives me chills every time I read it.