Quick Picks: Childhood Favourites

QUICK Picks

There have been so many books over the years that have left a mark. I was always an avid reader but it was in early high school that I truly became hooked. The below are just a few of the ones that have stayed favourites over the years.

Howl’s Moving Castle

by Diana Wynne Jones

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Quick story run down: Sophie finds herself under a spell that transforms her into an old woman. Seeking a way to break the spell, Sophie tracks down the castle of the wizard Howl.

While at the castle she not only looks after the wizard and the castle occupants, but she begins to learn more about herself. Howl’s Moving Castle is a story of magic, mayhem, high fantasy hi-jinks.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Cover: Just look at that cover, how could you pick up this book and not read it?! For a while, the entirety of Jones’ books were released with covers like these and they were beautiful! I have made it my mission to complete my Chrestomanci collection with these covers.
  • Howl: The character of Howl just flew off the pages and made me fall in love. The interactions with him and Sophie also made my heart melt, and the book has remained on my favourite list ever since I finished it.

Continue reading “Quick Picks: Childhood Favourites”

Spotlight: Terry Pratchett

Image courtesy of Anatole
‘Discworld’ Image courtesy of Anatole

Words cannot express the sheer brilliance of Terry Pratchett’s imagination.The back catalogue of this man is not only large but his most well known work, the Discworld series spans across over 40 books. The distinct and different style that is distinctly Pratchett’s is one that blends comedy with high fantasy. While certainly taking place in a somewhat typical fantasy world, the Discworld series is one that is full of magic, adventure and a dastardly sense of humour.

Through techniques such as extensive and sometimes page long footnotes as well as a distinct characterisation, Pratchett weaves unique stories set in a vastly different world. To understand the scope of the world creation one simply has to look at the place in which the Discworld series is set, the Discworld. The normal day to day life of the Discworld is one that is as the name implies, on a disc. However, this disc is one that is held up by four elephants who themselves ride on the back of a giant turtle which is forever swimming through the infinite vastness of the universe.

Such imaginings are almost typical of Pratchett’s stories with other reoccurring stand outs including an oddly human Death personification, an orangutang librarian, the Night Watch and the staff of the Unseen Wizard University. These characters and the magical stories that the novels weave are what have led to a very passionate fan base.  Indeed the real value of this series is in how welcoming it is to new readers.

New initiates  to the Discworld do not have to start at book number one and slog it out to the end, rather the way in which the series is written allows for new readers to start at any novel. Pratchett writes novels that sometimes do connect together or to past characters but often times, each new book is dedicated to a new bunch of characters with old characters being mentioned and interacted with occasionally.

With this in mind, it is with a small shove, that this blogger highly recommends that a Pratchett book be picked up and read, post haste!