Very Good Books

As I post my reviews, I’ll link all of my favorites to this page. Since I don’t have a lot of reviews up yet, it’s looking very empty, so I’ll just list some Very Good Books (just a sample of some of my all-time favorites from off the top of my head):

  • Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones (1998) is my favorite book ever. Diana Wynne Jones is brilliant, the most criminally underrated writer in the entire multiverse. This is my favorite, but you can read pretty much anything by her and it will be good.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961) is one of the defining books of my childhood, and is still definitely worth reading for adults.
  • Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004) is very long, but I think I read the whole thing within the span of three days. That’s how caught up I was in the perfect worldbuilding and the excellent characters.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) (1999-2006) is one of my favorite book series but All the Wrong Questions (2012-2015) might be even better. You should just read them both.
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992) is about a group of Classics majors who murder one of their friends; even as a group of Classics majors who didn’t murder one of our friends, me and my pals all related to it very much.
  • If on a Winters’ Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (1979, transl. William Weaver 1981) is brilliant. Reading it has allowed me to enjoy all literature more deeply.
  • Universal Harvester (2014) and Wolf in White Van (2017) by John Darnielle both really got deep inside my head and really stuck with me in a way that not a lot of books can. John Darnielle is more famous for his band The Mountain Goats, and he brings the same brilliant storytelling ability into his books.
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (1979, transl. Ralph Manheim 1983) is both a perfectly executed children’s fantasy book, and a beautifully complicated and nuanced exploration of the fantasy genre. That description makes it sound pretentious, but the ideas never interfere with the story, and I cried at the end.