Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Five(5): books

I'm a nerd. I read a lot, often multiple books at a time, plus magazines, blogs, websites, get the idea. So this week's Friday Five(5) is my five favorite adventure books. I have to keep my favorites in categories or I just get frozen with the idea of choosing. I started out with a "five favorite books of all time" list, but uh, no way. I can't do it. So in light of Stinky (the elder) and my camping adventure this week (report to follow once I finish my math homework) here are my five favorite adventure books, in no particular order:

1. Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. I first read this book in 2001 or so. It is a truly heartbreaking story in the final analysis, but the utter optimism and sense of adventure of Chris McCandless touched me deeply. He and I were only a few years apart in age and his journey reflected what I wanted to do at the same time he was on his path. The faith and trust he placed in his fellow man and the unbridled enthusiasm he took with him made for an exhilarating story, matched only by the heartbreak of its ending. Read it if you haven't. It is great. As a footnote, the film almost does justice to the book, in my opinion, and really captures the many emotions the book created for me.
2. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I read this book in fifth grade and it has stuck with me ever since (the book is a prequel of sorts to "the Blue Sword, which I also loved). It has a female protagonist who becomes a dragonslayer (I know!) among many other sweeping adventures. I haven't read this book in 20+ years and it still stays with me. I'm actually re-ordering it today to share with Stinky.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. I rediscovered this book last year when Stinky wanted to do it for our read aloud. It was over her head a bit (she was only 7...), but grabbed me all over again. The story is actually a five book series (I only read the first three; we'll be fixing that soon enough). It follows Meg Murry and her brothers as they search for their missing Scientist parents. It is gripping, emotional, and exciting throughout. A definite classic.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. I know, I know. But I loved the book. In truth, this and Goblet of Fire are my two favorites. Luckily I get to re-live the whole series as Mrs. M and I have decided that Stinky is old enough to start the series as a read aloud. I joined the Potter books late, starting with Goblet. That said, they are phenomenal books and deal with real world issues in a very clever way. I'm glad I found the series (and I do really like the movies, too), and can't wait to share it with the kiddo.
5. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I just found this book this year, thanks to Stinky (It was a read aloud) The heart-rending path this toy rabbit takes is enthralling. The story follows Edward from owner to owner as he learns about love and companionship. I had difficulty reading it to her at times because I was getting choked up. It isn't an adventure on the order of a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but it is an emotional adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat. 
There you go; my five favorite adventures. If you were paying close attention you'd have noticed that 4 of 5 were children's literature. Another book I'm reading, The Happiness Project , helped me to re-embrace my love for children's lit and preference for it over "adult" books. I don't read a lot of fiction targeted to grown ups, and Gretchen Rubin's admission of the same helped me realize why (I'll get into that in a future post). 

Anyway, I love a good book and now have a huge list to re-discover. Thanks for reading!


  1. Nerd alert. You truly are a 7th level Paladin. Tell me you have been watching Game of Thrones. Falls right into your D&D theme here. Also, in my opinion, Into the Wild was excellent.

  2. HA! nice. You know, I haven't watched Game of Thrones, only because I don't have HBO. When season 1 hits DVD I will have to check it out for sure.