I was originally going to list my 5 All Time Favorite Books, but as I was thinking of what I’d put on my list I realized that with the exception of #1 (American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis) most the books I was thinking of where all part of a series. So I’ll just list my favorite series’. One interesting thing I noticed while compiling this list, is that I discovered these all through other media first, before reading the books. Well, here we go:
5/THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN
I first saw the animated film as a wee lad, and was instantly hooked. Pretty much everything I think of when I think of “fantasty” (Wizards, elves, orcs, etc.) began with this series. I love The Hobbit, too, although I don’t know if that officially counts as part of this series.
4/THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA BY C.S. LEWIS
This I always first became aware of as a wee lad when I saw the original animated The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe movie. Again, I was hooked. I’m a Leo, so I always loved lions, and Narnia had ASLAN. It’s funny, I never recognized the obvious Jesus Christ parallels until I was an adult, and read about C.S. Lewis and how he did that intentionally. Looking back, it seems so obvious, especially in Aslan’s death scene, but all I noticed back then was “cool, a magic lion!” The innocence of youth. . .
3/THE OZ NOVELS BY L. FRANK BAUM
My fascination with OZ began, of course, with the Judy Garland musical film, which would air once a year during my childhood (this was pre-internet/cable/dvd days…man, I’m getting old). And then when I discovered that there a whole series of books after that, and I went wild! I think I didn’t get around to actually reading the first book, because I’d already seen the movie so many times, until I’d finished reading the 14th book. I’ve read a few of the authorized OZ books by other authors, but Baum’s are the only ones that really “count,” IMO. Although, now that the characters have lapsed into the Public Domain, I have entertained the idea of writing my own OZ novel. I have a vague idea which is basically An Alien Invasion of OZ, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the guts to try it. My love of the originals might just overshadow everything I’d try to do.
Meanwhile, I am really looking forward to the OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL movie.
2/ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND/THOUGH THE LOOKING GLASS BY LEWIS CARROLL
This probably doesn’t really count as a “series”, since it’s just two books starring the same character. But, frak it, it’s my list, so it’s on. I don’t know which I saw first, the Disney animated film, or the musical live action film, but I know that when I read the book it was mind-blowing. All of the various characters, with the funny prose, and poems, just captured me for hours. I could just pick up one of these books and re-read specific passages, like The Walrus And The Carpenter, over and over again.
And my # All Time Favorite Book series is. . .
1/THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY BY DOUGLAS ADAMS
In retrospect, it’s a little surprising that there’s only one science fiction series on this list, since that is probably my favorite genre. But if this is definitely the best one, as far as I’m concerned. I think I saw parts of the BBC TV miniseries long before I read the first book, but I didn’t see the whole thing until after I’d read the first three books. The first two books, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and Restaurant @ The End of The Universe, are the best, but I love all 5 of the Adams’ books. There’s just so many great bits in there, with wild concepts. It’s similar to the Alice books in that regard, which is why I also love them. My mother bought me a cope of …And Another Thing, the “authorized” continuation, last year, but I still haven’t gotten around to reading it, yet. It’s hard to imagine that any writer can really compete with Adams on this.
I also have that BBC series on DVD, and I love it. I was, however, very disappointed with the big screen adaptation from a few years ago. It just didn’t work for me.